Friday, August 31, 2007

Quotes & Context from John Warner's Retirement Announcement

Here are a few passages (as best as Howling Latina could construe) and context from Sen. John Warner's afternoon's press conference on the Rotunda steps at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville transcribed from the C-SPAN video.

Quoting Thomas Jefferson, builder and founder of UVA in summing up his prepared text:

"There is a fullness of time when men should go and not occupy too long the ground for which others have the right to advance.

"So I say with great humility and thankfulness in my heart, I yield that ground so that others can advance.”
Taking a few questions from the press after the speech.

On when he made his retirement decision:

Really, in the last day or two…I wanted to make one final trip to Iraq. That situation in Iran and Afghanistan occupies the major portion of my thinking every day of my life…

I have played, I am playing and I will continue to play a role in trying to bring about a cessation of that conflict such that it reflects nothing but dignity upon those men and women in the armed forces and indeed many civilians who serve in those theatres and are still serving.

As you may now, I was privileged to write the law which required the president to comment on a series of benchmarks, which he did on July 15. The law further requires the president to speak to the nation and the Congress on the 15th of September. And prior thereto the law requires Gen. Petraus and the United States ambassador to come before the Congress and give us their views.

There was another section that I put into the law, which I think is going to be a strong success. That is, I felt that we needed a totally independent analysis of the professional ability, today, tomorrow and in the future of the Iraqi security forces. Be they army or police.

On the question of retirement and speaking out against the Iraq war:
Now, by taking this action [retirement], no one can say, politics is going to dictate in one way or another how I’m going to decide to speak out what’s the best interest for this nation. I’m going to do that. I respectfully want to support the office of the president. He has clear, very clear constitutional responsibilities but the Congress also has its say in the framework. But my hope that maybe, maybe, we can reach in what might be a forthcoming debate, some bipartisanship to show that we’re moving together to try and resolve this conflict in a way that protects our vital interest as a nation in this whole region—not just Iraq. But you also have to have responsibility for our men and women in the army...
On having a favorite person in mind to replace him in the Senate:
Quick contribution is to step back and let the state work it..
On Virginia's junior senator, Jim Webb:
I’ve gotten to know a lot of senators and political figures…Jim Webb, for example, I wasn’t entirely sure, even though I’d known him through the years, just how he would work. But he’s been a strong working partner in the Senate. And particularly helpful to me in trying to provide the president with the names of individuals who can serve in the federal judiciary. That’s one of our main responsibilities…
On boosting Tom Davis candidacy (since he'll likely be the only congressman running for the seat in the GOP field):
I have no one in mind. I really feel that an experienced person must step up. I think within the ranks of the Republican members of Congress who I will now call momentarily and thank all of them for their work. We worked together very well as a team; all these 30 men and women that I have worked through the years. That’s the type of experience I hope will come forward to win this election.

On his greatest accomplishment in the Senate:

I have tried to pay back the United States military for all the things that it did for me in some three tours that I’ve had in many years past and many years in the reserves… That, together with trying to fix the little things in little villages and towns all across the state; these are marvelous people…
On the press:
You’ve been eminently fair to me. I don’t know what kind sort of hamburger you’ll chop up today and put out, but you have been fair to me. Tough but fair. I only mention that not to flatter you but I see other senators, literally, eviscerated day in and day out by elements of the press in their states. And be it a Republican or Democrat in our great state, that’s not happening. The press in our state are very hard working and responsible; they’ll dig down and get the truth. They’ll tell it fair and square.
On what lies ahead for the country:
These are critical times in our country…Precarious situation in so many parts of the word. Whether it’s Iran or Syria or Musharraf...
On how streakers ruined the 1972 UVA graduation ceremony where he was the commencement speaker and the president took him to his house and gave him a compulation of Shakespeare's work as a gift, quoting a passage that stood out:
"This above all, to thine own self be true.” Well, I have tried to do that; and more importantly, I have tried to be -- not only true to myself but true to all the people of this great commonwealth that I have served for now 29 years and to the people across America.

Tune in Now - David Shuster Hosting "Tucker"

Folks, please tune in to MSNBC and watch David Shuster fill in for "Tucker."

Perhaps MSNBC is finally getting a clue and will let a few progressives play a major role in Cableland. Enough viewers, and Dancing Tucker should be history.

Whether you have a chance to watch the show or not, drop MSNBC a line and let them know how much you'd enjoy seeing Shuster in the future.

Pipe Down, Joe!

With Sen. John Warner announcing his retirement and the Dems in excellent shape to not only retain their majority in the Senate but add a few seats in'08, poor Joe Lieberman has lost his mojo. No more dire threats about switching parties.

That's right, Joe, your menacing days are over.
So be a good little pig, and fly home to Connecticut where your new neighbors have a special "anti-war welcome" for you.

Lieberman recently purchased a home in Stamford and announced that "after 47 years in New Haven," he was moving.
But it didn't take long for Ed Anderson, creator of the Web site, to find out where he was moving.

Anderson, who learned Lieberman's new address from city real estate records yesterday, said Lieberman should be used to protests outside his home, because war opponents have done the same thing in New Haven."

Are we smiling and saying, 'You can't get away from us?' Yeah, we are, but it's nothing new," Anderson said.

Well run along and be a good little boy, Joe, or we'll have to take away your chair and committee asignments.

Breaking News - Warner Retiring

Breaking news: Sen. John Warner announced he's retiring and will not run for reelection in '08, the Washington Post and other media reports.

For the first time in 30 years, Warner's name will not be on the ballot. And as the Post notes, "His retirement is unwelcome news for his fellow Republicans."

Look for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to ratchet up the heat to convince former Gov. Mark Warner to run for the open seat. To no avail, IMHO, until the fall election results for the Virginia General Assembly are in.

If Dems don't pick up state Senate chamber in November, look for Warner to pass. If Dems win, he's in. And in the meantime, don't expect the former governor to tip his hand.

With Republicans battling it to the death for the worthless nomination if Warner runs, Dems may not even need a first-tier candidate to win. Northern Virginia holds the key; and the GOP strategy of immigration as a wedge issue is starting to look more and more like a sledge hammer from the sky for the batwings and manna from heaven for the Dems.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Foster Execution Called Off

GREAT news!

Hours before Kenneth Foster, Jr., was scheduled to be executed for a murder he did not commit, Texas Gov. Rick Perry spared his life, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Praise the Lord and HALLELUJAH!

In a 6-1 vote, the Board of Pardons and Paroles this morning recommended that Perry commute the death sentence.

And Perry not only agreed with the Board and commuted Foster's sentence but in so many words counseled state legislators to change the law. DRIVING THE GETAWAY CAR does not merit the needle.

The L.A. Times explains:
The governor did not address the Texas law that allows an accomplice to be given the death penalty, but said, "I am concerned about Texas law that allows capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously, and it is an issue I think the Legislature should examine."
Well folks, were it not for Gov. Tim Kaine's veto during the last session in Richmond, Virginia would now have on the books a similiar law. The needle would not be for the worst of the worst but anyone tangentially involved.

Let's hope and pray the General Assembly has the good sense to not introduce a bill that would do away with the "triggerman rule" next year.

GOP Flips Off Latinos - No Debate in Miami

All the rhetoric about changing the Latino voting bloc to the GOP side of the aisle dissipated with the rabid explosion of anti-immigrant fever; and as a result, Latinos came home to the Democratic Party in 2006.

Now it looks like GOPers have decided to write Latinos off this election cycle; can't alienate their racist base, you know.

