Monday, July 30, 2007

O'Reilly Ratings in the Tank

That's right, the O'Reilly Factor is in a steep ratings slump. Especially when Michelle Malkin guest hosts his show.

Last Friday on July 27, Malkin happily told her blog readers to tune in and watch her spin in the No-Spin-Zone.

On the menu of promised "meaty topics" were the Dems news conference calling into question Gonzales' veracity during the Senate testimony.

Well, maybe not.

But she did pledge to talk about immigration; and illegals; and the Michael Vick outrage that threatened the Union; all the juicy racist meat she could conjure up to serve. wasn't enough.

Bless her little heart, the batwinger lost nearly 100 points in the 25-54 demographic group from the night before. Perhaps next time she needs to enlarge her image to pinup size.

Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann of "Countdown" continues to close in on Papa O'Reilly. The prior evening, O'Reilly led Olbermann by less 100 points, 267 to 373.

Gone are the days when O'Reilly dominated Cableland. There's a new sheriff in town; and his name is Keith Olbermann.

Now why the gods of programming don't smarten-up and recruit a slate of progressives to knock Faux News from their perch remains one of the great mysteries of the world.

That is, next to the one that tries to explain why Malkin poses in a skimpy bikini on her Web site with absolutely no context. By the bye, the leaning on the wall is to give her body some curves and hide her small pooch.

Strong Male Approval Rate for Webb

In the new SurveyUSA poll, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb has a favorable approval rate among men of 55 percent -- leading Republican Sen. John Warner by 2 points!

Webb also has a 68 percent approval rate with blacks and 60 percent with Latinos.

Democrats approve of Webb by a whopping 72 percent; and independents give him a more than respectable approval rate of 56 percent.

Hell, the junior senator even has a 33 percent approval rate among conservatives; and support is evenly divided throughout the state. Forty-nine percent in Shenandoah, 53 percent in the northeast, 55 percent in the southeast, boys and girls. a full 2 points ahead of Warner; and 49 percent in central.

Not tooo shabby, senator. Grrrrrrreat job!!!!

Curtis Mayfield ~ Freddies Dead

Enjoy the funk!

Breaking News - Fred is Dead

All rightie, maybe politically dead is not the right word, but Fred of Hollywood is seeing his ballyhooed campaign for president fall apart and crumble right before his eyes.

Hopes ran high, but for the month of June, Thompson could only summon a mere $3 million, Politico reports; and now plenty of Republicans are worrying that perhaps his hyped campaign may turn out to be a thundering dud.

Initially, folks gathered around Superfly Fred and imagined the dauntless district attorney leading the charge of well-heeled ruffians into the battlefield of spin and win.

But alas, it seems that even GOP voters this year want a little meat of substance to go with their kool aid and "Law and Order."

So my dear GOPers, without District Attorney Arthur Branch to beat back the hippies in riot gear with billy clubs, there can only be one outcome: an even bigger whoopin' in '08 than in '06.

You see, you rubberstamped every lame brained idea out of the White House -- and even at this late date -- you continue to support Bush and Co.

It's apparent that you took the wrong lesson away from Watergate; it is not to bury the truth even deeper and obstruct justice. It is to bring forth the lies and crimes to the light with the knowledge that in doing so the public would reward you for rising above partisanship; maybe even a few of you would've survived.

But unfortunately, you failed miserably; and yes, that includes Specter, Collins, Warner and other so-called Republican centrists. Howling Latina knew Howard Baker and "Mac" Mathias; and none of you are Baker or Mathias.

You and your party will pay the price for corruption and cowardice -- as is only just. Indeed, after it's all over, the bloodbath after Watergate will seem more like Ronald Regan's 'Morning in America.'

Now hear are the catchy lyrics from "Fred is Dead" by Curtis Mayfield to keep your mind away from your problems:

Hey, hey...
Love, love...
Yeah, yeah...
Uh huh...
Freddie's dead.
That's what I said...
Let the man rap a plan; 'said he'd send him home.
But his hope was a rope, and he should have known.
It's hard to understand; there was love in this man.
I'm sure all would agree, that his misery,
was his woman and things.
Now Freddie's dead.
That's what I said...
Everybody's misused him; ripped him off and abused him.
Another junkie playin'; pushin' dope for the man.
A terrible blow, but that's how it go...
Freddie's on the corner now... if you wanna be a junkie,
Remember, Freddie's dead...
We're all built up with progress,
but sometimes I must confess,
we can deal with rockets and dreams,
but reality... what does it mean?
Ain't nothing said.
'cause Freddie's dead.
Hey, hey...
Love, love...
Hey, hey...
Yeah, yeah...
Huh huh...
Love, love...
Yeah, yeah...
Huh huh...
Yeah, yeah...

The Washington Post Rats Out Gonzales

Oh dear, Howling Latina just finished reading an article in the Washington Post that caught her eagle eyes.

In yet another story about Gonzo's problems with Congress, the Post casualty drops a bombshell.

It seems there is yet another discrepancy between the record and Gonzo's words as they relate to the president's DWI in Maine and his call-up for jury duty in Texas while governor.

The judge, prosecutor and defense attorney involved in case have said that Gonzales met with the judge and argued that jury service would pose a potential conflict of interest for Bush, who could be asked to pardon the defendant. Gonzales has disputed that account. He made no mention of meeting with the judge in a written statement submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Now read very carefully, boys and girls.

The Post is calling reader's attention to yet another lie by Abu Gonzo that has escaped scrutiny by media and Congress.

Previously, Gonzales claimed that he never interfered on Bush's behalf in Texas to make boy-junior's DWI disappear. But....the record now says otherwise.

So who and what are you going to believe, the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney or Abu Gonzo's lies?

Yes, a pattern seems to be emerging. Our poor beleaguered war president finds more excuses for getting out of his civic duties than names in the Rolodex for the DC madam.

Gonzo is obviously the magic clean-up man.

Military service? AWOL? No problem; the record is wiped clean..

Jury duty? Just substitute executive privilege for conflict of interest and obstruct justice, that's all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm With Fred

Howling Latina, right here and now, declares her support for Fred Thompson as the Republican presidential candidate.

You see, Hollywood Fred is a prison rights advocate who thinks there are way too many federal crimes and the government needs to get out of the business of incarcerating our men and women. Leave bondage to the good states.

Groups as diverse as the American Bar Association and the Heritage Foundation have reported that there are more than three thousand, five hundred distinct federal crimes and more than 10,000 administrative regulations scattered over 50 section of the U.S. code that runs at more than 27,000 pages. More than 40 percent of these regulatory criminal laws have been enacted since 1973.


]T]here are plenty of areas in criminal law where a federal role is appropriate. More and more crime occurs across state and national boundaries; the Internet is increasingly a haven for illegal activity. A federal role is appropriate in these and other instances. But today the Federal Bureau of Prisons has quadrupled in size in little more than 20 years.

Well, anything to reduce the incareration rates in America.

Of course as Talk Left points out, what about the war on drugs and the children...? Maybe Fred would like to be an honorary member of NORML and receive action alerts from

In any event, before people go thinking that the howler consumed some psilocybin mushrooms along with magic-laced brownies and milk, don't worry; she is in full command of her senses.

