August 6, 2011

Postcards from the GOP Edge 2: Republican Crap Baths


December 10, 2010

Sarah Palin: Slouching Back to Methlehem


August 3, 2010

The National Enflatulator – With Immigration, the GOP Flogs Another Election-Year Distraction


May 3, 2010

The Drill, Baby, Drill Swill Team


April 29, 2010

McCain’s Enemy Belligerent Detention Act: Is SCOTUS keeping Richard Fine in jail for a reason?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 9:58 am

Well, the U.S. Supreme Court just reviewed attorney Richard Fine’s habeas corpus case and gave it a pass. Poor sweet attorney Fine has been held in the slammer on a bogus contempt-of-court charge for over a year now. Further, he’s being held in the Los Angeles County Central Men’s Jail, one of the violent and most overcrowded jails in the country. This man is 70 years old, in failing health and has never committed a crime in his life. What’s wrong with this picture?

About a year ago, attorney Fine challenged Superior Judge David Yaffe’s right to rule in a southern California land-use case — after Yaffe refused to recuse himself in the matter of Marina Strand Colony II vs County of Los Angeles. Yaffe, whose salary is being augmented by $46,436 each year by the County, then ruled in favor of L.A. County. Sounds fishy to me. They shoulda automatically given Fine’s client a change of venue. But I digress.

Aside from the disgustingly unfairness of attorney Fine’s contempt charge and his subsequent brutal incarceration, however, the main problem here seems to be that if attorney Fine actually IS finally released, almost everyone who knows him (including the FBI, the CIA and other persecutorial types that we on the Left are all-too-familiar with), also knows that the number one thing that attorney Fine will do upon his release is to mount a huge campaign to stop Senator John McCain’s latest enthusiastic assault against the U.S. Constitution, S.3081 — the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.

S.3018 is a nasty Senate bill that hands over even more power to the powers-that-be in Washington who are already far too powerful. And this act of almost dictatorial proportion could easily backfire on the rest of us — and put ANYONE that Washington power-brokers determine to be “enemy belligerents” in jail, even patriotic Americans such as you and me; perhaps even in a cell next to attorney Fine’s.

So getting Richard Fine out of jail is of paramount importance to you and to me as well as to him.

PS: Richard Fine is a respected and well-known 70-year-old California attorney who the U.S. Supreme Court has just sentenced to what will probably prove to be a life sentence (or even death sentence) in one of the worst jails in America — just for standing up for his belief in American citizens’ rights to a fair hearing and a fair trial. But aside from the fact that every American who loves justice should be appalled by this latest SCOTUS decision (why aren’t the Teabaggers and Fox News out picketing the streets over this issue?), we also need to consider that bit in the Constitution about such type of cruel and unusual punishment being illegal.

Er, duh.

And also, why isn’t attorney Fine simply being released into a house-arrest program? We all watch “The Good Wife” on TV. We all keep up with Paris Hilton. We all know that house arrest is a definite possibility — especially if you are 70 years old, in ill health and facing a life sentence unless you sell out your principles, cry “uncle” and let Judge Yaffe get away with his apparent conflict of interest.

And what about all those old guys who have been in jail forever for committing horrendous murders and such, but who are released from jail simply because they are old and sick? Attorney Fine is old and sick. Release him too. “Attica! Attica!”

Not only that but in the past year alone, hundreds of prisoners — and we’re talking about hundreds of mean guys, evil-doers and blatant criminals here! — have been released from the same jail that attorney Fine is now being held in, in order to alleviate overcrowding. So why doesn’t Los Angeles release attorney Fine too? The jail would be far less crowded without him hogging up a cell.

And what about that time when someone in my neighborhood who committed a white-collar crime, embezzled some money and was sentenced to two years in jail? She got into a work-furlough program and only had to spend weekends in jail. Why can’t attorney Fine get released on a work-furlough program too — so that he can continue working and also not lose his home?

And, better yet, why can’t attorney Fine be released on said work-furlough program so that he can help defeat John McCain’s horrendous, scary and un-American Senate bill S-3081?

