You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#43 in a series)

December 5th, 2017

Corrine Brown, the former Congresswoman from Florida about whom we have written previously, was sentenced yesterday.

Five years in federal prison.

Her lawyer, James Smith, said he planned to appeal the verdict and the sentencing. “The sentence was substantively unreasonable, and it was too harsh,” Mr. Smith said in an interview Monday evening. While sentencing guidelines called for a term of between more than seven years in prison up to nine years, Mr. Smith said that politicians convicted of similar crimes had received more lenient sentences.

“Other people got off easy, therefore my client should, too.” Good luck with that.

Brown’s longtime chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, and the fake charity’s founder, One Door for Education President Carla Wiley, was sentenced to 21 months.

Mr. Simmons and Ms. Wiley also testified against Ms. Brown.

[U.S. District Judge Timothy] Corrigan criticized as “beyond the pale” some of the remarks Brown made to the media during the run up to her trial, “especially her reprehensible statement implying that the FBI might have been able to prevent the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando if it wasn’t preoccupied with investigating her.”

Obit watch: December 5, 2017.

December 5th, 2017

Officer Kenneth Copeland of the San Marcos Police Department was killed yesterday.

Officer Copeland was assisting other officers in serving a warrant, and was shot by the suspect. He was 58 and had four kids.

Officer Copeland is the first San Marcos PD officer to die in the line of duty.

Also among the dead: John Anderson, former Congessman from Illinois, perhaps most famous for his presidential campaign as an independant against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

We have a firing!

December 4th, 2017

Actually, two: New York Football Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.

From what I’ve read (somebody please correct me if I’m wrong), it wasn’t just the 2-10 record, though that was a big part of it. The team had previously said they weren’t going to fire McAdoo before the end of the season.

But then the whole Eli Manning thing blew up. Rumor has it that the Giants ownership are big, big Eli Manning fans, and they were not pleased with the benching and how it was handled.

McAdoo also wasn’t especially well-received by fans as the public face of the franchise, beginning with the oversized suit on the day he was hired to his appearance on the sideline and at news conferences.

I think we have a photo of that:

In other news, ESPN has their predictions for every bowl game up. I don’t care that much about the predictions, but this is a handy list of every bowl game (as far as I know): it’s fun to go down the list and pick out the silly ones.

For example, the “Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl”? The what? (“Cheribundi” is apparently some sort of bottled tart cherry drink that the makers are trying to position as a Muscle Milk/Gatorade competitor.)

And there’s the “Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl”, which, it turns out, is actually the reincarnation of the old Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, which in turn became the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for one year (and I guess hasn’t had a sponsor between 2015 and now).

I was thinking the list of bowl sponsors is awfully heavy on chicken: I still do, but research tells me that Popeye’s stopped sponsoring the Bahamas Bowl this year. Darn shame, that: we need to get them back into the bowl game swing. And I still want my Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, too.

At least I have the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the 22nd.

Your loser update: week 13, 2017.

December 4th, 2017

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:

Cleveland.

I said last week that this was the game I was most worried about. As much as I hate the Chargers (and I do hate the Chargers) I’m glad they pulled out the win here.

The final four games are:
Packers in Cleveland.
Ravens in Cleveland.
Bears in Chicago.
Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Of those, I figure the Steelers and Ravens are near locks. The Packers: who knows? It looks like Rodgers won’t be playing until the week after this one, but they are 6-6 and beat Tampa Bay (granted, in overtime).

And the Bears are…bad. They just lost to San Francisco, for crying out loud (granted it was a close loss). But they will be playing at home.

Speaking of bad teams, San Francisco won…and the New York Football Giants lost, putting both teams at 2-10 and in line for second worst record this season (and the draft pick that comes with it). However, Indianapolis, Denver, and Chicago are all within striking distance.

And we may have a firing later today. Watch this space for updates.

He failed to curry favor.

December 1st, 2017

Question #2: does athletics director John Currie quit, or get fired?

Answer: he got fired this morning, according to “reports”. The press conference is at 4 PM Eastern.

ESPN reports that Currie was in LA yesterday, interviewing Mike Leach (!).

University officials instructed Currie not to broker a deal with Leach or anybody else prior to returning to campus, sources told ESPN.

