Rick Leventhal
Another search term driving traffic to the site is “Rick Leventhal”. Apparently, I am not the only one considering becoming a Rick Leventhal groupie. Maybe it’s the fatigue, but he seems to be the most relaxed of the embedded reporters and he appears to have a sense of humor. His favorite MRE is chicken noodle and this morning he traded cheese spread for peanut butter and something else for jelly and had peanut butter and jelly on crackers for breakfast. Little things like that make a big difference to me. The screenwriter (and Geraldo’s infamous sand drawing) are jibberish to me. Even the firefights look so much like old Combat shows. Rick makes it real for me. Once it becomes real through that little detail then the rest of it -- like the fighting -- also becomes real.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 11:21:00 PM

Websites in Support of Democracy in Iraq
Dean has the list.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 12:47:00 PM

Geraldo Rivera -- The Plot Thickens
Drudge is reporting that he's been expelled from Iraq by the US Military for giving away future military operations. Fox has so far been silent on this report.

UPDATE: Rivera was on live. He had heard nothing about being expelled until he called in on the videophone to give his report. Both he and the anchors in the US reported that it was MSNBC, Peter Arnett's now-former network, spreading the Geraldo Rivera "news".

Looks like it's getting a little heated among the cable networks.

UPDATE: Various places are confirming that Geraldo has been asked to leave, including this Reuters report referenced on damnum absque injuria.

UPDATE: According to Fox this afternoon, there is an investigation and Geraldo has not yet been expelled. I saw the questionable report. Geraldo was drawing in the sand and explaining some troop movements. It looked like the drawings we used to make in the dirt when I played football as a kid. The anchor was joking that Ailes had spent all that money on screenwriters for nothing. There are usually lots of troops hanging around when Geraldo or any of these guys report. Nobody stepped in and said "hey, stop that." I have noted though that Geraldo tends to give more detail on position than the others do. Other reporters have said they have been chastised before. I suspect it's tough for these reporters to realize if they are accidentally giving away info. Fred Barnes had the best comment though: "If he's a pain in the general's ass, get him out of there."
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 07:39:00 AM

Class Size Reduction in Danger
From the Fresno Bee: Class size could rise to ease budget woes. Fresno is not the only district looking at this issue. There are various proposals in the Legislature to revamp the program. Until the Legislature makes the decision, hard decisions are being made.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 07:11:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/31
From the Stockton Record: Davis recall bid blunted;
War pushes effort out of spotlight

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 07:07:00 AM

Things I Never Knew
I could have gone to war! The Marines have 1500 lawyers on the ground in Iraq and thereabouts making sure the commanders pick out legitimate targets. There's a job I'd love.

I wonder how many other jobs there are that I'd love but I have no idea they exist.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/31/2003 07:00:00 AM


Recall Roundup 3/30
From the Fresno Bee: With all of Davis' problems, recall not so far-fetched

On Free Republic, someone has posted an email from the campaign. New info:

California law requires that we turn in at least 10% of the signatures needed to qualify, about 90,000, before the county registrars must begin to validate and count the signatures. We want to get this process started as soon as possible and these early e-mail petitions can get the job done in short order if everyone who downloaded sends that first one in RIGHT AWAY! After that the Secretary of State will be required to report how many we have collected each month and we are hopeful that he will post this on the web.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/30/2003 09:34:00 AM

Marketing that works for a long time
I missed the movie Memento completely when it came out (around the time of Pearl Harbor) but its trailer so intrigued me that I am ordering the DVD.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/30/2003 08:57:00 AM

War Simulation vs the Real Thing
For those of us still hoping for some predictability to the process, take a look at this post over at Vodkapundit and especially the comments.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/30/2003 08:50:00 AM

In the comments to the Political State Report on the recall, ltobserver asks whether the FERC decision (that energy companies manipulated prices) proves that Gray Davis was right all along. The answer is "I don't know" and I think we're going to need to play out a little more to find out. Still, it's a fair question.

This article in the Sacramento Bee states that the state bought $44 billion in longterm contracts in 2001. Since then, half have been renegotiated for a $5.4 billion savings. So, at first glance, it appears that even if we renegotiated all of them, we'd save $11 billion, only a third of the current deficit.

However, that doesn't tell even a smidgen of the story. What time period is the savings over (these are longterm contracts). For all I know, these are ten-year contracts and we're only spending $4.4 billion a year and the contracts aren't even a portion of the budget problem. On the other hand, maybe they're overpriced by far more than that and what we've been able to renegotiate doesn't reflect just how much we've been gouged.

Clearly, more research is in order but it's 2 am and I really ought to sleep periodically. The Calblog twins are scheduled to be altar servers at the 7:30 am Mass.

Before I go, allow me a swipe at the idiots on FERC. Politics has taken over this game. The two Republicans decided not to force the repricing of contracts despite the price-gouging because of the "sanctity" of contracts. Now, I am front and center on that sanctity of contracts bit but, c'mon, illegal price-gouging that you agree exists pretty much cuts out the sanctity. The only Dem on the panel of course disagrees with the two Republicans on the panel. The Democratic lawmakers are outraged (as they should be) at the FERC decision and the Republicans are silent. What an embarrassment.

