Friday, November 04, 2005

Mooning the Klan, and Chickensnakes

Ok, a two-topic post. First, this weekend there's a Moon the Klan counter-rally in Austin. Seems mooning is a legal gesture of friendly insult in Texas, so long as you don't expose your private parts.

Second, that link led me to a column by Molly Ivins. Now, I love Molly Ivins. She's a pearl of wisdom, if she don't mind me sayin' so.

She tells a story about two boys who get scared by a chickensnake. Go read the whole column, but here's the crux of it:
I myself have never been nose-to-nose with a chicken snake, but I always took Johnny's word for it that it will just scare the living shit out of you. Scared those boys so bad that they both tried to exit the hen house at the same time, doing considerable damage to both themselves and the door.

Johnny's mama, Miz Faulk, was a kindly lady, but watching all this, it struck her funny. She was still laughin' when [the boys] trailed back up to the front porch. "Boys, boys, " said Miz Faulk, "what is wrong with you? You know perfectly well a chicken snake cannot hurt you."

That's when Boots Cooper made his semi-immortal observation. "Yes ma'am," he said, "but there's some things'll scare you so bad, you hurt yourself."
I think that's just what happened with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They scared us so bad, we're hurting ourselves.

Republican Voter Fraud and Perjury

Seems the King County Republican Party, like some masked avenger, had a job to do. They had to clean up the voter rolls in King County! So they challenged thousands of voter registrations as part of their “Voter Registration Integrity Project.” Trouble is, according to Seattle's the Stranger, they challenged, "under penalty of perjury," at least 140 properly registered voters.

Now, even if they withdraw the challenges, shouldn't somebody be charged with a crime, here? If you sign an affidavit that you know that someone does not live at a particular address - for that matter, if you sign 140 such affidavits - you had damn well be sure you are right. That is why there is a penalty. You should not be able to just say, "oopsie." How about 140 counts of perjury, plus a couple of conspiracy counts to sweeten the pot?

And don't try to blame it on the interns:
Although Sotelo’s name appeared on the challenge affidavits ... the list of voters to challenge was actually created by volunteers and interns cross-referencing storage unit addresses with voter registration rolls. Sotelo just signed on the dotted line ...
When Sotelo, chair of the project, signed, she took responsibility. Lock her up, and maybe the next Republican vote stealer will think twice.

What's more, if they were really concerned with cleaning up the voter rolls, as opposed to striking Democrats off them, they might have noticed that the King County Elections Office has been working for six months on the problem:
"We’ve removed thousands of registrations that were incorrect registrations. To try to claim that we’re not making any effort to clean our voter rolls or are attempting to allow people to vote multiple times and vote illegally is just flat-out false.”
Republicans - the party of corruption.

(Thanks to AMERICAblog for the find)

Judge Not

As for the Supreme Court, if Harriet Miers was the "best" nominee Bush could find the first time around, what does that make Alito?  But then, it's been obvious for a long time that Bush is all about image and nothing about substance, so anything he says is better taken for its INtent rather than its CONtent.

An old school-mate hopes the "the Dems don't pitch a big hissy fit" and get partisan over Alito.  I told her, y'all just better get over it.  It's ALL partisan, now, thanks to the One True Party (for those without a Playbill, that would be the Republicans).  The right wing nuts, in their defeat of Miers,  established both a litmus test (abortion) and that an up or down vote is not necessary after all. 

The Republicans torpedoed 62 Clinton judicial appointments, not even allowing them to come to a vote.  For any Republican to complain now about Democrats using any means to oppose a Bush nominee is the height of hypocrisy.

As far as I am concerned, Sandra Day O'Conner can have her retirement delayed ad infinitum if it keeps Bush from appointing someone who has been tagged "scAlito" for his reputed similarity to you-know-who. 

He may be worse than Scalia and Thomas.  At least they are unpleasant people, from what I read, in addition to having extreme right wing activist interpretations of the Constitution.  scAlito may be an extreme right-wing activist with a smile and powers of persuasion.

Keep in mind that although the One True Party holds a voting majority in the Senate, many of them represent small states.  In total they represent fewer citizens than the Democrats and Independent senators, and, counting the votes, the Republicans were elected by fewer voters than the aggregate vote total for the opposition.  Any argument that they represent some kind of real majority is bunk.

And because the One True Party is bent - Oh, I should just stop there - because they are bent on total power, they do not operate in a collegial manner.  Bill Frist's hissy fit the other night about Harry Reid invoking Rule 21 (look it up) was just silly.  As the saying goes, politics ain't beanbag.  It's about time the Democrats finally started using any means at their disposal to be a true opposition party.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Torturing the Innocent

One point to remember in the arguments about torture is that, by its very nature, torture stands the presumption of innocence on its head.  A victim of torture is presumed to be guilty of something, if only having knowledge the torturer wants. 

It must be assumed that some victims of torture are innocent of any crime or act of terrorism or war.

Advocates of torture believe that the possibility of deriving some greater good through torture justifies perpetrating devastating harm to innocent individuals.  (The benefits of torture, even in this construction, are doubtful.)

Opponents of torture believe that the certainty of causing such harm to individuals does not justify the unproven possibility of some greater good.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Back in the game

The Bush clan is back in the game with this scAlito nomination. The Moose certainly sees it that way. I suspect he's right. It's that Red Herriet thing. They planned it all along, I tells ya!

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

So if Scooter-pie's perjury and false statements defense is that he is a busy man and simply forgot some conversations, wouldn't that mean that he's admitting guilt to that other thing?  um, leaking classified information?

Red Herriet

It occurs to me that the whole Harriet Miers episode may have been a red herring by the Bush clan to actually strengthen their position for getting a far right-wing justice on the Supreme Court.  The idea would be to initially nominate someone who is so unqualified for the Court that it would cause an uproar.  Then Harriet would gallantly withdraw.  Opposition energy would be dissipated, and any subsequent nominee would face an easier time, no matter how objectionable. 

The actual sequence of events certainly fits this scenario so far.  Now, how strenuously will the Democrats object to scAlito, and what will be the reaction?  Having kept their powder dry in the Miers nomination, will they be able to use it now?