Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

There’s enough real news out there today to put together a VFP without relaxing standards (this is so much better than the days when I had to do one for the dead-tree paper every day, whether there was news or not):

  1. Haley: Myers, Washington should resign after DUI arrests — You’ve got that right, governor. How about that — a local lede on the VFP.
  2. Graham: Swallow hard, back Cruz, stop Trump — No way, senator. Cruz is in his own way as bad as Trump, and you know it. You also know that Hillary would be preferable — to you, to me — than either of them, even though we’d both like to have a better alternative. Of course, I couldn’t care less about your party, but if you want to save it, you shouldn’t compromise further than Rubio. And yeah, I see the math you’re looking at (which shows Cruz as more viable). But even you should realize that sometimes a party isn’t worth saving, and that would be true if Republicans who know better turn to Cruz.
  3. Carson: ‘I do not see a political path forward’ after Super Tuesday results — Does that mean he saw one on Monday? Remarkable.
  4. Stop-Trump Forces Regroup After Rout — Actually, that’s too optimistic-sounding. “Regroup” suggests some sort of organization possessing a hierarchy and discipline, such as a military unit, coming together and, on the basis of their training, adapting to a new tactical situation. This is a bunch of disconnected rivals running around like freshly decapitated chickens.
  5. White House Said to Vet Appellate Judge for Supreme Court — They’re looking at someone else who, like Sandoval, was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Meanwhile, the 8-member court looks to be divided over an abortion case.
  6. Frank Underwood would ‘take Trump down,’ says ‘House of Cards’ co-star — I had to bring in something to lighten the “mix,” and after all, Underwood et al. return on Friday. To do this, I had to push North Korea Slapped With Sanctions inside. But who actually thinks that’s going to do any good? And I’m told that my lady readers don’t care about throw-weights and stuff… It’s a joke! I’m trying to lighten the mix here!…
And you know that when Doug Stamper says something like that, he MEANS it.

And you know that when Doug Stamper says something like that, he MEANS it.

45 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    1. Howard

      There’s a special place in Hell for lawyers like Dick Harpootlian and Barney Giese. There’s scum and then there’s what scum poops out… that’s one level above both of these lawyers.

      With any luck the civil lawsuit will ruin this woman financially for the rest of her life.

      Reply
      1. Bryan Caskey

        Same question here, Howard: What is it that these lawyers did in this case that engenders such feelings?

        Reply
        1. Howard

          I’m guessing you’re a lawyer so I don’t expect you to understand morals. Sure these two did their job, but morally finding some little technicality that has no real bearing on the case to get their client leniency is just morally wrong. No different than the “affluenza” verdict. Both of these lawyers have a long history of defending people who should should spend time behind bars a slap on the wrist. This girl drove drunk, hit someone and almost killed him, drove off and went home. The guy she hit is for no better word, “fu#$%^ up” for life, she has home confinement for a year. That’ll teach her.

          Then there are people are so clueless that they don’t quite understand why people hate lawyers or are upset with sentences like this.

          Reply
          1. Bryan Caskey

            If you’re upset that the State (through it’s lawyers) made a deal and agreed to home confinement, why are you only focusing on the defense lawyers? It’s their job to represent the accused, not anyone else.

            Shouldn’t your anger be more appropriately focused on the prosecutors who agreed to this deal? They could have said “No deal, we’re going to trial.” but they didn’t. Maybe they were afraid of the possibility that a jury would come back with a not guilty verdict for one reason or another.

            I haven’t paid any attention to this case, so I can’t tell you the first thing about the legal issues at play, but I can tell you that if you’re upset about a plea bargain, you should be upset with the lawyers who represent you, via the State of South Carolina – not the defense lawyers.

            The defense lawyers’ sole allegiance is to their client. The prosecutor’s sole allegiance is to the people of South Carolina. Maybe you should let the solicitor know that DUI cases should not get plea bargained if that’s how you feel about it.

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              The really, truly horrible thing about lawyers is their perverse insistence on capitalizing the generic noun “state.”

              What language do they think this is? German?

