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The Pollkatz Manifesto

Wherein Professor Pollkatz's benign twin, Dr. Limerick, rants at or about various national figures and events, all of which are oblivious to his angst and wouldn't care even if they weren't. Copyright (c) 2000-2099 by Stuart Eugene Thiel. All Rights Reserved.

October 12, 2006

Treason: The Last Frontier

Glenn Greenwald: Questions about the first treason indictment in 50 years

The torture bill presents the administration with an odd problem. It gives the president the power to flout the rules of criminal procedure and evidence at will. So how is Bush going to show he's a macho tough guy who doesn't have to obey the rules?

By charging somebody with treason. The evidentiary requirements for a treason conviction are written right in the Constitution. The precedents are therefore arguably sui generis and on a higher plane than ordinary criminal prosecutions, and cannot be overriden by statute. But the case law surely conforms to the traditional rules of procedure and evidence, for example the hearsay rule -- especially the hearsay rule.

As such, treason is the one loophole in the totalitarian net of the Torture Bill. Bush wants to swagger, and he wants his power to be absolute. Therefore, he wants to catch this guy and defy the forces of law and order to try him under the Constitution. He'll be tried the Bush way -- a kangaroo court.

October 8, 2006

Davy, Davy, Davy

David Broder -- Congress's Sorry Session

The disgrace of Congress extends far beyond the scandals that have sullied the record of the dominant House Republicans.

Surely the Senate Republicans are not pure as snow! Correct. Off the top of my head, we have Conrad Burns up to his ears in the Abramoff trough, and George Allen indulging his racist sentiments on a teenage kid at a political rally, and a zillion times before.

Some of the session's failures may be laid at the feet of the minority Democrats, who used parliamentary tactics, particularly in the Senate, to thwart some Republican proposals. But most of the difficulty can be found on the Republican side of the aisle, where ideological differences and simple political resistance proved to be a persistent problem.

According to Broder, some of the session's "failures" that may be laid at the feet of the minority Democrats include nonaction on Social Security reform and immigration reform. It seems to me that refusal to pass these measures is a success, not a failure.

"particularly in the Senate" is a doozy. The Democrats' parliamentary power in the House is effectively nil. Therefore, any parliamentary legerdemain had to be in the Senate.

By the way, Broder forgets to mention the crown jewel of bipartisan cooperation and problem solving, the recent measure passed permitting a demented overaged frat boy to order the disappearance and torture of anyone he wants, whenever he wants.

Newsweek: 36 = 43

Josh Marshall

Josh expresses puzzlement at Newsweek's declaration that when 43% of pollees think Hastert should resign and 36% say he shouldn't, the pollees are "equally divided."

Josh, you're forgetting the 20% Republican tailwind. Add 20% to 36 and you get 43.2%. Voila! Dead heat.

October 7, 2006

Jeb's tribulations

Joshua Micah Marshall

Jeb was accosted by protesters in Pittsburgh. Here's betting that next time the First Amendment Zone will be in the suburbs.

October 6, 2006

There is a God

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Does the Foley scandal prove the existence of a God?

The Foley scandal is so perfectly tailored -- one could even say artistically designed -- to expose every character flaw of this country's Republican leaders (and their followers), and it has evolved so flawlessly (like the most brilliantly coordinated symphony), that one is almost inclined to believe that it was divinely inspired. It is difficult to believe that human beings (let alone Democrats) could create something so perfect (as Billmon wrote in comments here the other day, the relentless efficiency of this scandal is proof positive that Democrats had nothing to do with it).

Glenn, as usual, goes on too long but I agree with him more than he does himself. There is a God, and He waited for the perfect moment to bring down the GOP's house of cards.

Hastert = GOP's Lieberman

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Dennis Hastert is in this fight for exactly one man: Dennis Hastert. What the Republican Party wants or doesn't want doesn't enter into it.

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers

New York Times

(via digby)

Gee, I don't understand it! Evangelicals preach a message of hatred and contempt for anyone who isn't a white conservative rural American, except when they're busy fellating the 86-proof evil that is the modern GOP.

What's not to like??

October 5, 2006

Lieberman Loves Him Some Hastert


Some reporter ought to just tell him: "Joe, I love you. You make my job so easy. I go to the movies every afternoon, then file a story saying, 'Senator Lieberman blamed the whole thing on those pesky partisan Democrats.'"

October 4, 2006

De-foley-ating the Congress

Talking Points Memo

Just for the record, the GOP wave of '94 featured the unexpected defeat of the Speaker of the House and a Congressman Foley (They were the same guy; Tom Foley, D-WA).

Turnabout is fair play.

October 2, 2006

WV Rep: It's not like they're family. . .

Daily Kos: Republican Page Board Member Confirms No Investigation Happened

This is kinda funny, given our stereotypes about West Virginia (think Deliverance):

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says she was not told about suggestive e-mails that a Florida congressman sent to a 16-year-old former Capitol page, even though she is one of three representatives who oversee the page program. [...]

Capito said she would have been very concerned if she had read those e-mails.

"I don't think it would pass the sniff test," she said. "Even asking those questions -- that is not normal between a 52-year-old adult and a 16-year-old. It's not like they're family, friends or anything. I think it would raise some serious questions. But I wasn't given that opportunity."