Royally Kranked

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Public Fury, Private Whimpers

It appears that for all his blustery bluff, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner desperately wants to have things both ways regarding the FBI search of Rep William Jefferson's office

Sensenbrenner has been the loyal lackey for W, a status it's obvious he still desires, in spite of his faux public outrage about the raid

And how do we know this?

There's Sensenbrenner's seemingly blunt public pronouncements

For all of the shifting landscape, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, a loyal White House ally, made his position clear with the title of Tuesday's hearing: "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?"

"The issues involved in this unprecedented action by the executive branch transcend any particular member," Sensenbrenner said Tuesday.

Considering the fact that Sensenbrenner's outrage over Constitutional violations doesn't extend to warrantless spying on the vast majority of US citizens, perhaps it's not surprising that he's trying to achieve results by NOT holding the Administration accountable with any meaningful legislative oversight of the Executive branch

Democrats said a member of the Bush administration, and not just legal experts, should have been called before the panel to answer for the raid.

"We've never been told why the search had to be done in the middle of the night," noted ranking Democrat John Conyers of Michigan. "We've never learned why the member in question was not permitted to have his attorneys present while his offices were searched for some 18 hours."

And which specific Dept of Justice documents have been subpeonaed by the House Judiciary Committee, well.......

One witness at the hearing, former Rep. Bob Walker, R-Pennsylvania, said Congress should play hardball in seeking answers to its questions by subpoenaing administration documents authorizing the raid.

Take that to mean NONE

And really now, if Sensenbrenner was trying to hold the Administration accountable, wouldn't the best time to do so be when public attention is at it's highest?

Sensenbrenner, said to be among the most exasperated House members by the May 20 raid, cut the Bush administration a break by holding the hearing during Congress' Memorial Day recess when Capitol Hill is a virtual ghost town.

So, apparently for Sensenbrenner, "Executive Branch Oversight"=NO Administration officials=No Administration/DoJ documents subpeonaed=holding a hearing during a Congressional recess

I'm sure the Administration is quaking in it's institutional boots with such strict oversight from the Congress

Friday, May 26, 2006

Nosy School Board Member AKA "Gladys Kravitz" Gets Smacked Off Her Moral High Horse

Nothing quite as sweet as the US Taliban getting BitchSlapped over their butting into everyone else's business

And with kids like the those who stood up to their attempted Censor, there's absolute hope for the future of this country

From the linked article, here are the books at issue

The books are "Beloved" by Toni Morrison, "Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut, "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin, "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, "The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World" by Michael Pollan, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers and "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" by Julia Alvarez.

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Book-ban debate long, impassioned

More than 500 northwest suburban residents turned out Thursday night for a long and impassioned debate on a proposal to remove nine books from a high school district's reading list, which some said was an attempt at censorship but others supported as an effort to protect students from smut.


More than 350 people signed up to speak, and the meeting room at district headquarters was filled to capacity. Audio of the meeting was piped into an overflow room.

The controversy over the books erupted this month when board member Leslie Pinney flagged books that she said contained explicit sexual images, graphic violence and vulgar language inappropriate for students.

The first image I had when I read this article about Leslie Pinney was of another busybody too nosy for her own good

Thankfully, and most enjoyably from a sheer Schadenfreudistic perspective, the extremists were smacked down by the majority of those who showed up and spoke their piece

The majority of community members who spoke Thursday night were against a ban.

And how humiliating must it be for the apparently easily-afflicted "Gasp & Swoon, Fainting Spells impresario Board Member Leslie Pinney to have been addressed bluntly by some of her students who Leslie Pinney decided-before actually getting their input-had to be shielded from the side of life not covered by Rose Colored Glasses, Happy Little Elves & Adorable Rainbow Ponies

"We deserve the chance to read these books if it pleases us," said Rolling Meadows High School sophomore John Bark, directing his comments to Pinney. "We think for ourselves, regardless of your attempts at censorship. Someone with as much influence as you shouldn't worry about literature. You should be focusing on the drug problems and violence.

"I respect your standpoint on this issue, but you have to understand that we, the students of District 214, will not stand for it."

Resident Bruce Pincknell was one of the few who supported Pinney's plan, saying that teachers promoting the books were motivated by their own progressive social agendas.

The material in the books is obscene at best and pornographic at worst, he said.

Actually, sounding like a member of the ignorant rabble, Bruce Pincknell has that completely backwards, pornography is legal, obscenity is not, and neither are legally accessible for those under 18

A few conservative groups have rallied to Pinney's cause, referring to the books as pornography on their Web sites and urging supporters to attend the board meeting.


At Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, about 100 students protested the proposed ban Tuesday by covering logos and slogans on their T-shirts with duct tape. Students then wrote "Censored" on the tape, said sophomore Scott Leipprandt, who started an online petition against Pinney's proposal.


But as individual challenges to books appear to be declining, the number of organized challenges is rising as conservative groups such as Virginia-based Parents Against Bad Books in Schools comb through titles and post excerpts on the Web, said Judith Krug, director of the library association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

"They pick out the things that offend them, like individual words, situations and sexual incidents," Krug said. "They have a right to do it, and that's fine. But when they attempt to remove materials so no one has the choice to read them or not, then we take offense. Because what they're doing is saying, `I know what's good for my children and your children,' and that's not their right."

Once again, if these parents & moral busybodies don't want their kids to read these materials, fine, go ahead and ban away, keep your kids as naive as possible

But when these weak-faithed jackasses start bleating about banning books for OTHERS' children, that's when they've crossed the line and that's when they need to get put in their proper place

And put there HARD

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Congress To W-We Get To Break The Law Too

So here's what's becoming more apparent about the elitist politicians rallying around sleazebag Representative, William Jefferson

Why is it this issue, and NOT the NSA's warrantless spying on US citizens, that has pushed the entire House leadership-both Dems & GOP-to insist that this a "Constitutional Crisis"?

I submit that this is Congress' way of leveraging themselves to W's level of legal and judicial accountability

The Congress is telling the President, "Hey, we'll let you make all the power plays you want at the clear expense of the Constitution, just so long as we're held to the same legal accountability as you hold yourself to. Let us not have to worry about being lawfully searched, and we won't give you a hard time with the Unitary Executive powers you're making up out of thin air"

What other attitude can account for what Pelosi and Hastert are demanding here from the Justice Dept and the FBI?

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House Leaders Want Return of Items Seized in FBI Search

House leaders from both parties escalated a confrontation with the Bush administration Wednesday, demanding the return of all materials seized in an unprecedented FBI raid on the office of a congressman under investigation for bribery.


Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the top House officials, said in a rare joint statement: "No person is above the law, neither the one being investigated nor those conducting the investigation."

Setting aside their usual partisanship, they also demanded that the FBI agents involved in the search be taken off the case.

So, return all the seized items AND reassign the FBI Agents involved is how the House Leadership wants to play this issue, and we're not supposed to look at that as the Congress trying to make itself both relevant AND above the imperial powers W's trying to grab for himself

This President has clearly and consistently pushed Congress and the Senate aside time and again, and the concept of Executive Branch oversight has been an idea the GOP has had absolutely ZERO interest in exercising

Until now

But with active investigations into various members of Congress, their families, their staffs, former staff members now lobbying their former Congressional employers, suddenly that legal oversight is political manna from Heaven when it comes to insulating the Congress from yet another of W's power grabs

Warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, no big deal, it only affects those not lucky enough to buy their way into the House & Senate

The President issues an illegal on-it's-face executive order that allows corporations to not disclose records to the SEC in the name of National Security, and the Congress does it's most "what, me worry" institutional shoulder shrug

But by God, the idea that a lawmakers office can be searched with a legally issued warrant, well that's just such a breach of institutional etiquette that it's the political version of Miss Manners to the rescue

So here's how to frame the issue

It appears the House & Senate are actually pushing the idea that ANY crime or wrongdoing committed in their DC offices is somehow magically immune from investigation and prosecution, and if the DoJ gives in to these radical claims-which are JUST as imperial as any of W's attempted power grabs via warrantless spying on US citizens-then that's exactly what Representatives and Senators will bestow upon themselves, the right to be completely free from any petty worries via legal troubles, problems and investigations

And if the Representatives and Senators succeed in placing their DC offices strictly off-limits in terms of searches & raids even when carried out with a warrant, then how long until they push for the same legal immunity for their state & district offices as well?