Political Wire writes that due to lack of interest by the GOP candidates, the hyped Republican debate in Spanish on Univisión has been canned. And "the cancellation [has obviously added] to the growing distance between the Latino community" and the Republican Party.

[M]ost of the Republican field..."ignored invitations to attend Hispanic-oriented conferences in Florida organized by the National Association of Latin Elected Officials and the National Council of La Raza."
Not even a lame excuse about unavoidable scheduling conflicts. Oops, probrecito Cubanitos -- ninguna fiesta para ustedes en Miami!

But to avoid the glaring incrimination that Republicans don't give a hoot , event planners spinned the slight so fast and furiously that kinetosis rapidly became a congenital Miami disease.

The initial plan was to have Republicans debate on Sept. 16, as the Miami Herald notes; but only Sen. John McCain (bless his geezer heart) agreed to appear.

''That date is off the table,'' university spokeswoman Bárbara Gutiérrez said Wednesday.

She said a GOP debate hasn't been ruled out for later in the fall.

''We're thinking that everyone wants to see how the Democratic one goes before they commit,'' she said.

Oh well, this is the thanks Cuban-Americans get for helping Bush & Co. ultimately forge ahead in 2000 and deliver Florida to the GOP. .

Talk about total disrespect! Oh yea, Howling Latina can see more than a few of her brethren in Florida voting for the Dem. candidate in '08.

Update: GOPers trumped up the feeble excuse about "scheduling conflicts."

Republicans on the Campaign Trail

And sharing their moral values. (H/T Bartcop)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

GOP Hearts Unfunded Mandates

Never mind that Virginia Republicans have just about bankrupted the state with their steadfast refusal to fund roads, schools, health care and other services. Now in their haste to keep voters' minds off the harebrained abuser fees they pushed through the General Assembly in the spring, they want to add unfunded mandates to local governments and make worse their legacy of depravity and incompetence.

Yep, according to the Washington Post, the latest "GOP proposals" would:

--require sheriffs to confirm an arrested person's legal presence in the United States by checking nationwide databases maintained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;

--require every jail to have at least one person on duty at all times who has been certified by ICE to detain an illegal immigrant until deportation proceedings can begin;

--establish a legal presumption that bail will be denied when an illegal immigrant is charged with an offense punishable by jail or prison time;

--make a federal conviction for hiring illegal immigrants grounds for suspension of a state business license; and

--prohibit illegal immigrants from attending Virginia public colleges unless they have a valid student visa.

Oh, uh. Sanctions against businessowners...???

Guess Big Business ain't exactly thrilled with the list of batwing proffers. It would put them at a disadvantage with out-of-state employers and cost them $$$ when caught.

So...GOPers, you're no longer BB's buttercup. Dems lineup and cash in.

In the meantime, welcome to the home of Dixie and Southern hospitality, batwing style. Bend over and let the party of fiscal responsibility and family values with Virginia State Del. John Welch and United States Sen. Larry Craig leading the parade bend you over for a rammin' good exercise.

Jackson Miller Supporter Backs Hounding Immigrants

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. ~George Bernard Shaw

A couple of days ago, Howling Latina came out in support of the Latino boycott as a way to fight back against the menacing mean-spirited wave that has taken over Prince William County.

And as way to smear a candidate HL tried to help elect in a special election last year and may do so again this November, some "nattering nabob of negativism" darkly pointed out that gasp, she had worked the polls for Jeanette Rishell.

By the way, the mudslinging king was a stauch Jackson "Batwing" Miller supporter and loves to ratchet the poison that's bringing negative headlines to PWC and costing real estate prices to plummet beyond neighboring areas.

Well, rather than point out exactly why this blogger's worldview is oh, so contrived and racist, she'll let a passage from a Washington Post editorial comparing Washington area jurisdictions speak for her on the issue.

Prince William County...has lately joined the nationwide rush to hound illegal immigrants by denying them public services and siccing the police on them in hopes of driving them away. Prince William's neighbor to the north, Loudoun County, has done the same. But Manassas Park, its diminutive size notwithstanding, is refusing to be bullied into joining in the immigrant-bashing.

Mr. Fork Tongue, wonder ye then at the fiery pushback by Latinos???

He Lives! HE LIVES!

Nightmare in Little Havana, the undead Fidel lives!

Contrary to the latest round of rumors, very-much alive Fidel rose from his death-bed and penned an article in Cuba's Communist-run newspaper, Granma International to weigh in on American politics.

Fidel took a shot at the Cuban-American voting bloc in Florida and their ever-increasing influence in presidential prospects. With special focus on Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, Fidel writes:

Today, talk is about the seemingly invincible ticket that might be created with Hillary for President and Obama for Vice President. Both of them feel the sacred duty of demanding “a democratic government in Cuba”. They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday
And by bringing up the disputed 2000 presidential election and how Batista's loyal henchmen (loyalists to the former U.S.-backed repressive Cuban dictator) had a hand in it, Fidel also succeeded in scoring a rhetorical point on "virtue at a distance."
In the United States, you can have a minimum of votes and still become President. That is what happened to Bush. Having a majority of electoral votes and losing the Presidency is what happened to Gore. For that reason, the State of Florida is the prize everyone aspires to, because of the presidential votes it provides. In the case of Bush, an electoral fraud was also needed; for this, the first Cuban emigrants, who were the Batista supporters and the bourgeois, were best masters.

H/T The Washington Post.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Doug Wilder Makes Early Endorsement

Former Virginia governor and current Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder doesn't like to make early endorsements but in this election cycle, he's taking the plunge.

The Politico reports that Wilder is endorsing the best candidate in the Democratic presidential field: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Douglas Wilder of Virginia, who made history as the nation's first elected black governor, is preparing to campaign aggressively for Barack Obama, and predicted in an interview that the charismatic young candidate could shatter the Republican Party's virtual lock on the South.
Yep, Howling Latina couldn't agree more; and she expects Sen. Jim Webb to be coming out with his endorsement very soon.
His lavish praise was also surprising. Wilder's frequent practice has been to haze fellow Democrats, either with public digs or a mischievous silence, if he believed they had not paid their dues or could challenge him for influence.
Tim Kaine has already endorsed Obama; the popular Virginia governor was one of the earliest statewide officeholders to support him. On the other hand, Warner, ever the cautious pol, is staying above the fray for now.

Sorrow - Sin - and Immigration

Megachurch co-pastors are getting a divorce.

Channel surfing, Howling Latina often came across Rev. Paula White, the attractive blonde with a bold voice for cash and God, but rarely listened more than a minute or two, preferring the more down-to-earth Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries for her morning Holy Ghost pep rally.

Well, it seems the financial strains and bad publicity about their ministry of "more manipulation than inspiration" were too much. Paula and her husband, Rev/Bishop/ Randy White, are getting a divorce.

The Tampa Tribune reported several problems back in May:

Some businesspeople complai[n] the Whites reneged on deals and didn't pay their bills. In the past seven years, five lawsuits or claims of lien filed against the couple or the church were settled or resolved in court in the plaintiffs' favor.One, an interior designer, said Paula, 41, used the church's tax-free status to buy furnishings for her personal use.

Randy, 49, who uses the titles "doctor" and "bishop," does not have the degrees - earned and honorary - from the schools cited in his autobiography and on a former church Web site.

