Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 12th, 2008

Wrongdoing With Impunity

Posted by MEC on August 12, 2008

I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on the Internets. So maybe my reaction to the Appeals Court ruling dismissing Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against Bush Administration officials is too hasty, and there is some legal precedent for it.

As a citizen, I am appalled. Judge David Sentelle (one of the most notoriously rightwing jurists in the country) and his colleagues on the Appeals Court apparently have ruled that government officials can do pretty much anything, even it’s unlawful, and “I was only following orders” is a legitimate alibi.

The court ruled Cheney and the others were acting within their official capacity when they revealed Plame’s identity to reporters.

Government employees who engage in questionable acts, such as abusing prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay facility or engaging in defamatory speech, cannot be held individually liable if they are carrying out official duties, the court said.

“The conduct, then, was in the defendants’ scope of employment regardless of whether it was unlawful or contrary to the national security of the United States,” Appeals Court Chief Judge David Sentelle wrote in the opinion.

Since when is breaking the law an “official duty” of a government official?

Oh, wait. This is the Bush Administration we’re talking about. That answers my question.

Posted in activist judges, BushCo malfeasance, rightwing moral cripples, Valerie Plame | 1 Comment »

Howard Wolfson: Moron, McCain Operative, Or Both?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 12, 2008

We knew that Howard Wolfson was full of dung. Nate “Poblano” Silver explains just how full of it:

The thing about Iowa, however, is that unlike virtually any other electoral contest, second choices matter, since Democratic caucus rules dictate that a voter may caucus for her second-choice candidate if her first choice does not achieve the 15 percent of the vote required for viability. As such, Iowa pollsters did a lot of work in trying to determine voters’ second choices. And in virtually every survey, Clinton did rather poorly as a second choice: an average of several surveys in December showed that she was the second choice of about 20 percent of voters, as compared with 25 percent for Obama and Edwards (an even later version I have sitting on my hard drive showed the second-choice breakdown as Edwards 30, Obama 28.5, Clinton 23.5)

So the odds are that, if John Edwards had dropped out on the morning before the Iowa caucus, Obama would have won by more points rather than fewer.

It was also the case that Barack Obama appeared to get the lion’s share of Edwards supporters once Edwards dropped from the race:

Christy Hardin Smith has more on this over at my home away from home, FDL:

Oh, Howard, go back to your pals at Faux News. Your disinformation slip is showing.

And take Mark Penn with you, while you are at it. I suppose it’s a mere coincidence that the very advice Penn gave the Clinton camp on how to destroy Obama during the primary somehow made it’s way into the hands of McCain’s campaign folks…and that Penn and Charlie Black just happen to have worked together for years. Yeppers.  Just a coinkydink, I’m sure.  Sullivan has more.

I’d clean forgot about the Penn-Black connection. That would explain a lot of things.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, eedjits, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, looney tunes, WTF? | 1 Comment »

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