Friday, September 07, 2007

Peter Paul V. Hillary Clinton - Case Argued In CA Appellate Court, LA, Today

Remember when I told you the story of Peter Paul v. Hillary Clinton? Well, the case of campaign finance fraud has hit the appellate court today. NoBoddie's fool's got the story right:

Hillary Clinton and funny money go together like Bill Clinton and anything with big boobs.

The California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, will hear arguments about whether Hillary Clinton should be a defendant in a lawsuit brought by Hollywood mogul Peter Paul.

Attorneys for each side will also debate the inclusion as evidence of a videotape in which Clinton can be heard agreeing to plan a fundraiser, which was later determined to be illegal by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

Paul's legal counsel, the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), filed a brief in July. It said the videotape "captures the very commission of a crime, namely, that of knowingly soliciting, coordinating and accepting federal campaign contributions far in excess of the legal limit of $2,000."

Paul is appealing a California Superior Court ruling that dismissed Hillary Clinton from an earlier lawsuit under a statute that protects politicians from harassing or frivolous lawsuits. Paul's legal team argues the statute does not apply to a political figure who violates the law.

This harks back to Galagate, an August 2000 Hollywood event that was titled the "Bill Clinton Farewell Tribute" but was in fact a fund raiser for Hillary and featured performances by Cher, Diana Ross and Melissa Etheridge. It took in $1.5 million for Hillary's Senate campaign.

After failing to properly report the money raised, Clinton's campaign finance director, David Rosen, was accused of lying to the FEC and the Clinton Senate campaign had to pay a $35,000 fine to the FEC.

Paul said:

"Everything I complained about in 2001, and she denied, was supported in the Rosen trial and the FEC. Only her direct knowledge continues to be denied, and the tape contradicts that. Hillary's obstruction is worse than Nixon's obstruction in Watergate."
For the last six years,Clinton's staff has denied that she played a role in planning the fundraiser. Yet the videotape shows Paul and two others speaking with Hillary Clinton on speaker phone as she expresses enthusiasm about the event and telling Paul to contact her aide any time to further plan details.

In a written declaration for the California court filed on April 7, 2006, Clinton said that she did not remember discussions with Paul about the fundraiser.
"I have no recollection whatsoever of discussing any arrangement with him whereby he would support my campaign for the United States Senate in exchange for anything from me or then-President Clinton. I do not believe I would make such a statement because I believe I would remember such a discussion if it had occurred."
(Hillary, the 'smartest woman on earth' apparently has convenient memory lapses)

If Clinton helped to plan the event, it could legally constitute a direct hard money donation to her Senate campaign, rather than to her joint fundraising committee, "New York Senate 2000."

If that is the case, the donation from Paul would be more than a thousand times the legal limit for an individual donation. Knowingly soliciting an individual contribution of $25,000 or more is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Be still my heart.

"The Clintons represent the worst in modern American politics: ruthless ambition over a desire to serve; preoccupation with political funding over a fair system; opportunism over principle; betrayal of any cause or policy over taking a stand; and a desperation to gain and keep office over any obligation to honor its responsibilities." -- Christopher Reed, in the Los Angles Times.

But there's more...

Stay tuned.

Eddie Debartolo's Sports Agency Gathering Talent To Rep

In December of 2006, former 49ers owner Eddie Debartolo formed a new sports agency, and its been making waves with deals ever since. Take Troy Smith and Jerry Rice. DSE sports agents, Ralph Cindrich and Brian Kopp, have signed 2006 Heisman Trophy Winner Troy Smith. Smith, an Ohio native who led the Ohio State University Buckeyes to a 25-3 record.

Rice, regarded as perhaps the greatest wide receiver in National Football League history and a former Dancing With the Stars contestant, signed on recently with DeBartolo Sports & Entertainment (DSE). DSE will negotiate and manage Rice's endorsement deals, appearances and public relations. Rice, 44, played most of his 21-year career for the 49ers before retiring last year.

Indianapolis Colts Regain Super Bowl Form, Top N.O. Saints 41-10

The key was the defense and a gaggle of second-year and third year players that stepped in to make the Colts even better than last year.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indianapolis Colts looked just as formidable on offense as they did when they won the Super Bowl last season.

And even better on defense.

Shaking off a sluggish first half, the Colts outscored New Orleans 31-0 after intermission in Thursday night's NFL opener to beat the Saints 41-10. At the same time, they served notice to New England, San Diego and other highly touted teams that losing six players who started the Super Bowl last season hasn't slowed them down a bit.

