Truth Hurts

November 11, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Posted in civil rights, Economy, elections, environment, God machine, immigration, journalism, Judiciary, Labor, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
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You say you want a revolution?

March 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Historical, Judiciary, politics straight up | Leave a comment
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Concentrated wealth on increase. Washington D.C. Concentration of wealth in the control of a few corporations has increased since 1931. Dr. Charles A. Beard, (right) told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee today. Dr. Beard, noted political scientist and economist, was testifying in defense of the O'Mahoney Corporation Licensing Bill, which, if passed, will require corporations dealing in interstate commerce to comply with specified standards to aqcuire a federal license. Senator Joseph O'Mahoney, author of the bill and Chairman of the Committee, is on the left. 1937 January 27. (Library of Congress)

To Beard, the Constitution was a counter-revolution, set up by rich bond holders (bonds were “personal property”), in opposition to the farmers and planters (land was “real property.”) The Constitution, Beard argued, was designed to reverse the radical democratic tendencies unleashed by the Revolution among the common people, especially farmers and debtors (people who owed money to the rich). In 1800, said Beard, the farmers and debtors, led by plantation slaveowners, overthrew the capitalists and established Jeffersonian democracy.

Other historians supported the class-conflict interpretation noting the states confiscated great semifeudal landholdings of Loyalists and gave them out in small parcels to ordinary farmers. Conservatives such as William Howard Taft were shocked at the Progressive interpretation because it seem to belittle the Constitution. History professors, however, mostly adopted it and by 1930 it became the standard interpretation of the era among them, but was largely ignored by the legal community.

Beginning about 1950 revisionist historians argued that the progressive interpretation was factually incorrect.


The Progressive interpretation of the era was largely replaced by the intellectual history approach that stressed the power of ideas, especially republicanism in stimulating the Revolution.

I would certainly agree that the country’s founders were motivated by ideals of liberty and individual rights, but that does not preclude motivations of economic bias.

A California study in 1969 revealed that the death penalty was imposed in only 4.8% of murder cases with “white collar” defendants but was imposed in 42% of cases that had “blue collar” defendants.

It’s hard to get away from the fact that there is an inherent belief that money equals virtue.

Who is David Margolis?

February 20, 2010 at 5:01 am | Posted in Judiciary, law, politics straight up, torture | 2 Comments
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Many errors found in Department of Justice mural. Washington, D.C., Aug. 17. Aides of Attorney General Cummings are taking great delight these days in criticizing the realism of several of the murals which ... Boughe, New York artist painted for the new Department of Justice building. Miss Margaret Burgess, a sightseer, points to the Statue of Liberty which was painted facing shoreward instead of seaward other glaring errors showed a convict facing four members of the Federal Court of Parole, although actually he faces only one in real life, a fire starting in a large city, although Federal Investigators work only on arson cases on Indian Reservations, 8/17/37

Despite the headlines you’ll see, the report from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) did not in any way clear Yoo or Bybee. It recommended referral to state bar disciplinary authorities by whom Yoo and Bybee are now licensed.

The OPR report concluded that “two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics.

Who is this man who is protecting John Yoo and Jay Bybee by blocking the Justice Department from making referrals that could result in their disbarment and loss of their current employment?

I used the Google and here is what I found:

It appears that Margolis has been used on a number of occasions to clean up a mess for the Justice Department. In March 2007 Margolis defended the firing of one of the nine US Attorneys at about the same time that Monica Goodling hit the front page. Some apparently took it for granted that because he was not a Bush hire, he was “clearly a ‘Clean’ player.” I would have to agree with those less inclined to view him so favorably.

His participation in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman seemed a bit stinky:

After ethics complaints were brought to the Justice Department, Leura Canary was nominally removed from the case. But in a circumvention of normal Justice Department rules approved by Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, she was allowed to pick one of her deputies to manage the case against Siegelman in her stead. Canary represented to Congress that she removed herself from the case “before any significant decisions” had been reached. Now internal communications have been disclosed within Canary’s own office calling into question these claims.

(Two earlier articles here and here.)

As to Margolis, it seems to me that he had an assigned role here — to provide a veneer of respectability to an expediency. We are left with the question: why is the Obama administration once again protecting members of the Bush crime family?

UPDATE: Isn’t it lovely that the Obama administration had someone with credibility already in the DOJ to whitewash the final results.

“OPR’s own analytical framework defines ‘professional misconduct’ such that a finding of misconduct depends on application of a known, unambiguous obligation or standard to the attorney’s conduct,” [Margolis] wrote. “I am unpersuaded that OPR has identified such a standard.”

The investigation was apparently political theater, perhaps to mollify those calling for investigations that will not happen during this administration of crimes committed by the Bush administration. They should have saved themselves the trouble.

UPDATE: “Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has forwarded materials on the writing of the torture memos to state bars where John Yoo and Jay Bybee are licensed, calling on the bar association to consider possible disciplinary action, Nadler’s office announced today.

