Saturday, 27 February 2010


Ken Berwitz

Did David Paterson bribe David Johnson's girlfriend to shut her up about Johnson's abuse? 

Read this article in today's New York Post and decide for yourself:

Probers eye how ex got a $40K Lexus amid case nix


Last Updated: 8:06 AM, February 27, 2010

Posted: 3:21 AM, February 27, 2010

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating how the Bronx woman at the center of the scandal involving Gov. Paterson came to buy a brand-new, pricey SUV shortly before she dropped her domestic-violence case against a top aide to the governor, The Post has learned.

Cuomo's inquiry into the purchase of the $40,000 Lexus by Sherr-una Booker is part of a broader probe of why Paterson and the State Police contacted her as she pursued a Family Court case against ex-boyfriend David Johnson.

The probe includes subpoenas for NYPD records related to the Oct. 31, 2009, incident that touched off the scandal, a source said. 

The subpoena ranges from police reports to the 911 call and radio transmissions, the source said.

Police say Booker told cops Johnson choked her, ripped her clothes off and pushed her into a mirror.

A key question for Cuomo will be how Booker, who earns just under $57,996 a year from her assistant director's job at Lincoln Hospital, paid for the 2010 Lexus RX350 herself -- or whether someone else gave her the money to buy the SUV, and why.

Before buying the luxury car, Booker was driving a 1998 Ford Escort that, when new, had a base price of a mere $12,580.

Public records show that in recent years Booker had civil judgments entered against her for debts totaling nearly $6,000.

However, in October, Booker reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum from her landlord, whom she was suing over a 2006 incident in which she slipped and fell on a sidewalk outside her building.

Booker's lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. The AG's Office declined comment.

Booker, 40, made the complaint against Johnson last Halloween, police said. Two days later, she went to Bronx Family Court and obtained a temporary order of protection against him.

She said that "the state troopers kept calling and harassing me to drop the charges."

At a Nov. 4 hearing, Booker repeated that claim, and said she still wanted court-ordered protection.

But on Dec. 17, a judge told Booker that she had incorrectly attempted delivery of the summons to Johnson, 37, and that she would have to try again. Booker agreed to it.

State Department of Motor Vehicle records show that Booker registered the Lexus, which she had purchased from Prestige Auto in Ramsey, NJ, on Jan. 5. A title to the car was issued in her name -- indicating that she owned it free and clear of any loan -- on Jan. 26.

On Feb. 7 -- a day before her scheduled Family Court hearing -- Booker spoke with Paterson. The next day, she failed to show up at the hearing, and a judge dismissed the matter.

Police said there was no visible sign of injury, so the case was treated as harassment and there was no arrest, although it was logged as a domestic incident. Police said they were unaware of Johnson's link to the governor.

Cops say they served Johnson with an order of protection on Nov. 9. Court transcripts of the hearings show Johnson's lawyer saying he was never served.

Is this circumstantial?  Yes.

Does it stink like a dozen month-old unrefrigerated eggs?  Yes.

Stay tuned.

Zeke ... .... David Paterson is an incompetent scumbag ... ... i.e. eminently qualified to be a New York State politician. Easily the equal of the leaders of the NY Senate and Assembly. .... .... At least, Paterson took some forceful steps to bring a semblance of balance to the State budget. ... ... The legislature has screwed up State governance for decades. ... ... .... This is not the first time the media has conducted a hatchet job on Paterson -- clearly, "they" want him out of the way, and hard-leftist Andy Cuomo on the ballot. ... (02/27/10)


Ken Berwitz

Is the American Bar Association (ABA) biased?  Read this piece by Paul Mirengoff of, and you tell me:

The American Bar Association exposes its liberal bias once again


February 26, 2010 Posted by Paul at 10:28 PM

I wrote here about Goodwin Liu, the leftist law professor nominated by President Obama for a spot on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Among my observations was that Liu has only practiced law in earnest for two or three years. The rest of his time since graduating from law school has been spent as a law clerk or a law professor.

Moreover, Liu appears to have no trial experience. Nor, as far as I can tell, has he ever argued a case before a court of appeal.