PPS: I’m not the only one that’s pissed off on attorney Fine’s behalf. Here’s what the National Review has to say about this case:

On April 23, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States denied the petition for “stay of execution” (of coercive confinement for civil contempt of court) by attorney Richard I. Fine in the case of Richard Fine v. Leroy Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County (09-1250). In doing so, the highest court of the land has refused to rectify a clear-cut case of judicial corruption in the state of California.

So who’s Richard Fine and how did he run afoul of the law? A distinguished attorney with a doctor of law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Ph.D. in international law from the London School of Economics, Mr. Fine has practiced law in government service and private practice for 42 years and achieved considerable distinction in both. He has served in the antitrust division of the Justice Department, founded the Anti-Trust Division in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and was awarded the prestigious “Lawyer of the Decades” award in 2006. He has also won numerous cases on behalf of California taxpayers in state courts, including a 2003 California Supreme Court lawsuit that stopped salary payments to the governor and the legislators if they were unable to pass the budget.

Yet this distinguished 70-year-old attorney in poor health has been sitting in solitary confinement in “coercive incarceration” in the notorious Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail without being charged, tried, or convicted of anything since March 4, 2009. In effect, he was thrown in jail for an indefinite period with no bail or hearing set for blowing the whistle on judicial corruption in California.

The chain of events that led to his incarceration was set in motion in 2000, when Richard Fine became aware that L.A. superior court judges were receiving illegal “judicial benefits” payments from Los Angeles County, despite the fact that lawsuits against that county were often adjudicated by these same judges, thus creating clear conflict of interest problems. By 2007 these payments amounted to $46,436 per year on top of their state salary of $172,000, making L.A. superior court judges among the highest paid in the country. Not only was this a blatant conflict of interest but also unconstitutional, insofar as the California constitution states clearly (in Article VI, Section 19) that “the legislature shall prescribe compensation for judges of courts of record.”

In Richard Fine’s opinion, these payments were illegal if not criminal, and in 2000 he began challenging them in various appellate briefs and lawsuits against several judges, thus making himself extremely unpopular with the superior court bench and also with the county supervisors who had authorized the payments. The usual justification the supervisors give for extending these payments to the judges is the ostensible need to attract qualified jurists in a high-cost-of-living area like Los Angeles. Less well publicized is the possibility that by granting the judges such payments, the supervisors may be voting themselves a pay increase as well. Article II, Section 4 of the Los Angeles County Charter states that the supervisors’ compensation “shall be the same as that now or hereafter prescribed by law for a judge of the Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles.”

Not surprisingly, since the initiation of these “judicial benefits” in 1988 — at a cost to L.A. taxpayers of some $300 million to date — the county is reported to have seldom lost a lawsuit in superior court. It also appears to be the case that Los Angeles County is not the only California county which provides such payments and, according to one estimate, 1,500 out of a total of 2,000 superior court judges in the state are allegedly implicated in receiving the illegal payments, as are five of the state’s Supreme Court justices.

Mr. Fine’s current misfortunes stem from his demand at a contempt hearing on March 4, 2009, that Judge David P. Yaffe of the Los Angeles Superior Court, a recipient of such illegal payments, recuse himself from the case in front of him, in which L.A. County was a party. Judge Yaffe had Mr. Fine handcuffed and thrown in jail for civil contempt of court for an indefinite period. Judge Yaffe was later to explain that “the intent of the (non-criminal) solitary confinement was to coerce Richard Fine into submission.”

Yaffe’s unusually confrontational behavior was preceded by events that must have given him and his colleagues assurance that they had nothing to fear on account of these illegal payments. The first such event, paradoxically, was a decision by the California Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appelate District in Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles (BC351286, filed 10/10/2008) that payments to the judges were not permissible and that the legislation’s responsibility to prescribe compensation “is not delegable.” Alarmed by this decision’s implication of potential criminal liability for judges and politicians alike, California’s political and judicial powers that be moved quickly and quietly to rectify the situation legislatively. As California grappled with the huge budget-deficit crisis afflicting the state in early 2009, the Judicial Council of California, chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, quietly drafted, the legislature approved, and the governor signed a senate bill (SBX2-11, enacted February 20, 2009) giving retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution, civil liability, and disciplinary action to “judges that had received payments from a governmental entity prior to the bill’s effective date.” In doing so, the legislature and the governor essentially admitted that the payments had indeed been illegal and very likely criminal.

