Monday, July 02, 2007

Paris Hilton and Scooter Libby

Anybody want to bet me that we won't be hearing near as big a furor about Scooter Libby as we did about Paris Hilton?

Anybody?

Just to put this in perspective, Paris actually spent time in jail before she was released.

Further perspective, she violated probation, but didn't help cover up a breach of national security.

Further perspective, at least the sheriff claimed she had medical reasons to get out - Bush didn't even show that much respect to our system of justice.

If you're surprised by Bush helping one of his cohorts dodge accountability for his misdeeds, you're not paying attention. Bush only says "bring 'em on" when he's putting soldiers at risk (happy 4th anniversary of that quotation today - but don't mention it to the thousands of family members of the thousands of soldiers who have died since Bush's schoolyard taunt). He doesn't say it when it means allowing a rich white Republican male to go to prison.

Remember the rule of law during this regime - IOKIYAAR.

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35 Comments:

Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

That was such blatant bullshit that I'm damn near speechless.

This administration doesn't even attempt to to put a veneer of lawfulness on anything they do. They just do whatever the fuck they want, wipe their asses with the Constitution and then rub it in the faces of the American people.

"Don't like having a shit-smeared Constitution rubbed in your face? That's because you hate America and want the terrorists to win."

7/02/2007 9:34 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

XO -

You have a fine blog - one of the best in town.

But nobody I know is fit to carry your keyboard as a commenter.

You being the high heat. Keep up the great work.

7/02/2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

You BRING the high heat.

7/02/2007 9:49 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Fine analogy, Dan.

It puts things in perspective.

7/02/2007 9:57 PM  
Blogger Kato said...

Today's latest outrage is just another proof that we are currently governed by a tyranny of fools. They think they can do anything, yet everything they do turns to ashes and dust. The Libby cummutation will be good for another 3 point dip in W's approval rating, but even more, it will be a potent arrow in the Dem's 08 quiver.

Every dictatorship in history has been blind to its own folly, and incrementally creeps towards the chasm of political oblivion. The GOP is well on its way to the precipice. They have lost the black vote, the Hispanic vote, the youth vote,and they are on their way to losing the rural vote. Independents are deserting them in droves. 08 is shaping up to be an utter disaster for the GOP. Deservedly so.

7/02/2007 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Keith Sader said...

I have to second XO's comments here.

The unmitigated gall of this President is astounding. I really really really have a hard time believing that any Republican senator who gives a damn about the republic could support this.

This type of favoritism and disdain for the courts is typical of banana republics and this administration.

Worst.President.Ever!

7/03/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

You can disagree with Bush's decision, and I most certainly do, but it was anything but illegal. His power to do it is firmly rooted in the Constitution.

Just like you argue Funk can appoint anyone he wants, Bush can commute any sentence he chooses. Yet like all public officials, they are ripe for criticism when their moves (however legal) fly in the face of good judgement.

[67 words]

7/03/2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger ::Andrew:: said...

I heard this news on KCUR while driving to work with my wife this morning. After I gasped and grunted at the news, my wife replied, "What? are you really surprised? Bush has a year and a half to go and not much to lose."

I worry for whatever his next Not-Much-to-Lose move will be. Maybe I should stop worrying about it and place bets on it instead. Any takers?

7/03/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Well, Clinton clearly lied under oath, and he got a free pass.

(Note: I voted for Clinton twice, and would vote for him again.)

Granted, he lied about sex. Scooter lied about a very severe national security breach, so we do have a totally different contexts.

However, when a public official lies under oath, should the law distinguish between small matters or large matters - should a subjective distinction between the severity or seriousness of the context be a mitigating factor in judging the crime itself?

7/03/2007 9:47 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

mainstream, Why do you think Cheney and Bush refused to be interviewed under oath?

The most laughable GOP excuse in all this is that Libby was just a "fall guy" so he didn't deserve his sentence. Well, doesn't that beg the questions who was he taking the fall for (Cheney?) and why did he choose to take the fall?

Congress needs to get Bush and Cheney's testimony released so the public can truly see them for the depraved weasels they are.

7/03/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Most of you probably read Drudge and thus have seen this, but just in case:
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/18/opinion/18CLIN.html?pagewanted=all&ei=5070&en=66ba82eaf117b24b&ex=1183521600
Read for yourself what President Clinton says about pardons and commuting sentences. And, don't think for a minute that any one of our presidents haven't exercised this privilege in their own benefit, including Clinton and Bush.

7/03/2007 11:23 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

From the Department of Justice

7/03/2007 11:58 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Travelingal and Emaw -

You guys are way too funny. Other presidents have used their pardon power, so we are supposed to accept that this is okay?

