The Sound of Silence and the Fury

Drawing the line between fact and opinion.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Is the Judicial Branch a Root of the Executive? or Hey! That Leaf of Lawyers is MINE!

Posted by Justin Johnson on Monday, August 27th, 2007

Disclaimers:
Let it be said…. I’m 16. I haven’t even began my first day of AP American Government yet. But I have seen every episode of The West Wing. So, while I might be wrong with my theorizing, you can blame Aaron Sorkin…

Or maybe it’s the fault of the No Child Left Behind Act which makes schools not care so much about Social Studies education. *shrug* Rant for another day.

Facts:
Lady Justice is typically portrayed blindfolded in this country.

In the United States of America we have the separation of powers and checks and balances and other political doctrines.

The Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the Executive Branch (i.e. The President) and confirmed by one half of the Legislative Branch (i.e. The Senate). The same goes for U.S. District Court judges and U.S. Attorneys.

The job of the President is to see to the execution of the laws of the United States. And to do that, within the Executive Branch, we have the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has oversight and command control over these U.S. Attorneys who are part of the Executive Branch.

Senator Hilary Clinton said the next attorney general should “care about the rule of law more than he cares about protecting the president.” – CNN.com, “Even some Republicans happy about Gonzales resignation”

Lady Justice is typically portrayed blindfolded in this country. (Yes, you have read this before.)

Opinions:
Why? Why don’t we have an attorney general who cares about the rule of law?

I’ll tell you why: The President is in direct control of the Judicial Branch.

And I’ll tell you something else: I see NO reason for it.

Why can’t the Judicial “Branch” (more like dying limb) choose their own lawyers? Yes, yes, stop screaming separation of powers in my ear. But really, the Executive Branch should not have the authority to choose this nation’s Federal lawyers AND judges. That’s how you end up with this political agenda mess we have now and exactly why Alberto Gonzales is resigning and on his merry way out.

Picture this: U.S. Attorneys who actually belong to the Judicial Branch. Non-politically oriented. Doesn’t that make sense? Why not give the Supreme Court of the United States some power and let THEM choose who sits in THEIR lower courts.

The Supreme Court has a weak link and no vested interest in politics once confirmed since they can’t be fired, so they are quite obviously the perfect choice. The American people being a somewhat distant choice, but the principle of collective stupidity comes to mind.

Ah, but what about the President’s responsibility to see that the laws are faithfully executed? Yes, well. It’s simple. While the attorneys would chosen by the judicial, they are still expected to act in the best interests of the United States and follow the Justice Department. It’s one of those honor things. Kind of like how the President can control the Legislative by veto and the Legislative can control the President by veto override. It would be a matter of cooperation and a gentleman’s agreement.

Final Words:
It’ll never happen. The Executive will forever control the Judicial. When you put it like that, doesn’t it even sound silly? Justice is totally blind… but in America, a one-eyed bandit shall lead her astray.

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Posted in Political Theory, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Tony Snow’s Financially Motivated Departure or “Despite my 6 figure salary, I’m still going broke.”

Posted by Justin Johnson on Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Facts:
According to this (The Hugh Hewitt Show, 15 August 2007), Tony Snow is planning to resign from the Bush Administration in the future, citing “financial reasons”.

Relevant transcript portion follows:

HH: Your intention to go the distance, Tony Snow?

TS: No, I’m not going to be…I’ve already made it clear I’m not going to be able to go the distance, but that’s primarily for financial reasons. I’ve told people when my money runs out, then I’ve got to go.

HH: How long will that be?

TS: I’m not going to tell you.

According to the statutory required disclosure of White House salaries listed here (National Journal, 30 July 2007), Tony Snow makes $168,000 a year as an “Assistant to the President and Press Secretary”. There are but two people in the White House who make more than him: The President and the Vice President of the United States.

Opinions:
Now, I’m not one for math… but… if you’re somebody as smart as Tony Snow — yes, he is smart, even if he is the Press Secretary for Shrub’s White House — how can you suffer financial difficulty? Especially when you make $168k. I know the dollar is weak, but… really now.

Yes, of course it’s probably a cover up for the real reason he’s leaving but I welcome the change from people who claim they want more time to spend with their families and turn around and get a job that merits a press release.

When will politics become honest? I mean… financial reasons? If you’re having money trouble, why do you quit your job? Unless to get another job. And if you had another job available, you would know when you had to leave and you wouldn’t wait until you were out of money. Right?

Final Words:
People with 6 figure salaries don’t have financial difficulty unless they invested in Enron or, perhaps now, SCO or maybe some mortgage company. Ya know… it’s all starting to make sense. Bad stock decisions will be the downfall of us all.

Posted in Bush Administration, Politics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »