Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sorry, but you just can't do that...!

Two stories of bigotry and injustice out of Katrina came across my screen and are being retold.

The first tale is an old remnant from Jim Crow laws. The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) uncovered numerous cases "of housing discrimination against African-American persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina" in Texas, Alabama and Florida.

Testing (where an African-American and then a White NFHA employee tries to lease an apartment) showed that in 17 cities, leasing agents either refused to rent to African Americans or gave more favorable terms to Whites.

A press release from NFHA indicates they "conducted tests over the telephone" and in two third of the cases, "43 of 65...White callers were favored over African-American callers."

The agency has now filed "race-based housing discrimination charges" with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Dallas, Birminghan and Gainesville, Florida.

Yep, prejudice and discrimination still go on...

In other news, the two slap happy police officers who beat the dickens out of a retired elementary school teacher during Katrina in New Orleans and the policeman who proceeded to shove and browbeat an Associated Press producer as his cameraman filmed the incident have either been fired or suspended from the police force.

The two officers who used Robert Davis, a 64-year-old retired elementary school teacher as punching bag claimed Davis was publicly drunk. But Davis said he was only guilty of asking the police about a city curfew while looking for a store to buy some cigarettes.

"I haven’t had a drink in 25 years,” Davis said at the time with "stitches beneath his left eye, a bandage on his left hand and complained of soreness in his back and aches in his left shoulder.

During the ruckus, another officer saw a video rolling and told the camera man to stop filming. Rich Matthews from Associated Press Television News then reached out his arm to show Officer Stuart Smith his press credential.

Smith proceeded to toss Matthews against a nearby vehicle, "jabbed him in the stomach and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade." And for good measure, he told him to get the hell out of New Orleans.

So much for Cajun hospitality!

After an internal police investigation, Officers Robert Evangelist and Lance Schilling were given pink slips for their unheroic roles. For his less than genteel conduct, Smith was suspended without pay for 120 days.

All three officers face battery charges and and are due in court on January 11. In the meantime, Davis sued the city of New Orleans for violating his civil rights.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How Perfectly Delicious!

Last night on Countdown sans Keith Olbermann, Alison Stewart interviewed Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.

And in talking to and fro about Bush spying on regular Americans, and whether former White House counsel John Dean was accurate when he stated that Bush can be impeached because he admitted he broke the law, the unthinkable was uttered.

No, we don't mean that Boxer is ready to ask the House to present articles of impeachment. Something even more monumental. The prospect of Judge Alito having to wait until the Senate finishes their investigation on whether Bush broke the law or not.

That's right, no hearings right after Christmas, Boxer proposed. The Judiciary Committee will be too busy investigating Bush to hold hearings on Alito; and after all, Justice Sandra Day O'Conner is perfectly willing to stay on.

Yes siree, wrapped inside the latest Bush scandal, Democrats may have been presented with the holiday gift of "justifiable filibuster." Not because he's a right-wing wacko. Heavens NO!

I mean, surely before any hearings for a new justice can take place, the public needs to find out whether their president broke the law. Bring back Republican talking points during Clinton's impeachment. The rule of law trumps ALL.

And in 2008, Democrats can proudly take their bows before the public on a platform of no more rubber stamps in Washington. They are the party who stood up to King George.

Just let the Republicans holler about 9/11 and terrorists. Democrats can cite the horrific culture of corruption, hint of untold civil right horrors, and remind voters they fought to preserve the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Sleeping Lion Is Awake...

In a follow-up to Bush admitting government surveillance on private citizens, Reuters is reporting that "bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate's Intelligence Committee called...for an immediate inquiry into his authorization of spying on Americans."

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) joined Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a joint letter:
It is critical that Congress determine, as quickly as possible, exactly what collection activities were authorized, what were actually undertaken, how many names and numbers were involved over what period, and what was the asserted legal authority for such activities. In sum, we must determine the facts.
Thank the dear Lord there are true patriots on the Republican side of aisle who hold the constitution in higher regard than partisan and presidential thuggery.

