Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Sandy Berger pleads guilty today.

Well, at least there is one bright thing to happen in an otherwise sad day.  Clinton's former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger will plead guilty to taking classified documents from the National Archives.  He's expected to appear in federal court Friday.

I discussed this story last summer (see "Sandy Berger is busted" from my best posts on the sidebar).  Even to this day Berger has not brought back some of the materials that he stole from the National Archives last summer.  Berger took the notes and documents and placed them into his pockets and pants, which bore the name of the scandal, "TrouserGate".  At the time, Berger was an advisor to John Kerry.

Now I'm not stupid; it's very doubtful that Berger ever serves a lick of time in jail.  I want to know exactly what he took, however.  According to the AP, Berger took information "related" to a 2000 report on how the Clinton Administration reacted to terrorism prior to the millenium bombings.  I've always thought there was more to this story than we were being told.

Finally, the AP snuck this little tidbit in:

Many Democrats, including former President Clinton, suggested politics were behind disclosure of the probe only days before the release of the Sept. 11 commission report, which Republicans feared would be a blow to President Bush's re-election campaign.

Of course, this was nothing but a hollow accusation, but why should that stop the AP from mentioning it anyway?

Posted at 08:19 pm by Expertise
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Schiavo dies.

But let's get one thing straight; the courts killed Terri Schiavo.

She didn't say she wanted to die, she didn't write she wanted to die, and there was nothing but hearsay evidence on the part of her "husband", his brother, and his brother's wife that she wanted to die.  She didn't kill herself. 

Thus, the courts killed her.  If you had placed the same type of evidence in a court trial, you wouldn't get a jury in the world to convict the defendant.  But, it was enough to kill an innocent woman.

Posted at 02:59 pm by Expertise
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Poll: Most Americans don't have a clue.

The Associated Press reported last night that most Americans feel no nation should have nuclear weapons, including the United States.

Well, that has to suck for Iran, China, North Korea, France, Great Britain, Russia, etc.  After all, the polls have spoken, so that means they have to get rid of them now.  I'm sure Bush will announce his plan to get rid of our nukes by the end of this week.  Israel will have to give up theirs too, leaving them even more vulnerable in the Middle East.

But seriously folks, what's the point of conducting these polls?  The media take them for face value, as if the standard poll taker knows precisely how dangerous our foreign rivals are.  Even if they did, it will do nothing to change the global political landscape.  Despots don't care about the concerns of the masses; that's what made them despots in the first place. 

This is the continuation of a trend that places public opinion polls over laws, policies, and principles.  Ignore the fact that these questions are often loaded, and are conducted by media groups themselves (this poll was conducted by the AP) for a second.  The media, among others, think public policy should reflect the opinion polls.  Too bad it doesn't work that way.

There is only one true poll, and that's an election.  That's when you actually find out which policies the people support, and which policies they don't support.  Everything else is just a false-face for the true voice of the people.

Posted at 05:48 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Anomyous sources screw Claybourn.

Last night Josh Claybourn admitted he may have been hoaxed on a story he broke Friday fingering one of the staffers from Harry Reid's office:

Late Friday evening I posted the accusations of four supposed Senate staffers who claimed a Democratic aide had distributed the "GOP" talking points memo. I now have reason to believe that in unraveling a hoax I was hoaxed myself. I haven't been able to confirm a Sen. Reid aide was the source and barring more conclusive evidence I have removed the accused's name from the original post out of fairness and accuracy. Those who made the accusations are nowhere to be found. Sen. Reid's office labels the accusation "completely ridiculous" and Sen. Santorum's office would not officially confirm or deny it, saying the investigation was "up to you, the bloggers, and the media."

I'm disturbed and upset, both with those who anonymously made the accusation and myself for posting it without more judicious restraint. Inevitably someone will accuse me of hypocrisy and that's a fair criticism. But I have retracted the sloppy reporting on my part and am willing to note the errors; that is much more than ABC or the Washington Post can say.

