Posts belonging to Category Rob Wittman



The GOP continues to show its contempt for the Constitution and other thoughts on the criminal justice system.

The GOP in 2010 ran on a massive campaign about how the country need to return tp constitutional government. ObamaCare—according to the GOP—was unconstitutional, along with 99% of whatever else the federal government does. They demanded that bills introduced into Congress contain a provision that stated its constitutional authorization. And so on and so on ad nauseam.

What has happened since then? The GOP has done nothing to stop the military invention in Libya, yet another war for the United States, and this one started without any kind of Congressional authorization and in violation of applicable federal law (the “War Powers Act”).

And when they’re not doing that, you have folks like Virginia Representative Rob Wittman (R-1st) introducing a federal fisheries bill that cites Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as the bill’s authorization. I have looked and looked and I do not see a provision in Art. I, § 8 that grants Congress the power to pass a federal fisheries bill, but hey, what do I know?

But let us get to the point of this post, the recent execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., who was arrested and confessed to the rape and murder of a teenager girl. Despite being a foreign national, he was not informed of his rights to contact a consular as required by Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states:

(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph;

What does this have to do with the Constitution? The Vienna Convention was a treaty which was sign by the President and ratified by the United States Senate. And what does the United States Constitution say about treaties?

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. (Art. VI, cl. 2)

But instead of condemnation of the violation of a person’s due process rights and his resulting execution, what did I awake to find on Twitter and blogs yesterday morning? A chorus of comments that can be best summed as “So what if his due process rights were violated? He was guilty anyway.”

So what’s the point of trials then? How about we just get Nancy Grace to do briefs on court cases and then you can call in for guilty and not guilty? Fox can put the show in prime-time after American Idol. They can do a special two-hour program when it comes time to execute someone.

And while I support the death-penalty, this case provides a perfect example of its politicization. Rick Perry is definitely running for President at this point and does anyone remember what Bill Clinton did as Governor of Arkansas while running for President in 1992?

After falling behind in the New Hampshire primary in 1992, and after being caught lying about the affair with Gennifer Flowers to which he later confessed under oath, Clinton left the campaign trail and flew home to Arkansas to give the maximum publicity to his decision to sign a death warrant for Ricky Ray Rector. Rector was a black inmate on death row who had shot himself in the head after committing a double murder and, instead of dying as a result, had achieved the same effect as a lobotomy would have done. He never understood the charge against him or the sentence. After being served his last meal, he left the pecan pie on the side of the tray, as he told the guards who came to take him to the execution chamber, “for later.” Several police and prison-officer witnesses expressed extreme queasiness at this execution of a gravely impaired man, and the prison chaplain, Dennis Pigman, later resigned from the prison service. The whole dismal and cruel and pathetic story was told by Marshall Frady in a long essay in The New Yorker in 1993 and is also recounted in a chapter titled “Chameleon in Black and White” by your humble servant in his book No One Left To Lie To.

And since I brought up Nancy Grace a couple paragraphs ago, was I the only person that was about to have an aneurysm after seeing the reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict? People on Twitter were issuing fatwas against defense attorneys for crying out loud.

It’s amazing that in this day in age, after our founding fathers fought and died to ensure that their rights, amongst others, to a speedy and public trial by jury and a right to have counsel, and people openly have the gall to complain about someone having a defense attorney?

What the heck is wrong with this country?

Why I am sick of the right, and why I probably will not be voting this year

Why? Because I am sick of the right and all the noise and bluster coming out of the right this year. It is not that I agree at all with President Obama’s policies, but I am so sick of the now that I see no reason I should bother to support — or even give the illusion of support — by voting for a Republican.

Why am I sick of the right? Well, consider the following:

The three antis

The following three items have essentially come to make up 95% of the noise coming out of the right this year, with all the noise being demagogic and disgusting:

Anti-immigration

Illustrated perfectly by the recent law enacted by the state of Arizona and the lies propagated by its supporters:

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has stated their police have found many decapitated bodies in the Arizona desert, with the implication that it is a result of illegal immigrants.
Fact: Multiple medical examiners in Arizona have stated there have been no reports of immigration-related decapitated bodies.

