House Chair Suggests Jail for On-Air Indecency

I keep waiting for the Gops to go that extra step over the line – to take that final irresistable plunge into wingnuttery that proves once and for all to “normal” Americans that these folks are truly crazy. Jailing radio station managers or the likes of Howard Stern or, say, Bo Dietl, for off-color remarks might just do it.

Violators of federal broadcast decency standards should face criminal prosecution, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said on Monday.

“People who are in flagrant disregard should face a criminal process rather than a regulatory process,” the Wisconsin Republican said at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual convention.

“That way you aim the cannon specifically at the people who are committing the offenses,” and not at everyone, he said. “The people who are trying to do the right thing end up being penalized the same way the people who are doing the wrong thing.”

Rock on! Go for it, Rep. Sensenbrenner. After all, we’ve got plenty of jails. Let’s fill them with celebrities. That ought to help your party. (Btw, this is the same Rep. Sensenbrenner who served as on the House committee that prosecuted the Clinton impeachment.)

Sen. Cornyn (R-Taliban) Says Lack of ‘Accountability’ Engenders Violence Against Judges

Gee, I thought the judiciary’s “lack of accountability” – ie. that judges are appointed not elected – was set forth in the Constitution. Why do corrupt conservatives like Sen. Cornyn hate our Constitution?

At 5PM today on the Senate floor, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) gave an astounding account of the recent spate of violence against judges, suggesting that the crimes could be attributed to the fact that judges are “unaccountable” to the public. Sources on the Hill went and pulled the transcript of what Cornyn said, and it read:

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: “I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that’s been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in – engage in violence.” [Senate Floor, 4/4/05]

We now have Republican Senators making excuses for terrorists. Explaining why terrorism is understandable. Why terrorists have legitimate concerns. Justifying why the victims of terrorism are really to blame for these heinous crimes. Wonder what Senator Cornyn thinks of rape victims?

This is utterly outrageous. Outrageous. The GOP is now embracing domestic terrorists who are trying to undermine our democracy. And they’re doing it so they can take down the judges who “killed” Terri Schiavo, and instead impose some Pat Robertson-like theocracy on our country. This is absolutely utterly beyond contempt. Tell Judge Lefkow in Chicago that her mother and husband are dead because she brought it on herself.

And the ultimate irony is that it is people like John Cornyn who now risk inciting violence against judges by giving aid and comfort to these homicidal maniacs. Cornyn should resign immediately.

He’s Quacking But They’re Not Listening

The first person to feel the political fall-out from the Terri Schiavo fight is the big guy, himself: Jeb. The Southwest Florida Herald-Tribune says the lame duck probably sacrificed this year’s legislative agenda to his ongoing efforts to assert his will in the right-to-die case.

Medicaid reform, limits on legal settlements paid by businesses, elimination of a tax break for wealthy investors and rules to control growth in Florida were four of Bush’s major agenda items when lawmakers began the two-month session in March.

But to varying degrees, lawmakers are poised to only tiptoe forward. And next year, lawmakers may not have the appetite for a major agenda as they hit the campaign trail in 2006, Bush’s last year in office.

Nah, there’s still plenty of time, Jeb sputtered as he dipped his beak just below the water.

Bush acknowledged the nearly monthlong debate over the Schiavo case slowed progress.

“This issue transcends politics,” he said, “so yes, it’s taken — deservedly so — it’s taken some attention away from other matters. Having said that, we have time to deal with the policy initiatives.”

I don’t know, Jeb. The hotly contested and very high stakes battle over slot machines in Broward and Dade counties, as well as the Senate President’s personal goal of passing lobbying reforms might crowd your “starve the poor, feed the rich” agenda. Speaking of which, please pass the orange marmalade.

Red State Farmers to Reap the Whirlwind

“They Sow the Wind, and Reap the Whirlwind” – Hosea 8:1-14

Last year, Bush, Cheney, DeLay & company used “cultural values” – ie., fear of gay marriage – to convince millions of folks in rural America to vote for them, even though it should have been obvious that voting for these tools of corporate excess was contrary to their own self-interests. Now thousands of these voters are waking up to realize they face financial ruin as a result.

[Owen] Olson [of North Dakota], who farms 1,400 acres near [Medina], is among the men and women who sow the seeds, harvest the crops and oppose this year’s attempt by President Bush and Congress to cut federal farm assistance. They speak of hardship and fairness while questioning the votes cast for a president who scored big in the Midwest, in part by promising to do well by farmers.

“If it wasn’t for the federal government here,” said Olson, 39, “nobody would be farming.”

No one is talking about eliminating federal subsidies, just reducing them. But in North Dakota, where more than three in four farmers receive payments — the highest percentage of any state — the proposals working their way through the hearing rooms on Capitol Hill are big news.

Bush proposed cuts of $5.7 billion from agricultural programs over the next 10 years as part of a deficit reduction package. The House Budget Committee set the figure at $5.3 billion, while its Senate counterpart said $2.8 billion should be trimmed…

“Across-the-board cuts always hurt the person at the bottom more than anybody else,” said [farmer Ellen] Linderman, who expects the cuts to come. “I think it’s going to happen. This president has put us so deeply in debt. We’re not his powerful friends, out here in the countryside.

There is one glimmer of good news for rural Red Staters who voted for Bush and the GOP: There won’t be gay marriages in their states anytime soon. That ought to provide a modicum of comfort while they file for bankruptcy.