Of course, I mentioned this tidbit in an earlier thread.  I was a bit skeptical as well, stating more information pointing to the Reid staffer was needed in order to prove he was the author.  However, I was willing to give Claybourn the benefit of the doubt, and I still do now.  It was a mistake.  A bad mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

Hopefully he'll take this lesson in stride, and won't get burned too harshly by it.  It's gotten some attention by the MSM, as it was mentioned on CNN's Inside Politics (considering their low ratings, do they even count as the MSM?).  They even mentioned Michelle Malkin's statement of the Reid aide possibly suing him for libel (nice way to throw a bone out there) on LaShawn Barber's site.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's mentioned on MSNBC this afternoon too.

There is one point where I agree with Malkin:  he should burn them back.  If he has the phone numbers, hunt them down and expose them for what they did.  Revenge is a dish served cold.

Posted at 05:35 pm by Expertise
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And in walks Jesse Jackson.

(Photo:  AP/

I'm sure everyone by now has heard about Jesse Jackson voicing his support of the Schindler family to keep Terri Schiavo alive.  Jackson met with activists outside of the hospice holding Terri, where they welcomed him with open arms:

The former Democratic presidential candidate was invited by Schiavo's parents to meet with activists outside Schiavo's hospice. His arrival was greeted by some applause and cries of "This is about civil rights!"

"I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips," he said. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."

I've never been that much of a fan of Jackson, albeit I don't have as much contempt for him as, say, Jesse Peterson and others.  Much of the criticism is right:  he's a camera hog, an opportunist, and will look out for number one before anything or anyone else.

But even his critics have to admit that his support gave a least a glimmer of hope in saving Schiavo's life and also hurts the "religious right" moniker that the people who support Michael Schiavo has tried to label the activists. 

By meeting the activists outside of the hospice, Jackson probably quelled what was becoming a heated situation, as activists were angry at the actions of the government and now sees time running out for Terri.  His influence may encourage a few black state senators in Florida to pass legislation that could possibly place the feeding tube back into her as well.

Whether Jackson still has the influence that he had in the past is doubtful, and his presence would have been better served a couple of weeks ago.  However, I think the old saying "better late than never" can be applied in this instance.

Fellow blogger Casey Lartigue echoes many of the same viewpoints I've expressed about this case, including Jackson's impact.  One of the hollow arguments that really irks me is this one:

(1) some people, mainly Democrats and liberals, are making the argument that Republicans are hypocrites about this case. Unfortunately, some liberals are sucking out of their strawman that people who talk about states' rights are saying that there is NEVER a case for the state to intervene.

In fact, its one of the dumbest of them all.  They're trying to base this from the opponents of the civil rights era, in which most of them ironically were Dixiecrats.  I've heard no conservative or libertarian express the view that state courts and legislatures are allowed to trump rights that are written directly into the Constitution, particularly rights that are listed in both the Declaration of Independence as well as the Bill of Rights (the right to life). 

If, as the Declaration of Independence states, goverment derives their powers from the consent of the governed, why should a possible violation of the right of a U.S. citizen by a state judiciary go unchallenged by the federal courts and Congress; all whom swore to uphold the laws of the Constitution before they received their positions?  There really isn't an argument that can be made about a violation of states' rights in the Schiavo case.

Tomorrow morning the Schindlers return to Atlanta to petition the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for a petition granting a new review of the case due to faulty procedure by District Court Judge Whittmore. 

Let's hope they presented a stronger case, as Kevin Aylward at Wizbang believes they're better off arguing that Florida Superior Court Judge George Greer's decision didn't show "clear and convincing evidence" that Schiavo wanted to die, as the Supreme Court had stated needed to be shown in a previous case.

Posted at 04:46 am by Expertise
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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Carolina Panthers players accused of steroid use.

Just when I thought we got over the hurdle with the Rae Carruth murder, now we have this happen:

Carolina Panthers Todd Sauerbrun and Jeff Mitchell and former player Todd Steussie had steroid prescriptions filled by a West Columbia, S.C., doctor now under investigation by federal authorities, according to a ``60 Minutes Wednesday'' report.

