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September 25, 2013 Appellate Court Acquits Tom Delay in Texas
A Texas appeal court has reversed the guilty verdict against Tom DeLay for money laundering entered a couple of years ago by an Austin, Texas, trial court. However, instead of sending it back to the lower court for a new trial, the appellate court entered a judgment acquitting DeLay of the commission of a crime. There is a significant difference between an acquittal and the usual remedy in such a situation which is simply sending the case back for a new trial. The appellate court’s action was a complete repudiation of the trial court, thus confirming that the prosecution of DeLay was an example of the politicization of the criminal process.
It will be recalled that DeLay, a very powerful Republican who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress, was targeted by a Democratic Houston prosecutor named Earle, for purely political reasons. Earle was well known for indicting his political enemies and that included some who were Democrats. When Earle was unable to get a Houston Grand Jury to indict DeLay, the case was taken to Austin, the hot bed of leftists in Texas, where a left wing Grand Jury entered the indictment against DeLay for money laundering. The alleged crime consisted of DeLay’s sending some of the money in his campaign war chest to Republican legislative candidates in Texas. Some of the money in Delay’s campaign account consisted of entirely legal contributions from corporations. The Texas statute relating to campaign contributions prohibits corporations from contributing to political campaigns but does not apply to federal candidates such as DeLay. The practice DeLay was following was widely recognized as being beyond the reach of the Texas statute relating to political contributions.
The Texas money laundering statute makes it illegal for persons such as drug dealers to run their ill-gotten gains though legal bank accounts to sanitize them. The theory of Earle and his fellow leftists in Austin was that DeLay’s corporate contributors had run their contributions through DeLay’s campaign account to put them beyond the reach of the Texas political contributions act. Their theory was total nonsense. There was no evidence that any part of the money in DeLay’s war chest was intended for Texas political candidates at the time it was contributed to DeLay. Once in DeLay’s war chest it was, of course, mixed with the rest of the money already there. The money sent to Texas by DeLay was not ill-gotten in any sense, and not, therefore, covered by the Texas campaign contributions statute. No illegally obtained money had been laundered
The Texas appellate court recognized the Earle tactic for what it was, a contrived effort to politicize the criminal process by using a law to cover a situation it was never intended to cover. Nothing could be more destructive of our bedrock principle of the rule of law than the prosecution of DeLay in those circumstances. In fact our bill of rights was included in the Constitution as a reaction to the same kind of tactics used in England in the notorious Star Chamber proceedings. There can be no justice, indeed there can be no democracy, when those in power can corruptly use the criminal process to send their political opponents to jail.
The DeLay conviction was covered in a previous posting on this website. The action of the Texas Democrats in this case is just one of many examples of the fact that leftists are guided by only one principle and that is power. When one attempts to make this argument it is usually met with the response known as ‘a pox on both of their houses,’ in which it is asserted that there is no difference between the political tactics of Republicans and Democrats. While extensive research may find an instance where Republicans have been guilty of conduct similar to that of the Democrats in this case, it has to be contrasted with the ‘business as usual’ approach of the Democrats in similar circumstances. Another case that differs but little from the DeLay case, and was going through the courts at about the same time, was that of Scooter Libby who was convicted by DC jury of a crime that was never even committed. Libby’s prison sentence was commuted by President Bush, but that does not erase the conviction in the same way that a pardon would.
July 30, 2014 #175 Elitist Statutory Construction Rules
In #166 posted on May 28, 2014 the subject dealt with was the multitude of lies coming out of the White House and the Democratic Party, and reached the conclusion that lying is endemic to the leftist/feminist mindset. A recent article in a Newsmax newsletter deals with an example which confirms the truth of that conclusion. The article was in regard to the recent DC Appeals Court case which held that federal subsidies are only available in states which have created an Obamacare exchange. Thirty-six states have not created such an exchange, and the federal government has created national exchanges in those 36 states. Only 14 states have such exchanges. The Appeals Court holding would therefore deny subsidies in the 36 states which have no such exchanges. The Court noted that the plain language of the Statute requires such a conclusion. Not only does Obamacare contain such a clear requirement, the Democrats used that requirement as a bludgeon in an attempt to force the states to set up such exchanges. One of the principle draftsmen of Obamacare, an economist named Johnathan Gruber, made several prepared speeches in which he wielded the bludgeon and spelled out explicitly the fact that states which did not set up such an exchange would be denying their residents the subsidies provided in Obamacare. The bludgeon didn’t work. Thirty-six States still refused to set up such an exchange. A state of near panic set in at the White House as a result of the obvious blow that had been dealt to the Act because of the failure of those 36 states to be bullied into creating the required exchange. The problem was supposedly solved when the IRS, which is charged with administering Obamacare, issued a regulation which provided that the subsidies could be granted by the federal exchanges set up in the 36 recalcitrant states. The IRS position was based upon a finding that Congress intended the subsidies to be available to everyone in the U.S. regardless of what the statute said. They described the language of the statute as being a mistake, and many Democrats described the mistake as a typographical error.
