Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Friday, March 25, 2005
Sweet Sixteen Friday II

New games, new liveblog thread.

10:06:  UNC and Villanova tips off.  There are a lot of ACC critics that are hoping Villanova completes the ACC sweep.  And as I talk they hit a three to make it 5-0.

10:12:  Keep in mind Villanova is playing a virtual home game.  After all, they are up north at a fellow Big East school, and this crowd is going nuts for them.  Anyway, Randy Foye has come out blasting.  That will of course subside, but UNC has got to work on their perimeter defense, the one thing that has hurt them all year.  Villanova is up 13-5 early in the game.

10:25:  Carolina seems as if they don't know what defense is.  They are getting some calls on the offensive end, but are allowing Villanova to slash and aren't answering.  Nova is up by 12 midway through the first.

Utah's Andrew Bogut is trying to place the whole team on his back.  I don't know if he can, as Kentucky has a pretty talented frontcourt to keep him busy throughout the game.  Kentucky has gone on a 6-0 run to lead 14-9.

10:36:  The refs are calling it really tight.  Actually, too tight.  Any little contact will is being whistled, which makes it hard for Carolina to get any momentum going.  Villanova's hitting their jumpers, and are keeping them at a distance.  Nova's up by ten.

10:46:  Heh.  Noel goes down from a low blow.  A couple of minutes later Lundquist makes sure they know that Nova didn't do a "Chris Paul".  I'm sure that's what every ACC fan was thinking.  Anyway, Noel was fine and it was no biggie.  Carolina's cut it to eight with 3:30 to go in the half.

Meanwhile, Kentucky is still holding on to their lead.  They're up by four.

Strong performance at the end of the first half by Carolina.  They're starting to connect on the passes inside that they weren't able to get earlier in the game.  On the defensive end they have forced Villanova to take some ugly shots and I don't think Villanova scored a field goal over the last four minutes of the half.  Nova's shots behind the arc are missing too.  33-29 Nova at halftime.

Randy Foye's first half line:  5-10 fg, 4-8 from the arc, 17pts.  Can he keep that going throughout the game?  I don't think so.

11:19:  Halftime's over, and Carolina comes out stiff again.  They actually let that midget Marcus Austin leap up like Mario from Super Mario Bros and snatch a rebound in the paint.  What's with that?  Regardless, Carolina's still down by four as no one has scored since halftime.  Meanwhile, Kentucky has extended their lead to eight.

11:26:  Carolina made back to back three's, but then fell off and allowed Foye to hit another three.  Great.  And on top of that, May gets dunked on on the next Nova possession.  Villanova is playing a very scrappy defense which is frustrating Carolina on the offensive end.  And of course, the refs will let them play when Carolina has the ball, but lord knows if a small bump occurs on the opposite end, Nova's gonna get the blocking call.  40-37 with 15 mins left.

Meanwhile, Kentucky leads by five with 12 and a half left in the game.  I can't watch that game, so I can't say much about it.

11:35:  I am really frustrated at the refs for calling at the officiating in this game.  Villanova literally mugged Noel on the other end, yet no call.  Come back the other way, and they call a cheap block.  Utterly ridiculous calls, and Roy Williams is starting to get on them for their inconsistency.  But somehow, Carolina has fought back to tie the game at 42.

11:45:  Carolina is finally starting to get a hold of this game.  They are starting to use their talent to play Villanova hard, and are starting to work them on every possession.  I also like how they are starting to slow down the game and feed it inside where they can't compete.

As soon as I say that, the defense laxed and they are about to allow Villanova to tie up the game.  UNC's up 50-49 after being up by five.

12:00:  Carolina is now starting to pull away, and their defense is making Villanova force shots.  They're also starting to make the three pointer their first option, which is the wrong thing to do.  Villanova shouldn't panic so early.  Carolina up by nine after an 11-2 run with 4:14 to go.

12:05:  Bill Raftery: "If you don't knock em down, you're in trouble."

