If you want to know why waste and conflicts of interests are so prevalent in the United States, you need to look no further than the recent report of he Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on the so-called G222 program. I wrote about this program in 2013 but we now have the result of the criminal investigation. Under the program, the United States Air Force spent $549 million to buy 20 Italian-made cargo planes for the Afghan government. They were found to be unreliable and turned into scrap metal for $40,257. No action was taken against the company, Alenia North America, or the Air Force General responsible for the outrageous contract (despite a finding of a conflict of interest). The Justice Department refused to take action because such cases are “unheard of.” Perhaps, but government officials and contractor heard the message loud and clear: there is virtually no contractual waste that you can commit in the United States military that will result in sanctions. This picture from SIGAR is what remains of over half a billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money.
We often discuss criminal and civil cases that take a turn for the bizarre. An Oklahoma case is such a standout after Tulsa police cited a curious identification element in the arrest of Sharon Carr: “Cheeto dust” found in her teeth. A woman had fled a home after a burglary but left a bottle of water and an open bag of Cheetos. It seemed to confirm to confirm the longtime slogan of the company that “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Cheesy.” However, despite going viral as a story, there was a tad more than just Cheetos dust on this collar.
Democratic members this week attacked Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough after she (correctly) ruled that the inclusion of the $15 minimum wage hike in a reconciliation bill violated Senate rules. The response from Democratic members and many in the blogosphere was withering. Rep. Ilhan Omar called for MacDonough to be fired and others denounced her actions and called the Senate to simply overrule her — and the long-standing rules. It is not just the effort to gut or flip the “Byrd Rule” but vicious attacks on this parliamentarian that are so disconcerting.
I have taught medical malpractice as part of my torts course for decades but I have never seen anything quite like this. Dr. Scott Green is accused of appearing in Sacramental Superior Court for a trial of a traffic violation during a surgery. While Green was willing to continue, the court was not. He will now have to appear before the Medical Board of California, presumably not in scrubs and in mid surgery. While we have discussed past cases like a doctor hip-hopping on videos around patients, this is the first doctor appearing as a surgeon and a litigant at the same time.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reportedly issued a fatwa to deal with a rising threat against the stability and morality of the Islamic Republic: all cartoon and animated women must wear hijabs. It is not clear if Khamenei will also create a cartoon version of Iran’s thuggish morality police, the Gasht-e Ershad, to pursue such “women” in the virtual streets of cartoons. Continue reading “Looney Tunes: Supreme Leader Issues Fatwa To Require Cartoon Women To Wear Hijabs”
My home city of Chicago continues to reel from soaring crime rates. Among the categories of increasing crime is a 135% spike in carjackings. One would think that the legislators would be focused on better policing and other programs. Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. (D, Chicago) however wants to ban video games like “Grand Theft Auto” which depict “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.” While it would not likely make a dent in carjackings, it would curtail free speech and individual choice. Continue reading “Chicago Faces 135% Increase In Carjackings . . . So Legislator Seeks To Ban “Grand Theft Auto””
We recently discussed the legal and political implications of the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio to close Trump-operated rinks and golf facilities. While the city lawyers were developing viable rationales for closing the Wollman Park and Lasker Rinks, de Blasio staff went out of its way to make clear that the effort was political retaliation against Trump. De Blasio’s spokesperson proudly announced that “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink.” Now, de Blasio has reversed his decision after backlash over a petty move that would not only cut off ice skating early for residents but throw employees out of jobs weeks early. The question is how the reversal will impact other legal efforts targeting the Trump Organization. Continue reading “On Thin Ice? De Blasio Reverses Closures of Trump-Operated Ice Skating Rinks”
Mayor Bill di Blasio has ordered the closure of the two ice rinks in Central Park, the Wollman Park and Lasker Rink. The mayor’s staff clearly wanted to the reason for the closure to be clear and public. Various groups have pushed for the city to cut all ties with the Trump organization and the city moved against the organization last month on the contracts. De Blasio’s spokesperson announced that “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink.” That statement might not be welcomed by city lawyers since it suggests that the closures were an exercise of selective bias against a company for political purposes. Despite the unpopularity of Trump in New York, the use of city contracts for raw political retaliation should be unacceptable to most citizens (particularly when the cost is borne not just by the public but more importantly employees who were laid off early). The spokesperson’s words could now be the focus of litigation over any losses by the Trump Organization. Continue reading ““Trump Has Been Impeached From Operating The Ice Rink”: De Blasio’s Cancelation of Trump Concession Contracts Raises Questions Of Political Retaliation”
It seems that Shakespeare is the rage in the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. When House managers were forced to take down the words of House manager Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.) after Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) denounced them as false, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md) declared “this is much ado about nothing.” Then Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) characterized the entire trial as “reminiscent of Shakespeare [in] that it is full of sound and fury, and yet signifying nothing.” MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, however, missed the Bard memo and triumphantly declared that Cruz was wrong and mocked him with a tweet “@SenTedCruz says #ImpeachmentTrial is like Shakespeare full of sound and fury signifying nothing. No, that’s Faulkner.” She was joined in the effort by the Washington Post’s columnist Jennifer Rubin. In our age of rage, it appears that “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”… and Shakespeare is Faulkner and Faulkner is Shakespeare.
A Los Angeles Times opinion column is firing up the Internet after Virginia Heffernan wrote about her anguish in not knowing how to respond to neighbors cleared the snow on her driveway. They problem is that they also voted for former President Donald Trump. The column entitled “What can you do about the Trumpites next door?” explores her struggle with how to respond while comparing all Trump supporters to Nazis and Hezbollah. It is unfortunately hardly surprising to see such unhinged hateful comparisons in today’s age of rage. What was surprising is need to publish such a column containing gratuitous attacks on over 70 million voters as comparable to genocidal murders or terrorists. Continue reading “Thank You For Shoveling My Driveway . . . You Nazi? LA Times Runs Bizarre Column Revealing Liberal Angst And Anger”
There is a bizarre case out of Charleston, West Virginia where Julie M. Wheeler has been given an additional year in prison after trying to fake her death to avoid sentencing for health care fraud. That secured an added conviction for conspiring to obstruct justice. Her husband will also now spend time in prison.
It appears that Marc E. Elias is back. The Perkins Coie lawyer was the focus of stories related to the Steele dossier and the long-denial of the Clinton campaign that it actually funded investigation. Despite such false statements by the campaign before the election, the money was found to have been paid out as a legal expense through Elias as counsel for the campaign. Elias also reportedly was present when this funding was denied to the media and to Congress. The Biden campaign enlisted Elias to lead efforts in election challenges despite that history. He is now making a curious argument in New York for a Democratic lawyer: he is alleging that thousands of votes may have been switched or changed by Dominion voting machines. Continue reading “The Return Of Marc Elias: The Lawyer Implicated In The Clinton Dossier Scandal Is Back In The News”
We have previously discussed the unhinged and unsupported claims of “My Pillow” CEO Mike Lindell. However, an interview on Newsmax shows just how out of control this debate has become as a host tried to stop Lindell from making unsupported claims. Eventually Anchor Bob Sellers walked off the set in what was a live meltdown on national television. Continue reading “Newsmax Meltdown: Host Leaves Set As “My Pillow” CEO Lindell Continues To Argue Election Fraud”