And I'll extend that even further

Back in December, I blogged about the ever wearisome BS in terms of amending the Constitution to ban defiling the US Flag

A question that now arises is how long it would take for politicians under fire to assert that since they're also symbols of the US Govt, they shouldn't have to deal with the defilement of negative public opinion, meaning any and all criticism by the public should therefore be a punishable offense?

This elitist attitude about lawmakers DC offices being sacrosanct from perfectly legal searches & seizures while arrogantly ignoring warrantless searches carried out the public is the most galling aspect of this whole fiasco, and the one that shows how clearly out of touch with the Constitution far too many lawmakers have become

But considering that Congress is even more unpopular with the public than the President is, just how smart is it for the DC politicians to play up that sense of royal entitlement leading into the November elections?

Personally, I hope every single Representative and Senator arguing for this most self-serving of complete legal immunity gets crucified for their UnConstitutional arrogance

But if this group hubris can end up hurting W's imperial claims regarding warrantless spying on the US public, then good can spring from even the most unlikely of places

Here's hoping those pushing the claims pushed by Hastert & Pelosi, and those backing warrantless spying by the Administration ALL crash & burn, they deserve no less

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

GOP Hypocrisy In Rallying Around William Jefferson

I've blogged about why the politicians rallying around embattled Represetnative William Jefferson are nothing but elitists worried about being investigated themselves when it comes to corruption HERE and HERE

And to give further clarification about a charge I've been making since at least December HERE and HERE, consider that those rallying around Jefferson are NOT so heated about the Administration's warrantless spying on purely domestic communications on the overwhelming majority of the US public

This article-posted in full-shows exactly what SHOULD be getting the ire of our elected representatives, this is what they should be all fired up against, not giving a blank check to an imperail President and a clearly corrupt House member

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Gonzales Defends Phone-Data Collection

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said yesterday that the government can obtain domestic telephone records without court approval under a 1979 Supreme Court ruling that authorized the collection of business records.

Gonzales would not confirm the details of a May 11 story in USA Today, which said the National Security Agency had collected phone records of millions of Americans and analyzed them to search for terrorism plots. But Gonzales told reporters that, under the Smith v. Maryland ruling, "those kinds of records do not enjoy Fourth Amendment protection. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in those kinds of records."

The case involved the police, without a court warrant, asking a telephone company to install at its central office a surveillance device called a "pen register" that recorded all the numbers of a robbery suspect's outgoing calls.

Because the device was installed in a phone company's central office, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no invasion of the person's home. And because the telephone account owner knew, through a monthly bill, that the numbers dialed created a phone company record, there was no expectation of privacy and no violation of the Fourth Amendment that otherwise would have required a court warrant, the court said.

Gonzales has previously defended the government acquisition of phone company records on the grounds that privacy protections do not apply to them. But his reference to the 1979 Supreme Court case may hint that a technologically updated version of the pen register has been used on a much wider scale in the NSA operation.

At yesterday's news conference, Gonzales also appeared to soften a statement he made on Sunday about the possibility that a current investigation might lead to the prosecution of New York Times reporters who first disclosed the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping program.

"Let me try to reassure journalists that my primary focus, quite frankly, is on the leak -- on leakers who share the information with journalists," Gonzales said yesterday. He added that he would prefer to "try to persuade" journalists "that it would be better not to publish those kind of stories."

Unless those enraged at the "Breach" of protocol as it relates to searching Jefferson's office-with a search warrant, unlike what's being done by the Administration in terms of warrantless spying on the US public-get just as enraged at this clear violation of the 4th Amendment, they should be seen and treated as nothing but the most empty-rhetoric hypocrites they've so clearly become

Exercise Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch on behalf of the warrantlessly spied upon US public, NOT on behalf of a coleague who deserves NO sympathy in the least for all his self-inflicted problems

Still Rallying Around One Of Their Own-UPDATE

And the easily swooning & gasping elitists, those who don't feel they should be bound by the same laws everyone else has to follow and be subjected to, well, their bleating continues unsilenced from yesterday, and that's the post to read as to why Jefferson's office was searched in the first place, as well as why I feel he's as big a symbol of failure during Katrina as Dear Leader W was

The most infuriating aspect, the one that's really arrogant and insulting is that these same politicians who don't have a single problem with warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, or the Administration outright lying the US into war on Iraq, are now SO outraged by the thought of DoJ action they're rallying around this corrupt, self-serving bastard Rep. Jefferson, and all because his office was searched pursuant to a lawful search warrant

And lets clear up something else as well-A Search Warrant WAS issued, and the search was conducted only AFTER Jefferson refused to turn over documents targeted with a subpoena

And yet, politicians of BOTH parties are aghast that their offices can be searched after subpoena are ignored-All this suggests is that the politicians rallying around Jefferson foresee that THEIR offices might be searched as well at some point

These politicians feel that they're above the law, that because of their status as lawmakers, they should be entitled to presumptions of propriety-their offices being sacrosanct from search warrants-that they would sneer at for anyone else pushing this same supposed outrage being conducted on their business premises

There's so much off-key, hypocritical, elitist caterwauling it's hard to know which blather gets mentioned first, so forgive if this post gets disjointed here-it's very hard to make these paragraphs flow smoothly when it's different articles being linked

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Officials Defend Raid on Lawmaker's Office

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) complained directly to President Bush yesterday about the FBI raid, while House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted a constitutional showdown before the Supreme Court.

"My opinion is that they took the wrong path," Hastert told reporters after his meeting with Bush in the White House. "They need to back up, and we need to go from there."

And isn't this interesting, it appears the DoJ is already backtracking from it's duty to investigate and prosecute-It appears the DoJ is now worried about possible Congressional Oversight on this one issue-Again, the hypocrisy regarding this stand with the one backing warrantless spying on US citizens just cannot be overstated on the part of the GOP and the DoJ

According to one Justice Department official, the White House is sympathetic to Hastert's complaint and is pressing Justice Department officials to figure out a way to placate Congress. White House spokesman Tony Snow said: "We are hoping that there's a way to balance the constitutional concerns of the House of Representatives with the law enforcement obligations of the executive branch."


The attorney general's comments followed a series of sharply worded complaints from Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and Hastert, who said in a lengthy statement issued late Monday that the search raised "important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case." Boehner yesterday referred to the search as the "Justice Department's invasion of the legislative branch."

"I have got to believe, at the end of the day, it is going to end up across the street at the Supreme Court," Boehner said. "I don't see anything short of that."

If there was any thought that this would lead to completely needed oversight of the Administration's warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, I'd be the first one cheering, but the GOP will no doubt not have ANY oversight in the offing concerning that subject

Speaker Hastert Protests to Bush Over Raid

The FBI's raid on a congressman's office is rippling through Capitol Hill, with majority Republicans in the House complaining to President Bush and predicting a constitutional showdown in the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers predict this may be the beginning a long dispute over the FBI's search of Rep. William Jefferson's office last weekend. Historians say it was the first raid of a representative's quarters in Congress' 219 years.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was so angry that he complained to Bush about the FBI's conduct.

Must be nice to yell at the Commander in Chief when your oh-so-delicate sensibilities are offended at the thought of being held to the same standard as all of us non-Congresspersons, the serfs & unwashed rabble, eh, Denny?