UPDATE: Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee does this analysis today and does not come out in Davis' favor. Apparently Davis is demanding $9 billion in refunds from FERC. Even if FERC swung his way, we'd still be in a world of hurt.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/30/2003 02:05:00 AM


Drudge has a headline that says embedded reporters cant use sat phones. I watched Rick Leventhal not only use one but chit chating about his shaving with cold water and whether the desert was neater than his apartment. Drudge's link to the story is broken too.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/29/2003 09:47:00 PM

I'm working on a theory
Blogs are a vast network. Go to the blogs in your blogroll and link to the blogs in their blogroll and then so on and so on. You end up traversing on the same ground over and over again. In the old days (now defined as anything before last week), we called this networking.

There are certain types of blogs I see a lot of. I see political blogs. I see law blogs or blawgs, as Ernie dubbed them. Then I see general blogs.

I see few, if any, business blogs. So I went looking today. Not much out there. It seems to me that a blog would take business networking to a new level. No more ripping out an article and sending it off. Just link to it. No newsletters. Blog about your business. Link to other people blogging about theirs.

Ecademy out of the UK tries to do this but there don't seem to be any real blogs there. Just those one post a month things.

I thought MLM marketers would go for it. They could talk about products, train their downline and gather recruits. All I found were the anti-MLM blogs.

So what's the deal? Is blogging too time-intensive for business?

I think it's too new. Say what you will about entrepreneurs but my experience is that their products are new but their ways of selling are tried and true. Any other views warmly welcomed.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/29/2003 09:00:00 PM

Glendale/Enron Nexus?
Here's an interesting story about the city of Glendale, the border of which is walking distance from the house.

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report this week said Glendale was "associated with Enron in executing the trading strategies in a willful and knowing manner."

Municipal utilities serving Los Angeles and half a dozen other California cities also were targeted in the FERC report, which said their activities appeared to constitute market "gaming" in violation of state tariffs. But Glendale's utility, which serves about 78,000 businesses and households, stood out by the volume and detail of the evidence presented against it.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/29/2003 09:35:00 AM

Light Reading on a Saturday
One of the Calblog twins has posted on their blog her essay on why you should be a Republican. See if you can read it without laughing. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to explain to her that if she has talked with her parents (especially her dad, she says), watched Fox News and read the O'Reilly Factor, when she "decided to be one" because she "thought it was correct", she wasn't exactly relying on unbiased information.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/29/2003 09:31:00 AM

Updated Links
I added a couple of links and set up a new War Blogs category. I wouldn't have normally done so but at least half of the visitors are arriving looking for war-related info so it made sense to include a map to where they really want to be.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/29/2003 05:55:00 AM


Support the Troops
Operation Dear Abby is online since you can no longer send Dear Any Soldier letters.

USO Care packages are also being coordinated here.

The Marine Corps has a list of other ways to send online messages or make a donation to the relief societies.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/28/2003 08:19:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/28
Political State Report has a mention without links to the petition. I was surprised that there were only two comments then I discovered that the comments section was down.

That's all I found this morning. I made the short run through my bookmarks.

There a neat graphic at the official site, showing the number of days left and the numbers of signatures gathered (currently 0 of 898,157).
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/28/2003 08:08:00 AM

Lileks made me laugh today. Soldiers 135 miles tall.

Joshua Claybourn has got news of a Congressional resolution for prayer and fasting and some pro-war posters. I read Josh everyday. It's been too long since I pointed to him.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/28/2003 07:56:00 AM


Recall Roundup 3/27
The OC Register has some info on timing:

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has until Dec. 22 to formally certify that enough signatures have been gathered. If so, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante would have 60 to 80 days to set the election date.

From the SF Chronicle:

Secretary of state OKs petitions for vote on recalling Davis -- a repeat of an article we've seen

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 02:48:00 PM

All dressed up and no place to go
Am I the only one who reads a hopeful tone into this CNN report from Sunday?

Fourteen Iraqis, the first handful of official refugees from that war-besieged land, crossed the Syrian border on Sunday northwest of Mosul, a northern Iraqi city under U.S. bombardment, the U.N. refugee agency reported.

I'm sure it was supposed to be CNN's first in a series of articles on the refugees. Later, they could say they were on the scene early. But the "first handful" may be the only handful. On Tuesday, CNN reported:

The United Nations' refugee agency is bracing for a stream of refugees fleeing the war in Iraq, but its spokesman Tuesday said the agency had seen "no substantial movements" across Iraq's borders into Turkey and Iran.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 09:17:00 AM

Happy Cows
From the LA Times:

A lawsuit charging that California cows aren't as happy as an advertising campaign implies has been thrown out by a San Francisco judge.