Stop the War, I want our Constitution Back…!

The Fourth Amendment of our Constitution is fairly straight forward:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

For George Bush to claim that he has the authority to spy on Americans in contravention of the Constitution is well…unconstitutional.

Bush is making the insane assertion that he can snoop under the guise of national security. But after Libby and Rove got caught up the CIA outing cover-up, our president didn't have a whole lot of choices.

I mean he wasn't about to repeat past mistakes and deny what journalists knew to be the truth. Bush had no choice but to come clean and now argue he had every legal right to do so.

But the million dollar question inquiring minds might want to ask is why did Bush refuse to initially go before a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court and request authorization, especially since they nearly always grant permission...?

One progressive blogger gave this possible reason, which when one thinks about this administration, makes perfect sense: To get the scoop on political enemies and keep track of them.

Buzz Flash had this to say on the subject: The “reason likely has to do with who was under surveillance, who was being wiretapped and who was being illegally searched.”


“Why, we might see names like Joe and Valerie Wilson, or Richard Clarke, or Cindy Sheehan, among others. The White House wouldn't want even a secret court to know that it was spying on political enemies. This was exactly why the FISA law was passed. To prevent just such illegal political spying by the White House.”

Yes, the New York Times reported the FBI has been busy spying on Americans. After 9/11, former Attorney General John Ashcroft widened the net of suspicious activities to include "groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief."

And earlier, Lisa Myers of MSNBC noted that the Pentagon had spied "on a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., [where] a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools."

Can we please get SOMEONE, ANYONE in Congress to at long last hold Bush accountable for an administration run-a-mok...? What will it take before someone says, “Enough”?

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Weblog Awards are in and the Winners Are..

For Best Blog, Daily Kos won with 21.04 percent of the over-all total votes. Eschaton, another progressive blog followed behind with 15.05 percent. Yukky Michelle Maulkin (from the dark side) came in third with 12.76. Right behind was Talking Points Memo, a liberal blog with 8.08.

In fact, progressives took three of the top four honors in this category, garnering nearly two-third of the votes.

For Best new blog, yep, another progressive won, Yellow Dog Blog.

For Best Group blog, you guessed it, a progressive, Hit and Run.

Best Humor, Jesus General. The general chronicles the Republican Taliban and took one out of three votes. He's that funny!

Best Video, Crooks and Liars. And yes, with the Bush administration and a name like that, you know it's liberal blog.

Oh my, this is an embarrassment of riches.

Best of the Top 250-500, the firebrand progressive blog Fire Dog Lake. Best of the Top 501-1000, another progressive blog, Roger Ailes. Best of the Top 1001-1750, you got it, another liberal blog, The Rebelution. Best of the 1751-2500 blogs, Political Theory Review, another win for the lefties.

The winning streak finally ended when we reached the Best of the 2501 to 3500 blogs. Conservative Musings received a whopping 383 votes.

Gosh, is there even a progressive site that far down the pecking order...?

Leave it to the cry baby Byrd Droppings who came in second with 373 votes to rationalize why conservatives didn’t win until they got to this illustrious category, Best of "Almost-Nothing.”

Lorie Byrd drops this load of crap and writes:

Quite a few liberal blogs (liblogs, as I like to call them) came in first place, mainly due to the fact that in many categories there were only one or two liblog finalists, so the conservative blogs' votes got split. Thanks again. I really do appreciate the support. Congratulations to all the winners...

Geez, I thought conservatives liked to take personal responsibility. Like the reason we didn't win is because the other side has more readers and more votes. And our combined numbers were no match to theirs.

WAH, wah, WAH.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's Official - Election Fraud So Easy "An Eighth Grader Could Do It"

After reading numerous articles on the Internet about the likelihood of voter fraud from Diebold-made voting machines, mainstream media is reporting that indeed the likelihood is very real.

The Miami Herald writes machines could be easily hacked by any computer buff.

