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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Jefferson Needs to go!! (to Jail)

Last week's raid of Rep. William Jefferson, D-Lou, has stirred up Congress in a rare bipartisan reproach on the DOJ, FBI and the White House. Jefferson is crooked, and if he is as bad as it seems, then I have no problems with the FBI raiding his congressional office. Is it a constitutional infringement of executive power? That is up for debate. I particularly do not think it should matter if the you are in Congress or not, no one is above the law, and if proper warrants are obtained, nothing should be off limits. I emphasize proper warrants.

The Democrats, who are running on the slogan "culture of corruption" are caught in a dilemma. They need to get rid of Jefferson ASAP or risk looking like hypocrits that support a double standard. Jefferson, on the other hand, is behaving like any one of these crooks (the Tom Delay's, Bob Ney's, Jeff Skilling's, Ken Lay's, etc.) refusing to resign his senior democratic post and posing problems for the Democrats who want him out. Clearly the guy is tainted beyond repair (I would say guilty as sin, but we still have the presumption of innocence, even though only crooks stash bribe money in freezers) and he is an idiot if he thinks he stands any chance of remaining in Congress (that's excluding his possible jail time). He is the classic crooked politico who denies any wrongdoing in face of hard evidence, and will keep doing so until the cell bars shut in front of his face. Vote them all out of office. They are worth less than the gum stuck on the bottom of my shoe.

On a conspiracy theory note, why Jefferson's (a Democrat) office, and not Bob Ney's (a Republican)? Ney is in as much trouble as Jefferson in his dealings with Jack Abramoff. The only difference is that Ney has not been caught with 90K in his freezer. He is the target of federal corruption investigations, so why not play fair and raid his office too?

Crooked ENRON CEOs Off to Jail


In a sign of long due justice, corporate ENRON crooks Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling were convicted today on charges related to the collapse of energy giant ENRON. Lay was convicted on all eight charges against him. Skilling was acquitted of insider trading but convocted of all other, and more serious, charges. All said and done, both men will spend the rest of their lives in jail. Well done!

Two men who committed the equivalent of financial murder to more than 2000 people were finally brought to justice in what has been undeniably the most imporatant and captivating white collar crime trial to date. Yes, we have had the Adelphia, Worldcom, Tyco and Martha Stewart??? trials. But the corporate scandal that rocked the foundations of the investment world was undoubtedly the demise of ENRON. Almost five years after the company collapsed, the men who were at the helm, and long claimed that they were innocent, will rot in a cell. Personally I would have voted to execute them. These men destroyed so many people's lives that it just seems fair to me. A bit violent, but I stand by it.

Their defense, a prepostorous one, that they were not aware of what theire underlings were doing goes against everything that these two men forged throught their careers. Both Lay and Skilling were extremely hands on, and ENRON was their baby. They were involved in the most intimate details of the company's rise to superstardom. To suggest that they would cede such important roles to underlings and not supervise everything that was happening with their prized baby is about as stupid as the suggestion that O.J. didn't kill Nicole.

Good job DA's!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Washington Summer Heat

It has been almost a month since my last post. Needless to say that it has been a hectic and tense past few weeks.

In the past four weeks we have seen the D.C. wars escalate in contempt. From the CIA leak, to the immigration issue, to the NSA's telephone database, to General Hayden's nomination, take your pick and have fun.

The most visibly contemptuos is the immigration issue. This problem is a Catch-22 for the Republican party. They will lose no matter what the outcome is. If the more radical proposal passed by the House in December were to be signed, then the GOP would lose the Hispanic voting block. If a guest worker program and a path to citizenship is established, then the GOP will lose the right wing vote (OK, not lose, but they will stay home in November while the Democrats sweep).

Unfortunately all that you hear is rhetoric coming from the likes of Rep. Tom Tancredo, (R) Colorado and TV personalities such as Lou Dobbs. They have for the most part very valid points, i.e. Dobbs cry for border security. You should secure your borders before you attempt to reform immigration. Nobody argues that. But that doesn't even begin to address all the problems that are involved. It is very easy to criticize. It is much more difficult to propose solutions or ideas to solve the problems. Closing the border will not be effective until the other factors that induce illegal immigration are addressed. These factors include: economic disparity in Mexico, illegal hiring in the U.S., a legal Immigration process that is so broken down it takes up to 12 years or more to receive a visa. These are only factors relating to the flow of illegal aliens. I have not even begun to mention the problems that relate to the illegal work force already here. These include: inflation, underpaid taxes, and the cost of identifying and processing them. These problems are not even discussed by the Tancredos and Dobbses. Before a real solution or compromise is proposed it is imperative that the public be informed COMPLETELY about what effects a complete overhaul of the system will have. Once the public is aware of it all, then find out what they want as a majority.

Among the essential information that must be explained first is the fact that even with increased border security and fences the illegal flow will not stop 100%. As long as Mexico cannot provide jobs that pay enough, Mexicans will attempt to cross to the U.S. over and over, and eventually they will succeed. Mexico must address its poor economic situation and take care of its people. Second, explain what the cost of identifying and apprehending would be, though there is no way to know how much it will cost since even an accurate number of illegal aliens is not known. You can rest assure that it is in the hundreds of billions. We currently have a huge deficit and are hardly in any position to expend hundreds of billions of dollars. Third, the explosion in inflation in practically every aspect of our lives due to the removal of these lower than minimum wage workers (this is an exploitative practice by the employers that pay these folks almost nothing). Fourth, many of these illegal immigrants have been here so long that they have established roots. Some have kids, wives, etc. Would it be morally right to breakup these families?

Explain these issues and others to the public and then gauge what their desire is. Instead of offering up repetitive critiques and antagonizing rhetoric, propose constructive ideas that address the entire problem, not just the part that panders to political survival (Tancredo). Step up to the plate.

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