September 11, 2009

"It is quite apparent that [Andrew] Sullivan is being treated differently from others who have been charged with the same crime in similar circumstances."

Disturbing:
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore — but a federal judge isn’t happy about it....

[T]he U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for....

137 comments:

Shanna said...

This is why our drug laws are bullshit. Only the poor and unconnected actually suffer from them.

scinfinity said...

I must ask how this is not a scandal, but firing attorney's was one.

scinfinity said...

One must also wonder why the US Attorney is getting involved in such an insignificant situation. This is a small $125 fine situation. Why get involved and dismiss charges?

scinfinity said...

One must also wonder why the US Attorney is getting involved in such an insignificant situation. This is a small $125 fine situation. Why get involved and dismiss charges?

Dogwood said...

Why get involved and dismiss charges?

Rhetorical question, right?

On the other hand, it is good to know that the administration will not be politicizing the DOJ.

former law student said...

Let Sullivan take his chances same as everyone else. We don't need more potheads in the U.S. -- clearly it has fried his brain, because he smoked where it was a Federal offense.

Balfegor said...

One must also wonder why the US Attorney is getting involved in such an insignificant situation.

Not the US Attorney for the district himself/herself. Just an Assistant US Attorney. Sure, I think there's a bit of favouritism here, but there's going to be an AUSA involved in every one of these dinky federal drug prosecutions, so it's not like the fact of their being involved is unusual.

I'm also not that outraged about Sullivan getting special treatment, though. True, I don't understand why he can't just pay a $125 fine, but on the other hand, it was just a bit of marijuana.

BJM said...

"Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for...."

Well boo-fucking-hoo. I have as much sympathy for Sullivan as I had for Phelps.

That our drug laws are insane doesn't mitigate that one should govern oneself accordingly.

Why would Sullivan so foolishly risk his status? It's not as if he's an anonymous immigrant or without enemies.

Big Mike said...

Whoa! FLS, that's something I might have written. Are you sure you don't want to take it back?

Treacle said...

If the Atlantic Monthly had vetted him, Ann wouldn't have to.

Randy said...

I could be wrong but I think the venue was the U.S. District Court, and the US Attorney's office was involved, because the citation was issued on federal property, the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Only the poor and unconnected actually suffer from them.

Agree, Shanna. We have the finest justice system that money can buy.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

My take (site might be sorta NSFW for some of you):

http://blog.unzipped.net/2009/09/andrew-sullivan-gets-to-have-pot-and-you-dont.html

Sofa King said...

When the laws are not applied evenhandedly, it becomes more difficult to perceive that a law might be unjust in its formulation. In other words, if the drug laws are unjust as written, selective enforcement does not retroactively make them just - it merely transfers the injustice to the least powerful.

chickenlittle said...

Is there any evidence he inhaled?

Balfegor said...

Re: BJM:

Why would Sullivan so foolishly risk his status?

Isn't it obvious? Pot has addled his brain!

scinfinity said...

I think it was probably Trig Palin's fault he did it.

Being a Trig Birther is quite stressful.

Freeman Hunt said...

On the bright side, if he's doing that, maybe he;ll calm down.

Big Mike said...

@Sofa, Justice might be portrayed with a blindfold over her eyes, but her ears are uncovered so she can hear the clink of gold coins.

Maguro said...

As Teddy Kennedy (aka The Senate's Liberal Lion) so eloquently put it:

"Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?"

WV - restioni; A new kind of pasta shaped in the image of the late James Reston

Jason (the commenter) said...

It is nice to know that people like Sullivan aren't home grown, the administration has to import them.

Kevin said...

Well, now he's the Bought Dog of the Obama Administration in exchange for that little favor.

Wonder when Andrew will mention it on his blog...

Lem said...

It is nice to know that people like Sullivan aren't home grown, the administration has to import them.

Jason, thats an inside the park home run.

lol.

Scott M said...

@Randy

Only the poor and unconnected actually suffer from them.

Agree, Shanna. We have the finest justice system that money can buy.


I would like to see examples of justice systems on a national level anywhere, at any time in human history, in which the more affluent didn't have an easier time of it.

The goal is to understand that dynamic and mitigate it to the highest degree possible. You're never going to eradicate it, unfortunately.

Maguro said...

Deport Sullivan now. Do it for Teddy.

daubiere said...

"Why get involved and dismiss charges?"

um because he's been fellating obama since obama was a glimmer in george soro's eye. this is the way the rulers live.

Freeman Hunt said...

Well, now he's the Bought Dog of the Obama Administration in exchange for that little favor.

Does seem like it would make credibly covering politics a bit harder.

Also, a little foretaste of Statism for those unaware of how it works. Friend of leader = total freedom. Not a friend = well, it depends on what phase of Statism you're in and to what exact degree you and the leader aren't friendly.

Lem said...

I dont know anything about the story and as some of you well remember what Andrew did to Palin was disgraceful.

But.. is it possible he was using it as medication.. he does have HIV.

Is pot good for HIV patients?

Again I dont know if that is even true.. I'm just putting it out there.

Dogwood said...

The goal is to understand that dynamic and mitigate it to the highest degree possible. You're never going to eradicate it, unfortunately.

True, but could they at least try to be subtle about it? This is so blatant, especially when there were other defendants in the courtroom facing the same charges on the same day.

As Kevin said, Sullivan is now bought & paid for, any integrity he had left after the Trig Birther fiasco is gone. Granted, there wasn't much, if any, left, but still...

