Archive for July 2010

GOP candidates

Howard Kurtz:

Some of the most conservative and combative Republicans running for Congress are convinced that the media have it in for them.

But these candidates seem to regard it as an affront when reporters challenge them on their past statements and inconsistencies, which is a basic function of journalism. They are avoiding or limiting interviews with all but the friendliest faces as a way of circumventing the press. And some of them delight in skewering the mainstream media, a tactic that plays well with their base.

Aren’t the most liberal and combative Democrats doing the same thing?  When weren’t they limiting interviews with all but the friendliest of faces (meaning, anyone but Fox News)?

Headline: Hundreds of Texas food makers were unlicensed

More Graft

More waste that serves no purpose but to pay cops:

A majority of Dallas County commissioners said Tuesday that they favor eliminating constable traffic operations as part of massive budget cuts that are needed to close a $43 million shortfall.

The topic came up during a lengthy budget session — the first of many — during which numerous programs and positions were targeted for the ax. Everything is on the table, officials said, including a tax increase and employee pay cuts of up to 3 percent.

The constable traffic divisions don’t generate revenue for the county, and some have come under scrutiny in recent years because of controversies over towing and high-speed chases. Also, people have complained of speed traps, and some deputies have accused their bosses of instituting illegal ticket quotas.

You’ll never believe what is going on.  They are losing money writing tickets.  Why?  Because they can’t collect on them.  People just sit on the warrants.  Who is supposed to be serving the warrants?  The constables who are out writing more tickets.

Constable traffic operations have grown considerably in recent years, generating millions of dollars in ticket revenue for the county with the help of automated ticket-writing machines. But the county has struggled to collect the fines and is owed millions of dollars for citations.

Two constables have already said they will significantly scale down their traffic units to focus on their core mission of serving warrants and civil papers.

So why are they still out writing tickets?  Two reasons:  First, it is a “full employment” program for time-wasting constables.  The other?  Flat out theft and kickbacks:

The county’s investigation concluded earlier this year with a 91-page report that accused Cortes, among other things, of accepting bribes from a towing company that has an exclusive contract to impound vehicles stopped by his traffic deputies.

On top of that, there’s evidence that strongly suggests that the constables themselves are driving around these cars on dirty titles.

Every single person in the Dallas County Constables should be fired, all five Constables indicted and removed from office, and everything should be started from a clean slate.  The whole damned system is ruined.

Small Happiness for a Sunday

Earl Gray tea, a shot of Grand Marnier, sugar to taste.


Dallas police Lt. Scott Bratcher and Dallas County Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield asked lawmakers to allow law enforcement agencies to set up temporary roadblocks, called sobriety checkpoints, where police can look for drunken drivers.

“This is our No. 1 and only issue,” Mayfield said, referring to checkpoints.

In other words, the the only thing law enforcement wants is a system that lets them collect massive amounts of overtime for a ton of people to sit around in one place and delay and harass the general population, who did nothing more than decide to drive home.

Checkpoints are simply an end run around the 4th amendment.  They can’t legally pull someone over for no reason — so they want to legally be able to pull everyone over for no reason.  Why?  Because checkpoints take a huge number of officers, and a long time.  That’s a huge number of man hours, and almost all of those hours will be overtime.  That’s the point to checkpoints.  It’s riding the clock, and it’s costing you double — in the taxes wasted to pay for it, and in the lost time you pay sitting in a stupid checkpoint line.

US vs. Arizona

U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 10: Powers Prohibited of States:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article 1, Section 8: Powers of Congress:

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

There’s a whole slew of other powers granted in Section 8.  The power to lay and collect taxes.  The power to establish post roads.  The power to establish Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.  Organizing the militia.  These are all things allowed to both the Feds and the States. You know why?  Not prohibited to the states in Section 10.

The uniform rules of naturalization is not in jeopardy here.  Arizona isn’t trying to come up with its own rules on who is or isn’t a citizen.  It is simply prohibiting non-citizens who have failed to properly enter the country from traveling freely there.  (That is, by the way, directly in line with the Federal laws.)

And of course, there is Article 4, Section 4:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Emphasis mine.  There is certainly a constitutional problem here.  Arizona ain’t it.


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama promised a nation shuddering in economic crisis Tuesday night that he would lead it from a dire “day of reckoning” to a brighter future, summoning politicians and public alike to shoulder responsibility for hard choices and shared sacrifice.

Shared sacrifice seems reasonable.  We’ll start by putting Obama out of work on January 20, 2013.