Archive for November, 2008

Democratic Economics

Posted in Politics on November 20th, 2008

United States Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Jr. is serving up the Democrats’ dream of the Free Lunch. Of course the menu is somewhat limited…

Paulson serves up a shit sandwich and we all have to eat it
See more Democrat pictures at Pundit Kitchen

First the Bail-Out of the financial markets, then a probable bail-out of the “Big 3” automobile manufacturers – which is really a bail-out of the United Auto Workers union – Paulson’s and the Democrats’ soup kitchen never closes.

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Obama’s Counsel

Posted in Politics on November 16th, 2008

According to recent reports from The Politico President-Elect Barack Obama has selected Gregory B. Craig to be his White House Counsel.

As the White House counsel, Craig will be one of the most influential members of Obama’s cabal. He will serve as the president’s lawyer, giving him legal advice and administering pardons and conflict-of-interest issues. Craig would also be the one to handle any legal defense President Obama might need while in he’s in office.

This is not a surprising choice on the part of President-Elect Obama in the wake of a bitterly contested Democratic Primary race. Gregory Craig is known as the “Lawyer of the Left” and is yet another Clinton re-tread being included in Obama’s cabal.

Craig’s Qualifications

The 63 year old Craig is a very well-schooled and experienced lawyer. He is the protege of the the legendary Beltway power brokering attorney, Edward Bennett Williams and is is a partner at the boutique litigation firm Williams founded, Williams & Connolly LLP. One does have to hope though that Craig’s extensive qualifications are not uniquely suited to Obama’s upcoming administration.

Craig represented the would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to murder Republican President Reagan in 1981. Craig was reportedly the architect of Hinckley’s successful defense in which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity even though reports by the federal prosecution found Hinckley legally sane.

In 1998 President Clinton appointed Mr. Craig to be Assistant to the President and Special Counsel in the White House where Mr. Craig served as the head of the President’s team that was assembled to defend against his impeachment by Congress. Mr. Craig was also a member of the President’s trial team in the United States Senate and presented the President’s defense with respect to Count One during that trial.

Craig also represented Former Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez-Berzaín in a federal lawsuit of crimes against humanity due to his alleged role in the suppression of labor union riots in 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 67 people. Sánchez-Berzaín stood accused of turning the army lose to butcher protesters in what was described as a brutal massacre of unarmed men, women and children, some of whom were reportedly shot at point-blank range.

Craig was counsel to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the Oil-For-Food scandal in which – alongside other grievous examples of corruption  – Annan was alleged to have arranged for his son Kojo to receive payments from the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection SA, which won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program.

Craig currently represents Pedro Miguel González, president of the Panamanian legislator who is wanted in the United States on the charges of Murder and Attempted Murder. The FBI has creditable evidence proving that Gonzalez, a vocal enemy of America, murdered one U.S. Army soldier and attempted to murder another. These serious accusations and González’s Panamanian government position are a primary reason the U.S. has halted a U.S.-Panama free trade accord.

Yes, Gregory B. Craig – The Lawyer of the Left – has a long and storied history of accomplishments in defending assassins, mass murderers, murderers of US servicemen, and corrupt politicians. Craig also – based on his partnership in Williams & Connolly LLP – has a great deal of experience with punitive and/or opportunistic litigation.

These are all useful qualifications for the personal lawyer of a Head of State.  I’ve been told though that Obama wants to usher in a new brand of American politics, so I must hope that Craig’s qualifications are not suited for his new position. If that’s the case though, then the only remaining remaining reason I can find for Obama selecting Craig as the White House Counsel is that Craig is a yet another Clinton White House veteran for Obama’s roster.

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Legislating Acceptance

Posted in Politics, Society on November 11th, 2008

On November 4th, 2008. the voters in California voted in favor of Proposition 8 – by a reasonably slim 52.3% to 47.7% margin – which amended the California State Constitution to include verbiage that strictly defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

California State Constitution
SECTION 2. Article I. Sect ion 7.5

Thus Proposition 8 overruled the May 15, 2008 decision by the California Supreme Court that ruled that the previous Proposition 22 – which passed with 61.4% of the vote – violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. As a result Gay Marriage was once again forbidden in California.

As anyone with a brain would expect, the LGBT community and its supporters are very much up in arms over this development. There are holding protests across the whole nation and proceeding to move forward with litigation to have the constitutional amendment overruled. The LGBT community is outraged that the voters of California took their rights away twice!

One has to ask though what rights did the homosexual lose? The answer is not a single one under California law.  California recognizes both hetero- and homosexual Domestic Partnerships, which as of 2007 grant all of the same rights and responsibilities as marriages under CA state law (see California Family Code §297.5)

Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.

California Family Code
SECTION 297(a)

The first thought that came to mind was that these Domestic Partnerships wouldn’t make the participants eligible for the same federal programs and protections granted to married couples. This is actually true, but is sadly irrelevant. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which President Bill Clinton signed into law on September 21, 1996 expressly states that the Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states. Whether married or partnered, same-sex couples are denied federal recognition.

So it comes down to language and the weight that people place on the word “Marriage.” Homosexuals weren’t interested in their rights, which weren’t in jeopardy. The outrage caused by Prop 8 is seemingly based on the gay community’s need to have the California government say that they have the “right” to say that they’re married.

Essentially the LGBT community tried to legislate and litigate acceptance and got “slapped in the face” by homophobia. They also – I hope but do not conclude unwittingly – ran afoul of Christian churches who are experiencing an increased fear of government interference.

Someday people will hopefully learn that you cannot legislate or litigate aceeptance, only enforced tolerance and equality of measurable and substansive rights under the law of the land.  It won’t be today though or next week – or next year.

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