Four of them were on a defense that didn't allow a touchdown Thursday night.

"All offseason, that's what everyone talked about, that the defense has lost all these guys," said Peyton Manning, who threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. "A lot of young guys played good tonight. It's only one game and there's a long way to go, but we played really well tonight."

Playing against his hometown team, Manning threw two TD passes to Reggie Wayne and another to Marvin Harrison. Joseph Addai ran for 118 yards on 23 carries and that super-quick defense shut down Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and the explosive New Orleans offense.

The game was tied 10-10 after a sloppy first half.

But Manning led two quick TD drives in the first 8:49 of the second half as the Colts put up 24 points in 20 minutes after intermission. On the first drive, Manning hit Harrison for 42 yards to set up a 2-yard TD run by Addai. Then the Super Bowl MVP came right back to throw a 28-yard TD pass to Wayne.

"NFL games are 60 minutes long. We were a little out of synch in the first half," coach Tony Dungy said. "They played us defensively a little different than we thought. We knew we had to run the ball a little more."

Another major player -- for both sides -- was New Orleans cornerback Jason David, who started for the Colts in their Super Bowl win over Chicago and then left as a free agent. He was victimized by Harrison on a 27-yard TD pass in the first half and again by Wayne on both his scores, the second a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter.

But David also produced the Saints' only TD, stripping Wayne after a second-quarter completion, picking up the ball and returning it 55 yards for the score.

"We don't do that," Manning said when asked if he deliberately went at David. "We had the right calls at the right time. With Marvin and Reggie, you're always going to throw it to those guys. If you have a good day, they say you're picking on one guy. We really don't do that."

David said he had to get used to a new scheme in New Orleans but didn't have any excuses.

"Any time you come back and play a team you used to play for, you want to play your best game," he said. "I didn't play my best game tonight. All the plays you saw tonight ... that's on me. There's nobody else to blame but me."

Wayne finished with seven catches for 115 yards.

"The joke in the locker room is that I scored on both sides of the ball," Wayne said of his run-ins with his former teammate. "I gave him a free touchdown, so I guess that was the appreciation we gave him."

The game finally put the focus back on football after an offseason dominated by player discipline problems and long suspensions, most notably involving Michael Vick and Adam Jones. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was at the game, said beforehand, "I think we're ready now to get the focus back on football."

It took a little while before Manning got the Colts' offense focused.

Manning was just 8-of-17 for 101 yards in the first half, 66 of those yards on two completions: the 27-yard TD to Harrison, plus 39 on a throw to tight end Dallas Clark that set up Adam Vinatieri's 33-yard field goal that tied the game at 10.

But the Saints, who reached the NFC title game last season before losing to Chicago, could never get their potent offense going.

"I thought at halftime, being on the road and with all that went on we were in good shape," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "But we had some miscues. Our inability to convert third downs and keep the ball hurt us."

Colts TE Dallas Clark is such an integral part of this offense. The Saints played a ton of Cover 2, but could not account for Clark in the passing game. Indianapolis used very few three receiver sets on first and second down, but created the same effect by splitting Clark out wide. The Colts also added a new wrinkle by putting Clark on one side and Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne on the other and it helped produce Harrison's first quarter TD catch.

In the third quarter, Clark drew the safety playing quarters coverage up while Wayne filled the void on his deep post for a huge touchdown that all but sealed the Colts victory.

Clark isn't known as a top blocker, but he was effective in sealing the edge for Indianapolis' stretch play. This play abused New Orleans which -- out of fear -- was reluctant to bring an extra defender into the box. Clark did a little of everything, including even getting a first down carrying the ball on an end around, and simply put, was instrumental in this win.
They had just 112 total yards in the first half, and Bush and Deuce McAllister each had just 21 yards rushing before intermission against a made-over Indianapolis defense. That unit included undrafted rookie Ed Johnson at defensive tackle in place of Anthony McFarland, out for the season with a knee injury.

Both finished with just 38 yards, Bush on 12 carries and McAllister on 10. Brees was 27-of-40 for 183 yards and two interceptions.

"It just felt like we never got in synch," Brees said. "We felt we hadn't accomplished much in the first half so we were chomping at the bit to get out there and sustain some drives. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe we needed to get our butts kicked tonight to get a little fire going."

The only score by the New Orleans offense was a 34-yard field goal by Olindo Mare in the second quarter after a nine-play, 36-yard drive. From the middle of that quarter until the middle of the fourth, the Saints ran just one play in Indianapolis territory and that was for a 2-yard loss.