In a release Tuesday, the CBS News show said the players all had prescriptions for testosterone cream filled within two weeks of the Panthers' appearance in the 2004 Super Bowl.

According to CBS News, they'd been getting prescriptions filled from Dr. James Shortt for over a span of eight months, which pretty much since the beginning of training camp.  Sauerbrun - a punter, of all players - was also injecting the steroid Stanozolol as well as using the testosterone cream.

It's real simple; John Fox should cut all three.  In fact, they should have been cut yesterday.  It's one thing to simply come up positive, but there's evidence that these guys constantly did steroids throughout the year.    The Panthers organization needs to cut their losses with these guys immediately.

And don't think those guys will be the only ones busted:

The Panthers have been cooperating with a federal subpoena that sought contact information for several players as part of the probe of Shortt.

Hurney has stressed that none of the team's players have tested positive for steroids.

According to a report last month in The State of Columbia, Shortt has been under investigation since May.

In September, authorities raided Shortt's Health Dimensions office and Congaree Pharmacy near the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. State and federal agents seized computer data, at least 21 boxes of patient and medical records and 256 audio cassettes, the paper reported.

The ``60 Minutes Wednesday'' report also includes an interview with a former employee of Shortt, Mignon Simpson, who says she personally shipped human growth hormone to NFL players and that possibly a half-dozen players received hGH from Shortt.

There is no reliable test for hGH.

Also, Todd Steussie is now an offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Could it be that he send some of those guys to South Carolina to go roid shopping?

More on this James Shortt guy.  Shortt is an orthopedic doctor outside of Columbia, South Carolina.  To put it plainly, he's a quack.  And a very dangerous quack at that.  CBS News found out about the Panthers players due to an expose' on Shortt for injecting peroxide into his patients as an alternative treatment.  Before this federal investigation on steroid trafficking, as autopsies of two of his patients pointed to peroxide poisoning.  One patient took the trip from Minnesota to South Carolina to take the peroxide injections to treat multiple sclerosis.  Less than a week after the first treatment (she went twice), she was dead.

Another patient's tale was even worse.  Shortt told a patient that he had Lyme Disease, and told him there was a risk that he could pass it on to his wife through sexual contact (which was a lie).  This couple paid Shortt over $26,000 over eight months to treat him with the peroxide injections and also gave him testosterone cream at the same time another doctor was giving him medicine to lower his testosterone levels.  All of it was in vain because doctors tested him before he died and neither him or his wife had Lyme disease.

The SC medical board recommended to a state judge that his medical license be revoked.  However, the judge ruled against the state board due to procedural violations, as he wasn't given a full hearing in front of them.  The incompetence of the SC judicial system allowed him to continue to practice medicine to this day.

CBS did the Shortt story in January, so I'm almost sure that they got his patient list and knew about the Panthers players last year.  Why didn't they come out with this earlier?  Were they waiting for sweeps? 

A lot of people call this "Balco East".  But the difference is that these guys weren't taking steroids that could beat the drug tests, or from all accounts they shouldn't.  Now questions will arise about how effective these NFL drug tests are.  On the surface, it doesn't look like it is.  Suddenly, the NFL is starting to look like the old ESPN drama "Playmakers".

Posted at 11:13 pm by Expertise
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Johnnie Cochran is dead.

Drudge is reporting it right now.

I've also had word that the National Enquirer stated Cochran had brain cancer about a few weeks ago and that death was imminent.


UPDATE:  I was on Okayplayer when someone posted about this, and one of the responses was "Where was HIS feeding tube?"  People are so retarded.

UPDATE:  I found a story by the National Enquirer from October stating Cochran almost died after receiving chemotherapy threatment.  So this was probably it.

Posted at 06:15 pm by Expertise
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The Blogosphere can be a cut-throat world.

If you haven't heard about it already, the blogger known as GayPatriot recently quit contributing to the website, leaving one single blogger. 

Yesterday, we found out what happened.  Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs linked to a posting at Outlet Radio.  According to Christian Grantham, GayPatriot was threatened with a boycott of the corporation where he was employed due to a post on his blog:

On Friday, GayPatriot posted "WANTED: GAY TERRORISTS" in which he identified gay activists and bloggers John Aravosis (Americablog) and Michael Rogers (BlogActive) as terrorists.