It doesn't matter whom the Republicans pick; the Dem candidate will ultimately win.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Last 100 Days Kickoff"

Howling Latina just got back from the Fairfax Joint Campaign Headquarters in McLean with her good friend Tom Counts of Gainesville.

What excitement! Smelling victory in November, the Dems celebrated their “Last 100 Days Kickoff” with happy, happy thoughts for their future…
And Gov. Tim Kaine electrified the crowd of more than 200 activists to close the event.

The food was divine; and a special shout-out to T.G.I Friday's for donating food for the bash.

Leading the kickoff campaign and first legislator to the mike was Virginia Minority Leader Del. Brian Moran who expressed extreme confidence in victory with the slate of Democratic candidates running for office.

Using a football analogy (no surprise since Moran won a full football scholarship to the University of Massachusetts as a young man), he likened a winning football team with good preparation in the summer. And Dems are preparing to win BIG!

Don't believe the hype? Well, then look at the latest financial disclosure reports.

We’re ablaze with energy! And indeed, why not? With a bounty of riche$, the Dems are poised to be the first state in the south that ever lost a state legislation and then won it back.

Needing only four seats in the Senate, Northern Virginia alone is going to provide three. Especially, if we, the people, do the work to whip up the Dem frenzy and get out the vote as State Sen. Dick Saslaw told a cheering crowd.

The absolute best news of the afternoon for the howler was that the Democratic candidate for the 27th District covering the city of Winchester, parts of Fauquier (where HL lives) and Loudoun County as well as Frederick and Clarke are turning blue in November.

Karen Schultz is receiving wide support from moderate Republicans as well as Democrats and raised more $$$ than ANY Senate candidate in the whole state for the month of June. She now has a nice little nest egg of $183,177.52.

Not toooo shabby! And $84,014.49 more than the GOP candidate, trial lawyer Jill Holtzman-Vogel.

“I have the support of Republicans who want to see the moderate leadership of Senator Russ Potts continue,” Schultz announced in a press release earlier. “I have the support of independents who like my bi-partisan approach.”

Wow, is the maverick curmudgeon Russ Potts going to endorse Karen in the fall...?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Breaking News - Senate Judiciary Members Ask for Special Counsel

In breaking news, ABC News is reporting that Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, all Senate judiciary members, asked Solicitor General Paul Clement to appoint a special counsel to learn if Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself during testimony before the commitee.

In a letter to Clements, the senators asked him to "immediately appoint an indepedent counsel from outside the Justice Department."

"We do not make this request lightly," the four senators wrote.

Shortly before their scheduled press conference, The Associated Press obtained a copy of the draft letter. It remains to be seen whether any Republicans join the Democrats in requesting an independent counsel.

However, as the wire service notes, "Two former Republican chairmen joined Democrats in recent days in suggesting that the questions surrounding Gonzales be resolved by those outside the process."

Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and former chairman, on Tuesday told Gonzales during his appearance before the panel that a special prosecutor might be needed.

"I do not find your testimony credible, candidly," Specter told Gonzales.

Specter's counterpart on the House side, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., suggested that the House file a civil suit against the administration's executive privilege claim.

In somber words Senator Chuck Schumer concluded the press conference with the following somber words:

"We all hoped it wouldn't come to this but we simply can not let this abuse of power continue unchecked."

Oh dear...things are really heating up this summer!

Update: Stupid blogger, my post didn't post!

An Innocent Man Is Rotting In a Mental Institution

Equal to life in prison without parole, an innocent man indefinitely wastes away in a mental institution in North Carolina because he is too mentally incompetent to stand trial for a murder that he didn't commit.

Talk Left has a post about the horrid story that was featured in The Denver Post.

With an IQ in the 50’s, Floyd Brown, who can’t spell his own name, couldn’t have produced the confession that purportedly links him to a murder. He says the police pounded on a table and yelled at him [to] sign it.


No physical evidence ties Brown to the crime, notwithstanding unethical police efforts to manufacture evidence against him.

This case reads an awful lot like the case of Earl Washington, Jr., who like Mr. Brown confessed to a murder he didn't commit; and who like Brown was mentally retarded, black, poor and badgered and framed by prosecutors.

Luckily, if one can use the term advisedly, Mr. Washington was spared the ultimate punishment only hours before he was scheduled to be executed by then-Gov. Doug Wilder; and DNA later fully cleared him.

No such luck for Mr. Brown who has been languishing at Dorothea Dix Hospital for a third of his life -- and all because the victim's walking cane that "deputies say was used to beat the 80-year-old woman to death [and] bore a bloody palm print" disappeared, the Post notes.

How remarkably curious! Especially since an "early test failed to match" the print to Brown and the two detectives who processed the evidence since then have been convicted of "federal racketeering and bribery charges" in dispensing criminal cases.

The two men would "shak[e] down suspects in exchange for not pressing charges." In other words, they were soliciting bribes to make the charges go away. serve notice to would-be dirty cops that justice is blind, the judge handed out the gruelling sentence of five months in prison and then ordered the detectives to forfeit their ill-gotten gains of $14,366.

Whew! Howling Latina feels better.

Meanwhile the only evidence against Brown is his so-called signed "confession," which he claims he never signed; and with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old, it's hardly likely he understood what he was signing -- even if he did so.

Yes siree, the case of Floyd Brown is just one more case in the long, endless history of southern judicature where a poor black person gets the proverbial knife in the back for justice.

Update: Via Kleinschmidt 2005 , a North Carolina blogger, we learn that the current district attorney is willing to close the books on the Brown case if he would just admit he did it with a get out of jail card as his incentive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tagged by Rennaisance Ruminations...

Tagged by Rennaisance Ruminations. So...there she goes (not me, the "howler.") Eight facts about her:

She constantly twirls her slowly dwindling locks of hair.

She was thrilled when Ingrid Murroy sent her a picture of Sen. Jim Webb and her together.

She has watched every Republican and Democratic presidential convention since 1964.

Raising Kaine and EvilGopBastards were the first bloggers to link to her blog.

She has the number #1 link under Baker Messner in google (yep, she knows, Bakker is misspelled), first page under Tammy Faye Baker on Larry King in Yahoo, second page under google for Tammy Faye Baker and so on. In other words, Howling Latina has seen more traffic in the last few days than EVER!

She likes to write poetry and loves to read spiritual books.

She is a passionate death penalty foe.

She has a 35-year old daughter who lives in Egypt and a 24-year old son who lives in Warrenton.
Now, whom to tag...? Okay, here it goes, let's hope the good folks have not already been tagged:

BAC of Yikes!

Mr. James Martin of The Virginia Progressive

Mr. Bruce Roemmelt of Getting Around

Evil Bobby

Alice Marshall of GOTV

Justin Fleenor of Virginia Left Wing

Terry Carter of The Colette

Thaddaeus Toad of West of Shockoe

Maureen Dowd on John Edwards

After Maureen Dowd wrote her scorching op-ed about the $400 haircut of Democratic presidential candidate, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, lo and behold, a few weeks ago she wrote a fairly positive piece on Edwards, even if as Unknown Candidate notes, it's a bit of "fluff."