Thank goodness. I love the Happy Cows commercials and if you're not careful, I'll start transcribing them.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 09:02:00 AM

Ah, the answer
A little perspective from Grouchy Old Cripple. (link via HobbsOnline). I can sleep now. Tomorrow I think I will write myself a note and put it in my pocket. It will say "Did you misplace your sense of humor?"

(Hmm. That's the second blog entry tonight that started with "perspective". What would Freud say?)
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 04:56:00 AM

Could I fight?
I applied for ROTC once and then backed out. I wasn't afraid of dying. I was afraid they'd ask me to kill someone. I say that not as a rationalization but because I remember the moment in the interview when the interviewer told me that, as a woman (in the 70s) I'd be out of harm's way but I might be expected to push a button that would cause someone else's death. I said thank you very much and left, cancelling my appointment for the medical exam.

One of my cases has taken a turn for the nasty. I discovered in one of life's too few moments of insight that I can remain calm no matter what's being directed at me. It's when I make the decision that I will be compromised by "staying above it all" and it's time for me to start tossing a few salvos that I start to lose my focus.

I ran across the old Patton quote tonight. "The purpose of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his." I'm not sure I could do it. I used to think it was a sign of how evolved I was. I'm not so sure now. Now I think it's just a different form of cowardice.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 04:45:00 AM

Bad signs
I'm up and posting at 4 am, even though I took the sleeping pill I usually avoid because it causes me to sleep too much. I check my email and get irritated that no one has replied to the last group of notes sent out. Then I realize that oh yeah, it's 4 am and no one's been awake since I sent them. It's one thing to be wide awake. It's another to be so wide awake that you expect the rest of the world to just stop sleeping and get up to play with you. I rarely give free reign to my inner preschooler like this. Fortunately, it's daytime in Iraq. The news channels act like I'm supposed to be awake.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 04:35:00 AM

A NYT article worth reading
A perspective on the number of casualties in war and the public tolerance for a certain casualty level. No answers but questions we all should start thinking of.

I was halfway through it when I checked to make sure it really was the Times. Next I'll be agreeing with Helen Thomas. Then it'll be time to cash in.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/27/2003 03:51:00 AM


Someone found this site looking for the search words girl +scout +porn. I assure you they didn't find it.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/26/2003 09:27:00 PM

Recall roundup 3/26
There will be much information available today. Unfortunately, I will be in deposition all day and unable to get it to you until tonight. For the major news articles out this morning, (the Bee, the LA Times), you can find them linked at today's Rough & Tumble.

UPDATE: Here's the direct links. I include all the quotes because the site's most frequent user, the Calblog husband, is too lazy, I mean busy, to click through.

Davis recall effort receives go-ahead
After two rejections for errors, backers can now collect signatures
: Why does this petition have a chance when al other recalls of CA governors have failed? Here's why:

Russo said anyone could download the petition onto a home computer, print it out, sign it and drop it in the mail. "This is as simple as paying your electricity bill," he said. "And by the way, when you do pay that electricity bill you'll remember why you want to download that petition and mail it in."

Dan Walters: Davis' weakness is evident as fellow Democrats turn on him:

The remarks of Angelides, Bustamante and Lockyer are understandable in a purely political sense. All three are likely contenders for the governorship in 2006, and none owes any political debts to Davis. But O'Connell has been considered to be one of Davis' few semi-friends in politics, having championed much of the governor's education reform program. For O'Connell to go public with even indirect criticism of Davis' budget is a strong indicator of just how weak the governor's position has become in recent weeks.

LA Times:

Supporters of a Davis recall must collect at least 897,158 valid signatures of registered voters to get on the ballot. Under a timetable set by Shelley, it could take until Dec. 12 to gain state certification for an election.

The next regular statewide election is the March 2004 presidential primary, but it is too soon to determine whether the state could put a Davis recall proposal on the same ballot, said Shelley spokeswoman Terri M. Carbaugh.

Note: the March election is the Presidential Democratic primary! skewing the voters democratic (at least theorectically).

San Diego Union-Tribune: has the AP report.Nothing in the SF Chronicle.

Blog sightings at So Cal Law, which is worth your attention anyway and damnum absque injuria, which may someday switch to an English name for the spelling-challenged among us.

Sour grapes moment: Nothing on the Political State Report for CA. When they started, I offered to be a contributor but was turned down because they had enough. When my sour grapes moment passes, I'll email Richard Bennett and ask him to post something since he's posted the previous recall info bits there (though I see that he's gone and there are only Dems and Greens in CA). Did I just say what I think I said?

UPDATE: I corrected the So Cal Law link. It is worth a look. And I will find time this weekend to update the links on the side.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/26/2003 07:05:00 AM


Recall Roundup 3/25 Special Edition
The petition is approved. The AP report is an hour old, according to this. Signature collection can begin tomorrow. More as I find it.

