Re: And This One's Important

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People should go over to her site. It's been infested by stubborn, not-so-stupid trolls for quite some time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:09 PM
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"what I believe is a profoundly troubling development in the political and legal climate of our country: the criminalization of
policy differences."

--- who said this ?



Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:31 PM
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I'm a bit sceptical of the theory that the Spitzer investigation was a political hit job. But then I recall that there's a Democratic governor currently mopping toilets in a federal prison, who can fairly and accurately be described as a political prisoner. Which does make me wonder...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:32 PM
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Well, it's hard to deny that some pretty serious selective prosecution is going on, which is paramount to hit jobs.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:35 PM
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paramount s/b tantamount


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:36 PM
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2: George HW Bush while granting the Iran-Contra pardons. I assume the question was rhetorical and await further illumination as to its purpose.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:41 PM
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3: I am also skeptical, but also do wonder a bit. And this illustrates one of the real and long term adverse consequences of the politicization, the fact that even valid prosecutions become suspect.

Per the article, the perversion of the "letter of the law" to the narrow purposes of the current group in power is one of the hallmarks of totalitarian regimes. What the hell did the lazy-assed fatheads in the media think Permanent Republican Majority really meant?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:04 PM
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And this illustrates one of the real and long term adverse consequences of the politicization, the fact that even valid prosecutions become suspect.

Yes, that's a very good point. There is no question in my mind that the DOJ has been politicized. But does this particular case represent an instance of said politicization? I just don't know enough about New York's Southern District and its rate of prosecutions (Republican versus Democrat and etc) to either affirm or deny the selective prosecution charge.

I have to say, I have seen some rather dubious assertions/suggestions put forth on behalf of the political hit job theory. At firedoglake, for example, Jane Hamsher asked, 'Why would the bank tell the IRS and not Spitzer himself if there was a suspicious transfer?' Uh, maybe because the bank is required by federal law to report suspicious transactions, and is also perhaps prohibited by law from giving Tony Soprano (or Eliot Spitzer, or whomever) a heads-up about a possible money laundering investigation?

But. It may be politically motivated, and certainly there is no good reason to confidently assume that it couldn't have been. I just haven't seen anything, so far, that convinces me. But it's early yet, and we don't have enough information...and better to be suspicious, I guess, than to accept on faith that it's all totally legit.

It would really help matters, of course, if Democrats holding high public office would simply refrain from breaking the law.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:30 PM
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FWIW, the southern district of New York is prosecuting Bernie Kerik.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:35 PM
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Of course it was politically motivated. Every prosecution of a politician by this Justice department, of politicians of either party, was given the go-ahead by -- if not by the actual executive branch political operators -- half-wit roadies who know where their bread is buttered. It's the only reason you hire somebody like that, is as political officer. The reason the rest of the governmentis broken is because all the resources consumed by an elaborate middle management apparatus for guaranteeing message discipline. The only difference is that the DOJ is the most able to ruin American lives so it gets lots of press.

I'm surprised this is at all a point of disagreement anymore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:59 PM
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I don't believe you have sufficient information to know 10. If you wanted to argue that no prosecution of a politician is ever anything but politically motivated, that would be one thing. But to make these claims about the particular people who approved this prosecution must have been politically motivated because whoever approved it either applied for a job in the Bush Admin. or didn't resign just seems insane.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:11 PM
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Aw, c'mon guys. Mary Catherine's Canadian. She probably still believes in a functioning government.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:13 PM
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11: that's how they get you. Hide it in plan sight and let you doubt. They've been utterly unaccountable for years. What do you think happens, an atmosphere of ethical professionalism persists out of sheer moral vigor?

Of course everybody is getting political clearance from activist republican ideologues. Within a first approximation, anyhow. Big organization, only so many Regent grads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:18 PM
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13: I will grant that at some point it "became" political in the sense that you mean, but I am not sure that was the case at the very start. And that kind of start might have happened in any political climate given the particulars of Spitzer's c.v and his boastful personality. However, the rapid escalation and the release of details etc. I were clearly politically motivated.

But what really irks is how this is what the whole freaking media chose to talk about in the most faux moralistic sense. It was as if something really important like Paul Reubens masturbating in a pron theater had happened.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:28 PM
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14: it being every prosecution or warrant for a political figure that required explicit authorization, and probably some that didn't, for at least six years now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:32 PM
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She probably still believes in a functioning government.

Eh. Not so much since Boy Junior (aka Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and his GOP-wannabe minions came to power. It's a minority government, though. I still dream of the day when a vote of non-confidence will bring those arseholes down.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:38 PM
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Just wait till a politically motivated investigator gets hold of one of these things.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:15 PM
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17: That's pretty impressive, but I think that, until they can find a portable power source that's far less noisy, the camouflage is a bit unnecessary.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:26 PM
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That is neat.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:30 PM
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17: Pretty neat. It was nearly 25 years ago that I recall one of the "backroom guys" from DARPA giving a presentation at a conference on biped and quadruped robots (he was an older gentleman so he had been in that backroom for a long time). It was at the height of the AI being overhyped and his evident boyish enthusiasm and drawings that looked like Star Wars figures were just kinda so over the top that.... ... hey! we were laughing with you big guy, not at you, pretty please don't send the big quadruped fly things after us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-18-08 12:44 AM
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I was all set for the thingie to bite the dude after he kicked it.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 03-18-08 8:15 AM
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17: those are great (although this) is cuter) but how are they going to help an investigator, exactly? Do investigators traditionally run up against the shortcominings inherent in using mules?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-08 8:19 AM
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17: those are great (although this) is cuter)

Whew, finally! All of Unfogged since mid-2005 has been one big parenthetical that Tweety has now finally closed off. So it should all be back on topic now.

The big thing advantage of the legged ones of course is the great increase in places they can go. I assumed that was what was being referred to (minituarized and debuzzed of course).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-18-08 9:31 AM
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23: it's the "it was all a dream!" of comment threads.

The balancing robots can go on surprisingly rugged terrain; they do much better than 4 wheeled robots. A single-wheeled balancing robot would of course be teh awesomest. I drifted off to sleep last night thinking about that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-08 9:40 AM
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