Sunday, June 17, 2007

Justice Turned Upside Down in Bush's America

Two recent stories tell you all you need to know about how George W. Bush has transformed America...and not for the better.

Pedro Guzman

Last month, 29-year old Los Angeles resident Pedro Guzman was deported, although he is American.

Despite the fact that this man is developmentally disabled, he was tossed out like garbage into Tijuana, Mexico, where he has now simply disappeared.

As the Los Angeles Times said in an editorial yesterday:
"Arrested for trespassing at an airplane junkyard, Guzman was questioned while in the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and, perhaps because of his disability, mistaken for an illegal immigrant. He was turned over to immigration authorities, who deported him to Tijuana. He then promptly disappeared. Despite their frantic attempts to find him, Guzman's family has not heard from him since May 11. What that means is that Guzman's trespass has earned him a sentence of banishment and disappearance, a fate common in third-rate dictatorships but abhorred in civilized nations. And the federal government's response has been to evade responsibility and to refuse the family's pleas for help."
Making matters worse, on Wednesday, a federal judge chose not to order the government to search for the missing man, though he said that it was "right" and "moral" for the U.S. to do whatever it could to find Mr. Guzman.

What insanity! The government, on its own, does not realize the gravity of what they have done? Having made such a grave error, they do not have the decency to correct it, putting the man and his family through hell? This is America?

Keith Bowles

Speaking of the inhumanity of George Bush's America, look at this recent decision by the Supreme Court.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Keith Bowles, a man who was 2 days late filing an appeal on a murder conviction, because a judge gave him wrong information on the filing deadline, was plum out of luck.

The New York Times, in a Sunday editorial wrote:
"The decision was wrong for many reasons. The Supreme Court has made clear in its past rulings that deadlines like this are not make-or-break. Appeals could still be heard, the court recognized in the past, if there were “unique circumstances” that accounted for the delay. Clearly, following an order from a federal judge is such a circumstance.

"Courts also have the authority to create an exception to the rules in the interest of fairness. The Supreme Court has recognized that an 'equitable exception' should be granted when a party has relied on an order from a federal judge. By refusing to do so now, Justice David Souter argued for the dissenters, the court was saying that 'every statement by a federal court is to be tagged with the warning ‘Beware of the judge.’

"The four dissenters distilled this case perfectly when they said, 'it is intolerable for the judicial system to treat people this way.'"

The Washington Post, in their Sunday editorial, agreed, subtitling their piece, "The Supreme Court's doctrine of tough luck."

That brilliant legal mind, Justice Clarence Thomas, wrote the majority opinion. He was joined, predictably by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.(anybody think that was now a good selection?), and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. (ditto), Antonin Scalia, and, most disappointingly, Anthony M. Kennedy, who has been siding with the 4 stooges as of late.

In an America that would be controlled by the GOP, justice and fairness are best viewed through the looking glass. In the real world, it is now all topsy-turvy.

This is something every voter should consider first when going to cast their ballots, come election time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

From 'No Confidence' To Impeachment

So much for Senate Democrats having the opportunity to bring up a 'no confidence' vote on beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The Senate, voted 53-38 today in favor of a motion to bring the 'no confidence' resolution to full debate. 60 votes were required. Thus, there will be no vote.

The GOP, following RNC talking points, have banded together to use this as an opportunity to target Democrats as ineffectual and have accused them of merely playing politics.

The L.A. Times describes the strategy as follows:
"The policymaking Senate Republican Conference began circulating a series of talking points Friday urging Republicans to vote against the no-confidence resolution.

"'This is a political stunt, a waste of time that distracts from more important Senate business, and is offensive to basic constitutional principles,' according to a copy of the GOP talking points obtained by the Los Angeles Times."

Since, the Democrats remain incapable of spinning these stories, this strategy of blaming the Democrats appears to be working.

In the aftermath of this story, we have been treated to endless sound bites from George Bush, Tony Snow, Trent Lott and the lockstep GOP robots talking about the meaninglessness of a 'no confidence' vote and how the Democrats are merely playing politics.

To a degree, they are right. What is with the Democrat's timid approach in dealing with the GOP?

It may not pass, but if the Democrats really want to send a message they would have tried to set in motion an impeachment proceeding against Mr. Gonzales. Maybe it would fail, but there is no that way the GOP could say that the Dems were merely introducing legislation that had no teeth.

As the GOP games continue and the Democrats allow themselves to be portrayed as weaklings, it is high time that Dems rolled up their sleeves.

What have they got to lose?