April 26th, 2006

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Smile for the camera

It's always hilarious when one side starts a slap-fight and when they start getting outslapped claims that slapping is unfair.

The Durham district attorney acknowledged Tuesday that voters might decide in next week's primary to support or oppose him based on the Duke rape case his office is handling, rather than his 27 years spent prosecuting cases in the county.

The blame for that sits with the defense attorneys for the Duke lacrosse players and with the national media, he said.

"The defense is trying the case in the media," Mike Nifong told the audience during a forum hosted by a newspaper.

My, oh my. I wonder where the defense team would have gotten an idea like that. Maybe it was from the DA who granted 50+ interviews in the first opening days of the case when the story first broke. Contrary to what some people want to whitewash now as 'information sessions' or calling for calm, if you look back on those early sorays with the press, Nifong does nothing much of either. Instead, he says repeatedly that he belives a crime occurred, that the players are guilty, and that they were obstinately refusing to admit their guilt. If wasn't until after the DNA tests came back negative that he more or less clamed up. By then, he had already overreached with public statements and had no place to retreat to. If he hadn't stopped giving interviews at that point, the press would have eaten him alive asking about inconsistancies in the case and errors made.

Of course, no one dwon there is going to let Nifong just pass the hot potato on this one, ecspecially not when it's so easy to use it as ammo against him.

Nifong faces two fellow Democrats in a primary election Tuesday that will likely determine who handles the Duke rape case if it goes to trial. No Republican is seeking the seat.

His opponents, Freda Black and Keith Bishop, blame Nifong for the attention, citing dozens of interviews with the media in which Nifong said he supports the accuser in the case. Black is a former Durham assistant district attorney and Bishop is a lawyer in private practice.

Bishop said Nifong had already turned the community against the lacrosse team before all facts in the case had been gathered. "I would be livid if whatever happened to these young men at Duke happened to my daughter," he said.

Bishop and Black have accused Nifong of violating the state rule that prohibits prosecutors from talking excessively about a case.

And that's part of the real problem, that when he spoke to the press it was a violation of state ethics guidelines. Yes, it's horribly unfair that the defense have no such restriction and it's even more unfair that they are often free to do almost anything short of something illegal to get their clients off. Like it or not, that's the system we have in this country however where the prosecution is held to a higher standard, not only of behavior but of burden for proof. Nifong not only called down the lightning on this one by starting the campaign in the media, but he also broke the rules while doing it. Would the defense have started their media campaign regardless? Who knows. If it remained a local story with no national press implications they might not have felt they needed to be as visiable with their story as they are now. Even if they eventually would have gone public on their own, at least Nifong could then really claim with a straight face that it's their fault that the entire case has become a media circus.
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Dirty tricks

It never really fails. In the time leading up to an election and immediately after there is always a huge outcry from hippies about republican dirty tricks to surpress the vote. It goes without saying that these situations are always after the dems have just lost the said election. I can't even begin to list all the accusations that have been leveled, up to and including the speculation that republicans will drive around in black vans wearing suits so they look like CIA agents through democratic neighborhoods. You have to be a real conspiracy nutjob to accept the tortured reasoning in cases like that. For all this supposed cloak and dagger that the dems alledge go on each year, you never see much that is a crime nor is supported by facts rather than innuendo. Well, I'm happy to report that one case of election year vote supression has concluded with guilty pleas.

Congresswoman's son sentenced for slashing GOP tires

Wednesday, April 26, 2006; Posted: 2:09 p.m. EDT (18:09 GMT)

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- A congresswoman's son and three Democratic campaign workers were sentenced Wednesday to four to six months in jail for slashing tires outside a Bush-Cheney campaign office on Election Day 2004.

The men pleaded no contest in January to misdemeanor property damage. A fifth worker was found not guilty.

"This case had to be a public example of what can happen when you interfere with voters' rights," said Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan, who rejected prosecutors' recommendation of probation for the four men.

The state Republican Party had rented more than 100 vehicles to give rides to voters and poll monitors on November 2, 2004. The cars were parked outside a GOP campaign office when the tires were punctured. The vandalism left the drivers scrambling for new vehicles.