This is obstruction of justice - I accept the Republican argument that he is a fall guy, now I want to know who he is taking the fall for (Cheney). Now there is no leverage.

I did not claim that it is unprecedented that people have been pardoned. I do claim that this is a corrupt administration using the pardon power to hide its corruption.

7/03/2007 1:00 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Yes Dan. Putting aside the issue of Scotter scooting out on his jail time, Cheney has displayed the most flagrant abuse of power and needs to he held accountable.

And doesn't it make anyone else mad that the democrats are so incredibly incompettnt that they can't stand up to such obvious misbehavior?

Are the democrats THAT weak? For crying out loud, they have a majority in Congress!! The democrats ineptitude may be even greater than Cheney's corruption.

7/03/2007 1:12 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

This is just another example of Dubya's administration holding themselves above the law.

Apparently, since the Constitution was written before 9/11, it is not applicable anymore.

Illegal wiretaps, holding prisoners for years with no due process, torturing prisoners, secret CIA prisons, extreme renditions, Cheney just declaring himself to be exempt from Information Security Oversight, failure to grasp the essential concepts of Oversight and Checks & Balances, the list just goes on, and on, and on,

It's as though everyday they have a meeting at the White House to decide how they can grab more power, abuse that power, and make it clear to the world that they don't give a damn what anyone thinks about it.

7/03/2007 2:13 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Hey XO, would you like a little cheese with that whine?

:o)

7/03/2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

And while you're at it, XO, would you care to tell us all exactly what law Dubya broke? It's sleezy as hell, but it's not illegal. He's just following that same horribly low standard that you boys keep saying is peachy keen for Funkhouser: Bush can commute anybody he wants.

The Democrats in DC need to grow a pair and go after these crap weasels. Maybe you can't impeach them yet, but it's past time to go to the mattresses.

7/03/2007 3:31 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Hey, ya know, I can't wait for the day Bush is gone but I'm not going to get all worked up over this Scooter Libbey deal. He lied. He didn't leak the info about Plame, Armitage did and furthermore, Plame wasn't even undercover so I'm not going to go insane over this shit. Hell, Kennedy tried to assassinate Castro which is also highly illegal, but he's a hero. Sooo, my point is, if any of us think any of them are doing everything "legal", we're pretty damn naive. How about Sandy Berger, for example, but that one went quietly away.

7/03/2007 4:19 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

mainstream - that wasn't whining. That was fatigued outrage mixed with frustration and dispair.

Despite having arguably the best education system in the world, we have somehow managed to fill this country with people who are seemingly incapable of recognizing outright lies, blatant hypocrisy, overwhelming arrogance, extreme hubris and tyrannical indifference towards the will of the people, the rule of law, our system of checks and balances, transparency and The Bill of Rights.

It is one thing to be ignorant because you have been decieved and the truth was hidden from you. But this administration has made no attempt to disguise it's actions. There attitiude is "Yeah? So what?"

nitwit - He absolutely did NOT break the law by commuting Libby's sentence. I never meant to imply that. But in doing so he furthers the notion that he and his administration are above the law. It says "Our legal system has spoken. He's guilty and must go to jail. Well, we don't like that very much so we're just going to brush that aside and commute his fucking sentence. BOOYA! How d'ya like me now?"

As far as him actually breaking the law, you know there really are laws against tapping someone's phone without a court order.

There is also this thing called habeas corpus. What kind of message do you think it sends to the rest of the world when we invade another country, overthrow it's government and imprison it's citizens under the banner of "spreading freedom and democracy" while we deny those prisoners the basic rights that we extend to rapists, murderers and child molesters?

How hungry would you be for American Democracy if you had been sitting in Gitmo for the past 4 years without anyone telling you why you are there or when, if ever, you would ever be released?

Everyone sitting in Gitmo has friends and families. How anxious do you think they are to embrace American Freedoms?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist or even a politial scientist to see why so much of the world hates us with such passion and how, when it comes to spreading freedom and democracy, we are our own worst enemy.

We aren't exactly leading by example, are we?

7/03/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Well, XO, I'm glad you've cleared up your inconsistency. Of course if you want to criticize the White House for failing to lead by example, then you might want to be a little consistent and hold Funk to the same standard.

You can't claim the moral high ground in DC when you've already ceded it here in KC. You can't argue that Funk can appoint whoever he wants to defend Semler, and then get so up in arms over our president exercising his Constitutional powers. Or at least, you can't expect some of us to take it with a straight face. You're being intellectually inconsistent.