              Reply
            2. Doug Ross

              But, Bryan, the difference is the state lawyers have a backlog that forces them to make choices. The defense team has the ability to drag things out AND get paid to do that. Speedy trial? What? And lose billable hours? Just keep throwing stuff at the prosecution until they give up and settle. The State lawyers don’t get paid by the hour do they? They have to work within their constraints.

              I’d like to hear the backstory on the woman. Seems like she is either connected to someone who knows someone or else has a family with very deep pockets who were willing to spend whatever it took to keep her out of jail. What would you estimate her legal bill will be for this? Six figures?

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Wait a minute… Did Doug just write something that put government lawyers in a more favorable, sympathetic light than private attorneys?

                The government lawyers operate under tighter, cost-based constraints? How can that be? I thought the government was all about wasting “other people’s money!” How could a bad result come from the private lawyers acting in accord with the profit motive, which makes EVERYTHING better and more efficient?

                I’m confused…

                Reply
                1. Doug Ross

                  See, I deal with reality, not fantasy. If the government didn’t waste money on things they shouldn’t be doing, they’d have more resources to put into the things that they are specifically supposed to do.

                  Anyway, all the rules that give the Harpootlian’s of the world the power to make a mockery of doing what is right were created by lawyers. It’s a system that relies on complex rules and processes in order to feed the beast. When you charge by the hour, you love complexity…

                  You haven’t weighed in on this. Do you admire Harpootlian for “doing his job”? Would you hire him to represent you?

                2. Doug Ross

                  Lawyers, doctors, and teachers all have a hard time criticizing any member of their profession. It’s too bad a few lawyers don’t call out situations like this one for what it is. But it’s like a fraternity…

                  Tangentially, if the bloody knife that was found on O.J.’s estate yesterday turns out to be the murder weapon with his fingerprints on it, do we think better of O.J.’s legal team or worse? They “did their job”, right?

                3. Bryan Caskey

                  I’m more than willing to criticize any lawyer who doesn’t act ethically or doesn’t do the very best they can to advocate for their client. Your complaint here seems to be that you think the defense lawyers did too good of a job, or that the solicitors did a poor job.

                  I would ask you to consider the possibility that it’s a reasonable settlement given facts and circumstances you may not be aware of.

                4. Doug Ross

                  “Your complaint here seems to be that you think the defense lawyers did too good of a job, or that the solicitors did a poor job.”

                  I would not use the term “good” to describe the job done by the defense lawyers. They did what they had to do to drag the case out for five years (FIVE YEARS!) to get their client (WHO WAS GUILTY) a reduced sentence. They played the game well – a game they wouldn’t play unless highly compensated.

                  There is nothing good about what they did. The kid whose life was ruined isn’t happy. The young woman who committed the crime isn’t happy. But Harpootlian’s accountant is happy. Ka-ching! Another case closed!

                5. Howard

                  Since I can’t reply directly to Doug’s post:

                  Don’t forget to add journalists to your list of professions who refuse to criticize each other.

              2. Bryan Caskey

                Sure, the solicitors have a lot of cases, but they aren’t forced to settle any case solely because they’re busy. If they are, they’re doing something wrong.

                To answer your two questions: Yes, solicitors are paid the same no matter how much they work or how many cases they clear. Yes, the defendant’s legal fees were probably very high. I doubt six figures, but high five figures wouldn’t shock me.

                Reply
    2. Bryan Caskey

      Okay, I’ll bite. What specific actions of defense counsel in this case make you feel angry, disgusted, and/or contemptuous?

      /slowly backs away from blast radius

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        Just because it CAN be done, doesn’t mean it SHOULD be done. Was there any doubt that this woman hit the cyclist and left the scene and was intoxicated to some level? And that takes years to bring to resolution? Remember that statement you made about there not being any guilt any more?

        I wonder (doubt) if this was a pro bono case? If not, hiring TWO lawyers like Harpootlian and Geise for what should have been a straightforward case reeks of buying a verdict.

        Here’s what someone should have told Harpootlian:

        Reply
  1. Mark Stewart

    Please explain how conviction for multi-year tax evasion is not “moral turpitude”?

    Same with repeat drunk driving offenses for the LexCo solicitor.