Here are some things you probably "don't know about John Edwards."

He never saw a single episode of “The Sopranos.”

He doesn’t like the opera, but his favorite musical is “Phantom of the Opera.”

His first date with Elizabeth was dancing at the Holiday Inn in Durham or Chapel Hill — he can’t remember which — sometime after which she made an ironclad rule that politicians should never dance.

Go ahead and read the rest; it's an interesting find.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lies, Lies and More LIes

¡Qué mentiroso es el señor! If Alberto Gonzales is moving his lips, he is lying!

Here are a few links to his disgraceful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committte today via Think Progressive, Talking Points Memo, TPM Muckraker and Politics TV.

Yes, it's way, way past time to impeach. Why this bozo isn't even trying to make an effort to fool his audience.

Gonzo is making a monkey out of Democrats and congressional oversight; and our public officials entrusted to protect the constitution and the rule of law are letting him get away with it.

Scottie Comes to Papa - Flip Flops on Fees

Looks like Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Flip-flopper) is breaking away from the GOP pack and trying to save his rubber stamp neck.

OH dear, what ever happened to his set-the-record straight in support of the Abusive Driver Bill of a mere 11 days ago in the Potomac News...?

Guess that didn't work out too well; he's probably still getting deluged with angry calls, email and letters from outraged constituents who WILL hold him and his party accountable for this disastrous piece of Republican legislation.

Today we learn from the Washington Post that Scottie is having second thoughts on the subject. In fact, he has now joined those who are calling for repeal. In a one-liner, the Post reports that Lingamfelter has "joined a growing list of legislators calling for repeal."

Hmmm, very interesting! Especially since Mr. Batwing Lingamfelter was one of the main sponsors along with Thomas Davis Rust (R), David Albo (R), Jeffrey M. Frederick (R), Daniel W. Marshall, III (R), Daniel A. Nutter (R) and G. Glenn Oder (R).

Talk about your classic flip-flopper. And let's not call the bill bipartisan. Ain't nothing bipartisan about a bill concoted by a band of GOPers who threatened Dems to forever hold up funds for transportation unless they went along. It was their way or no highways, er, the highway.

For the record, here's the list of members who supported the bill:

Watkins M. Abbitt, Jr. (I)
Kristen J. Amundson (D)
Ward L. Armstrong (D)
Clifford L. Athey, Jr. (R)
Mamye E. BaCote (D)
William K. Barlow (D)
Robert B. Bell (R)
Robert H. Brink (D)
David L. Bulova (D)
Vincent F. Callahan, Jr. (R)
C. Charles Caputo (D)
Charles W. Carrico, Sr. (R)
Benjamin L. Cline (R)
John A. Cosgrove (R)
M. Kirkland Cox (R)
Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R)
Rosalyn R. Dance (D)
Allen W. Dudley (R)
William H. Fralin, Jr. (R)
Thomas D. Gear (R)
C. Todd Gilbert (R)
H. Morgan Griffith (R)
Phillip A. Hamilton (R)
Frank D. Hargrove, Sr. (R)
Clarke N. Hogan (R)
Algie T. Howell, Jr. (D)
Timothy D. Hugo (R)
Robert Hurt (R)
Sal R. Iaquinto (R)
Riley E. Ingram (R)
William R. Janis (R)
Johnny S. Joannou (D)
Joseph P. Johnson, Jr. (D)
S. Chris Jones (R)
Terry G. Kilgore (R)
R. Steven Landes (R)
Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. (D)
Matthew J. Lohr (R)
Dave W. Marsden (D)
Robert G. Marshall (R)
Joe T. May (R)
A. Donald McEachin (D)
Michele B. McQuigg (R)
Jackson H. Miller (R)
Harvey B. Morgan (R)
Samuel A. Nixon, Jr. (R)
John M. O'Bannon, III (R)
Robert D. Orrock, Sr. (R)
Christopher K. Peace (R)
Clarence E. Phillips (D)
David E. Poisson (D)
Harry R. Purkey (R)
Lacey E. Putney (I)
John S. Reid (R)
Christopher B. Saxman (R)
Edward T. Scott (R)
James M. Scott (D)
Stephen C. Shannon (D)
Beverly J. Sherwood (R)
Mark D. Sickles (D)
Terrie L. Suit (R)
Robert Tata (R)
David J. Toscano (D)
Roslyn Tyler (D)
Shannon R. Valentine (D)
Katherine B. Waddell (I)
Leo C. Wardrup, Jr. (R)
R. Lee Ware, Jr. (R)
Vivian E. Watts (D)
John J. Welch, III (R)
Robert J. Wittman (R)
Thomas C. Wright, Jr. (R)

The State of Racial Relations in the Deep South

TruthOut headlines a story about racial relations in the Deep South with the following headline: "Black High School Students in Louisiana Threatened With Lynching."

Spare the lynching, spoil the child.

It all began when a group of white high-schoolers in tiny Jena, La., population 2,867 (down from 2,971 in 2000), thought it would be great idea to fasten three nooses to their "whites only" shady tree to ward off blacks. In school colors, of course.

You see, some African-American kids had the sheer audacity to sit under their tree after asking school officials for permission to do so.

The boys who hung the nooses were suspended from school for a few days and administrators "chalked it up as a harmless prank." As one might imagine, the black community didn't exactly share this perspective and let authorities know about it.

Next thing you know, law officials were threatening black students with dire warnings that they could "end their life with a stroke of the pen."

It's hardly surprising that after such an outrageous response from authorities "[b]lack students were assaulted at white parties." And a law-abiding white sympathizer even went so far as to "dr[a]w a loaded rifle on three black teens at a local convenience store. "

Someone tried to burn down the school, and on December 4th, a fight broke out that led to six black students being charged with attempted murder. To his word, the D.A. pushed for maximum charges, which carry sentences of eighty years. Four of the six are being tried as adults (ages 17 & 18) and two are juveniles....
That's right, folks. You see, Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy were absolutely right and this story is just more proof that discrimination is indeed dead in the land of milk and honey in Dixie.

Here's a Web page to Jena, Louisiana with demographics, addresses and links.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Eye of Evil

Today the Washington Post writes an article about the root of evil and uses the story of Ivan Teleguz as a possible illustration of the designation.

Mr. Teleguz was convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme where he paid two men to slit the throat of his former girlfriend in order to get out of paying her child support.

Teleguz specifically requested that his former love's throat be slashed; or at least, that's the story the two men told in court.

He hired two men to kill her, but not quickly with a gun. He told them he wanted Sipe's "throat cut."


The fatal wound: "a cut approximately two and one-half inches deep into Sipe's trachea, larynx, and a major artery on the right side of Sipe's neck." It caused the young mother to "drown in her own blood," according to the trial record.

Well, the eye of evil is in the eye of the beholder. Some would argue that executing a person is an evil act; and just because it's sanctioned by the state, does not make the deed any less heinous.

According to the Virginia's death penalty statutes, a jury must be convinced that the defendant is not only guilty of a crime but has also demonstrated a "depravity of mind" in an "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman" manner of form.