EDH said...

Althouse you beat me!

How did you find and link to this obscure Mass Lawyer's Weekly article 12 minutes before I could finish my comment attempting to "break" the story on the Serenity Garden thread.

I Blame Rove!

traditionalguy said...

I predict that Sully was only doing a story on Drug use among Married Republican Politicians and only had the MJ on him to use as a tool for getting proof. One can only hope that he was not caught cheating on his husband by this unfortunate revelation of his visiting the beach. I expect that someone of political importance to Democrats recieving special treatment from authorities in a criminal case in Massachusetts is the rule and not the exception

garage mahal said...

Just keep walking Ann. We need to look forward, not backwards. Even looking into the details of this alleged "lawbreaking" or "arrest" would literally tear the fabric of our democracy apart!

Shanna said...

I would like to see examples of justice systems on a national level anywhere, at any time in human history, in which the more affluent didn't have an easier time of it.

The stupider the law, the easier for the rich/connected to get out of it. Andy would have to have been a lot more important to get off a murder charge than one for pot (like maybe a Kennedy).
Every stupid law weakens our justice system even further, because nobody respects the laws and the only people who get in trouble for them are the poor and politically unconnected.

That said, 100 bucks is not a big deal and he should have paid his fine.

Aaron said...

I was going to make a joke about it explaining Sully's silly behavior for the last few years, but then i realized it would be unfair and downright defamotory.

To potheads.

EDH said...

It's nice to be inside the club!

[Judge] Collings... asked both the prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney, Robert Delahunt Jr. (cousin of U. S. Rep. William D. Delahunt), for more information about why paying the $125 would have “any additional adverse effect.”

When no attorney could fully answer the question beyond citing advice from immigration lawyers, Collings requested that Delahunt submit a brief on the issue. But before Delahunt could reply, Assistant U. S. Attorney James F. Lang jumped in and said that [Judge] Collings had no power to inquire why the U.S. Attorney had decided to have the charge dismissed.

Freeman Hunt said...

That said, 100 bucks is not a big deal and he should have paid his fine.

He could have busted out the tip jar again on his blog.

Sofa King said...

Is pot good for HIV patients?

Again I dont know if that is even true.. I'm just putting it out there.

It doesn't matter. IF the drug laws are unjust in such circumstances, then the correct remedy is to change the drug laws, not grant special, politically correct exemptions.

Speaking of which, I personally I bothered far less by this than I am by the ludicrously lenient treatment politicians and the politically well-connected always seem to conveniently receive from the IRS, who have absolutely no qualms about crushing a mere working man. Why wasn't Geithner hounded and slapped with huge penalties? Why isn't Dodd fighting tax lien after tax lien? Why isn't Rangel in JAIL?

Maguro said...

That said, 100 bucks is not a big deal and he should have paid his fine.

Yes, of course, the fine is of no consequence but the mark on his record would have affected his immigration status...that's why Andy called in the favor.

The funny thing is that the immigration people are still going to ask him whether he's ever been charged with a drug offense. The fact that the charges were dismissed just makes it easier for Andy to lie about to the immigration official who interviews him. Of course, it won't be so easy to lie about it any more...he needs to hope his interviewer doesn't read blogs.

Full text of Collings opinion here. The judge does imply that the only reason to press for a dismissal is to make it possible for Sully to fib in his citizenship interview.

Lem said...

Even looking into the details of this alleged "lawbreaking" or "arrest" would literally tear the fabric of our democracy apart!

Garage!

The funny thing is that IT HAS BEEN Andrew Sullivan asking for the heads of Bush peoples linked to waterboarding.

He would specially like to have Cheney's.

Jason (the commenter) said...

So it looks like Sullivan is an agent of the Obama administration and he gets favors for writing negative stories about Republicans.

I wonder who is handler would be and if money is ever involved.

Shanna said...

Why wasn't Geithner hounded and slapped with huge penalties? Why isn't Dodd fighting tax lien after tax lien? Why isn't Rangel in JAIL?

I do agree that these are larger examples of people getting away with bigger crap, but those people are far more connected than Sullivan.

I think the drug laws are so idiotic and that is actually part of the problem here. They are so dumb, that if someone is important (even mildly, inconsequentially so, like sullivan) or rich or whatever it just seems completely idiotic to enforce them as they should be enforced. If the sentence should be 5 years in prison and it’s some daddy’s little rich girl, it’s easy to let her off with a stern warning. But if it’s some poor, white trash or urban youth, well their entire life is ruined. The fact that the law itself is unjust intensifies the unequal application! (with the caveat that I think 100 bucks fine is the perfect sentence for doing pot, so I’m still really not sure why the need to intervene).

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'm sure Althouse has the perfect rebuke for any future attacks from Sullivan: "How much money did Obama pay you to say that?"

Florida said...

An astonishing obstruction of justice has taken place and the last time I checked, that's a felony.

An independent prosecutor needs to be brought in to investigate, and Andrew Sullivan's invitation to work in our country should be revoked.

Non-citiznes cannot be allowed to come to the United States and flout our drug laws.

John Lynch said...

Medicinal? Anyone made that argument yet?

Lem said...

While its easy to enjoy this shadenfreude in all its delicious permutations, lets remember most times it is one of OURS that gets snared.

Lest keep it down to a roar ;)

Lem said...

LOL

I could not have happened to a nicer guy ;)

Lem said...

Medicinal? Anyone made that argument yet?

I was only asking so we may be prepared.