UPDATE: The petition is available online here and here.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/25/2003 09:21:00 PM

Identical Quadruplets Reach a Year
As a mother of twins, I have a special interest in multiples. Take a look at this report.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/25/2003 09:18:00 PM

Recall Roundup 3/25
From Sunday's Oakland Tribune:

Major likely Democratic candidates for governor in 2006 -- including Attorney General Bill Lockyer who hails from the East Bay -- did not rule out the possibility of challenging Gov. Gray Davis, a fellow Democrat, in a possible recall election later this year, analysts said.

No info on the petitions.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/25/2003 06:21:00 AM


So you write and code and try to build a blog that will get you some readers, maybe even a few people who'll send you an email now and then. It's all about conversation, even if our conversations are onesided monologues on different blogs.

Than you watch a war on TV and post a few random thoughts, just to keep them from bouncing around your head and all of sudden you're the search result for "Al Jazeera and POW and tape" and people start streaming through the door. If the links in the notes below haven't sent you to where you really want to go, let me know what you were looking for. I may have seen it in my trials.

I noticed that Xrlq's newly named blog damnum absque injuria is getting hits for "operation Iraqi freedom".
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/24/2003 09:24:00 PM

Litigation Notes
How was the trial? Nice of you to ask. At the start of the day, the judge told us to head into the jury room for 15 minutes to try and settle it. Six hours later, we did. Was it a good settlement? Well, both sides hated it so, as the old cliche goes, it must have been a good settlement. If I was mediating, I would have been pleased but today I was the trial lawyer ready to roll and unless we got a steal of a deal on settlement, it would have been and was disappointing. Settling on the courthouse steps gives you all the work of trial and none of the fun. However, the client buys certainty and it happens.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/24/2003 09:18:00 PM

Comments on the war are hit and miss here, mostly when I want a diversion from preparing for the trial which starts in an hour and a half. For comprehensive coverage, go to The Command Post (their new domain!) and Blogs of War.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/24/2003 08:08:00 AM


POWs cont.d
This news is very disturbing. The tape of the POWs included the bodies of dead POWs. FOX is reporting that the dead appear to have been executed by being shot in the head.

UPDATE: CBS was showing stills from the tape with the faces blurred out. I didn't stick around long enough to know whether we'd see more.

UPDATE: Command Post has details. (link via Instapundit.)
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 08:07:00 AM

Staying connected
Newspundit has the full panoply of newsfeeds. Good news for those us who have to spend Sunday afternoon at the office.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:55:00 AM

Al-Jazeera is airing tape of people purported to be the first POWs, including what may be the first female POW.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:49:00 AM

I still say he's dead
I don't usually disagree with Rumsfeld, but Rummy's assuming that Saddam is "alive and well."
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:47:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/23
The Sac Bee has a few letters to the editor. Judging from the dates of the articles the letters are responding to, these have been laying around a while.

The new controller Steve Westly won't run as a replacement if there's a recall.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:41:00 AM

That grenade attack
When first we learned that the grenade attack was carried out by one of our own, the official motive was "resentment". News announcers reported with many disclaimers that he might be Muslim-American. I figured his religion was a red herring. "Resentment" means he got into a fight with his CO and he was the type of person one should not allow near weapons when angry.

Today's reports indicate that he was angry with his CO (no surprise) because the CO told him he wasn't "moving on" or "going on." Apparently, this is military code for something. I assume not being promoted but I suppose it could mean he had to stay at base during the next set of maneuvers.

If the latest report is true, the question becomes why you would let someone who has been reprimanded near the weapons. There's a reason why someone who has been fired is escorted from the building soon after.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:18:00 AM

Arguing about the War
So many arguments arise because people are working from different assumptions. In fact, if you ever want to resolve a dispute, work backwards from the argument to the assumptions so you can figure out the real point of disagreement. Reconciling those is trickier but at least you'll be in the right place!

The Washington Post article on yesterday's DC protest finally made it clear to me where the dispute on the war is. Forget the containment is working, Bush is avenging his father, rhetoric. Underneath it all the antiwar protestors are making a different assumption. "We're burning a village to save it." "Shock and awe is no different than terrorism." The anti-war protestors are working from a different set of facts. In their version of the facts, we are attacking civilians in order to get the regime to surrender. In my version, we're limiting our attack to the military (and I have yet to see any "collateral damage" much less deliberate civilian attacks) and we're going out of our way to instruct the civilians on how to stay out of the way. If the facts were as the protestors said, I might agree with their conclusions.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/23/2003 07:10:00 AM


Warblogging with kids
Those of you who read the twins' blog know that Maddy has been awaiting the war rather, um, eagerly. Well, here it is and she has paid no attention. Coverage is on 24 hours a day here. Our sleep cycles are disrupted because it is night there when it is day here and vice versa. Yet Maddy has watched not a moment.

Tonight, while it is bright day in Iraq, we have the clearest war pictures yet. Troops surrounding Umm Qasr are on their bellies being shot at by Iraqis. Tanks have rolled in to give the troops cover. Maddy chatters on obliviously.

Two hours into it, in an effort to at least shush her, I point and say "there, see that building? The Iraqis are in there."

"There are Iraqis there?" she asks incredulously.