Howling Latina refers readers to the case of Justin Michael Wolfe. a 19-year old youth convicted and sentenced to die in the murder-for-hire of his drug kingpin pal. According to the Depravity Scale, as explicated by the Post, it's not even close.

Did he "intend to emotionally off [or] maximize damage"?

Was there "criminal indulgence or grotesque quality to the suffering"?

Any "prolonged agony"?

NO, no, no. But that sure as hell didn't stop Hanging Paul Ebert from demanding the jury give Justin the needle; and the nine women and three men in the jury panel from agreeing with Mr. Death, a courtly Southern prosecutor who seemed reasonable enough in asking for justice for the dead drug dealer.

Now the guy who did the actual killing? Thirty years for his less than evil slaying.

Apparently, no justice for Justin in American style upside down law. The people who kill get to live by ratting out the guy they finger as the person behind the murders -- whether true or not.

The criminal justice system is broken. Just like a recent juror told the judge in the "capital double murder trial of Alfredo R. Prieto," the presumption of guilt is overwhelming!

If a person is on trial, jurors presume he or she must be guilty of SOMETHING! Execute the savage; no mercy for the evil brute.

Tammy Faye as Gay Rights Activist -- Who Knew...?

Who knew?

Yikes! has a great post on Tammy Faye and writes:

In a documentary of her life, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," Tammy Faye talked about how the couple was tricked out of their ministry by rival televangelist Jerry Falwell.

No surprise there. Falwell was a spiritual thief and an absolute hypocrite.

Yikes notes the "documentary presented Tammy Faye as an icon in the gay community" and then quotes Tammy Faye from an article in the Washington Post:
"How sad that we as Christians, who are to be the salt of the earth, and we who are supposed to be able to love everyone, are afraid so badly of an AIDS patient that we will not go up and put our arm around them."
Howling Latina always sensed the presence of the Lord in Tammy Faye and now she knows there was nothing phony about her; she was right in her judgment.
In 1996, she co-hosted another TV talk show entitled The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show, with Jim J. Bullock, an HIV-positive and openly gay actor. The syndicated show ended when Tammy Faye chose to leave after being diagnosed with colon cancer.Tammy Faye was criticized by evangelicals for co-hosting the program with a gay man. Her response to them was "God doesn't make any junk."
H/T for the lovely picture of Tammy Faye to Yikes!

Virginia Democrats Have $$$$

In a story last Saturday, ABC 7 News reported that Dems are almost even with GOPers in $$$ for the fall.

In 2003, the last time all 100 House of Delegates seats and all 40 Senate seats were up for election, Republican candidates for those seats had more than a 2-to-1 advantage over the Democrats four months ahead of the fall election.

According to data from state campaign finance reports compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project, GOP candidates for House and Senate seats in the November 2003 race had raised about $11.7 million to the Democrats' $4.6 million as of June 30 that year.

The most recent reports from House and Senate candidates, filed last week, show Republicans with almost $14.8 million while the Democrats had amassed $11.3 million.
Yipee!!!! Meanwhile David Albo keeps defending his disastrous over-the-top driver fees.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner RIP

Down to 65 lbs., Tammy Faye (Baker) Messner was interviewed by Larry King only two days ago on "Larry King Live." Tammy had been fighting inoperable cancer for the last decade and died yesterday.

During the incredible interview on Thursday, Tammy admitted she was a little scared for her family but was steadfast in her faith in the Lord and knew exactly where she was headed.

The interview was an awe-inspiring testimonial of peace and love and acceptance. Her husband was also on the show.

Indeed, what courage in the face of death!

Say what you will about Tammy Faye and her past, but God forgives all sinners; and that gal died with the spirit of God deeply rooted in her core.

Media Bistro reports the family asked Larry King not to announce Tammy's death until after she'd been cremated, as was her dying wish.

So many times one hears of a terminal person hanging on to die. Howling Latina remembers her former husband's step-sister who was dying of a brain tumor and had lain in a coma for days. But only 24 hours after his visit, she peacefully passed away in her bed.

After watching the interview, there is little doubt that Tammy was hanging on to her last dying breath so she could go on "Larry King" and say good-bye to her fans.

Well, here are Tammy's parting thoughts to the world from Romans 8:28-30.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30.)
Bravo, bravo, Tammy. Rest with the angels.

Friday, July 20, 2007

James Dobson's Evil Twin Brother Arrested

Wow! Is there something in the water that's provoking God-fearing men to breach God's commandments as well as the laws of the land?

In yet another story about a Christianista, we learn from Pensito Review that "the president of the Christian Action League, a North Carolina ultraconservative Christian political organization based in Raleigh" was arrested for soliciting a whore.

Privette, 74, was charged with six counts of misdemeanor aiding and abetting prostitution by renting a hotel room and paying for sexual acts, according to State Bureau of Investigation Agent Kevin Canty. Tiffany Denise Summers, 32, of Salisbury, was charged with six counts of misdemeanor prostitution, Canty said.


Police said officers were investigating a forged check case, which led them to the prostitution charges. Privette on two occasions allegedly paid the prostitute with checks then reported those checks as stolen, officials said.
Poor Rev. Rev. Coy Privette, he just wanted a little southern sugar.

Yikes, the list of rabid batwing phony Christians whose battle cry of "family values" and "sexual abstinence before marriage" caught in the crosshairs of the law grows every day by leaps and bounds.

Howling Latina has seen first-hand how followers of the faith were/are easily duped in the past /today by right-wing Pharisees who profess to own the light and label any person who disagrees with their version of Christianity a false prophet or infidel.

Well, thank the holy Lord the sins of the phony batwings are coming to light in all their bogus glory.

And for would-be Christians who read news about Privette, Vitter, and so on, with their puffed-up hypocrisy for all to see and swear to never listen or be guided by anyone or anything with roots in the faith, please don't measure every Christian in one fell swoop.

Ramblings from the rightwing faction no more embody the words of Christ than Osama bin Laden's words reflect the teachings of Muhammad.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Former Mayor of Dumfries Charged with Running a Whorehouse

The Washington Post reports this morning that the former mayor of Dumfries was "charged with running a brothel out of a sports therapy clinic in Prince William County."

Melvin "Mel" Bray, who served as mayor of Dumfries from 2002 to 2006, was charged with "keeping a bawdy place," a misdemeanor. Police arrested eight others on prostitution and other charges after a raid on the clinic Tuesday night. They also seized about $20,000 in cash.

Bray, a former Marine who also has served as a Dumfries Town Council member and a county sheriff's deputy, vigorously denied the "bawdy place" allegation when reached by phone last night."I positively swear on a stack of Bibles I would not do that," he said.

"I would not stoop to that level and knowingly do something of that nature that would embarrass my family and those people who have supported me over the years."

Well, it look like a Democrat may have been marketing the world's oldest profession.

Howling Latina wonders if Sen. Dave Vitter or some other sanctimonious family values politician might've been a customer of Bray's at Yorkshire Sports Therapy.

