Thursday, October 04, 2007

Short Attention Span Musing

Two items in the "The Good News Keeps On Coming...For Democrats, Anyway" Department -

...Another Bushie is under investigation for corruption and influence-peddling, and the best part is he's already confessed.

From -
In April last year, Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson traveled to Dallas to deliver a speech to a group of minority real estate executives. The event should have been pretty routine stuff. But Jackson -- and these are his words -- shot off his mouth by describing how he believed contracts should be awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The secretary recalled, for instance, how he once had killed a contract award because the contractor had disparaged his friend President Bush.


In September 2006, Donohue rendered his verdict in a lengthy report: Although Jackson had, in fact, urged senior aides to consider the political views of contractors in doling out department business, "no direct evidence" linked political favoritism to such awards. Jackson, it seemed, had dodged a bullet.

But perhaps not, because federal investigators are once again on Jackson's trail. And this time, the investigation seems more serious. Donohue's investigators are now working with the FBI, a federal grand jury in Washington, and prosecutors from the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. The investigation appears to focus, in part, on whether Jackson misled Congress when he testified earlier this year that he had never intervened in awarding HUD contracts. "I don't touch contracts," the HUD boss told a Senate panel on May 3.

Don't really have much to add here. I just enjoy highlighting the travails of those that think they are above the law...a group that seems to include all Bushies these days.

...and in the other item that Dems should be rejoicing over, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) has decided not to resign as planned, even after a judge denied his move to vacate his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge. He faced the charge after propositioning a police officer in an airport men's room in Minneapolis.

From his statement, courtesy the Idaho Statesman -
"I will continue to serve Idaho in the United States Senate, and there are several reasons for that. As I continued to work for Idaho over the past three weeks here in the Senate, I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively.

Over the course of my three terms in the Senate and five terms in the House, I have accumulated seniority and important committee assignments that are valuable to Idaho, not the least of which are my seats on the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee. A replacement would be highly unlikely to obtain these posts.

In addition, I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee - something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate."

As of right now, he is not running for reelection next year, but that's ok.

If he had gone through with his resignation, he'd be 'out of sight and out of mind' during next year's campaign; however, with his choice to remain in office, his hypocrisy will remain in the fore, weighing down any Republican candidate.

And in a state as red as Idaho, that could help the Democratic challenger, a lot.

...Even though the response from both the Democratic and Republican leadership teams in Congress has been tepid at best, Rep. Jim McGovern's idea of a surtax to pay for Bush's occupation of Iraq may be the best way to end the war.

The surtax plan would generate funding for the war by imposing a tax based on someone's income tax liability, with low-income taxpayers paying a smaller percentage than higher-income taxpayers.

The proposed plan would also basically exempt combat zone servicemembers, their spouses, and the families of fallen soldiers from paying surtax.

Instead of funding the war on the backs of America's poor children, all Americans would pay for it.

More importantly, it would be paid for *now* as opposed to the current funding scheme of using debt to finance it, making future generations pay for it later. You know, 'future generations' as in those children that Bush and the Republicans are throwing under the healthcare industry bus.

Another important effect would be to spread a little of the needed sacrifice around. Right now, the only people really affected by the war (other than the invaded Iraqis themselves) are our servicemembers and their families.

Want to make the surtax plan really interesting? Have a surtax attached to every war funding bill where the surtax must be large enough to cover the appropriations in the bill.

My guess is that the war would be over 5 minutes after the war had to be funded on a "pay-go" basis.

...I had a post planned for tomorrow concerning the sometimes colorful excuses that people come up with to get out of jury duty, in honor of my scheduled jury duty at the University Lakes Justice Court, but when I checked tonight, I found out that there is no need for jurors there tomorrow. :(

OK - How about one?

January 20, 2006, Superior Court in Phoenix, during jury selection for a case -

"Your honor, don't you think it's inappropriate for someone as famous as me to serve on a jury?"

- Dennis Green, then the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

The judge's response?

"But *I* don't know who you are."

The 60+ people in the courtroom just lost it.

It was easily the highlight of all of my stints with jury duty.

Note: the statements in quotes are actually paraphrases; I wasn't blogging then, so I didn't take any notes.

Have a great weekend!

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