"Ion Sancho, Leon County's election chief, said tests by two computer experts, completed this week, showed that an insider could surreptitiously change vote results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold's optical-scan machines."

It looks like the tin-foil hat crowd was right after all!

Lest anyone think Diebold is the only voting machine manufacturer responsible for lack of security, the Herald further reports that "Diebold isn't the only one to blame for hacker-prone equipment."

Indeed, Sancho went on to say that "the Legislature should scrap a law severely restricting recounts on touch-screen machines and equip them with the means of producing a paper trail."

Ever since 2002 when electronic voting became all the rage, complaints of voter fraud have grown exponentially.

'"If there's no paper trail, you have to rely solely on electronic results. And now we know that they can be manipulated under the right conditions, without a person even leaving a fingerprint,'' said Sancho, who once headed the state's elections supervisors association.'"

The Constitution is Saved - for Now!

The Senate voted against cloture and sustained a filibuster against the USA Patriot Act, safeguarding our freedom at least for the day.

Four Republican senators and one Independent joined nearly every Democratic senator and voted "Nay."

When Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) saw the motion was going to be defeated, he switched and voted "Nay" so he could reintroduce the motion at a later date. The law is set to expire on December 31 but before then, no doubt there will be a future motion.

Here is the voting breakdown by senator name and state.

YEAs ---52

Alexander (R-TN)Allard (R-CO)Allen (R-VA)Bennett (R-UT)Bond (R-MO)Brownback (R-KS)Bunning (R-KY)Burns (R-MT)Burr (R-NC)Chafee (R-RI)Chambliss (R-GA)Coburn (R-OK)Cochran (R-MS)Coleman (R-MN)Collins (R-ME)Cornyn (R-TX)Crapo (R-ID)DeMint (R-SC)DeWine(R-OH)Dole (R-NC)Domenici (R-NM)Ensign (R-NV)Enzi (R-WY)Graham (R-SC)Grassley (R-IA)Gregg (R-NH)Hatch (R-UT)Hutchison (R-TX)Inhofe (R-OK)Isakson (R-GA)Johnson (D-SD)Kyl (R-AZ)Lott (R-MS)Lugar (R-IN)Martinez (R-FL)McCain (R-AZ)McConnell (R-KY)Nelson (D-NE)Roberts (R-KS)Santorum (R-PA)Sessions (R-AL)Shelby (R-AL)Smith (R-OR)Snowe (R-ME)Specter (R-PA)Stevens (R-AK)Talent (R-MO)Thomas (R-WY)Thune (R-SD)Vitter (R-LA)Voinovich (R-OH)Warner (R-VA)

NAYs ---47

Akaka (D-HI)Baucus (D-MT)Bayh (D-IN)Biden (D-DE)Bingaman (D-NM)Boxer (D-CA)Byrd (D-WV)Cantwell (D-WA)Carper (D-DE)Clinton (D-NY)Conrad (D-ND)Corzine (D-NJ)Craig (R-ID)Dayton (D-MN)Dorgan (D-ND)Durbin (D-IL)Feingold (D-WI)Feinstein (D-CA)Frist (R-TN)Hagel (R-NE)Harkin (D-IA)Inouye (D-HI)Jeffords (I-VT)Kennedy (D-MA)Kerry (D-MA)Kohl (D-WI)Landrieu (D-LA)Lautenberg (D-NJ)Leahy (D-VT)Levin (D-MI)Lieberman (D-CT)Lincoln (D-AR)Mikulski (D-MD)Murkowski (R-AK)Murray (D-WA)Nelson (D-FL)Obama (D-IL)Pryor (D-AR)Reed (D-RI)Reid (D-NV)Rockefeller (D-WV)Salazar (D-CO)Sarbanes (D-MD)Schumer (D-NY)Stabenow (D-MI)Sununu (R-NH)Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - Dodd (D-CT)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

DNA Shows Alarming Rate of Inmates are Wrongfully Convicted...

