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October 04, 2007


My first thought was 'Is the Archbishop of St Louis bucking for a promotion?'
The second was 'Is there something going on in the Archiocese of St Louis that he wants to hide?'
Because otherwise it's pretty silly - the chances of Rudy showing up in the aarchbishop's jurisdiction (so to speak) and wanting to take communion are preety small.

And I'm rooting for the GOoPers to break up into a group of competing minority parties (not that I think that the Dems can take advantage of it any time soon: they can't seem to get any of their acts together).

you have a typo: "...pundits give this story a faction..." I think you mean "fraction", even though a crack in the seamless armor of the GOP machine would be a welcome sight indeed of the party breaking into factions. GO RUDY!!

The Catholics are sprinting back to embrace the teachings of Jesus, now that 80% of their followership (everyone outside the US) is saying the Old Testament is out of fashion - from here on out, they'll slap wafers on anyone's tongue.

The Fundies are retreating to their core 'Strict Daddies' practice of Total Family Control - they probably don't like the Potential Front Daddies they see:

- Guiliani, Corporate enough, but too loose
- Thompson, Tall enough, but too lazy
- Romney, Mean enough, but a heathen

The 'third party' talk is just that - a screen to hide them doing what they always do when the can't 'believe' in a candidate - they stay home and don't vote.

The Fundies are not likely to be much of a force in the '08 Elections - after all, they are amongst The Most Tainted for Their enthusiastic slavering for, and bootlicking of, Bush.

The rest of US don't trust them, just like we don't trust Bush.

I love it when Les Family Value Enfant Teribles squabble. Good riddance.

If the juggernaut of divide, conquer and defame shatters into half a dozen waring factions, our country will be better off for it.

There’s an incredible arrogance in what Dobson says - an arrogance that has cost the country dearly. In my opinion, it has threatened our country’s principles with destruction. By focusing on this issue alone, Dobson shepherded an Administration into the White House that filled it with Neoconservative Hawks who plunged us into one disasterous war and threaten us with another. Dobson aided and abetted an Administration that believes in a Unitary Executive, torture, discarding the Geneva Conventions, un-warranted domestic spying, vote tampering, perverting the justice system, and controlling the populace with half-truths. By focusing his followers on his limited set of issues, he opened the Gates of Hell, all in the name of Jesus. That’s not what Jesus was about…

As to Raymond Burke -- he was just promoted to Archbishop a few years back. Prior to that he was in Wisconsin and Southern Minnesota, moving up through the ranks. He is a very strong traditionalist, very authoritarian, One of his first acts in St. Louis was to excommunicate a parish of Ethnic Catholics, who wanted to maintain financial control of certain cultural funds -- I seem to remember it was a Polish Parish. He also has a very uncooperative record on the matter of sexual abuse, very early in his career he was brought in on cover-up charges in an early 1990's case (the Adamson cases) that went to trial, and eventually cost several Minnesota Dioceses several million. Since then, he became perhaps the least cooperative prelate in the US Church on these things.

Remember, Guiliani still employs the Long Island former priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, about whom much is known given the Grand Jury Report, and much that has been in the Press. At some point This, and much else will be brought up and I simply can't see the "official church" or the Republican Moralists in the Hinterlands sticking with Rudy -- given that these matters will come from the Dobson types as well as probably from Democrats should he seem to be surviving the Rep. Primary process. The story about Placa and his long relationship with Rudy has enough in it to do Craig or Foley size damage at least.

I'm not too optimistic about a split between fundies and republicans: where else are they gonna go?

In the Catholic Church:

Children = Jesus

If the Church is truly serious about embracing the teachings of Jesus, then they *Have To* very publicly purge the Ordained rank and file of Pedophiles and Pedophile Enablers.

Otherwise, they are Morally Self-Invalidating:

They would be allowing the Shepherds to Sexually prey on the Littlest Sheep - the very ones who are said to Enjoy the explicit favor of Jesus.

