Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Bush appointed hack lets assassination threat slide

This what you get when you appoint political hacks to be U.S. attorneys:

Legal experts question US Attorney's decision not to prosecute Obama 'assassination plot'

Interviews with numerous legal experts suggest that Colorado US Attorney Troy Eid misled reporters and diverged from state law when declining to prosecute any of the three men arrested in Denver for threatening to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Eid, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006, declined to prosecute the three men on charges of threatening to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, saying that the suspects were "just a bunch of meth heads" and their words failed to meet the legal standard for "true threat."
"When you talk about threatening presidential candidates, there's a legal standard you got to meet," Eid told reporters. "It's got to be a credible threat as defined by the law. And that means that someone has a way to carry it out. And at this time we don't have sufficient evidence that there was a true threat."

He added, "They didn't reveal a plan" and characterized the alleged threats and assassination plot as merely "the racist rantings of drug users" and "one meth head talking to another about life."

But multiple legal experts interviewed by RAW STORY -- including criminal and constitutional law scholars, former Assistant US Attorneys and Denver-area defense lawyers also familiar with Colorado state law -- agreed that voluntary intoxication is not exculpatory and that such a claim, especially for a prosecutor, is unorthodox. While it may be presented in an effort to reduce a sentence after a conviction, experts say it is normally the domain of defense counsel.

...Legal experts say that Eid's definition of true threat directly conflicts with the statue covering threats to presidential candidates, 18 U.S.C. 879, which defines the threat as "whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate."

...In downplaying the threat, the US Attorney's spokesman also characterized the physical evidence recovered from the suspects "including, along with methamphetamine, two high-powered rifles with scopes (one threaded with a silencer), 85 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, wigs, two walkie-talkies, three fake IDs, tactical pants and camouflage gear" as merely "tools of the drug trade." (FBI special agent and spokeswoman Kathy Wright admitted to RAW STORY that this physical evidence initially "sounded ominous," which is what compelled the FBI to obtain a warrant for search and seizure; yet contrary to reports in alternative media and the blogosphere, the FBI never sought to "charge" any of the suspects for threatening or plotting against Obama.) The implication was that all of these men were, at once, "just a bunch of meth heads" incapable of following through with any plan yet also hardened drug dealers, whose ownership of these items would be commonplace.

But according to narcotics experts, while the amount of methamphetamine recovered from Adolph's Denver hotel room legally constituted enough to charge him with intent to distribute, it does not suggest he or the other suspects are serious drug dealers or even drug dealers. Nor does it explain the kind of weaponry found on them.

One narcotics expert, a former senior DEA special agent who spoke with RAW STORY on the condition of anonymity due to his current consulting work, said that such a relatively small amount seems to point to either "very low level" dealing, the kind in which those involved are selling just to make ends meet, or an amount they simply planned on using themselves.

Michael Levine, one of the most highly decorated former DEA agents in agency history and an expert witness in over 300 federal and state criminal and civil cases, said of the amount of methamphetamine recovered in this case, "It's really not that much at all; that's roughly one ounce of meth. And one ounce of meth is what someone using might buy for himself or to share with friends. It was a small amount, still within the bounds of reasonable intent for use."

Levine also disputed the characterization of the weaponry recovered. "They are not tools of the trade," he said, explaining that while some drug dealers carry weapons, real evidence of drug dealing is the seriousness and amount of trafficking materials, primarily packaging materials, records of buyers' names and contact information, and evidence of witnesses who've said they've purchased from them.

Raw Story

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great seats!

Just as I was leaving work yesterday I got a call for a well connected friend asking if I wanted to go to the Timberwolves season opener. Of course I am not going to turn that down. Even though the Wolves are currently a shadow of their mediocre former selves it was a fun time. They squeaked out a 98-96 victory over the lowly Sacramento Kings. One bright light-rookie Kevin Love had a great game. He is going to be someone to pay attention to.

Put some cloths on!