"What did you think?"

"Isn't this practice?"

"No, this is the war."

"How did the reporters get there? There were no reporters in the Civil War." Now, you may have thought a more appropos comment to be "there were no reporters in the Gulf War" but Maddy focusses as only she can.

"Every unit has reporters with them. We've been watching the war for three days now."

"Oh, NOW I get it!"

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/22/2003 11:41:00 PM

Recall Roundup 3/22
What? You thought I forgot?

From the Fresno Bee:

At a demonstration against spending cuts, Cruz Buustamonte didn't say a word about a recall effort being waged against the governor.

Not long after the event, the Recall Gray Davis Committee sent out a release saying it "joined Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante ... in a march and protest against ... Davis."

Bustamante calls it "a deceptive attempt to try and lend credibility to their long-shot recall campaign."

The national tax-limitation committee has quite the pro-recall/anti-Davis screed on its website. It should be read only by those looking to be pumped up against Davis, not for those tracking the petition.

The official recall site has audio of a debate about the recall from the Laura Ingraham Show.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/22/2003 09:26:00 PM


Litigation Notes
I am no less busy but we have beaten all the cases into a position where they now fit into the scheduled. Today is loosely structured but starting Monday, there isn't a free moment for a while. I don't mind that, though. What drove me stark raving mad was the ever-shifting scheduled in which I often had several things scheduled at once and moving them was futile since it was unclear which would move later. Now I'm litigating like an alcoholic, one day at a time.

You may recall my story of a bizarre employment case we have. There was a 4-hour hearing yesterday in a forum that usually schedules one-hour hearings. To back up my claim that this matter is truly unusual, a particularly experienced judge was specially requested from another office to come in and hear this matter. He was requested by the hearing agency, not the parties. As experienced as he was, he indicated that this was indeed the most unusual case he had ever seen. The hearing started with disclosure of yet another proceeding that we had never heard of and had never received notice of. The judge was skeptical but reviewed the file and learned that, indeed, no one had ever sent us any notice.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/21/2003 07:00:00 AM

Mediation Notes
Trying to add email to my mediation tools is slowgoing. As part of the initial scheduling call, my secretary asks for the e-mail address. It's like pulling teeth to get it.

I had a private (ie non-court-ordered) mediation scheduled for today. One side wrote the other side and told him to be there or suffer the consequences. The mediation is not going forward. Oddly enough. It's not a problem since the jury trial scheduled for last Monday is going forward after all on the coming Monday and may or may not be a jury trial. In addition, the scheduling counsel does not want to mediate either.

If you want to mediate your case, any mediator worth their salt can talk you through the process of trying to get it into mediation. For free too.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/21/2003 06:49:00 AM


Warblogging, day 2
Xrlq wonders if Saddam is dead or alive and calls the LA Times the Daily Monopoly. Justene says dead, dead, oh so dead and the Wall Street Journal offers home delivery. Local news? We don't need no local news.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/20/2003 10:07:00 PM

Quiet time
Blogs of war is giving the minute by minute update. There's a "break in the action" which I can't understand. The reporters have their chemical gear off. I understand litigation lulls and I can talk clients through them. A war lull is beyond my expertise so I'm going to sleep on the couch.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/20/2003 02:23:00 AM

Live or Memorex?
Sullivan thinks it was Saddam. And the NYT apparently bought the speech hook, line and sinker. Sullivan and the Times agreeing? I wonder if that was the real Sullivan or a body double?
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/20/2003 02:03:00 AM

Some of the weapons being shot by Iraq are apparently weapons that inspectors couldn't find.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/20/2003 01:54:00 AM

The trial that was set for Monday (three days ago) was kicked into a settlement conference. After 2 sessions, Monday and yesterday, we did not settle. In 7 hours, I have to call the court and find out when I start trying the case. So at the normal hour of 11 pm, I went to bed. Two hours later, I'm up and watching the news. Suman Palit, one of my favorites, is blogging and nervous.

I'm not. Watching the first two hours, I think we're ready. The Saddam after the first strike did not look like Saddam to me. I'm betting double though the networks were suggesting a tape. His lower teeth looked odd but I'm having trouble locating an earlier picture at this point. Now I'm watching the reporters put on the gas masks and chemical suits was chilling but they looked calmer than an LA anchor during a tremor. Saddam's firing at Kuwait, not Israel. We've intercepted the scuds that have been launched. It is the horror that was predicted . . . yet. But wouldn't someone (like Saddam) be giving it all they have by now?
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/20/2003 01:52:00 AM


Recall Roundup 3/15
The Ides of March. Surely I can come up with something comparing Caeser and Davis. Nah.

It's been almost a week since the last roundup. Status quo has not changed. For those just joining us, there are main recall groups; the official group, which has submitted the petition for recall to the secretary of state, and will be running the effort to get it on the ballot (headed by Ted Costa and I sometimes call it the Costa group); and the unofficial group, which is mounting a grassroots type of campaign (headed by Howard Kaloogian and I sometimes call it the Kaloogian group).

