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2008 April 02 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Unintended Consequences

Laura Rozen points to The Green Light, an article by Phillippe Sands in the May issue of Vanity Fair that beings up some interesting possibilities. By granting people immunity from prosecution for violation of US laws in the Military Commissions Act, the way is open for the rest of the world to prosecute them.

A stumbling block in war crime prosecutions by outside countries is that they have to wait and establish that the individuals can not or will not be prosecuted for their crimes in their own countries. The immunity granted by the Military Commissions Act clears that obstacle to foreign prosecution.

People involved with this administration may as well forget about foreign travel, or there could be a side-trip to the Hague arranged for them.

April 2, 2008   2 Comments

The Basra Aftermath

Professor Cole has more inside Iraq coverage of what went wrong with the assault on the Mahdi Army.

The short version is that thousands of members of the Iraqi Army refused to attack other Iraqis in a political dispute. Al Malaki has had to “draft” the Badr Brigade and the Da’wa militia to fill out the “Iraqi” army. This, of course, makes the American ideal of a non-political Iraqi Army a total joke – it’s an extension of a few Shi’ia political parties. This move will obviously anger the Sunnis and the Kurds.

The US is in the position of training and equipping a partisan militia in a country in the middle of a civil war.

April 2, 2008   4 Comments

Pascua Florida

the Arms of Juan Ponce de León

Today is kind of a holiday in Florida commemorating the supposed date in 1513 when Spanish conquistador¹ Juan Ponce de León found² the North American continent and named it Tierra La Florida³.

1. That’s thug in Spanish.
2. The millions of people who lived here were apparently totally unaware that it was lost.
3. Shouldn’t that be “Tierra de la Florida”? I guess “Home” wasn’t a very inspired name, no matter what language is used. Most developers do this kind of thing to make believe their crummy subdivision has class.

April 2, 2008   2 Comments

Thank You, You Jerks

I would like to personally thank Kos and Corrente for taking the time to ensure as many people as possible get to see the propaganda videos of the Republican Party of Florida. Without your help they might actually have to care about the fact that there were more voters registered as Democrats than Republicans in the state.

It is so thoughtful that you choose to highlight the Republican selection, rather than the selection of the Democratic Party, the audio of what happened to Dan Gelber when he tried to introduce the change in the Florida house. But then the Democratic audio clips includes the Republican asides and laughter, while the Republicans have thoughtfully removed those distractions from their clip.

But thanks to this continuing effort to hide the voter suppression efforts of the Republicans, DNC, and Obama campaign, it is highly likely that the difference in registration won’t last beyond this election cycle. I realize that discovering the truth is too difficult to do, and it might not agree with your prejudices, so spreading propaganda and misinformation is much easier.

I’m sure the people of United States will thank you for your efforts when John McCain is elected President because the Democrats made no effort to win in Florida. It’s easier to make snide and insulting comments about the people of a Southern state than working on any problem.

[Yes, this is sarcasm. Yes, I am extremely angry about it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it less true.]

April 2, 2008   2 Comments

The Long Version

Wayne Barrett at the Huffington Post covers the DNC’s screw up in a very long post.

He tells you the same thing I’ve been telling everyone for months, including the other states breaking the rules, but not being punished.

The only thing he doesn’t cover, because he isn’t familiar with Florida ballot rules is that, if the Florida delegation doesn’t get a meaningful role in selecting the Democratic candidate, that candidate will not be on the Florida ballot, so McCain wins 27 electoral votes by default without spending any campaign cash. I would remind people who think I’m kidding, that all of the Democratic candidates appeared on the Florida ballot because they weren’t allowed to withdraw their names. The state law controls the names on the ballot. A “50/50” split or seating after the candidate is selected is not going to conform to the law.

There is no time to run another election in Florida, even if people wanted to, because there is no time for a required 30-day comment period, and then running the election prior to the DNC’s June deadline.

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April 2, 2008   2 Comments