Oh dear; and now it's come to a divorce. CR Daily offers some insight with quotes:

"It is the most difficult decision that I have had to make in my entire life," said the Rev. Randy White, 49. "I take full responsibility for a failed marriage - 100 percent. I don't blame Paula, and I don't blame other parties. But as the man of the house, I take full responsibility for that."


Standing by his side and appearing to fight back tears, the Rev. Paula White called the decision to divorce "one of the most painful of our lives." "But God always comes to you in the dark places of life," White said, standing beside her husband in the pulpit.

For their followers, the news must be shocking, equal to Joyce Meyer fans tuning in to listen and learning that she and Dave were calling it quits. Unthinkable!

After the recent news about Mother Theresa's struggle with faith, it only goes to show that we're all human filled with faults, even charlattans and holy four-flushers.

Best to be humble and not boast about our superior moral fibre; and yes, that especially goes out to political party hacks who want to tar and feather illegal immigrants for simply wanting a better life for their families as they bitch and moan about abusive driver fees in Virginia for folks recklessly speeding and breaking the law.

In the words of Paul to Romans in the Holy Book, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Roman 3:10 (NIV)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Craig Busted for Lewd Behavior

Back in June, Howling Latina posted about the rumors that Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, was gay. Well, rumors no longer, it's now documented.

The Washington Post and other media is reporting that Craig was arrested in June for lewd behavior in the men's bathroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

According to the police report, the undercover officer set up his position in the restroom at noon on June 11. A few minutes later, Craig entered and sat in the stall next to him. Craig began tapping his right foot, touched his right foot to the left foot of the officer in the stall next to him and brushed his hand beneath the partition into the stall next to him. He was then arrested.

While he was interviewed about the incident, according to the police report, Craig gave police a business card showing he was a United States senator. "What do you think about that?" Craig asked the officer, according to the report obtained by Roll Call.

Since then, Craig pleaded guilty, was fined $500 and placed on probation for one year. was all a big misunderstanding, according to Craig. And darn it, he should've never agreed to plead guilty to the false charge in the first place.

Update: Can't help but wonder if Craig's vanishing support with Idaho conservatives in June had more to do with his arrest than his immigration stance.

Gonzo Gone & Rumored Replacements

Going, going, gone. At long last, shameless, lying Alberto Gonzales heard the loud gong of outrage and resigned his post as U.S. attorney general.

In breaking news, rumors of Gonzo leaving were right. He resigned last Friday but the administration wanted to wait to announce the good news so Bush could talk to him at his "ranch" in Texas over the weekend and avoid headlining the Sunday gabfests.

Meanwhile, Democrats are delirious with joy to see him go, The Washington Post records.

Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove," said Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.).

"Long overdue. The rampant politicization of federal law enforcement that occurred under his tenure seriously eroded public confidence in our justice system. The president must now restore credibility to the office of the Attorney General," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Ain't that the truth and then some...! Rumors are running amok that Paul Clement, Michael Chertoff, James Comey, Ted Olson, Chris Cox, Orin Hatch and Larry Thompson are all in the running.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vaya Con Dios, Mis Amigos

Howling Latina had planned to take her family out to dinner in Manassas for her son's birthday tomorrow and after reading the Washington Post article about a countywide business ban by Latinos, she is happy to say she will make certain she does not trade with any banned business.

You see, Ricardo Juarez, a Mexican-American activist, has "organized a week-long boycott in Prince William in protest of an anti-illegal immigration resolution unanimously approved by county supervisors July 10."

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you GOP batwings in PWC! Let every person of Hispanic heritage join the boycott and make their voices heard.

In fact, HL thinks she'll take it up a notch and write a few of the banned businesses to let them know why they'll be losing out on some $$$$. Just a little something-something they should be able to understand -- even when expressed in Spanish.

Of the boycott, the batwing county officials are outraged, of course.

He is not a moderate voice," said Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large). "I see him as an extremist who is hurting the entire Latino community by whipping them up into this anger and trying to convince them that this is a racist measure."
Stewart has been the paragon of civility and reasonableness, don't cha know. Welcome to the county show where the pot calls the victim kettle black.

Enthusiastic Miami Crowd Greets Obama

Even though the entry price was $25, the Democratic presidential candidate snagged the largest crowd so far in 2008 when he visited Miami.

Indeed, according to Beth Reinhard of the Miami Herald, Barack Obama "turned Saturday afternoon at Miami-Dade County Auditorium into Sunday morning at church...straying from the teleprompters [with] intimacy and spontaneity rarely seen on the campaign trail."
''You have my word -- and the government and people of Cuba should hear my call -- that our cause is simple,'' he said. "It's what drew my father across an ocean, and many of you across the waters to our south. That principle is libertad. Until there is justice in Cuba, there is no justice anywhere.''

Libertad! Freedom! Freedom to have an open dialogue with ANYONE!

The blogosphere has been abuzz lately because in an interview, Obama named batwing Sen. Tom Coburn, a man the Illinois senator rightly labeled the most conservative man in Washington, as a person he could work with.

Now, after excoriating Bush for refusing to sit down with Iran, bloggers have been trashing Obama all over the place for having the temerity to voice the unthinkable. THE HORROR! the horror...

Guess Obama and Coburn will soon be yappin' up ways to ban abortions, outlaw gays and mandate V-chips in every household.

Honestly, sometimes the national progressive blogosphere is so guilty of group-think me-tooism. But bless lefties little hearts, brave souls spoke truth to power in their comments.

That's right, equal to talking with adversaries from North Korea President Kim Jong-il to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Obama is absolutely right; freedom is the release from conventional wisdom; permission to talk to even the battiest of the batwings when interests coalesce -- and even when they don't.

Just the other day on Jon Stewart, Obama declined to attack Hillary after Stewart goaded him by dissing her ladyship's experience in the White House. But Obama didn't bite; he didn't bark; hell, he didn't even growl.

This guy is an independent spirit and authentic to a fault. Hillary can talk up all her experience and try to scare Dems to vote for her because you know, she's the only one who can save us from the mean terrible terrorists; but..Obama doesn't need to use creepy histrionics, he can get votes through honest, common sense solutions. Like removing the harebrained travel ban to Cuba.

Americans "want someone new,'' Obama told the cheering crowd. "They want to turn the page. They want to write a new chapter of American history."

Amen, Brother Obama. Godspeed, and what the hell has taken you so long?!?

Update: Attendees paid as much as $100 for seats. H/T Pensito Review.

Fox News' Chris Wallace -- Fair and Gullible

Of course, everyone lies except St. Rove.

What's the use of asking Rove anything, like Max Cleland notes, if Turd Blossom's lips are moving, he's lying.

Freedom's Watch Busted

This video ranks right up there with Macaca. It's so pathetically ironic that's it's a hysterical hoot.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More on Erratic Polls from Political Wire

A few days ago, Howling Latina mentioned that polls can be misleading due to sample size.

Well, as the goodlord would have it, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire has a post on the subject today.

Taegan recently linked to a Zogby International poll of likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers showing Mitt Romney leading Rudy Giuliani 33%-14%. The poll had a sample size of 487, yeilding a margin of error of about +/- 4.5 percentage points. In other words, there is a 95% probability that Mitt Romney is supported by 28.5%-37.5% of likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers. And there is a 95% probability that Rudy Giuliani is supported by 9.5%-18.5% of likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers. That's means that we can be pretty confident that Romney is leading in Iowa (assuming no error except sampling error), since these "confidence intervals" do not overlap.