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F.B.I. Raid Divides G.O.P. Lawmakers and White House

After years of quietly acceding to the Bush administration's assertions of executive power, the Republican-led Congress hit a limit this weekend.

Resentment boiled among senior Republicans for a second day on Tuesday after a team of warrant-bearing agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up at a closed House office building on Saturday evening, demanded entry to the office of a lawmaker and spent the night going through his files.

And in an astonishing stating of the obvious

Republicans may have a potential self-interest beyond defending the institutional prerogatives of the legislative branch. With some of the party's own lawmakers and aides under scrutiny in corruption inquiries tied to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the former lawmaker Randy Cunningham, Republicans would no doubt like to head off the possibility of embarrassing searches of their members' offices.

BING BING BING BING BING BING BING BING BING, We Have A Winner, and that will be a theme that's mentioned further below

And here come the bipartisan hypocritical bleatings

But lawmakers of both parties said they had no interest in protecting criminal activities or Mr. Jefferson. Their fear, they said, is that the search set a dangerous precedent that could be used by future administrations to intimidate or harass a supposedly coequal branch of the government.

"No member is above the law, but the institution has a right to protect itself against the executive department going into our offices," said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. "We all have in our offices information, letters, correspondence, speeches, etc., that we have written, some of which we may have given to the public, put on the public record, some may not be, which is confidential information, just as the White House has confidential information."

I'm sorry, I guess there have never been legal raids on lawyers offices, and these types of issues-investigations dealing with confidential documents and records-have never come up in our nation's existence before

Even more amusing is that for all their spluttering outrage, politicians don't even have a clue as to how to deal with this "breach" of their protocol

Mr. Hoyer and other Congressional leaders said they were uncertain of what their legal or procedural response might be, though several said a "protocol" for carrying out such a search should be worked out between the Justice Department and Congress. Such an arrangement could cover things like prior consultation with leaders or other notice, how the search would be conducted, who would be present and other details.

"I think it is necessary for us to assert our own prerogatives," said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the deputy Republican whip.

No doubt, especially if those "prerogatives" include keeping Congressional and Senate offices off-limits to legal investigations dealing with unethical, corrupt politicians, mainly seen now due to ties with disgraced GOP superlobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff-a motif coming up with more examples below

Yeah, I can't imagine THAT'S why the GOP is mewling so pitifully on this topic

And this last batch from this linked story sums up-through absence of an answer-just why the politicians should be publicly pilloried as hard as possible for rallying around Jefferson for the most selfish of political reasons

Members of Congress are mindful that much of the public is not familiar with the speech and debate clause, which, among other things, requires that lawmakers be "privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same." Many people may wonder why a Congressional office cannot be searched in a criminal case and what members of Congress are complaining about.

To many lawmakers, that is secondary to the larger separation-of-powers principle they see at risk.

"I clearly have serious concerns about what happened," Mr. Boehner said, "and whether the people at the Justice Department have looked at the Constitution."

Can you please speak up Rep Boehner, I doubt the warrantless spying on purely domestic communications indicates the DoJ is operating in context of our Constitutional protections, namely, the 4th and 5th Amendments, so when can we expect that desperately needed oversight of the Executive Branch?

Oh, right, NEVER with the GOP in charge

There is no sign that Congressional Republicans' discontent over this particular matter may spread into a more general challenge to the administration's expansive view of executive authority.

Again, here's the REAL reason why these parasites are rallying around Jefferson

Office search riles GOP

House Republicans continued Tuesday to strongly denounce the weekend FBI raid of Democrat William Jefferson's congressional office as a possible violation of the Constitution's separation of powers.


Spillover to other probes

Political analysts suggested that the GOP concern may be shaped in part by other ongoing federal probes.

Norm Ornstein, a veteran congressional observer for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said it looks to him as though the Justice Department was on a fishing expedition with the office raid, given all the taped evidence it has already gathered on Jefferson.

What motivates Republican leaders, Ornstein said, is a fear that federal prosecutors are sending a message that they are extending the investigation well beyond Jefferson to include GOP wrongdoing related to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion, and former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., who pleaded guilty to taking millions of dollars in bribes to add defense appropriations to spending bills.

Thomas Mann of the liberal Brookings Institution agreed.

"They must be worried by the expanding Department of Justice investigations following the Cunningham plea and the Abramoff affair, both of which are likely to involve sitting Republican members of the House and Senate," Mann said.

Heaven forfend that self-preservation is the reason Congress is rallying around Jefferson, it's just not accurate to suggest that played any part in the politicians whining about the raid in the least

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Concern About Search by FBI Is Bipartisan

Jefferson's lawyer, Robert Trout, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Over the weekend, he called the search outrageous.

"There were no exigent circumstances necessitating this action," Trout said. "The government knew that the documents were being appropriately preserved while proper procedures were being followed."

As was pointed out, without "exigent circumstances", that's why a search warrant was used in this case, and since Jefferson refused to comply with a subpoena in turning over documents and records, then the "exigent circumstances" excuse holds no water here, not when a search warrant was issued

And in a manner of shooting down these "sky is falling" claims by politicians afraid they might be subjected to the ignominy of being treated like their constituents and having their offices legally searched, so the following can apply to those politicos who increasingly appear as the thwarted villain in the Scooby Doo cartoons about how they would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that, in this case, meddling FBI

Although the unprecedented search has made headlines, the investigation is in many ways proceeding along a normal track, the experts said, with guilty pleas from people who had dealings with Jefferson and their promises to cooperate with the investigation.

And let's hit the hypocrisy meme again

Another analyst said that members of Congress should protect congressional independence, but noted that current GOP leadership has not been nearly as aggressive in demanding information or access to documents from the current administration as it was when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.

"They might be right about the separation of powers question, but they could have left Democrats to make the legalistic arguments that look so bad to voters," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "Instead, it's the Republicans who moved front and center to demand that members of Congress should be treated better than the average American who is suspected of committing a serious crime. People absolutely despise the fact that congressmen think there are two sets of rules: one for Congress and the other set for everyone else."

By far, the most irritating of the Jefferson apologists is Speaker of the House, Hastert, and he's in dire need of a much-overdue BitchSlapping

Hastert tells President Bush FBI raid was unconstitutional

In a statement distributed Monday night, Hastert made it clear that he was not given a heads-up about the FBI’s raid on Jefferson’s office.

In the Speaker’s lengthy statement, Hastert complained that the seizure of legislative papers, no matter how innocuous, was a violation of the “the principles of Separation of Powers, the independence of the Legislative Branch, and the protections afforded by the Speech and Debate clause of the Constitution.”

Hastert also singled out Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in that statement: “It would appear that the Attorney General himself was aware that Separation of Powers concerns existed … because in seeking the warrant the FBI suggested to the judge procedures it would follow to deal with Constitutionally protected materials.”

And Steny Hoyer is only slightly less obnoxious, showing a clear disconnect from how any of his non-elected constituents would be treated in similar circumstances via a search of their offices & workspaces

“No member of Congress is above the law,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters yesterday. “I am concerned about the unprecedented exercising of authority over a separate branch of government and the execution of a search warrant without any communication with the leadership of this House.”

Hoyer said he agrees with Hastert’s concerns and was less than defensive of Jefferson.

“The institution has a right to protect itself against the executive branch going into our offices and violating what is the Speech and Debate Clause that essentially says, ‘That’s none of your business, executive branch,’” Hoyer said.

Uh huh, I'm sure from now on the DoJ and law enforcement authorities of all stripes, at all Govt levels will start giving everyone a heads up when they're about to carry out a search based on a warrant

And Boehner AGAIN undercuts his tiresome rhetoric in not holding this Administration to account over it's warrantless wiretapping of purely domestic communications, those clear violations of the 4th Amendment

“When I raise my right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States, I mean it,” Boehner said, referring to the oath members take at the beginning of each Congress. “[Justice Department employees] take the same oath, so somebody better start reading the Constitution down there.”

