Libby: Will Congress Stand Up or Roll Over?

Bush has commuted Libby’s sentence. Harry Reid is talking tough on the surface (but weak once you get past that first millimeter of pond scum. Johnathan):

Harry Reid is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore:

The President’s decision to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence is disgraceful. Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone. Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President’s Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law.

Oh, if only the United States Senate had some way of judging George Bush! If only our Founding Fathers had had the foresight to provide such a method in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of our Constitution!

But sadly, the Senate is completely powerless in such situations, leaving this matter entirely in the hands of history.

You’d think they’d at least investigate (mcjoan):

Isikoff said there’s nothing that prevents Congress from investigating the granting of this pardon and asking why the president chose to depart from the guidelines, for the first time, for his special assistant and the chief of staff to Cheney.

More than issuing strong statements, it’s time for Congress to investigate this commutation.

The impression of words over action is super glued to Congress. In a joint post, Mirth and D-Day write:

Regardless their words, however promising, they all comfortably ride the military/corporate gravytrain even as our country falls deeper into an abyss of loss and degradation.

At the very least, it appears a sizable chunk of Republicans see this for what it is, and aren’t impressed. It is just one more example of Bush’s complete disregard for the rule of law (From the Left):

President George Bush predictably made a mockery of the American justice system and commuted Libby’s 30 month prison sentence.

We could see this coming. And we should see it coming when it comes to the current crop of Republican party hopefuls. The taint is already spreading to the Republican candidates most desperate to claim Bush’s legacy (Bloggernista):


(Feigned look of shock) Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson following the right-wing talking points to a t, issued this statement on Bush’s amnesty for Scooter Libby:

I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children.

While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president’s decision.

This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.

Is there any wonder why Americans are so disgusted with the way that Bush and the Republican Party have misled our government?

When you look at people locked away for minor, non-violent drug-crimes, and see who the President chose to help, you can’t help but get angry. Putting the President’s act in context is damning (Jesus’ General). This is what justice looks like to a Republican.

And yet the President’s decision goes beyond justice to a profound issue of how our government plays out in reality. The President is obviously “still drunk with power” (Kay). This is another power grab for the executive.

Will Congress do anything about it?



Deporting Women Was Never This Easy!

Want to deport someone?  Why not just abuse them?  (Feministing via August):

Broadsheet has the unfortunate news that an amendment may be tacked on to the immigration bill that would make women’s immigration status known to federal authorities if they report domestic violence to local police.

Ann (Feministing) spells out the implications:

Immigrant women are more likely to face additional language and cultural barriers to reporting domestic violence and accessing services. They are more likely to be isolated and abused economically, and many of their abusers use deportation as a threat. So without the special protections in VAWA, it’s a safe assumption that these women would be even less likely to report domestic violence

It is important to understand that laws can be acts of violence.  The ammendment by Senators Norm Coleman and Pete Domenici (both Republican) puts women at risk.  For all the battered women who will be deported, there will be many more who will “be even less likely to report domestic violence”.

That’s more women who will continue to suffer.  More women who are at risk of deadly violence.  More women whose children may also be at risk.

This makes abuse easier for the criminals, and harder to escape for the victims.

All so two assholes can feel better about being “tough on immigration”.

August notes the two Senators are up for re-election next year.  Let’s see how well they run on a pro-abuse platform.

That Eliminationist Demographic

XicanoPwr digs into an offensive ad:

There seems to be an offensive ad running loose around the net called “Shoot The Rapper!” The advertisement features an animated rapper that resembles 50 Cent and a photographer whose camera you have to position to “shoot the rapper.” If you can, “You will win $5000 or 5 ringtones guaranteed.”

The advertisers are playing a clever game here:

Even though a camera is used to “shoot” the rapper and not the “gun” one would expect, the desired effect is to trigger a perception in which the person assumes a weapon would be used if they click the ad. Considering a camera is used when they actually play the game, the advertising company actually played on an average person’s own prior conditioning and frame of reference with the use of the cross hairs, which is the trigger that actually fools the person.

Here’s a fun experiment.  Head down to the old psycho-linguistics laboratory.  Here’s the basic method:  Show a slide for a short interval before showing participants either a picture of a gun, or a picture of an elephant.  For the slide, show either this ad, a picture of a watermelon, or a shot of an actual photographer snapping a photo of a celebrity.  Track recognition time for that sentence.  I’ll bet you find that time significantly decreases for the picture of the gun with the slide containing the advertisement.  I’ll bet an off the cuff experiment like this has been repeated a number of times with increasing sophistication by marketing firms.  When you engage in good marketing, you don’t shoot blind.

The key to a good hit is twofold.  Find an existing hook to grab onto, and create a firm and lasting impression.  Its the hook that interests us here.  What are the marketers aiming at?