Emboldened by the granted immunity, the judicial machine moved to get rid of Fine once and for all by having the California State Bar disbar him for “moral turpitude,” a course of action reminiscent of the Soviet Communist regime’s practice of declaring political dissidents criminally insane and locking them up in psychiatric wards.

In the meantime, Mr. Fine’s jailer, L.A. county sheriff Lee Baca, has started releasing hundreds of convicted criminals from Men’s Central Jail because of overcrowding. Overcrowding is evidently not an issue for Richard I. Fine, now serving his second year of an indefinite solitary confinement term as an American prisoner of conscience.

— Alex Alexiev is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. The views expressed here are his own.

April 18, 2010

Sarah Palin’s Real Alaska


April 6, 2010

Sarah Palin Will Split the GOP Apart in 2012


March 26, 2010

Palin to Seal McCain’s Fate in AZ

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:51 pm


February 16, 2010

Or, ‘The Old Man and the She-Devil’


December 24, 2009

Palin’s Holiday Greeting to McCain

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:17 am


(Post updated 12/25/09)

November 6, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Tying Up Loose Ends Edition

As your Tattler tries to absorb and process through his thickened skull the startling and emotional events of Election Day, and the elevation of an intelligent, articulate and capable man to the presidency by a landslide – something he hoped for but can still barely believe occurred in Junior Bush’s America For Dummies – it seems prudent to turn to lesser trivia while the brain pan simmers.

Laugh-a-Bull Uno: The ambitious yet intellectually deprived Sarah Palin thinks she has a political future. Note to the Pundits mulling this fast melting ice cube: Alaskans are taking a second, more skeptical, look at their Gov, and she is in for several investigations and probable indictments Way Up North for padding her state expense accounts and Troopergate. (No, that hasn’t gone away.) Until recently, she was attached-at-the-hip to convicted felon Sen. Ted Stevens as well, and that connection may soon sprout legs as she was a strong supporter of the Corrupt Old Codpiece and nobody believes she paid for construction work on her own house. (Plus she’s made plenty of enemies from both parties in her home state.) Also, McCain’s campaign staff, blaming her for Mac’s massive drubbing, are about to begin talking on the record; already we’ve read that this Consignment Shop Maverick spent tens of thousands more than initially reported on fancy new duds for her and her family of grasping ‘Wasilla Hillbillies,’ and that Governor Whack Job was something of a pain-in-the-patoot to handle – bringing up Bill Ayers without the official McCain go-ahead and such. The raw reality is the GOP is going to have to change stripes in this new age or be ‘left behind’ to ponder the Rapture as a permanent minority party. Keener classic-conservative intellects among the Republicos realize this, and Palin’s winky-dink Christopublican ‘You betcha’ hokum is not part of their plans. The secular Goldwaterites were willing to tolerate the risible Jesus-of-Betty-Bowers freaks as long as the party was winning, but now it’s been humiliatingly buried under a pile of blue votes, and they’re pinning the tail on Moose-Huntin’ Mom and her extremist ilk for scaring off centrist voters. Milder theocrats such as Mike Huckabee will carry on, if they tone down the creepy ecumenical hellfire, but the Armageddon-minded Palinolithics will be purged, even if the GOP has to lose a couple of elections. Sarah will likely run for reelection as governor of the National Ice Box again, get tromped, and retire to dictate her memoirs that will have a hard time finding a publisher. Either that or she’ll get her own reality show on Bravo – “Life with the Palins” – a mixture of “Hee Haw,” “Queen For a Day” and “The Osbournes” that will go off the air after 13 episodes. (It’s also been rumored that, what with her photogenic face and advanced skill at reading teleprompters, Palin would be a good fit as a game show host – how about something like “Here’s Your Boot and Pour” as a vehicle for her talents?) In two years, the answer to “Remember Sarah Palin?” will be “Who?”