My involvement is of interested bystander. I'm not fond of Davis but I am unclear what a recall effort would do and I tend to think that an unsuccessful recall effort would help Davis. I think the effort will get on the ballot. In fact, I have a vested financial interest in it -- I bet a friend 25 cents that it will get on the ballot. I will be surprised if it wins once it is on the ballot given Davis' ability to raise money and campaign.

When last we left this tale, the petition had been submitted to the secretary of state and it ws rejected. On Tuesday, March 11, Worldnet Daily had an article attributing the rejection by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, a Democrat, to political shenanigans. Worldnet Daily is not an unbiased source and conspiracy theories crop up in their articles a bit too often for my taste but I do suspect that Shelley was being rather picayune in his review of the petition. Worldnet says that Davis bought off the professional signature-gathering firms. I addressed this theory already here.

Also on Tuesday, heavyhitter George Will discussed the recall over at Town Hall.

To my surprise, I got a direct mail piece in the good old US Mail from the Kaloogian group asking for a pledge to collect signatures and a financial contribution. Why was I surprised? Press reports had suggested that any direct mail campaign would be prohibitively expensive and we should not expect one. Nor had the sites indicated that money would be spent on direct mail. For the record, I am not contributing.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/15/2003 09:03:00 AM


The Week in Review
It was an interesting news week. The Serbian prime minister got assassinated and Elizabeth Smart came home. Guess which one was bigger news? Yeah, I admit it, I cared more about Elizabeth Smart too.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/14/2003 08:25:00 PM

Between now and April 28, I have four trials. My officemates are starting to mimic me "Hello, my name is Justene and I have four trials." So it's been a long week. Here's a glimpse.

Monday: My "of counsel" lawyer, Becky (yeah, that's her real name -- you could read it on the website) is headed off to a final status conference on case 1 -- the trial set for Monday the 17th. I have a conference call on one of the nonprofits I work with because I am due to lead a board retreat discussion for them on Thursday night. Then a 10 am mediation. We've narrowed case 1 down considerably. The main defendant is out of cash and we struck the answer and let them enter judgment. All we have left is a court trial on whether the shareholder is liable as a successor entity. One of the twins is due to get her cast off at 10:30 so our sitter is taking her.

It all started to go south right away. The trial was a jury trial. Who knew? Jury fees were posted a year ago before we substituted in as counsel and neither the file or the court docket showed any evidence of it. Becky calls from the courthouse. We can't figure why anyone thinks this is a jury issue anyway and plaintiffs counsel has stacks of exhibits on the underlying tort against the defaulted entity. I spend the first part of the morning on the phone instead of leaving. We manage to get the case limited to the successor liability but its still a jury trial.

I had to take the conference call in the car. My clients and friends are very patient people. I do not have a quiet ride vehicle and I'm not the world's best driver. The noisy conversation is often punctuated by cries of "hang on, I need both hands" and "Damn that driver". Hands free is not an option due to the open air atmosphere of the car.

I arrived at the office and, irritated as all get out, I have to put on my conciliatory mediator face. Somehow I settle the case in an hour and a half only to leave the mediation and learn that the babysitter has forgotten my still-casted child. And I have a noon lunch to get to.

My secretary leaves to take the child to school since it is too late for the doctor and I fly out to my lunch. I get there on time, only to realize I was supposed to call my lunch companion and confirm that I finished the mediation on time. Naturally, I have forgotten the cell phone.

That was Monday morning. It got no better. I spent all week juggling cases and volunteer responsibilities and kids. At one point, opposing counsel asked me what amount my client thought he was due and I had to run through six cases in my head to try to focus on the damages in the case he was talking about.

The interesting thing about being that busy is that I can't really slow down and calm down. So I maintain balance by throwing in calls and emails with friends. I think I spoke to more of them this week than I had in a long time.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/14/2003 08:11:00 PM


Blogging will be light. Trials coming up at the office.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/10/2003 09:05:00 PM

Fun in the Middle of the Night
Take a gander at this rant over at Emily Jones' Give War a Chance blog. For my liberal readers (both of you), she's complaining about how poorly Bush did during his press conference, so you'll enjoy it too. Her conclusion:

Indifference to the destiny of your nation, beating up old ladies...Miss Jones, you are a terrible person.

I know, but at least I have a sense of humor. Now, either buy me a beer or go away.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/10/2003 01:12:00 AM


Recall Roundup 3/9
The official site for the recall is pulling no punches -- claiming outright that Davis bought off the signature gathering firm. Their link for this statement is the 3/6 Talev article in the Bee which also hit the Contra Costa Times on the 7th. That article says that the firms were worried about losing business but doesn't say that Davis bought them off.

The site also has Ted Costa's official response to recent developments. For those keeping score, he promises the revised petition on Monday, giving Shelley to the 21st to approve or reject it. (That's not how I count ten days, but I just report what's out there.)

