Thursday, June 05, 2003

Investing While Democrat

Nice little tidbit on the Martha Stewart indictment here. Turns out that she's a major Democratic campaign contributor.

Explains why the SEC is suddenly so hot and bothered to throw her in jail for such a small infraction ($45,000, if I remember correctly). With "biggies" like Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling (Enron) and Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom) still running around free, it's surprising that they want to spend the effort. Yeah, Martha's a jerk, but so are most billionaires. Comes with the territory. If being a jerk were a crime, we'd all be in big trouble at one time or another.

Looks like we have a new version of DWB ("Driving While Black"). The Supreme Court held recently that cops can make traffic stops based on race anytime they want, as long as the driver has committed a "real" traffic violation. Now, the SEC can go after Democrats at will, as long as they've committed a "real" crime. Problem is that the offences that the SEC is concerned with are things like "insider trading", which is sort of the stock market version of obscenity. ("I know it when I see it.") They didn't even get Martha on this; they went for "obstruction of justice" (ie, she really ticked off the investigators.)

So what do we call this? "Investing While Democrat"? Awkward.

How long before the charge is "donating money to a terrorist organization"?

(Via Charles Dodgson)

LATER -- Turns out that the "fraud" that she committed was simply declaring her innocence. This isn't "Orwellian" any more -- it's a witch hunt. "If she floats, she's a witch. If she sinks, she's innocent." (via Hesoid)

Somebody Gets It

At last.

New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt introduced a bill to require that new voting machines produce an auditable, recountable paper trail.

You'd think that this would be wildly noncontroversial. You'd be wrong. The folks making the "recount-proof" voting machines have very strong political connections. Republican connections. "Trust us" they say. "We have Procedures In Place to make sure that Nothing Can Go Wrong". What are they? "Sorry. Proprietary Information". Anybody who has had a six-month battle with a credit card company over a bogus charge (like I have) won't buy the "The computer can't be wrong" shuck-and-jive.

My thoughts on the subject are here. Important Websites are Sanford Professor David Dill's and Rebecca Mercuri's

(via Atrios)

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