As if we needed yet another reason to pass a death penalty moratorium in the United States, the Washington Post reports this morning another story of wrongfully convicted inmates exonerated through DNA.

The case involves two men in Virginia. One was released in 1991 after spending nearly 11 years in prison for assault. The second man has been in prison for 20 years for rape. Both cases “relied heavily” on eyewitness statements.

About a year ago, Gov. Warner ordered DNA to be tested “on a small number of biological samples that had been collected in thousands of criminal cases.”

After finding “two innocent men among the 31 newly examined cases,” Warner has now ordered an “even more sweeping review.” Boxes containing DNA evidence from 1973 to 1988 are to be reexamined “using the latest DNA technology.”

Fortunately for the two saps in the sample, their alleged victims survived. Otherwise they would be receiving their executive pardons in the world beyond. Nothing brings a death sentence quicker in the Commonwealth than a murder linked to rape; and if the victim is White and the accused is African-American, forget about it!

I mean, recall the case of Earl Washington, Jr., an African American male with an IQ of 69 who was accused of raping and killing a white woman.

Only days before he was to be executed, former-Gov. Wilder granted him clemency. Virginia law had a ridiculous 21-day rule that barred any new evidence, but new evidence proved Williams was not the killer.

"I believe a look back at these retained case files is the only morally acceptable course, and what truth they can bring only bolsters confidence in our system," Warner said in a statement.

The statewide mandate marks the first time a governor has ordered such a broad DNA review of criminal cases.

“This is a 7 percent innocence rate -- among people who never even asked for testing -- that should give pause to people who think mistakes in our criminal justice system are flukes," said Peter Neufeld, co-director of the New York-based Innocence Project. "This should be a beacon for other governors across the country to implement post-conviction DNA testing."

Other than Texas, Virginia leads in executions. But with the recent election of anti-death penalty Gov.-elect Tim Kaine, the work started by Warner will be advanced with DNA testing of Roger Coleman, an innocent man executed in 1992.

Kaine, a man of faith and spirit is the perfect soul to lead the dialogue on this important subject. And with the help of God, capital punishment will soon be abolished.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Family Values, the FOX way...

Just last Friday I reported on a Boston Globe story of what veteran news ace Mike Wallace thinks of Pres. Bush; and it ain't pretty.

Well today I received a pesky e-mail from NewsMax, except this time I was glad I'd signed up for their lame news alerts. This is how I find out what the dark side is spinning.

It seems Sunny Boy Chris said on "Fox News Sunday" that his father has "lost it." And just in case you miss the point, they helpfully report:

"He's lost it. The man has lost it. What can I say," the younger Wallace lamented to WRKO Boston radio host Howie Carr on Friday.

"He's 87-years old and things have set in," the Fox anchor continued. "I mean, we're going to have a competence hearing pretty soon."

I dunno know. I read the transcripts from the interview. The old contrarian scribe seems pretty lucid and balanced. I guess that's what Fox means by family values. Lock dad up in the attic; and for Pete's sake, don't let him near a reporter.

Are you or have you ever been…? Repent or else!

A story in the back pages of Sunday’s Washington Post added more than angst to my weary brain. What in God’s green little acre are we doing in the Middle East?

Worthy of front-page coverage, the story on page A-24 reports how freedom of the press works in Afghanistan. A journalist was jailed and faces execution for the unpardonable sin of telling truth to the public.

The Post chronicles the story of Ali Mohaqueq Nasah, a former exile, who returned to his homeland after the Taliban fell; he started a monthly magazine, Women’s Rights.

This past May, Nasah wrote a series of blistering articles about women’s plight, their lack of legal rights, and the over-all unjust criminal system in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

As a result of his writings, Nasah was charged with “contravene[ing] the teachings of Islam by printing essays in his magazine…that questioned legal discrimination against women, harsh physical punishments for criminals and rigid intolerance of Muslims who abandon their faith.”