Really Bill?

Foye is playing hard.  You can tell he's a street baller, and that might help him get a couple of looks from the NBA.  However, Villanova can't sink any shots, and against Carolina you got to be able to put up some points.  Felton's fouled out, but Carolina's up by five with two minutes to go.

Meanwhile, Kentucky has pretty much wrapped their game up with Utah, as they lead by nine with :42 to go.

12:11:  Carolina has allowed them to get back into this game.  Unbelievable.  Held the ball, but continue to turn it over and now Villanova is getting some fast breaks.  Nova is going to the line down by three with 40 seconds to go.

Foye hits one, but misses and tries to get his own rebound...behind the back called on Foye, so it's Carolina's ball with 40 seconds left and up by two.

12:16:  I swear I'll be glad when the officiating crew is off the court.  They better not call Sunday's game.  Anyway, Nova is down by three, they miss the last ft, get the offensive rebound and call the timeout.  They get one last shot at this with 11.6 seconds left in the game.

12:20:  I was about to have a cow, because they blew the whistle before he was fouled.  Fortunately, they called the walk, which he did do before the foul and was a surprising good call.  Everyone is booing in Syracuse.

McCants has missed his first, but hit his second, and Carolina leads by four with 7.6 left.

Tonight was way too close for comfort.  Carolina looked like a different team than the one who dominated Oakland and Iowa State last weekend.  If they come in there like that against Wisconsin the ACC won't have a spot in the Final Four.

Carolina wins, 67-66.

That's it for tonight.  I'll probably liveblog the first Elite Eight game, but I'm not sure about the rest.

UPDATE:  Clark Kellogg and the other guy don't know what they are talking about.  The steps are counted once the ball leaves the hand, not when he grabs it.  That's three steps, and that's a walk.  Get over it.

Posted at 10:10 pm by Expertise
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Sweet Sixteen Friday thread.

Oops!  I forgot to give my picks:

- Michigan State over Duke

- North Carolina over Villanova

- Kentucky over Utah

- NC State over Wisconsin

Alright, so here we go...

CBS has it on Duke/Michigan State, but I will also have NC State/Wisconsin on once the tipoff starts there.  That's the perks of living in the Triangle.

Right now nothing much going on.  Duke tried to start out fast but Michigan State eventually evened it up.  Score's 10-8 Duke.

Oh; and it should be noted that I did go 4-0 on my picks yesterday.  Braggin rights and all that.

7:37:  NC State/Wisconsin is under way.  Elian Etimov has sick range.  After a bit of exchanging baskets, Etimov hits a three and another basket places NC State up by seven, 16-9.

In the other game, Michigan State is cold, but is able to keep it within a possession.  Duke's up by two.

7:45:  Michigan State is playing Duke's game right now:  defensive oriented and physical.  While they are coming up with good plays, they need to find a way to slow down Nelson and Williams in the paint.  Duke's up by five with about four minutes left in the half.

NC State is starting to open it up on Wisconsin already.  These boys didn't come to play games.  State's up by 10.  Oh, and Bill Raftery is HILARIOUS.

7:54:  Duke's already turned the ball over 10 times with two minutes left in the half.  Coach K is already working the refs over.  We'll see how that plays out as the game goes on.  Duke's up by two with a minute to go.

7:58:  Meanwhile, NC State and Wisconsin has started to get sloppy.  That helps NC State, who's still up by eight.  A lot of fouls and turnovers are being made here.  23-15 with six minutes to go.

8:02:  Will someone tell Billy Packer to calm down?  It's bad enough when he's cheerleading for Duke throughout the whole half, even trying to make cases of clean blocks when everyone and their momma's can see they were fouls, but I'm sure the refs can look into the monitor and see the clock was late.  Geez.  Duke and Michigan State are tied at halftime.

8:10:  Bill Raftery:  "Oh my god, they just can't get out of their own way."

