Friday, March 6, 2009

Indefinite Detention Case Dismissed

Ah, change:

The Supreme Court on Friday wiped out a lower court ruling that gave the President the authority to detain indefinitely as terrorism suspects individuals living legally in the United States. The order also approved transfer of Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri from military custody to civilian custody for a trial on criminal charges in a regular federal court, presumably in Illinois. The order is available here.

The Court’s action ended the Qatari national’s appeal in Al-Marri v. Spagone (08-368) that the Court had agreed to hear. Thus, the hearing set for April 27 will not be held.

I mean, it's great that the guy will finally get his day in court, but the presidential authority to detain a man indefinitely is now unchallenged in SCOTUS--as the case has been rendered moot by the new administration's actions. On its face, it looks like a win for justice. But, essentially, it's a maneuver to skirt the issue, thus saving face for the Bush administration and refusing to challenge a purported power of the executive.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who Are You?

And what have you done with Evan Bayh?

This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.


The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet -- and Washington should too.

The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year's unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.

Seems a Blue Dog has found his teeth again. I like him much better now that he's not running for president or shilling for Hillary.

Ron Paul + Metallica

Regular readers of my blog know that I am not a big fan of Congressman Ron Paul, to be polite.* That said, and I can't say I agree with everything he implies in this, I think he's right on most of it and the video is simply great:

H/T Knud Berthelsen

*Why couldn't Paul have talked more like this on the campaign trail and so much less about the Gold standard???