And I don’t have another good place to put this, so I’ll stick it here:

Former coach Rick Pitino has sued the University of Louisville Athletic Association for $37.6 million, saying it breached his contract by placing him on unpaid administrative leave without notice and then firing him last month with no legally justified cause.

The discovery on this case has the potential to be interesting like a train wreck. I can smell the popcorn now…

Short notes from the legal beat.

December 1st, 2017

Dabrett Black is the man who shot Trooper Damon Allen to death on Thanksgiving Day.

Police camera footage obtained by WFAA-TV from the 2015 incident in Smith County, about 95 miles east of Dallas, shows Dabrett Black beating a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy, identified as Wesley Dean in court documents, no longer works at the department. The court documents say he suffered black eyes, a broken nose and lacerations above his eyes that required stitches to close. The footage also shows him talking to the in-car camera saying to imagine if he had had a weapon and talking about his belief that law enforcement officers target minorities.

Mr. Black was allowed to plead to a misdemeanor charge instead of two felony charges. The plea was not approved by the local DA or his assistant, which is apparently a violation of policy. However, the current DA has said he’s not going to fire the ADA who took the plea. That current ADA is running for the DA position, and doesn’t have any opposition.

When the shooting occurred, Black was free on $15,500 bail in another Smith County incident where he was charged with assault on an officer and evading arrest after a police chase this summer ended with Black allegedly ramming a patrol car.
Probation officers had told staff to be careful of Black in internal emails after the 2015 attack, according to the material obtained by WFAA. In a July 2015 email, a probation officer told staff he believed Black was trying to provoke them into responding and encouraged them to be vigilant both inside and outside the office because he believed Black was the kind of guy who would ambush someone.

Back in September, a man named Brandon Berrott was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats against his girlfriend. After his arrest, the threats continued: he was jailed “at least” three time, had to post bail, and lost his job.

The girlfriend, Lisa Marie Garcia, ultimately called the mayor of Baytown and complained that the state district judge who was presiding over the cases against Berrott was taking bribes to let Berrott out on bail.

And you won’t believe what happened next, as BuzzFeed would say:

Lisa Marie Garcia was charged with retaliation and online impersonation in a case prosecutors called “a nightmare.” She is accused of using fake social media accounts and cell phone apps to manufacture false threats and claims that appeared to be from her boyfriend. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

Yes, it’s another classic “b—-h set me up!” case that turns out to be true.

After her boyfriend made bail, Garcia set up Instagram accounts pretending to be him and sent messages to herself and the other woman threatening to kill each of them for calling the cops on him. She then took the messages to the Baytown Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, leading to seven charges being filed between Oct. 21 and Oct. 31.
Each time he got out on bail, Garcia would fake more messages and call the police, landing Berrott back in jail or court. He was accused of violating his bond conditions and no-contact orders.

Mr. Berrott was lucky enough to have an attorney who actually believed in his innocence, and who was able to convince the authorities to do more investigation.

[Britni] Cooper [the prosecutor – DB] said the onslaught of charges in October did not immediately raise red flags because the complaints were filed with different agencies. Once the DA’s office, the sheriff’s office and Baytown police department put the pieces together, the pattern and the holes, were easy to see.
As the investigation continued, she said prosecutors were instructed to stop accepting charges from Garcia, who continued calling the police and filing false reports even while Berrott was working with authorities to clear his name.

What kind of holes?

…one threatening message was sent at the same time as Berrott was on video handcuffed in the back of a police car.

The defense attorney was Carl Moore. Folks in Baytown, remember that name, and please throw some business his way if you can: it sounds like he’s one of the good guys. The scary thing is: how many other people are in jail for similar reasons, and don’t have that kind of support network?

This news broke late last night, while I was at the CPA class, so I wasn’t able to blog it at the time, and it has been covered a lot elsewhere. But I did want to say a few things about the acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on charges of killing Kate Steinle, since I’ve touched on it before.

1. I’ve written before about my belief that “the verdict of a jury deserves a certain amount of deference“. I still believe that: the jury was there, I wasn’t, the jury saw and heard all the evidence, I didn’t, the jury deliberated, I didn’t. But sometimes, it’s real hard to hold on to your principles. Then again, if it was easy to have principles, would they be principles?

2. In that vein, “Law is the manifest will of the people, the conscious rule of the community.” But a lot of the comments I was reading last night at Instapundit are…disturbing. Have we really reached the point where people are ready to form lynch mobs?

