Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More On Senate "Collegiality": Concessions to Democrat Lawyers

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Spector, must be feeling collegial, again. He is urging Republicans to delay Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement on the Supreme Court. Moreover, Sen. Spector advises he talked to retiring associate justice about staying on the high court, through June. Spector, a member of the true senate majority - the lawyers - adds his name to the group of senators who play games with loyalty to the Republican party. As an independent voter, I find that political collegiality allows colonizers of the Senate (lawyers) to usurp the majority agenda from Republicans. Meaningful reforms do not get done, therefore.

definition: collegial - characterized by having authority (the chairman's) vested equally among colleagues (lawyers). (obvious interpretaions by Vigilis)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Now Hear This: From Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman

Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, the "independent, bipartisan commission" that was "chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

This lends impressive weight to what Vigilis has been saying about the damaging effects of too many lawyers now in the military's chain of command...
Hat tip to WillyShake at Unconsidered Trifles for his in-person reporting of a recent address by John Lehman:
"Lehman leaves partisan politics at the door (for example, 'I would love to bash Hillary, but the matter goes beyond that...') and goes after what he perceives as the real problem that threatens our national security: Bloated, hyper-litigious, bureaucracy that is drunk on political correctness..."

and more....

"To illustrate this point, he noted that he recently met the CENTCOM lawyer who prevented the firing of a Hellfire missile at Mullah Omar when we had the chance to take him out. The lawyer was still quite adamant, said Lehman with disgust, that the attack would have violated Executive Order 11905, signed in 1976 by President Ford making it illegal for the US government to engage in assassinations of foreign heads of state. "

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Louisiana Corruption: Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency Indicted Before Katrina Hit

From the Los Angeles Times (September 17, 2005, National News) By Ken Silverstein and Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writers:
Louisiana Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit

WASHINGTON — Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

U.S. officials are still trying to track $60 million in unaccounted for FEMA funds funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.

The problems are acute, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer billions in federal aid to victims of Katrina. Federal Homeland Security officials announced they would send 30 investigators and auditors to the Gulf Coast to ensure relief funds were properly spent.

FEMA has demanded back $30.4 million paid into that program and others, including a program to buy out flood-prone homeowners. As much as $30 million in additional unaccounted for spending also is under review in audits that have not yet been released, according to a FEMA official.

About $2.8 million of the refund sought by FEMA went to 'consultant' fees. Most of that money went to Aegis Innovative Systems, a Baton Rouge firm hired by many parishes to administer the flood buyout program. Aegis owners include Mark Howard, a former official at the Louisiana agency. State Sen. Reggie Dupre said it appeared that parishes employing Aegis were especially successful in winning money from the state emergency preparedness agency.
"It smells like a horrible brother-in-law deal to me, " he said in a phone interview. An Aegis attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Legal Theft: When Lawyers Win, Retirees, Workers, and Taxpayers Lose

The legal establishment in this country thrives on chaos. Senators extort in the halls of Congress, propagandize with the media's help, and hold a large economic bludgeon over the head of any business it targets.

If you ran CNN or the NYT, you would know from day one that while the government (voice of the electorate) cannot interfere with freddoms of the press, the legal establishment through lawsuits (libel, defamation), injunctions and class action suits could ruin your business.

Who, then, would you be friendlier toward? Is it any wonder then, that the news media are slanted toward the party that is run by lawyers, supported largely by trial lawyers and favors candidates who are lawyers? Is there any wonder that lawyers in the opposing party do not seem as loyal as they ought to be when push comes to shove?

Is the legal establishment in the U.S. already too powerful to be checked? Unfortunately, the power structure can only be altered every 2 years (House = 34% lawyers) or 6 years (Senate = 53%). When the Executive branch is headed by a lawyer (e.g. Nixon, Clinton) change takes 4 years, of course.

For all practical purposes, the federal Judiciary is populated by lawyers in perpetuity.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Introducing: Lone Ranger, Riding America for Education of Blacks, Hispanics and White Trash - - - See Why

Expanded from original posting by Vigilis at the Molten Eagle blog.

Politicians have a habit of changing my mind about supporting any single party. I hold fast to the idea that three, strong, political parties competing with each other might provide more openess in government and dilute collusive impacts of the LAW profession's colonization of the U.S. Senate (53%), the House (34%) and the Judiciary (100%).

Unfortunately, we are not there yet, and rumors of a John McCain split already carries an alliance of well-placed House and Senate lawyers. Same ol', same ol'.

Always open-minded and professionally skeptical, I find interesting opinions and well-crafted essays of all stripes. I demand more than a modicum of factual support and loathe emotional propaganda, however. Occasionally, I will be fooled, but not very often. Below, I have linked to one of the better pieces.

I will not describe its leanings, because it is best that you judge it for yourself. Go here for The History of Republican Evil by Lone Ranger. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or independent, you should be interested to read what Lone Ranger tells us. -Vigilis

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dictator Saddam to Get the Mother of All Trials - Portions to be Televised

Cairo University's School of Law alumnus: Saddam Hussein

Reuters reports that Saddam's trial is scheduled to start Wednesday, October 19th, according to an Iraqi government source today. That is barely a few days after Iraq's referendum on its new constitution, on or around October 15th.

The close timing suggests an inglorious, final end for the notorious dictator.

A source, not connected with the Special Tribunal trying the deposed president forecasts a quick trial and execution. "After what he did, how can we not execute him?"

Yesterday, Iraq hanged three criminals in its first judicial executions since Saddam's overthrow in 2003. The Shi'ite-led government clearly wish a relatively quick (in weeks, not months) death sentence for the man held responsible for thousands of homicides.