Oh, to be a little fly on the wall!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

OMG - Scalia Wants to Roll Back Rights of Publishers

In the seminal case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court ruled that public figures could not sue newspapers for publishing stories -- even if false -- unless they had been written with "actual malice."

Folks of a certain age may remember the famous Paul Newman/Sallie Fields movie, "Absence of Malice."

The Sullivan case stemmed from news accounts of civil rights violations by Southern state officials, elites and general public.

Of course, the Jim Crow law abiding denizens then decided to teach the liberal media a legal lesson (and yes, this is where the bum rap label 'liberal media' was first coined: news accounts of the civil rights struggle that outraged Dixie).

At the time, a hefty punitive verdict by stauch supporters of segregation in the South was a certainty. Just consider the latest rash of bigotry in Prince William and Loudoun County and multiply it by at least 100.

Do you think a local newspaper, oh, like the Prince Wiliam Journal would ever take the risk of reporting of any thuggery by anti-immigration hooligans flamed by the rhetoric of Jackson Miller and his ilk with a peer jury of bigots?!?

Slate noted in a story yesterday that Scalia thinks New York Times v. Sullivan was wrongly decided as reported in a few brief lines in Norman Pearlstine's new book "Off the Record."
In an interview, Justice Antonin Scalia told me that given the chance, he would probably vote to reverse New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
That's right, boys and girls. If it were up to the Scalias of the world, every time the media writes an unflattering story about a public official, get ready for everyone to lawyer-up; and then get ready for insurance companies to stop providing coverage; and before you know it, no more investigative reporting.

See how easy that was?!? Almost as easy as when Ronnie got rid of the Fairness Doctrine, which by the way Stephanie Miller is going to testify on the Hill on the subject tomorrow.

Gee, every time she thinks about it, Howling Latina can't help but wonder what might've been if only former Gov. Mario Mario Cuomo hadn't been all goo-goo and ga ga over "Nino."

Remember in 1986, the Democrats were firmly in control of the Senate. It's just like Mike Lex writes in Open Left. Democrats left the barn door open and a band of GOP thieves came in and stole our stock.

You see, Dems had no "sense of urgency."

Yes, Scalia was a bit of a wingnut, but progressives had enough justices to beat back any wingnutness. Never mind that the wingnuts were young and would go on to serve in the Courts for decades to come; or that stalwart progressives were on their last pair of legs with a banana peel under each foot.

The moral of the story is that Democrats must fight every battle with the faraway future in mind. If Dems had picked up their pitchforks (as GOPers are wont to do on principle alone) and filibustered Alito last year, Republicans would've been forced to fire up their threatened nuclear option and perhaps even won but...think of the Dems strategic position as the majority in Congress today with no worst for wear than Scalito on the bench, as happened anyway.

Selective Wingnut Justice

Howling Latina is certain that Republicans gamed the justice system one more time and as a result, a former Democratic governor sits in prison as she writes this post.

No niceties of a long good-bye for family of the Scooter Libby kind. As soon as U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, he was carted off to prison in shackles.

Siegelman was initially charged and indicted with nearly every imaginable felony short of conspiracy of killing all Republicans of voting age and their children. And after all was said and done, a clueless jury convicted Siegelman of soliciting $500,000 on behalf of Alabama's lottery foundation.

Now why this would be a federal crime, HL doesn't understand for EVERY public servant accepts zillions of dollars for this charitable foundation or that one; this new crusade or that one.

Equal to the case of Georgia Thompson of Wisconsin, a low-level state employee who was indicted and convicted under the most flimsy of evidence in a political hit job that was later overthrown by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case of Siegelman is filled with Republican cloak and dagger work of the Rovian special with the U.S. attorney's office fingerprints all over the corpse.

Ms. Thompson, a purchasing official in the state’s Department of Administration, was accused by the United States attorney in Milwaukee, Steven Biskupic, of awarding a travel contract to a company whose chief executive contributed to the campaign of Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. Ms. Thompson said the decision was made on the merits, but she was convicted and sent to prison before she could appeal.
Hmmm, sound familiar...?

Yep, just like Thompson, the former governor was sent to prison immediately after sentencing with prosecutors even clamoring for the judge to sentence Siegelman for crimes the jury acquitted him of.

Wikipedia has a nice summary of the outrage.

In June 2007 a Republican lawyer signed a sworn statement that she had heard five years ago that Karl Rove was preparing to politically neutralize Siegelman with an investigation headed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Siegelman defenders point out that over 100 charges were thrown out by three different judges, and the investigating U.S. Attorney was the wife of his political opponent's campaign manager.

The Republican activist, lawyer Dana Jill Simpson of Rainsville, Alabama, filed a sworn statement saying that she was on a Republican campaign conference call in 2002 when she heard Bill Canary tell other campaign workers not to worry about Siegelman because Canary's "girls" and "Karl" would make sure the Justice Department pursued the Democrat so he was not a political threat in the future.
Canary refers to Mrs. Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama who stepped aside in the case but not before she brought the indictment and marching orders to staff.

Well, thank the dear Lord the Dems will look into prosecutorial malfeasance by Rove, Gonzo and the entire Justice Department. It's just further evidence of the politicalization of justice for any Dem star who has the temerity of winning at the ballot box; or any poor sap who volunteers for the party, especially in swing states or the South.

The Los Angeles Times yesterday reported that a whole slew of folks were asking Congress to please look into the matter.
Forty-four former state attorneys general have sent a petition to Congress asking legislators to investigate the Justice Department's prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges."We urge the Congress to take immediate action to investigate this entire matter so that the public may be assured that the outcome is just," the former officials wrote in a letter sent Friday to the House and Senate judiciary committees.
Today we learn via TPM Muckraker that Congress has indeed decided to look into the shameful matter. Three Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, including its chairman, have asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to turn over documents related to the Siegelman case as well as two others that smell of political foul play.
The 2006 conviction of Alabama’s former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman for bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud has raised serious concerns. Mr. Siegelman was indicted in 2004, two years after losing the governor’s race by a mere 3,200 votes in the closest governor’s election in Alabama state history. In May, 2007, Jill Simpson, a Republican attorney in Alabama who had worked for Mr. Siegelman’s 2002 Republican opponent, swore in an affidavit that in 2002, a former protégé of Karl Rove told a small group of Republican political operatives that Karl Rove and two U.S. Attorneys in Alabama were working to “take care of” Mr. Siegelman. The Rove protégé, Bill Canary, is married to Leura Canary, who President Bush appointed in 2001 to be the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Alabama. In 2005, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Alabama indicted Mr. Siegelman (Ms. Canary recused herself from participating in the Siegelman case in 2002). In her affidavit, Ms. Simpson said that Bill Canary told her and two colleagues that “Karl [Rove] had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department was already pursuing Don Siegelman.” The phone call that Ms. Simpson was referring to occurred in November, 2002, when Mr. Siegelman was seeking a recount of the vote he had just lost, and when Republican operatives were concerned that Mr. Siegelman could be a significant political threat in future elections.
Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Reps. Linda Sánchez of California and Artur Davis of Alabama want the Justice department to send whatever documents they have on Georgia Thompson and Dr. Cyril Wecht, yet another Dem indicted by a U.S. attorney that NEVER found cause to investigated illegality by a GOPer under its Pennsylvania swing state jurisdiction.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stay of Execution

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Troy Anthony Davis a stay of execution for up to 90 days to allow them to review the overwhelming evidence against Davis's guilt.

