Archive for the ‘Don Siegelman’ Category

Gay Witch Hunts, Natural Born Presidents and Talullah Bankhead

February 29, 2008

Maybe it is because today is leap day, but weird (and sleazy) things are in the news and on this blog. You try to keep up with things and you come across this statement: The other reason is that Ms. Simpson failed to find any evidence of a homosexual relationship between Mr. Siegelman and his long-time aide Nick Bailey.

That is the part of the story that “60 minutes” left out. But Glynn Wilson (reluctanty) writes about it at Locust Fork Journal although I first ran upon it at Legal Schnauzer.

Everytime I am reminded of Karl Rove’s use of the gay label to promote his political agendas, and that is often, I am reminded of just how hypocritical he is. I mean, he was profiled in The New Yorker with these words, “Rove spoke of his adoptive father in a tone of fierce admiration, love, and loyalty, for, as he put it, “how selfless his love had been.”

Louis Rove was gay. So Karl shows his admiration by using his father’s sexual identity to divide people. He uses his love for his “father” to promote hatred. Loyalty, according to Karl Rove, is promoting bigotry against your own father.

No one in politics is more slimy than Karl Rove. And it comes as no surprise that he was welcomed to Fox News as a contributor.

And then there is John McCain. No, not linked to this story, but in news that is weird.

McCain was not born in the United States, so some are wondering if he meets the qualifications for being president. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone on a military base, is this a “natural born citizen” as specified in the constitution?

I don’t think many people think McCain should be denied the presidency in this way (although most people think he should be denied the presidency through the casting of votes), but no doubt the supreme court will answer the question if he is in fact elected.

But did you know he is not the first candidate from Arizona to not be born in a state? Barry Goldwater was actually born in the territory of Arizona in 1909, three years before it become a state.

And here is an example of a congressperson rushing to pass a bill without thinking. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri has introduced a bill that would declare any child born abroad to citizens in the U. S. military would meet the requirement of “natural-born” citizen.

That is nice. But what about children born to members of the diplomatic corp. Or to professors living abroad and teaching children of American diplomats. Or how about teachers living abroad and teaching anyone. Or how about anyone who is a U. S. citizen who is travelling abroad and happens to have their baby on foreign soil.

Reminds me of an old I Love Lucy episode in which “natural born” means “born naturally.” I couldn’t find that clip, but just for fun, here is another one.

Lucille Ball and Talullah Bankhead on the small screen together. Wow. Bankhead, of course, was from Alabama and was openly bisexual and probably lesbian.

Well, Lucy and Talullah argued about who was the best “Talullah” but more recently I think Jim Bailey takes the title. Talullah is, after all, the original bitter queen.

Oh well…have a nice leap day.

>Gay Witch Hunts, Natural Born Presidents and Talullah Bankhead

February 29, 2008

>Maybe it is because today is leap day, but weird (and sleazy) things are in the news and on this blog. You try to keep up with things and you come across this statement: The other reason is that Ms. Simpson failed to find any evidence of a homosexual relationship between Mr. Siegelman and his long-time aide Nick Bailey.

That is the part of the story that “60 minutes” left out. But Glynn Wilson (reluctanty) writes about it at Locust Fork Journal although I first ran upon it at Legal Schnauzer.

Everytime I am reminded of Karl Rove’s use of the gay label to promote his political agendas, and that is often, I am reminded of just how hypocritical he is. I mean, he was profiled in The New Yorker with these words, “Rove spoke of his adoptive father in a tone of fierce admiration, love, and loyalty, for, as he put it, “how selfless his love had been.”

Louis Rove was gay. So Karl shows his admiration by using his father’s sexual identity to divide people. He uses his love for his “father” to promote hatred. Loyalty, according to Karl Rove, is promoting bigotry against your own father.

No one in politics is more slimy than Karl Rove. And it comes as no surprise that he was welcomed to Fox News as a contributor.

And then there is John McCain. No, not linked to this story, but in news that is weird.

McCain was not born in the United States, so some are wondering if he meets the qualifications for being president. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone on a military base, is this a “natural born citizen” as specified in the constitution?

