Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Last Week: 5-8-1 Upset specials 0-0-1
Season to date: 113-110-7 Upset Specials 7-9-2
In case you have missed the news, the idiots in Hollywood who can't come up with any new ideas have decided to tackle one of the Mt. Rushmore '80s Movies of Alltime: the Karate Kid. As if the disaster that was Karate Kid #4 did not warn them of the perils they face in trying to recreate the magic that was Morita-Macchio, they're now gonna try it with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Hey, dipshits...the Karate Kid was a perfect storm of '80s bliss. Macchio hitting his Tiger Beat apex; Billy Zabka in all his villainous glory; a young, Lolitta-like Elisabeth Shue; and Joe Esposito at the top of his game (You're the best around...).
First they bastardized Can't Buy Me Love. Now the Karate Kid. Soon...we'll have to deal with Tom Cruise's kid in Red Dawn 2010. Give it up, Hollywood. Keep your hands off of our memories!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
For those who did not follow the story, Bill McGuire is an attorney for the Capital Defense section of the South Carolina Office of Indigent Defense. Back in September of this year, McGuire began the defending Colin Broughton in a Berkley C0unty death penalty case. Broughton was eventually convicted, but a mistrial was declared during the death penalty phase of the trial, resulting in Broughton receiving a sentence of life in prison. Before anyone starts complaining about tricky lawyers and technicalities, Broughton had offered to forgo a trial and plea guilty in exchange for life. The State refused. He then offered to plea guilty and skip the guilt/innocence phase of the trial and deal strictly with the death penalty phase. The State refused. So in the end, after all the brouhaha, McGuire got the result of his client he had been trying to get all along. As impressive as that is, that's not why we choose to honor Bill McGuire.
McGuire is our man of the year for what happened during the trial.
The saga began when McGuire was offered help from Charleston lawyer Beattie
Butler. A circuit judge ruled that Butler could only pass notes and whisper in
McGuire's ear during Broughton's trial.
McGuire fought that ruling, claiming it stemmed from some personal
issues the judge had with Butler. Adams, who is McGuire's boss, then requested
that McGuire drop his effort to expand Butler's role in the courtroom, according
to an affidavit McGuire filed in the case.
McGuire not only didn't heed Adams' advice but also folded it into his defense. McGuire said he understood that Adams' request was initiated by the judge and relayed to Adams through S.C. Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal.
"The moment Mr. McGuire was forced to choose between ethically
representing his client or 'taking a dive,' the die was cast for Mr. Broughton,"
McGuire said in a pleading.
The mistrial ended a death-penalty trial that had hit several snags even
before it began. Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson recused herself a month ago,
shortly after McGuire raised an issue about her ruling prohibiting defense
attorney Beattie Butler from speaking during the trial.
S.C. Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal showed up at a pre-trial hearing
in which McGuire tried to get the possibility of a death sentence set aside.
Toal never took the witness stand, but McGuire said his boss, S.C. Commission on
Indigent Defense Director Patton Adams, had relayed a message from Jefferson via
Toal that McGuire should drop his attempts to allow Butler to speak.
Rauch Wise, a Greenwood lawyer on the board of the National Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the order banning Butler from speaking could be
fertile ground for an appeal, particularly because the order didn't come in
response to any disruptive behavior by Butler in the case.
"I just think it goes against American tradition to tell a defendant
that you can't be heard by competent counsel who is there to defend you in the
courtroom," Wise said. "It just simply makes no sense."
Rauch was right. It did go against American tradition. Lucky for Mr. Broughton, he had his very own Atticus Finch.
At one point, Judge Nicholson, in ruling on whether or not McGuire should be relieved (a request McGuire filed on behalf of his client due to the inherent conflict McGuire felt the actions of Adams and the Chief Justice had created) stated that Mr. Broughton should hold Mr. McGuire on a pedestal considering the lengths McGuire had gone to in representing him. We concur.
In November, Bill McGuire received the first ever "Champion of Justice" award from the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. SCACDL created this award to specifically acknowledge and honor the courage McGuire showed in not only standing up for his client, but in doing so at great peril to his own career. Consider for one moment the fact that Bill McGuire subpoenaed his direct boss and the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court into court for the purposes of having them take the stand so that they could be questioned about conduct which McGuire was arguing was unethical. As SCACDL's President Drew Carroll remarked: "There are a lot of lawyers who talk about the lengths they would go in defending their client. Bill, he did it."