I dont know if it is.. but he may very well claim it.

David said...

I'm with Lem. Not prosecuting was an act of compassion to avoid messing up his life for a small violation.

But I'm also with Shanna:

Shanna said...
"This is why our drug laws are bullshit. Only the poor and unconnected actually suffer from them.

AJ Lynch said...

Drug laws do need to be redone.

But like Ted Kennedy once asked & like Maguro just asked, I wonder if there are two systems of justice in America?....

....One system reserved for the well-connected and one system for all other schlubs?

Florida said...

The US attorney's office has committed an obstruction of justice and has also made false representations to a sitting judge to facilitate the obstruction.

This is far worse than anything that Andrew Sullivan has done. He is easy to deal with: deport him back to Britian.

What remains is that we have a corrupt Justice Department that is stepping in to prevent justice from being done in numerous cases involving those who are supportive of the President ... from ACORN to felony tax cheat Tim Geithner to the Black Panther case.

Time and again we are seeing political acts in the Justice Department that serve to obstruct justice.

This must be investigated by an independent prosecutor ... and Republicans should be calling for that now.

Our system of justice cannot be allowed to be tampered with just because one is on the "correct" side of the political spectrum.

Down that road leads to bloodshed.

garage mahal said...

So it looks like Sullivan is an agent of the Obama administration and he gets favors for writing negative stories about Republicans.

Yea I'm sure this is the most likeliest scenario. Obama and Sullivan have a secret pact - You write dirt about Republicans, and we'll pay you for that, AND, in the event you get busted, for say smoking a measly joint on the beach in Cape Cod, we'll risk it all and intervene with the prosecutor to get you off.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you want a welfare state, you have to have drug laws.

AJ Lynch said...

Sullivan's attorney is a cousin of the far-left lib congress critter, Martin Delahunt?

What a coinkeedink! I am sure he just found his name in the yellow pages.

Lem said...

OMG

the wv just now is 'pouncer'

lol

this is beautifull.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think you have to pick:

(1) Be free to do what you want and suffer the consequences of your choices yourself.

OR

(2) Be controlled and maintained by others.

Jason (the commenter) said...

garage mahal: Obama and Sullivan have a secret pact - You write dirt about Republicans, and we'll pay you for that, AND, in the event you get busted, for say smoking a measly joint on the beach in Cape Cod, we'll risk it all and intervene with the prosecutor to get you off.

This is exactly how political patronage systems work, it's usually not drawn out contract style, but people have deniable "understandings".

Lem said...

In fact, noted Collings, there were several other defendants appearing in court the same day who were charged with the same offense.

Wow.. Sullivan gave'm the slip!

Jason (the commenter) said...

My dream is for my conspiracy theories I'm posting as comments to be reported as facts.

Who do we know that would do something like that?

miller said...

Why are they picking on that poor guy?

Is this going to get him noticed by Teh One™ finally?

Fred4Pres said...

I think marajuana should be legal or decriminalized, but one person should not get a better deal than another for the same offense (and the excuse that happens all the time is not a legitimate excuse).

Somehow, I suspect Sullivan would have been rather critical if this happened to Sarah Palin or her family. He would have been screaming favortism from the rafters.

Lem said...

Who do we know that would do something like that?

that's right!

Wasn't it a Garage comment that got quoted by Sullivan in its whole cloth entirety?

lol.. this is to funny.

Fred4Pres said...

But what does Ann know, she is pro torture.

garage mahal said...

This is exactly how political patronage systems work, it's usually not drawn out contract style, but people have deniable "understandings".

I seriously doubt Obama would risk intervening on a personal pot possession charge in exchange for blog posts. C'mon man. That's tin foil territory.

Lem said...

Andrew was high that day

And now you know the reat of the story ;)

Revenant said...

I have a hard time getting outraged about this. Sullivan is evading prosecution under a drug law he and I both think is unjust. Works for me. It is unfair that other people get fined and Sullivan doesn't, certainly, but the obvious solution there is to stop fining the other people too.

And yeah, yeah, I know, "that's the law, blah blah blah"... well, it is also the law that the prosecutor can drop charges for whatever reason he likes. So all you drug law hawks can suck it up and deal.

chickenlittle said...

@miller:

I claim exclusive coffee shop rights in Amsterdam for the product: het One™

wv: brica (brac)

garage mahal said...

Wasn't it a Garage comment that got quoted by Sullivan in its whole cloth entirety?.

At least one blogadmin has exquisite taste and can spotlight talent when they see it.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

At least one blogadmin has exquisite taste and can spotlight talent when they see it.


Still exulting at getting your turds polished I see.

Sofa King said...

it is also the law that the prosecutor can drop charges for whatever reason he likes.

WRONG! Prosecutors must at least facially be promoting the interests of justice in their discretion. They do not have unlimited authority to dispense leniency for purely personal, political, or economic reasons.

Jason (the commenter) said...

garage mahal: I seriously doubt Obama would risk intervening on a personal pot possession charge in exchange for blog posts. C'mon man. That's tin foil territory.

He can have people do it for him, there really shouldn't be any risk at all.

And Obama is from Chicago, remember what the now former governor was up to?

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Oh this is so scandalous for Little Miss Sullivan isn't it? I'm sure she threw quite a hissy fit and then a lavish party afterwards. Lots of wrist flapping and foot stomping at the outrage of it all. I'll bet this fueled her drama tank to full too. So delicious. I wonder if her Little Black Jesus answered one of her prayers by saving her from her little plight? All those golden knee-pads sure came in handy afterall.

