Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

John McCain is "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on" . . . on Wall Street.

I'd give the man the benefit of the doubt, if I could figure out with certainty which doubt was better to benefit him.

Is it worse to assume he's being cynical - that, of *course* he knew, while deregulating Wall Street, that Wall Street, financial companies, investment houses were run by greedy speculators that would run any chain the regulatory agencies gave them to the very limit and, if they thought they could get away with it, past those limits.

Or, is it worse to assume he's being honest with us, and it did not *occur* to him that the denizens of Wall Street would, given the lax regulatory environment championed by John McCain, Phil Gramm, and their philosophical contemporaries in the GOP and on K Street, would be grabbing money for all it was worth, and hoping to dodge any consequences as they came?

The man is either a liar that knew Wall Street was run by greedy gamblers that were going to take his deregulation and run for all they were worth (but was ignorant enough to think the positive consequences would outweigh the negative consequences), or he's a fool that thought Wall Street was run by priest and nuns.

I guess I kinda hope he was ignorant about the history of regulation and lying to cover that up - that at least gives the chance he might learn from the mistakes of the past.

You can't cure stupid.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Beg Your Pardon

Article. V. - Amendment

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

It seems to me that President Bush, and the Republican Party have demonstrated, rather clearly, the need to put limits of the Presidential Power of the Pardon - not only did they pardon Libby for obstructing an investigation, but they have been commenting rather forcefully about the advantages of forestalling any future investigations by preemptively pardoning their fellow travelers rather than allowing the peasants their day in court.

So it seems to me to be reasonable to consider whether it's worth limiting this absolute privilege of the executive with a set of amendments.

28th Amendment (Proposed):

No pardon or clemency shall be issued prior to a finding of guilt for a crime by the judiciary, all such pardons shall be issued publicly, detailing in full the act or acts for which the pardon or clemency was granted.
29th Amendment (Proposed):

No pardon or clemency for any act obstructing an investigation of another criminal act, whether by perjury or other means, shall be issued.

30th Amendment (Proposed):

Neither the President, Vice President, President pre tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, any Justice of the Supreme Court, nor any Officer of the Executive appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate shall be eligible for pardon or clemency for any crime performed while in office.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Republican Party hasn't learned a darn thing in eight years

That's what I got from the GOP convention.

Let's be clear - theoretically, the Republican Establishment thinks that GWB didn't run the government in a conservative fashion, and that has damaged the GOP 'brand'.

Practically, in a three day convention they made it abundantly clear that there is no *particular* policy of the Bush administration that they have an intention of parting with.

From the rank and file of the party up through Governor Palin and Senator McCain, they made it quite clear that they very much did not want to be associated with George Bush or Dick Cheney, and should not be held responsible for their actions, despite the fact that the party completely supported them during their administration and fully intends to maintain the policies they implemented.

Wow. Just . . . Wow.