Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 2nd, 2007

The Anonymous Liberal on the commutation

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Very good points:

One-Off Justice, Republican Style

So apparently President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby’s prison sentence, ensuring that he will spend no time in prison for the multiple felonies of which he has been convicted. Because this is not a full pardon, I presume the President believes that Libby did in fact commit these crimes. And because he is not pushing Congress to change the sentencing guidelines that apply to crimes like perjury and obstruction of justice, I presume he thinks that they are fair and reasonable (at least when applied to people not named Scooter).

So what we have here is a case of one-off justice, Republican style. Libby, apparently, doesn’t deserve to be treated the way the law demands that others be treated. He’s special. And what makes him special? Clearly nothing other than the fact that he is a well-connected Republican.

It’s hard for me to put into words how totally indefensible I find this move. While I can’t say I’m surprised, the reality of it is still a little shocking to me. It’s just so brazenly unprincipled. If I were Patrick Fitzgerald (or really any of the prosecutors who devoted time and energy to this case), I would quit in protest. To go through a two year investigation and a lengthy trial (all the while dealing with countless motions filed by a team of lawyers doing everything they can to stall the process), to finally win a resounding conviction, and then to have the sentence commuted for no apparent reason other than the fact that the convicted felon is a close friend of the Vice President (and likely lied to protect him), well, that must be pretty difficult to take for people like Fitzgerald who have devoted their entire careers to the criminal justice system. That’s how justice works in banana republics. It’s not supposed to be the way our system works.

I don’t know whether this will hurt or help the President politically, but I’m pretty confident it won’t generate the outrage it deserves. This is an act of extreme hubris, and it will serve to normalize behavior that just shouldn’t be acceptable in a democracy. Presidents should not be in the business of pardoning members of their own administration. It reeks of corruption and it undermines faith in the system.

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Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2007 at 6:06 pm

What a day!

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Just got back from Berkeley and San Francisco to discover that Bush has commuted Libby’s sentence, violating all sorts of guidelines and procedures that Bush carefully observed for others. I think he was probably afraid what would happen if Libby started co-operating. Bush and his cohorts truly do see themselves as above the law because they think that whatever they do is done for good ends, so they are free to lie, torture, reveal covert agents, etc. What a low point we have come to.

I just got from the library Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America, by Cullen Murphy. The parallels are uncomfortable.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2007 at 6:01 pm

The Guide

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I was interested to see that a Google search on “guide to gourmet shaving” finds all relevant items. Thanks again to The Brother-In-Law for the phrase. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2007 at 7:54 am

Posted in Books, Shaving

Honeybee Spa Week

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This week I’m going to use the shea-butter shaving soaps of Honeybee Spa—not an onerous task. And, since it’s Monday, I used a shaving stick: Coconut. Since Honeybee Sue (owner & operator of Honeybee Spa) doesn’t (yet) produce shave sticks, this is one I made by melting a puck of her Coconut soap and pouring it into a shaving stick container.

Rubbing the stick against the grain all over my wet beard deposited soap, and my face looked—well, about as good as it usually looks in the morning, except wet with little traces of soap. I took the G.B. Kent BK4 brush, held it briefly under the hot water tap, shook it, and started working the brush on my beard. For a moment—nothing. Then, like a miracle, lather started to form, and the more I worked the brush, the more lather I got: good, dense lather. I put the brush down, chock-full of lather for later passes, and picked up the NEW Gillette, since I figured The Son-In-Law would be using that same razor this morning.

It was—need I say it?—an exceptional shave. A totally smooth face emerged two passes later, with loads of lather added before each pass. And I finished with a very nice aftershave indeed: Royal Copenhagen. (It’s also rather dear—I have quite a small bottle.)

Now I’m ready for an outing to Berkeley and San Francisco to do a little Christmas shopping.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2007 at 7:35 am

Posted in Shaving

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