I concur.  I thought last night's Texas Tech/West Virginia game was bad.

Speaking of which, did you hear about how the state celebrated last night?  Set off 50 fires.  And they know there is nothing but mountains and trees out there.  If my dad (who is a forest ranger) calls me to tell me he has to go to Po-dunk, WV to go battle a fire, I'mma be pissed.

Anwyay, State's up 30-21 at halftime.

Another note, No team has scored more than 75 points on Wisconsin this year.  That's pretty consistent defense.  It looks like that won't change tonight, but Wisconsin at this rate won't get more than 50.  They only scored 45 against Illinois in the Big Ten tourney, so it's possible.

8:30:  Duke/Michigan State starts the second half.  MSU started sloppy, but then two big threes along with layup transitioned from a steal gives Michigan State it's first lead of the game.  Coach K gives his boys a powder. 40-36.

Also, I don't think Duke fans are going to be happy because they were put on the Fox affiliate while NC State got the bigger audience on WRAL 5.  Then again, State fans would moan too if they were in that spot, so oh well.

8:45:  Both ACC teams are struggling now.  Duke is down by six with 13:00 left to go, and Wisconsin has come out of the second half firing.  NC State is still up, but their lead is down to three.

8:50:  Damn...MSU's Brown really took off with that dunk.  It's as if the only guy that's trying to step up for Duke is Melchionni.  He's hit seven of Duke's last ten points (Reddick hit a three, which gave him eight points).  If Reddick and Williams don't get their heads into the game, Duke's going home tonight.  They're down by seven with less than nine to play.

NC State is trying to fend off Wisconsin, and taking their time with their possessions.  That's the kind of game Wisconsin likes, too.  State's up by three with 12 minutes left.

9:00:  Wisconsin has really played well in the second half, and NC State looks so sloppy.  The Badgers look to pull away, as they are up by eight with less than nine left in the game.

Meanwhile, Duke has crept back into their game and is playing with some grit.  I'm impressed how Melchionni is stepping up.  60-56 with 6 minutes left.

9:05:  Williams goes out of the game with his fourth foul.  Not good.  Duke's interior will suffer now.  You would think MSU would attack the basket now that the monster is out and Randolph stays prone to fouling.  Nah, they send it to the arc and hits the three.  66-60 MSU with less than four mins to go.

9:12:  Wisconsin keeps looking as if they are going to pull away, but here comes Etimov with another clutch three.  NC State needs to take every possession seriously.  State has cut it to four with 4:40 left.

Meanwhile, Sheldon Williams has fouled out.  I don't know why Coach K felt pressured to put him back in the game so early after his fourth foul.  And he was drew into the foul by Paul Davis on a very clever pump fake.  Davis gets the three point play, 69-63 with two and a half left.  This isn't looking good for Duke.

9:20:  Reddick and Melchionni better step up.  I don't think they can allow Michigan State to score more than a basket for the rest of the game.  MSU leads 70-66 with 1:30 left.

9:25:  Both Duke and State need big plays.  They are making pretty nice defensive plays, but both are down by two possessions with about a minute left in the game; 72-68 MSU over Duke and 59-54 Wisconsin over State.  They better hope both miss some free throws.

9:30:  Well, both ACC teams will go down.  Michigan State has run away with it against Duke, and Wisconsin has as well.  Wisconsin was simply the better team, as they adjusted to NC State in the second half and kept it close until they put it away.  There are some folks in North Carolina that will really be pissed that they tuned in to watch two of their schools bomb out at the same time.  If I'm not mistaking, this is a second straight exit by Duke in the Sweet Sixteen.

I really have to question Coach K's thought process by placing Williams back in the game so early with four fouls.  Duke didn't have a chance once he got his fifth.  JJ Redick played piss poor tonight, as he has throughout the tournament.  It was only a matter of time where their poor play would catch up with them against a competent team like Michigan State.

