Grumblings in the Dark over Whiskey

Let me explain the title of this essay.  My wife blogs, though not politically, and under a pseudonym.  At one time, she did a Sunday Morning Musing’s post where, over her cup of coffee, she would give her thoughts.

Well, I’m a nightowl.  I don’t drink coffee at night, I drink whiskey.  I rarely “muse”, in fact, I rant quite a bit.  When the news becomes an never ceasing onslaught, I grumble in disgust.  I’ll probably make this a continuous series.

So, what’s got me grumbling tonight?

Think “Titanic”.  In fact, picture this scenario happening.  

The Captain is told that there is an iceberg ahead; he says, “Damn the torpedo’s! Full steam ahead!”  A disgruntled passenger has placed a bomb in the cargo hold next to the hull.  A part of the crew decides, after consulting the head of cabbage they pray to, that they must slaughter everyone on board before committing suicide.  The Navigator has burned the charts and destroyed all of the navigation equipment after being paid a bribe by a rival shipping line.

You get the hint.  One of these is bad enough, but, there are so many issues, all of them that will lead to one end; the sinking of the ship leaving everyone dead.  Well, this is how I feel reading the news.

Politicians?  As corrupt as ever:

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The former Orangeburg County councilman who served a year in prison for bribery and extortion has asked a judge to cut short his three-year supervised release.

In a letter filed with the court Monday, John Rickenbacker told a federal judge that his work as a constituent liaison for U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn proves that he can stay out of trouble.

Rickenbacker also apologizes for his crime.

Clyburn hired Rickenbacker after the former councilman was released from prison.

Rickenbacker was indicted in 2006 on charges he took $50,000 in bribes from an agent posing as a consultant for a company interested in buying a local hospital.

A county-level politician who plead guilty to taking $50,000 in bribes was hired by the U.S. House Majority Whip, another South Carolina politician, and, is now whining about how long his probation is to a Judge!

Of course, we know that Judge’s are the epitome of honoring the law, sentences, and would never be involved in anything that was unseemly.  They would never jail children because they got kickbacks from the “for-profit” prison.  They would never be bought and paid for by a corporation and refuse to remove themselves from a case involving that corporation.  

Let our government function?  Not these two politicians:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to hold up any and all legislation in the Senate until Congress passes its legislation to prohibit the release of photos showing detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’re not going to do any more business in the Senate,” Graham said. “Nothing’s going forward until we get this right.”

Yes, hold up every piece of legislation because you don’t like that democracy is working against you.  In fact, if that doesn’t work, why not just go on a killing spree in the Senate until those remaining give up?  It worked for the Pro-Life maniacs.

And hey, it isn’t like everyone is out to get their piece of the pie anyway.  

OS ANGELES-A federal judge dismissed two of three campaign finance violation charges Monday against a prominent Los Angeles attorney for allegedly funneling $26,000 to Sen. John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign through employees of his law firm.

Pierce O’Donnell had been indicted for allegedly conspiring to have 13 his employees give the campaign the maximum allowable $2,000 each and then reimbursing them. The judge held that under some circumstances such “conduit contributions” are permissible according to the statute under which O’Donnell was charged.

It’s a lawyer.  He may be a Judge one day.  Besides, do you know how much money they spent to get that degree?  One day, he could rise to advising the President to not prosecute illegal acts that lawyers commit while in government!

Besides, why go after the people who fund your campaign financing for billions when you can go after the guy who claimed an extra $2000 in charitable contributions?  Tax cheating peasants!

   California billionaire Igor Olenicoff had already invested $200 million with UBS AG in 2001 when his Swiss bankers ushered him to an underground vault in Geneva.

   Olenicoff, a real estate developer with a taste for yachts and Russian art, saw floor upon floor of safe-deposit boxes. His private banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, and a colleague showed Olenicoff his own space for valuables.

   “They said, ‘Whatever you want — corporate stock, cash, gold, silver — put it in here,'” says Olenicoff, 66, at the Newport Beach, California, headquarters of Olen Properties Corp., the company he founded in 1973. “It was that aura of legitimacy and secrecy. They say, ‘We’re the world’s largest wealth manager,’ so how do you question?”

   Birkenfeld, 44, had spent years wooing Olenicoff, visiting his homes in Laguna Beach, California, and Lighthouse Point, Florida; cruising on his 147-foot (45-meter) yacht to Mayan ruins in Honduras; and flying on his Cessna Citation II jet.

   Four years later, both men are admitted felons. Since December 2007, the billionaire and his banker have pleaded guilty to tax crimes.

I know, I know.  You say, “but, they are now felons!”  You can be sure Phil Gramm had nothing to do with that.

It’s also worthy noting that former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), who was briefly Sen. John McCain’s economic adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign, is the vice chairman of UBS AG’s investiment banking division. If you’re wondering whether he had anything to do with the company’s efforts to recruit the wealthy into tax shelters, well … You aren’t the only one.

It isn’t just the “big fish”, it’s any racist yahoo who gets some little bit of power.

Yesterday, the Buffalo News reported that Lewiston-Porter school board President Robert J. Weller is being criticized for “regularly” forwarding offensive e-mails to friends and former members of the board. One e-mail contained a list of a dozen male chauvinist “jokes,” such as an explanation that women have smaller feet to allow them “to stand closer to the kitchen sink.” Other e-mails included:

   – A photo of Barack Obama, depicted making a campaign promise to deliver jobs to “everyone who can work.” In the background of the doctored image is a group of African-Americans running away.

   – A mock news release from the Detroit Police Department that claims the department will replace German shepherd police dogs with “coon dogs, due to the fact the city is not having any problems with Germans.”

   – A doctored photo of Chelsea Clinton holding up a T-shirt that reads, “My mom is getting her ass kicked by a Negro.”

“If you’re not white and Christian, in Bob Weller’s world, you don’t exist,” commented former board President Robert L. Laub, who served on the board with Weller. Though Weller is standing by his actions – going as far as telling a reporter that his critics can “accuse all they want to” – a pastor of the True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo is organizing an e-mail campaign to persuade him to apologize or resign. (HT: Wonkette)

Start small.  Maybe one day, you can be a big-time crook!  All you have to do is send racist emails to your friends to get your “street cred” in the Party.

Of course, starting small has it’s disadvantages, as well.  If you don’t keep yourself politically relevant, well, you get tossed to the curb.  Who cares about “values” today, anyway?

DALLAS – About 50 people joined Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist whose son was killed in the war on Iraq, in a protest this afternoon near former President George W. Bush’s Preston Hollow home.

Other than, say, 50 people.  (Note:  No, don’t ask me why I’m not there.  I can’t afford to turn on the A/C, much less travel to Dallas, TX.)  Values are so, well, pre-Bush.  If the U.S. can do it, why not everyone, like, cops in Britain?

Six members of London’s metropolitan police force are the focus of a criminal investigation after a corruption probe revealed allegations by a serving officer that detectives waterboarded suspects allegedly caught with a “large amount” of marijuana.

You know, as an ex-cop, I arrested people for pot.  That was the law.  Now, you want my personal opinion?  If pot-smokers wouldn’t do it while driving, putting people at risk, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.  But, they do, did, and will.  Don’t even try to tell me how impaired, or unimpaired, a driver on pot is — I arrested her, and, she was all over the road.  But, hey, we’ve moved up to waterboarding over pot now!  Way to go Obama and Holder!

Truly… I’m ending this rant… the Titanic is down…


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