June 9, 2007

Ladies... Luv Cool J-Red

Both J-Red and myself are contestants in the widely renowned Ladies... Hot Blogger Bracket. J-Red nominated me, and I nominated him. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Well, now that the brackets have come out. I'm representing ECB in the AFC North division (appropriately enough). I drew a mustachioed hockey fan. As you can imagine, I'm doing just fine. J-Red, on the other hand, has some stiffer competition in the Campbell Conference. Since I'm responsible for him being in the competition in the first place, I feel like I need to solicit some votes on his behalf. Also, it's unacceptable for a Maryland alum to lose to a rabid Syracuse fan.

To vote for J-Red, go here. blahbla

To vote for me, go here.

June 8, 2007

Feds Jump Into Vick Investigation

I was more than a little confused by the news this morning that federal authorities have joined the Michael Vick dogfighting investigation in Surry County, Virginia. The only federal law against dogfighting is found in 7 U.S.C. 2156, which generally prohibits dogfighting where the dogs have been transported across state lines (a jurisdictional "hook" to get the crime under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution). Paragraph (f) of that code section allows the Secretary of Agriculture (former Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns) to enlist the FBI in investigating possible dogfighting infractions. The crime was recently made a felony by a bill signed May 7, 2007. It would appear to me that Vick would only be facing the previous misdemeanor penalties.

Naturally, I expect someone in the federal government to be standing behind a podium within the next couple days to announce the government's crackdown on dogfighting. Why not? It's a welcome diversion from other problems that are actually within the federal government's scope of expertise (foreign affairs, immigration, social security, etc.). Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Poindexter has seemingly nailed the Secretary's motivation, noting that they only care about dogfighting in his rural county because Michael Vick is reportedly involved. Poindexter, who has done everything in his power to deflect attention away from the story (and perhaps preserve the last few impartial jurors left) while he conducts his investigation, will now have to integrate the federal findings and his own investigation.

blahblabblahblahlahhblahblah Feds to the rescue!

Why would he have to integrate the federal findings? Because they are not going to prosecute the case. The federal statute is generally the state crime, with the added element of interstate commerce, and thus is that much harder to prove. The Feds will come in and putz around for a few weeks before turning boxes of dirt over to Poindexter. I'm sure they'll wish him luck as the black Suburbans head back up I-64 and I-95.

Then again, perhaps I should have more confidence in the investigatory abilities possessed by the Federal Government. They did compentently handle the Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing, Eric Rudolph, the Unabomber, the JFK assassination, the MLK assassination, the first World Trade Center bombing, D.B. Cooper, Jimmy Hoffa, the anthrax mailings, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Elian Gonzalez, etc. etc. etc.

I also can't help but question the timing of the FBI's involvement. The news media has vaguely reported that Mr. Poindexter declined to execute a search warrant that he felt was deficient. That warrant, which purported to authorize a search of Vick's premises for the corpses of dogs, expired yesterday. In my opinion, the news media would love to see a bunch of investigators digging holes all over the property, perhaps even unearthing some carcasses. From the prosecutor's point of view, the dog corpses are not even close to conclusive evidence of dogfighting. This isn't CSI-Surry; the bones or carcasses will likely not provide definitive proof of any of the elements needed to prove the state crimes. The corpses certainly would not link any particular person to the crime, unless Michael Vick's driver's license fell in one of the holes. Plus, the normal rule of executing a warrant as quickly as possible to prevent the spoliation of evidence does not apply when you are looking for buried dog corpses. Anyone entering the property with the intention of removing or moving the bodies would be a prohibitive favorite for America's dumbest criminal.
blahblablahhblahblah What a jury expects to see at trial

The investigation, at least as it was directed by Mr. Poindexter, was being conducted methodically. The first six letters of methodically are method. If Mr. Poindexter goes to trial with 40 hours of evidence that dogfighting occurred on the property, but no evidence that links any single person to the actual enterprise, no one will be convicted. Unlike the Feds, Mr. Poindexter's duty is to the people of Surry County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Exposing dogfighting in his county without punishing any of the people responsible for it would not serve that duty. It appears the Feds may swoop in and lay waste to Mr. Poindexter's plan.

June 5, 2007

Clinton Portis Earns Free Pass

We've have all heard the ridiculous comments made by Redskins' RB-for-now Clinton Portis regarding the Michael Vick dogfighting investigation. CNNSI reported today that he has spoken further on the issue, and I'm willing to either give him a pass or put his PR firm on retainer.

Quote: "A couple of weeks ago, when I made those comments, I didn't understand the seriousness behind it... I didn't know it would affect that many people, didn't think what I said was that offensive. But after doing research and seeing how serious people take this, I shouldn't have made the comments."

Implication: He researched the issue. He gets credit for that.

blahblahblhblahThe only pets Clinton ever owned were University of Miami co-eds

Quote: "I had no idea the love that people have for animals or didn't consider it when I made those comments... I'm not even a pets man. I've got a fish -- that's the easiest thing to keep up. I've never been into dogs, never dealt with dogs, don't like playing with dogs. But at the same time there's a lot of people who are crazy over pets."

Implication: Again, he distances himself from the PETA people, but in a positive way. At the same time, he lends credence to his team-delivered excuse that he does not condone dogfighting. He is essentially saying that he has no connection to dogs at all, not even as a dog owner. He came one step short of saying he never had a dog as a kid.

Quote: "From now on, I don't comment on nobody... My life is the only thing I can control."

Implication: The message from Redskins Park got through loud and clear: Keep your goddamned mouth shut. I will note that while Clinton said his life is the only thing he can control, he never said it was something he could control well.

June 4, 2007

Bipartisan Fun

Alright, so I know that our blog is primarily sports and some pop culture, so I'll throw this video from the May 19 SNL in and stretch the window of general pop culture. It proves, once again, that Robert Smigel is a true genius. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Green... you cannot watch this video without having a few really good laughs.

June 3, 2007

Johnnie Morton Knocked Out Cold

Hmm... maybe he should've stuck to returning kicks for the Redskins. He lasts about 38 seconds into Round 1 of this fight. Morton just walks flush into a vicious punch to his ear that knocks him out on contact.