As for NC State, this will get the Wolfpack fans grumbling again, but Wisconsin has a great defense and can make plays.  State was a 10th seed, and Wisconsin did get to the Big Ten finals, so it can't be considered an upset.  With Hodge leaving this year, Herb Sendek will have to do this all over again in order to keep his job.

Just in case you didn't know, I've already started a new thread for the other games.  Click home and check out session II.

Posted at 07:22 pm by Expertise
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de novo.

If there wasn't enough controversy surrounding Congress's actions last Sunday allowing the federal courts to review Schindler v. Schaivo, now there are conservatives that are accusing the courts of flouting the legislation Congress passed.

Indeed, Congress did order a de novo review of the case, but now I'm wondering if that provision is indeed constitutional?  Does Congress have the right to lay out the process of review for the federal courts?  It's one thing for an appellate court to call for the review themselves, but I'm skeptical of Congress's power with this option.

I'm not a law student or professor by any means, but it would seem to me that the Congressional action could be likened to double jeopardy (albeit this is not a criminal case).  Whether we believe the federal courts' decisions on Schindler v. Schaivo are correct, I'm inclined to believe that Congress doesn't have the power to order this procedure in a civil or criminal court case.

If you can give me some insight on this or show me a legal prescedent of where this has happened before, please feel free to show me.  But I think a number of folks (Hewitt, Powerline, etc.) are a bit off base on this one.

Posted at 04:51 pm by Expertise
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Keep your eye on these cases.

There's a number of court cases going on in the US and abroad that are very interesting and quite worrisome.

First, a couple from Captain's Quarters.

- There is a vote buying scandal being busted up in St. Louis from last year's elections.  Three members of the St. Clair County Democratic Committee along with a precinct worker plead guilty in federal court, with three more committee members and another precinct worker being charged Wednesday:

An undetermined number of voters were paid $5 or $10 to cast a Democratic ballot in the Nov. 2 election, court records said. The money allegedly came from the St. Clair County Democratic Committee, though there was no indication the county committee knew how the funds would be used.

Although it's being quiet as kept, Democrats are being busted all over the country for their schananigans during Campaign 04.  And it looks as if there are more indictments to come.

- Great Britain's High Court has claimed the whole internet lies within their jurisdiction, as foreigners in other countries can now be sued by British citizens even if the content was published in the United States.

The case they ruled on happened to have California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the defendant:

Miss Richardson alleges she was libelled by Schwarzenegger and two campaign workers in an October 2003 article in The Los Angeles Times, which also appeared on the internet.

She says it meant she "deliberately and dishonestly fabricated" the allegations that Arnie touched her breast when she interviewed him at London's Dorchester Hotel in December 2000.

The judge today said that 57-year-old Schwarzenegger was "not peripheral" to the case.

Now please note:  The Los Angeles Times does not have an office in Great Britain, nor publishes or distributes papers there.  However, the High Court makes the ridiculous argument that since British citizens have access to the LA Times website, they have jurisdiction.  As they would say, that's rubbish.

Not only could this High Court ruling be used to attack U.S. bloggers and grant absentee judgements for those that could never cross the ocean to appear in court, but it could expose bloggers to criminal charges due to GB's much weaker speech liberties.  A very serious prescedent has been created here.

- In The Agora discusses France's press agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) is suing Google for $17.5 million claiming copyright infringment through use of Google's news search engine.

If they win this case, this would send shockwaves throughout the internet.  Other news wires would be able to do the same thing and essentially kill off every website that links information without the news wire's permission.  What's troubling about this case is that Google isn't directly linking to articles directly from the AFP website, they are linking to articles from newspaper websites that use AFP articles.  So  the decision that comes from the federal district should be interesting.

Stay tuned folks.

Posted at 03:53 am by Expertise
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Thursday, March 24, 2005
Sweet Sixteen Thursday II.

I decided to go to another post for the next session.

CBS has it on West Virginia vs. Texas Tech.  Blah.  All of the good games involve West Coast teams tonight, and CBS is gonna give it to the teams that in closer proximity.