It’s not just a piece of paper

January 23, 2010 at 2:45 am | Posted in civil rights, Judiciary, politics straight up, Reality Bites | 1 Comment
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Campaign to Legalize Democracy, a coalition of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (DUHC), the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN), the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution (Liberty Tree), Ultimate Civics, and others, is gathering signatures in support of a Constitutional amendment declaring that only “human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”

Please go sign the petition today.

Thanks, Mudflats!

Memorial Day March

January 22, 2010 at 1:05 am | Posted in civil rights, Judiciary, politics straight up, Reality Bites | 26 Comments
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Washington Monument, c1903 (Library of Congress)I’m beyond tired of the bullshit that’s going on. The complete and utter failure of the Democrats to grow a set of balls has me completely torqued.

We have all suffered through another year of Congressional Democrats kowtowing to the Party of No while sniffing the panties of Joe Lieberman and the Blue Dogs.

I think it’s time for the Dirty Fucking Hippies, the Socialists, the Communists and the Death Panel boosters to litter the Washington Mall.

Memorial Day weekend would be the perfect time, being warm enough to sleep outside. I certainly can’t afford a hotel. Shit, I will be lucky if I can afford the gas to get there and back.

Now that the Supreme Court has turned the country over to corporations, this may be our last opportunity to let these fucking assholes know how righteously pissed off we are.

Who’s with me?

The Terrorists Have Won

January 21, 2010 at 11:56 am | Posted in Judiciary, Obituary, politics straight up, Reality Bites, terrorism | 1 Comment
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Before funeral services in undertaking parlor. Southside of Chicago, Illinois. c.1941 Apr (Library of Congress)

It’s official. Corporations may now openly buy seats in the House, Senate, governorships and the White House.

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

The illusion that ours was a government of, for and by the people has been thrown aside. We are now officially a government of, for and by Our Corporate Overlords.

Sporting of them to “almost certainly … allow labor unions to participate.”

UPDATE: Go here to read relevant excerpts from the majority and dissenting opinions, or here for the whole thing.

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UPDATE: You don’t suppose Roberts, Kennedy, Alito, Scalia and Thomas are currying favor with those who have threatened violence against judges who step out of line, do you?

OMG! He didn’t!

September 26, 2009 at 10:52 am | Posted in God machine, Historical, Judiciary, politics straight up | 1 Comment
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Benjamin Franklin reading draft of Declaration of Independence, John Adams seated, and Thomas Jefferson standing and holding feather pen and paper, around table.  Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, artist.  Published c.1921 (Library of Congress)

Benjamin Franklin reading draft of Declaration of Independence, John Adams seated, and Thomas Jefferson standing and holding feather pen and paper, around table. Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, artist. Published c.1921 (Library of Congress)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia chatted with the Brooklyn-based Orthodox Jewish newspaper Hamodia this week, and reiterated his opposition to the principle of government neutrality on religion. The conservative jurist said he believes the government should prefer religion to non-religion, state neutrality on religious matters, he said, “is not an accurate representation of what Americans believe.” Scalia added, “I am not sure how Orthodox Jews feel about the Establishment Clause, but I assume they do not like driving God out of public life.”

Apparently Supreme Court Justice Scalia is not altogether in agreement with the First Amendment which reads in part:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The war on a secular society by the Right continues.

You can read the full interview in Hamodia here.

Sonya Sotomayor confirmed as 111th Justice of the Supreme Court

August 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Historical, Judiciary | Leave a comment
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Macombs Rd., Bronx / World Telegram & Sun photo by Phil Stanziola, c.1964

Macombs Rd., Bronx / World Telegram & Sun photo by Phil Stanziola, c.1964

Judge Sonya Sotomayor, born in the Bronx, New York in 1954, was confirmed today as the 111th Justice of the Supreme Court by a 68-31 vote of the Senate.

She will be administered the oath of office in the next several days, with a formal ceremony to be held in September.

Congratulations to all.

Obama Nominates “Community Organizer” To Supreme Court

May 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Judiciary | Leave a comment
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Thanks, Kiss My Big Blue Butt!

Third Branch of Government: Judiciary

March 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Judiciary | Leave a comment
Mrs. Nettie Hunt, sitting on steps of Supreme Court, holding newspaper, explaining to her daughter Nikie the meaning of the Supreme Courts decision banning school segregation.  1954.

Mrs. Nettie Hunt, sitting on steps of Supreme Court, holding newspaper, explaining to her daughter Nikie the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision banning school segregation. 1954.

PERRspectives has up a post about the dangerous right-wing war on the United States Justice system that you should go read.

On Tuesday, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote, her new online civics education project. But while O’Connor’s goal is to counter alarming statistics including “only a third of Americans can name the three branches of government,” her understandable motivation was the growing right-wing war on American judges. After all, amidst the incendiary rhetoric of John Cornyn, Tom Delay and other conservative leaders, Justice O’Connor was among those receiving death threats.

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