Wrongheaded is wrongheaded no matter where it happens and no matter how high up the wrongheaded one climbs and no matter what party the wrongheaded one belongs too.

7/03/2007 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a friendly reminder of Clinton pardons:
http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clintonpardon_grants.htm

7/03/2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

nitwit - "You can't claim the moral high ground in DC when you've already ceded it here in KC. You can't argue that Funk can appoint whoever he wants to defend Semler, and then get so up in arms over our president exercising his Constitutional powers. Or at least, you can't expect some of us to take it with a straight face. You're being intellectually inconsistent."

Oh, Jeez! Ya got me! You're SOOO right. BUSTED!!

The President of the United States commuting the sentence of the fall guy for Dick Cheney and Karl Rove in a matter involving an outed CIA agent is EXACTLY the same as the Mayor of a medium sized mid-western city appointing a controversial Parks Board member.

Fuck me running! How could I have walked into THAT trap?

We are definitely talking apples to apples.

You're willfully missing the point and enjoying doing so.

I don't deny that Bush has the authority to commute sentences, grant executive clemency or issue pardons. Clearly he does. The Constitution says so.

My point is that by exercising this power in the Libby case he emphasizes and perpetuates the notion that members of his administration are above the law.

He felt the penalty was excessive? Really? Then why doesn't he review every sentence handed down to every criminal defendant in the last 6 years, or twenty years, or 100 years and grant pardons, clemency or commuted sentences to any incarcerated victims he feels have been excessively penalized by juries and judges?

Why? Because he doesn't give a rat's ass about those people. But he does care about protecting his cronies who are loyal enough to take the fall for the people who are actually guilty.

The Bush apologists are making a big deal on the airwaves talking about how he "only" commuted Libby's sentence while leaving the fine and probation intact. They say this is proof that Libby is still suffering under a harsh punishment.

I guaranfuckingtee you that between now and the time Bush leaves office, he will wipe that slate clean too. He has the power to do it. Clinton used it. Every President all the way back to Washington used it.

But don't spoon feed me a bunch of pablum about how Bush is only lifting an excessive punishment while somehow still leaving "justice" intact when we all know that is pure bullshit.

I'm not a Republican. I'm not that fucking gullible.

7/03/2007 5:45 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

XO, you're whining to the choir. Yes, what Bush did sucks. But according to your own argument, if someone has the right to do it, it's OK. That's been your defense of Funk on Semler as you've suggested we should all just move on.

So, if it's OK for Funk to exercise his powers, even in the face of common sense and in outright defiance of the very system he put in place to open up the system, then how on Earth can you conceiveably argue that Bush is wiping his ass with the Constitution?

Sorry, but you're holding Bush to a higher standard, which is shocking because he's the Republican. That anyone would be surprised to see Bush and Cheney protecting their own (and themselves to boot) is what's really shocking. But the fact that you're so vitriolic over Bush's missteps and misdeeds while you write off Funk's is downright laughable.

I never said Semler and Libby were the same thing. But the ultimate justifications for both are the same. Funk and Bush can both legally do as they please in these cases. But that doesn't make either of them right in a moral or ethical sense. If your criticism of Bush is fair and deserved (as we all know you believe) then so is the criticism of Funk over Semler and over the Honda and on and on.

7/03/2007 6:02 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Nitwit -

You've totally lost your ability to reason. Your argument is the equivalent of me pointing out that Hitler drank milk when a child, and you drank milk as a child, so, therefore, you are the same as Hitler. (I'll plead no contest on the Godwin's law violation.)

Commuting Libby's sentence is no more similar to Semler's appointment than the milk argument would suggest.

It's funny how obsessed you are with slamming our mayor. He has nothing to do with this thread, but you drag him into it for no reason.

7/03/2007 6:48 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

nitwit - Guilty as charged. I do indeed hold The President of the United States, the self-professed Leader of the Free World, a man who has held that position for over 6 years and conducted two wars and is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, to a higher standard of accountability than the newly elected Mayor of Kansas City who has held office for 2 months and whose only notable accomplishment has been to make some Parks Board appointments.

Do you even think about what you write before you post it?

7/03/2007 7:10 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I hereby name it

FUNK
DERANGEMENT
SYNDROME


heehee

7/03/2007 8:59 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Good name, Travelingal! With all loving respect, though, I think maybe we should consider a few alternatives.

Maybe WTF - Wrongly Trashing Funkhouser.

Or STFU - Slamming The Funk Universally.

7/03/2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Spyder said...

So what cracks me up is this: XO lives in Liberty. And if memory serves me right doesn't really blog about the Funk. Dan, who does live in KC, does write about the Funk. Looks to me like nitwit is confusing the two.

