Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for June 28th, 2012

Fast and Furious: now barely even a pseudoscandal

Posted by Charles II on June 28, 2012

I heard about this on Rachel last night, but truthout found the link for me. Katherine Eban, Fortune mag:

Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they’re 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. “In Arizona,” says [ATF team leader Dave] Voth, “someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich.”

The agents faced numerous obstacles in what they dubbed the Fast and Furious case. …Their greatest difficulty by far, however, was convincing prosecutors that they had sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010 the agents had sent the U.S. Attorney’s office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. But for the next seven months prosecutors did not indict a single suspect.

Ten weeks [after the murder of a Border Patrol agent], an ATF agent named John Dodson…claimed that supervisors repeatedly ordered him not to seize weapons because they wanted to track the guns into the hands of criminal ringleaders.

Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. … But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF … seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns [i.e., deliberately allowed them to end up in the hands of criminals] is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.

Bottom line: Arizona’s gun laws and prosecutors who were less than eager to pursue prosecutions allowed guns to get into the hands of violent criminals. The Obama Administration is then blamed. And in true underwear gnome form: GOP Profit!!!!

Sixty Minutes, which hyped Agent Dodson’s adolescent complaints into a pseudoscandal. has become no more than a bad joke, prostituting itself for ratings. The use of “the Sipsey Street Irregulars, run by a former militia member, Mike Vanderboegh, who has advocated armed insurrection against the U.S. government” as a “desert telegraph” to come up with angles to attack the ATF, is a cancer on the American Republic. Thanks, Republicans, for keeping us safe from non-existent threats while Mexico dissolves into chaos.

Posted in gun issues, Republicans as cancer | 1 Comment »

Ginsburg: Roberts’ Commerce Clause Analysis “Not Outcome Determinative”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 28, 2012

This is for those folks who think that John Roberts just gutted the Commerce Clause and made it impossible for Congress ever again to pass progressive legislation:

Here, from the opinion, here’s Justice Ginsburg on Chief Justice Roberts’ take on the Commerce Clause (footnote 12, p. 102, bolding mine) –

Ultimately, the Court upholds the individual mandate as a proper exercise of Congress’ power to tax and spend“for the . . . general Welfare of the United States.” Art. I, §8, cl. 1; ante, at 43–44. I concur in that determination, which makes THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s Commerce Clause essay all the more puzzling. Why should THE CHIEF JUSTICE strive so mightily to hem in Congress’ capacity to meet the new problems arising constantly in our ever developing modern economy? I find no satisfying response to that question in his opinion.12

12 THE CHIEF JUSTICE states that he must evaluate the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision under the Commerce Clause because the provision “reads more naturally as a command to buy insurance than as a tax.” Ante, at 44. THE CHIEF JUSTICE ultimately concludes, however, that interpreting the provision as a tax is a “fairly possible” construction. Ante, at 32 (internal quotation marks omitted).That being so, I see no reason to undertake a Commerce Clause analysis that is not outcome determinative.

In other words, it seems like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at least, believes that Roberts’ bloviatings on the Commerce Clause were just so much importless hot air.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Crime of our times: a website of which to be aware

Posted by Charles II on June 28, 2012

RNS at HondurasCultureandPolitics brought to attention a site (InSight) that discusses organized crime in the Americas. As legal, productive means of making a living evaporate, and as the US government fails to pay attention to basic issues of security (like, do people have jobs), this is clearly an issue that is rising in importance.

Added, 9/26/12: Adrienne believes this is a website that is an ally of Southcom.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Crime of our times: a website of which to be aware

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