    These are slam dunk examples of what the Governor must do.

    Reply
  2. Phillip

    I agree with Bryan. You can’t blame lawyers for doing their utmost (within bounds of legality) to defend their client. That’s the whole foundation of our legal system. Reading between the lines of the State’s story, it sounds like the Solicitor’s office thought the whole conviction might be in jeopardy on appeal for some reason (validity of sobriety tests? other circumstances that were spelled out in the story? was the victim crossing in a crosswalk or just making a dash for it across Assembly?) and they cut their losses and got her to agree not to appeal. And did it really have to take 5 years to bring to trial?

    Reply
  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    Back to “Doug Stamper’s” bold claim of how Frank Underwood would “take down” Trump… really? How?

    Everything that would “take down” any other candidate — such as being caught saying extraordinarily stupid things — makes him more popular.

    I fear that ol’ F.U. might meet his match in Trump.

    Maybe he could make it seem that Trump was advocating for sane policies, and taking thoughtful stands on the issues… maybe that would destroy his chances.

    I don’t know…

    Reply
    1. Mark Stewart

      This whole thing has degenerated to such a crass degree.

      The GOP is looking for an inside the beltway solution to what is, essentially, a redneck problem. What they hate is that the only counter to what has happened is to discuss the issues in rational, non partisan, centrist terms. There are far more thoughtful Americans than there are Trump supporters. The problem for the GOP is that not only does this mean that everything the party has tried to accomplish has been for naught – but also that it was misguided and wrong.

      Mitt Romney totally blew it today. He also entered the fray playing Trump’s name-calling game. His chance to lead began and ended with that speech. He had the opportunity to stake out the high ground and offer civic leadership. But he squandered it – as did Graham and many others.

      The Democrats had to find their way back toward the middle in the 1990s; now it’s the GOP’s turn. That means alienating the fringe and repudiating their standing within the party. Does anyone have the thoughtfulness – and the cajones – to offer that kind of leadership? It appears not.

      Reply
      1. Howard

        Mark, and yet the best the Democrats can come up with are Hillary Clinton and the weird old guy who’s never held a job in his life.

        Reply
        1. Mark Stewart

          It’s like one of those years where the rains rot all the vineyard vines.

          Sour grape juice for all…

          Reply
      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        Mark, I can’t agree that Mitt “totally blew it.” The excerpts I heard on NPR this evening sounded very much to the point, and painted a picture for a higher road for the GOP.

        Maybe they left out the bad bits…

        Reply
  4. Bill

    The crowd at the ball game
    BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS
    The crowd at the ball game
    is moved uniformly

    by a spirit of uselessness
    which delights them—

    all the exciting detail
    of the chase

    and the escape, the error
    the flash of genius—

    all to no end save beauty
    the eternal—

    So in detail they, the crowd,
    are beautiful

    for this
    to be warned against

    saluted and defied—
    It is alive, venomous

    it smiles grimly
    its words cut—

    The flashy female with her
    mother, gets it—

    The Jew gets it straight— it
    is deadly, terrifying—

    It is the Inquisition, the
    Revolution

    It is beauty itself
    that lives

    day by day in them
    idly—

    This is
    the power of their faces

    It is summer, it is the solstice
    the crowd is

    cheering, the crowd is laughing
    in detail

    permanently, seriously
    without thought

    Reply
  5. Brad Warthen

    WACH is reporting that Kelvin Washington will NOT resign from council.

    You know what we need to do in this society? We need to bring back SHAME…

    Among other things, that would rid us of Trump…

    Reply
    1. Howard

      Don’t forget Hillary Clinton… she’s got a few things to be ashamed of, not that you’ll ever see it from her.

      Brad, have you ever said anything negative about Hillary Clinton? The short time I’ve been here I can’t recall one instance.

      Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I haven’t found much occasion to write about her since then. Then, she looked bad compared to Obama. Compared to Bernie, she looks better. Not great, nothing to write home about, and with plenty of problems, but better.

            Basically, I haven’t had much to say about the Democrats since Joe Biden decided, to my sorrow, not to run. I’ve never taken Bernie’s candidacy seriously, and have waited for her to get the nomination.