[Little Black Jesus] Is that the sound of a zipper I hear?

[Little Miss Sullivan] Oh no, Mein Savior, that's me calling in a favor. Oooo, look at that. I love calling in favors.

nomilk said...

"[A] blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before."--Andrew Sullivan, Why I Blog.

So when's he going to confess?

WV: crolit: (1) avian-powered illumination; (2) neolithic novels.

Balfegor said...

He can have people do it for him, there really shouldn't be any risk at all.

But still, why would he bother even to set things in motion. If there were special treatment given because Sullivan is a useful idiot for the administration, you still wouldn't expect the President -- or even a member of his White House staff -- to be involved. Why would they have to be? The US Attorneys are political appointments subject to confirmation. Broadly speaking, they're likely to agree with the policies and the prejudices of the Administration that nominates them, as one would hope they would. If Sullivan was granted uncommon mercy on political grounds, it's just as likely to have come out of the AUSA (or the US Attorney) as Obama himself. It's inappropriate in either case; why do we assume Obama is the one putting the pressure on?

Most likely, though, it's just that, as an upper-middle class professional, Sullivan is a more sympathetic character than most of the people who get hauled in on drug charges. At least in the eyes of the upper-middle class professionals staffing the DOJ,

Honestly, I expect it's class, not political connexions, that is in play here.

madawaskan said...

Balfegor-

You have to think about -

what's in it for the Obama Administration-then you get on the right track.

Big secret is Obama is no different than many Conservatives on the subject of gay marriage and the equality of rights that come from that.

What do you think Sully would do immediately if his application for citizenship would come under jeopardy?

Think that one through and you'll start coming to the conclusion that this is good for the Obama Administration...

Start with this question-

Who is Sully's sponsor?

Would he even need a sponsor if...A, B or C .

[Hint:Sully is married to a US citizen under Massachusetts state law some things don't apply at the federal level.]

peter hoh said...

I know better than to expect more from Sullivan, but it would have been nice to see him man up and pay the fine.

Personal responsibility and all that.

But it's not surprising that the rich and well-connected face a different kind of justice than most of us. It's not a partisan thing. For every Ted Kennedy there's a Bill Janklow.

Deb said...

"I personally I bothered far less by this than I am by the ludicrously lenient treatment politicians and the politically well-connected always seem to conveniently receive from the IRS, who have absolutely no qualms about crushing a mere working man. Why wasn't Geithner hounded and slapped with huge penalties? Why isn't Dodd fighting tax lien after tax lien? Why isn't Rangel in JAIL?"

I AGREE. Oh boy do I agree.

Treacle said...

I knew Andrew Sullivan could coax milky loads with his glutes, but I wonder if he can smoke pot with them too.

madawaskan said...

Unfortunately it's not "even steven" in the Liberal press-and that's how most Americans get their news.

Revenant said...

Prosecutors must at least facially be promoting the interests of justice in their discretion. They do not have unlimited authority to dispense leniency for purely personal, political, or economic reasons.

I said that the law allowed prosecutors to drop charges for whatever reason they like. You're talking about their supposed ethical obligations, which are a different matter. If you would care to cite the *law* the prosecutor broke here, you are welcome to do so.

mccullough said...

Sullivan's a wee-bit old to be getting caught with pot on the beach.

He's a shrill poseur, and an amateur.

paul a'barge said...

Goes to show you ... if you kiss Obama's ass enough in print and bash GWB and Palin enough, you can have your own set of laws.

Too bad. Maybe next time they'll run his sorry, worn-out ass back to England. Let him take his Beagles with him.

I'd pay to watch that.

madawaskan said...

peter

Name two Conservative magazines you can buy at your grocery store?

Liberals can pick up Newsweek, Time and Vanity Fairt-plus all the hidden liberal agenda in the women's fashion magazines.

Name one Conservative national newspaper you can pick up at your local Starbucks?

Liberals can easily find the NYT and Washington Post.

Name one Sunday morning talk show on the broadcast channels were they don't pit one or two Republicans against three or four Liberals with the supposed moderator who usually last worked for a Democrat.

Moyers.

Russert.

Stephanapoulos.

You have to love Rudy having to fend of Tom Brokaw, Thomas Friedman, Harold Ford with the hairdo -David Gregory "moderating".

Or a couple of weeks ago where George Stephanapoulos the ex-Clintonista had Liz Cheney trying to defend the Bush Administration against Sam Donaldson, EJ Dionne with only George Will for the occasional assist.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now I can stop wondering why Sullivan never seems to remember the fawning things he used to say about Bush.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

I would like to see examples of justice systems on a national level anywhere, at any time in human history, in which the more affluent didn't have an easier time of it.

Russia 1917
France 1789, 1848
China 1949
England 1648

ricpic said...

England 1648? Maybe. The rest? You've got to be kidding.

Chip Ahoy said...

Immigration official, looking over glasses, gravely:

"So, Andrew, have you ever been charged with a federal crime?"

Sullivan:

"Um. Nope."

Immigration official:

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Are you kidding me? I read all about you. You're all over those right wing nut blogs. Ha ha ha ha ha. You're such a kidder!"

*Stamps*

rcocean said...

Prediction: Sully will become a US Citizen, Run for Senator from Massachusetts and get elected. Any state that loved the "Swimmer" has to go for this guy. Besides, I hear Barney Frank gets lonely in DC.

Lets smoke some dope, go bareback riding and then attack Palin, Tally-Ho.

