Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Forget the Flag, Burn Congress!

The more I hear about a anti-flag burning amendment, the hotter I get!

I'm sure things are worse elsewhere, but perhaps only in the grand old United States of America can grown men and women waste valuable time and money debating the merits of a wholly worthless bit of legislation that is utterly and completely uneccessary.

Heard about anyone buring the flag in Tulsa recently? Or Des Moine? Or Rapid City? Hell no. Flag burning went out with bra burning (which I fully supported...) and, even if it were being torched to inflame the ire of Red Staters, it still wouldn't matter. But...whoa. You won't drag me into the specious debate that underlies this issue; because it is a non-issue. As I noted in an earlier piece, this is ONLY being done so that GOP candidates can return home and lambast the "Ted-Kennedy-limousine-liberals who believe that burning Old Glory is just fine." At least, that's how it'll sound in their TV and radio commercials.

No, I'm hot under the collar folks and you should be, too. Don't be fooled by this insane crock of faux patriotism, but do get out the extinguisher quell the hellfire coming from all the legislators who voted for this.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Scalia Unleashes the Hounds

Ya' gotta give it to Antonin. He's consistent. If there's a wrong way to think, he'll think it. So it is with today's specious ruling from The Supremes. (Note to the Right Wing; isn't this what is what you call being an "activist judge?")

Scalia, Mama Mia took it upon himself to lead the way in setting the scene for the decimation of the exclustionary rule, which, in basic terms, means that information/evidence obtained in an illegal search can not be used to prosecute with. Well, that wasn't the exact outcome of today's decision, but it leans and leads us in that direction.


Understand, the standard prior to this was; cops had to wait a "reasonable amount of time" before smashing in your door. To Scalia, this unimaginable delay (upwards of 20 to 30 seconds!) simply wasn't necessary. Let the cops rampage in and damn the torpedo! Does this guy not read his history? As an Italian-American, doesn't he remember the Brown Shirts? Apparently not.

This is a frightening ruling. One of the most absurd parts of Scalia's statement was that if people felt abused by the stormtroopers they could "sue in civil court." Ever tried that? Lawsuits are for the rich and powerful. Without incredibly deep pockets, you are, essentially, screwed.

This man and his compadres are a menace. They represent the worst of what this nation has to offer. Calling them Supreme does the term a mighty injustice.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Congress Votes For Politics

Even though there are serious concerns around the world right now (need I list them?) Congress has taken it upon itself to ponder the really pressing issues of the day; gay marriage and flag burning. Why, you ask? The answer is simple; so they can make commercials which, they hope, will keep them in DC for a few more years.

I want to explain how this works, and, just for kicks, let's take hopeless PA Congressman Tim Murphy, who (at last count) holds the record for staff turnover during his last couple of terms as our examplar. Let it be noted that "Turnover Tim" gets his moniker (and this is coming from his former staffers) because of his egomaniacal personality and general pain-in-the-ass-ness.

So, let's say Tim votes for an amendment banning flag burning. The vote goes nowhere, the bill doesn't pass and the issue (momentarily) recedes into the background - except for those hacking together campaign commercials. They know this is great fodder, and it will lead to (drum roll, please!) something like this...

"Tim Murphy believes strongly in the core values you believe, which is why he voted this year to make flag burning illegal. His opponent, as hard as it is to believe, voted against the bill! I guess this limosine liberal, who sides with Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy on every issue, just thinks that setting fire to the stars and stripes isn't a problem at all."

Ya' see how easy that is? Tim didn't really have to do anything, other than show up and vote for a bill that was never going to pass. Ditto gay marriage. Ditto tax bills. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto, you Ditto Heads!

Congress should actually be sued by someone over the absolute waste of our time and money to even bring such bills to the floor for debate. Has ANYONE burned a flag in the last 40 years? And, to put it bluntly, WHO GIVES A DAMN! Okay, I feel better now that I got that off my chest!

So look out, the season of TV Commercial Legislation is in full swing now and will only end when Congress recesses - having settled nothing. But, at least, Congress will then be in recess.....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Santorum's Children's Crusade (apologies to Kurt Vonnegut)

Well, Rick and his media mokes have certainly shown their true colors. Along with "go negative early," they have also adopted an approach that amounts to this; "All kids, all the time!"

Thus it is that Rick is pressing for important legislation that will further the reach of Operation Safe Childhood.

To see how this landmark legislation will change the face of the nation, one only need reference the article in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by writer Paula Reed Ward, which notes;

"If passed: The act would increase penalties for crimes such as child pornography and child sex trafficking. It would create campaigns to bring more awareness to child online safety. It would require warning labels on commercial Web sites that contain sexually explicit material."

Great. Warning labels! As we know, those have stopped people from smoking and have led people to give up drinking! And "campaigns to bring more awareness?" Like this is something people don't already care about? And higher fines will do what higher fines always do; nothing.

No. This is nothing but politicaly flummery and manipulation at its worst, preying on parents' worst fears. Clearly no one in the world can argue with it, which is precisely why the Boy Senator is jumping on the bandwagon. Please note; Santorum didn't create or sponsor the original legislation, he just looked around and went, "Hmmm, what kinda child safety issue can I co-opt during an election year?" Rick's PA partner in crime (and fellow Brabender Cox client) Melissa Hart went down this same road several years ago, with predictable results; zilch. But, it makes for great copy and it allows the politicians to opine with great gravitas about "our children."

Here's my take. We live in what must be the most child-obsessed society that has ever existed. Parent's believe their spawn can do no wrong and will give them anything and do anything for them. Clearly this is showing up in polls, and political campaigns live and die based on polling. Hence, we have CHILDREN shoehorned into every issue.

Oh, one more thing. This is a total win for Ricky when it comes to the press. Mindless news directors are running the story, without so much as a caveat about it being an election year. And Bob Casey is smart enough to play "hands off" with it. However, bloggers like myself are under no such stricture.

Read my lips: "It's politics, Jake."