Wanted for crimes against the gay community. Wanted for repeatedly conducting outing witch hunts against gays who do not believe in radical liberal anti-American ideals. For repeated violations of privacy of gay Americans. For conducting systematic civil liberties attacks on gay Americans.

WANTED! Let's do something about these gay terrorists who have infected our community with their hatred and self-loathing bigotry of gay Americans who wish to live their lives in peace.
[WANTED: GAY TERRORISTS - GayPatriot - 03-25-05]

Anyone who kept up with the recent Jeff Gannon scandal should recognize Aravosis, as he was the one who went muckraking to find out about Gannon's homosexual past.  I'm not as familiar with Rogers, though.

As you can tell, Patriot wasn't accusing Rogers or Aravosis of being terrorists in the literal sense.  It can be argued that it was a poor choice of words.  But that's no excuse for how Rogers reacted:

According to GayPatriot, who is also a client of mine, Michael Rogers called GayPatriot's place of employment on Friday immediately following the post above and spoke to GayPatriot's secretary and boss. GayPatriot had no idea Rogers would go to such measures and shared with me that both he and his secretary were very upset by the calls but that his boss was understanding.

Later on that day, Rogers personally called me and recounted much of the same account, adding that he had also called the police and is working with the authorities on the matter. Rogers expressed feeling threatened by the post and compared it to posts by anti-abortionists who posted the names of doctors performing them.

Rogers also said he asked GayPatriot to remove the post and replace it with a post about non-violence or he would launch a national boycott of GayPatriot's corporate employer and pursue any and all avenues necessary to protect himself. By the time Rogers had called, GayPatriot had already made the decision to remove the post and also remove GayPatriot from the blogosphere.

GayPatriot was silenced.

This sort of behavior is inexcusable.  People have lives, and Rogers tried to ruin GayPatriot's life because of a post he didn't like.  Rogers's weak excuse for manner in this manner is a load of bs, and he knows it.

That's the main reason why I've yet to decide in revealing my name, because I don't want some nutjob on the internet to dig into my personal life and try to ruin it because he didn't like what I wrote.  And this isn't the first time it's happened; Hindrocket at Powerline experienced the wrath of the moonbats as well, as they called his law office and harrassed him and his secretary from his defense of Jeff Gannon over a month ago.

This also exposes the intolerance of the ones that are preaching tolerance, especially within their own "group".  Rogers and Aravosis's witchhunts prove they are more than willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate their opposition.  They're no better than the McCarthyists from the 50s or several other figures I'm sure they'd claim to despise.

I guess it's too much to ask for people to leave their emotions in their writings and keep it from stemming into each others' personal lives.  Some people don't know how to respond to criticism other than through making people as miserable as they are.

I hope this incident doesn't scare bloggers to cave in to threats like these.  Freedom of speech is all the blogosphere has, and it's what gives the blogosphere special.  Freedom of speech is what gives people the courage to stand up and speak against the injustices of the world.  When something goes down, the blogosphere is the first one to talk about it.  When something smells fishy, the blogosphere is the first one investigate it. 

In a world where double speak and spin are at it's highest peak, political blogs are an important part of the political spectrum.  If bloggers start giving in to scare tactics and intimidation, we're no better than the media and the politicians that we criticize.

Posted at 07:18 am by Expertise
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Monday, March 28, 2005
Minutemen volunteers targeted by Central American gang.

I haven't discussed the Minuteman Project, which is a volunteer group that will monitor the Arizona/Mexico border and run off illegal immigrants.  After all, Barber and Malkin do a better job cheerleading that and other immigration issues than I do.

But my ears did perk up when I read about "Mara Salvatrucha", which is a South American gang threatening to attack the Minutemen in order teach them "a lesson".  Here's why:

The MS-13 gang has established major smuggling operations in several areas along the U.S.-Mexico border and have transported hundreds of Central and South Americans -- including gang members -- into the United States in the past two years. The gang also is involved in drug and weapons smuggling.