Methadras said...

lol

blake said...

I think, were I a Chicago politician, I would be extra-hard on my "friends", to prove a point.

wv: ingru

Randy said...

Peter: In fairness, Janklow went to jail, paid a fine and lost his seat in Congress.

Scott M: I agree.

Revenant: I don't know about you, but I'm impressed how few people posting comments here actually support the law as so many are objecting to its unequal application while noting its absurdity.

former law student said...

Name two Conservative magazines you can buy at your grocery store?

Liberals can pick up Newsweek, Time and Vanity Fairt

Till last November, Conservatives could have picked up U.S. News -- unfortunately not enough did.

-plus all the hidden liberal agenda in the women's fashion magazines.

Recreational Shopping -- the ultimate Liberal desire?

Name one Conservative national newspaper you can pick up at your local Starbucks?

Under our free enterprise system ("Free Men, Free Markets") Starbucks has an exclusive agreement with the New York Times. Perhaps your local indie coffee house stocks The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

former law student said...

Hey, I forgot Insight -- The magazine of the Washington Times. Rev. Moon took a bath on that one, I bet.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It's Like, I don't care about nothin man,
roll another blunt, Yea (ohh ohh ohh),

La da da da da da La, Da Daaa,
La da da da, La da da da, La da da daaa

I was gonna write a blog post, until I got high
I was gonna trash Palin the most, but then I got high
now I don't have any readers,
and I know why, yea heyy,
cause I got high
cause I got high
cause I got high

La da da da da da da da da


( I'm sure the rest of you can come up with better verses. )

John Lynch said...

^ that's just wrong

montana urban legend said...

Oh, the cronyism of the Obama administration! Makes you wonder why they can't have the integrity, impartiality and neutrality of the Bush administratio...

madawaskan said...

fls-

The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

Now you know why "business" is considered the enemy, but besides the point-The Financial Times is a British newspaper.

Geez-rcocean missed his calling as date planner and match maker to the DNC...so romantic!

montana urban legend said...

Afroman - lol

montana urban legend said...

Seriously though... HIV positivity, anonymous barebacking, smoking herb in Uncle Sam's backyard... the guy really does seem to like to tempt fate.

Rialby said...

Treacle beat me to it. I had a joke all lined up based on the word glutes. You bastard!!!

Simon Kenton said...

Revenant:

"If you would care to cite the *law* the prosecutor broke here, you are welcome to do so."

Nobody who thinks about it has ever gotten around the necessity for absolute prosecutorial discretion. A lot of the time it stinks in the application, but the only real check is via elections. All that admitted, to try to answer your question with conceivables, how about

-- on the law 'n' order side, official oppression.
-- on the obverse, how about misprision of a felony (here, of course it would have to be misprision of a misdemeanor).
-- in the real world, bribery.

The AUSA who schooled the magistrate on the limits of his authority will probably try to avoid this court for as long as he and the magistrate last.

Revenant said...

Oh, the cronyism of the Obama administration! Makes you wonder why they can't have the integrity, impartiality and neutrality of the Bush administratio...

The funny thing is, Montana *thinks* he's being sarcastic. :)

montana urban legend said...

The funny thing is, Montana *thinks* he's being sarcastic. :)

The funny thing is, Revenant thinks he's not being sarcastic!

Cedarford said...

Chip Ahoy said...
Immigration official, looking over glasses, gravely:

"So, Andrew, have you ever been charged with a federal crime?"


Just on general principle, I dislike that question. If said by a prospective employer or government official or some officious security twit interviewing you as a contractor to get site access, and badging..
"Have you ever been the driver in a car accident?" is another fishing expedition question they like to ask to assert their pitiful control and cast you as a supplicant to seek dispensation from them.

Anyone can be charged.Anyone can be arrested. That is different from asking if you were ever convicted or plead out, or currently have a case being adjudicated.
Or even more annoyingly being pressed by some officious twit to "give details" on some arrest over 20 years ago when you were 18 you said was nothing and charges dropped in hours and the cops were the ones saying "sorry".

My stock answer is "I have no criminal record".."I have not been sited in any accident" .."and if you want more info , please frame it in writing along with your reasons for asking in the course of employment --that can be referred to attorneys to vet for appropriateness" Or your request for them to note at the end of the interview that I have indeed answered the questions to their satisfaction..
(It is fun to see the look in their eyes when you say lawyer review and note that any intrusive questions you reject answering do not signal a failed interview.)

AJ Lynch said...

The incident happened almost two months ago. Will Sullivan blog about this and its meaning to the big picture?

I wonder if Chris Mathews will bring it up when Sullivan appears on Mathews' Sunday morning TV news circle jerk?

Lem said...

I hate Sullivan as much as anybody here and even more but...

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Matthew 25:35

lucid said...

It's the Democratic Party way, with a cast of thousands:

Andrew Sullivan: A law for thee, but not for me.

Timothy Geithner: A tax for thee, but not for me.

Charles Rangel: A crime for thee, but not for me.

Tom Daschle: Taxable income for thee, but not for me.

Lael Brainard: A deduction for me, but not for thee.

Obama: Rascist in thee, but not for me.

Black Panthers with weapons at polling places: Intimidation for thee, but joy for me.

Van Jones: A wacko if thee, a czar if me.

Etc., etc., etc.

Lem said...

I think my arrest may have somehow colored me ;)

yea go ahead and laugh.

its not so funny when you are getting handcuffed.

witch BTW... it was nothing like what asshole Sullivan was made to endure. if i read his shit correctly!

