Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Voted for It Before I Voted Against It, Book Three
Good morning from the bagel shop, where I am finally getting back to something approaching normal after a busy stretch. Our Republican leaders are acting normal, too, on the national level and here in Wisconsin.

Nationally, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted on a party-line 8-7 count yesterday not to investigate Bush's illegal wiretaps. The majority included self-described "moderates" Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel, who were shouting for an investigation when the scandal broke, but who have now voted against the very investigation they called for. Glenn Greenwald has an extensive breakdown of their breakdown. Repugs on the panel say they have rejected "confrontation in favor of accommodation" by signing on to a proposal that would create more Senate oversight of wiretaps instead of looking into the ones that have already occurred. But Greenwald notes that since the administration is already ignoring several laws on wiretaps, some dating back to 1947, it seems "facially moronic" for Congress to pass another one.

Gee, you think?

Here in Wisconsin, State Senator Alan Lasee of DePere has spent his entire legislative career associated with one issue--the death penalty. He was doubtless vibrating like a man hooked up to an electric chair yesterday as the Senate put an advisory referendum on the death penalty on the September primary ballot. It's only fair to let the people have their say, don't you see--but the question will be voted on at the same time the Repugs will choose their candidate for governor, which assures that most of the people who see the question will be conservatives. Thus we can expect this "advisory" referendum to pass by something like 84-16.

I'll vote for it myself, if the following conditions are attached: Executions to be performed by hanging, off the deck of the Capitol on Farmer's Market Saturdays, by state executioner Alan Lasee. If we're going to kill people as a matter of justice for its supposed deterrence value, we should have the guts to do it in public rather than under cover of darkness at Waupun. And if Lasee is going to spend his whole adult life agitating for the death penalty, he should have the courage to pull the lever himself.

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