March 6th, 2007 by Alex
Not surprisingly, Fox News and the GOP Noise Machine are trying their level best to turn Scooter “Jailbird” Libby into a martyr for St. Dick of Wyoming. Let’s look quickly at how the law actually affects Scooter.
Firstly, an experienced prosecutor like Patrick Fitzgerald would have never indicted Libby if he wasn’t sure he had the goods to convict. Since proving false or inaccurate statements is not enough to establish perjury or obstruction, it can be very difficult to secure a conviction for these crimes.
In traditional criminal law doctrine, there are two main elements to each crime. One is actus rea, the conduct element of the crime, and the other is mens rea, the accused’s state of mind about the crime in question. In the case of perjury, it was Patrick Fitzgerald’s obligation to establish that Libby knowingly lied and misled the Courts and investigators. If Libby had merely misremembered, he would not have the required mens rea to be guilty of perjury.
Despite Libby’s vow to move for a new trial and appeal the decision, as is his right to do, it is highly unliklely that higher Courts will be eager to reverse the Libby verdict. Appellate courts do not look at facts anew when a case is before them; they look only to see if reversible errors of law were made at the trial level. Libby will certainly point to the media hullabaloo and the excuse of the 12th juror as grounds for a new trial. But the courts will be reluctant to give the circus another night under the big top, and will also give great weight to the moral authority of a jury verdict.
Libby’s best remaining shot at exoneration lies squarely in the hand of George W. Bush. Under Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the President is given broad authority to pardon individuals for past crimes, as well as any offenses that person may commit in the future. Politically, it is highly unlikely Bush would dare to pardon a crony like Libby before Election Day 2008. To pardon Libby would risk giving a huge gift to Democrats in their goal to retain Congress and reclaim the White House. However, Bush could easily pardon Scooter Libby after Election Day and before the next President, Democrat or Republican, is sworn in. Republicans and Democrats alike were appalled by the pardons issued by President Bill Clinton right before W. moved into the White House, particularly the pardon of scumbag financier Marc Rich. To prevent just such an eventuality, Congressman Barney Frank and others have proposed amending the Constitution to bar last minute pardons after Election Day. Until that day, however, Bush is free to tarnish his legacy by giving Scooter a walk on his way out of the White House. Hopefully, the mainstream media will press Bush and Tony Snow on the pardon issue until 2008.
By: Alex Madorsky
August 2nd, 2006 by Alex
Congressman Dave Obey is a Wisconsin original. Active in Wisconsin politics since his college days in the late 1950’s, Obey speaks to voters in an unvarnished style that originated before the ascendancy of professional political consultants and spin doctors. The name of his campaign committee says it all: A Lot of People for Dave Obey. First elected to Congress in a 1969 Special Election, Dave Obey has become overwhelmingly popular in a competitive district that stretches from his hometown of Wasau all the way to the Minnesota border and Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods; no Republican even bothered to run against him in 2004. Dave is also a mean bluegrass-harmonica player.
Obey is never afraid to speak the truth about the corruption and incompetence of his House Republican colleagues. He’s in a position to be a great reformer as the Chairman-In-Waiting of the powerful House Appropriations Committee if Democrats can recapture the House in 2006. Now Obey is barnstorming the country with Democrats like Iowa 1st Congressional District nominee Bruce Braley, stumping for a hike in the federal minimum wage without sham Republican tax cuts added on.
House Republicans, especially those on the Appropriations Committee, have turned the important process of funding government programs into a means of self-enrichment and influence peddling. Dave Obey would be an Appropriations Chairman Americans can be proud of. Just another reason its time for a change this November.
By: Alex Madorsky
July 12th, 2006 by Matthew Slutsky
It is being reported that the U.S. Military is ending its loving relationship with Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton. Halliburton has served bravely and with honor in Iraq contracting services from truck drivers to laundry services. Oh wait, that’s not true.
From LA Times:
Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping troops around the globe fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home.
Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs.
Whistle-blowers said the company charged $45 a case for sodas, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.
Bathing in contaminated water…what’s so bad about that?
June 30th, 2006 by Matthew Slutsky
As Senate Majority Leader Frist prepares to run for the Presidency, chatter has increased on Capitol Hill surrounding who will replace him if the Republicans manage to hold the majority in the Senate in 2006.
Former leader Trent Lott from Mississippi is looking like he could make a comeback to get his old job back. This, my friends, would not be good for America.
From The Hill:
The prospect of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) returning to leadership next year is creating more and more buzz on and off Capitol Hill, Republican insiders say.
The higher volume of talk has been fueled partly by his former aides who hold influential lobbying positions downtown, but prominent GOP insiders with no special allegiance to Lott say it extends well beyond his inner circle.
Perhaps by coincidence, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has recently sought a more public leadership role, appearing more often before television cameras set up outside the GOP conferenceâ€™s Tuesday luncheons, and has otherwise made himself more available to the press.
If Lott were to return he would have to challenge one of several colleagues for a leadership post. At the end of last year, he said he could challenge McConnellâ€™s bid to become majority leader, but he has since backed away from that threat.
Lott resigned his post in 2002 after some pretty inappropriate comments at Strom Thurmond’s 145th birthday party.
“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either,” Lott said at last week’s party.”
June 16th, 2006 by Matthew Slutsky
The Democratic leadership has laid out an aggressive agenda in the event that the pendulum swings and they take control of the house in November’s mid-term elections.
It’s exciting to see that Democrats are putting forward the policies they would immediately pursue after the election. A minimum wage increase, a reduction on the interest for student loans, and new lobbying restrictions are some of these policies.
It’s the “new direction” agenda. My concern is that “new direction” sounds like a poll-tested message that we’ve all heard before. They tried it in 2004 with little success and I fear that it isn’t strong enough considering the dire situation our country finds itself in due to the incompetence and corruption of the Republican majority.
From the Boston Globe:
House Democratic leaders hope the “New Direction” platform they outlined yesterday will persuade voters to select Democratic candidates in this fall’s mid-term congressional elections. Though House Democrats bristle at comparisons to Republicans’ 1994 “Contract With America,” the wide range of domestic proposals represent an answer to the GOP’s oft-repeated charge that Democrats lack ideas for governing.
“This is a unified Democratic message,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said yesterday in an interview.
This is a national message about core values that the Democratic Party will fight for and take us in a new direction. Democrats are wedded to that. It defines us, rather than have the Republicans define us.”
To read the “new direction” platform, click here.
My question is how much do you think the DNC’s consultants got paid to come up with this tired, old, worn-out message? Here’s another suggestion rather than “a new direction.”
“A NEW CONSULTANT!”
May 1st, 2006 by Joshua Skaroff
by then Secretary Tom Ridge to tone down his critcism of security failures prior to the election. “Rather than acknowledging the vulnerability, efforts were made to deride us and to dismiss our criticism,” Ervin says. More on ABC’s Nightline tonight.
April 17th, 2006 by Joshua Skaroff
predicted Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) at a town hall meeting in Wagoner, Okla. Said Coburn, “if you’ve been keeping up with things, you’ve got a pretty good idea” who it is.