I went to smoking gun.com and they never heard of Sullivan.

I ask you - the critic we know that asshole Sullivan to be ..

Is that fare? Is that fare?

EDH said...

Who said anything about hate?

This is mere celebration of Karma.

Hare Krishna. Krishna, Krishna.

'Karma' is an Eastern religious concept in contradistinction to 'faith' espoused by Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which view all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions.

In Eastern beliefs, the karmic effects of all deeds are viewed as actively shaping past, present, and future experiences. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala.

Revenant said...

Andrew Sullivan: A law for thee, but not for me.

Sullivan is opposed to the war on drugs.

EDH said...

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Matthew 25:35


Is that another way of asking Andrew Don't Bogart Me?

Nichevo said...

Lem, what's your point?

I would ask how AS is ever going to look at himself in the mirror, but...LOL.

What this does is to raise the specter of (Obama is right out. AS would be under the bus with no recourse. Let's not dream too big), let us say...not pay-to-play...could it be...gay-to-play?


They walked across the bridge and looked at a tall thin high-shouldered house in the rue Git-le-Coeur in whose garret Stephen had lodged as a student. 'Dupuytren lived just below,' he observed. 'We used to share our corpses. Now, my dear, if you are not too tired, I should like to carry you to the faubourg Saint-Germain; I have a friend there, Adhe'mar de La Mothe, who has a vast great place with no one in it, and it occurs to me that you might like to live with him. He looks forward to it extremely, and he will invite you to accept one of the upper floors: his aunts will be able to recommend reliable maidservants.'

'Is Madame de La Mothe an amiable woman?'

'There is no Madame de La Mothe. That is the whole point, Villiers. Adhe'mar is not a marrying man at all. He did make an attempt long ago, but it did not answer, and the poor lady obtained a decree of nullity in Rome: labour lost, alas, since she was led to the guillotine within five minutes of its delivery - virgin martyrs are always depicted carrying a palm, you know. But he is a civilized creature; he lives for music and painting and he is fond of women, as friends, handsome women that know how to dress. I believe you will like him.'

'I am sure I shall, if you do,' said Diana in a doubtful voice.

'His acquaintance would certainly make your life more entertaining; he knows everyone with any sort of taste or style in Paris, and he is still quite rich. And quite apart from that, although he has no official position of any kind, and no political activity whatsoever, men of his tastes form as it were an occult society, almost a freemasonry; they know one another, and they can sometimes find a sympathetic ear where others might seek in vain; it was to this that he owed his life in ninety-four, when most of his family went to the scaffold - that is one of the reasons why his house is so empty. So in the unlikely event of any difficulty, any unpleasantness, his protection might be of value....


--Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate

The whole matter should be investigated. Not because of this (though it may make good squid-ink for an escape), but to get to the root of it. However this is supposed to be done, let it be done.

Alternatively, give me the bugger's phone number, I want it in my wallet next time I do something rash.

...Oh yes, the charges are foo-foo and a civilized society would never dream of telling its members how to dose themselves. Nonetheless, our Brit needs a lesson in the impartiality of American justice, or else how can he ever write an honest word again?

Or - go home, Andy, just go home. There are milky loads aplenty across the pond waiting for you.

Nichevo said...

Cedarford said...some interesting things. Did it work for you? That all sounds very interesting but one wonders how to handle it on a form as opposed to an interview. I wonder if there is any law as to what a private concern can ask (I'd've assumed there are no rules for the government, i.e. for a clearance, but you seem to feel even that is not so).

Lem said...

I used to be a Sullivan fan.. nobody can hate as much as a person who has at one time love that person and had read and followed their every wim.

I don't remember when i started hating Sullivan But I do remember the debate when Cheney was out of nowhere asked about his gay daughter.

I foolishly thought that Sullivan would see the folly of making political hay out of that was.

I emailed him and he was cold in his response. something asking to what is good for the goose .. you know the rest.

that's when i knew i could no longer trust him despite his earlier beautiful writings.

to this day i think even Obama has asked to leave the family out of it.

Lem said...

Sullivan thought that Cheney's family was fair game.

I want to see waht does he have to say for himself!

wv - chippea - thats when somebody believes is a chip - little bit - of mercy and then they dont get it.

Lem said...

The funny thing (if you will) is that the very thing that sold Sully to me was the very thing he ended up betraying.

How can you say that the personal sexual preferences of a daughter is fair game and at the same time pretend that you are a champion of privacy of sexual privacy.

By that time Andrew had changed. He was no longer the merciful loving Andrew from his books.

wv - halitepe - a person willing to flap his wings and gums in order to be liked just a little more, just a little more.. see Ari Huffington.

Lem said...

I saw Ariana Huffington debate along side Bill Buckley arguing waht in those days was political anathema - Wellfare Harms People.

Thats how I meet Arianna in Boston Mass. She was on the side of sanity.

former law student said...

She was on the side of sanity.

I've questioned her sanity since I found out that for eleven years Arianna was married to a rich gay man.

Lem said...

Something happens to some people when the lights shine on them.

I mean the Idea that Ari was a conservative only because her paying gay husband had an R in front of his political name... "go out there and get them so I can be in the closet baby" came as a bit of a shock!

Were else would Ari go? remember waht she was willing to do to be a "conservative".

Arianna is the biggest fake false fonniest lier that has ever crosses the American political scene.

Bar none!

Lem said...

Put it this way..