Now, using the same formula for Webb's SurveyUSA favorability poll in August, there is a 95 percent probability that Webb is supported by 43.5 - 52.5 percent of Virginians. Likewise, there is an 95 percent probability that Warner is supported by 52.5 - 61.5 percent.

As one can see, it's within the margin of error that Virginians favor Webb by 52.5 percent and Warner by an identical 52.5 percent.

In July, Webb registered a 46.5 - 55.5 percent favorable rating among Virginians with a 95 percent confidence level and Warner registered a 48.5 - 57.5 with a 95 percent confidence level. This means with a 95 percent probability, Virginians might've favored Webb over Warner in July, 55.5 to 48.5 percent.

When gaging support in the subgroups, the polls are pretty meaningless as Political Wire explains.

Zogby then says that Romney is leading in many age groups. For example, among 35-54 year-olds, he holds an 11-point lead over Giuliani. But the size of this subgroup (middle age people) is much smaller, meaning that the margin of error is much larger. Although the press release does not divulge internals, let us suppose that 35-54 year-olds comprise about 20% of the sample, yeilding a sample size of 100. According to Census figures, that's generous: 35-54 year-olds actually make up closer to 15% of the population. Nevertheless, a sample size of 100 yields a margin of error of +/- 10 percentage points, easily encompassing the 11-point lead.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Zbigniew Brzezinski Endorses Obama

Former national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, slams Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as "very conventional" and backward looking. And in an interview with Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital with Al Hunt." TPM Cafe reports that Brzezinski endorsed Barack Obama.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

"Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand," Brzezinski...said. "He has a sense of what is historically relevant, and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world."

Brzezinski, 79, dismissed the notion that Clinton, 59, a New York senator and the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is more seasoned than Obama, 46. "Being a former first lady doesn't prepare you to be president," Brzezinski said.

Clinton's foreign-policy approach is "very conventional," Brzezinski said. "I don't think the country needs to go back to what we had eight years ago."

"There is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we conduct world affairs," he added. "And Obama seems to me to have both the guts and the intelligence to address that issue and to change the nature of America's relationship with the world."

Like Howling Latina, Steve Clemons hearkens back to the pesky Cuban issue about travel and concludes that Clinton is so obviously wrong.
Obama sketched what a near term future in US-Cuba relations could look like, and Hillary Clinton -- regrettably, as I do recognize her many strengths -- is staying in the past.
With the country is shambles after eight years of Bush, the next presidential election is going to be a very serious business. HL thinks Obama is intelligent, forward-thinking, progressive, and the best hope Americans have to keep the country moving forward.

Kudos for Obama with this latest endorsement!

Jim Webb to Headline Jefferson Jackson Dinner in New Hampshire

It seems our junior senator is very popular throughout the country.

Union Leader reports that Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA, will be headlining the Democratic Jefferson Jackson Dinner in New Hampshire in October.

The senator whose election is credited with swinging the balance of power to Democrats in the U.S. Senate last year will be the featured speaker at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in October.


Sen. Webb's election to the United States Senate was a critical victory for Democrats as we fight to end the war as quickly as possible and tend to the national priorities, like health care and education, which were ignored under the Republican-controlled Congress," Buckley said.

Of course, New Hamsphire is a battleground state in the Senate race with embattled Republican John Sununu on his last jammin' phone session -- er. last days before voters boot him out of office.

Uh, oh, get the cavalry ready. Looks like Fightin' Jim Webb is going to the Granite State to help fight the good fight; and yea, unlike Sununu, without cheating and lying.

Warner and Webb on Upcoming Sunday Talk Shows

Sen. John Warner, R-VA will be the featured guest on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA will be yapping-up some sense on ABC's “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Both Webb and Warner believe our military needs to start to redeploy the troops out of Iraq.

Other upcoming guests on "Meet the Press" are Richard Engel, NBC News foreign correspondent and Beirut Bureau Chief, Michael Gordon, New York Times military correspondent and co-author of "Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion & Occupation of Iraq" and Thomas Ricks, Washington Post military correspondent and author of "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq."

Seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, will also be joining Tim Russert. Armstrong is co-hosting two presidential cancer forums next Monday and Tuesday in Iowa.

Hmmm, wonder what Mean Jean Schmidt from Ohio's 2nd Congressional District has to say about the latest "coward" (by way of senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee) deciding it's time to cut and run?!?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Barack Obama & Jim Webb

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wrote an op-ed in the Miami-Herald decrying the draconian edict by the Bush administration which prohibits Cuban-Americans from sending cash or visiting loved ones.

"Our main goal," Obama writes, is "freedom in Cuba."

[T]he Bush administration has made grand gestures to that end while strategically blundering when it comes to actually advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in Cuba. This is particularly true of the administration's decision to restrict the ability of Cuban Americans to visit and send money to their relatives in Cuba. This is both a humanitarian and a strategic issue. That decision has not only had a profoundly negative impact on the welfare of the Cuban people. It has also made them more dependent on the Castro regime and isolated them from the transformative message carried there by Cuban Americans.

In the ''Cuban spring'' of the late 1990s and early years of this decade, dissidents and human-rights activists had more political space than at any time since the beginning of Castro's rule, and Cuban society experienced a small opening in advancing the cause of freedom for the Cuban people.
Great minds think alike. Webb agrees with Obama.

However, the anointed Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, clashes with Obama; and by extension, opposes the current bipartisan bill in the Senate that Webb supports and would ban current and future presidents from restricting travel by American citizens and residents to Cuba except in the case of war.

In fact, the New York senator's campaign told reporters that "for the most part," she did not want to do anything to the "Bush administration's hard-line stance," as Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics noted.

Well...with Hillary professing the Iraqi surge to be a success and now this latest salvo, perhaps Dems like Howling Latina might want to cross her name off the list of potential presidential candidates. It seems little would change if the junior senator from New York were to be elected; just more of the same.

It certainly looks like Hillary is looking ahead to the general election and counting her chicks before they hatch. Fergawdsake, America cannot survive more of the same.

Blessedly, The Herald reports that Edwards agrees with Obama.
The other major Democratic candidate, John Edwards, said in a statement Tuesday that promoting travel by family members to Cuba ''can help spread the promise of freedom and democracy within Cuba and strengthen families across the waters.'' He favors the cap on remittances to use as leverage against the
Obama is coming to Miami on Aug. 25. And with a majority of the country, including Cuban-Americans supporting lifting the travel ban, wonder how many Dems will shell out $25 for the event???

Stay tuned...if Obama should win the Democratic presidential candidacy, Howling Latina can easily see Fightin' Jim Webb on the ticket as vice president. Obama campaigned hard for Webb in his Senate race against Goober Allen; and the chemistry was definitely there.

The Problem with Survey USA Polls

Raising Kaine wonders what's going on with Warner's poll numbers going up and Webb's numbers coming down in the latest Survey USA approval poll.

Howling Latina has an explanation for the gyrations in approval rate numbers for the Virginia senators. The monthly sample size is simply too small and should be examined over the long run in conjunction with prior polls.

Think about it: No matter how scientific the model, does one truly believe that a sample size of 600 adults with 108 blacks and 24 Hispanics is meaningful, especially when the margin of error is as high as 4.1 percent???

The swings from month to month support HL's hypothesis and the numbers are interesting and great conversation fodder but should be taken in stride.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Americans Make Less $$$ in 2005 than Five Years Earlier

It seems all the money that was supposed to trickle down from the uber rich and corporate elites to the masses after the behemoth Bush tax cuts got wedged on their way down between Texas turd blossom and the common folks.