Implement your "reading the Constitution down there" BS for yourself FIRST, as raping the 4th Amendment via warrantless spying on the US public with no oversight from yourself is a hell of a beam in your own eye when it comes to upholding the Constitution

And would that Hastert's selective outrage extended to EVERYONE who's involved in warrantless spying on purely domestic communication by US citizens

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Hastert Demands FBI Return Documents

The FBI's raid on a Democrat's office rippled through Capitol Hill Wednesday, with Republicans demanding that the bureau surrender documents and other items its agents seized under what lawmakers said were unconstitutional circumstances.

''I think those materials ought to be returned,'' said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, adding that the FBI agents involved ''ought to be frozen out of that (case) for the sake of the Constitution.''

Wow, so now we need to stop using FBI Agents investigation criminal wrongdoing, I'll just bet John Gotti is doing a victory dance-well, he would be if he hadn't died behind bars like the evil scumbag he so clearly was

A rather apt metaphor for these corrupt politicians, no doubt

Yet there are also examples of higher brain functions and abstract thought, and not being disconnected from the voters and constituents from at least a few politicians as well, one Dem and one GOP

From the NOLA story/link

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was much more restrained than his Republican counterparts in talking about the raid.

"I believe strongly in separation of powers," Reid said. But, he said, when people commit crimes they should be prosecuted, whether "that person is a member of Congress or driving a cab."

"I will be happy to take a look at this," Reid said. "From the little bit that I know about it now, I'm not going to beat up on the FBI."

And from the LA Times link/story

But some members said legislators should be held to the same standards as ordinary Americans.

"Congress should not set itself apart from citizens," Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), a former chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, told the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call. "We should be treated alike when it comes to criminal codes."

A Big "Thank You" to Reid and Warner for not jumping the same elitist shark their colleagues have in this case

And to get an idea of how those of us not in Congress see this issue, go HERE and HERE

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Homophobic Retards March To Their Inevitable Defeat

First off, thanks to Pam for catching some of this info earlier, her blog is one of-if not THE best-in terms of dealing with LGBT issues, and she handles this issue-and its various facets-much better than I do

But every once in awhile, the homophobic retards trying to drag this country down to their knuckle dragging level get a major BitchSlap of justice, and an indicator that they're on the losing side of history, and they know it, and it's ever so enjoyable to bash them when their happy little world view gets blown apart by unassailable reality in This Article and This Article

But before playing the master card here, let's look at the willfully ignorant homophobic retards who will absolutely hate this nugget of info found in A Poll On Fox News, which makes the results especially sweet-smacking these losers with their favorite news media outlet/source

So lets talk about Karl Rove's attempts to pander to the Taliban wannabe faction of the GOP's base, in terms of bringing up legislation that would ban same-sex marriage

First off, it's never apparently occurred to the socially hard-right base that those running the day-to-day operations of the GOP only use these issues to play them for complete suckers-Oh sure, the business agenda gets the big push from the GOP in EVERY instance, and the social conservatives end up waiting for a supersweet payoff that only comes if the GOP's corporate overlords and campaign contributing cronies don't feel personally threatened by the GOP's mobs with torches & pitchforks

Want proof?

Take a look at this US Taliban Wannabe Wingnut site thread from BEFORE the 2004 Elections, and it becomes apparent these are the EXACT same arguments Rove stirred up the rabble with back then

In light of warnings that the Christian Right is threatening to skip the 2004 election unless the Bush administration quits flirting with gays, Palestinian terrorists, abortion-rights advocates, and other special interests that are antagonistic to the Republican Party's conservative base, what do you foresee as the impact of such warnings this early in the president's re-election campaign? Could President Bush be on a collision course with conservatives due to his failure to appease the Religious Right--no matter his stunning performance in dealing with Saddam Hussein? Or is all this talk of a disillusioned political base premature, even counterproductive? Does the President even need to give priority to grassroots conservatives in the first place--isn't he capable of generating support across all sectors of American voters, since his approval rating is exceptionally high? Assuming, however, that conservatives are still very much needed, what should presidential adviser Karl Rove do to build active support for the president among the Religious Right--many of whom are unhappy with the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, U.S. patronizing of the U.N., and the latest plan to divide up the historic lands of Israel? And finally, what would our Founders say about such issues?

I think the founders would say you're a bunch of willfully ignorant dumbfucks who have no place else to turn in terms of even trying to set a permanent social agenda for all nonbelieving others

Why else did W back the Patriot Act over the wishes of some of the socially harder-right base if not to enrich the campaign contributing cronies & corporations the Administration would let organize and administer the databases that would be created in such an effort?

And the frightwing jerkoffs are still whining about the nonthreat Gay Marriage presents to heterosexual marriage and heterosexual wallets today, just like they were in '04

And lets see what truly loathsome idiots we're dealing with here-On the plus side, it's always a pleasure to smack around those who walk unarmed into a battle of wits, and these dimbulbs are better thought of as rhetorical cannon fodder

Anything But The Right Remedy

Besides, there is more evidence that HOMOPHOBIA is genetic than there is that homosexuality is - 98.7% of brothers and sisters of homophobes are also homophobic according to a Christian Anti-Defamation League survey!

Uhhhh, I already KNEW there was a genetic disposition to stupidity-and these assclowns prove that they should NEVER breed, as the gene pool's shallow enough for them already

People are NOT born homosexuals! How dare you blame your Creator for your miserably perverted, shameful sexual habits! You chose to be a sex pervert contrary to the laws of your design and the laws of your Designer. You were born a VIRGIN, and God’s law demands that you stay that way until marriage to the opposite sex.

The easiest way to shoot this down pathetic point is rather obvious-By this standard-homosexuality a choice, not genetic-then the ONLY way one can ever possibly know, with 100% accuracy, if they're straight is to engage in homosexual activity

Of course, if it's genetic, then that's a not a stupid trap to worry about lurching into

One More, just cause it's way too easy and I really like smacking these parasites and lice

Leading serial killers are ALL HOMOS!!!

Donald Harvey (37 murders), John Wayne Gacy (33 murders), Patrick Wayne Kearney (32 murders), Bruce Davis (28 murders), Dean Corli, Elmer Wayne Henley, David Owen Brooks (27 murders), Juan Corona (25 murders), Jeffrey Dahmer (17 murders), Stephen Kraft (16 murders), William Bonin (14 murders)... (New York Times / Associated Press article, 8-15-92)

Yeah, forget all about Ted Bundy, and the impossibility of heterosexual serial killers ever murdering prostitutes, unless you're talking about the Green River Killer, The Hillside Stranglers, well, you get the idea

So by all means, let Rove play that gaybashing card, and here's exactly the views that need to be thrown back in the faces of EVERYONE who's using anti-homosexuality for pandering of the most base, willfully ignorant kind, it's an ugly presentation that those pushing the anti-gay agneda must be forced to either agree with or repudiate publicly

More Willfully Ignorant Jerkoffs Who Think About Two Men Having Sex FAR More Often Than Any Gay People I Know

Jim Rudd, Director of the Christian Street Preachers Alliance, said, "A Biblical overview on the topic of homosexuality reveals the proper methods institutions and civil governments are to apply in treating this activity. After reviewing these methods, one is left with a clear understanding of what the definition of homophobia really is."

Homophobe: A person who is frightened to speak out against the criminal activity of homosexuality. Due to the inseparable association between criminal characteristics and homosexuality, people who suffer from homophobia fear some sort of retaliation from these malefactors. Consequently, the homophobe says and does nothing while homosexuals publicly promote and maintain their criminal activities.