I have more respect for Sully than I do for Arianna.

yea yea yea (i know waht he did to Palin)

Still when it come to fakery nobody beats Arianna.

Nobody.

wv - custore - thats when you are so fake you need a custore.

Lem said...

You may think I'm harsh.

I've seen people do a political convinient shifh in order to survive before..

But why did Arianna do what she did remains a mistery to me and to a lot of people that were taken in by her.

I saw (not upclose but still) Arianna mount a protest "peoples convention".

I remember my brother calling me and asking me "is that b&8t for real or is that the same one that had somebody call ahead to make sure we had everything just the way she wanted at the most expensive fuking place Boston had when we had her come and speak?

I call her a fraud fake fraud only to be kind.

Lem said...

should i play some music?

wv - triateo

Revenant said...

I've questioned her sanity since I found out that for eleven years Arianna was married to a rich gay man.

She gets tons of money and doesn't even have to put out. Sounds sane to me.

Larry said...

If Andrew Sullivan was straight, he would not have to be worried about being kicked out of the country, since he's married.

Since he's gay, if he were prosecuted, and the marriage is not recognized, he could be kicked out of the country if prosecuted.

That's what is disturbing.

And does Ann give a rat's ass about that? Of course not. Just one more example of her latent homophobia.

Jason said...

No, Larry. If Sullivan had obeyed the law in this country, he wouldn't have to worry about getting kicked out.

Gay has zero to do with it.

But in the end, apparently it doesn't matter, because Obama Justice is willing to tilt the enforcement scales for Friends of Obama.

rhhardin said...

They have the option to prosecute later if Sullivan writes something they don't like.

H/T Belmont Club.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

-- on the law 'n' order side, official oppression.

I'm not aware of any jurisdiction where a prosecutor can be charged for the act of not prosecuting someone. When you decline to prosecute, nobody's being oppressed.

-- on the obverse, how about misprision of a felony (here, of course it would have to be misprision of a misdemeanor).

Misprision involves failure to report to authorities - in this case, all relevant authorities appear to have been aware of the crime.

-- in the real world, bribery.

Maybe. I think this is just an example of people trying to criminalize behavior they don't like. This whole thing smells pretty fishy, but barring good evidence of something actually illegal, the appropriate recourse is through the channels of democratic accountability. The Democrats bend the law to favor their cronies? Kick the Democrats out of office. If enough people are bothered enough, it'll happen. If not, well, that's the price of living in a majoritarian country.

I say this, mind you, not as an Obama or Sullivan apologist, but as a right-winger who thinks preserving the appropriate structure and functions of the federal criminal justice system are more important than scoring political points.

montana urban legend said...

"How can you say that the personal sexual preferences of a daughter is fair game and at the same time pretend that you are a champion of privacy of sexual privacy."

Ahhh... the old John Kerry "outed" the lesbian Mary Cheney faux-trage.

I took that stance too. Until it became evident to me that Old Dick and Lynne's discomfort with Mary Cheney's lesbianism has nothing to do with Mary Cheney's acceptance with being openly lesbian.

When will you sympath-authoritarians actually embrace individual human autonomy for once? For chrissakes! What is the point of restricting the power of the government if you can't treat (and see) people as individuals, with rights to be respected as individual rights?

Grow up. Parents do not have ownership over their 35-year old grown children.

Fred4Pres said...

Prosecutors in Baltimore are considering prosecuting O'Keefe for illegally taping a conversation in the ACORN matter. How's that for shocking.

Make him a martyr, that will make the issue go away.

Shanna said...

Ahhh... the old John Kerry "outed" the lesbian Mary Cheney faux-trage.

It wasn't that he "outed" her, it was that it was really weird to mention her like he did. He was trying to score some sort of political point using his daughter, which is not nice on the face of it, but really it was mostly the weirdness. It made it seem like both the democrats had a creepy focus on Cheney's daughter.

Just for fun looked up the edwards comment during the debate:

"I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy."

And then Kerry's random comment:

"John Kerry replied, "If you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."

montana urban legend said...

It wasn't that he "outed" her, it was that it was really weird to mention her like he did. He was trying to score some sort of political point using his daughter, which is not nice on the face of it, but really it was mostly the weirdness. It made it seem like both the democrats had a creepy focus on Cheney's daughter.

Maybe what's creepy isn't so much what you see as a focus by the candidates on Cheney's daughter. Maybe what's creepy is the inability of the Cheneys to publicly accept their daughter for who she is.

Sex, in and of itself, is not a weird thing. And if you, or the Cheneys, think Mary Cheney's lesbianism is a weird thing, than maybe it's you or they who have the problem. Otherwise, there should be no problem with simply mentioning that open fact.

It's like cons want to assume that everyone should have the exact same sexual interests/proclivities that they, themselves, have, or else they feel very uncomfortable. It's like they need to look to others to confirm, by way of stated example, one's own sexual orientation.

Why anyone should be so focused on looking at the similarities of whatever other people do, in order to confirm their own sexual identity - that, my friend is what more and more Americans are finding to be weird.

Now, from the interviews they've given, it's become more and more evident that the Cheneys do accept, to a certain degree, their daughter, and what rights are implied by the fact of her own, openly-declared sexual orientation. But what is obvious, is that they couldn't admit as much to their GOP constituents in 2004. So the problem isn't an undue focus on Mary Cheney's sexual orientation by the democrats in 2004. The problem is the GOP's need to publicly assume a certain, "normal" sexual orientation on the part of Dick Cheney's daughter at the time. Or at least that was the Cheney's perception. Their shame regarding their daughter's lesbianism is more wrong than the democrats' acceptance of Mary Cheney's lesbianism. The Cheneys' inability/unwillingness to allow the political process to address Mary Cheney's rights is more wrong than the Democrats' willingness to allow the political process to address Mary Cheney's rights.