That's right, in an article posted online today, The New York Times reports that Americans make less money in 2005 than they did when Bush initially stole the election in the year 2000.

Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.


Total income listed on tax returns grew every year after World War II, with a single one-year exception, until 2001, making the five-year period of lower average incomes and four years of lower total incomes a new experience for the
majority of Americans born since 1945.

No social mobility during the Bush presidency; welcome to Bush World!

In the meantime, hope you spent your measly tax cuts on a few foreign-made goods -- to make China rich and their economy grow, you know.

But in spite of the bad news, keep the faith, loyal Bushies. And whatever you do now, don't look behind that curtain or you'll find growing deficits, trade imbalances, frazzled financial markets, phones tapped, mail opened, family members dying in New Orleans, Iraq, burning building, mine, bridge....all hiding behind the drapes in plain view.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

'Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2007' Gains Support

In March, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would prohibit the president from regulating the right of any American citizen or resident to travel to Cuba.

In his infinite folly, President George Bush has restricted the right to travel to Cuba only to those who have immediate family members in the island. Thus, if you have an aging aunt or first cousin you wish to see one last time, you're out of luck. "Con el amor, no todo se puede," love doesn't really conquer all.

Recently, Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd of Connecticut wrote an entry on Huffington Post highlighting his support of the bill.

"I want to see the peaceful transition to democracy occur on the Island of Cuba in my life time," he writes.
It is simply un-American to bar American citizens from traveling to foreign countries. In fact, Americans are currently free to travel to both Iran and North Korea, two countries which pose far more serious threats to American national security than the government of Cuba.
Cosponsoring the bill were Senators Byron Dorgan D-N.D., Max Baucus D-Mont., Larry Craig R-Idaho, Patrick Leahy D-Vt., Tom Harkin D-Iowa, Chuck Hagel R-Neb., Russell Feingold D-Wis., Dianne Feinstein D-Calif., and Jeff Bingaman D-N.M.

Howling Latina recently received a google alert that our junior senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, backs the bill. Senators Dick Durbin, D-IL., Barbara Boxer, D-CA., Maria Cantwell, D-WA., Kent Conrad, D-ND., Daniel Inouye, D-HI., Tim Johnson, D-SD., Mary Landrieu, D-LA., Patty Murray, D-WA., and Bernie Sanders, I-VT., also support the measure.

By the bye, recent polls indicate that a whopping majority of Americans favor normalizing relations with Cuba; and that includes a majority of Cuban-Americans in the Miami-Dade County area.

Here's what S.721 says:

(a) Freedom of Travel for United States Citizens and Legal Residents- On and after the date of the enactment of this Act, and subject to section 3--

(1) the President may not regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents, or any of the transactions incident to such travel that are set forth in subsection (b); and

(2) any regulation in effect on such date of enactment that regulates or prohibits travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents or transactions incident to such travel shall cease to have any force or effect.

(b) Transactions Incident to Travel- The transactions referred to in subsection (a) are--

(1) any transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from Cuba, including the importation into Cuba or the United States of accompanied baggage for personal use only;

(2) any transactions ordinarily incident to travel or maintenance within Cuba, including the payment of living expenses and the acquisition of goods or services for personal use;

(3) any transactions ordinarily incident to the arrangement, promotion, or facilitation of travel to, from, or within Cuba;

(4) any transactions incident to nonscheduled air, sea, or land voyages, except that this paragraph does not authorize the carriage of articles into Cuba or the United States except accompanied baggage; and

(5) normal banking transactions incident to the activities described in the preceding provisions of this subsection, including the issuance, clearing, processing, or payment of checks, drafts, traveler's checks, credit or debit card instruments, or similar instruments.


(a) Special Circumstances- Section 2 shall not apply in a case in which the United States is at war with Cuba, armed hostilities between the two countries are in progress, or there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travelers.

(b) Importation of Goods for Personal Consumption- Section 2 does not
authorize the importation into the United States of any goods for personal consumption acquired in Cuba.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Webb Promises to Help Labor In Virginia

Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA., thanked labor for their strong support in last year's remarkable come from behind victory over George Allen and promised to help labor candidates win in state elections this November.

Daily Press reports Webb's visit to the "annual political convention of the Virginia AFL-CIO" in McLean earlier today with a great quote.

Webb recalled his decision in October to walk a picket line with striking steelworkers in Southside Virginia, as his race with Allen was neck and neck.

Many advisers said it was a bad idea. "I still don't know whether it was the right political thing to do--I'm sure it lost some votes and I'm sure that it energized some folks--but it was the right thing to do," Webb said.

Pay attention wingnuts.

The junior senator's winning campaign last fall proved you can be both a politician and honest. Although it certainly doesn't look like Republicans learned anything from last year and have once again chosen to not take the noble road.

Yep, it's just more scare talk about the big bad wolf, only instead of taxes, terrorists, felons, immigrants, gays and pagans, you know, like Karl Rove, Tom Foley, David Dreier, Jeff Gannon, Mel Martinez and others, the GOP mouthpiece tagged labor.
Shaun Kenney, a spokesman for the Virginia GOP, questioned whether the politicians' close ties to labor might eventually result in efforts to repeal Virginia's right-to-work laws.

"That's high on the agenda for Big Labor," Kenney said. "Virginia's status as a right-to-work state has resulted in us being one of the most business-friendly states in the nation."
There goes all those great jobs that have been shipped to Mexico and overseas!

Of course, Webb chose the occasion to give the audience a little red meat by way of friendly reminder. You may recall, in a strictly partisan vote, Republicans rejected Gov. Tim Kaine's choice for secretary of the commonwealth -- something the Washington Post reported was unprecedented.

Well, make them pay for that vote, Fighting Jim Webb told the rank-and-file. Campaign hard in the district of every GOPer who rejected Daniel LeBlanc.
"My dad taught me that if you get in a fight--whether you win or lose-- you make sure that the other person is marked," Webb said as the audience of 300 delegates erupted in a standing ovation.
They ignored and laughed off Kaine's outrage back in 2006; let's see and hear them laugh now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fair & Balanced

Howling Latina will probably not be posting until the weekend; family matters.

Until we meet again, here's a fair and balanced look at the criminal justice sytem in America.

If you're a white, attractive preacher's wife and kill your husband, no problem. Before you can even read a few Bible passages on redemption, you're out of jail.
Winkler, 33, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2006 fatal shooting of her husband, Matthew, at the Selmer parsonage where the couple lived with their three young daughters.

She was given a three-year sentence June 8, but she was required to serve only 67 days in custody because of credit for time served, and because she had no previous criminal record.
Yep Mary Winkler is getting out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove's Put-On -- Worthy of an Oscar

A line from this afternoon's media melodrama with Karl and his bestest of buds, Mr. Prez, stuck out like a bunion in an airtight glass slipper and had to be disposed of before Howling Latina dashed off.

Here is the remarkable mouthful as reported by the Huffington Post and expanded via video.
"I'm grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and the honor of a lifetime," said Rove, his voice quivering at times. "But now is the time. ... At month's end," Rove said, "I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you....and for the Almighty's continued blessing for our country."
Oh dear. What a tear-jerking moment; it's a three-hanky flash.

Well, except for one teeny, weeny problem. Kinna hard to pray when you're a non-believer. In other words, as the president likes to say when explaining things, Karl is a heathen -- an atheist -- an infidel. Take your pick and you'll be right.

As to his reasons for leaving the White House; it is for the "sake of [his] family," code word for cashing-in.

"Dead Man Talking"

As a follow-up to her last post for the week, Howling Latina leaves a link to an article in the Ft. Worth/Dallas Star-Telegram with a personal letter written by Kenneth Foster, Jr., to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

It will break your heart, if you have one.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Every time Howling Latina argues with a death penalty proponent against strapping a convicted felon to a gurney and sending him or her to perdition, the phrase "heinous crime" or "worst of the worst" invariable crops up.

Nice talking point but far from reality.

Just last spring, the General Assembly in Virginia passed a bill to extend executions to individuals who didn't kill anyone; and yes, that would include any person in a car with a would-be killer -- even without foreknowledge of an impending murder.

No matter.

Right now, there is a man on death row in Texas who fits this profile. Kenneth Foster, Jr., is going to be executed in 18 days, even though he's not a murderer.

Democracy Now reports:

Foster is scheduled to be executed under a controversial Texan law known as the law of parties. The law imposes the death penalty on anybody involved in a crime where a murder occurred. In Foster's case he was driving a car with three passengers, one of whom left the car, got into an altercation and shot a Michael LaHood dead. At the time of the shooting, Kenneth Foster was 80 feet away in his car. Since Foster's original trial, the other passengers have testified that Foster had no idea a shooting was going to take place.

On Tuesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied death row prisoner Kenneth Foster's final appeal. In a six-to-three decision the appeals court denied Foster's final writ of habeas corpus. Foster's last recourse is the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Texas Governor Rick Perry. According to Foster's criminal attorney, Keith Hampton, five of the seven board members must recommend clemency in order for Governor Perry to consider granting it. Kenneth Foster's scheduled execution date is August 30th.

Indeed, Mr. Foster illustrates why Gov. Tim Kaine was so right in vetoing the bill that would have dispensed with the triggerman rule; and why the General Assembly was so wrong in trying to expand the number of crimes that give them license to kill. Thank the good Lord, the Senate upheld Kaine's veto.

For the record, Texas has already executed five inmates since June; and five are set to go in August.

What a shameful moral outrage!

Well, here's putting a face next to context; and of course, another person of color on death row leaving loved ones behind. Please click here and e-mail the governor.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Virginia Madness Has Already Started...

The Washington Post front-pages a story about the hardship abuser fees are creating for poor Virginians who must now pay these exorbitant fines to the state.

The article features a poor woman who was speeding on her way to the hospital because she was having labor pains.
The labor pains were coming, so Jessica Hodges got going. The 26-year-old bank teller from Burke sped toward Inova Fairfax Hospital, but before she got there, the law got her -- 57 mph in a 35 zone. Reckless driving.
Grreat going, co-sponsor Del. Scott Lingamfelter. You can be real proud of your handywork!

Ron Paul Says Diebold Machines Can't Be Trusted

The Associated Press via ABC News reports that former Massachusetts Gov. Mick Romney won the Iowa caucus but not before a Diebold voting machine broke down and votes had to be hand-counted.

Earlier this week, Congressman Ron Paul filed a federal suit claiming the "vote-counting machines, made by Diebold Election Systems...had fundamental weaknesses."

A federal judge in Des Moines refused to grant an injunction on Friday. The matter was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which on Saturday morning upheld the ruling.

The machines, the plaintiffs argued, are the same type that California's secretary of state placed rigorous security conditions on last week.

You know that'zzz right!

By the bye, Gov. Mike Huckabee, the only "real" Christian ('cause he's a former Southern Baptist minister and all) came in second place -- closely behind -- Sen. Sam Brownback came in third.

Ron Paul's Wife Hospitalized in Iowa

The Houston Chronicle reports that Ron Paul's wife, Carol Paul, 71, was rushed to a hospital after complaining of shortness of breath.

The Republican presidential candidate and Congressman from Texas is an OB/GYN medical doctor. In fact, Paul was still delivering babies during the early part of his congressional career.

As the conservative netroots favorite, if Paul can transform buzz and energy at the Iowa straw poll into votes, he will surprise!

Update: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romny wins the Iowa caucus with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee coming in second and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas right behind in third place.

No Doo Rags Allowed

In order to receive a liquor license, a Virginia Beach restaurant owner had to promise not to serve any customers with doo rags on their heads.

Yes, you heard right 'cause everyone knows how violent people get when you apply a doo rag directly to the head; it's like Rosie the Riveter on steroids.

Markos Moulitsas on "Meet the Press"

This Sunday on "Meet the Press," Russert's guests are former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News, Michael Duffy of Time Magazine, Chuck Todd of NBC , Byron York of National Review and saving the best for last, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos.

Folks, this is a no-holds-bar, free-for-all discussion that promises to be electrifying.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Howling Latina was Right

A few months ago, Howling Latina was accused of lynching this guy, Uncle Ford.

Well, she hates to tell you she told you so, but....

Bob Barr in Odd Role as Criminal Rights Advocate

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr and Clinton nemesis penned an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal -Constitution that's must read for all the folks who think capital punishment is exactly what the "worst of the worst" deserve.

Guess what?? It's not just for the most heinous murderers. Or sexual deviants. Or even eyewitnesses to murder under that crazy Texas law of parties. It's for the innocents, too.

Because of its obvious finality, the death penalty must be employed with as close to absolute fairness and certainty as humanly possible. Several recent cases, including that of Troy Davis here in Georgia, have raised legitimate questions about just that proposition. True conservatives, as much as the most bleeding heart liberals, should be unafraid to look carefully at such cases.

Garrett — provides cause for concern. Professor Garrett studied 200 cases of wrongful convictions and found that in each case, DNA evidence conclusively proved the individual's innocence and resulted in exoneration. According to Garrett, the leading cause of these wrongful convictions was erroneous identification by eyewitnesses, which occurred in an overwhelming 79 percent of the cases. Even more disturbing, in 25 percent of the cases, this faulty eyewitness testimony was the only evidence against the defendant.
Continue reading, please.

Cubanitos Go Home!

Hmmm, Howling Latina wonders what many of her brethren in Florida think about this bit of news??

First Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson compares Cubans to terrorists; and now it's revealed, Bush & Co. don't want Cubanitos to come to the U.S., either.

Another List

Studies have shown that sexual predators have a re-offend rate that is lethal; and thus even after serving time, the public's right to know if a pervert is among their mist lobbed a set of registry laws for sexual offenders throughout the land.

But now some dumb ass in Hawaii thinks that convicted murderers should also be on special list of their own.

This is total frigging bullshit.

Released murder inmates do not have a biological propensity to kill -- the underpinning argument for a sexual offender list. The convicted murders have paid their debt to society; and the criminal justice system monitors them for a period of time once released. To post their names in some type of registry is just plain mean-spiritedness and serves no purpose whatsoever.

Let them get on with their life; and hopefully they'll contribute to society in some form or fashion.

What's next a list of for petty thieves; tax cheaters; speeders; tokers; ad naseum...?


It Ain't Over 'Till its Over...

Forget impeaching Bush and Cheney, Sen. Joe Biden, D-DE., has a delicious alternative.

In an interview with Newsweek, Biden readily admits his presidential hopes are a "long shot" but then drops a bomb that makes Howling Latina glad he's running for president and has a national platform from which to speak.