Davis should not only not be executed -- but he should be awarded a brand new trial.

Earlier, Howling Latina found some small comfort in the fact the board chairman deciding Davis's fate had as a young man attended a mostly black university and earned both his undergraduate and law degrees at Howard University.

It looks like her hopeful optimism might've been well founded. Had the Board not intervened, poor Davis would have died tomorrow evening.

The Associated Press via Access North Georgia reports that "lawyers for Davis spent more than five hours pleading with the board to grant a reprieve to their client."
The board's options included commuting Davis' death sentence to life in prison or granting a stay of his execution while it considers the issues. Among those who argued for clemency for Davis during Monday's parole board hearing were friends, family and U.S. Representative John Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat and civil rights icon.Davis's lawyer said five witnesses who testified at trial spoke to the board on his behalf.
The prosecution team argued their case this afternoon. Family and friends of the victim also testified that "Davis received a fair trial and has had plenty of appeals, all of which...failed."

Guess victim friends and relatives are now legal scholars.

Well, it was their only argument, for they could hardly rebut defense's main contention that the trial had been rigged because investigators strong-armed witnesses. And never mind that 1 out 5 from the jury pool had to be dismissed for bias and prejudice. Or that prosecutors "exercise[d] a disproportionate percentage of strikes against African Americans."

Just keep repeating the mantra, "The trial was fair...the trial was fair...the trial was fair...

But hell, even a biased jury would not have convicted Davis without the testimony of the nine lying witnesses. The jury solely and exclusively relied on their testimony to convict and sentence Davis to the death chamber. There was no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder.

Six have subsequently sworn in affidavits that they were browbeaten by police and falsely testified in court. The only claim left is the specious one that the trial was fair.

Dear sweet folks, the criminal justice system has four components: arrest, trial, appeal and punishment.

So it's not okay for the arrest element to be corrupted through police intimidation; and it's certainly not okay for witnesses to subsequently lie as a result. And it's definitely not okay to kill someone just so that authorities can move on.

Guess prosecutors figured someone had to pay for killing a police officer. So what if the poor sap convicted was innocent? Just as long as the murder was officially solved and closed.

Sure wish news account had noted whether the other three so-called witnesses are in the criminal justice system and might have reason to fear reprisal if they, too, recant their testimony.

Update: The Associated Press via MSNBC reports that attorneys for Davis say that seven witnesses have now either recanted or contradicted their testimony. In affidavits, three people said that another man, Sylvester Coles, admitted that he was the killder after Davis was convicted and sentenced to die. It was Mr. Coles who initially identified Davis as the killer.

Parole Hearing Under Way

Let every man, woman and child of faith pray that Georgia's state Board of Pardons and Paroles will heed the cry for justice and commute the death sentence of Troy Anthony Davis; and that the Georgia Supreme Court will order a new trial.

As Howling Latina writes this post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the hearing has been underway since this morning.

After listening to more than five hours of pleas to spare the life of convicted cop killer Troy Anthony Davis, the state parole board is now hearing from those who want the condemned inmate's scheduled execution tomorrow to proceed.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) sat on the front pew in the clemency hearing room, ready to support Davis' clemency request. Lewis left before the hearing was over, and did not comment to reporters. Davis' lawyers, Jason Ewart and Danielle Garten, declined comment after the hearing.

Oh where oh where are all those sanctimonious right-to-life religious zealots hiding...?

Where is their faux moral outrage...?

Porter Sentenced to Death

Thomas A. Porter was sentenced to die by Judge Chuck Griffith. Last March, a jury panel recommened that Porter be executed during the penalty phase of his trial. Griffith just merely confirmed the preordained today.

Like a script from Potemkin Justice, every death row recommendation by a jury panel in Virginia must be blessed by a trial judge. Yes, the Virginia criminal legal system makes elaborate phony rituals to give some semblance of deliberation by an esteemed public officer of the court.

But of course, each and every time, the judge simply ratifies what the jury panel recommended after their lengthy gut-wrenching deliberations of about...oh, usually 90 minutes or so.

Suffice it to say the system is very biased toward conviction and execution. To illustrate, let us hearken back to the penalty phase of Mr. Porter's trial. The Virginian-Pilot reported that defense counsel was not allowed to ask jurors to try to imagine life in the defendant's shoes.

Why that would be a LEGAL OUTRAGE!

When Capital Defender Joseph A. Migliozzi Jr., told jurors in his closing argument that "to understand Porter, they should 'step in this person's shoes,'" Circuit Judge Chuck Griffith went ballistic.
"That is an improper argument under Virginia law," Griffith said. "You are never to be asked to step inside somebody else's shoes. Never."
Indeed, the jury can witness tearful agonizing testimony from the victim's family and friends but defense can't even so much as ask jury members to empathize just a tad and try to see things from the vantage of the convicted.

And so it goes that Porter becomes the latest soul on Death Row in the commonwealth of Virginia. Folks should feel safer already.


Execution Of Georgia Man Near Despite Recantations

Howling Latina has written several posts about the impending execution of an innocent man in Georgia.

She is thrilled to see the story has gathered front-page headlines, the most recent being the Washington Post tomorrow morning.

A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday for killing a police officer in 1989, even though the case against him has withered in recent years as most of the key witnesses at his trial have recanted and in some cases said they lied under pressure from police.

Prosecutors discount the significance of the recantations and argue that it is too late to present such evidence. But supporters of Troy Davis, 38, and some legal scholars say the case illustrates the dangers wrought by decades of Supreme Court decisions and new laws that have rendered the courts less likely to overturn a death sentence.

Troy Davis came from a middle-class family and had signed up to join the U.S. Marines. The actual killer was the one who fingered him. Corroborating witnesses say they were strong-armed by the police and threatened with jail time if they didn't come forward with 'information.'

For instance, Jeffrey Sapp, "a neighborhood acquaintance of Davis" said in an affidavit that police told him, "If you don't talk, we can take you to jail for withholding evidence."
Sapp eventually told them that Davis had bicycled by his house and confessed to shooting MacPhail
Now, this sorry narrative makes Howling Latina physically sick from rage. For every person who supports executing criminals, read the article, for God's sake. And then try to argue that capital punishment is just deserts for the worst of the worst and our criminal justice system is just hunky-dory.

The system is broken; and the only way to fix it is to stop the killing. State-sanctioned murder must be abolished.


Let's hope the nation leaders are paying close attention to tomorrow's headlines as they read their unofficial newspaper of record.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Webb v. Graham - Part Deux

Howling Latina just finished watching the Graham smack down by Sen. Jim Webb on "Meet the Press."

That's right, after watching the show this morning, it was so good, she just had to to watch it again this evening to savor the well-deserved shellacking Graham took from Webb.

Suffice it to say that Webb cut right through the White House talking points with a slap in the face and a dose of reality that left Russert speechless and Graham gasping for air.

Like this is not a war but a "botched occupation." Our occupation in Iraq is the "greatest recruiting tool" for al-Qaeda. The "extremists" our soldiers are fighting in Iraq are mostly Saudis, not Iranians. Whether we leave Iraq tomorrow or in ten years, Iraq is going to remain an ungodly mess. Al-Qaeda forces are not in Iraq because they hate Iraqi's flimflam democracy. The folks kicking al-Qaeda's butt are the "redneck justice" brigade who don't like them -- not the Iraqi military. Iranians may be killing our soldiers, but so are the Saudis, our supposedly most loyal ally in the Middle East. "The worst nightmare of al-Qaeda [are] the Iraqis who’ve stood up to them" -- not the American surge. A majority of soldiers think we should not be in Iraq. Only 35 percent of the military supports President Bush's catastrophic success in Iraq.

Those are just a few of the highlights. Here's the link to the transcript; and here's a link to the show.

Enjoy the fireworks.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bill Clinton Was Wrong!!!

William Jefferson Clinton executed a mentally retarded man as governor of Arkansas on his way to the White House. This was his reasoned contribution to centrist politics. By Job, no softie on crime.

Clinton also signed into law the horrid Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act conjured up by Newtie and his band of GOPers in the Contract with America.

Time has an excellent article on the facts of the Troy Anthony Davis case, an innocent man about to be executed in Georgia. It's definitely worth a read and explains the genesis of AEDPA.

Facing political pressure one year after the Oklahoma City bombing and seven months before the presidential election, Clinton signed the bill, but inserted a somewhat incongruous signing statement that called for the federal courts to continue their oversight role.
The U.S. Supreme Court has totally ignored Willie's signing statement (which was too cute by half). They strictly interpret the act, "further restraining the ability of federal courts to grant new trials" as evidenced by their refusal to "give Davis one last hearing" last month even though six of the nine prosecution witnesses have recanted their trial testimony.

Hell, even former FBI director William S. Sessions thinks executing Davis would be a travesty in justice; and he SUPPORTS the death penalty.

Here is an excerpt from Time:
[T]here are serious questions whether, as Gingrich famously said, justice delayed is justice denied. The system of appeals can still stretch out over decades, but in Davis' case, many of those appeals are now being denied for procedural reasons. In his 2004 petition to the federal district court in Savannah, Davis presented recanted testimony, most of which involves witnesses who say police coercion caused them to wrongly implicate Davis. He also presented nine individuals' affidavits that suggested that the real murderer was actually the former acquaintance who first accused Davis of the crime.
No more Southern presidents; give me a progressive Mid-Westerner or a liberal West or East Coaster. In the meantime, get those impeachment papers ready for Gonzo, Bush and Cheney.

Boo, hoo, hoo, hoo - Gilmore Drops Out of Race

What will the nation do...?

Howling Latina just received word that former Gov. James Gilmore, the only real conservative in the presidential race in '08 has dropped out.

He just wasn't able to race any $$$, doggone it!

Perhaps Gilmore will grace the commonwealth with a run for the Senate seat when John Warner announces his retirement. Or possibly he'll duke it out with former Sen. George "Bubba" Allen, for the governorship in '09. Surely this can't be the end of a stellar political career.

Anatomy of Murder - Southern Style

It seems that former Gov. Mary Sue Terry's adage that innocence is "irrelevant" will hold true to form in Jackson, Georgia in three short days when the state executes an innocent man.

At 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, the state of Georgia is scheduled to shackle Troy Anthony Davis to a padded metal gurney and inject his veins with the deadly cocktail of sodium thiopental (to knock him out), pancuronium/tubocurarine (to freeze the muscle movements except his heart) and finally, potassium chloride (to stop his heart).

If all goes "well," Mr. Davis will get to meet his maker within minutes. If not, oh dear, give him another cocktail and let him take a "bathroom break."

Yet another sad tale of an innocent man about to be executed because the rusty wheels of justice in the South failed to protect him from the looming abyss. And a story remarkably similar to the heart-stirring account of Sterling Spann as recently told by MSNBC.

In the case of Mr. Spann, intrepid counsel, a dogged childhood friend and the weight of evidence against Spann's guilt ultimately convinced the South Carolina Supreme Court to vacate the verdict and order a new trial.

But thanks to the Federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, there may be no happy episode on TV-land where Mr. Davis gets to thank his supporters for saving his lflesh and ride out into the sunset of life.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Davis received effective counsel; and the fact that no physical evidence (like a gun or DNA) linked Davis to the crime and that eyewitness recollections used to convict were subsequently recanted remain immaterial; the fickle fate of injustice moves right along.

Citing that law, attorneys for the state contend Davis' new evidence cannot be considered because he didn't present it years ago when his appeal was in the state courts. A federal judge in Savannah has agreed, saying Davis failed to offer the evidence during the time frame allowed under the 1996 law.

That law has put Davis in a seemingly unwinnable situation. His lawyers say five of the six witnesses did not recant their testimony until after his state appeals had been exhausted. By then, it was too late under the new rules for the court to consider the recantations. The lawyers say a lack of funding made it impossible to track these key witnesses down any sooner.

Prosecution effectively argued that defense lawyers "had more than enough time to turn up new witnesses." And a spokesperson for the state attorney's office recently reminded reporters that all claims were litigated. Russ Willard asserts that "Davis' lawyers 'had the opportunity to explore this and chose not to."

Of course, the state doesn't like to mention the pesky fact that Congress failed to fund money for counsel for death row inmates in 1996; and the defense team for Davis and 79 other death row inmates was reduced to two lawyers, an investigator and an administrative assistant.

At the time, the defense asked the state to continue the 1996 evidenciary hearing, especially after the lead attorney quit and took another job after the cutbacks. The state opposed the motion, won and last month, the U.S Supreme Court refused to hear defense appeals of new evidence and inadequate defense.

All that now stands between Davis and the needle is the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wisely observes that "124 death row inmates have been released from state prisons after evidence proved their innocence."

Police, prosecutors, judges, witnesses and juries make mistakes, but those mistakes can never be reversed once a death sentence is carried out."
Chairman Garland R. Hunt who was appointed by Gov. George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III in 2004 leads the five-member panel. It is the only jurisdiction with authority in Georgia law to commute a death sentence.

Before his appointment to the Board, Hunt served as past president for the Network of Politically Active Christians. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University and is African-American.

Hunt's deep roots in the faith and adult education at a black university in the nation's capital will hopefully bear the fruit of justice in the woeful matter of Mr. Davis.

There's just one possible roadblock -- or break. Mr. Hunt's political consideration in light of his political aspiration.

Just this month, Hunt proudly threw his hat into ring and announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination to the state House in District 37. The current officeholder is Terry Johnson, a moderate Democrat who last year won by the tiniest of margins: a mere 67 votes.

Update: The Associated Press via the Washington Post reports that a Georgia superior court judge refused to halt the scheduled execution of Davis and order a new trial. Attorneys for the defense are appealing the judge's decision to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Webb v. Graham

Jolly, jolly...this should be FUN!

