THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Updates To Previous Posts (third item, BAM To DOJ: KSM In NYC Is DOA): The Obama administration’s contradictory statements on trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC have gone beyond flip-flopping and have now become something of a Three Card Monte hustle. In the latest round, after President Barack Hussein Obama said he wasn’t taking an NYC trial off the table, then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he isn’t taking a trial before a military commission off the table, then “senior White House officials” tell The Washington Post that “Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks … signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash”:
"How did this happen?" asked Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). "It was being blind to political realities, and I don't mean partisan politics. I mean the real, legitimate grass-roots feelings. They misread it." …
According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 55 percent of voters say military tribunals should be used to try suspected terrorists, compared with 39 percent who say the civilian court system should be used. …
Officials in the states where a civilian trial could be held have voiced clear opposition to hosting one. Two of the likeliest states with ties to the terrorist attacks -
Keep your eye on the Queen of Hearts.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, Obama Administration Christmas Bomber Missteps Worse Than You Think): In a Washington Post op-ed Michael Mukasey, who preceded Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, argues that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s case “presents in one tidy package virtually all the issues that arise from the role intelligence plays in this struggle and compels us to examine what the law requires and what it doesn't”:
[C]ontrary to what some in government have suggested, that Abdulmutallab was taken into custody by the FBI did not mean, legally or as a matter of policy, that he had to be treated as a criminal defendant at any point. Consider: In 1942, German saboteurs landed on Long Island and in
If possible, FBI custody is even less relevant today in determining someone's status. In 1942 the FBI was exclusively a crime-fighting organization. After Sept. 11, 2001, the agency's mission was expanded beyond detection of crime and apprehension of criminals to include gathering intelligence, helping to prevent and combat threats to national security, and furthering
† Updates To Previous Posts (sixth item, Life Imitates “A Law Abiding Citizen”): After a federal judicial panel ordered CA to reduce the number of inmates in its overcrowded state prisons by 40,000 to 115,000, the state assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico drafted legislation that would release 6,500 inmates a year by accelerating the rate at which good behavior credits are earned.
But a funny (as in peculiar, not ha-ha) thing happened when the law took effect January 25: “Many
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster halted the releases Wednesday. Calling them “a formula for disaster,” Judge McMaster ruled that an amended statute, which increases “good time” credits for inmates and allows many to reduce their sentences, was never intended to apply to county jails.
One inmate released early from a
For his part, Sheriff Clay Parker, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, contends that the law was “poorly written” created “a legal gray area.” Torrico plans to introduce emergency legislation to clarify the law.
† Updates To Previous Posts (second item, Fed Up With Farmers): Undoing a Bush administration change to the H-2A guest-worker program, the Labor Department will require farmers to try harder to find Americans to fill jobs picking crops before hiring foreign workers, reports the Los Angeles Times:
The new rule, slated to take effect March 15, will increase the average pay for temporary farmworkers by nearly a dollar per hour. Farmers also will be required to list their job openings on a new online job registry, and state workforce agencies must inspect worker housing before employers can get the nod to hire foreign laborers. …
The Bush-era rule, which let employers hire foreign workers if they couldn't find Americans to fill the jobs, sparked a fierce battle across the country's farmlands. Labor advocacy groups railed against the rule for slashing wages and weakening worker safety rules.
Farmers have said they need help easing the hurdles to bring in foreign workers to harvest crops, saying
† Updates To Previous Posts (second item, Caroline Kennedy (Finally) Killed Camelot): Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) wants his life to “take a new direction” and decided not to seek reelection, though the voters of RI “responded not with contempt, but with compassion [when] I made missteps and suffered setbacks … and [those] who lifted me up, pushed me forward and filled my heart with hope.” The voters seemed to have done far more for Kennedy than he did for them in 16 years in office.
But what else can you expect when elected office is regarded as “the family business”? The Associated Press notes that “[i]t was never a perfect fit - politics and Patrick Kennedy, the latest and perhaps the last in the long line of Kennedys at the heart of American political life” – yet, he “started pursuing public office before he graduated from college … and stayed on that path in part because it nourished his relationship with his father.”
The voters of RI finally tired of Kennedy’s failings and frailties. The Boston Globe reports that he “has been seen as vulnerable, particularly after 62 percent of voters statewide gave the eight-term congressman an unfavorable job rating in a poll released last week by WPRI-TV (Channel 12).”
From cradle to retirement, the first wave of baby boomers (AKA “flower children” and “hippies”) have lived their entire lives with a Kennedy in Congress – from January 1947, when JFK began his term in the House of Representatives, to January 2011, when Patrick Kennedy’s term in the House ends. Camelot is dead and so too – one hopes – the conceits of the vainglorious baby boom generation.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fifth item, What It’s Like To Live In The Bronx): Ramon Lopez, the manager of K & N Parking lot for 24 years inherited the flock of feral chickens that are roaming the Highbridge section of The Bronx when the owner of another commercial parking lot went out of business a few years ago and left a few chickens behind and “now everyone from cops to sanitation workers give him sickly stray chickens,” reports the New York Daily News:
"They don't bring the food, but they bring the chickens," he said.
He spends $180 a month on cracked corn but doesn't know exactly how many chickens depend on him. "I can't figure it out," he shrugged. "About 75. Maybe more, maybe less."
Lopez wants to give the chickens to somebody who will care for them, but directors of local animal sanctuaries the Daily News contacted said that by law, the ASPCA would have to destroy diseased chickens or those that homes can't be found for.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, 10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment in The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador focuses on residents of the Tenleytown section of northwest Washington, DC.. Desperate for milk and other pantry staples after being home-bound for a couple of days because of the blizzard, these folks didn’t loot a local Safeway supermarket that was unlocked and unattended – they left the money on the counter to cover what they took. The Washington Post reports:
Outside, whiteout. Inside the Safeway in Tenleytown, the aisles were empty, the salad fixings gone, the milk shelves cleaned out. The only evidence of what had happened sat on the cashier's belt in Lane 2 - a few coins and a couple of wrinkled bills that told the tale: The staff skipped out and left the door open, and the locals, trying to do the right thing (sort of), had helped themselves and paid for what they took. …
Somehow, word got around to a few desperate shoppers, who made it over to the abandoned supermarket on
A WaPo reporter entered the Tenleytown store and saw the money on the counter, confirming what he had been told by shoppers and police officers who eventually showed up to mind the premises until a Safeway official could be notified.