West Virginia is up by five.  Pretty much no kind of defensive stands by either team so far in this game.  The college basketball legend, Pittsnoggle, is leading the way.  24-19.

10:45:  Texas Tech had cut the game to one until WV hit a three on the baseline.  Before that, WV was pretty cold from the arc.

CBS said West Virginia has played their seventh game in 16 days.  That's a tough schedule.

Tech has tied the game up, 30-30.

10:50:  West Virginia and Texas Tech are tied at halftime with 32 a piece.  CBS has changed coverage to Oklahoma State/Arizona.  After a huge Arizona lead at the beginning of the game, Oklahoma State has stabilized things and now are down by only 2, 38-36, with 1:24 to go.

11:20:  Nothing big.  West Virginia continues to make big baskets, while Tech attacks the boards and plays it safe.  WV leads by two, and Zona is up by five.

11:45:  This hasn't been a pretty game, but both teams have stayed competitive down the stretch.  Meanwhile, Arizona's been able to create a bit of space between them and Oklahoma State.  WV's up by five with less than four minutes to go, and and Zona's up by three with eight minutes to go.

11:55:  Ugh.  This game is entertaining, but it's got to be frustrating to basketball fans because it seems as if both teams are just playing really ugly.  WV seems like they are imploding right now.  Then after WV called the timeout they allowed 13 ticks to get off before they finally fouled Pittsnoggle.  Sad sad sad.  They need him to miss one of these two fts, which is possible.

12:00:  Both Texas Tech and West Virginia imploded at the end.  Unfortunately for Texas Tech, theirs was worse and at the wrong time.  Tech pulls off one of the ugliest tournament wins I ever seen, 65-60.  Now on to the Zona/OK State game, where Ok State leads by two with 3:30 left.

12:05:  Salim Stoudamire just hit a three pointer while floating to his side.  That's unreal.  And there are people saying JJ Redick is the best shooter in the nation?  Yeah right.  Zona is now up by one with less than a minute to go in the game.

12:10:  Oklahoma State got away with murder when throwing the shoulder to knock down a Zona defender to take the lead.  But that one-man wrecking crew named Stoudamire took care of business with a fadeaway jumper to lead by one with 2.8 seconds left.

- Arizona 79, Ok State 78.  Eddie Sutton has played his last game tonight.  Illinois vs. Arizona should be a barn burner.

Posted at 10:28 pm by Expertise
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Sweet Sixteen Thursday

No, I haven't forgotten about sports this week.  In fact, I may do a little liveblogging of tonight's games.

Since I don't have much time before they start, and I'll probably will be dividing my time between 850 The Buzz's blog and Yoco's blog (both are in my sidebar) and here, I'll just give you my picks:

- Louisville over Washington

- West Virginia over Texas Tech

- Illinois over Wisconsin-Milwaukee

- Arizona over Oklahoma State.

Upsets are highlighted yellow.  I'll be back.

7:30:  Wooooow.  I was about to complain when CBS switched coverage from Louisville/Washington to Illinois/Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but I just saw one of the best shootouts over a three-minute period that I've probably ever seen in basketball.  It looked like a real version of NBA Live.

Milwaukee got the worst of the exchange, but it was pretty impressive, and they aren't behind by much.  The score is 12-14, with Illi going 6-8 from the field and Milwaukee going 5-6.

7:44:  Milwaukee's taking too many shots beyond the arc.  The start of the game was good, and shows they are hyped, but they need to keep their heads and concentrate on working it inside and concentrate on defense.  21-17.

8:00:  Milwaukee is not getting control of things.  Attacking the basket, making turnovers and getting a number of fast breaks.  Illinois looks to be a little off at this moment after a very fast start.

The refs are doing so-so.  Caught Milwaukee with a goaltend, but missed the intentional foul on the next series.  Illinois is up by four with Milwaukee at the line coming out of the time out.