Meanwhile, Daniel Weintraub in Sacramento Bee has an opinion piece today entitled Davis recall still possible, despite dread of pooh-bahs.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/09/2003 08:16:00 AM


Recall Roundup
The Talev article from the Sacramento Bee, quoted here on the 6th, ended up in the Contra Costa Times yesterday.

The LA Times has a poll out. Davis' approval rating is down to 27%. Respondents oppose the recall 51% to 39%.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/08/2003 11:31:00 AM

It's International Women's Day. I walked a 5k for mental health this morning (raised my endorphins, shouldn't be depressed for a couple of hours now) and then I plan to spend the rest of the day cooking and cleaning. We're having a murder mystery party tonight set in the 50s so I have to get in character, after all. And yes, I think this is an appropriate way to celebrate International Women's Day -- doing exactly what I want to be doing.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/08/2003 11:05:00 AM


Is it time for my Weekly War Post?
Probably not, but Bush is speaking tonight, I think we're going in soon, and I may not have time for another one! Here's a hopeful list of Ten Predictions about Gulf War II.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/06/2003 10:34:00 AM

Hey, I resemble that remark!
Lileks and Joanne Jacobs make fun of a handout on "peaceable parenting" that reassures children that the World Court will protect them. Lileks:

They need the sort of ironclad, monster-proofed, nightmare-banishing power that the WORLD COURT can provide. Don’t worry about the boogeyman under the bed, honey; daddy will petition some Belgian jurists to issue an injunction

Joanne Jacobs:

Nothing would satisfy her string of what ifs until I pointed my finger and made a "pow" sound: "I would shoot the wolf," I said. With my finger, apparently.

That satisfied her. I don't think a UN debate on the meaning of the "consequences" clause in Anti-Wolf Resolution 6794 would have done it.

Now, in fairness, the peaceable parenting handout deserved some, ahem, criticism, but who says lawyers can't be scary. When the twins were younger, they'd ask what I did at work. Of particular interest were those days when I shunned my comfy clothes and put on the BLUE SUIT with the NYLONS and got out the MAKEUP.

"Where are you going Mommy?"
"To court."
"What will you do, Mommy?"
"Some bad people are trying to hurt my client's business and Mommy has to stop them."
"You can do that Mommy?"
"Yes, I'm going to go talk to the judge and that'll take care of it."

To this day, my children address their fears by saying "if anyone did that to me, I'll have Mom sue them." Take that, you bad guys.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/06/2003 06:27:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/6
From the Sacramento Bee, we have the report that professional signature gathering firms, worried about losing other business, won't take the recall (similar to yesterday's Chronicle article but with a little more flavor) and, surprise, surprise, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has rejected the petition. Here's a long quote:

In the second development, lawyers for California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley told Costa that he must make at least 23 revisions to his proposed recall documents before he can begin collecting the 900,000 voter signatures needed to hold a special election to determine Davis' fate.

Those adjustments range from correcting spelling and punctuation errors in proposed signature-gathering petitions to issuing a new newspaper advertisement notifying the public of the recall campaign.

Costa has 10 days under state law to make those changes. Shelley's office then has 10 days to review the new submission. All told, it will likely be April before Costa can begin collecting signatures.

To Democrats, the two developments suggested the recall campaign -- which was announced in early February but has yet to garner significant financial backing or bipartisan support -- is fizzling.

Ok, I'll say it, fizzling or being beaten by behind the scenes political games?

On a curious note, how hard is it for Costa, if he gets $2 million, to just start his own signature gathering firm? Is it the difference between depending on the good will of volunteers and paying people to stand out there and gather signatures, with daily pep sessions back at the office (or via conference call)? Or is there more to it? It seems to me that a number of people could take $2 million and get it done.

Also, on the same curious note, show of hands, how many of you, when approached to sign some petition, think you're dealing with a professional signature gatherer rather than someone who is involved with the cause?
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/06/2003 05:52:00 AM


First the Condi rumor, now this.
Chargers move to LA? I live very close to the Rose Bowl and I really like the Chargers. I could be very happy.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/05/2003 07:23:00 AM

Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Gut Rumbles. Acidman is like Richard Bennett for me. They've got some interesting stuff in there but there's other stuff that I just wish I hadn't read.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/05/2003 07:22:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/5
The Chronicle reports that the recall is beset by trouble. I could have told you that. I didn't because you could figure it out too. The Roundup has gotten shorter and shorter. The petitions aren't out and we (ok, I) have been looking for them for a while now.

The Secretary of State's decision to certify the petitions is due today. We'll see where it goes now. However, I would be concerned about this piece in Sunday's Bee that the head of the recall movement was speaking to a neighborhood association. I'd think he would need larger venues.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/05/2003 07:14:00 AM


If you're not a fan, move on and don't start watching now. Pick up Season 1 on DVD if you want. Wait for Season 2 on DVD, too.