[I]mpeachment like everything else is a matter of priorities and responsibility. In order to move on impeachment now, we would be put in a position at a very, very delicate time in our nation’s history, of having necessarily to take our eye off the ball on a host of other things that will have longer-lasting impact on the security of this country. As a practical matter, it sucks all the oxygen out of the air. We would effectively be paralyzed for the next six months or longer. … The alternative, and it’s taken me time to think through, I think we should be acquiring and accumulating all the data that is appropriate for possibly bringing criminal charges against members of this administration at a later date.
Sweeeeet! No last-minute presidential pardon, only shame and jail time for crimes against the constitution and the rule of law.

Unless....Bush gives every person in his administration, including himself, an unconditional pardon as he leaves the White House.

He wouldn't dare, would he....?

H/T Think Progress.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stop Killing People

A top British soldier asks the United States to stop killing people left and right.

Espcially in southern Afghanistan, where American Special Forces have been linked to "most of the civilian deaths and injuries," according to a New York Times article.

Everyone is concerned about civilian casualties, a ”senior British commander said. “Of course it is counterproductive if civilians get injured, but we’ve got to pick up the pack of cards that we have got. Other people have been operating in our area before us.”
Goodness, can the Bush administration do anything right...?

Apparently, any time Special Forces get into trouble, they call for air support; and the fighting flyers come to their rescue and shoot and kill every man, woman and child in sight.

The Americans are killing and destroying a village just in pursuit of one person,” said Mahmadullah, 24, referring to Osama bin Laden. “So now we have understood that the Americans are a curse on us, and they are here just to destroy Afghanistan. They can tell the difference between men and women, children and animals, but they are just killing everyone.”

Yes siree, that's one surefire way to win the hearts and minds of locals. Just kill a few of their good citizens and leave no orphans behind.

Well, here's a great quote from a village mullah that illustrates to readers the perfect White House plan for victory. .
First they kill me, and then they rebuild my house?” he said. “What is the point when I am dead and my son is dead? This is not of any worth to us "
Forget Zig Ziglar and Deepak Chopra; this is what Howling Latina calls the power to persuade and bring new friends to your side.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Murder at 1 County Complex Court

Prince William County in Virginia and Harris County in Texas have something in common: each jurisdiction leads in executions in their respective states, with Texas leading the nation and Virginia following right behind.

The Houston Chronicle, one of the best sources in educating the public on the issue of capital punishment is once again EDUCATING.

Anyone remember the Houston crime lab scandal where stacks of cases were botched by analysts and at least one man was later exonerated and pardoned after the Chronicle began reporting of the unholy mess in breaking news throughout 2002 and 2003?

How about the more recent investigative journalism story of Ruben Cantu, a poor 17-year kid with no prior record who was wrongfully executed in Texas?

Well, in the same tradition, the Chronicle recently penned an article about the changing winds of justice in the United State; it seems more and more prosecutors are rejecting capital punishment.

In noting the decline, the Chronicle writes:

In the last 2 1/2 years, the deadliest county in America has apparently lost some of its taste for what former District Attorney Johnny Holmes used to call the "silver needle society."

In that time it has condemned only six defendants to death, two fewer than Bexar County, which historically has ranked a distant third in capital contributions.

Death row convictions have also "dropped by more than 50 percent nationally over the last six years."

Praise the LORD; and a thousand Hallelujahs!

"Life without parole has changed the public's perception," Schneider said. "If you have the idea that you are safe from somebody who will never get out of prison, some juries are satisfied with that. And for prosecutors, it's easy for them to try a non-death capital, get life without parole, and do it in a week.

Time is saved and public resources are saved."

But Virginia apparently didn't receive the memo. Legislators keep trying to add more and more felonies to the list of death-eligible crimes and Prince William County prosecutors continue to party like it's 1999.

Last session, the General Assembly overrode Gov. Tim Kaine's veto and added two more felonies to the death list; and just a few weeks ago, a Prince William County jury convicted and sentenced a man to die.

Joshua Wayne Andrews, 25, became the latest member to join death row; and while doing so, he gave lie to rosy predictions by happy death penalty warriors that executions prevent future crimes. Mr. Andrews' father was sentenced to die for killing two people in Texas during a jewelry heist.

Indeed, no thanks to public officials, capital murder convictions in Virginia mirror national trends and have also dropped. such luck for good ol' Prince William County.

And yet...all is not lost.

It looks like the county's Judge Roy Bean reputation might have started to worry some people. In reporting the recent murder trial, The Potomac News quotes the commonwealth attorney's closing argument that is filled with laughable phony angst -- lest the jury believe he actually relishes his job.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney James Willette asked the jury to sentence Andrews to death.

"We take no pleasure in that. It's a difficult thing for us to ask, a difficult thing for you to do," Willette said.

But, he said, Andrews continues to be a threat if he continues to live.

Now have you ever heard such a load of crap?!?

Howling Latina supposes this bushel of absurdity is the reason prosecutors strike jurors with advanced degrees or professional occupations; for yes, this is the same gamey gang that absolutely demanded, yes, demanded a few years ago that a jury convict and sentence a teen to die because he was a coward.

First you're a coward and then you're a killing machine, as you read on.

Here's what the prosecution told a Manassas jury back in 2002, courtesy of Lexis-Nexis.

Prosecutors argued that Wolfe hired Barber for about $ 13,000 and some drugs because he knew Barber would be willing to carry out such a plan. They relied in part on cell phone records -- which showed Barber was in constant contact with Wolfe at the time of the killing -- and told jurors that Wolfe would do anything for money, including killing his supplier and so-called friend.

"If this man hadn't set the ball rolling, if he didn't know the propensity of Barber, if he didn't use him as an instrument of death, we wouldn't be here today," Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert told the jury yesterday, calling Wolfe a "coward" who "didn't have the guts to do it himself."

And here's what the assistant commonwealth attorney told a jury at the Andrews trial, as reported in The Washington Post a few days ago.
[P]rosecutors portrayed Andrews as a "killing machine," a man so violent and volatile that he remains a constant threat. Even in prison, they said, he is a danger to staff and other inmates.

So folks, forget Willette's crocodile tears. The iron-clad fact of the matter is that Prince William County prosecutors love to send people to the death chamber.

How else to explain why four out of the last 12 most recent capital murder prosecutions and convictions in Virginia fell under the jurisdicition of Paul Ebert Dracula...?

Oh, and let's not overlook that after Circuit Judge Rossie Alston gives his blessing, Mr. Andrews will be the fifth one -- and all within a five-year span.

Romney Girls Attack Obama Girl!

Romney Girls -- a tag team of three -- slams Obama Girl.

Yes, of course Romney has more than one gal to do his bidding. And not only are they lily white -- but lili, snow white, Aryan white.

Oh yeah, this video absolutely proves Obama and his ethnic girl cannot be trusted. VOTE WHITEY!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wah, Wah, Scottie Lingamfelter Throws a Temper Tantrum

Looks like Scottie Flip-Flopper is having a temper tantrum. That's right, he's whining and wailing because the challenger has more cash than he does.

Yes, the promised story about the Dems good fortune is already online.
Lingamfelter questioned the campaign contributions Day received from an organization called ActBlue, which allows contributors to donate over the Internet, but shows up on reports as a political action committee (PAC) rather than as individual, identifiable donors.
The horror, the horror! Democratic campaigns have evolved with technology!

Of course we don't want to talk about those great 50-yard seats from Virginia Dominion Power. They're just perks for all the work Scottie doesn't do in Richmond.

Let's give Scottie something else to cry about and donate to Bill Day's campaign.