I don’t think many people think McCain should be denied the presidency in this way (although most people think he should be denied the presidency through the casting of votes), but no doubt the supreme court will answer the question if he is in fact elected.

But did you know he is not the first candidate from Arizona to not be born in a state? Barry Goldwater was actually born in the territory of Arizona in 1909, three years before it become a state.

And here is an example of a congressperson rushing to pass a bill without thinking. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri has introduced a bill that would declare any child born abroad to citizens in the U. S. military would meet the requirement of “natural-born” citizen.

That is nice. But what about children born to members of the diplomatic corp. Or to professors living abroad and teaching children of American diplomats. Or how about teachers living abroad and teaching anyone. Or how about anyone who is a U. S. citizen who is travelling abroad and happens to have their baby on foreign soil.

Reminds me of an old I Love Lucy episode in which “natural born” means “born naturally.” I couldn’t find that clip, but just for fun, here is another one.

Lucille Ball and Talullah Bankhead on the small screen together. Wow. Bankhead, of course, was from Alabama and was openly bisexual and probably lesbian.

Well, Lucy and Talullah argued about who was the best “Talullah” but more recently I think Jim Bailey takes the title. Talullah is, after all, the original bitter queen.

Oh well…have a nice leap day.

Why Gary White was Prosecuted

February 13, 2008

To coerce him into supplying false evidence against Don Siegelman and to score points with Bettye Fine Collins.

This, according to Harpers Magazine.

And while there is an ongoing discussion here about the two (count ‘em, two) Bessemer newspapers, the reputation of The Birmingham News is called into question by this article.

“Both of them are having their credibility tested severely, and neither has much of a record to stand on.”

“Both” refers to The Birmingham News and Alice Martin, who is getting more coverage in this blog than anyone of late. Well not quite, but she should.

If you want to keep up with the goin’s on about the Alice Martin, Don Siegelman and other’s case read Legal Schnauzer every day. You can jump in anytime and just read a few days worth and be hooked. It’s better than Days of Our Lives (which you can watch once weekly or monthly or yearly and still be up to date).

Here is a quote in the Harpers article from Judy White’s (Gary’s wife) affidavit. The full affidavit can be linked from the article.

(federal agents) repeatedly and insistently told my husband that they ‘needed’ for [a particular] meeting [between Governor Siegelman and Richard Scrushy] to have occurred at the particular and specific date, and that they wanted him to testify that it did. My husband maintained that he could not do so, as he did not know when the meeting occurred. They even attempted to persuade him that the meeting ‘could have’ taken place on the date they stated, and reminded him that he had no calendar saying that it did not.

The article is pretty long, but juicy, in my opinion.

If you were an outsider and had no clue about Alabama politics, would you have ever guessed that the Siegelman case and the Gary White case were related? Or that the Birmingham News wa involved in more than just reporting? Or not reporting?

Scott Horton, the author of the Harper’s piece, offers this too, about the Siegelman case.

  • sworn evidence by a Republican campaign operative, corroborated by documents and other witnesses, that White House figures including Karl Rove manipulated the prosecution to support G.O.P. election campaign projects,
  • well-documented evidence of conflicts of interest by the two U.S. attorneys involved (Alice Martin and Leura Canary),
  • admission that the two most senior career prosecutors on the case recommended against a prosecution of Siegelman,
  • testimony before Congress that political appointees overrode their determinations in directing a prosecution,
  • confirmation that evidence of criminal wrongdoing by William Pryor and Jeff Sessions, far stronger than any of the charges against Siegelman, was swept under the carpet by a prosecutor assigned to handle the matter, who was the wife of William Pryor’s lawyer (Pryor and Sessions belonged to the “home team,” as Time’s Adam Zagorin was told).

At any rate, it looks like Alice Martin should be placed under oath again in the near future. If that happens, let’s see if she tells the truth this time. And let’s see if the Birmingham News reports it.

>Why Gary White was Prosecuted

February 13, 2008

>To coerce him into supplying false evidence against Don Siegelman and to score points with Bettye Fine Collins.