(“Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”)

3. There’s a lot of smart stuff from other people out there on this case. In particular:

(Follow the thread from there.)

4. Also smart: Sarah Rumpf’s “Have We Been Lied to About the Kate Steinle Case?” There’s a lot in there that I didn’t know: I wasn’t following the case that closely, but other people have said the same thing. For example, the bullet that hit Steinle was actually a ricochet off the concrete pier.

There’s also some things that I have problems with, which are not Ms. Rumpf’s fault. In particular, the whole thing about the SIG being unusually prone to “accidental discharge”. I don’t own any SIGs: Mike the Musicologist is the SIG (and FN) guy. I also don’t own one of those cool trigger pull measuring gadgets, so I can’t tell you what the trigger pull on any of my auto pistols is. It looks like standard trigger pull on a Glock is somewhere between 5.3 and 6 pounds according to GlockTalk.

Is 4.4 pounds too light? That seems questionable. And a lot of those cited incidents seem to involve holstering the gun: could the problem not be with the SIG, but with people not keeping their booger hook off the bang switch?

In a four-year period (2012-2015), the New York City Police Department reported 54 accidental firearm discharges, 10 involving SIG Sauers.

But:

New NYPD officers are allowed to choose from one of three 9mm service pistols: the SIG Sauer P226 DAO, Glock 17 Gen4, and Glock 19 Gen4. All duty handguns are modified to a 12-pound (53 N) NY-2 trigger pull.

It’s also not clear to me which model of SIG was involved in the shooting. I think this whole “bad gun!” thing needs some more investigation, and my short notes are already long enough as it is.

5. Also smart: Patterico on California homicide law. (Has anyone ever seen Patterico and Ken White in the same room together? Just asking.)

Obit watch: December 1, 2017.

December 1st, 2017

Jim Nabors.

TMQ Watch: November 28, 2017.

November 28th, 2017

Before we jump into this week’s column, we wanted to link to an article on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network’s website: “Projected 2018 NFL draft order: Browns inch closer to top pick“.

It shouldn’t come as any great shock that the Browns are in pole position, but who comes in second? And third? Hint: one of our regular readers isn’t going to like where their team falls.

Also, this amuses us, but we are simple people:

Sam Darnold denied a rumor that he might stay at USC for his junior season if the Cleveland Browns end up with the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Of course, there’s no reason for him to stay at USC. All he has to do is tell Cleveland, “No, I won’t play for you if you draft me.” (This is also known as the Eli Manning gambit.)

Anyway. After the jump, this week’s TMQ

Read the rest of this entry »

Headline of the day.

November 28th, 2017

‘It Was a Blood Bath’: Freight Trains Kill 110 Reindeer in Norway

Early morning drinking.

November 28th, 2017

Shot:

White men who fear poverty are more attached to their guns, Baylor study finds

Chaser:

(Warning! Slideshow!)

A photographer documents heat-packing women and the guns they love

(Warning! Slideshow!)

Unbearable.

November 27th, 2017

David Fizdale out as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. I do believe this is the first coach firing of the NBA season.

He was 50-51 after a little more than a year with the team. The big problems seem to be that he was 7-12 so far this season, they’ve lost eight games in a row, and Mr. Fizdale got crosswise with Marc Gasol (one of the team’s star players).

In other news, Ty Detmer is also out as offensive coordinator for BYU.

A firing, for sure.

November 27th, 2017

David Bailiff out as head coach at Rice.

He’d been there for 11 seasons and was 57-80 overall.

During Bailiff’s tenure (tied for the third longest in school history), Rice players have regularly excelled off the field; eight players have been taken in the NFL Draft; and the school opened the $31.5 million, 60,000-square-foot Brian Patterson Center for coaches’ offices and a locker and weight room in 2015.

He also took Rice to four bowl games.

After going 3-9 in Bailiff’s first season in 2007, Rice rebounded with a 10-3 year and won the Texas Bowl in 2008. But since winning the Owls’ first outright conference title in 56 years in 2013, Bailiff’s teams have done progressively worse.
Rice went 8-5 in 2014 and won the Hawaii Bowl. They ended 2015 with a 5-7 record and finished 3-9 in 2016.

And they were 1-11 this year, which is not a good look.