None of this means that Liu is unqualified to be a federal appellate court judge, but it would seem to preclude him from receiving the American Bar Association's coveted "highly qualified" rating. After all, according to the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary's explanation of its standards for rating judicial nominees, "a prospective nominee to the federal bench ordinarily should have at least twelve years' experience in the practice of law." Further, "the Committee recognizes that substantial courtroom and trial experience as a lawyer or trial judge is important."

Yet the ABA has rated Liu "highly qualified." To further demonstrate the outlandishness of this rating, consider the ABA's evaluation of Frank Easterbrook who was nominated to the Seventh Circuit by President Reagan and has gone on to become one of the top appellate judges in the country.

As Ed Whelan reminds us, the ABA gave Easterbrook the low rating of "qualified/not qualified." However, Easterbrook had better qualifications than Liu. According to Ed, at the time of his nomination, Easterbrook had been out of law school for 11 years (compared to 12 for Liu). After a judicial clerkship, Easterbrook had spent four years in the Office of the Solicitor General, first as an Assistant to the Solicitor General, then as Deputy Solicitor General. As a government lawyer who dealt on occasion with the Solicitor General's office, I can report that Easterbrook was considered a superstar even as measured by the high standards of that shop.

By the time of his nomination, Easterbrook he had argued 20 cases before the Supreme Court. And he had spent about as much time in academia as Liu.

The only plausible explanation for rating Liu more highly than Easterbrook (never mind significantly more highly) is ideology. Liu is a left-liberal; Easterbrook was and is on the other side of the spectrum.

It's no scoop that the ABA's ratings are a sham. But the Liu/Easterbrook comparison provides a timely reminder of the nauseating degree to which this is the case.

Pathetic enough for you?  Me too.


Ken Berwitz

A very quick blog, drawn from today's Memphis Commercial-Appeal:

NASHVILLE -- Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will join entertainer Dolly Parton and former senator Howard H. Baker Jr. as the only recipients of honorary degrees awarded by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The end.


Ken Berwitz

How hard is President Obama going to work at making sure he is in complete control of how terrorism is fought in this country? 

Based on this Reuters article - via a thoroughly disgusted Steve Gilbert at - the answer is plenty:

Obama Demands Total Say On 9/11 Trials

February 26th, 2010

From an irony-proof Reuters:

Obama aides push back on venue for terrorism trials

By Jeremy Pelofsky

February 26, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) The Obama administration bluntly urged the Congress on Thursday to steer clear of directing where terrorism suspects should be prosecuted, pushing back against efforts to require military rather than civilian trials.

A bipartisan group of senators has offered legislation aimed at forcing the administration to prosecute terrorism suspects, like the self-professed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in special military commission trials instead of traditional criminal courts.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators to be tried in a criminal court in Manhattan. But concerns by some lawmakers about security costs and granting full legal rights to the suspects have forced administration officials to reconsider.

Holder and Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote leaders in the House of Representatives to express their opposition to legislation directing how and where to prosecute the cases.

"The exercise of prosecutorial discretion has always been and should remain an Executive branch function," they said in the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minority Leader John Boehner.

"We believe it would be unwise and would set a dangerous precedent for Congress to restrict the discretion of our departments to carry out specific terrorism prosecutions," Holder and Gates said

How is that for chutzpah

Didnt Mr. Holders own law firm, Covington & Burling, spend the last seven years of the Bush administration trying to close down the military tribunals at Guantanamo in order to give their terrorist charges civilian trials in federal court?

Moreover, didnt the Democrats in Congress and on the Supreme Court do everything they could to interfere with the prosecutorial discretion of the Executive branch when it was in the hands of President Bush?

If hypocrisy were an Olympic event, the Obama administration would be out there celebrating with the cigars and champagne.

Let me see if I have this straight:  President Obama hands us an Attorney General with a rich history of defending terrorists.  The Attorney Genera, as blogged about last week, is stacking the justice department with similarly sympathetic people.  And when a bipartisan group within congress wants to have a say in this, Mr. Obama tells them to steer clear.

Is this supposed to make us feel safer?  More protected from our enemies - the ones who want our culture destroyed and all of us under shari'a law?  

The 2012 election cannot come fast enough.

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