Until the Church sorts Itself out, they are a non-player - they have no moral authority - in any serious discussion of "What is 'Right'?"

For now, though, they are just *corrupt* Institutional heirs of a great spiritual teacher, whom they seem to know little about.

" Where else are they gonna go?" Where the temperatures are boiling and the sun don't shine, as far as I am concerned.

You know on a positive note their really has been a fair amount of damage done to the catholics and evangelicals over sex. It's a good thing.

It's very difficult for the catholic pro life movement to get too righteous about saving the lives of unwanted babies without that nagging nasty thought... "why, so you can screw the vulnerable child when they get just a tad older?"

And as to evangelicals. It's hard to think about Clinton and the evangelical reaction without wondering..."it must really bother them when heterosexuals flaunt it."

I think their is a backlash brewing, but we aren't going to feel the full brunt of it, until they are no longer abusing their power in our faces.

bmaz--if it's not too much trouble, could you share your thoughts on the judge's decision re: Craig's guilty plea?


News Flash. Judge denies Craig motion to withdrawal plea. Craig to maintain "wide stance" position. ACLU guards stall with free speach defense; foot-tapping and wide stance is free speach and not tantamount to violating lewd public acts laws.

This is rich, the ACLU which is cast by conservatives as anti-American godless extremists are the only ones standing up for Craig. Well, the ACLU and scottish Haggis. Yea, I know this may all be a gambit to avoid a subpeona in government corruption trial but nonetheless, it's rich.

Dobson's statement to the Goopers (translated): "Nominate My candidate or I'll Nader yours." Heh.

Mighty mouse - As to the Craig decision. It is certainly not unexpected, and I am not surprised in the least. Craig is not a sympathetic defendant here, and for good reason. I think that he was indeed doing exactly what he was accused of. I still think the decision, and indeed the initial charging of the crime, is, and was, legally wrong. While Craig's behavior in the bathroom absolutely could be viewed as consistent with the homosexual cruising lewd behavior he was accused of, it could also be consistent with harmless and innocuous behavior. I don't like Craig one bit, and good riddance to him, but I think it is questionable whether his conduct supported a charge, and see no way it could be seen as proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a fair court of law. Beyond that, I believe that Craig knew what he was doing in entering his plea, and was just hoping it would slide through the cracks; so, again, not much sympathy there. That being said however, I still think his plea was legally and Constitutionally deficient in it's advisement of right to counsel and factual basis for a finding of guilt on the charge he was found guilty of. These are technical legal arguments, and I do not expect most lay people to fully understand them or agree with them; but as a lawyer, I absolutely consider the plea to be so deficient that it should be set aside. I might also note that I did not even reach further technical arguments under local Minnesota statutes that I also think support the proposition that the plea was defective statutorily. Bottom line, I think it was wrong, but couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Talking Points has a PDF of the judge's decision re Craig's plea. It's, um, pointy. Also 27 pages long!

bmaz, during the hearings last week on Craig's plea, the prosecutor produced his notes from the phone calls with Craig, indicating that he had directly told Craig to "hire yourself a lawyer." There was another note from an earlier conversation that was not quite so direct. Unless you doubt the prosecutor's phone notes, the argument that he did not have adequate counsel just fell. He chose not to have local counsel of record, though I suspect (no proof) that someone in the local Republican Bar probably was seconded to advise him.

Craig was advised in the opinion that he can appeal the ruling to the State Appeals Court. Estimate is that would take a minimum of six months, maybe longer, putting the appeal in the midst of next year's election season. I am sure the Senate R leadership is just thrilled with that possibility.

Apparently Craig has now announced that he will stay throughout the current term -- no comment on whether he will appeal.

