Thursday, September 29

So I've been thinking about this constitutional law thing. I've been thinking --

What's the point?

Witness the following case study:

In June, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Bush Administration's policy of detaining foreign nationals without legal process at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station was illegal. The Court determined that the prisoners could not be held in a prison beyond the law, and were entitled to basic legal rights. MacArthur Justice Center attorney Joseph Margulies is the lead counsel for petitioners in Rasul v. Bush.

I recently heard Mr. Margulies interviewed. He described the "legal process" the Bush Administration had established in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Rasul.

The detainees are examined by a military tribunal (not a federal court, as required under Rasul) without access to counsel (also unconstitional, under Rasul) and without even access to the evidence against them (do I need to repeat the U-word? How many times?).

You get it?

They are expected to rebut evidence they're not even allowed to see. Evidence that they face under the presumption of guilt.

This is not American justice. It's Kafka's worst nightmare.

These people have been disappeared. And they'll stay that way until somebody decides, arbitrarily, to let them go.

Fuck constitutional law. The Bush Administration already has.

The truly scary thing is: Under current Administration policies, they can do the same thing to American citizens.

They can do the same thing to you.

They can do the same thing to me.

Anybody out there taking bets if Hurricane Katrina might end up being the American version of the Reichstag fire?

All the people gathered in Washington last weekend to protest the war in Iraq, the War on Terror, the war on whatever the fuck -- you just don't get it.

The war is just an excuse.

Thursday, September 22

All I can say to this is --

My gods, how I hate these bastards.

Hate is not a word I use lightly.

This is unconscionable.

Read it and scream:

It does show, however, that Republicans are not all of a stripe: John McCain, at least, is doing his level best to cauterize these festering open sores upon the body politic.

I have, however, little hope for his success. Because I have no doubt that many Democrats will cooperate, Russ Feingold notwithstanding.

As Supreme Chancellor Palpatine so memorably put it: "All those who gain power are afraid to lose it."

Or you can simply quote Stover's Rule of Politics: "Politics is the science of human nature, and so it is governed by the three fundamental principles of human behavior: Greed, Stupidity, and Fear."

Wednesday, September 21

Here's one for all you Unclear-on-the-Concept whiners who kept whingeing on and on about Kelo v. New London:

Get it, now?

All the Supreme Court did was state that the Constitution does not bar state and local governments from using eminent domain in whimsical ways. This is what the Supreme Court does: interpret the constitutionality of law or legal action. That's all. Sadly, they don't actually rule on whether something is fair, or right (O'Connor's dissent notwistanding -- though I haven't read it in detail, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was based in the first paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment); though disagreement is possible, this is the current Law of the Land.

The decision, as is noted in the article above, specifically noted that the state, local and federal governments were free to re-write their eminent domain laws to prevent such seizure.

Thus: If you don't like the eminent domain laws where you live, you'd better fucking get busy to elect a local and state government that will write eminent domain laws you're more comfortable with.

Tangential issue:

I got an email this morning from my regular correspondent who goes (on this blog, and on some other forums 'round the 'net) by the handle Shevchyk, concerning some stuff in the Village Voice about the Republicans using the Katrina furor to quietly snuff any Congressional investigation of the Valerie Plame affair without drawing attention from the national press. He closed the email by mumbling in passing something about looking into the idea of becoming a constitutional lawyer.

More power to him.

Canadian or not.

My beloved wife, the Fabulous Robyn, happened to glimpse that over my shoulder this morning. She said, "Shit. You should be a constitutional lawyer."

I said, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

She said, "This country's in a lot of trouble. This is what you care about. It's half of what you write about in your books, and most of what you write about on your blog. Maybe you could do this country a lot more good with a degree in constitutional law."

I said, "I'd be FIFTY YEARS OLD, for Christ's sake."

She said, "So what? At least then the next time you're in DC, you might be able to stand in the Lincoln Memorial without tears in your eyes."

Which is a salient point.

Sunday, September 18

Frank Rich: savage, but always entertaining.

He always manages to raise a smile.

Friday, September 16

Another Victory For Limited Government!

A pertinent quote:

"The most serious mistake we can make is pretending that markets do things that they do not do," said Kellan Fluckiger, executive director of the electricity division at the Alberta Department of Energy. "Markets allocate risk, they allocate capital, they provide price signals. Markets do not have a conscience, they do not provide social policy, and they do not do things they are not paid to do."

Thursday, September 15

And for those of you too busy, too apathetic or too disgusted to listen to the Roberts Supreme Court confirmation hearings, here is a useful summary from David Brooks, the brighter of the two house conservatives from the NYTimes OpEd page:

It is, in fact, the most incisive column he's ever written.
More Non-Partisan Idiocy:
File this one under "Ohhh, Christ, my head hurts . . ."

With thanks to Hawki102, for the link.

File this one also under Non-Partisan Idiocy.

Sunday, September 11

Can the crooked fucking politico change his morals in the face of a deepening national crisis?

The answer, reprinted from Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Sept. 10) - Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Bechtel National Inc., a unit of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., has also been selected by FEMA to provide short-term housing for people displaced by the hurricane. Bush named Bechtel's CEO to his Export Council and put the former CEO of Bechtel Energy in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

There is more, of course. The article goes on to mention the more than one billion dollars in fraudulent billing KB&R submitted on their sweetheart no-bid contract to provide essential services for Our Proudly Supported (As Long As It Doesn't Cost Us Too Much Money) Troops in Iraq, and that sort of thing.

The slugline was:


I would say something along the lines of "Fuck me like a goat," but the Administration, apparently, has that part covered. So to speak.

Jesus stinking bloody Christ on a stick.

Saturday, September 10

As much as it pains me to write anything that may be construed as in any way defending our multiply-criminal Bush Administration, when the Hurricane Katrina accusations fly thick and fast, it will be worthwhile for the cognoscenti to bear in mind the first corollary to Caine's Law:

Whenever somebody tells you things are simple, they're trying to sell you something.

And that, my friends, is about as far as I'm gonna go into the Who's At Fault business, too.

Friday, September 9

And another thing

Bill Moyers has the right of it.

As usual.

Read, and shudder:

Those of you who have read JERICHO MOON, of course, are already familiar with his Old Testament exegesis. The rest, however, is pertinent.

Ahh, fuck.

Why didn't *I* "preserve my political viability"?
I have been waiting to comment on the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

This is, as we have all seen by now, another disaster that did not have to be a disaster.

This is a graphic illustration of the collision of ideology with reality.

That's all I have to say.