            The trouble is, there’s a high probability that the GOP is going to nominate someone far worse than Hillary, so that were faced with her as the less-bad option.

            It’s depressing…

            Reply
            1. Howard

              I’m sure the families of the folks in Benghazi would disagree with you. It appears nobody answers the phone at 3:00 a.m. in the Clinton household. Also we’re going to find out what was on Clinton’s personal e-mail server before November. With any luck Hillary will be wearing orange pantsuits soon. Which reminds me, the new season of House of Cards is available today… the documentary based on the Hillary Clinton political career.

              The majority is speaking, the good ol’ boy network and their supporters are scrambling to save themselves.

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Actually, Howard, the majority is NOT speaking. That won’t happen until November.

                The key is to make sure the choices we have on the ballot at that time are the strongest we can have.

                Unfortunately, that’s not happening.

                On the Democratic side, Hillary looks strong but only because her only opposition is Bernie.

                Things are worse on the Republican side. We started with way too many candidates, and some of the best qualified were drowned out and ended up quitting. We’re left in a situation in which the best-qualified is Kasich, and the second-best is a mere freshman senator named Rubio.

                What’s bad is that, except Kasich, we’ve got no governors left. And being the governor of a good-sized state is the best kind of experience for an executive position. The second best would be a highly experienced senator who’s spent a lot of time dealing with international affairs.

                That puts Kasich at the top. The fact that he has the best attitude and temperament for the job is a bonus.

                But he has next to no chance of getting the nomination.

                It’s a very bad situation. The best situation would be to have a highly qualified, suitable nominee from each party. Then the country can’t lose.

                But here’s what we’re going to get — on the Democratic side, a woman with a great resume for the job, but a LOT of problematic personal baggage, who is such a target of animosity from the party controlling Congress that the Obama years will look like a lovefest by comparison.

                On the other side, the people running in first and second place have demonstrated over and over that they are entirely unsuited temperamentally — the wrong kinds of personalities altogether. Not to mention utter cluelessness about policy on the part of the front-runner.

                It’s a lousy situation all around.

                Reply
                1. Howard

                  If the people aren’t speaking, explain why Trump is filling stadiums whereas the other candidates can barely fill a lunch counter. Trump has the support and backing unlike anything this country has seen since the Kennedy campaign. It scares the hell out of the people like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan who know that this will just disrupt their good ol’ boy “business as usual”. Trump supporters will fill the polling places in similar fashion to the black voters filled them in 2007. Democrats are split on Clinton, they don’t trust her, the black voters will not show out in the same force they did when a black candidate was running, and I expect a very low turnout where Hillary needs a high turnout. Young and women voters will not show up in force if Bernie Sanders is not the Democratic nominee.

                  Trump will likely get the Republican nomination and pick someone like Kasich as his running mate, promise Cruz that he’ll be his nominee for the Supreme Court which puts Cruz in his corner, Rubio will be promised the offer of a cabinet position drawing in his support. I honestly believe we’ll see a landslide victory for Trump similar to the Reagan vs. Mondale election. I believe this will be a turning point for this country, good or bad. Most in this country seem to feel it’s worth the gamble.

                  How did Obama ever get elected, he was nothing but a community organizer in Chicago and a part-time law instructor (an “adjunct professor” is nothing more than a glorified substitute teacher).

                  The best qualified don’t want the job. There are probably a dozen better qualified people in this country than anyone who has run in this election… it’s not worth the frustration or the loss of income. So what you’re left with are those who are playing the lottery hoping for their place in history and legacy family members who feel they’re entitled to the position and upset when the country says otherwise. Case in point, Jeb pouted and he and his mother stormed off the playground.

  6. bud

    Here’s all you need to know about the party of Nixon and W. Early in last nights debate Trump made these remarks:

    “Look at those hands. Are they small hands?

    “He referred to my hands, ‘if they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”

    At the end of the debate the other 3 candidates all agreed to endorse him if he’s the party nominee. Abe Lincoln and Stephen Douglas would be rolling in their graves if they could see this “debate” spectacle.

    Reply

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