The Demos still had to deal with the fact that Gruber, and others in the administration, had made so many speeches in which they had treated the express language of the statute as being the law of the land, and had, as noted above, used that position to try to force the states to create the exchanges. True to their inborn nature as psychopathic liars, the Demos simply switched positions 180 degrees and now began claiming that their position had always been consistent with the IRS regulations. They not only switched positions, but Gruber now claimed that the Republicans who disagreed with their new position, were screwy, nutty, stupid and even criminal. He now describes his previous position as being the oral equivalent of a typo. He called it a speak-o. The Newsmax newsletter article quite correctly describes Gruber as a “shameless liar.” One of Gruber’s defenders flatly stated that there was nothing wrong with Gruber lying about the meaning of the statute because that was necessary to ‘win’ the battle of Obamacare.
There is another interesting statutory construction problem playing out at the same time as the one above, and it is almost entirely parallel to the one under consideration. The other one involves the construction of an immigration statute drafted by Senator Diane Feinstein. Feinstein’s statute exempts children from Central America from being immediately sent back to their home country when they illegally enter the U.S., as is true with respect to children from Mexico or Canada. The reason for the Feinstein statute was that children from Central America were becoming a commodity in the sex trade business. They were exempted and given the right to a due process hearing before being deported in order to make sure they were not involved in that illicit trade. When 50,000 Central American children appeared on our Southern border recently, the question of the applicability of the Feinstein statute came into question. Feinstein insisted that the intention of the statute was to disrupt the sex trade in Central American children, and that, since these recently arriving children were not involved in that trade, the statute was not applicable. The common thread in this case and the Obamacare exchange cases, is a statutory construction one, and the question in both cases is the extent to which the courts should determine the intent of the draftsmen and give a statute that effect, or, on the other hand, should they give a statute a literal construction. Now get this!! The draftsman of the Obamacare statute, Johnathan Gruber, made several speeches in which he maintained that the drafters of the statute intended it to have a literal interpretation. He later found that his interests lay in the other direction and changed his position 180 degrees to contend that to give it a literal interpretation, as the Republicans were contending, and as he had formerly contended, would be ‘nutty, stupid and criminal.’ I don’t know what Johnathan Gruber has said about the immigration statute, but, based on his political leanings, the odds are about 1000 to one he is saying that to give the immigration statute its intended effect, rather than its literal one, would be ‘nutty, stupid, and criminal.’ If that sounds like something from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, that’s because it is very close to something found there: “ When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less”
If this Obamacare incident was the only one of its kind, we might give it little consideration by writing it off as a gaffe by a scatterbrained economist. Lord knows, there are plenty of economists who answer to that description. It is not an isolated incident, however. It represents a consistent pattern of deceit and lies by everyone in the administration from top to bottom. Everyone remembers the most famous one in which Obama stated that everyone could keep their doctor and insurance company after the passage of Obamacare. Then there was the Benghazi affair in which just about everyone in the administration told the same lie in which they blamed the Embassy killings on an anti-Islam video posted on the internet when there was absolutely no evidence to support that claim. Both the ‘doctor and insurance company’ and the ‘anti-Islam video’ claims were intentionally made for the purpose of keeping the public from finding out the truth prior to Obama’s reelection in 2012, and the tactic worked. Subsequently we had the IRS tell us that the targeting of conservative groups was limited to rogue agents in Cincinnati, and Obama saying there was not a ‘smidgen of evidence’ to the contrary, while, at the same time refusing to turn over IRS documents which might indicate the contrary. The refusal to turn over the documents was based upon the supposedly ongoing investigation to determine if there was any wrongdoing by the IRS. Those last two sentences, when considered together with the IRS position that the Obamacare provision limiting subsidies to state exchanges was a mistake, while Gruber was saying it was not a mistake in an effort to bully states into creating exchanges, contain at least a half a dozen lies, inconsistencies and deceptive statements. There seems to be no limit to the willingness of the Democrats to lie and deceive in order to accomplish whatever their objective at the moment may be.
This phenomenon is all explained by the Democratic defender of Gruber who said that Gruber was justified in lying in order to win the battle of Obamacare. That is about as clear a restatement of the old communist mantra ‘the end justifies the means’ as you can get. It is ok to lie to accomplish your objectives. The hard leftist/feminist leadership of the Democratic Party has clearly made this their modus operandi, and that group seems to be calling the shots in this administration. There may be a lot of people in the Party who are good honest folks, but they must be brought to the realization that they are supporting a movement in which honesty is not a part of the group ethic. Power is the only consideration. I recently received an email attachment containing a YouTube link to an Obama speech in which he stated, in effect, that most people are not capable of governing themselves, and they must be controlled by those who are. Of course he is one of the elite who would control. Mao Tse Tung made the statement that honesty is not owed to the enemy. Together those two statements explain the willingness of the left to engage in the kind of tactics outlined above. It didn’t take long after Obama appeared on the national scene about 6 years ago for a cold chill to go through the more thoughtful segment of the population as they sensed the inevitability of the kind of behavior being described herein. That was when the Tea Party began to organize. It should be noted here that the emergence of the Tea Party puts the lie to the elitist position Obama revealed in the You Tube segment. The fact, that the Tea Party sensed the coming disaster, despite the lies told by the elitists to conceal their intentions, demonstrates the residual wisdom that exists in the common people. That common sense wisdom should be compared to the collapse of every economy that has been established by the arrogant elitists from Cuba to Russia.
No effort was made to determine the authenticity of the Obama statement contained in the You Tube video. It may have been taken entirely out of context. He may have been saying just the opposite of the portion shown in the video. Even if he was saying ‘this is what I don’t believe,’ the fact is that the statement is entirely consistent with all of his actions and more indicative of his real beliefs than the hypothetically opposite of the portion contained in the video.