Thursday, March 08, 2007

From the "Well duh" file

Here's the front page headline in this morning's Chicago Tribune:

Iranian influence soaring in Iraq
Shiites, Sunnis say Tehran is winner of U.S. invasion

Gosh, who could have seen that coming? I mean, besides your average college sophomore in an intro-level middle eastern history class? I found the quote below particularly disturbing:
America handed Iraq to Iran on a golden plate," says Sunni politician Saleh al-Mutlaq. "Everything Iran fought for in the Iran-Iraq war, America gave to it when it invaded."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In God we trust?

Apparently some of the new dollar coins are circulating without the "In God We Trust" legend (link) This excites the coin collectors as did the famous "inverted Jenny" stamp:

But this is more than just a screwup at the mint. This is an opportunity to examine something that is just flat-out wrong. The "In God We Trust" line dates from the Civil War. It has withstood constitutional challenge on the incredibly shaky ground that it is "ceremonial" or "patriotic" rather than religious.

In effect, the federal courts are allowing it to stay because it is meaningless. So if it is meaningless, then why not just get rid of it?

I don't want to see poor municipalities like Zion in Illinois forced to spend tax dollars that could be used to teach kids and fix potholes to sandblast religious symbols off public building or re-order all the village stationery, etc. This one is simple. The next time we need to update the die for minting coins or the template for printing bills--just remove it. Almost no cost would be involved and we would honor the Constitution and the nation we are today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Moment of Silence

Winemaker Ernest Gallo dies at 97

Thank you Ernest for helping America understand that wine is a food and proof that God loves us.

I've been one poor correspondent..

Work's been hell and adjusting to having Peggy back from another European boondoggle, but--so little time, so much stuff.

First of all, Merry Fitzmas! Kudos to Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor's prosecutor. He is truly our generation's Untouchable, a ruthless yet fair and honest prosecutor. He has no agenda other than justice. He is a media superstar with a J.D. from Harvard and could have any partnership he desired, but no--he's a prosecutor. A Washington Post reporter interviewed him over breakfast and was going to pay for Pat's doughnut and coffee and he said no, even $10 (at DC prices) for breakfast would have compromised his integrity.

Guilty on four out of five, and the "not guilty" had a jury vote of 11-1 for conviction. These are serious charges ABOUT A SERIOUS MATTER. I use the caps for the Clinton comparison. Bill Clinton was deceptive under oath. One could make a fine legal argument that he did not "lie" because the other side's definition of "sexual relations" actually did not include happy humming.
It included touching this and touching that, but VERY TECHNICALLY it did not include the flute sonata.

That notwithstanding, Clinton did not commit perjury under applicable federal law. The federal statute criminalizes lying about MATERIAL matters. Material means something important that could impact a decision. For example, if I swear under oath that I was married on May 28, 1982, when in fact I was married on May 29, 1982 (note that this will be the 25th, presents accepted) I have lied under oath but not committed perjury under federal law unless my wedding date was an issue in the case (some states vary, a lie is a lie) Given that the Monica stuff wasn't even admitted into evidence, it is immaterial as a matter of law.

Scooter Libby lies and lies about outing a CIA operative TO DISCREDIT HER HUSBAND'S ANTI-WAR MESSAGE. A tad bit different from a blowjob.

A quick quote from the Washington Post:
Prosecutors contended that Libby tracked down and told reporters about Plame's CIA job as part of an administration strategy to discredit her husband by insinuating that the agency had dispatched Wilson to Niger because of nepotism.
Nepotism? NIGER? OK, if you give me a business trip to San Diego, Vegas, Orlando, Paris, London etc. but NIGER????No.

And isn't revenge a dish best served cold? Remember when the Dems said "BLOWJOB" and the Repubs answered with "rule of law?" PERJURY, JUSTICE! Enjoy that one!

Walter Reed? Need I mention, except to quote from the first Republican president:
to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle
Let's get right on that!

The North Korea screwup surfaces, U.S. Attorneys are fired and Scooter goes stripey and the White House says all is good.

Go with that.

Merry Fitzmas, one and all

Lewis "Scooter" Libby:

Count 1 (Obstruction): GUILTY
Count 2 (Perjury): GUILTY
Count 3 (False Statement): NOT GUILTY
Count 4 (Perjury): GUILTY
Count 5 (Perjury): GUILTY

Guilty on 4 of 5.

The world is a little brighter today.