Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 27, 2005
BLOG: Quick Links 1/27/05

*Remember the big terror alert in Boston? HOAX.

*Michele links to . . . well, just go see them. You will not be disappointed.

*Instapundit quotes a suggestion by Walter Williams to reduce concerns about civil liberties intrusions arising from the use of Patriot Act-type powers in non-terrorism cases:

How about an amendment to the Patriot Act whereby any information gathered under its provisions cannot be used in a court of law unless it can be tied to terrorist activity?

That sounds reasonable, and in theory I'd support it. In practice, though, you would want to make sure it doesn't become one more procedural trap to tie down the government. In particular, there are bound to be cases where the government brings charges unrelated to terrorism against someone as to whom it has good reason to believe is tied to terrorist groups (the Al-Capone's-taxes strategy). In such situations, particularly where the government hesitates to bring terrorism charges for fear of exposing its sources, it may be appropriate for the government's showing to be limited to an in camera submission to the court (i.e., the defense doesn't get to see it), and not bound by the strict rules of evidence.

*The Daily News has some amusing anecdotes from Bono about his meetings with Bush and Clinton, including Bush pounding the table to get Bono to shut up and listen and Bono's observation that Clinton "looked more like a pop star than I did. And I thought he might be thinking that, too.". There's also an interesting item on James Earl Jones backing Bill Cosby's recent comments about parental responsibilities.

*I see dead people and give them green cards. (Hat tip: Powerline). Our immigration system still seems to be the worst of both worlds, with a nativist, Kafka-esque approach to legal immigrants and a laissez-faire approach to illegals.

*Next time you hear someone try to draw a moral parallel between the US and the UN or the rest of the world, think of this account of what the USS Abraham Lincoln and its crew have to put up with to deliver aid to tsunami victims in Indonesia, from deadbeat, resource-hogging UN layabouts to aid recipients in Osama bin Laden T-shirts. (Hat tip: Mudville Gazette, where Greyhawk somehow manages more blogging from Iraq than I do from my own home).

*Let Democrats fume about "Memogate" (anything to distract from what was actually in the Senate Democrats' memos about who really calls the shots on judicial nominees), the Wall Street Journal reminds us it wasn't so long ago that House Democrats got caught doing precisely the same thing.

*Jane Galt notes the decline in last year's deficit, although this year's numbers are headed back up again thanks to Medicare prescription drugs and the war. Remember, always, the First Rule of Government Financial Forecasts: they are always, always, wrong.

*Stefan Sharkansky has more on King County voter irregularities. Washington Democrats are gonna need a bigger boat.

*Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post has a detailed look at the Palestinian problem and related issues facing Israel. Note her discussion of Egypt's nuclear program.

*Another one from Greyhawk: his Abu Ghraib quiz. Test your knowledge! I got 7 out of 10 right.

Of course, the last sentence of this excerpt grabbed me:

[P]ublic records indicate that Graner had troubles at work as a correctional officer in the state prison system in Greene County -- a history of disciplinary actions that culminated in his firing in 2000. He was later reinstated by an arbitrator.

You had to know the insanities of our legal system would show up somewhere in there.

*I just found Stephen Keane's jig over the Carlos Beltran signing entertaining.

*Did you know that Larry David's show freed a man wrongfully accused of murder? I didn't. (Hat tip: Will Carroll).

*Wonkette, of course, had the best reaction to Michael Chertoff's nomination as Homeland Security director. (UPDATE: Link appears to be busted). Amazing a guy would give up a lifetime post as an appeals judge to be Homeland Security chief. At least that guarantees a quick confirmation (what Democrat, other than Hillary!, will vote against removing a Bush judge from the Third Circuit?). Note how Bush's two appointments, both from New Jersey, make clear that he wants to head off the drift of DHS into a red-state pork dispenser. The appointment may also set up Chertoff as a possible Attorney General (if that's not a step down from DHS) or Supreme Court appointee some day.

*Apparently, to Harry Reid, stupid just means anti-Nevada. (Hat tip: Taranto).

*This wouldn't surprise me.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:23 AM | Blog 2002-05 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Consider how boring it must be to sit on the Third Circuit. Listen to 3 to 5 oral arguments a morning with mostly mediocre lawyers. Decide a gazillion mostly boring cases on briefs written largely by incompetent writers. Have to deal with your fellow judges. Being an appellate judge is also very isolating, and Chertoff hardly seems like the loner type.

Posted by: Attila at January 27, 2005 11:47 AM

I could live with that kind of boredom.

Posted by: The Crank at January 27, 2005 11:59 AM

I used to think I could, too. Maybe I'm getting old.

Posted by: Attila at January 27, 2005 1:05 PM

Hey, spend a day sitting in the 2nd Circuit and you'll hear "mostly boring cases on briefs written largely by incompetent writers."

Posted by: jm at January 28, 2005 2:10 PM

See, I've actually found most of the appellate arguments I've attended pretty interesting (and I've written more than a few appellate briefs myself). Yeah, there are dreary issues, but there's a lot of intellectually challenging stuff too.

Posted by: The Crank at January 28, 2005 2:15 PM
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