7/03/2007 9:52 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Let me spell it out for you all -- and I'm amazed that someone of Dan's hairsplitting ability to reason would have missed this point: XO has repeatedly asserted that Funk can appoint anyone he wants to the park board and that anyone criticizing him over Semler should in essence just shut up.

The exact same claim has been made over Bush's commuting of Libby's sentence (not to mention the firing of the U.S. Attorneys), and yet despite this similar reasoning to his own defense of Funk, XO has ranted on and on about Bush wiping the Consitution with his ass.

Now, I haven't said what Funk did was the same as what Bush did. It's not. Not at all. What I have said is that XO's excuse for Funk is the same as the excuse Republicans are using for Bush. My criticism here isn't of Funk, but rather on XO and others who offer up blind and simplistic defenses of his missteps.

You see, if you offer up kneejerk or reason bending defenses of people you support, then it's awfully hard to take your kneejerk and even reasonable attacks on people you don't like. If you can't allow for reasonable and fairminded criticism of Funk, then no one should take your criticism of Bush seriously either.

So Dan, while this thread didn't have anything to do with Funk, XO's "high heat" attacks on him squarely contradict his defense of Funk. Oh, and believe me, I'm not obsessed with Funk's frequent missteps. I'm amused by his rosy defenders like you. You people crack me up.

I want Funk to succeed because we're probably stuck with him for a few years. If he fails, KC suffers. But I love watching those of you who blindly supported him in the campaign having to defend him as the reality of the real Funk sets in.

7/04/2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

nitwit - "XO has repeatedly asserted that Funk can appoint anyone he wants to the park board and that anyone criticizing him over Semler should in essence just shut up."

Actually, I don't believe I have. You might be able to dig around and find one comment where I did, I honestly can't remember. But I don't think I ever defended Funk's choice or even his ability to appoint whoever he wants.

The subject of my comments about Funk generally have to do with my astonishment that so many people have their panties in a twist over who is serving on the goddamn Parks Board.

And my absolute amazement at someone's assertion that the Parks Board was the highest profile appointment you could get in Kansas City and how COMPLETELY fucked up that was given all of Kansas City's other problems.

I don't even live in Kansas City. I don't really give a fuck about The Funk. I live in Liberty and I don't even know who my mayor is. Don't care.

My focus is on national politics, not which local used car salesman wants to be dog-catcher.

Also, you said "XO has ranted on and on about Bush wiping the Consitution with his ass."

As long as we are splitting hairs, what you said is inaccurate. I accused Bush of wiping his ASS with The Constitution, not the other way around. Wiping the Constitution with his ass sort of implies that the Constitution is stationary and it is Bush's ass that is actually in motion which was not what I was saying at all. Completely the other way around.

Happy Independence Day.

7/04/2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Blind support? I don't think that's any more accurate than your logic, nitwit. I called the Honda affair "not the smartest thing he could do". I abandoned his defense on Semler. I called the failure to have appointees fill out applications "a bonehead play."

Thank you, though, for inspiring the WTF, STFU labels, and serving as an example.

7/04/2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Whatever, XO, I'll let it drop. It's not like you're known for much more than bringing the "high heat" with vitriol anyway. Also, all politics is local, so if you don't know who your mayor is, then you're missing out on some pretty important shit. But hey, whatever.

And Dan, your tireless defense of Funk is becoming a joke. You only abandoned Funk on Semler after becoming something of a laughing stock, you still cling to the bizarre notion that there was nothing wrong with the Honda, and your piece Funk ignoring the application process was all about the BUTs and not about calling Funk out for being a hypocrite.

Again, I'm not obsessed with Funk. I do, however, find it laughable to watch an allegedly intelligent and rational individual like you twisting logic into so many knots to defend the indefensible.

7/04/2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

And Nitwit finally sinks beneath my contempt.

7/04/2007 4:19 PM  
Blogger les said...

Well, the nitwit is well named; but I see travelingal is laboring in the mines of delusion as well. "Plame wasn't even undercover so I'm not going to go insane over this shit." This drivel has been debunked by public statement by the CIA--which may know more than deluded rightwingers--even if you think they raised the initial criminal complaint because they didn't know what their employee was up to. This is serious stupid. And what do the apologists have to say about the Bush Supreme Court, who recently ruled that 30 months is NOT an excessive sentence for lying to the court, lying to the FBI and obstructing justice?

7/05/2007 10:08 AM  
Blogger les said...

Check the hypocrisy:

http://tinyurl.com/2lhqx8

7/05/2007 10:38 AM  

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