Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: This just in: incumbent President worst in history of the union

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  • Simon Grigg,

    Does anyone know one of the 27% who still support him and is willing to admit it openly?

    where's James B when you need him

    Does anyone remember Bush saying he would hold an investigation into who leaked Plame's name and then take action? Is a clip of this going to be shown on the news tonight as lead? It bloody well should.

    Yes but that was long ago brushed under the carpet and Libby was not convicted of that

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson,

    Simon Said:

    "Yes but that was long ago brushed under the carpet and Libby was not convicted of that"

    Good lord... some people really cannot see the wood for the trees... youalmost appear to be quoting George Bush on that talking point. Lets have the full BS explanation in full.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070702-3.html
    "This case has generated significant commentary and debate. Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.

    Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.

    ...

    Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.

    Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.

    I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison. "

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    wood meet trees, you miss the point....Libby was not convicted of the Plame act..any other fact is now irrelevant

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    And how many has he had executed?

    President Bush? One or Two. There have been three federal executions (and no military ones) since 1978 (when the federal death penalty was reinstated) - the first was under Clinton, and Bush has had at least one.

    And to be fair to Bush - this sentence was quite harsh ... and he didn't pardon.

    And to be fair to the US, at least their pardon system makes sense. In New Zealand we only pardon the innocent - who, by virtue of their innocence, in fact have done nothing to pardon. It's an anomaly our courts have noted for 100+ years.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Doesn't this kind of undermine that whole Feedom 'n' Democracy thang?
    The god/king can call you an enemy combatant and put you away for ever and then pop you out when he feels like it. A quick shake of the hand , a pat on the head and "mind how you go".
    Un frickin' believable

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    Oh the pleasures of having a friend in high places!

    There seem to be a lot of Americans who speak of The President (whoever it may be at the time) in the same awed, reverent tones as many of us speak of God/Jesus/Allah/The Pope...... and seem to think that elevation to that high office also infers infallability.

    If only........

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I'm of two minds over this. I'm no friend of the Bush administration at all but I agree with the earlier statement that the use of perjury in the US system to pursue alleged perpetrators of associated crimes when no route to a conviction can be found in other ways, smells badly. It was the way McCarthy found to destroy so many careers and lives, and I don't feel comfortable with the way it was used either here or in the post Watergate chaos.

    That said, it is US law and the Bush's complete disregard for that and the processes in the pursuit of that (and international) law on almost every level is a horrifying trademark of his regime to date. This is merely indicative of an ongoing pattern.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson,

    Another bush impression Simon....

    Bravo.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    The button and bumper sticker apply: somewhere in Texas there's a village missing its idiot (with thanks and apologies also to Green Day and the Dixies).
    We all knew Bush was bent, he got elected on oil money and hasn't ever missed a chance to fill the wallets of himself and his friends, but now we know just how bent eh?
    And now his lap-dog in the Uk's gone, what ever will he do for politicial support...[edited]?

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    And to be fair to the US, at least their pardon system makes sense. In New Zealand we only pardon the innocent - who, by virtue of their innocence, in fact have done nothing to pardon.

    Didn't some soldiers executed in WW1 get a posthumous pardon - or was that just the UK?

    I think it's better to have an independent judiciary with proper appeal processes than to have politically inspired pardons.

    I think the only cases where a pardon is justified would be where:
    - there has been such an obvious miscarriage of justice that it justifies shortcutting the judicial process
    - where a law has been or is about to be repealed and there are individuals still serving a sentence under that law (e.g. if anyone were convicted of sedition in the next few months)
    - where (as in the WW1 soldiers) society has moved on and wishes to recognise its mistakes

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    There was tension over this issue right from the start. On the one hand, you were creating checks and balances so that none of the three branches of government – legislative, executive, judicial, could abuse their power. So you gave the executive branch- through the President – the power to check abuse by the judiciary.

    But as I/S noted early in this thread, the monarchs they'd left behind had a bad reputation for abusing this kind of power, and the founding fathers were divided over the advisability of replicating that.

    It’s good in principle, but its abuse for political expediency is as lamentable as it is predictable.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    *yawn* And for all the hot air from all sides of the political spectrum, and all over the world, I'm yet to hear anyone suggest that a small amendment to the US Constitution might be in order so no President can pardon their staffers or big ticket donors on their way out the door.

    And, Alastair, could it be within the realms of possibility that someone can disagree with you in good faith (and without being a Bush sock puppet), and be treated accordingly?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Martha Craig,

    and yet poor Paris had to serve her sentence...

    Petone • Since Nov 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    when you're sitting on 27% what have you got to lose.