Sara - the fact that the cops advised of Miranda, or the prosecutor made some comment in a note or phone call, is irrelevant to the argument I am describing. There are simply legal requirements as to what information, and how it is to be delineated, must be contained within the four corners of the plea document and the official court record of the acceptance of the plea. There was no formal record, whether by court reporter transcription or audio recording, made in this case. In fact, there was no court proceeding, it was simply sent in and considered done. The law should apply equally to those we don't like as those we do like; here, there is no question in my mind whatsoever that the plea proceeding was legally deficient. I fully understand why people either don't understand these arguments, or don't want to believe them, but I stand by them completely. In spite of how the court here ruled, and what the popular opinion is, what i have said stands on very firm legal ground.

Quicksand: what they're saying is that they'll vote for someone else. They'll probably still vote R for their Senate, Congressional and legislative candidates, who in most of the country tend to be anti-choice. So I think most of them will still show up to vote. But some probably wouldn't, and some would either leave the Pres line blank or vote for someone else.

Bottom line, I doubt huge numbers of Repub base voters would abandon Giuliani, because most base Republicans aren't conservatives, they're authoritarians. But for those who truly believe abortion is murder, period, they'll have major cognitive dissonance to overcome to vote for a pro-choice candidate, and some won't be able to muster the will.

Sara, mighty mouse and others - I have now read the court's decision and opinion in denying Larry Craig's Motion to Set Aside Plea. I understand that many, if not most, may disagree with me; but I still maintain that the plea was deficient as to containing a Constitutionally adequate waiver of counsel and proper factual basis. I also believe that the court improperly bootstrapped extraneous evidence from the police report in making it's decision. The police was not made a formal part of the factual basis in the plea document (and it often is made a formal part on the record by verbal reference in the transcript, of which there is none here, or by words formally adopting and incorporating it in the actual plea document, again, none of which are present here). This is a very long memorandum authored by a line level county misdemeanor judge in an attempt to support an incorrect decision if you ask me. The plea form and process supplied by the prosecutor and court here is as lame and goofy as I have ever seen. I have never seen any as bad, in any court I have ever been in, even for a broken taillight petty offense traffic ticket.

bmaz--thanks. Sound like grounds for appeal?

Oh, I would imagine Craig will appeal, if for no other reason than to claim that as a rationale to stay in Congress. Just because i am somewhat stubborn in my analysis is no reason to believe he will get anywhere though. On the grounds I have cited, I think the arguments are sound; but it is not that simple. Once the decision is made against a defendant in the trial court on a matter like this, the burden on appeal is pretty stiff (no pun intended) and, as said above, Craig is not sympathetic in the least. There are plenty of ways at this point for the appellate court or courts from here on out to simply uphold the trial court if that is their inclination. To be honest, I was never crazy about the way the Craig defense set up, phrased and organized their arguments on this motion, and that will continue to be a hindrance as well I think. He has some chance on appeal (a little more than most "experts" state), but not much.

Craig has Betrayed the Trust of Idaho

Now that Larry Craig's conviction related to soliciting sex from another man has passed Judicial Review, what does Idaho have?

Well, they've got a United States Senator - a member of one of the most prestigious and elite clubs in the World, and

- he's a family man who Publicly supports Heterosexual Marriage Only, while Privately having sex with other men (aka - homosexual liason)

- he's a pro-defense man who Publicly supports the Constitution, while Privately participating in Kick-Back Schemes with Defense Contractors

- he's a Senator who expects all the pomp and circumstance of high office, but his word can't be trusted

It's not all bad, though! Chin-up, Republican Idaho!

While you might feel Betrayed by Disorderly Larry, let's not forget what that Betrayal looked like, all along - it looked just like Sen. Craig taking a wide stance in support of his Leader, Bush.

"It's very difficult for the catholic pro life movement to get too righteous about saving the lives of unwanted babies without that nagging nasty thought... 'why, so you can screw the vulnerable child when they get just a tad older?'"