October 14, 2008

The Tattlesnake – The Old Man and the She Edition

Sarah the Terror is a Sideshow Attraction Pushing the Wretched McCain to the Background of His Own Campaign

“You’re starting to feel real frustration because we are running out of time. Our message, the campaign’s message, isn’t connecting.”
– Saul Anuzis, Michigan Republican Party Chairman, as quoted by the NY Times, Oct. 11, 2008.

Who is McPalin appealing to these days? Not Joe Sixpack, nor Hockey Moms and Dads – they roundly booed the Alaska Governor at the Philadelphia Flyers opener last Saturday; not ‘Lunch Bucket’ Workers; not ‘Reagan Democrats’ (the last two categories joining the liberal Rockefeller Republican in extinction long ago). Nope, all of the voters who fit those media-hyped pigeon holes have been suffering the pain and remorse of living in King Junior’s Politics for Profit United States of Katrina for the last couple of years.

These days, aside from the Party Hacks – that random collection of reliable bobbleheads: GOP office-seekers, low-level local staff, other small fry and their kin — it seems the only faction of American humanity — and I use that term advisedly — showing up in large numbers to see Gov. Snow Job and her doddering Grandpa running mate are a type not much discussed but well-known by the Punditrocracy and the Big Media — let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. Screwloose. These are not just Low Information Voters — they are that, to be sure — but the Lowest Common Denominator loonies and Hate-for-Jesus Christians who spend their lives forwarding brainless emails assuring the reader that prayer is what the troops in Iraq really desire more than anything else; who want the Ten Commandments hanging off every government building; who believe we were founded as a Christian theocracy regardless of the evidence to the contrary; who violently oppose the idea of someone they don’t know marrying someone else they don’t know of the same sex because it’s written in the Bible, yet still chow down on pork and shellfish; who equate ‘liberal’ with ‘traitor’ because comic geniuses like Ann Coulter told them so; who perpetually mistake actors who play cowboys for real cowboys; who go to check when someone calls asking if their refrigerator is running; who want more war with those they perceive as terrorists, even after being told to turn the other cheek by the founder of their faith; who know nothing about Islam, yet believe it is an ‘evil’ religion; who resist scientific proof of anything unless it comports with their bizarre, pre-fabulated religious beliefs; who focus on abortion as state-sanctioned murder while they applaud the death penalty and celebrate the carnage of war; who wallow with Rebel Yell pride in their ignorance and let themselves be suckered by slick Republican hucksters to vote against their own interests; who viscerally believe in an End Times scenario and subsequent Rapture that never appeared in the Bible; who think Serial Liar Sarah Palin is ready to be president since she’s just like them: a card-carrying member of the rusty-truck-up-on-blocks, fuckin’ redneck, hootin’-and-hollerin’ Kallikaks ‘ignorati’; a goofball fundamentalist Christian yahoo who shares their demented white-trash-wet-dream ‘values’ which include a spiteful racism that would make Joseph Goebbels grin and a preposterous gullibility that has made a creepy Messiah pimp like Pat Robertson rich.

Palin’s singular talent is that she can deliver her pre-scripted message competently: It’s acceptable for you to vent your hateful bigotry on McCain’s black opponent since he’s conveniently a friend of terrorists.

That said, it appears the McCainiacs running the Palin traveling carnival have misunderstood why so many people turn up at her events — she’s now a cultural phenomenon, a Britney Spears freak of nature slathered over by the supermarket tabloids, as well their big brothers in the MSM. Many Gawkers of the American Idiocracy show up not because they endorse her message, but just to get a look at the Two-Headed Geek in person. She’s a sideshow attraction now more than a serious candidate for political office. In a campaign rally last week, a good portion of the crowd started leaving after Palin was done speaking, giving the hapless McCain a view of their departing backs. It’s Palin and McCain these days, from the same lineage as Barnum and Bailey.