    Nothing. I've long felt [since the Dems took over the Senate (almost) & Congress] that Bushco would be left in the position of doing as they bloody well pleased because they know they've got no chance of getting back in. Which is why the Repub Pres candidates are doing a merry dance to both appear different from Bush but without pissing off his 27% support.

    Bushco have no intention of leaving the seat warm for McCain, Guilliani, or anyone. They want a Democrat to take over cos they know their economy is turning to shit and Iraq is a quagmire. The Dems will take this poisoned chalice and try to clean up the mess but it won't be easy or pleasant for US taxpayers. Leaving the possibility open for a swing back to the Republicans in 2012. I know he's long denied any interest but I can't help feeling Jeb Bush will be groomed for that race. Or Condileeza Rice.

    And since I'm making wild predictions/speculations: Clinton/Obama in 2008 for Prez/Vice-Prez.

    Or possibly sooner? Don't the Presidents usually dole out the Presidential Pardons in their last days of office? Does Bush know something he hasn't told us yet?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And to be fair to Bush - this sentence was quite harsh ... and he didn't pardon.

    No that's true, he didn't pardon. He reprieved, which is also one of the powers given to him in the constitution in the same sentence.

    I can understand pardons in some certain limited circumstances - some were noted above. What pisses me off, and would annoy me more if I was American, is pardons for friends and family. If I was the one signing pardons, anyone that I knew personally would be the first off the list. It seems to have become traditional in America that they're the first on it.

    Or possibly sooner? Don't the Presidents usually dole out the Presidential Pardons in their last days of office? Does Bush know something he hasn't told us yet?

    I suspect the timing relates to the fact that Libby was going to have to turn up for jail soon (8 weeks he was given), and George didn't want that to happen, rather than any political issue.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Alastair...that's it? Your first wood and trees statement was both puerile and insulting and falls below the standards that I think this forum aspires too. Your subsequent posts simply indicate that you've made a statement you can't back.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Didn't some soldiers executed in WW1 get a posthumous pardon

    Yes. But largely because they were considered innocent.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Plus they were executed by the British military, something the Australians would not let happen to their soldiers.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    From the Kung-fu Monkey:

    The commutation, rather than being some canny half-measure some are calling it, is actually worse than a pardon. The President's saying "Fine, fine, I agree a jury of his peers found him guilty of multiple counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, but I don't think he should be punished for that." He's not even saying that he believes Scooter's innocent. He just doesn't think people like Scooter should have to suffer just because they're guilty.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Simon Sez...

    That said, it is US law and the Bush's complete disregard for that and the processes in the pursuit of that (and international) law on almost every level is a horrifying trademark of his regime to date. This is merely indicative of an ongoing pattern.

    And (bwaha), Alastair sez...

    Another bush impression Simon....

    Bravo.

    heh heh... timing is all?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    And since I'm making wild predictions/speculations: Clinton/Obama in 2008 for Prez/Vice-Prez.

    I think it was Chris Rock who said there would never be a black vice-pres, cause there'd be too many people out there looking to make themselves a jailhouse hero by turning him into the first black president - just takes one shot.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    The scoop on why a commutation of sentence and not a pardon.

    Scarily, the guy who figured this out thought of it two weeks ago.

    With Judge Reggie Walton's ruling that Scooter Libby must begin serving his prison sentence before the appeal of his convictions has run its course, the pressure from Libby's supporters on President Bush to keep Libby out of prison is certain to intensify. President Bush, however, is unlikely to outright pardon Libby for a simple reason: to protect himself and Vice President Cheney.

    If Bush were to pardon Libby, he and Vice President Cheney would give up the rationale they have used successfully for four years to avoid addressing their own roles in the case. And Libby's trial made very clear that the President and Vice President played significant and troubling roles at the very heart of the case. It is for the very same reason that Bush is more likely to follow the advice some have offered him and commute Libby's prison sentence, allowing Libby to remain free while he pursues legal vindication.

    ...

    It is precisely out of the desire to avoid such uncomfortable questions for himself and his vice president that President Bush is likely not to pardon Libby but to commute his sentence, or otherwise keep him out of prison without fully clearing him. That would enable Libby to remain free while he seeks legal vindication through the appeals process. But more importantly, it would enable Bush and Cheney to continue the strategy they have successfully pursued in deterring journalists seeking their explanations with claims that they shouldn't comment on an ongoing legal proceeding. If Bush were to pardon Libby, he and Cheney would no longer have such a rationale for evading the press' questions - nor would Libby be able to claim the right against self-incrimination to resist testifying before Congress about the role that Cheney and Bush played in directing his conduct.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And since I'm making wild predictions/speculations: Clinton/Obama in 2008 for Prez/Vice-Prez.

    nah, it expands the bigotry base too much. The Democrats want the White House too much to risk it all that much in a country where 52% still buy creation

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

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