Day & Del Torro Creating Fauquier Buzz

Last week, the Fauquier Times-Democrat featured an article about the Democratic Supper Club meeting in Warrenton that meets each month.

Two state House Democratic candidates headlined this month's Sunday gabfest: Bill Day who is running against Flip-Flop Scott Limgamfelter and Carlos Del Toro who is running against Snoozy Mark Cole.

And stay tuned, the Times-Democrat is penning a story this week about how the Dem candidates are raising lots and lots of $$$ much to the alarm and dismay of Scottie, Mark and the rest of the GOP gang.

Meanwhile, Mr. Day reminded the friendly crowd at the meeting that in November when he gets elected he will be "the first Fauquier resident to represent the county in more than 10 years."

You see, Fauquier lost their Richmond representative in '02 with the gerrymandering scheme that Republicans concocted to keep control of the House; and don't think folks in Fauquier have forgotten or forgiven.

"The professional counselor outlined three key issues that he said are pertinent to his district: transportation, smart growth and energy policy.


Virginia currently has no energy policy, according to Day, and he said it was important to look seriously at renewable energy sources, develop a conservation plan and focus on green building.

Yes, the last few years have revealed the lie that was Del. Flip-Flopper's battle cry, "Promises made -- promised kept."

Now more than ever, Lingamfelter has refused to represent the interests of his constituents. With blocking transportation funding and every Kaine road initiative, and then SPONSORING, and yes, you heard right, SPONSORING the disastrous unconstitutional driver abusive fees in the General Assembly, Lingamfelter has shown voters that he cannot be trusted with their future and must be booted out of office.

Meanwhile, Retired Navy Cmdr. Del Toro, a Cuban native has been knocking on doors and hauling in the cash as fast as people can write checks and click on the mouse to donate.

For his campaign run, Del Toro is making education a premier issue. He told the good folks that "it was important to allocate money to local boards of supervisors so that they c[ould] provide for local schools."

The Times-Democrat observed that "[a]ttracting high-paying jobs [would be] another key initiative for Del Toro whose district includes Opal, Remington, Bealeton and Morrisville. "

Godspeed, Señor Day and Del Torro; sail onward to victory in November - PLEASE!

Update: The Times-Democrat has already posted Howling Latina's scoop online.

Daddy's Little girl

Trolling through the Internet, Howling Latina came across the news that former Mayor Rudi Giuliani, America's mayor, had little support back home.

And no, she doesn't mean in New York and all that business about 9/11 and the firefighters union, she's talking about a little closer to home, like his sweet precious daughter.

Today, Slate, an online magazine owned by The Washington Post Co., reports that Giuliani's 17-year old daughter, Caroline, supports Barack Obama for president. Or at least she did until the wire services got a hold of the story and the New York Times, CBS and CNN joined in the buzz.

"On her profile, she designates her political views as "liberal" and—until this morning—proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)."

Not to worry, Papa Rudy; her heart really belongs to daddy.

Reuters via The Washington Post reports that she has done some backtracking.

"A spokeswoman...said the teen-ager's Facebook listing was intended as an expression of interest in 'certain principles' but not an indication of support in a presidential campaign."

You see, she was merely expressing herself; she's already taken down her profile and quit the "Obama fan club."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Brownback Girl

The twist, for christsake?!? And what's with a cross-dresser as your spokesperson?!? Surely Michelle Malkin was available.

Maybe Brownback is trying to woo the closet cross-dressers in America.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Novak Confirms Warner Whispers

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire reports that well-connected columnist Robert Novak says that Sen. John Warner, R-VA, will not run for reelection in '08.

It's all doom and gloom for Virginia GOPers, Novak writes, as they come to the stark realization that Warner will not be on the ballot next fall.

"The state's GOP leaders not long ago were sure that 80-year-old Republican Sen. John Warner would seek a sixth term in 2008, but now they think he probably will not. That would open the door for Democratic former Gov. Mark Warner (no relation) to enter the race. Any Republican would be an underdog against the Democratic Warner."

Who can blame their cheerless countenance in light of the Dem roster awaiting in the wings?

But bless their little batwing hearts, take pity, for their Pavlovian response is to gear up and oppose the Republican candidate best positioned to win a statewide election.

Yes, with the recent wave of Dem wins and demographic shifts, Republicans need a centrist candidate like Congressman Tom Davis to win statewide. But the holy-roller-powers-that-be deem Davis not crimson red enough.

Howling Latina supposes the Republican Party needs yet another whippin' before it all sinks in. Their super majority in the General Assembly is mainly made-up of gerrymandered districts.

Virginians are not apocalyptic embracing, uber-conservative bigots, as Kilgore and Allen found out.

Georgia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Troy Anthony Davis Case

Less than 24 hours before the scheduled execution of Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted him a 90-day stay.

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Georgia's Supreme Court agreed to hear "oral arguments between prosecutors and defense attorneys on whether Davis should get a new trial."

Yipee, Davis gets one more bite at the apple of justice.

"He's happy," defense attorney Jason Ewart said after speaking by phone with Davis. He tries to stay distant from the day to day because it's a roller coaster. But he has a positive outlook."

How sweet it is! If you recall, trial witnesses signed affidavits alleging prosecutorial malfeasance. They say detectives browbeat them into falsely testifying against Davis in court.

Regarding the arguments to be presented to the state Supreme Court, Ewart, Davis's attorney, said: "We are making the legal argument that innocence matters, that recantations matter when they affect the verdict."

"I'm elated -- we're one step closer to people telling the truth," said Davis's sister,
Martina Correia. "It's time for my brother to walk out of that jail."

Chairman Garland Hunt, thank you for saving an innocent man's life.

Howling Latina feels certain that after hearing the evidence, the Georgia Supreme Court will award a new trial; and after Davis is cleared, perhaps the state will finally do their job and arrest the likely killer: the man who initially fingered Davis.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Protests in Jena LA

In a post titled, "The State of Racial Relations in the Deep South," Howling Latina decried the locking-up of black teens because they refused to refrain from sitting under a tree reserved "for whites only."

Well all hell recently broke loose, Houston Media Center reports:

Folks came from all over the country to support the Jena 6, in Louisiana. Focusing on messages of unity, adhering strictly to the wishes of the families of the students facing jail time, and commitment to bringing more into the struggle, the rallies and march were unprecedented in this town of only 3000 people.
H/T to Houston Media Center for the images; and my favorite sign is the one that admonishes the government not to "incarcerate but educate." It would save the taxpaying public gazillions of dollars.

O ye of little faith!

Raising Kaine has posted Sen. Jim Webb's press release as it relates to yesterday's Senate vote to amend FISA.

Without the requisite talking points, Howling Latina knew even beforehand that Webb's vote had to do with national security and real threats -- as opposed to phony ones trumped-up by Michelle Malkin and Fox.

Yesterday I supported two measures to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. These measures were considered against the backdrop of heightened concerns from our nation's intelligence community abut the threat of international terrorism. The ramifications of the two amendments before us last night were not political. Instead they related to the urgent demands of national security. I chose to heed those warnings. We now have six months to work in earnest to bring full acountability to the process.
Folks, if Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, for christsakes, voted for the measure, give our junior senator the benefit of his conscience and support his vote.

As Howling Latina explained in an earlier post, "Fear not...there are some safeguards: Approval must come from Director Mike McConnell of the National Security Agency as well as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The FISA court must review any warrantless surveillance within 120 days. And finally, the law expires in six months."

Time a'plenty for Dems and GOPers to draft a bill that's acceptable to all parties.

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