8:05:  Just wanted to mention Louisville is up by 12 at halftime after being down by seven early in the first half.  Not good for Washington.  Illinois has went on a 7-0 run to lead by ten.  I doubt Milwaukee can endure this run. 

Hold on...a basket and the ft cuts the lead to seven.

8:13:  39-32 Illinois at halftime.  Milwaukee needs to come out aggressively in the second half.  They don't want to have to fight off an Illini double digit lead down the stretch.  They also struggled from the field during the last couple of minutes of that half as well.

8:31:  CBS switched coverage to Washington/Louisville.  Washington are trying to place all of their eggs into one basket by coming out shooting threes in the second half.  Louisville's playing smart by feeding it inside and putting it on the glass.

CBS sent it back to Illinois/Milwaukee.  Ugh.

8:45:  Both Washington and Milwaukee are running out of time, as both are behind by double digits.  It seems as it's a stalemate in both games at this point in time, with Illinois and Louisville doing enough to keep the game at a distance.  Illinois is up by 11; Louisville is up by 10.

9:00:  CBS switched coverage to Louisville/Washington.  Good.  I love how Louisville is attacking the basket, grabbing offensive rebounds, working the paint, and Louisville's Velacio (sp?) has a great first step that's punishing Washington anytime they apply pressure on him in the front court.

Milwaukee's trying hard, but they need to put up a run.  They're down by 10 with 10:13 left, and Washington's down by nine with 7:10 to go.

9:15:  The nails are being placed in the coffins of both Milwaukee and Washington.  Milwaukee simply can't match the offensive firepower of Illinois, and Washington's struggling on the offensive end and really hasn't done anything since that run early in the first half. 

Hold I speak, Milwaukee cuts it to single digits.  Maybe it isn't over.  Down 61-70 with just over 4:00 left.  Washington is about done, tho, as they are down by 13 with only 3 minutes left.

9:30:  Both games are over.  Illinois and Louisville are the first two teams into the Elite Eight with solid wins.  Louisville won 93-79, and Illinois won 77-63.  Neither team had any trouble from halftime on.

I had to laugh, because Washington talked all this smack about wanting to challenge the ACC.  They're better off working that pole at the Blue Oyster (I swear, once I find that picture, I'll show yall what I'm talkin about).

Posted at 07:06 pm by Expertise
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Death....and the left.

Reading different blogs and discussion boards hearing the arguments leftists and pro-death advocates are making about Terri Schiavo are quite peculiar.  They seem to come under a common theme...

"she's brain dead"

"she's a vegetable"

"let her die"

It's fairly typical stuff, as most leftist arguments are.  It centers around an ideology that we've seen for decades on end.  Their egotistical and elitist mindset gives them the impression that their opinions are so obviously logical and widely supported that something has to be mentally wrong or corrupt with the ones who have the opposite viewpoint.

Thus, Terri Schiavo should die because they would want to die if they were in her position.  Nevermind the fact that they don't have hard evidence to support this; mere hearsay stemming from her husband, his brother, and his brother's wife is more than enough.  Nevermind the fact that the family that raised her never heard anything like that being said by her; their right-wing biases and pro-life convictions disqualifies them from using rational logic. 

It would never occur to any of them that a sane person could possibly not wish to die if in they were disabled like Terri, in the hopes of finding a cure.  Of course, I'm sure nobody wants to live life in that condition, but that doesn't mean they would take death as an alternative.  That doesn't mean they are afraid of death.  It simply means they want to continue their life until a cure is possibly found or death naturally calls for them.

The central problem with the long-term effects of this case is that it provides a prescedent to euthanize disabled patients.  People talk about Congress setting a bad prescedent with legislation that granted Schindler v. Schiavo to be reviewed by federal courts, but what about the prescedent established by Florida Superior Court Judge George Greer?

