Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pardons and Christmas

Thursday, Christmas. Hope everyone had a good day and that those who celebrate today had friends and family around (actually, I hope everyone had friends and family around today whether they celebrated or not).

Okay, let's leap in with a section from CNN's "Questions linger after Bush withdraws pardon:"

According to a senior administration official, the White House learned new information about Toussie's case Tuesday night -- hours after the pardon was announced.
Specifically, the White House learned, according to the official, "additional information about the nature of fraud [Toussie] carried out." The White House also learned that Toussie's father had made numerous contributions to leading GOP politicians.
In 2008, Toussie's father donated almost $40,000 to Arizona Sen. John McCain, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith and Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor.
White House press secretary Dana Perino issued a statement Wednesday saying that "based on information that has subsequently come to light," Bush had told the
Justice Department's pardon attorney not to act on the pardon extended to Toussie.
Instead, Perino said, "The president believes that the pardon attorney should have an opportunity to review this case before a decision on clemency is made."

That's about Isaac Toussie and I'm going to go against the grain here with my opinion: Toussie should be pardoned. How come?

Because it was announced.

The way a pardon works, if a governor or president offers one, another governor or president can't overturn it. Once a pardon's done, it's done.

I think Bully Boy sets a bad precedent with his, "I'm pardoning you. . . . No, I changed my mind." Imagine it was a governor, for example. And imagine Bill Smith is on death row. Six hours before Bill's to be executed, the governor issues a pardon. Bill's able to breathe. His family is thrilled. And two hours later, the governor withdraws his pardon.

I'm sorry Bully Boy and company didn't do the work they should have. (Big surprise there, huh?) But once they announced the pardon, that was it. I don't care that the paperwork still had to be done. The announcement was made. That should have been the end of it.

It's Bully Boy's mistake. And once it was announced, oops, too damn bad. It's announced. It should have stood.

Meanwhile, if you celebrated today and didn't have such a hot Christmas, take comfort in the fact that this didn't happen:

In a bizarre Christmas Eve rampage in a Los Angeles suburb, a 45-year-old man in a Santa Claus outfit opened fire on a gathering of his in-laws and then methodically set their house ablaze, killing at least six people and injuring several others, the authorities said on Thursday.

That's from Anahad O'Connor's "Man in Santa suit kills at least 6 at holiday party."

Now I'm just going to make a few Christmas points.

My grandfather (mother's father) always complains about how commerical Christmas is and he's right. And he complains about how quickly the stores rush to declare Christmas upon us (often before Thanksgiving has taken place) and he's right there as well. However, another thing I noticed. The networks declare Christmas over the afternoon of the 25th. The parades and sports are over by then and it's time for them to put their usual garbage on. We were around the TV tonight and mainly stuffed and just planning to watch whatever. We thought maybe there would be a music special or a movie (even that awful It's a Wonderful Life) on. We found Howie Mandel. We found regular TV shows. We found nothing to do with Christmas. It, according to the networks, ended this afternoon.

So not only do they rush us towards it, when it actually arrives, they're quickly done with it.

(We ended up watching Love and Death with Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. On videotape.)