If you're watching, riddle me this: does the real President (and you can refer to any President in history to avoid the expected jokes) know this little about what's going on? The Joint Chiefs wander in and inform him of plans for war they've had all along?
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 09:58:00 PM

A House Fire in the Middle of the Blogosphere
I'm fussing about the comment program and Lynn Sislo's lost her whole blog. She's moved back into her old space. Stop by and visit. She's feeling particularly lonely. You might want to bring a covered dish or a jello mold.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 09:53:00 PM

The comment program is back up. I don't know why it was down. I responded to a couple.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 02:58:00 PM

The Vatican and Anti-semitism
There's an interesting discussion of this issue over at Instapundit, which is filtering through the blogosphere. As a practicing Catholic, I think it's incumbent on me not to form an opinion unless I do my own research. However, I do think it's an issue that should be looked at and discussed and not swept under the rug. Instapundit has the level of involved readership that makes for a full discussion and he's smart enough to link to and post the differing viewpoints.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 10:13:00 AM

Recommended Reading
If you're not reading The Kolkata Libertarian, you should give it a try. Some amazing writing by Suman Palit.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 08:09:00 AM

Recall Roundup 3/4
Yesterday's SF Chronicle: Davis Recall, Let's Roll
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 08:06:00 AM

Twins separated at Birth
I love stories like this. Especially the "uncanny similarities". There's a new one in today's Chronicle.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/04/2003 07:52:00 AM


Boxer Watch
Dan Walters reported last week in the Bee that Boxer was now the high profile liberal target. The article in the Chronicle on Condi running for governor said she had declined to run for Boxer's seat. The most frequent name mentioned as an opponent is Bill Simon. Other usual names such as Bill Jones are also rattling around. Notably absent as proposed opponents are CAGOP darling Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock, who came closest to winning in the Democratic sweep of offices. Arnold is making movies and McClintock is working on the recall.

This is not the way to go after a target.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/02/2003 07:55:00 PM

Recall Roundup 3/2
SF Chronicle: Greens consider joining forces with GOP on Davis recall; Progressives, minorities disillusioned with governor, analysts say

I know it's a cliche that politics makes strange bedfellows but this is farther than most of us imagine.

And an interesting observation in the LA Daily News:

But I don't think even the fanatics expect to defeat Davis in this recall. Their real plan is to drain Democratic Party campaign funds, distract politicians from dealing with budget realities and force them instead to play politics, and generally throw some mud around, hoping more of it will stick to the Democrats than to themselves.

Odd. I thought the conventional wisdom was that the recalll, with no limits on fundraising, will give Davis free reign to raise more than ever. I don't think the Republicans in CA could ever drain Davis campaign funds.

UPDATE: The official site has been updated. Still no petitions yet.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/02/2003 07:37:00 PM

Religious Education Congress
According to the LA Times, there were over 30,000 Catholics in attendance this weekend. Yet I ran into many I knew. I stopped at Disney's California Adventure for lunch with the family today (annual passes make a "stop" possible.) I ran into no one I knew. I don't know what the Disney attendance was but it probably exceeded 30,000.

The point of all this is that I don't really have a sense of how large a crowd is. 30,000 sounds large but, being there, it didn't seem that large.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/02/2003 07:35:00 PM


Recall Roundup 3/1
Nothing new today. Really. I updated yesterday's roundup late in the day so you may have missed that. (It's below the looong post that resulted from sitting quietly all day in seminars.) Here's an op-ed from last wednesday's San Diego Union-Tribune that slipped by: Will Davis recall simply make matters worse? and the Kaloogian site seems to have a few stories that I didn't pick up.

posted by Justene Adamec at 3/01/2003 06:32:00 AM

The Pledge of Allegiance
You remember that 9th Circuit decision banning teacher-led pledges of allegiance to the flag because of the "under God" words. There was some, um, commotion when it came out. I wasn't commoting, you know. It was either 1. an aberration or 2. a symptom of something larger. If it was a symptom of something larger, well, I already knew about the something larger and a new symptom wasn't going to work me up. Come on, folks, California has 1/5 of the US population. Weren't you paying attention to what was going on out here?

But I digress.

The judges of the three-court panel immediately stayed their decision pending an en banc hearing by the entire Ninth Circuit. Yesterday, that panel upheld the decision. Here we go again. Will the war overshadow the outrage?

UPDATE: How Appealing has the full roundup of newspaper reporting and reaction to the decision.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/01/2003 06:18:00 AM

Maybe, Just Maybe
With Saddam destroying missiles, the Arab League calling for him to step down and Iraqi soldiers defecting, maybe war can be avoided. I'm sure that some will see this as proof that Bush and the pro-war faction were wrong, although I can't imagine how any of it would happen (if it does, I hope, avoid war) if there was not so much threat that we would go in. That's ok. If Saddam is gone and the Iraqi people are free, then opinions won't matter to me. Others can fight that battle.
posted by Justene Adamec at 3/01/2003 05:48:00 AM

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Comments on So California news, law, and politics by Justene Adamec. There are occasional forays into other topics because, after all, it is a blog. Offline, I am a lawyer and mediator. Email justenea -at-

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