In accepting the award, McGuire was incredibly humble noting that he felt it was an easy decision to make. He simply asked himself what was right and then did it. He made it seem as if any other criminal defense lawyer would have done the same thing.
We can tell you that while we would like to think all criminal defense lawyers would risk their careers as such in advocacy of their clients, we're not so sure they would.
So the BTPC salutes Bill McGuire, our Man of the Year.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
FALCONS (-9) v. Bills
Chiefs (+13.5) v. BENGALS
BROWNS (-3) v. Raiders
PACKERS (-14) v. Seahawks
GIANTS (-7) v. Panthers
Jaguars (+7.5) v. PATRIOTS
SAINTS (-14) v. Bucs
STEELERS (-3) v. Ravens = UPSET SPECIAL
Rams (+14) v CARDINALS
Jets (+6) v. COLTS
Cowboys (-6.5) v. REDSKINS
BEARS (+7) v. Vikings
This week 1-0
Season to date: 108-102-6 Upset Specials 7-9-1
Friday, December 18, 2009
In 1990 Ned's Atomic Dustbin urged us all to kill our televisions. It's a good thing we did not. Little did we know that the next decade, the Aughts (2000-2009), would see this medium achieve perfection and take the place of movies as the preferred medium for storytelling. If we learned anything the past decade, it's that given creative rein and a decent budget, today's storytellers can make a compelling product that doesn't just entertain us, but it rewards viewers who put in effort with an even better experience.
Emily Nussbaum has an article out about the Aughts being the decade of TV. Her opening paragraph says it all:
On January 16, 2000, Big Pussy slouched up Tony Soprano’s driveway, hiding his
terrible secret. It was the first episode of the second season of The Sopranos,
and everywhere, on cable and network, artful programming was on the rise. In
April, HBO aired The Corner, the precursor to David Simon’s The Wire; in May,
Buffy the Vampire Slayer closed its fourth season with the dream-finale
“Restless.” In July, Freaks and Geeks completed its single perfect season. Sex
and the City was a national sensation, The West Wing had begun the previous
fall, Jon Stewart was finding his feet on The Daily Show, Adebisi was murdered
on Oz, and Curb Your Enthusiasm debuted, violating the premise that viewers
couldn’t tolerate a hateful protagonist. HBO was in its heyday; TiVo in its
infancy. As Sinatra crooned over The Sopranos’ opening scenes, it was a very
So as the year winds down and you're out looking for last-minute gifts, give a present that encapsulates the decade that is passing. Hook someone up with a season of The Wire, Deadwood, Lost or The Shield. It'll probably be one of the best gifts they get.
We did much better last week, coming in at 9-6. We definitely need to keep up a better pace these last three weeks if we want to finish the regular season at our goal. What is our goal? 56%. All you got to do to be in the black is hit 56%. Anything over that is gravy. Ummm....gravy. Anyway, the Jags made a game effort last night, but not quite enough to keep us from starting the week out in a 0-1 hole. Let's hope the Saturday night game gets us even and we run the table color-of-money style on Sunday. Meantime...the big story this weekend is the snowstorm moving up the east coast. One game, Chicago at Baltimore, has already been pushed from 1pm to 4pm and there were serious concerns of whether or not all the teams could get to their destinations on time.
This week = 0-1
Last Week: 9-6 Upset specials 1-1
Season to date: 103-94-5 Upset Specials 6-9-1
Thursday, December 17, 2009
If you enjoyed the movies Gran Torino and Up, then you're going to love this Christmas' latest from Pixar. Warning...this movie is probably not as kid friendly as the the rest of Pixar's stuff. But it is a good vehicle for teaching your kids racism, redemption and crumudgeoness.
Enjoy. (Hattip Jaime).
Friday, December 11, 2009
We do not condone violence as an answer to any situation. We especially do not condone violence against women (and children and dogs). But it was awfully hard to see the tease for next week's Jersey Shore and not be utterly entertained when idiot Brad Ferro had enough of stupid, self-proclaimed guidette Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki, and pulled a right-turn-Clyde on her.
The shame of it is, I feel like these two were meant to be Afterall, Snooki just wants to find a tan, juiced-up Italian guy and live in New Jersey. I think you may have found your man, Snooki.
BTW, let's give Pauly D and his hair product some propers too. Way to punch the dude as security is hauling him off in a half-nelson. Stay classy, Jersey Shore.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
COLTS (-7) v. Broncos
This week = 1-0
Last Week: 5-10 Upset special 0-1
Season to date: 94-88-5 Upset Specials 5-8-1