Pontificator: News and Commentary

Saturday, October 26, 2002 :::
The public figures who lost the most standing in the sniper investigation were the TV "profilers" (including the omnipresent Cliff Van Zandt). Their most common refrain was a statement along the lines of "the sniper is probably watching me now as I speak." It now appears that the sniping duo lived in their car with no TV -- and may never have seen any of the bloviating profilers (much to their chagrin). Think this seems petty? It's more important than that. The general focus on profiles (the angry white loner with chip on his soldier and a soldier of fortune subscription), may have caused the police and the public to miss the real killers, who did not fit any of the profiles bandied about on the cable networks by the celebrity-wannabe profilers. Hopefully, next time a faceless killer stalks a community the police and public will keep an open mind and not be brainwashed into focusing on just a select sub-section of society identified by the ubiquitous profilers.

It could have been more serious. What if they never caught the real killers and later threw the book at some poor schmuck who fit the profile? That's what happened to Richard Jewell and what may now be happening with Dr. Stephen Hatfill. Dr. Hatfill certainly fits the "profile" of the Anthrax mailer -- a loud-mouthed scientist, with wild lies on his resume, with expertise in germs and diseases, and with possible extreme right wing views and military experience. Could it be him? It certainly could, but it probably isn't, and the law enforcement and media focus appears to be based on little more than these sketchy "profiles" of the possible suspect.

::: posted by Pontificator at 2:48 PM

Friday, October 25, 2002 :::
Note to Minnesota Farm Labor Party (the Minnesota Democratic party), and Jesse Ventura. Walter Mondale?

::: posted by Pontificator at 4:20 PM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002 :::
MEDIAWATCH: MSNBC's sniper coverage tonight is far surpassing that of CNN and Fox. They've got the sources, they've got the coverage, they've got more information than the other two also-rans put together.

::: posted by Pontificator at 10:42 PM

Monday, October 21, 2002 :::
The sniper case gets weirder and weirder. Could this be all about money?? From CNN:

"Investigators found a handwritten note in the woods near the Ponderosa. One source close to the case said the note contained "significant content."

Sources said investigators found the note after a caller to the investigation tip line said there was a note for police in the woods near the restaurant. The phone call, placed after the Saturday night shooting, was traced to a location in Richmond near where the man with the minivan was picked up Monday.

Sources said the note "hinted at a demand for money."

Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Chief Charles Moose, who is heading the sniper investigation, issued a brief, cryptic statement Monday. "We are going to respond to a message that we have received," he said. "We will respond later. We are preparing a response at this time."

It was not clear whether Moose was referring to the letter found in Ashland, or to a newer communication."

::: posted by Pontificator at 2:19 PM

The battle for control of the Senate is going down to the wire, and it is now looking like the races are even-steven, with neither party gaining or losing. Having reviewed a variety of polls and analyses today, I have arrived at following opinions with respect to party turnover:

Talent will take out Carnahan -- a pickup for the GOP in the Show-me State -- R+1

Thune will pick off Johnson -- a personal defeat for Daschle in South Dakota -- R+1

Strickland will overtake Allard, and revenge his '96 loss in Colorado -- D+1

Pryor will defeat Hutchinson -- no one likes a hypocrite, even in Arkansas -- D+1

And thus we are even.

One wild card, however, is Shaheen-Sununu. Northeasterners really don't Republicans at the national level anymore, even in New Hampshire. Sununu is an attractive candidate, but Shaheen may pull off an upset and give the Democrats one more seat for the next Congress.

Those are my predictions, on the record, just over two weeks out. Let's hope I'm dead wrong and the Dems pull off a clean sweep.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:31 AM

Sunday, October 20, 2002 :::
Bill O'Reilly, who regularly hurls unfounded attacks against attorneys on his Factor show, apparently has no problem using them himself in the most overbearing and heavy-handed way possible when it's in his interest to do so. Spin that O'Reilly!!!

He's still fun to watch, though (yes, I admit it!). Thanks to www.oreilly-sucks.com for the link.

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:55 PM

Talkleft announces the good news that the Denver Post endorsed Tom Strickland (D) for Colorado Senate over Wayne Allard (R). This endorsement carries considerable weight: in 1996, the Denver Post did the opposite and endorsed Allard over Strickland. Let's hope this endorsement gives Strickland the critical momentum needed to carry him over the top.

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:24 PM

The National Pen Association (N.P.A) is getting really upset about this latest new law-enforcement technique employed in the sniper investigation. National spokesman Wayne LaPen says this is only the first step in the government's insidious plan to confiscate every American's pen! After that, only criminals will have pens!!

::: posted by Pontificator at 3:55 PM

Everyone is assuming that last night's sniper attack is related to the horrific string of beltway snipings. One thing, however, which no-one has commented on, gives me doubts. The bullet is still in the poor victim's body. As stated in the Washington Post:

"Complicating the effort to link this case with the earlier shootings closer to Washington was the fact that the bullet in this latest case was not removed from the victim during this three-hour surgery last night."

Isn't the sniper using a high-powered rifle strong enough to send bullets through people and out the other end? I'm no ballistics expert (and wouldn't know a .223 from a b.b. gun bullet), but this seems like an unusual fact to me -- and suggests that this new attack may be the work of a copycat. Any other bloggers have any expertise on this subject?

::: posted by Pontificator at 3:35 PM


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