"There is however a clear Biblical distinction between the person and the criminal activity of homosexuality," Rudd said. "Christians reach out to societies by preaching the commandments and calling people and civil-government officials to repentance of their sins through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On the other hand, there is a Biblical mandate upon judges and civil officials to protect innocent people in societies by administering justice on persons committing the crime of homosexuality. These are sacred responsibilities," Rudd added. "Nowhere does the Bible even suggest that Christians are to tolerate civil officials who fall short of their sacred duty to protect innocent people. In fact, the New Testament sets forth examples of eternal fire for those people who tolerate such criminal activity and injustice from their civil officials," Rudd said.

"The good news is, for the homophobe to be healed of this affliction, there is a simple remedy," Rudd explained. "Gradually the homophobe should speak out against the criminal activity of homosexuals and the negligent civil officials who are responsible for allowing the injustice. Publicly demand the civil officials to administer justice by arresting and prosecuting the homosexuals is a good way for them to get started," he said. "As the homophobe speaks out against this crime he will soon realize his fearful anxieties have been replaced with a healthy dose of righteous indignation."

And more "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin" Blather, actually, in this case it's more, "Hate The Sin AND The Sinner", because we all know what a bloodthirsty bastard that Christ fellow was, huh?

Preaching to Sodomites

I read it as a thinly veiled call to possible violence, but that's probably just me-The comments about these bastards not breeding due to an already shallow gene pool goes double for the blasphemous Prick who let his willful ignorance obviously overwhelm his desire for self/abstract thought with the above link

But the best one of all, and the one to play with EVERY single homophobe trying to change the Constitution to institute their repulsive and UnChristian Willful Ignorance, Douglas Sadler

A Charles City man who said he's a member of the Ku Klux Klan is trying to organize a rally next month to protest attempts to legalize same-sex marriages in Iowa.

Douglas Sadler, 41, said his efforts are prompted by lawsuits filed earlier this month on behalf of six gay couples this month to alter the state’s marriage laws.

‘‘We don’t believe God’s law should be perverted any more than it already has been,’’ said Sadler, a Charles City resident and father of four. ‘‘The further we go away from God’s law, the further we get away from God.’’

And here's the ugliest of the ugly, the money quote to end them all, from the KKK homophobe himself

‘‘We don’t believe they have the right to marry,’’ Sadler said. ‘‘In fact, we don’t think they have the right to exist.’’

And there's the disgusting trump card to push in the faces of those who back amending the Constitution to embody their outright hatred of God's Fellow Creations

Do those who push the Constitutional Amendment agree with the above line, how is it justified ANYWHERE in the New Testament, and how can that view still be embraced by anyone who's not white?

It's time to start throwing this evil claptrap back in the faces of those homophobes who rail about the threat supposedly presented by same-sex marriage

And let's wrap up with that which is so stupid as to be cause for amusement at the expense of more mentally challenged of our US Taliban wingnuts

Here's a site that gives us the real scoop on The Lesbian Mafia-Probably not a crew Tony Soprano or the Bush Jr Crime Family/Syndicate/Empire is willing to cross at any point if they're truly as powerful as this creative type suggests

For instance, who knew that heterosexuals are a numerically minority group than homosexuals and lesbians?


This has become a standard, this has become a normal every day practice in America today. That is, to spew hate between all men and women in order to divide and destroy Gods bond between the two. I ask everyone to think about it... Ask yourself ?

From where does this constant vomit against men and women originate ? Do you for one minute think that this just comes about by chance? NO CITIZENS, NOT BY CHANCE: This hate mongering is a master plan promoted by a cartel of (13 million) psychotic lesbians and a majority of established institutions of which they control; and do you know why they are getting away with it? Because they operate under a fictitious image as "Radical Feminists" DID YOU KNOW FEMINISM IS LESBIANISM?

What do you call 100 Lesbians with automatic weapons?

Militia Etheridge

Sorry, that just seemed like the perfect fit

Ummm, "feminism is lesbianism"? I'll be sure to let Barbra Streisand now all about it, along with her MALE life partner/husband, James Brolin

This page is the type of appallingly hysterical humor so at home when Howard Stern pokes fun at these paranoid homophobes

And then there's these guys, with the killer punch line of "I Must Have Been Out Of The Room"

Remember that Poll on the All GOP Cheerleading, All The Time Channel, Fox News, linked to at the start?

Here it is, in all it's glory

Pay particular attention to Question #14, regarding the Top 20 concerns of those polled by Fox News Channel, and notice which issue is NOT on that list

That's right

Gay Marriage

So, please, Karl Rove, if you happen to remain unindicted and as stuck on stupid as you have been recently don't hesitate to play the gaybashing card, no doubt a real winner of an issue to push when gas prices are on the rise and taxes go up on the middle and lower classes to pay for those tax cuts targeted at the already wealthy

Yeah, gaybaiting will show itself to emptying out the wallets of those pandered to, but only by those pushing to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, so go ahead and play this card Rove

It will bite your ass

Rallying Around One Of Their Own

Well, it appears that the GOP and the Dems have found a way to actually rally themselves silly, bipartisan silly, over being held to the same laws Congress insists everyone else follow

bypass registration with this Bug Me Not link

FBI Raid on Lawmaker's Office Is Questioned

An unusual FBI raid of a Democratic congressman's office over the weekend prompted complaints yesterday from leaders in both parties, who said the tactic was unduly aggressive and may have breached the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government.

Rep. William J. Jefferson (La.), who is at the center of a 14-month investigation for allegedly accepting bribes for promoting business ventures in Africa, also held a news conference in which he denied any wrongdoing and denounced the raid on his office as an "outrageous intrusion." Jefferson, who has not been charged, vowed to seek reelection in November.

"There are two sides to every story; there are certainly two sides to this story," he said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "There will be an appropriate time and forum when that can be explained."

Yeah, hopefully when your ass is under oath on the witness stand

Jefferson's the clearly corrupt scumbag who seems an odd choice for the Reps & Dems to rally around with their off-key caterwauling about how unseemly it all is for the authorities to search his Capitol Hill office, something apparently never done in our Govt's history before

The Saturday raid of Jefferson's quarters in the Rayburn House Office Building posed a new political dilemma for the leaders of both parties, who felt compelled to protest his treatment while condemning any wrongdoing by the lawmaker. The dilemma was complicated by new details contained in an 83-page affidavit unsealed on Sunday, including allegations that the FBI had videotaped Jefferson taking $100,000 in bribe money and then found $90,000 of that cash stuffed inside his apartment freezer.

Oh the quandary of focusing on a "Culture of Corruption" while rallying around ethical free-fire zones like Rep Jefferson

About 15 FBI agents, wearing suits, entered Jefferson's office in the Rayburn House Office Building about 7:15 p.m. Saturday and left about 1 p.m. Sunday. Authorities said it was the first time the FBI had raided the office of a sitting congressman.

The FBI is investigating allegations that Jefferson, acting as a member of Congress, took hundreds of thousand of dollars in bribes to promote high-tech business ventures in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana. Two people -- Brett Pfeffer and Vernon L. Jackson -- have pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson to promote iGate Inc., a Louisville-based company that was marketing Internet and cable television technology in Africa.

Jefferson and his wife, Andrea, are targets of the investigation, and the government is moving closer to deciding whether to indict, according to those familiar with the probe.