October 10, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — kerry @ 8:17 am


Keep The N*gger Out Of Office”

After a week of McCain supporters being incited to shout “kill him!” and “terrorist!” and “treason!“, a man in Louisiana was arrested for threatening to kill election officials. The Smoking Gun has his arrest report and mug shots. It seems his voter registration card was delayed, and he was insistent that he would bring his shotgun to their office and kill them if they didn’t hurry up because he needed to “keep the n*gger out of office.”Look at the photo.


October 8, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Obama-McCain Round Two Edition

Best and Worst of the Second Presidential Debate, in Brief:

Obama’s Worst Moment: No really bad moments or gaffes, but it would be nice if he answered the question and then explained his answer rather than the other way around. Still, looking at how far he’s come, maybe Obama knows what he’s doing after all.

McCain’s Worst Moment: What was with answering a question about who he would appoint Treasury Secretary by saying to debate moderator Brokaw “Not you, Tom”? I appreciate an oddball sense of humor and have one myself, but I could not fathom the wit or point in this ‘joke’ – maybe he should have said “Major Tom” and tried to nab some David Bowie fans. Also, when he approached the bystanders in the bleachers too closely, I got the feeling they were hastily looking for a crucifix to ward him off. Other than that, McCain was the best McCain he could be.

Obama’s Best Moment: When he finally said, harkening back to FDR in 1944, that health care is a right. That one line by itself may have been sufficient to nail down enough votes in the hard-hit Rust Belt states to win him the election.

McCain’s Best Moment: Considering McCain’s never been a great public speaker, he didn’t do a bad job overall, and, to his credit, he assiduously avoided diving to the slimy ‘dark side.’ But that’s not what this election is about anyway; it helps that Obama can speak populist poetry to McCain’s Reagan-GOP boilerplate when necessary, but the election is really about who looks like they’re up to the job of saving the country. The hunched and elderly McCain, lurching around spouting his stump speech Talking Points, did not look like that man; Obama did.

And the Winner Is: Obama. In the final analysis, this all boiled down to appearances: Obama, as in the last debate, once again looked presidential and poised; McCain, partly due to factors beyond his control such as his age and physical appearance, looked old and weary and annoyingly lapsed into his standard “My friends” mode halfway through the thing, indicating that he was running out of gas. Cap’n Crash is going to discover on November 4th that a majority of Americans just aren’t his buddies.

Put the champagne on ice; the last eight years of our history – a rambling Hunter S. Thompson nightmare of treachery, deceit and devastating Republican Doom ‘n’ Gloom as scripted by the two Terry’s, Gilliam and Southern, and Mario Puzo — is about to take a turn for the better angels of our Frank Capra, as Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington to effect a Change We Can Believe In. (Whew! Have another swig, Mr. Tattlehead.)

Is it really all over but the shouting? Barring an October Surprise of unimaginable proportions, some unforgivable gaffe by Barack or Biden, or the presidential preference of computer hackers, it’s all about the ‘O’ now.

September 25, 2008

The Tattlesnake – October and Other McCain Surprises Edition

Or, St. John and His Cowardly Lyin’

“Presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
– Barack Obama, Sept. 23, 2008, as quoted by Business Week.

All politicians lie to some degree; it’s a gloomy fact of national politics in America, and the higher the office sought, the more likely and frequent the infractions of the truth.

Some self-servingly shade reality intermittently, others cross their fingers behind their backs and deliver the quasi-whopper occasionally, and then there are the full-out Nixonian scoundrels who’ll tell a lie at the drop of a hat in the ring.

John McCain, in his conduct since becoming the Republican nominee, has crossed the Nixon threshold of deceit, most recently by calling David Letterman at the last minute and telling him he couldn’t appear on his show September 24th because he had to urgently drop everything and fly to Washington to delve into the bailout crisis.

