Friday, September 12, 2008

Let's Mock McCain's Disability

From the same campaign that gave us Senator Joe Biden urging a wheel-chair bound state legislator to stand up and take a bow, we have this ad mocking John McCain because he doesn't use e-mail.

What the ad doesn't tell us is the reason Senator McCain doesn't use the computer. The torture he suffered as a POW has disabled his arms such that he can not comfortably use a keyboard. So, if he doesn't have to, why should he?

Nice ad, fellas. Next time get someone older than fourteen to write your script.

Jonah Goldberg wonders what's next. It's a good thing New York governor David Patterson isn't a Republican or else we'd be getting ads about the outrage of having a blind man who doesn't know how to drive a car serving as governor. After all, Goldberg says, transportation issues are pretty important. How dare he serve as governor while being ignorant of what it's like to navigate New York's highways.


Large Hadron Collider

No doubt you've heard that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) went on line this week in Switzerland. Scientists are hoping that the giant particle accelerator will allow them to smash protons into each other at such high energies that they will gain deeper insight into the composition and origin of the universe. You may not understand exactly what it's all about, but Kate McAlpine is here to help you with the physics of the LHC with this smash tutorial:

Actually you may not understand any more after watching the video than you did before, but you probably enjoyed the experience of not really learning anything. There's some background on McAlpine and the video here.


Fear and Trembling at the DNC

Jason sends along an essay from the Politico which reveals a growing discontent in the Democratic party. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Polls showing John McCain tied or even ahead of Barack Obama are stirring angst and second-guessing among some of the Democratic Party's most experienced operatives, who worry that Obama squandered opportunities over the summer and may still be underestimating his challenges this fall.

A former top strategist for past Democratic presidential campaigns ... said that: "Obama is struggling with working-class whites just like John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis did, and Walter Mondale. He's struggling with voters in the border-state South. And he's struggling with an enormous wind at his back, a hatred for George Bush and a mainstream media that is little short of a chorus for his campaign."

If McCain wins in November the police may have to close every bridge in the country to prevent Democrats from jumping from them.


Stain on the Presidency

I have occasionally argued on Viewpoint that George Bush might well be regarded by history as an outstanding president. I still believe this, but I do not think Bush's presidency has been uniformly praiseworthy. His temporizing on illegal immigration, for example, has been a major disappointment, as has his fiscal profligacy.

There is, in addition, an ugly stain on both his presidency and his personal character represented by the case of border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Ramos and Compean encountered a Mexican drug smuggler named Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, trying to move over 700 pounds of narcotics into Texas. The agents tried to apprehend Aldrete-Davila who ran. When they ordered him to stop, he turned as if to fire a weapon. The officers shot, and one bullet hit the smuggler in the buttock. He managed to flee across the border, and the federal prosecutor, Johnny Sutton, went to Mexico and offered him immunity for his testimony against the agents. On this man's word, the border agents were convicted by a federal jury on charges that included assault with a dangerous weapon, lying about the incident and violating the alleged smuggler's Fourth Amendment right to be protected against illegal search and seizure.

Ramos and Compean were offered a plea bargain which would have put them in jail for six months, but they would have had to admit guilt and lose their jobs. They didn't believe they were guilty of anything serious so they declined the offer. The vindictive, narrow-minded, mean-spirited Sutton came down on them hard. He invoked a law that makes using a firearm during the commission of a crime punishable by a mandatory ten year sentence, so, since the two agents were convicted of violating the smuggler's fourth amendment rights and fired at him when they thought he was going to shoot, the two agents are now serving 10-12 years in solitary confinement.

While under immunity this thug tried several more times to bring drugs into the U.S., was caught, and given ten years in prison. He has a briefer sentence than do the two agents. Indeed, if Ramos and Compean serve their full term they'll do more time than some convicted murderers.

President Bush, who had no qualms about pardoning "Scooter" Libby who was convicted of committing perjury, has not been able to see his way clear to pardon these two men who were trying to do their job and prevent criminals from exploiting our porous border. Their reward is to be persecuted by a man, Johnny Sutton, who appears to be a cross between Michael Nifong and Inspector Javert.

John McCain is casting about for ways to distance himself from George Bush. In my opinion, he could do himself a lot of good, especially with Hispanic Americans, if he promised that if elected he would immediately pardon Ramos and Compean. Their sentence is one aspect of Bush and his presidency that everyone should distance themselves from.