Tag: US Governance

So who won ?

MSNBC poll shows the real winner of the debate. I think Americans are finally disenchanted enough to listen to a fresh voice (who is really a libertarian!) who makes the most sense.

Hopefully, the people will continue to learn about Ron Paul and continue giving him support.

Hopefully, it won’t be like nominations in the past, where the best candidates get pushed into the corner of obscurity.

5% versus 15%

In my research on how 3rd party candidates get shut out of the political process, I came across a startling result.

If a Presidential candidate (eg Michael Badnarik in 2004) has >5% of a major popular poll going into the debates then they are eligible, by law, to participate in the debate.

But the League of Women Voters, the group that organizes and orchestrates the Presidential debates, uses 15% as the minimum % needed in popular polls to extend invitations to debate.

5% by law, 15% by this organization, which is not a part of the federal government mind you.

This is disconcerting for the following reason :

Prior to the election of Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota, he had 8% support in the polls. He goes on to win the governorship, and is re-elected by a very wide margin. The people of Minnesota thought Ventura did a good job in his first term, and they voted across party lines to re-elect him, as he ran as an independent. But if he were running for Pres and not Gov, he would have been shut out of the political process, not legally, but by the League of Women Voters.

What a sham !

The 15% mark is completely artificial, and in place to deny a serious challenge by 3rd party contenders. Let them all debate I say. Let the people vote for the candidate they think will do the best, according to their system of beliefs. It is nonsense to have to vote for a jackass or a lunatic, but such is our usual choice with our failed duopoly.

SCOTUS rules on Emissions

An interesting article on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the Bush Administration’s ruling on carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently John Paul Stephens, et. al., believes the EPA is not doing enough.

He said a refusal to regulate could be based only on science and “reasoned justification,” adding that while the statute left the central determination to the “judgment” of the agency’s administrator, “the use of the word ‘judgment’ is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text.”

In other words, ‘judgement” is not a roving license to use your own judgement, so the court’s judgement must intervene.

Regardless of your take on the issue itself, the interesting thing in this article is the resurgence of “Federalism” that this decision represents. John Paul Stephens, long an opponent of many of the states’ rights decisions over the Rehnquist years, uses this resurgence as a weapon:

This new twist on the court’s standing doctrine may have been an essential tactic in winning the vote of Kennedy, a leader in the court’s federalism revolution of recent years. Stevens, a dissenter from the court’s states’-rights rulings and a master of court strategy, in effect managed to use federalism as a sword rather than a shield.

This illustrates clearly how the most powerful man on the Supreme Court is now undoubtedly Anthony Kennedy. He used to share the “Moderate” and tie-breaker role with Sandra Day O’Connor. Now he is THE guy.

International Herald Tribune

WHY? I’ll tell you why…

Sincerest apologies for blind Bush admin haters (and they are legion). Feel free to come after me with guns blazing on this, but I just can’t help myself.

I truly believe this is simply GREAT. It’s a long time coming and I was wondering when it was going to happen.

Monica Goodling, counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and liaison to the White House, cited the politically charged and “perilous environment” of the House and Senate judiciary committees in refusing Monday to testify about her part in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. In a letter to the Senate committee, her lawyer says the “potential for legal jeopardy” from “even her most truthful and accurate testimony” is “very real,” and cites the recent conviction of I. Lewis Libby for lying during a CIA-leak investigation.

To use a technical legal term, huh?

Before Goodling, 33, can assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, she must believe that her testimony could somehow lead to evidence that she committed a crime. So what’s the crime she’s worried about? The mention of Libby suggests that it’s perjury, but as Professor Orin Kerr, a criminal law expert at George Washington Law School, points out, you can’t take the Fifth to avoid being prosecuted for lies you plan to tell under oath.

Blame it on Ken Starr if you want to, but this “perjury trap” thing is REAL and kudos to Goodling for deciding to keep herself out of trouble by telling them to go straight to hell.

The author here misses the point. Goodling knows that she will be asked so many mundane and stupid questions that almost anything she can’t recall can be ruled as perjury down the road. She is protecting herself from an Arthur Miller style drowning, and she has that right. If they had something on her they would indict her. They don’t. Just like they didn’t have anything on Scooter Libby either. And he’s going to jail.

Anyone know how many U.S. Attorneys were summarily dismissed under Clinton’s administration. How many Senate hearings were there then?

This is a non-story, and despite the ENDLESS blogging on it, (sorry MEJ) there is nothing that can be said for political appointees being fired. They’re fricking political appointees.

Why Is a DOJ Lawyer Taking the Fifth? | TIME

Executive arrogance

A good heads up on executive arrogance and democratic hypocrisy. Gonzalez should resign…for firing 8 federal prosecutors? I guess prosecutors appointed during dem admins should be appointed for life, lest CNN and Hillary Clinton call for their resignation. Too many people in this country are eager to become victims.

Whiny victim Exhibit 1

The supposed scandal this week is that Mr. Bush had been informed last fall that some U.S. Attorneys had been less than vigorous in pursuing voter-fraud cases and that the President had made the point to Attorney General Albert Gonzales. Voter fraud strikes at the heart of democratic institutions, and it was entirely appropriate for Mr. Bush–or any President–to insist that his appointees act energetically against it.

Take sacked U.S. Attorney John McKay from Washington state. In 2004, the Governor’s race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129-votes on a third recount. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other media outlets reported, some of the “voters” were deceased, others were registered in storage-rental facilities, and still others were convicted felons. More than 100 ballots were “discovered” in a Seattle warehouse. None of this constitutes proof that the election was stolen. But it should have been enough to prompt Mr. McKay, a Democrat, to investigate, something he declined to do, apparently on grounds that he had better things to do

But Gonzalez should resign for this?