Florida's law is set so that anyone being fed artificially is classified as being on life support.  That means if you are hooked to an eating machine and your guardian can get a doctor that can persuade a trial judge that your condition is irreversable, you can be starved to death.  The fact that the vital organs are still intact and your senses operating are just minor details.

It's amazing how the definitions of life and death have changed in the past 30 years since Roe v. Wade.  You're not alive until you are out of the womb, and if you are ever hooked up to a machine, you're considered to be living artifically.  It seems as if the window of life draws more and more narrow with every court ruling.

How far will Schindler v. Schiavo go in allowing guardians and the government in terminating the lives of disabled patients?  Although evidence was presented in court by numerous doctors testifying through affidavits that she was not legally classified as being in a persistent vegetative state and that it was possible for her condition to improve, the order to starve her to death went through anyway.  The time where judges won't have to consider PVS for a death order to stand is coming sooner rather than later.

Federal and state judiciaries in this day and age have stood the rule of law on it's head, so that a mere court trial can be applied in every state in this nation, thus forming a quasi-constitutional amendment.  If leftist judicial activists don't mind using decisions and interpretations from foreign courts to justify their rulings, they certainly won't mind using a trial court case in another state under an entirely different process in order to throw out a state law.

There will be some in the euthanasia movement who won't be satisfied until a quasi-eugenics society is created where a class of disabled citizens are killed off much in the same way as communist societies implemented, and some still do, in the past.  You may think this is a stretch, but equal rights amendment advocates in the 70's didn't think gay marriage would be legalized through their law either.  When you have an activist judge looking for a legal prescedent to merit his opinion instead of making an opinion based on legal prescedent, it doesn't take much.

I'm not pro-life, but I understand the dangers of unelected men to be given absolute authority without any kind of accountability by the populace or their elected representatives.  The Republicans who helped frame the Constitition - Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, etc warned the country about the dangers of a judiciary run amuck.  It's a shame that most of the country won't take heed of their words today.

Posted at 05:59 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005
More on the memo.

More evidence is starting to surface hinting that the Democrats were indeed behind the unsigned memo.

From the New York Times:
As tensions festered among Republicans, Democratic aides passed out an unsigned one-page memorandum that they said had been distributed to Senate Republicans. "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," the memorandum said.
Interesting.  So now there is at least one witness to the memo being in Democratic hands, and on Capitol Hill, no less.  As far as anyone can tell, this is the earliest anyone has noted seeing the memo.

We also have the Washington Post breaking the story about a memo that was first seen in the hands of Democratic staffers claiming it came from the Republicans and an actual copy of the memo was first posted on the internet NOT by WP or ABC News, but a left-wing news website.

And Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is jumping on this by calling for an investigation as this could be a possible violation of Senate rules.

Something stinks, folks.

Now the next question:  Will the New York Times disclose which Democratic staffers were passing the memo around?  I think considering the information they've already given and the evidence that's stacking up, I'd say that isn't an unreasonable request.

UPDATEIn the Agora is on top of things.  Joshua Clayborn contacted some ABCNews sources that are saying they never meant to imply that the memo came from Republican staffers.  And he's busted Kate Snow for directly accusing Senate Republicans for the memo on Good Morning America.

Hindrocket thinks they are starting to back off of their original claim that this was "GOP Talking Points" and they probably don't know where the memo originated.  That sounds about right.

UPDATEHindrocket is back again with a source that's backing up Clayborn's story (Although I wonder how in the world that source got the job after looking at the spelling errors.  There's hope for me yet.) 

Also, The American Spectator reports on a behind-the-scenes investigation carried out by Senators Rick Santorum and Mitch McConnell as well as their staffs to trace the memo back to it's author.  According to their sources, they believe a Democratic research office created by Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid created the memo and started all of this mess in order to sabotage the Democrats.

I'll give Reid's office the benefit of the doubt until more information comes in, but I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't the case. 

Posted at 05:46 pm by Expertise
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Who wrote the memo?

