Friday, February 22, 2008

Slacker Boobie

I apologize for the lack of posts this week. I've been slacking and distracted. But here's the Friday boobie for you.

Renzi Indicted

As Sweaterman noted, our dear corrupt congress critter, Rick Renzi, has finally been indicted. Time for a tattoo'd pig:

PHOENIX -- Northern Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi was indicted today on charges of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other matters in a scam involving an Arizona land swap.

The 26-page indictment says the scam allegedly helped Renzi collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.

The indictment accuses Renzi and a former business partner of extortion and conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government.

The indictment says that as part of the alleged scam, Renzi and James Sandlin concealed at least $733,000 that the congressman took for helping seal the land deals.

Renzi and another business partner, Andrew Beardall, are accused of embezzling more than $400,000 in insurance premiums to fund Renz's first congressional campaign.

Long overdue, probably obstructed by the Gonzalez justice department, Renzi's going to face charges. He's been a "congressman for sale" from the beginning, and we'll be glad to be rid of him. In a way it bothers me that it's taken so long to charge him, as his crimes were obvious and well known. Renzi is a classic example of Republican values, soliciting bribes to support his 12 children. I really hope he ends up doing time.

Breaking from CNN...

....and more to come, I'm sure:

Rick Renzi (R-AZ) indicted.

"Conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, extortion, insurance fraud, criminal forfeiture." (from CNN TV)

Py, it looks like you're going to have to go with a picture of the swine today instead of the boobies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Morning Surprise

I hadn't expected to wake up to this:

MEXICO CITY — Fidel Castro stepped down Tuesday morning as the president of Cuba after a long illness, ending one of the longest tenures as an all-powerful,
communist head of state in the world, according to Granma, the official publication of the Cuban Communist Party.

Now, just days before the national assembly is to meet to select a new head of state, Mr. Castro resigned permanently in a letter to the nation and signaled his willingness to let a younger generation assume power. He said his failing health made it impossible to return as president.

“I will not aspire to neither will I accept — I repeat I will not aspire to neither will I accept — the position of President of the Council of State and Commander in chief,” he wrote.

He added: “It would betray my conscience to occupy a responsibility that requires mobility and the total commitment that I am not in the physical condition to offer."

Fidel Castro has been in power almost as long as I've been alive, the symbolic demon of the "evil communist empire" only 90 miles away. Almost 50 years of confrontation and sanctions did little to change Castro, and instead only hurt the Cuban people. He did supply the right wing with a reliable "whipping boy"; the "bad guy" that inspired a lot of tough talk. While Castro certainly bears his share of responsibility, America's Cuba policy has been stubbornly wrongheaded for years.

With his brother taking power, don't expect any major change in relations soon. But there is hope for a normal relationship in the future. My main hope is that America doesn't try to to meddle or maniputlate Cuba. We've tried that in Haiti.
(p.s. Watch shrub try to take credit for this "foreign policy success" in a coming speech.)