This Sunday, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., will go up against Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, mano-a-mano on "Meet the Press" to explain to the American people why the surge in Iraq has been a dismal failure and America needs to bring our soldiers home.

During the second half of the show, the guest panel will consist of Al Hunt of Bloomberg News, Mike Murphy, a GOP political consultant, Robert Novak of Chicago Sun-Times and Bob Shrum, a Democratic losing strategist.

The show touts Novak's appearance as the first one since his book, "The Prince of Darness:50 Years Reporting in Washington" was published.

Let's hope Timmy can find the time to ask his royal highness a few questions about the CIA legal scandal and what he thinks of Scooter's get out of jail card.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

An Innocent Man Is About To Be Executed

Just another shameful story about the legal justice system in America, especially in the South.

On July 17, a man is scheduled to be executed in the peachy state of Georgia even though chances are very high that he is innocent.

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Troy Anthony Davis who was convicted solely on the testimony of nine so-called witnesses. Since then, six recanted most of their court statements.

Back in 2005, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that witnesses in sworn testimony said they never saw Davis pull the trigger but were "pressured by police to say otherwise."

Two of [the six] witnesses confirmed their new claims in interviews with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Susan Boleyn, a lawyer for the state attorney general's office, said that in past years state courts, and more recently Nangle, had considered Davis' new claims and rejected them.

Boleyn also dismissed the recantations. "You may find it compelling
testimony," she told the court. "I don't. I think it was rank hearsay."

Judge Rosemary Barkett expressed concern that Davis has not been allowed a hearing in federal court to present the new evidence. "If these people say, 'I was coerced by the police,' how could he reject that without a hearing?" she asked, referring to Nangle.
So what if the death row inmate is black and the murdered man was a white off-duty police officer? Davis was guilty of SOMETHING.

Move along, nothing to see behind the curtain.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fire Blowhard Chris Matthews of "Hardball"

Fire blowhard Chris Matthews of "Hardball" whose daily antics are growing increasingly stale and hire fresh-faced David Shuster.

Think Progress has a wonderful post about Shuster of MSNBC who filled in this week for vacationing Chris Matthews.

In a segment last night, Shuster "ripped" neoconservative Fouad Ajami for having the cheeky chutzpah to equate felon Scooter Libby to "fallen U.S. soldiers" in a Wall Street editorial last month.

You see, according to Ajami, both are martyrs in the perpetual and eternal war on terror.

Howling Latina watched Shuster and was quite impressed with the way he handled the lying talking points of Ajami and his ilk. She also was also very pleased with his guest panel that included Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post. It was the first time she had seen him on television.

And surprisingly, Froomkin looks exactly as the picture next to his byline. After all, let's face it, journalists have been known to post 20-year old pictures.

Robert Novak or David Broder, anyone...?

Well, we need to have more journalists like Shuster with their own show and see fewer images of wingnuts like Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Morning Joe.

Folks, write MSNBC and ask them to find a spot for Shuster on their nightly schedule so we can have more segments on Cableland with the Froomkins of the world.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Lynch Mob Mentality in Capital Murder Case

On Monday, a male juror in the capital double murder trial of Alfredo R. Prieto wrote a letter to the judge saying he now regrets voting guilty two weeks ago.

The Washington Post reports that the letter "threw the high-profile case into turmoil" as the jury decides whether to sentence Prieto to life in prison without parole or to die.
"I am concerned that a 'sacrifice' is being processed instead of justice being served," the juror wrote. He said the jury's awareness that Prieto is already on death row in California and that he has tattoos on his neck helped create "a 'lynch mob' dynamic, which I regrettably rationalized to go along with in convicting defendant on all charges."
Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Robert F. Horan, Jr., who announced his retirement effective September, is trying the case alongside Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Raymont F. Morrogh, who is vying for the top position as his heir-apparent.
The juror said he felt that Prieto was never presumed innocent and that "we convicted the defendant of killings that had no witness, no murder weapon, no fingerprints, etc." He said that rather than try to answer the tough questions of the case, the jury "gave the benefit of the doubt to a lovable and passionate elderly gentleman prosecutor, instead of the defendant."
The Prieto case symbolizes all that is immoral with the justice system. In an effort to acquire that final notch on his belt as a hard-boiled prosecutor, Horan charged Prieto with the rape and killing of a young couple killed in 1988 without any physical evidence linking him to the murders.

Based on DNA evidence alone, Prieto was indicted and convicted of killing Rachael Raver and her boyfriend, Warren H. Fulton, both 22. Prieto is currently on death row for raping and killing a 15-year old girl in California.

Lest you join herd mentality and "ass-ume" Prieto is guilty since he's already been tried, convicted and sentenced to die for essentially the same crimes in California, please note that his defense team in California was fined in 2001 by the California Supreme Court for dereliction of duty.

Andrew Rubin and Terrence V. Scott "were held in contempt and fined by the state Supreme Court yesterday for failing to file their opening brief in a capital case until nearly two years past the original deadline. " One claimed he had "writer's block."

In his letter, the remorseful Fairfax juror perfectly described how the unfair process of capital murder trials favors the prosecution team.
The juror said he felt that Prieto was never presumed innocent and that "we convicted the defendant of killings that had no witness, no murder weapon, no fingerprints, etc." He said that rather than try to answer the tough questions of the case, the jury "gave the benefit of the doubt to a lovable and passionate elderly gentleman prosecutor, instead of the defendant."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Let Freedom Ring

Eight abolitionists were convicted for demonstrating in front of the steps of the Supreme Court building last week.

Last January, on the 30th anniversary of the first execution after the Supreme Court ruled that killing someone by the state was not "cruel and unusual punishment," eight activists from different parts of the country unfurled a 30-foot banner that said "Stop Executions."

Prosecutors then introduced the "Stop Executions" banner as evidence and the protestors were "found guilty and sentenced to time served and a $50 contribution to the Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation fund. This was similar to the sentence received by the ninth demonstrator, Franklin Dew, who entered a nolo plea in March. They had faced up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $5,000.00 on each count."

On trial were Elizabeth V. Brockman of Durham, North Carolina, Brian Buckley of Charlottesville, Virginia, Ronald W. Kaz of Chas, South Carolina, Scott Langley of Boston, Massachusetts, Rachel Y. Lawler of Montpelier, Vermont, Thomas W. Muther of Topeka, Kansas, Jack Payden-Travers of Lynchburg, Virginia and Anna Z. Shockley of South Carolina. All nine arrested on Jan. 17th had spent 30 hours in the District of Columbia jail before being released on personal recognizance & had been issues a stay-away order banning them from the Supreme Court building and grounds until their trial.
Payden-Travers of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty said the group will likely appeal the verdict, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court.

Indeed, why shouldn't citizens be allowed to protest the deeds of the highest arbiter of the laws of the land, especially since Bush and his ilk have totally politicized the justice system as evidenced by Gonzo and other loyal Bushies...? And yes, that especially includes Chief Supreme Court Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

On our nation's birthday, let us remember that freedom means allowing the voices of the few, the forgotten, the maligned and the least of us heard -- no matter how embarassing it is for our leaders in government.

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