Indy linebacker Freddy Keiaho, replacing departed free agent Cato June, was outstanding.

In the second quarter, he drove through a blocker, carrying him into Bush and dropping the runner for a 5-yard loss. In the third quarter, he picked off a pass that led to a 33-yard field goal by Vinatieri that made it 27-10 in the first minute of the final quarter.

The Colts took a 7-0 lead on the Manning-to-Harrison TD in the first quarter. David's play tied the game, and Mare's field goal put the Saints up 10-7. That lasted until the late drive keyed by the Manning-Clark hookup.

Then the Colts took over completely in the second half.

The Manning-Wayne 45-yarder made it 34-10 five minutes into the fourth quarter and Matt Giordano's 83-yard interception return closed the scoring.

Apple's I-Phone Comes Down In Price $200! - WSJ

Steve Jobs Offers
Rare Apology,
Credit for iPhone

By NICK WINGFIELD - Wall Street Journal
September 7, 2007; Page B1

Many people stood in long lines to get Apple Inc.'s iPhone -- and paid a lot for it. In the end, Steve Jobs concluded that such loyalty counted for something.

Responding to a flood of emails complaining about a surprise iPhone price cut, Mr. Jobs apologized publicly and said Apple will offer a $100 credit at Apple stores to all iPhone users who paid the original price. "Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these," Mr. Jobs wrote in a letter posted yesterday on Apple's Web site.

The unusual move followed Apple's announcement Wednesday that it was cutting $200 off the price of its $599 iPhone. In online discussion forums throughout Wednesday and yesterday morning, early buyers had vented their frustration with how quickly Apple had cut the price of the iPhone, which went on sale June 29. Mr. Jobs said in the letter that he had received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who were upset.

Apple and AT&T also said yesterday that customers who had purchased the $599 iPhone, with eight gigabytes of storage capacity, at one of their stores within 14 days of Wednesday's price cut can choose a $200 cash refund instead of the $100 store credit. People who bought a low-end $499 iPhone model within the 14 days can return it for a full refund instead of taking the credit. Apple on Wednesday said it was discontinuing the low-end iPhone, with four gigabytes of storage, as most of its customers preferred the eight-gigabyte model.

"I think this is absolutely the right move," said Christopher Kercher, an attorney in New York who paid full price for an iPhone shortly after it went on sale and was among those who were upset by the timing of the price cut. "They needed to reach out and make a peace offering."

In the letter, Mr. Jobs insisted the price cut was necessary to broaden the market for the product, but he acknowledged that Apple needed to assuage disappointed early purchasers. Mr. Jobs said further details will be posted on Apple's Web site next week.

The controversy over the iPhone price cut threatened to overshadow Apple's efforts to boost sales of the product during the holidays through a lower price. While technology companies often drop prices on their gadgets over time, Apple has historically introduced replacement models with different industrial designs and improved features rather than discounting existing models. Apple usually makes such changes about a year after a product's introduction, not two months later.

Before the announcement of the $100 store-credit offer, some iPhone shoppers said the timing of the price cut would discourage them from buying Apple products early in the future. "This is like a slap in the face to early adopters," said John Keck, an executive at an advertising agency in Detroit.

Few companies rely on early adopters quite as much as Apple, which has a built a loyal customer base with such ground-breaking products as the Macintosh computer and the iPod music player.

In his letter, Mr. Jobs said that from his 30-plus years in technology he knew that the "technology road is bumpy," and there is "always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price of the new operating system or the new whatever." Still, Mr. Jobs wrote, Apple needs to "do a better job of taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price."

Some Apple customers said Apple's offer, in addition to being good public relations, was a shrewd effort to encourage more business at Apple's online and physical stores because consumers must go there to redeem their $100 store credits. Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi predicted the financial impact of the credits on Apple would be "very modest" given Apple's overall revenue and the number of iPhone users, currently less than a million. Apple shares fell $1.75 to $135.01 in Nasdaq trading yesterday.

Paul Brennan, an institutional investor in Pasadena, Calif., who bought an iPhone when it first went on sale, said he would have preferred "cold hard cash" from Apple, but he added that he felt less angry after Apple's decision to grant a credit. "Something is better than nothing," Mr. Brennan said.

-- Amol Sharma contributed to this article.