...or bomb it.

bmaz -- this is what you get when you bootstrap Concerns by the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security, and a Joint Terrorism Taskforce into why people who should not be in a secured area, namely those with tickets who had passed through the security screen, with some being between flights, wanted to encounter the Junior Grade guys who do blow jobs for 20-25 bucks in this particular traditional cruise area.

Mpls is actually a quite tolerant city, a live and let live kind of place. Some of our Gay hangouts have been in that use for probably about a hundred years. For perhaps four decades, that Airport Restroom has been a newer addition to the local points of interest. So then comes along Homeland Security and Transport Department proceedures and rules, and local commerce is disrupted. People who do not belong in the secured area are, among other things, potential terrorists. So you invent a simple way to plead guilty by mail, and pay a fine, and get the monkey off your back. The TSA believes you are doing your part, as locals, with enforcement, and Homeland Security is able to claim they helped plan the operations. According to the local press they captured two Fortune 500 CEO's and two CFO's in the months before they hauled in a Senator. They apparently also nabbed a couple of academics, and some lesser corporate types. But they also arrested some young guys who only wanted enough money for a decent night at the Gay Nineties -- the Gay Club downtown, who had managed to get around security. As we should know the Fed's mostly count closed cases -- so the more simple pleas they acquire, the better. It really looked like we were whopping the terrorists but good.

Do you think anyone ever cared all that much about whether all the legal processes were in order? Hell no, the point was to keep the Feds out of local enforcement by making the Airport Police, and the District Prosecutors look adequate. Did anyone expect anyone to demand a trial in public, or appeal to the state Appeals Court? No way. This was just a system of high priced overtime parking fines on the meters. The cop sitting on the stool was just another form of meter maid.

The point to be made is that Craig voted for most of this so called "security" as a component of the War on Terror. He is perfectly content with the idea that young guys who want a night out at the Gay Nineties need to take a risk of arrest to make the dollars necessary for a night on the town. He is equally content with the fact that young guys who commerce in turning tricks for money are really not terrorists, but will be classified as potentially that, because of how he voted, and how security was arranged. And as long as it looked as if he could cop a plea with no publicity, he was with the game. But then someone talked -- and suddenly the "arrangements" were so unfair. Good Lord, his "Class Privilege" was now questioned.

Mike Freeman, Son of Orville Freeman, the County Attorney, did not put an inexperienced low grade prosecutor on this case -- he has a fair idea of what catching a US Senator in the net is all about. Afterall the Senator tried to bamboozle the Cop with his business card. You think Mike did not notice that move?

Sara - Oh, I agree with every word of that completely. I almost feel ashamed standing up for these thoughts I have put forth in light of the situation I am doing it in and the person involved. My beef is not that they nailed Craig, it is that the idiots did it in an infirm and incompetent way legally. And this is easy and obvious stuff to comply with. I have had law clerks that could pick up on this; how did Orville and Mike not get it right? All they needed was about ten to twelve standard words typed in the Constitutional rights waiver paragraph in the plea, words that are in EVERY other plea in the country that I have seen, and a four minute phone in tape recorded record of the judge accepting the plea. To people that practice much criminal law, it is like brushing your teeth at night, it is just how it is done. Everywhere. Except this court and this plea form (which on it's face was contrary to Minnesota statutory provisions by the way). Craig is a guilty, hypocritical hack; so I am going to give up on this one, in spite of what I think the merits may be.

Torture may be the Stake that kills the Beast:



Mr. Leahy and Representative John Conyers Jr., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also demanded today that the administration turn over the 2005 opinions. Mr. Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, wrote in a letter to Mr. Keisler that “the alleged content of the opinions and the fact that they have been kept secret from Congress are extremely troubling.”

The letter, also signed by Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, asked the Justice Department to make available for a hearing Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who signed the 2005 opinions.

In an interview, Senator Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said that in light of the administration’s apparent retreat from its legal embrace of the harshest tactics in 2004, the 2005 legal opinions “are more than surprising. I think they’re shocking.”


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