The New York Times faced a stinging contradiction from Politico this week after it ran a story besmirching the lead prosecutor in the leak investigation launched under former Attorney General Bill Barr. The article relies on anonymous sources to claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar Benevenuto of the District of New Jersey was brought in by Barr as part of his “small circle of trusted aides officials.” In reality, it appears that Benevenuto was not initially selected by Barr and does not appear to have known him. Continue reading “Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor”
There is an interesting controversy in the news related to former Daily Show “correspondent” Rob Riggle who appears to be in the midst of a divorce that makes the Depp-Heard divorce look like an amicable split. The recent reported discovery by Riggle of a surveillance camera raises some interesting criminal and tort dimensions to a divorce that seems to be snowballing out of control.
Viterbo University in Wisconsin has been the scene of protests for months over alleged hate crimes committed on campus. The police however has charged a student, Victoria Unanka, with what it says was a hoax hate crime involving the setting of a fire in her dormitory. What interested me about the case was the curious combination of criminal charges. She is being charged with both arson and “the negligent handling of burning materials.” Continue reading “Wisconsin Student Accused Of Arson In Hoax Hate Crime”
This week is the one-year anniversary of one of the lowest points in the history of modern American journalism. During the week of June 6, 2020, the New York Times forced out an opinion editor and apologized for publishing the editorial of Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) calling for the use of the troops to restore order in Washington after days of rioting around the White House. While Congress would “call in the troops” six months later to quell the rioting at the Capitol on January 6th, New York Times reporters and columnists called the column historically inaccurate and politically inciteful. Reporters insisted that Cotton was even endangering them by suggesting the use of troops and insisted that the newspaper cannot feature people who advocate political violence. One year later, the New York Times published a column by an academic who has previously declared that there is nothing wrong with murdering conservatives and Republicans.
We previously discussed the ongoing controversies over former Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee, who made highly unprofessional and sensational remarks throughout the Trump presidency. The school eventually got rid of Lee but seems to have found another even more controversial substitute as a speaker in psychiatrist Dr. Aruna Khilanani. The New York-based doctor was invited to Yale School of Medicine in April to deliver an address which turned out to be a violent, racist diatribe, including saying that she often thought of “unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way.” Continue reading ““Unloading A Revolver Into The Head Of Any White Person”: Yale Features Violent, Racist Diatribe By Psychiatrist”
In the movie The Last Jedi, Supreme Leader Snoke observes “My disappointment in your performance cannot be overstated.” It appears that Snoke could find like minds on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In Briseno v. Henderson, Judge Kenneth K. Lee took a rather broad view of “judicial notice” to declare recently that the 2017 movie was “mediocre and schlocky.” Continue reading “Taking Judicial Notice? Ninth Circuit Denounces The Last Jedi As “Mediocre and Schlocky””
Sidney Powell, a former attorney for President Donald Trump, is back in the news with a prediction that Donald Trump could be”reinstated” as president. It is a mystery to me how Powell believes that Trump could be “resinstated” but the Constitution is clear: Joe Biden is our president and will remain so absent his death, incapacity, or his removal through impeachment.
For over a year, I have written and testified about the investigation of what really occurred in the clearing of the Lafayette Park. Much of this debate has focused on the motive behind the federal operation. University of Texas professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck is one of those who insisted publicly that Barr ordered federal officers “to forcibly clear protestors in Lafayette Park to achieve a photo op for Trump.” After I discussed new developments in court over the protests yesterday, Vladeck lashed out to accuse me of being one of Trump’s defenders and a “tear gas” denier in the Lafayette Park controversy. Since that tweet got traction with some on social media, I wanted to lay out the actual facts on the tear gas controversy. Continue reading “Lafayette Park and The Tear Gas Controversy: A Response To Professor Steve Vladeck”
While traveling, I ran across this gem of a combination along the roadway, a model of convergence between traffic code mandates and the Sirens of irony. It almost beckons wayfarers to explore what lies beyond the trailhead of this drive. Shall it be a safe harbor or a temptation to our demise?
We previously discussed how prosecutors in North Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, and other states have dismissed or downgraded many rioting cases, including cases of individuals who destroyed statues in broad daylight. Now, New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has announced that all of the individuals who destroyed a 152-year-old obelisk last October will be given “restorative justice” and no jail time. They will however be required to write a letter about their actions. Carmack-Altwies called the premeditated act of destruction of the obelisk a mere “political problem that got forced upon the criminal justice system.”
There is an extraordinary column in the Washington Post from Glenn Kessler on a key figure in past coverage on the removal of Confederate statues. The Post ran a widely cited article on how Robert E. Lee’s own descendant wanted the general’s statues to be removed. The problem is that no one at the Post appears to have actually checked to see if Rev. Robert W. Lee was an actual descendant. It now appears that he is not, according to Kessler. While Kessler strangely does not believe this warrants his signature “Pinocchios,” he should be credited for doing something that no one in the media seemed inclined to do: confirm the story, even belatedly. It was, as the old journalistic saying goes, “a fact too good to check.”
Below is my column in USA Today on the announcement that Ohio will be using federal relief funds for a lottery giveaway to lure people to take the vaccine. In the meantime, New York City announced it would give out an array of free items, including a seven-day free Metro card. I have little doubt that such programs can increase participation but the use of millions of federal funds for a give-away program raises issues worthy of debate. However, the lack of any significant limit on spending of these federal funds has made such lotteries possible.
Here is the column:
We often discuss criminals who are standouts for their stupidity or audacity or savagery. When it comes to Stormee Wagner, 40, and James E. Wagner, 37, there are few words that capture the callous character of their crime. The couple wanted to get police to find their stolen truck faster, so they triggered an Amber alert by claiming that their daughter was kidnapped in the truck. Continue reading “Arizona Couple Arrested After Falsely Claiming The Kidnapping Of A Child To Get Police To Find Their Stolen Truck”