Ron Paul Video Mashup Of 2008 Republican Fox Debate

To say that Congressman Ron Paul was effective on Wednesday is an understatement. He managed to establish the terms of debate in the campaign and capture the hearts of his fans on the Internet. This video shows -- amoung other things -- Congressman Paul's exchange with Arkansas Governor Mike Hukabee, the text of which is below the video.

MR. WALLACE: Congressman Paul -- (interrupted by cheers, applause) -- Congressman Paul, your position on the war is pretty simple: Get out. What about, though, trying to minimize the bloodbath that would certainly occur if we pull out in a hurry? What about protecting the thousands of Iraqis who have staked their lives in backing the U.S.? And would you leave troops in the region to take out any al Qaeda camps that are developed after we leave?
REP. PAUL: The people who say there will be a bloodbath are the ones who said it would be a cakewalk, it would be slam dunk, and that it would be paid for by oil. Why believe them? They've been wrong on everything they've said. Why not ask the people -- (interrupted by cheers) -- why not ask the people who advise not to go into the region and into the war? The war has not gone well one bit.

Yes, I would leave, I would leave completely. Why leave the troops in the region? The fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11. So why leave them in the region? They don't want our troops on the Arabian Peninsula. We have no need for our national security to have troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and going into Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran is the worst thing we can do for our national security.

I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this. It's the policy that is wrong. Tactical movements and shifting troops around and taking in 30 more and reducing by five, totally irrelevant. We need a new foreign policy that said we ought to mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend this country, defend -- (bell sounds) -- our borders --

MR. WALLACE: So if --
(Interrupted by cheers, applause.)

MR. WALLACE: So, Congressman Paul, and I'd like you to take 30 seconds to answer this, you're basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda? If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave? (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL: No! (Cheers, applause.) I'm saying -- (laughter) -- I'm saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution. We should not go to war -- (cheers, applause) -- we should not go to war without a declaration. We should not go to war when it's an aggressive war. This is an aggressive invasion. We've committed the invasion of this war, and it's illegal under international law. That's where I take my marching orders, not from any enemy. (Cheers, boos.)

After a couple of other candidates had a crack at the question, Wallace let Huckabee get a little action.

MR. WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, the latest National Intelligence Estimate, which is out recently, says that even if we continue the troop surge -- and we're going to put it up on the screen -- Iraq's security will continue to improve modestly during the next six to 12 months, but levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high, and the Iraqi government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance.
Governor, if that's the best we can hope for, should we continue the surge?

MR. HUCKABEE: We have to continue the surge. And let me explain why, Chris. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me. If I picked something off the shelf of the store and I broke it, I bought it.

I learned don't pick something off the shelf I can't afford to buy.

Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It's our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away because something is at stake. Senator McCain made a great point, and let me make this clear. If there's anybody on this stage that understands the word honor, I've got to say Senator McCain understands that word -- (applause, cheers) -- because he has given his country a sacrifice the rest of us don't even comprehend. (Continued applause.)

Wait a minute, isn't this the famous Colin Powell Pottery Barn rule? Are we supposed to now call it the Mama Huckabee rule? Anyway, Huckabee continued...

And on this issue, when he says we can't leave until we've left with honor, I 100 percent agree with him because, Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion that historians can have, but we're there. We bought it because we broke it. We've got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve. (Cheers, applause.)
MR. HUME: Go ahead. You wanted to respond? He just addressed you; you go ahead and respond. (Continued applause.)

REP. PAUL: The American people didn't go in. A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservative hijacked our foreign policy. They're responsible, not the American people. They're not responsible. We shouldn't punish them. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HUCKABEE: Congressman, we are one nation. We can't be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country, the United States of America, not the divided states of America. (Cheers.)

REP. PAUL: No. When we make a mistake -- (interrupted by applause) -- when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people through their representatives to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake! (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HUCKABEE: And that's what we do on the floor of the --

REP. PAUL: No! We've dug a hole for ourselves and we dug a hole for our party!

We're losing elections and we're going down next year if we don't change it, and it has all to do with foreign policy, and we have to wake up to this fact.

MR. HUCKABEE: Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important to the Republican Party.

REP. PAUL: We're losing -- we've lost over -- (cheers, applause) -- we have lost -- we have lost 5,000 Americans killed in -- we've lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan and Iraq and plus the civilians killed. How many more do you want to lose? How long are we going to be there? How long -- what do we have to pay to save face? That's all we're doing is saving face. It's time we came home!

MR. HUME: Okay, gentlemen. Gentlemen, thank you. (Cheers, applause.)