Finally some siding progress!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

David Sedaris on undecided voters

For those who don't know, David Sedaris is a writer, humorist and a regular on NPR's "This American Life". He had this piece in The New Yorker

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Hit the link above for the whole piece. Good stuff.

Thanks to BobZ for posting that on another site.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My house is naked!

New siding going on this week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More frightening rhetoric

File under "D'OH!!!!!"

McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam In Lobbying Effort

William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government.

During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.

Timmons' activities occurred in the years following the first Gulf War, when Washington considered Iraq to be a rogue enemy state and a sponsor of terrorism. His dealings on behalf of the deceased Iraqi leader stand in stark contrast to the views his current employer held at the time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Too Funny Not to Post

OK, I'll admit the new Metallica album is the best thing they have put out in quite a while. That being said, a friend showed me a page that had this pic on it. Too funny. Hetfield is still a douche.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another debate

I used to have a certain degree of respect for John McCain. That respect had been diminishing as the Presidential campaign went along. Seeing him cozy up to those that he once vehemently criticized in an undisguised orgy of pandering was actually kind of sad. A man who prided himself on his integrity chucked it out the window to get the right wing christian vote. But with that and other moves that I felt to be sellouts of beliefs he had held in the past, I held on to a small bit of respect for the guy. I found myself thinking (hoping) he was a good guy deep down inside.

No more.

With his childish behavior at last night's debate and rhetoric that is bordering on frightening coming from the McCain camp out on the trail, the final nail has been driven into this coffin. This guy, and the campaign he is running are CONTEMPTIBLE.

People at rallies have been shouting "Kill Him!", "Treason" and "Terrorist" when Obama is mentioned. McCain supporters told a black TV crew member to “Sit down, boy.” after Palin tried to blame her miserable performance in interviews on "mainstream media" instead of her OBVIOUS lack of any substantial knowledge. Nice move from the VP candidate representing the party of "personal responsibility". "My piss poor performance isn't my fault! It was those damn commy journalists doing their JOB!!!"

Palin actually complained that Katy Couric's questions did not allow her to use her prepared talking points to bash Obama. Think about that for a minute. This person actually thinks that the press should be acting like a Letterman or Leno and asking prepared "questions" so she can give the answers she wants. THINK ABOUT THAT! Not only is she completely clueless on political matters, she has no FRIGGIN IDEA what the press does! And even more frightening-She has a B.S. in Communications Journalism. I guess she just paid attention to the "BS" part.

Last night McCain was pathetic. He tanked in the debate format that was supposed to be his strong point. McCain's ads have the gall to call Obama dishonorable yet he gets up there on national TV and LIES about Obama's record and fudges his own. Even worse he uses lies that have already been identified as BS in the national media. The Straight Talk Express has blown all of its tires and rolled over in flames in the ditch.

Grandpa Simpson mentioned a $3 million dollar overhead projector a couple of times as an example of pork that Obama supports. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo looked into that:

Natural Born Fibber

It turns out that that "overhead projector" John McCain claimed Barack Obama tried to get a $3 million earmark for was actually money to rebuild Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the oldest planetarium in the United States.

McCain's "overhead projector" is the apparatus that runs the planetarium, which is a bit like calling the Palomar Observatory a new set of glasses.

It comes down to this-it is now painfully obvious that the McCain campaign knows that have NO hope of winning on issues. They are on the wrong side of virtually every one. All they have left is to smear, smear, smear, smear. Funny thing is-whenever McCain tried his smears during the debate, the CNN tracking graphs headed down. Fast. It isn't working. Has America finaly had it with Rove style campaigns? I sure as hell hope so.

On another note-I saw "Religulous" this weekend. Bill Maher does a great job of skewering religion-ALL religion. Good stuff. Go see it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quick debate comments

Apparently Governor Palin does not know the definition of "Achilles Heel".

If she said Maverick one more time I was going to puke.

Biden did a good job of countering Palin's content free blather with little doo dads called facts.