Nasah was sentenced to two years in prison, but if he does not repudiate his position, Muslim laws call for him to be hanged. He has steadfastly maintained he is not going to recant anything.

"I haven't committed any sin to repent for. If I'm not a sinner, then why should I repent?" he said. "I'm a Muslim, and what I mentioned in my magazine doesn't have a single conflict with my religion. I'm more of a religious person than they are."

The conservative clerics’ argument for Nasah to repent or be executed reminds me of an earlier scene played out on Fox News Sunday Show with Bianca Jagger, peace activist and former wife of Mick Jagger, and the prosecutor who convicted Tookie Williams, Robert Martin.

Martin argues that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should not grant clemency to Williams who is set to be executed on Tuesday because he has not repented for murdering two people.

“He's non-repentant,” Martin said. “He has committed multiple murders. Friends and acquaintances have come into the courtroom and testified that he bragged about the killings.

To which Miss Jagger replied,
“Mr. Williams has maintained from the very beginning that he did not commit those crimes. I don't know if you know that there were not DNA evidence. There was no blood. The only basis on the way that they condemn him was because of an informant. Now, there are questionable evidence about the shell of the — the bullet shell, and they have always asked to have the opportunity to have photomicrograph, because the way it was determined at the time was not a scientific way.”
If you admit your guilt, we’ll fry you for breaking the law. And if you maintain your innocence, we’ll fry you anyway.

This is the law, saith the government.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Out of the Mouth of Gramps

Veteran investigative reporter Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes" fame was recently interviewed by the Boston Globe and didn't mince his words when asked what question he would like to ask Pres. Bush if he were given the opportunity.

With unusual candidness, Wallace said:

What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military...The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?
Oh boy. I wonder what his son Chris, the "Fox News Sunday" host thinks of Big Daddy's language.

Wallace was more circumspect with his opinion of his son's employer. Of Fox and owner Roger Ailes he said:

Roger Ailes is a man I admire very much. He understood there was a market that was not being served. He was right.
Brilliant businessman, that Ailes, of course. Accentuate the positive, Mike, and ignore the underlying question in the question, for junior's sake.

"Well, my son [Chris Wallace] works for them. . . .," Wallace noted. And indeed he does.

I guess it keeps getting harder and harder to be a straight-up journalist and give a straight-up answer. And sure was refreshing to hear the voice of an old geezer tell it like it is when it comes to our bumbling, dardardly, craven president.

Fair and truthful, but not exactly balanced.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It is about time the faithful say "NO" to capital punishment...

MoJo is reporting Catholics are finally stepping up and saying "NO" to state-sanctioned killing. Unlike my Baptist brethren, culture of life Catholics are organizing and lobbying state legislators to abolish capital punishment.

In many states, sisters, priests and former clergy lead the abolitionist movement. In the bright red state of North Carolina, for example, a parish in Raleigh has taken the mantle and asked state legislators to stop the madness and pass a moratorium.

For the faithful, the culture of life must apply equally to the living as to an embryo.

Until his death last spring, [Pope John Paul II] argued to Catholics around the world that an end to the death penalty is an essential part of a “culture of life.”
Yes, and although the pope also felt the culture of life included "birth control, stem-cell research, abortions, human cloning, and euthanasia," capital punishment and euthenasia are the only deeds that directly affect a human being, as defined by every nation in the world.

Bible-thumping evangelicals like to quote from the Old Testament to justify the death penalty.

God himself instituted capital punishment as a remedy for certain crimes, at the very least murder,” says Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research for the Southern Baptist Convention. “All life is so sacred that anyone who takes it is required to pay the same penalty.”

Well, here is a little Bible verse from the New Testatement that should go a long way to give Brother Duke pause. Words from the Master:
A disciple asks Jesus how many times one should forgive before striking back.21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive
my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"22Jesus answered, "I tell
you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
In other words, always.

Last year's call to deny Kerry and other Catholics who support abortion rights the sacraments showed a lack of clarity and consistency for the fundamental rights of all living creatures, including death row inmates.

