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Thursday, May 25, 2006


the jefferson raid

it has taken a threat to their mundane grubbing, but congresspeople caught in the expanding executive investigations in the aftermath of the jack abramoff scandal are beginning finally to question some of the powers of the executive. louisiana democrat william jefferson's story continues to be well documented, though much of the vox populi appears far more concerned with the warlike prosecution of congressional impropriety than any nuanced arguments regarding constitutionalism.

as background, jefferson has been caught redhanded doing what many of the washington elite have taken to be their birthright by virtue of managing a global empire -- fleecing the provinces and the treasury. jefferson particularly was involved in exploitative technology and telecommunications deals in africa paid for by american government funds, which he directed as a member of the all-powerful house ways and means committee through something called the export-import bank of the united states. he has been revealed by a former aide and the businessman who paid him to secure government funds for his company, igate.

this follows on previous investigations which have ruined republican congressmen duke cunningham and bob ney, as well as the primary object of the abramoff scandal, tom delay. house democratic power brokers harry reid and tom daschle have also been implcated in the abramoff investigation.

that house speaker dennis hastert's name is now linked to the investigation explains his motivation in speaking out, but also implicates another rival power center of the highest level. if this were not so, as a member of the ruling imperial party this writer is sure hastert would not be keen to lift a finger to oppose even a wounded executive -- in fact, considering the wounded animal most dangerous, he would perhaps be even less inclined to do so. for him, it is an argument of political convenience. nonethelss, he is now under threat.

as this page said previously,

it seems to this page that anyone who imagines that the mire which has consumed abramoff and delay does not also threaten the bush white house and indeed the bush family is simply not evaluating the reality of washington politics. and with that, a warning: the conquest of the washington lobby is the centerpiece, the flower of effective presidential totalitarian politics at home -- and it will not be so easily relinquished. political machinery has been engaged in a long march to quietly revolutionize american political institutions, effectively consolidating them under an imperial president, for decades. scandals over protecting indian casino money will not be allowed to denude it of its momentum and power, this writer all but guarantees.

and indeed one can take the executive branch's involvement in corruption as much for granted as tomorrow's sunrise. but the direction and use of the probes have since taken on a very threatening air. more and more of the congressional power elite are being called to heel by investigations originating in the executive branch -- the justice department, the federal bureau of investigation. in a time when it is facing antagonism from the opposition and rebellion from its back bench, the administration has done a very good job of levering these probes against neither party but congress as an institution in an effort to further cow it from providing any resistance to imperial edict. that kind of leverage over a debilitated house may prove very important in controlling affairs both foreign and domestic from the white house.

this page certainly understands what is transpiring to be yet another attack by the executive branch onto a beaten legislative counterpart and congresspeople, however corrupt, are right to say it -- but congress quite frankly lost this war 70 years ago to franklin delano roosevelt, and haven't provided a serious check on imperial ambition since. congress has since become more a platform for rubber stamps, self-enrichment and a training ground for future presidents than anything like the ruling body of government. it is capable of being little more than a thorn in the side of the president. and lately, it's not been much but a kept harlot for the emperor to use at his pleasure.

the fact that such violation of the separation of powers goes on is neither news nor an early symptom of some problem developing on a distant horizon -- it's an afterthought in an age where the united states is a dictatorship in all but name.

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As soon as I was done reading the essay here I thought of you - perhaps our civilization will be undone not by the decline of societal interaction and awareness, but by Hank Rollins and Saul Williams!

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mr ard, i submit to you that we will be undone by both -- for both are of the same source. the flood of the amateur that has accompanied the death of the gatekeeper (of which blogging is certainly one of the most egregious symptoms) is in part consequent from the decline of social interactions and the constant reinforcement of norms and their restrictions. just a different form of lawlessness, in the end.

thanks for thinking of me, though -- a provocative read.

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I'm quite glad you enjoyed it, though I don't know that I agree with you that the freedom to share afforded by this printing press plugged into my wall necessarily contributes to your referenced lawlessness; perhaps it allows individuals to write their own social law who would not otherwise have the opportunity or audience to do so.

Certainly it would be harder without the passing of the media's gatekeeper for a pedophile to find a group of like-minded, um, people - but so would it have been more difficult for you and I to discuss it.

I wonder if the lawlessness you see us descending into isn't as much a loss of institutional memory as anything else?

In any case, if you need some empirical evidence that you're absolutely wrong about said decline, stop by the reason board sometime - joe and Gary/Hak/Phileleutherus Lipsiensis are being polite to each other. :)

Hope you and the rest of the gaiuses are in good health and cheer.

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