This, according to Harpers Magazine.

And while there is an ongoing discussion here about the two (count ‘em, two) Bessemer newspapers, the reputation of The Birmingham News is called into question by this article.

“Both of them are having their credibility tested severely, and neither has much of a record to stand on.”

“Both” refers to The Birmingham News and Alice Martin, who is getting more coverage in this blog than anyone of late. Well not quite, but she should.

If you want to keep up with the goin’s on about the Alice Martin, Don Siegelman and other’s case read Legal Schnauzer every day. You can jump in anytime and just read a few days worth and be hooked. It’s better than Days of Our Lives (which you can watch once weekly or monthly or yearly and still be up to date).

Here is a quote in the Harpers article from Judy White’s (Gary’s wife) affidavit. The full affidavit can be linked from the article.

(federal agents) repeatedly and insistently told my husband that they ‘needed’ for [a particular] meeting [between Governor Siegelman and Richard Scrushy] to have occurred at the particular and specific date, and that they wanted him to testify that it did. My husband maintained that he could not do so, as he did not know when the meeting occurred. They even attempted to persuade him that the meeting ‘could have’ taken place on the date they stated, and reminded him that he had no calendar saying that it did not.

The article is pretty long, but juicy, in my opinion.

If you were an outsider and had no clue about Alabama politics, would you have ever guessed that the Siegelman case and the Gary White case were related? Or that the Birmingham News wa involved in more than just reporting? Or not reporting?

Scott Horton, the author of the Harper’s piece, offers this too, about the Siegelman case.

  • sworn evidence by a Republican campaign operative, corroborated by documents and other witnesses, that White House figures including Karl Rove manipulated the prosecution to support G.O.P. election campaign projects,
  • well-documented evidence of conflicts of interest by the two U.S. attorneys involved (Alice Martin and Leura Canary),
  • admission that the two most senior career prosecutors on the case recommended against a prosecution of Siegelman,
  • testimony before Congress that political appointees overrode their determinations in directing a prosecution,
  • confirmation that evidence of criminal wrongdoing by William Pryor and Jeff Sessions, far stronger than any of the charges against Siegelman, was swept under the carpet by a prosecutor assigned to handle the matter, who was the wife of William Pryor’s lawyer (Pryor and Sessions belonged to the “home team,” as Time’s Adam Zagorin was told).

At any rate, it looks like Alice Martin should be placed under oath again in the near future. If that happens, let’s see if she tells the truth this time. And let’s see if the Birmingham News reports it.

Crime and Punishment

November 20, 2007

There sure is a lot of news about crime these days. Against the backdrop of actual crime, we learn that Birmingham is the nation’s sixth most dangerous city. If they ranked “most dangerous suburbs of the most dangerous cities” I wonder where Bessemer would fall?

As crazy (his word, not mine) as Larry Langford’s plans may be, at least he is talking about crime. Whether he and his new police chief can do anything about it is yet to be seen. But here in Bessemer, just a gunshot away from the magic city, we hear nothing from the mayor about crime. That’s not to say nothing is happening…see the story a few days ago about Operation Blue Thunder. But the mayor should be the voice of the city. Wouldn’t this be nice: once weekly the mayor sits down with reporters from the three “papers” for a little Q & A.

Then there is the FBI report that hate crimes are up. Even though we have no Alabama or federal hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation, the FBI still includes bias in this category in its statistics. Crimes against lesbians and gays were the third most commonly reported, at 15.5%, following racial motivation at 62% and religion at 19%. And just so no one feels left out, of the crimes based on sexual orientation, 2 % were against heterosexuals.

Raw numbers reveal 7,722 crimes based on racial, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin and physical or mental disability bias in 2006. That is up from 7,163 in 2005.

In the Hartselle Enquirer a column titled The Alabama Scene had an interesting piece last week by Bob Martin, the editor of The Montogmery Independent. Here is a link to the column but I will just quote some highlights.

In an apparent rush to throw Siegelman in shackles and denying the former governor to even say goodbye to his family following his sentencing, the judge, Mark E. Fuller, a district judge in the Middle District of Alabama, failed to rule on the motion for release, gaveling down Siegelman’s lawyer when she pressed him for a ruling.

