July 04, 2007

A perspective on the Libby commutation:
Keep in mind that Scooter Libby would undoubtedly have served his time at a minimum security facility. I have visited the federal minimum security prison at Lompoc, California, and while it’s not a “country club,” it’s not what most people think of when they think of “prison,” either. Most of the prison is outside. There are no walls or fences; you could simply walk out of prison if you wished. (Prisoners don’t, typically, because the consequences of getting caught include a transfer to the maximum security facility.) Inmates play softball, milk cows, and sleep in dormitory-style accomodations. I’m not saying it looks like a fun life, because it doesn’t. But it’s not 23 hours a day locked in a jail cell with someone named Bubba.

In California, misdemeanor defendants face mandatory jail time for repeat offenses of driving on a suspended license — one of the lowest-level crimes on the books. And they go to L.A. County Jail — a far less pleasant place than minimum security federal prison.

Paris Hilton went to jail. Scooter Libby couldn’t serve even one day?

July 03, 2007

When I first started blogging (a little over five years ago), there weren't a lot of ideological cohorts of mine doing this newfangled medium, so what few of us there were had to take great pains to get noticed, network, etc. The first person who ever saw fit to contact me and offer encouraging words was a blogger from back east named Jim Capozzola, whose blog, The Rittenhouse Review, was an early fave. In particular, I remember that when Blogger began putting rather tacky-looking ads at the top, he made a small contribution toward removing it, a decent, generous act by someone who never met me, done at a time when I considered getting 40 visitors a day to be an avalanche.

If you wrote something he liked, he would link to you, and plug you for a week. If you praised something he wrote, he would e-mail the most profuse thank you note by the end of the day. He had an impeccable sense of fairness and decency, was wicked funny, and had a vast catalog of interests, so it was quite a loss when he started blogging less and less over the past few years. About a month ago, I e-mailed him, asking how he was doing, wondering if like so many other early bloggers, he was distancing himself from the monster the blogosphere had become.

Today comes word that Jim Capozzola passed away last night. As it turns out, I wasn't the only person touched by his generosity of spirit; Susie Madrak, who lives in the same city (Philadelphia), also had her Blogger ad removed, courtesy of the Baron of Rittenhouse Square, and has a detailed obit of her friend, here.

July 02, 2007

It must be obvious by now that the judicial branch of government is powerless to rein in this Adminstration. With the exception of his father, no President in a century has pardoned fewer people in office* than this one; no two-term President has granted as few clemency actions since Thomas Jefferson, who presided over a country about a twentieth its current size. Yet like his father, when he finally decides to wield one of the few powers for which the Constitution actually does give him absolute authority, he doles it out to his cronies and loyalists, not to the deserving.

If there was any doubt that these guys could give a rat's ass about upholding the law, the events of today should put it to rest. Congress must either initiate impeachment proceedings, at the very least against Dick Cheney, or it should formally pass a resolution saying that it doesn't intend to do a goddamn thing about executive branch lawlessness.

*And that one was James Garfield, who was assasinated only four months into his term.
Nothing gets me in a karaoke mood more than this, my all-time favorite song:

WANKERS !!! Heh. Indeed.

July 01, 2007

It wouldn't be a baseball season at Smythe's World without at least one reference to the whereabouts of my all-time favorite player, Jose Offerman. This year, it's Long Island, where he has returned to the league which gave him succor during the 2003 and 2006 seasons, the Atlantic League, His teammates on the Ducks include Carl "Jurassic" Everett, Pete Rose Jr., Donovan Osbourne, Edgardo Alphonso, and other former alums of the Show. He's hitting a healthy .317 and four home runs for his division-leading team (to put that number in context, Rose is hitting .360 with six homers, Everett .284 with 10 knocks, and Alphonso an anemic .264 with three home runs). Hey, it's baseball, so don't knock it.
For a jawdropping example of Rudy Giuliani's complete unfitness for the White House, check out this passage from a recent interview, concerning the "surge":
And you would give Petraeus all the time he needs?

Sure, if I thought he was right. I had a similar, on a lesser scale, issue with the police department or the fire department or whatever. If No. 1, that's General Petraeus's advice; if No. 2, you believe it's the right evaluation of the situation, which I guess the administration is going to get some separate views on this--which is a good thing--but if they come to the conclusion that he does need a year or two more, and it makes sense to invest in that, then the political part of that comes second, and that's what you have to explain to the American people.
"...or whatever"? [link via Josh Marshall]