Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, April 10th, 2012.

Oops! Zimmerman’s Lawyers Can’t Find Their Client

Trayvon Martin

The Associated Press is reporting that George Zimmerman’s attorneys are withdrawing from his case because they can’t locate George Zimmerman. They haven’t spoken to him since Sunday. They also say that, against their advice, he contacted the special prosecutor who may bring charges against him.

Update: Another little tidbit emerges — Zimmerman spoke directly to Sean Hannity at some point, his former lawyers say.

Update: Here’s a video of the attorney’s press conference from MSNBC.

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GOP Denial and the Gender Gap

Mittens, Women's Issues

The gender gap is real, and it’s bigger than it’s ever been since the dawn of political polls. So says Steve Kornacki.

Republican and their media sympathizers respond to this challenge by either denying the gender gap is real or by mistaking us for caterpillars. And then there’s the Michael Gerson route, in which Gerson admits the gender gap is real but denies it has anything to do with Republican maneuvers on contraception or other “women’s” issues.

The media — ever drawn to simple explanations that reinforce their own cultural expectations — have diagnosed Romney’s gender-based electoral weakness as the result of his opposition to the contraceptive mandate. This is both initially plausible and demonstrably false. More than 60 percent of American voters don’t even know Romney’s position on the mandate — a topic they rank near the bottom of their political concerns. And when pressed, a majority of women affirm that religious institutions should be exempted from the mandate.

First — the issue is bigger than just the contraception mandate. It seems that for the past several months there has been one “women’s” issue after another the GOP has bungled. Second, the gender gap is being driven by one particular slice of the demographic pie — college-educated women under the age of 50. They are stampeding to Obama in droves. And you can bet your Jimmy Choo spike-heel booties that those women understand the contraception issue (and everything else) better than Gerson does.

Hilariously, Gerson thinks Mittens can win women back by taking a page out of Dubya’s 2000 playbook, which was co-authored by Gerson …

In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned — in both the primaries and the general election — on increasing the quality of education for poor children, on humane immigration reform and on expanding care by faith-based organizations for the addicted and homeless. These issues were personally important to Bush. They also signaled to independents and women that he could think beyond normal ideological boundaries. This form of “compassionate conservatism” is now broadly reviled among conservatives. The need for an analogous agenda, whatever it is called, remains unchanged. To secure a decent shot at this election, Romney will need to offer some positive vision for the common good.

In other words, the guy already famous for his off-the-cuff remarks about the thrill of firing people, ending Planned Parenthood, and telling financially squeezed college students that they just need to find a cheaper college — and let us not forget the dog — will figure out how to fake caring? Well enough to fool anybody? Right.

See also Ed Kilgore.

Oh, and Frothy is suspending his campaign.

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The Grand Jury Decision: Something That Means Nothing

criminal justice, Trayvon Martin

I wasn’t going to write anything about the decision to not take the Martin-Zimmerman case to a grand jury, because it doesn’t mean anything. But yesterday I kept running into people on the Web who were wailing that it meant the prosecutor will let Zimmerman walk. No, it just means she’s not going to seek a death penalty.

But then this morning I read this, by Tim F. at Balloon Juice:

It seems likely that George Zimmerman will walk for shooting an unarmed teenager. The special prosecutor has more or less thrown up her hands and I can hardly blame her, caught between that stupid law and the absolute hash that Sanford PD made of their initial response. That, at least, might go punished. I have some hope that the Federal investigation into their department will at least shame the Sanford PD into doing a better job next time

I would have just left a comment at Balloon Juice, but I seem to be on the twit filter there as none of my comments ever show up on the threads. So here goes — grand juries are only required in Florida in capital murder cases. The prosecutor doesn’t need a grand jury to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. Further, I’ve read this particular prosecutor, Angela Corey, has a history of not bothering with grand juries when the law does not require them. Her decision to not use a grand jury doesn’t tell us anything about where she might be headed, one way or another.

But a grand jury outcome would have been unpredictable, and it’s also my understanding that Trayvon Martin’s family had preferred the case not go to a grand jury.

My understanding is that the original prosecutor — the one who was trying to sweep it all under the rug — scheduled a grand jury after the public outcry began. No doubt he thought dumping the case on a grand jury would take the heat off him. No doubt it didn’t work.

In other Zimmerman news, it appears the Zimmerman family has put up a website soliciting donations for Zimmerman’s defense and featuring a photograph of the vandalized black cultural center at Ohio State University (click to enlarge):

click to enlarge

Charles Johnson asks, “Could Zimmerman really be this dumb?” That would be my guess, yes.

Speaking of dumb, alleged pastor Terry “Islam Is of the Devil” Jones, who likes to draw attention to himself by pulling stupid Koran-burning stunts to get U.S. troops killed, led a rally in support of Zimmerman. (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” — Matthew 7:20, King James Bible)

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