This will be very brief. The latest hearing in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case occurred today. Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara had subpoenaed school records and social media site records for Trayvon Martin so the defense could dig into Mr. Martin’s past. Judge Debra Nelson ruled that all records would be released.
This is not the end of it, as the schools in question, as well as Twitter and Facebook could file appeals, which I’m fairly certain they’ve done already. In that case, it will be up to an appeals court to determine if the schools or social media sites must comply. Stay tuned.
Also in the hearing, and this is the big bomb, Mr. O’Mara filed and emergency motion sequestering certain witnesses until depositions can be taken by the defense. The reason as outlined in the motion is this:
“Sergeant Santiago testified that during these meetings, the attendees discussed the investigation and that the consensus of the group was that there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr. Zimmerman with committing any crime … Sergeant Santiago further testified that in a conversation with Mr. Carter on the day following the last meeting Sgt. Santiago attended on the Zimmerman case, Mr. Carter was very upset that the case was referred for prosecution recommending Mr. Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter. Investigator Santiago went on to testify that he immediately called his Captain who was similarly frustrated with Serino’s recommendation to file a manslaughter charge. This information was disclosed only through the deposition of Officer Santiago and was never disclosed by the State nor was there any disclosure even of the existence of these meetings or certainly not of the substance of them. Further the State failed to list as a witness one who would have particularly exculpatory information under Brady v. Maryland.”
Note: Emphasis added is my own
This is huge! Here is the complete emergency motion.
The 2nd Presidential debate aired last night. As always, for those that missed it, here is the transcript and video. First, a note about the location. My quick reaction to this town hall-style debate taking place in New York was that it was a bit off-putting. I love New York, but let’s face it, New York isn’t exactly a middle of the road area of the country, as far a politics goes. More specifically, the audience members selected to ask questions all lived in close proximity to Hofstra University, located in Nassau County, which has voted for the Democrat in a Presidential Election for the last 20 years. However, many of the questions were decent. Others were pathetic. And with that, here’s the rundown:
Last night the only Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan took place. In case you missed it, here’s the video and transcript. The overall feeling is that both men did what they came to do. Vice President Biden was aggressive and Congressman Ryan was knowledgeable about more than just the federal budget. Biden managed to get through the night without making one of his infamous gaffes and Ryan provided a compelling closing that defined the difference between the Obama Presidency and what a Romney Presidency would look like. The Vice President also finally called Romney out on his “47%” remark, something Obama was criticized for not doing in his first debate with Romney. The problem with Biden being the one to have to mention it is that Ryan already had a response prepared, and a funny one at that. Here’s the exchange:
Biden: “But it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives …”
Ryan: “And with respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way …”
All over the 24-hour news networks, print, and internet media, the lead is the new jobless rate:
How we got to that rate isn’t discussed. Here is the report issued by the Labor Department yesterday that talks about 873,000 jobs being added. That number is from the Household Survey (HS), rather than the Establishment Survey (ES) that calculates total nonfarm payroll. The HS often shows a higher number of jobs gains than the ES does, but the HS is where we get our Unemployment Rate from, even though the ES has been historically more stably accurate.
Last night, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney squared off against each other for the first time in the 2012 campaign season in what was the first of three Presidential debates. Full transcript and video. The night clearly belonged to Romney, with even Bill Maher conceding via twitter:
Everywhere I turn, it seems, there is yet another poll that comes out that shows President Obama up by 8 points here or another that shows Romney up by 3 points there, yet both of those two polls were taken in the same state, during the same relative period. The national polls have been showing a dead heat, for the most part. The consensus seems to be that one should ignore the national polls (why even take them then?), since votes are tallied individually by each state and then the electors for that state cast their votes for whomever won the popular vote for the state. That makes perfect sense. There are several problems with all the polls, however. There are problems with oversampling of one party over another or using cell phone numbers to conduct polling which skews the results by cutting out a good percentage of elderly voters who tend to be consistent voters. These have been discussed elsewhere. There is another problem that you don’t see discussed often and that is: likely voters.
The deficit and debt crisis America faces is perpetuated, in part, by Congress’s irresponsible spending habits. Instead of helping to curb the spending, President Obama has been its biggest cheerleader. It started with spending $787 Billion in the form of a stimulus bill, meant to spur the economy and create jobs. We ended up with the “creation” of less than 500,000 in net jobs gains 3 1/2 years after it was passed in February ’09. That start led to the culmination of forcing through The Affordable Care Act, which will increase spending by a minimum of $1.1 Trillion in the next decade, alone. In the space between these two massive spending bills, there were ill-advised loans to “green” companies, like Solyndra’s loan for $535 Million, which appears to have been pushed through by officials in the Obama administration, even among suggestions that it was unwise and not going through the proper procedures. Those suggestions were proved correct, now that Solyndra has gone bankrupt.
President Obama swept into the Presidency amid a wave of anger over the flailing economy, for sure. However, Obama also road another wave: to better our image throughout the world.
“It’s Unanimous: The World Prefers Obama” – Sept 2008
“For Many Abroad, an Ideal Renewed” – Nov 2008
“Growing Optimism That Obama Will Improve US Relations: Global Poll” – Jan 2009
The consensus was that a more understanding positioning by our government would help to bring about a more peaceful world and would increase our standing in the world of likeability. It sounded great and many fell for it, aided by their favorite celebrities.
Recent events have caused a stir in Egypt and Libya. Protesters in Egypt and murderers in Libya have expressed their disgust over a film depicting the prophet Mohammed in an offensive manner; to many Muslims, any depiction of Mohammed is offensive.
First, a little geography and culture lesson. Libya borders Egypt to the west, with the Red Sea flanking most of Egypt’s eastern coastline. The Red Sea ends at the Suez Canal that runs through Egypt and connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, which runs along the northern coastline of Egypt and Libya. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are on the east side of the Red Sea, with Israel surrounded by all of the aforementioned countries.
According to the CIA World Factbook, 90% of Egyptians are Muslim. Libya is 97% Muslim. Jordan is 92% Muslim. Syria is 90% Muslim. Lebanon is 60% Muslim. Saudi Arabia is nearly 100% Muslim. Lastly, Iraq is 97% Muslim. While there are differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims, which I will not go into here, it is important to note that many Muslims do not identify as one specific sect. It is also important to mention that Osama Bin Laden was a Sunni Muslim and al Qaeda follows the Sunni sect. Hezbollah mostly follows the Shia Sect. The differences are mostly political, in nature. The fundamental beliefs about doctrine are very much the same.
Israel is 78% Jewish or Christian and is a country of less than 8 million, surrounded by predominantly Muslim countries that number more than 180 million strong.
Why is this important?
Posted in Egypt, Gov. Mitt Romney, Israel, Libya, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Mohamed Mursi, President Mohammed el-Megarif, President Obama, U.S. Embassy
Tagged Egypt, Gov. Romney, India, Israel, Libya, President Obama, U.S. Embassy
President Obama – 2008 DNCC
In 2008, President Obama road a wave of “hope and change” that he, himself, inspired. His infectious optimism catapulted him from an obscure, to many, Senate candidate, in 2004, to the President of the United States in just four short years. President Obama beat Sen. McCain in almost every single demographic in the 2008 election. We were upset about the failing economy, but excited for the future.
For many, that excitement is gone. Continue reading