Lets get real here too-there's blood on Jefferson's hands regarding Katrina-That people died in spite of what was known about the clear weaknesses with the levees, and due to a fiasco-ridden evacuation policy, are direct reflections on politicians in both parties, from the local level, the country level, the state level and the Federal level

Corruption and rampant cronyism meant that money that should have gone toward strengthening those levees, towards coming up with a logical plan of evacuation-ESPECIALLY for the poor and physically infirmed/enfeebled-went instead in the pockets of campaign contributing cronies and family members, and this fleecing at the publics expense cost lives when Katrina hit, New Orleans drowned and people died

Everyone who fleeced even a dollar from the Hurricane Planning & levee construction is to bear for those horror shows at both the Superdome and Convention Center, in which the clear lack of a Governmental response at ALL levels insured that people went hungry, thirsty and unmedicated in the most appalling of conditions of heat and sanitation, and Jefferson is a prime example of what's wrong with our political leadership today-Get ahead at the expense of your constituents, their property and their lives

Jefferson needs to be scourged as harshly as possible, as does every other politician who helped Katrina's devastation come about, but it appears that standard scares defenders of the current elitist leadership and rank & file membership

Hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth when it comes to putting the lawmakers on the same footing as those their laws affect, the perfidy of being held to the same workplace searching standards as their constituents, a truly clamorous Greek Chorus of of foreboding and woe

Republican leaders, who previously sought to focus attention on the Jefferson case as a counterpoint to their party's own ethical scandals, said they are disturbed by the raid. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said that he is "very concerned" about the incident and that Senate and House counsels will review it.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) expressed alarm at the raid. "The actions of the Justice Department in seeking and executing this warrant raise important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case," he said in a lengthy statement released last night.

"Insofar as I am aware, since the founding of our Republic 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing this Separation of Powers line, in order to successfully prosecute corruption by Members of Congress," he said. "Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that "members of Congress must obey the law and cooperate fully with any criminal investigation" but that "Justice Department investigations must be conducted in accordance with Constitutional protections and historical precedent."


At issue is the "speech or debate" clause of the Constitution -- language intended to shield lawmakers from intimidation by the executive branch. Historically, courts have interpreted the clause broadly, legal experts said.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), in an e-mail to colleagues with the subject line "on the edge of a constitutional confrontation," called the Saturday night raid "the most blatant violation of the Constitutional Separation of Powers in my lifetime." He urged President Bush to discipline or fire "whoever exhibited this extraordinary violation."

I'd say this clause is applied far too broadly if a reading indicates that searches can't take place at the offices of our lawmakers, an overly-broad principle also at play with the Administration's dubious claims of imperial powers that it alleges allow the President to violate the same Constitution he's sworn to uphold

And while Dinh's not my favorite legal advisor, I have to agree with his response to those law scholars who felt searching Jefferson's office was "an intimidating tactic that has never before been used against the legislative branch.", and "really an over-the-top move, and it could create some real blow-back problems for them in the courts,"

But Viet D. Dinh, a former assistant attorney general in the Bush administration who is now a Georgetown University law professor, said that "the raid on his offices itself does not define a constitutional issue."

The constitutional privilege for lawmakers does not "expand to insulate everything that goes on in a congressional office, especially if there's allegations of abuse of process or bribery," Dinh said. ". . . The fine line is whether or not it relates to a legislative process or not, not whether they've raided his office."

Absent "Exigent Circumstances", a warrant is required for searches & seizures, and I find nowhere that Congressional Offices are somehow immune and sacrosanct to a legally issued search warrant

In effect, the politicos are upset that while a warrant was apparently presented-and I'm basing that on no mention anywhere in the article that the search took place without one-the documents in question were seized in the raid instead of being turned over after being requested with a subpeona

Oh the shock, the perfidy, the unseemliness of being treated as the lowliest of serfs & peasants

Of course, documents are seized whenever offices and workspaces are raided, so apparently what's required here-besides smelling salts for easily swooning politicians unaccustomed to being treated like their constituents when it comes to the legal process-is less whining from those upset at one of their own being embarrassed due to being held legally accountable for his own actions

And here's why it's odd ANYONE is rallying around a parasite like Representative Jefferson, his own actions during Katrina, in which he used the National Guard to help him at the clear expense of his Constituents

Friday, May 19, 2006

"Law & Order" Is Just A TV Show For This Administration

God, the irony is too rich here, a hard lib like myself is more concerned than the GOP with taking a VERY hard line towards one group of criminals

There's two groups of people I completely despise, and always want to see get hammered as hard as possible legally

Weapons traffickers and human smugglers

With all the empty GOP rhetoric and hoopla about stopping undocumented immigrants, apparently one big area of fighting this "scourge" was given VERY short shrift by this Administration and the GOP

Many Immigrant Smugglers Not Prosecuted

The vast majority of people caught smuggling immigrants across the border near San Diego are never prosecuted for the offense, demoralizing the agents making the arrests, according to an internal Border Patrol document obtained by The Associated Press.

Lets be clear about this-Only complete scum smuggle human cargo up through our Southern border, they make money off the misery of those seeking either work, a better life or fleeing from godawful conditions that put their lives at extreme risk, ala escaping the numerous-mainly rightwing-death squads that roamed Central & South America so prominently during the 1970's & 1980's, most notably in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Uruguay

As if the Border Patrol agents don't have enough troubling aspects of their jobs-mainly finding bodies of those abandoned in the desert and railroad boxcars by the scum smugglers, they also witness their efforts in bringing these bastards to justice thwarted in the overwhelming majority of cases, either by not being charged for any offense, or only charged with much lighter infractions

And the lack of money & legal system personnel play a large part in these nonprosecutions as well

"It is very difficult to keep agents' morale up when the laws they were told to uphold are being watered-down or not prosecuted," the report says.

The report offers a stark assessment of the situation at a Border Patrol station responsible for guarding 13 miles of mountainous border east of the city. Federal officials say it reflects a reality along the entire 2,000-mile border: Judges and federal attorneys are so swamped that only the most egregious smuggling cases are prosecuted.

Only 6 percent of 289 suspected immigrant smugglers were prosecuted by the federal government for that offense in the year ending in September 2004, according to the report. Some were instead prosecuted for another crime. Other cases were declined by federal prosecutors, or the suspect was released by the Border Patrol.

How absolutely infuriating it must be for the agents who catch these misery-traffickers when they're forced to release them, and don't doubt for a second that the smugglers don't go right back to their work the first chance they get-after all, why bother worrying about breaking the law when the system is set up to almost reward that effort in the first place?

And yes, the President bears as much of the blame as anyone here-he has the ultimate in Bully Pulpits, yet decides that style is far more important than substance when dealing with the worst part of the whole undocumented immigrants issue

The report raises doubts about the value of tightening security along the Mexican border. President Bush wants to hire 6,000 more Border Patrol agents and dispatch up to 6,000 National Guardsmen. He did not mention overburdened courts in his Oval Office address Monday on immigration.

Of course he didn't mention overburdened courts, according to the wingnut base who see any skin other than white as less than human, only activist judges make up the court system, and as we all know, unless activist judges are deciding Presidential Elections, then they're all worthless and a threat to our everyday existence

What apparently slipped the mind of the President and his inner circle here is that by not beefing up funding for more legal system personnel, then all that boost of money & resources ala More Border Patrol agents and National Guard Troops patrolling the border is nothing more than expensive window dressing, a complete waste of resources doomed to failure from the start if the only realistic option is to release the overwhelming majority of these human smugglers

And how demoralizing must it be for the entire Border Patrol and law enforcement authorities to realize that they'll be having to release yet more smugglers because of perverted funding priorites

The lack of prosecutions is "demoralizing the agents and making a joke out of our system of justice," said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents agents. "It is certainly a weak link in our immigration-enforcement chain."

The 41-page report says federal prosecutors in San Diego typically prosecute smugglers who commit "dangerous/violent activity" or guide at least 12 illegal immigrants across the border. But other smugglers know they are only going to get "slapped on the wrist," according to the report.