Nothing new there. We saw it happen…republican judge chomping at the bit.

In an interview with the Associated Press following the trial, Robert Sigler, a retired criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama Law School, said that it is “extraordinarily unusual for people like (Siegelman and Scrushy) not to be allowed to remain free and given a reporting date or an appeals bond.” Sigler said it appears that the two were rushed off to prison to ensure that they would receive some punishment, even if their convictions were overturned on appeal. Otherwise, he said, “they might have never gone to prison.”

So…Judge Fuller thinking here…even if Siegelman is really innocent, let’s be sure he spends some time in prison to embarrass his party and his family. We want people to think that if you are a democrat you can end up like this.

Then Martin raises questions about Fuller’s business interests…that Fuller holds controlling interest over Doss Aviation, which received $200 million in Defense Department contracts while Fuller was presiding over the Siegelman/Scrushy case. The company also has contrcts with the Department of Justice, the prosecutors in the case. Can you say “conflict of interest?”

According to Martin, Fuller also never revealed that he had been a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, which participated in campaigns against Siegelman.

“Equal justice under the law?” Not hardly.

>Crime and Punishment

November 20, 2007

>There sure is a lot of news about crime these days. Against the backdrop of actual crime, we learn that Birmingham is the nation’s sixth most dangerous city. If they ranked “most dangerous suburbs of the most dangerous cities” I wonder where Bessemer would fall?

As crazy (his word, not mine) as Larry Langford’s plans may be, at least he is talking about crime. Whether he and his new police chief can do anything about it is yet to be seen. But here in Bessemer, just a gunshot away from the magic city, we hear nothing from the mayor about crime. That’s not to say nothing is happening…see the story a few days ago about Operation Blue Thunder. But the mayor should be the voice of the city. Wouldn’t this be nice: once weekly the mayor sits down with reporters from the three “papers” for a little Q & A.

Then there is the FBI report that hate crimes are up. Even though we have no Alabama or federal hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation, the FBI still includes bias in this category in its statistics. Crimes against lesbians and gays were the third most commonly reported, at 15.5%, following racial motivation at 62% and religion at 19%. And just so no one feels left out, of the crimes based on sexual orientation, 2 % were against heterosexuals.

Raw numbers reveal 7,722 crimes based on racial, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin and physical or mental disability bias in 2006. That is up from 7,163 in 2005.

In the Hartselle Enquirer a column titled The Alabama Scene had an interesting piece last week by Bob Martin, the editor of The Montogmery Independent. Here is a link to the column but I will just quote some highlights.

In an apparent rush to throw Siegelman in shackles and denying the former governor to even say goodbye to his family following his sentencing, the judge, Mark E. Fuller, a district judge in the Middle District of Alabama, failed to rule on the motion for release, gaveling down Siegelman’s lawyer when she pressed him for a ruling.

Nothing new there. We saw it happen…republican judge chomping at the bit.

In an interview with the Associated Press following the trial, Robert Sigler, a retired criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama Law School, said that it is “extraordinarily unusual for people like (Siegelman and Scrushy) not to be allowed to remain free and given a reporting date or an appeals bond.” Sigler said it appears that the two were rushed off to prison to ensure that they would receive some punishment, even if their convictions were overturned on appeal. Otherwise, he said, “they might have never gone to prison.”

So…Judge Fuller thinking here…even if Siegelman is really innocent, let’s be sure he spends some time in prison to embarrass his party and his family. We want people to think that if you are a democrat you can end up like this.

Then Martin raises questions about Fuller’s business interests…that Fuller holds controlling interest over Doss Aviation, which received $200 million in Defense Department contracts while Fuller was presiding over the Siegelman/Scrushy case. The company also has contrcts with the Department of Justice, the prosecutors in the case. Can you say “conflict of interest?”

According to Martin, Fuller also never revealed that he had been a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, which participated in campaigns against Siegelman.

“Equal justice under the law?” Not hardly.