Among those sentenced Wednesday were Sowande A. Omokunde, the son of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisconsin, and Michael Pratt, the son of former acting Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt.

"I love my son very much. I'm very proud of him," Moore said. "He's accepted responsibility."

Omokunde was sentenced to four months in jail; Pratt and Lewis Caldwell of Milwaukee were sentenced to six months; and Lavelle Mohammad of Milwaukee was sentenced to five months. All were granted work-release privileges.

Nice, eh? For all that the liberal blogosphere goes all foaming at the mouth about election rigging and vote supression, this is the first case I can recall where someone was actually found guilty for it. I'm sure they'd argue that since democrats don't have as much experience at fixing elections, they haven't learned how to cover their tracks as well. Still, when the children of a democratic congresswoman and mayor get nailed for something like this, you just have to snicker.
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Satanic Cat Watch: Day 1134

3-Inch Tall Kitten May Be World's Smallest

POSTED: 10:34 pm EST March 25, 2006

A 9-week-old kitten in El Cajon, Calif., is expected to win a place in the record books as the smallest cat in the world, according to a Local 6 News report.

eed the cat is only 3-inches tall and weighs in at just 1.2 pounds, the report said.

Once Heed is full-sized in about six months, veterinarians believe he will become the new smallest cat in the world.

Heed's owner has already contacted the Guinness Book Of World Records.

Sometimes the power of Satan comes in small packages. Do not be fooled by its cute and seemingly harmless appearance. That beast has more concentrated evil per pound than anything found in nature. I can only wonder at what dark selective breeding experiment brought about this particular minion. No doubt it was created for infiltration. People will be blinded by its size, believing that no ill could come from so small an animal. It will slowly bide its time, worming its way into the heart of the unsuspecting person until the claxon call of Satan's army wills it to strike. I'm sure it won't look nearly as cute as it digs through your chest like a backhoe and feasts on your still beating heart.
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I'm betting new patients are hard to come by

Now tell me that seeing the name of this doctor wouldn't make you think twice, ecspecially given what you're likely going in for.

Dr. Richard (Dick) Chopp is well known in the Austin community for performing Vasectomies.

Yes, I'm sure Dr Dick Chopp knows just what to do in situations like that. When he's not avaliable, I'm sure Dr Peter Hackitoff is avaliable to fill in.
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dance centipedes vagina

The accuser and the accused

There's been some revisionist history out there when it comes to the Duke Lacrosse scandal. Many people now claim that the accuser never had any chance of being believed by the public at large. They put this down to racism and sexism and god only knows what other sort of -isms they can drag out of the closet. In fact, if you see the raging against the so-called 'angry white men' syndrome, many seem to now believe that from the minute the accuser spoke, there were individuals out there ready to all but lynch her for the crime of daring to accuse young white men of such a crime.

This of course has almost nothing to do with reality. When the story first broke, public opinion was strongly with the accuser and the overwhelming number of people who stated an opinion believed that a crime had occurred. It's inconvienant for some people to recall that now, and so they rewrite history in a way where she was never believed and never given the benefit of the doubt. These individuals also convienantly forget Nifong's early interviews with the press and his statements of being certain of guilt.

There's a piece of evidence however that tells us what people really did believe when it came to the story of the accuser vs the accused in those early days. Before the DNA tests came back, a betting site called Wager Web offered people the ability to place a wager on the outcome of the results, whether they would come back positive and how many individuals would be matched. Here is how the betting went:

More than 80 percent of our customers who bet on the outcome said these players were guilty before the results were released," says Dave Johnson, CEO of WagerWeb.com. In the online gaming world, we find that a majority of the time, trends in wagering reflect actual outcomes of high profile court cases, hot new reality TV shows or well publicized scandals.

Out of the hundreds who placed bets in the few days the lines were posted, only 11 of our bettors picked the outcome correctly. Those who did so earned their payout of even money.

That seems to give a good snapshot of whether people believed the accuser's story at the start, ecpsecially given that these people were willing to actually place money on their belief. If it seems that public opinion has started to turn, it is only because of a shift in the evidence and not some sort of pervasive racism that was present all along. That some may try to capitalize on the changes in the case is a given, but it seems equally clear that a large majority of americans believed the accuser's story in the early days of the investigation.