Last week, a memo popped up on the Senate floor being sent to Republicans weighing the political implications of Congress moving on the Schiavo case.

Here's the memo (via Powerline).  There's no doubt this was sent to Republican senators, and I'm sure they took heed of it.  But the question is, who wrote it?  And who is/are the source(s) of the Washington Post and ABC News, who broke this story? 

You see, this memo was unsigned.  No letterhead, no signature, no nothing.  Thus anyone could have typed it, and according to an email by Powerline's John Hinderacker, anyone could have had access to the Senate mail system and placed it in the Senators' boxes.  Is it possible this was another effort to sabotage the Republican Party, as 60 Minutes tried to do with the National Guard documents?

Mike Allen, the reporter who broke the story for the Washington Post, claims his source was valid, or else he wouldn't have published it.  Of course.  Journalists always think the benefit of the doubt should be given to them until proven otherwise.  Sorry, but in today's world the media's credibility is shattered, and it's going to take more than a journalist's word in order for a story to stick.

A perfect example why the public can't take the mainstream media at it's word is how they are distorting this story.  Despite no clue of where the memo came from or who wrote it, the media is characterizing this as "GOP talking points", as ABC News did,  claiming it was distributed by "a GOP strategist", as the irresponsible Cynthia Tucker stated, or even accusing "Republican leaders" of sending it, as the Boston Globe said.  They're definitely not the only ones guilty of this, but if I tried to grab them all it would take all day long.

There is already proof surfacing that it is indeed a hoax.  Hinderacker had another emailer point this out:
Why the "GOP Schiavo memo" is a fake: The Real S.529 is a bill introduced by Grassley on 3-3-05 to establish a US anti-doping agency. No competent staffer would create a talking points memo with the wrong S. number on it.
He's right
.  However, I'll give the writer of the memo the benefit of the doubt for the moment, because the actual Schiavo bill was originally S.539. Thus, maybe they just got a number wrong. *shrugs* The bill that ended up passing after a compromise was reached was S.686.

Believe me, we haven't heard the end of this.  I might have some more info later this morning.

UPDATE:  Ha.  Guess where they traced it.

Most of the memo was traced back to the Traditional Values Coalition website.  Either this is indeed a hoax or that has to be the laziest staffer in Washington.  And that came from a commenter on The Raw Story, a left-wing blog/news site.

I was around when the Sixty-First Minute blew up on Powerline.  Something tells me we're going to have that kind of a day.  I'm surprised Reynolds hasn't jumped on this yet.

Posted at 07:19 am by Expertise
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The 11 District Court of Appeals denied the Schindler's appeal this morning around 2 am.

It's kind of ironic, because five years ago I was awake when I received the breaking news that Janet Reno sent federal agents to raid the Gonzalez home in Miami, Florida to snatch Elian Gonzalez through an illegal search warrant around 4:30 or so before dawn.  I even saw the Pulitzer Prize winning picture of the federal agent pointing the gun at Elian and Lazaro hot off the presses.

I feel just as powerless now as I did then, because you knew without a shadow of doubt that an evil injustice was being committed as you watched, and the one who was doing this would get away with it and there was nothing you could do about it.  It leaves an empty pit at the bottom of your stomach, and reminds you that at times this is a very cruel world.

But these are the rules we play with.  It would be nice to have a justice system where every guilty person would be punished and every innocent person would get justice, but as with anything that is controlled by men, it is never foolproof.  This is one of the times where the problems with the system become more glaring than ever.

Terri Schindler didn't do a thing to anyone.  She didn't kill anyone, try to swindle money from anyone, nor did she commit a crime.  But people who did will get more due process than she's getting.

The Schindlers probably have one more chance, and that's the Florida legislature stepping in with a law making it illegal for disabled people to be denied food (actually, it's already a law, but a legal loophole allows Michael Schiavo to do it anyway).  But by the time that's passed and signed, Terri may be dead already.  It's a shame.

Posted at 03:43 am by Expertise
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