McCain’s prevarication to Letterman blew up in his face when the talk show host discovered McCain was still in New York City for many hours after that phone call; indeed, McCain was being interviewed by CBS’ Katie Couric not far from the theater where Letterman tapes his show and could easily have stopped in and kept his commitment to Letterman. As Dave said sarcastically, showing a live feed of McCain talking to Couric, “Need a ride to the airport, Senator?”

This is self-destructive blowback of the first order: Letterman reaches tens of millions of viewers across the land, many of them the politically semi-literate that McCain is trying to reach with his over-simplified messages of ‘maverick reformer,’ ‘reliable leader’ and comfortable ‘regular guy,’ and Letterman spent most of the show last night, including his notorious Top Ten list, savaging McCain for his absence, his suspension of his campaign, and asking the pointedly mocking question of why Palin couldn’t simply step in and take McCain’s place. He even had McCain’s harshest Big Media critic Keith Olbermann on to further pound the stake into the Republican candidate. Presidential campaigns in America are really won or lost in the comedy sketches of the late night TV hosts and viewers form their opinions of the candidates’ characters based on the kinds of jokes disseminated – by that measure, millions of late night TV viewers now know that McCain is a bald-faced liar; a treacherous old codpiece willing to deceive their trusted TV friend Dave. Hmmm, what else might he lie about as president? Not only was this a nuclear one-night hit, but McCain has now made a foe of David Letterman, an enmity that will carry on until the election – it could very well make the difference in November.

Something else that will make a difference, and also presents McCain as a perpetual dispenser of falsehoods and humbug, is his bizarre abandonment of his former friends in the Big Media and Punditrocracy. McCain’s campaign has lately made it a badge of honor to snub and treat with contempt the very same ‘Guys and Gals on the Bus’ who protectively guarded and excused McCain for his gaffes and deceptions in the past. Once heralded for his access to the media, now only pre-tested loyalists are invited to speak with the coddled candidate on his campaign jet, and the rest are shuttled off like cattle to stand behind a shield of sour-faced campaign staff. The turning of opinion amongst the press corps is growing obvious.


September 20, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Joan of Snark Jumps the Shark Edition

Serial-Liar Mom Palin Tanks Along with the Economy

“The trouble you brew today, you will drink tomorrow.”
– From “Samson and Delilah,” a 1949 film.

There was much early September hand-wringing and angst amongst Obama supporters that, after a strong finish at the Democratic convention in Denver, he was allowing the Palin-McCain ticket — for that’s what it truly is now as the aging Republican’s candidacy is overwhelmed by the media incandescence of Gov. Horse-Hockey Mom — put him on the defensive, dropping his inspirational charisma in favor of dull ‘wonky talk’ on the issues and curling into a timid Kerryesque ball, fighting off scurrilous and specious charges, while fecklessly laughing at or ignoring ludicrous accusations such as that he voted to teach Sex Ed to kindergarten tots. All of this is the standard GOP endgame of the past twenty-some years – wildly slander with Big Lies while the Dem refuses to ‘go negative’ – that results in another humiliating Dem defeat in November.(Bill Clinton, of course, being the notable exception.)

But that was last week. Now Palin is in free-fall, exposed as a pathologically prevaricating, power-abusing, crony-hiring GOP cipher, ignorant on foreign policy and most everything else, and pit bull-tenacious only at regurgitating her prepared Talking Points, kowtowing to the interests of large energy corporations, and using her office to conduct vendettas on those who contradict or are perceived as disloyal to her. In short, she’s Junior in a beehive, albeit more articulate and better at reciting her Bushian bumper-sticker slogans.

Meantime, Sarah’s more boring co-pilot McCain is himself treading sewer water, hauled up in buckets from the same sea of Republican red ink that swallowed do-nothing big business Republicans in 1932; he’s even taken to quoting Herbert Hoover’s peculiar dictum that the economy is fundamentally strong, while banks fail, wages fall, prices rise, and Americans are losing their jobs and homes. Well, what should one expect from a man who thinks shady corporate lobbyist Phil Gramm is the second coming of John Maynard Keynes?


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