Funding for legal enforcement is THE weak link in this chain, and boosting the resources for more prosecutions of more smugglers would actually do more to hinder the paths of those who enter the country without documents than just locking up & deporting those whose only crime is looking for work, no matter how dirty, dangerous or low-paying

And there's another problem as well-since there aren't enough prosecutors to realistically put a dent in the smugglers efforts, deals & plea bargains have to be cut in order to focus on even more egregious cases where the immigrants are killed in the process-If I was a prosecutor, I'd be both depressed and irate that those smugglers who kill their human cargo are able to use the lack of legal system funding & personnel to their benefit with rather light sentences if they're prosecuted in the first place

The report cites a 19-year-old U.S. citizen caught three times in a two-week period in 2004 trying to sneak people from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego in his car trunk, two at a time.

"This is an example of a kid who knows the system," the report says. "What is true is that he will probably never be prosecuted if he only smuggles only one or two bodies at a time."

The report also cites a Mexican citizen who was caught in Arizona and California driving with illegal immigrants and was released each time to Mexico. He was prosecuted the fourth time, when two illegal immigrants in his van died in a crash, and sentenced to five years in prison.

Two deaths bring only five years

How does that light sentence show a system fully committed to prosecuting the lowest of the low, those who smuggle human cargo?

How does that light sentence show a system operating at as close to 100% efficiency as possible?

It doesn't, and the fact that so many of the anti-immigrant hardliners arent' screaming about the massive need for desperately needed funding increases shows that, at their core, so many of those screaming the loudest about stopping the "flood of illegal aliens" don't really give a damn about anything but skin color as it relates to those coming up through the US Southern border

Because if they WERE serious about cracking down on this aspect of undocumented immigrants, they'd have to accept that successfully prosecuting human smugglers depends on testimony from those smuggled over the border, which would mean they'd have to be fed & lodged in this country until they could testify at trials

U.S. Attorney Carol Lam in San Diego said about half her 110 attorneys work on border cases in an area where the Border Patrol made nearly 140,000 arrests last year. She said she gives highest priority to the most serious cases, including suspects with long histories of violent crime or offenders who endanger others' lives.

"We figure out how many cases our office can handle, start from the worst and work our way down," she said.

Lam said many suspected migrant smugglers are prosecuted instead for re-entering the country after being deported, a crime that can be proved with documents. Smuggling cases are more difficult to prosecute because they require witnesses to testify.

With this lack of funding, only the absolute worst of the worst get prosecuted, and even then, due to lack of resources which requires plea-bargains, those responsible for deaths, as shown in the case of the two dead, get light sentences

I don't blame Lam for this problem, she's making do with what she's got in terms of finances & prosecutors

The problem lies squarely with those controlling the purse strings, the Congress and Senate, and a President who'd rather pander to a badly needed base for purely political gain instead of investing the most minute of "Political Capital" into really trying to make a dent in the problem

The Border Patrol, which would neither confirm nor deny the document's authenticity, said prosecutors in San Diego recently agreed to prosecute a Top 20 list of smugglers if they are caught.

The Justice Department in Washington declined to comment. However, at a congressional hearing last month, Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that Lam's record on migrant smuggling was "a pathetic failure." Gonzales replied that he was urging U.S. attorneys to more actively enforce laws but noted that immigration cases were "a tremendous strain and burden" along the border.

Peter Nunez, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego, said prosecutors along the border struggle with limited resources and a huge caseload of immigration cases.

"This is not an indictment of the U.S. Attorney's Office, because you have to deal with the realities of the caseload, but it is an indictment of how badly Congress and presidents have handled the immigration system," he said.

Sure, short term publicity resulted in the Border Patrol's decision about the Wanted List, but that's absolutely no replacement for serious legal-system funding and personnel

And another aspect of that legal system funding would be for the public defenders needed to represent low-level smugglers claiming indigent status, as those smugglers pulling in a healthy amount per load would be able to afford competent legal representation

The current policy towards smugglers is focused on walls and high tech toys instead of where it's needed the most-in the legal system

The report says immigrants in the area paid an average of $1,398 to be guided across the border in 2004.

"Smugglers are making lots of money breaking the immigration laws, and there is not much incentive for them to stop these illegal activities," it says. "The smugglers know that even if they are caught, it will be difficult to punish them."

You want to put a REAL dent in the numbers of undocumented immigrants?

Then hit the employers with heavy fines, the larger the employer, the heavier the fines and prison sentences. Then go after the smugglers as hard as possible legally, with heavier fines and prison sentences for the more well-off smugglers and their operations

But walls and high-tech toys alone won't help the Border Patrol, no matter how many more agents they're assigned, not as long as funding for legal system resources and personnel are nothing more than mere afterthoughts for publicity hungry politicians worried about appealing to their hate-filled base

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Trust But Verify" Has No Place In This Administration

The only logical reason I can think of for the kicker at the end is that

A. Verification is just a big waste of time for a President who clearly loves spilling as much innocent blood as possible

B. Actually verifying Adminstrative claims removes the possiblity for Dear Leader W, our draft-dodging, budget-busting ChickenHawk with Delusions of Grandeur, to play Commander Codpiece and call himself a "War President" at every possible opportunity

U.S. Proposes New Disarmament Nuke Treaty

The United States on Thursday proposed that the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament negotiate a new treaty banning production of the nuclear material needed to make atomic bombs.

Stephen G. Rademaker, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for arms control, told the body that developments in the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran showed it was time for a rapid agreement on the treaty to ban production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, known as "fissile material."

"The treaty text that we are putting forward contains the essential provisions that would comprise a successful legally binding FMCT," or Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, Rademaker said.

"It bans ... the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices," he said.

Rademaker said the proposal has widespread support and would give the conference a positive role for the first time since it completed the ban on nuclear bomb testing 10 years ago.

"The only possible avenue for progress in this conference is to concentrate its efforts on the one topic on which we most likely shall be able to take action," he said.

Of course, this is the same guy who trumpeted those completely bogus WsMD in Iraq and Saddam Hussein/al-Qaeda ties/claims as well, something the Iranian Govt was ultraquick to point out.

Eslamizad said that U.S. criticism of Iran's nuclear activities was reminiscent of similar, incorrect allegations by Rademaker in an early 2003 appearance before the conference when he said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and had been collaborating with al-Qaida against the United States.

"A couple of months later it was the American troops attacking Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction," he said. "Later on it was the U.S. troops themselves who said they could not find any weapons of mass destruction or any real linkages between the previous Iraqi regime and al-Qaida."

He suggested that Rademaker's remarks might be taken as "the omen of repetition of what the Americans did with Iraq."

Rademaker responded that Iran was merely repeating its usual defense that all nuclear material in the country has been accounted for by the IAEA.

"The question is, is there any undeclared nuclear material in Iran? And that's the whole issue," Rademaker told reporters.

No, Rademaker, you ignorant slut, that's NOT the "whole issue"

With US Troops underquipped, understaffed and overextended across Iraq and the world, the issue is just what can the US do about Iran getting nuclear material and setting up nuclear power in it's borders

Add to that China & Russia ruling out ANY use of force to bring Iran in line, and it becomes apparent that the Administration is NOT saber rattling here, it's empty scabbard rattling in a pathetic attempt to appear relevant in an area it has no leverage now

And seeing as how the US must get China & Russia's approval for any actions carried out by the UN Security Council, the Adminstration is left with basically ZERO cards to play at the international table

The U.S. proposal is only 3 1/2-pages long, much shorter than what many treaties become. And it would go into force with only the approval of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council _ Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

3 1/2 pages, skimpy proposal from an Administration that skimps on details and vital funding for so many of the causes it supposedly holds dear

And then, the REAL kicker, and what led to the title of this post

Rademaker noted that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of the 1960s went into effect with the approval only of Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States and that other nations _ including nuclear powers France and China _ joined later.


Another step to get the treaty passed faster was the U.S. decision to leave out any verification measures. Rademaker said that could take years to negotiate and that U.S. officials thought it better just to sign the treaty and rely on countries to abide by it.

So we just trust to those who sign this skimpy treaty that they're living up to it?