Mary Cheney is, after all, an individual, an American citizen, with her own rights and interests - and not just a member of the secretive, dissembling Cheney family -- as Dick Cheney later revealed in subsequent interviews where he affirms precisely those rights.

And btw, did you ask Mary Cheney what she thought of all this? My understanding is that she wasn't anywhere near as uncomfortable with it as you seem to be. Neither, for what it's worth, was Bill Buckley. You're painting a GOP-favored political spin on Mary Cheney's rights and feelings. And it's a spin that even her parents - (or at least Dick) - eventually lost interest in promoting. And a spin that we have absolutely no evidence to believe that Mary Cheney herself ever had much interest in, at all. Period.

I understand the GOP likes to pretend they think that nuclear families are important. However, nuclear families are still not more important than autonomous individuals. Individuals can, after all, voice their wishes and feelings and how they wish to express and fight for their rights more easily than can families - who must typically arrive at a consensus among those individuals first.

I'm pretty sure that the rights referred to in the founding documents were individual rights.

Methadras said...

Larry said...

If Andrew Sullivan was straight, he would not have to be worried about being kicked out of the country, since he's married.


Does the word Bullshit mean anything to you.

Since he's gay, if he were prosecuted, and the marriage is not recognized, he could be kicked out of the country if prosecuted.

That's what is disturbing.


So then why isn't the US Attorney prosecuting? Some would say that his sympathies to Obama and the fact that he is a homosexual have something to do with it. Either way, he get a get out jail and a pass go card and here you are trying to make something out of nothing.

And does Ann give a rat's ass about that? Of course not. Just one more example of her latent homophobia.

I'm just going to laugh at the latent homophobia comment. Your ignorance in this regard is stupefying to say the least. Get educated moron, before your hands leave your pants to touch a keyboard.

Kev said...

Why wasn't Geithner hounded and slapped with huge penalties? Why isn't Dodd fighting tax lien after tax lien? Why isn't Rangel in JAIL?

You're being way too kind to Geithner; felony tax evasion should land someone in prison.

Balfegor said...

Maybe what's creepy is the inability of the Cheneys to publicly accept their daughter for who she is.

Really? He's not just been supportive of her -- including her partner in both public and private, official and unofficial, gatherings -- he's also pretty clearly in favour of gay marriage. Moreso than Bush, Kerry, or Obama, at least.

peter hoh said...

Sullivan finally mentions the issue, just enough to say that he lawyered up and the lawyer told him to shut up about it.

montana urban legend said...

He's not just been supportive of her -- including her partner in both public and private, official and unofficial, gatherings -- he's also pretty clearly in favour of gay marriage.

Yes. The impulse to compensate can be quite strong in parents who perceive that they've failed their children. This is obviously something Dick (and don't forget, Lynne) must have felt upon assessing their immediate reactions to Kerry's entirely innocent comment on the night in question.

scinfinity said...

Ahhh... the old John Kerry "outed" the lesbian Mary Cheney faux-trage.

Funny, I bet if a conservative mentioned that a progressive had a gay kid for no apparent reason, you might have a problem with it.

I took that stance too. Until it became evident to me that Old Dick and Lynne's discomfort with Mary Cheney's lesbianism has nothing to do with Mary Cheney's acceptance with being openly lesbian.

Hmm, seems they are actually quite comfortable with her being gay.


Maybe what's creepy isn't so much what you see as a focus by the candidates on Cheney's daughter. Maybe what's creepy is the inability of the Cheneys to publicly accept their daughter for who she is.


Maybe parents don't like the sex lives of their kids being mentioned in Presidential and VP debates where they aren't relevant to anything?

I mean, you didn't hear Cheney ask Edwards why he married a man and all, did you?

It's like cons want to assume that everyone should have the exact same sexual interests/proclivities that they, themselves, have, or else they feel very uncomfortable. It's like they need to look to others to confirm, by way of stated example, one's own sexual orientation.

Actually, I just would like your sexual desires to be kept behind your doors, personally.

But what is obvious, is that they couldn't admit as much to their GOP constituents in 2004. So the problem isn't an undue focus on Mary Cheney's sexual orientation by the democrats in 2004. The problem is the GOP's need to publicly assume a certain, "normal" sexual orientation on the part of Dick Cheney's daughter at the time.

So families are now fair game, eh? Man, I hope Obama's girls don't have any problem before 2012. I'd hate to see you applaud somebody mentioning their sex lives...

Yes. The impulse to compensate can be quite strong in parents who perceive that they've failed their children. This is obviously something Dick (and don't forget, Lynne) must have felt upon assessing their immediate reactions to Kerry's entirely innocent comment on the night in question.

Just checking --- is the sky blue in your version of reality?

Nichevo said...

I almost wrote this on another thread but this is where it belongs:

MUL, you make Cedarford look almost human.

Is, at best, affecting the 2010 or 2012 vote by 0.0000001% in what you may believe to be your favor, worth this spiritual self-immolation of yours? Of course, IIRC, you don't believe you have a soul, so scorn to preserve it - but do you really not see how this degrades you, or is that lost in your focus on the main chance?