Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Badtux, the Inquisitive Penguin wondered about presidential pardons and just how far reaching they are. Turns out that presidential pardons can be issued in advance of conviction, even in advance of charge. (Nixon, remember, was never indicted or charged, yet Ford issued the infamous pardon.) The issue was laid to rest by the Supreme Court in the days immediately following the Civil War, in a statute known as Ex Parte Garland:

9. The power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. The power is not subject to legislative control.

10. A pardon reaches the punishment prescribed for an offence and the guilt of the offender. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights. It gives him a new credit and capacity. There is only this limitation to its operation: it does not restore offices forfeited, or property of interests vested in others in consequence of the conviction and judgment.

So there ya go, Sweetie - the president can indeed pardon pre-conviction. Which is why we need to impeach, so he can't pardon.

(Tip o' the Tam O'Shanter to Shortstop for doing the legwork on this.)

If I was a cynic I would think that The Politico has an agenda...Tell me now - how else to explain that mash-note to Mad Jack? And by the way, is the Tom Davis they quote saying this about Republican prospects for November:
“It puts a whole new set of states in play for us,” Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said of McCain’s candidacy.

Davis, a former NRCC chairman with an almost unmatched command of political demography, said McCain’s chief strength is that his appeal among independents, the fastest-growing affiliation in many states, can compensate for the decline in self-identified Republicans.

“Where we have been losing ground is among independents, and in every survey I’ve seen, he’s very competitive with independents,” Davis said.
The same Tom Davis who said this?
"It's no mystery," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."
Stuart Rothenberg summed up the Republican prospects this way "The math is against them. The environment is against them. The money is against them. This is one of those cycles that if you're a Republican strategist, you just want to go into the bomb shelter."

It's harder to quash dissent these days, but China is sure as hell gonna try They have always censored the internet, but they stepped up their efforts over the weekend and YouTube went away after video of the protest in Tibet were uploaded to the service. This comment was left at Kevin Drum's place a few hours ago:
It is now 7:53 am, on Monday, March 17th, inside China. has ceased to exist on the internet - as well as YouTube (which bit the dust over the weekend). The New York Times is still available on the internet. Posted by: XinTianDi on March 16, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK
Mad Jack won't be strolling through Shorja this trip because it isn't safe - even with a hundred soldiers around him, a kevlar vest and helmet, three Blackhawks and two Apache gunships overhead.
Today, CNN reported that they tried to visit the Shorja market, but it was too unsafe and they were unable to go:

We got close to that marketplace today, Jim, but our own security advisers here in Iraq did not want us to go there. They didn’t believe it was safe for an American to be in that area. We were in a thriving marketplace nearby.

For the record, the Shorja market is in the control of Sadr's militias.


When a Republican says stuff like this, does he need a tinfoil hat, too? Ben Stein sees a sinister motive behind the undoing of Eliot Spitzer.
Stein is troubled by what he calls the actions of a few "nosy civil servants" using evidence gained from wiretaps to unravel the career of the outgoing New York Governor, and undo a majority vote by the people of New York.

"Something sinister is happening," he says, "and it scares me."


Missiles launched into Waziristan kill at least 20 A barrage of seven missiles rained down on the tribal area of Pakistan, launched from Afghanistan, destroyed the home of one militant and killing at least twenty persons. No one has claimed responsibility, but american forces have launched attacks into the area in the past.


Helping out one of our own...Blue Gal (the other one) who blogs around almost as much as yours truly is passing the hat - and could sure use a little help if you have it to spare. You guys were so great to me, remember I set aside a few bucks in a "Share the Love Fund" to help out fellow bloggers when their fundraisers roll around. I am pleased to say that she was one of the bloggers I shared the love with, and I hope you can toss something in her tipjar, too. She works damned hard at this blogging thing...

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