Exactly HOW does this proposal increase US Safety, and how is this not about the most blindly naive policy this Administration has EVER proposed?

With policies like this, there's no problem of shooting down the GOPbots & W lackeys anytime they play the "Well, there's been no attacks on US Soil since 9-11"

It's obviously due more to luck than any real work the Administration is doing to keep the US public safe while upholding the US Constitution

Oh wait

The Administration ISN'T keeping the public safe, and it sure as hell isn't upholding the same Constitution it rapes on a daily basis

Everyone involved with this idiotic, naive proposal deserves nothing but BitchSlaps of the most public and humiliating kind

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Melissa Nails It Again

Shakespeare's Sister Is Right

We're NOT Being Governed

We aren’t be led forward. We aren’t growing, or moving toward a glimmering future, or blazing a new 21st century trail. We are stagnating. And the first signs of decay are starting. I look around my community (and others like it)—a middle class suburban town that borders increasing urbanization toward Chicago on one side and rural farms for endless miles on the other—and I see a community in decline. Subtle things, that no one else seems to notice, as they happen ever so slowly. The schools and the library and other public buildings aren’t quite as clean, quite as kept-up, as they used to be. The streets aren’t quite as clean. The potholes and the cracked sidewalks don’t get fixed as quickly, or at all. There are more houses around town that need fresh paint, more vacant retail spaces. Little things. Little degrees of difference. But they’re everywhere, when you really look.

They’re the little things that indicate that salaries aren’t keeping up with inflation, that local and state governments don’t have the funds they used to. Belt-tightening everywhere. The house can go another year without paint. The City Hall can go another year, or two, without tuckpointing. We can get rid of a couple of sanitation trucks, give up a couple of salt trucks in the winter. We don’t need two toll booths onto the interstate open; one is fine. Little things that no one really notices, to stave off the rot for as long as we can.

Little things that happen in communities like mine before crime starts to go up in communities that aren’t as fortunate, communities that don’t have any give in their belts to begin with.

Read the whole thing, depressing, but SS has it pegged so tight the conclusions are inescapable

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

If The Dems Don't Go For The Throat Now, They DON'T Deserve To Win

What this article means is that Dear Leader knows he's now got BIG problems concerning his treason as it relates to warrantless spying on purely domestic communications

Bush agrees to review of spy program

The White House, in an abrupt reversal, has agreed to let the full Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees review President George W. Bush's domestic spying program, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The Republican chairmen of the Senate and House panels disclosed the shift two days before a Senate confirmation hearing for Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as the new CIA director, which is expected to be dominated by concern over the program.

The chairmen said separately that Bush had agreed to full committee oversight of his Terrorist Surveillance Program rather than the more limited briefings allowed up to now.

The White House, under political pressure, did agree to conduct a set of briefings for the two full committees earlier this year, but those sessions did not disclose operational details about the eavesdropping.

The GOP is clearly dazed & reeling-unpopular, budget-busting wars that waste lives for no good purpose other than rewarding major campaign contributors with no-bid, no oversight contracts, and nonexistent Presidential leadership while staying on vacation that causes numerous deaths directly after major hurricanes will do that to you-and it's now time for the Dems to take an example from the hopefully soon to be indicted jerkoff Karl Rove and go for the kill

No being nice with the GOP, no giving them second chances or playing by Marquis of Queensbury rules in the hopes that the GOP will finally do the right thing and stand up for the Constitution ahead of selfish party interests, it's time the Dems got nasty and played harder and rougher than they EVER have

The dems better be sharpening up their long knives for this sudden capitulation by the Administration, they'd better decide that NOW is the time for their numerous pounds of flesh, especially as the White House no doubt sees this as a preemptive move ahead of the hearings to confirm Gen Hayden as the new CIA chief. The Imperial President and the nest of traitors known as the GOP are hapless and in complete freefall at this point, and if the Dems DON'T go for the throat, then they don't deserve to win

This is absolutely the PERFECT time to make the GOP damage even worse, it's a complete no-brainer in terms of finally showing badly-needed leadership that usually says "vote for us, we're not as bad as the GOP" It's time for the Dems to show why we should support them, not another example of why we shouldn't vote Republican

Fuck the usual dem milquetoasts, they need to show some uncharacteristic spine for a change-Excepting Feingold, Boxer, Durbin & Reid (at times)

Initiated after the September 11 attacks, the program lets the National Security Agency eavesdrop without a court warrant on international phone calls and e-mails made by U.S. citizens if one party is suspected to have links with terrorism.

It has stirred an outcry among rights groups and lawmakers who believe Bush overstepped his constitutional authority.

Actually, whats really stirred the outcry is the fact that this program is warrantlessly spying on purely domestic communications, in complete contradiction of the safeguards against such conduct-namely, that NO such efforts can be conducted without a search warrant or judicial oversight of some kind, especially as it relates to purely domestic sommunications

There's also the little problem of where the Constitution allows Dear Leader to clearly and unambiguously violate-at will-the same Constitution he and his Administration are sworn to uphold, something no GOPbot or Dear Leader W lackey has been able to do yet

And since it's breathtaking and galling for the most paranoid and secrecy obsessed President & Administration in US History to insist that the citizens make their lives as open a book to the most intimate of Administrative Inquisitors, then that same standard should be applied to the Administration as well, as I want to make DAMN sure there are NO al-Qaeda sympathizers located in either the White House and/or the GOP

Oh yeah, this also means problems with Karl Rove's strategy of "Only the GOP can keep us all safe from that pesky Constitution, & it's sympathizers", mainly because it's now obvious that the Adminstration's view is that the vast majority of US Citizens are al-Qaeda sympathizers to be kept in check at every opportunity

The White House has sought to avoid full committee oversight by limiting briefings to subcommittees from each panel. Initially, the administration shared program details only with the chairmen and vice chairmen of the committees and party leaders in the House and Senate.

"It became apparent that in order to have a fully informed confirmation hearing, all members of my committee needed to know the full width and breadth of the president's program," Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who heads the 15-member Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement.

So blathers & sayeth the Freedom-Hating scumbag BitchSlapped SO effectively last November via Rule 21

Basically, Karl Rove's fire up the base tactics of gaybashing and smearing anyone not in the GOP as soft on terrorism are now just as liable to blow up in his face as they are to hamstring the dems

Of course, as was pointed out here recently, Rove's bizarre comments & political logic in front of the AEI indicates that everything the former wunderkind touches is now turning to lead instead of gold

And poor, spineless Arlen Specter, rolls over & spreads his legs once again for Dear Leader W, although the fact this screwing came less than 24 hours after his latest GOP prostitution has to sting something fierce, as it indicates that no one bothered to let Specter know his latest public disgracement wasn't actually necessary

Had Specter waited just 24 hours, he wouldn't be looking like the eager Administrative lapdog he's so clearly become

It's your turn now dems, and if you don't absolutely crucify, scourge and tear the GOP to pieces at EVERY opportunity, if you don't show true leadership instead of mouthing platitudes of "vote for us, we're less bad than the GOP", then you don't deserve any kind of victory in November or further support from your liberal-but-disavowed-at-every-public-opportunity base

Fuck You Arlen, You Spineless GOP Lackey

Specter strikes NSA deal

I used to like this guy, but he gives into the Administration EVERY SINGLE TIME

Hopefully, Arlen gets his worthless, traitorous ass kicked if he EVER runs for office again

Arlen now feels the same way Dear Leader does, that the vast majority of the US public are al-Qaeda sympathizers

Every single one of these jerkoff politicians who back this warrantless spying on purely domestic communications should be the FIRST to put every single detail of their lives-including the most intimate aspects-up for in-depth public display, that way we can all be assured that THEY'RE not working with al-Qaeda when it comes to attacking the US Constitution

Treasonous Bastards, that's what the GOP is made up of more & more