In recent correspondence, Denver archbishop Charles J. Chaput who had "urged parish priests to deny communion" recently stepped up and unequivocally stated his opposition to the death penalty, even if he did not call for "similar sanctions."

Hopefully, when the bishops meet "in November to draft their first statement against capital punishment in 25 years," they will be as forceful and as far-reaching as their crusade to outlaw abortions.

Imagine the threat of losing the sacraments; and what it would do for the abolition movement. Why I believe sooner rather than later states would ban the venal law!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hey brother, can you spare me a tear...?

Poor DeLay, he's still in huge legal jeopardy, even if the felony conspiracy charge was thrown out by a Texas judge.

News headlines read Tom DeLay's hope to regain his majority leadership post in Congress were dashed when the felony charge of money laundering was upheld by Senior District Judge Pat Priest in an Austin courtroom.

Now it looks like DeLay will have to defend his case before 12 jurors in a Texas courthouse; and with two co-conpirators, Jim Ellis and John Colyandro, Ronnie Earle has the goods to win the case unless the trial is moved to Sugarland or some other right wing wacko bastion, as DeLay's attorneys are calling for.

For DeLay, this holiday season is tempered with the prospect of jail time. I mean, it's three more years before Dubya leaves office; and with Scooter, Rove and who knows who else under the gun from Plamegate, Abramoff and Dukestergate, DeLay will have to stand in line and take a number for a presidential pardon.

To the charge of money laundering, DeLay's attorneys contend in Clintonesque legalese that it depends on what the definition of "money" is before you can baselessly charge that DeLay was guilty of money laundering.

The Associated Press reports that "[i]n trying to have those charges thrown out, the defense argued that the Texas money laundering law does not apply to funds in the form of a check, just coins or paper money."

But...but...your honor -- they were only bank checks -- not real money!

Well, "checks are 'clearly funds and can be the subject of money laundering,'" said the Texas judge who obviously failed to understand the fictional nuanced difference.

Oh to think back to Clinton's impeachment and the sanctimonious dribble we heard from the former Majority Whip about the rule of law and history's indictment.

In February, 1999, the Houston Chronicle reported:

[T]he president's most vocal critic, DeLay has long criticized Clinton for lying to the American people not only about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky but a host of other issues as well. He has at times described Clinton as the most immoral man in America and the worst example of a politician with no integrity."This president just can't tell the truth"

Yes siree, the former bug man is also in hot water with his district voters. Seems they prefer a generic Democrat 49 to 36 percent.

And if voters and Ronnie Earle don't bring DeLay down, well, there is always his former spokesman, Michael Scanlon.

Scanlon recently entered a plea deal and is now talking to prosecutors to avoid a lengthy prison sentence in the Abramoff scandal. And as DeLay's spokesman during the 90s, Scanlon had a bird's eye view of how the man once affectionately called "The Hammer" did business in Washington.

Here's a little gem from a Washington Post article in May, 1999. When Scanlon was questioned on DeLay's tactics in strong-arming lobbyists to pony up to elect Republicans, here's what he said:

DeLay merely "asked several prominent raise or ante up $ 2,000 for 10 vulnerable GOP House incumbents in the coming months." And when DeLay 'asks' for something . . . well, you get the point. This is an aggressive push to shore up our incumbents this year."

Yes, we get the point; and DeLay will hopefully soon get the point that no matter how high of a political perch you occupy, hubris and lawbreaking will bring down a leader every time.

For progressives, the prospect of DeLay in the leadership chair in Congress during the upcoming election would be a welcoming prospect in a season hope and joy.

DeLay makes a wonderful poster boy for the Republican Party and their culture of corruption in Washington. And irrespective of Ronnie Earle and Texas courts, we need to keep reminding absentminded voters.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

El Presidente Muy Bravo...

Good for Pres. Vicente Fox for canning his little visit with Pres. Bush.

