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Good News, Bad News

The Justice Department has finally gotten around to indicting U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, and we can find out what he did.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Nearly two years after federal agents reported finding $90,000 in a freezer in his Washington home, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson has been charged with a global campaign to solicit bribes, obstruct justice and engage in racketeering, Justice Department officials said Monday.

The veteran Louisiana Democrat faces 16 criminal counts, said Alice Fisher, assistant U.S. attorney general in the criminal division.

“This case is about greed, power and arrogance,” said Joe Persichini, director of the FBI’s Washington field office, which led the investigation.

In addition to the racketeering and solicitation charges, Jefferson has been charged with money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The bad news is that Alice Fisher, who heads the DOJ Criminal Division has never prosecuted a traffic ticket, and this the first case tried under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Jefferson is a Louisiana politician, a group that make eels seem gritty by comparison. If it’s possible to slip away from a charge of corruption, a Louisiana pol will find it.

I hope this is enough for Speaker Pelosi to cut him loose and take him off the Homeland Security¹ Small Business committee.

1. Update: Mea culpa, I should have verified my memory. He was being considered for Homeland Security, but was finally put on the Small Business committee.

2. Update: He didn’t wait to be told: Jefferson steps down from House committee.

June 4, 2007   11 Comments

Oman, The Rain Is Gonu Come

Tropical Cyclone Gonu

[Map updated for Tuesday coordinates]

Via Ellroon at Rants From The Rookery, Oman can expect a visit from Tropical Cyclone Gonu, and we can expect higher gas prices.

That is not a good place for a hurricane, with all of the oil production, the supertankers, three US aircraft carrier groups, this could be a very expensive hurricane/tropical cyclone indeed.

[Steve Bates is on R&R, so someone has to publish bad puns.]

June 4, 2007   6 Comments

About Those Regency Law Schools Grads

You would think that there would be a few competent lawyers to prevent errors like this. This is the sort of thing that cost junior assistant district attorneys their first cases.

The Associated Press is reporting – Charges dropped for two Guantanamo detainees:

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — Military judges dismissed charges Monday against a Guantanamo detainee who chauffeured Osama bin Laden and another who allegedly killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, marking a setback to Washington’s attempts to try detainees in military court.

In back-to-back arraignments for Canadian Omar Khadr and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, of Yemen, the U.S. military’s cases against the alleged al Qaeda figures dissolved because, the two judges said, the government had failed to establish jurisdiction.

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June 4, 2007   2 Comments

This Is Not The Way To Halt Global Warming

Strategic Rocket Forces

It would appear that the Strategic Rocket Forces have regained their premier position in the Russian military

Luke Harding in Moscow for The Guardian reports on the May 29 Russian missile test:

Russia yesterday threatened a new cold war-style arms race with the United States by announcing that it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of penetrating American defences.

Russia’s hawkish first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, said the country had tested both a new multiple-warhead intercontinental missile, the RS-24, and an improved version of its short-range Iskander missile.

Global Security has an article on the RS-24, a solid fuel intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] with a warhead containing multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles [MIRV], 10 of them.

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June 4, 2007   10 Comments