Gang members in America have been tied to numerous killings, robberies, burglaries, carjackings, extortion, rapes and aggravated assaults. Authorities said that the gang has earned a reputation from the other street gangs as being particularly ruthless and that it will retaliate violently when challenged.

In other words, they'd lose too much money.  Organizations like these make a fortune smuggling illegal immigrants across the Mexican border, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that these guys set up black market operations in the U.S. to provide assistance to them (driver's licenses, SS numbers, bank accounts, etc).

The Minutemen shouldn't blow this threat off.  It only takes one death to give Bush an excuse to act upon it (and the fact that he's labelling them as "vigilantes" is a crying shame).  I think Bush's attitude towards the Mexican government shows he'll be more concerned about the supposed trouble the Minutemen are causing rather than foreign gangs smuggling illegal immigrants in the country and are willing to attack any American that stands in their way.

Posted at 05:44 pm by Expertise
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Terri Schiavo and Elian Gonzalez.

Drudge linked to a column by John Fund of the Wall Street Journal that exposes the hypocrisy of leftists calling for Terri Schiavo to die, in which they contradict many of the same overtures they made during the Elian Gonzalez trials:

What's ironic about the Schiavo case is that this was another custody battle, it climaxed during Easter Weekend, and it involved the same courts.  In the Gonzalez case, Janet Reno acted on a completely criminal search warrant to raid the Gonzalez home and send Elian Gonzalez back to Fidel Castro.

If you don't remember it, here's how the case went down:

The stalemate continued for another three months. On Thursday, April 20, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals--the same court that rejected the pleas of Terri Schiavo's parents last week--turned down the Justice Department's request to order Elian removed from the home of his Miami relatives. Moreover, the court expressed serious doubts about the Justice Department's reading of both the law and its own regulations, adding that Elian had made a "substantial case on the merits" of his claim. It further established a record that Elain, "although a young child, has expressed a wish that he not be returned to Cuba."

The Reno Justice Department acted the next day to short-circuit a legal process that was clearly going against it. On Good Friday evening, after all courts had closed for the day, the department obtained a "search" warrant from a night-duty magistrate who was not familiar with the case, submitting a supporting affidavit that seriously distorted the facts. Armed with that dubious warrant, the INS's helmeted officers, assault rifles at the ready, burst into the home of Elian's relatives and snatched the screaming boy from a bedroom closet. Many local bystanders were tear-gassed even though they did nothing to block the raid. Elian was quickly returned to Cuba; because he was never able to meet with his lawyers a scheduled May 11 asylum hearing on his case in Atlanta became moot.

Why Janet Reno wasn't placed in jail for this I have no idea.  There's no question that it was illegal; she knew it and Clinton knew it.  But the mainstream media gave them a pass, as they always did with the corrupt Clinton Administration.

As I stated here, I was awake when I heard the news of the Saturday morning raid.  In fact, I had been discussing the case with a immigrant from the Dominican Republic, who had been to Cuba and knew about the decrepit conditions and the corrupt Castro regime.  And as we know, from that moment on that child was never going to be Miguel Gonzalez's child.  He was Fidel Castro's, and Castro was going to use him how he wished.

Same scenario, different tyrants.  Now we have a "husband", a high profile attorney, and a trial judge making a mockery of true justice.  But the same federal courts that didn't have the stones to stand up for Elian while Reno and Clinton overrode their orders, violating Elian's due process rights, and they don't have the stones this time to stand up to Michael Schaivo, George Felos, and George Greer for Terri Schindler is involved with this one also.

The ones whining about federal intervention in the Schiavo case had no problems with it when it came to Elian Gonzalez.  They weren't yelling about how the decisions of the courts needed to be respected.  But that isn't surprising, considering the "ends justify the means" thought processes in both scenarios.

And "moderates" threaten to abandon the Republican Party due to the conservatives?  Oh well.  As Alexander Hamilton said, "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."  If you don't stand up for injustice in this case - and especially if didn't stand up for Elian - when will you?

Posted at 02:26 am by Expertise
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