CBS is reporting that the Mexican president abruptly cancelled his meeting with our "Jefe" shortly after the state of Texas did what it always does, execute inmates.

The case involved a drug smuggler who was a Mexican citizen. He was convicted of killing a Dallas police officer.

Now lest anyone think Fox might've had a scheduling conflict ALA Rove right before he thought he was going to be indicted, Fox made crystal clear why he was cancelling his trip to Crawford.

"This decision is an unequivocal signal of rejection of the execution," said the spokesman, Rodolfo Elizondo. "It would be inappropriate, in these lamentable circumstances, to go ahead with the visit to Texas."

Apparently Mexicans don't especially like for "gringos" to execute their brethren.

"Fox is showing the United States that if it ignores Mexico, Mexico will ignore it," said Javier Mendez, a 33-year-old accountant who said he listened to live coverage of Suarez's execution on his car radio.

Mexico does not have capital punishment; and it refuses to extradite anyone who faces the death penalty in another country.

But Texas, being the moral paradigm of justice and god-fearing Tom DeLay, Karl Rove and George W. Bush, leads the nation in executions, guilty or innocent, as the Houston Chronicle recently noted.

Javier Suarez Medina was the fifth Mexican citizen executed in the US.

Gosh, I feel safer already...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Saved by the Bell...

Or prosecutorial incompetence. Robin Lovitt, set to be executed this past Wednesday, had his sentence commuted by Gov. Mark Warner to life in prison without parole.

As discussed in earlier posts, this was a win-win situation for Warner. Very little backlash, especially since such stalwart conservatives as former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr and former attorney general Mark Early were speaking out on Lovitt's behalf.

With a clerk throwing out evidence, which could have been exculpatory, in direct disregard to current law, Warner's choice to commute Lovitt's sentence was a "no-brainer."

Washington Post pundit E. J. Dionne Jr. had it right this morning. Warner is a shrewd politician who weighs the political merit of everything before he acts.

As a Virginian who has seen Warner dilly-dally instead of ordering the DNA testing of Roger Coleman that could prove the state wrongfully executed an innocent man, put me in the camp who considers Warner just a tad-bit too political with little moral courage for my taste.

The horror, the horror…!

This morning ten Americans were killed and 11 were wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. With raging federal investigations into Republican corruption, payola in the US as well as Iraq, it seems every new headline brings to bear the horrible consequences from the seminal 2000 Supreme Court decision that selected Bush over Gore.

Abramoff, former poster boy for Republican largesse is desperately trying to strike a deal with prosecutors to stave loss of assets and liberty. The Top Gun duke is going to the pokey, Scanlon too. DeLay and his buddies Libby, Ney, Reed et al will no doubt have their day in court; and the steady drum beat of dead American soldiers goes on and on.

We recently learned that cozy journalist Viveca Novak (yes, no relationship to Robert) at Time tipped Rove’s attorney, Robert D. Luskin of possible problems for Rove in the horizon.

Hey, they were friends...

It seems Novak told Luskin that Fitzgerald was zeroing in on Cooper, another journalist with Time and that contrary to White House denials, Rove had indeed talked with a journalist about Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame.

And surprise of all surprises, Luskin immediately asked Rove to check all his e-mails (you would think this would have already been done) to make sure he had not "mispoken" in earlier testimony.

Lo and behold, poor Rove found an e-mail that trumped his earlier testimony with Fitzgerald. He had earlier chatted with reporter Cooper about Plame.

Now lest not forget, there is also a Supreme Court nomination waiting in the wake; and if confirmed, in keeping with his written opinions and mother’s confirmation, new Associate Supreme Court Judge Alito will overturn not only Roe v. Wade but many other laws protecting civil liberties.

Yikes, with 2,123 American deaths and 15, 881 casualties in Iraq, no end in sight and a total culture of corruption in Congress, if Democrats don’t nab at least one of the congressional houses in Congress in ‘06, America truly will deserve her just desserts.

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