Crime is at record levels on the U.S. side of the United States-Mexican border.
Fact: Crime in most places on the border is at a four-year low.

Citizens on the border don’t feel safe.
Fact: According to a recent poll, 87% of border residents said that they felt safe.

And then add in stuff like claims that  so-called “anchor babies” are part of some massive Islamic terrorist plot, politicians calling for illegal immigrant interment camps, and a proposal by a Florida GOP gubernatorial hopeful that any non-citizen carry papers or be thrown in jail.

It’s nice to see that the party that calls Obama a “communist”, a “socialist”, and a “Marxist”, is trying to turn the United States into the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

Anti-Muslim bigotry

While the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” has been in the news a lot, there is a much larger problem.

On the “Ground Zero mosque”, which is two blocks away from Ground Zero, Republicans have yet again shown themselves to be this country’s biggest enemy of private-property rights (something that I have known to be true locally for years). Republicans railed against the Kelo decision, but now you have a GOP gubernatorial candidate in New York promising to use eminent domain to seize the property that the proposed mosque is to be built on.

But anti-Muslim protests have expanded into Connecticut, Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin. And now we have the head of the American Family Association saying that no mosques should be allowed to be built anywhere in the country and the GOP Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee referring to Islam as a “cult”.

The Republican Party, including its leaders like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, want to shred the Constitution, along with its protections of freedom of religion and private property.

Anti-gay bigotry

If you have followed the response to the Prop. 8, you know what I’m talking about: Prop. 8 proponents talking about how gay marriage is going to destroy the country (people have seriously said that).

So, let me get this straight: This country has survived for over 200 years, through its revolutionary war, a civil war, two World Wars, a 40+ year Cold War, miscellaneous wars, conflicts, and interventions, and letting a couple thousand gay couples marry is going to the destroy the country? Uh, yeah, right. Anyone else not buying that?

In addition, you have the proponents of Prop. 8, and opponents of the federal court ruling, that are intentionally misrepresenting the case. They keep claiming that the court ruling will compel churches to do ceremonies for gay couples. And I, for one, do not believe that these people are so stupid they cannot understand the difference between a court ruling saying a state government cannot discriminate against someone versus the a ruling saying a church cannot. They are categorically misrepresenting the decision by Judge Walker in California to fearmonger and demagogue. Or, you can draw the conclusion that they think the church is the state and vice versa. Pick your poison.

And these are the same people that want to recriminalize sodomy, think that “Hitler used gay soldiers because they ‘basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after'”, and God only knows what else.

But these folks actually believe it. How scary is that? And Republicans constantly claim to be the party of limited government (ad nauseam), but they think they should have the power to throw gays — or any other group that has the slightest difference in their ‘moral’ outlook — in jail. You are either for limited government or not, you cannot call yourself an advocate for limited government on the fiscal side, and then propose using the government to persecute people who do not follow your exact opinion on ‘social’ issues, but have committed no crime.

The rhetoric

In part, this is an extension of some of the stuff mentioned before. You cannot go five minutes without someone calling Obama a “Marxist”, “socialist”, “Nazi”, etc. Throw in the rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims, and gays, and you have a trifecta of demagoguery that makes me want to vomit when I hear it. And why should I support people who engage in and use this rhetoric and act as though they are speaking for me?

The anti-intellectualism

How else do I describe people who believe anything that gets posted on the internet or forwarded to them an e-mail? These people believe that the federal court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law was unconstitutional because some idiot on the internet doesn’t know the difference between a court having original jurisdiction and exclusive jurisdiction.

And then there’s the tea-party websites that are believe anything e-mail to them and too lazy to do a Google Search to see if something is true or could be easily refuted with five minutes of looking.

The crazies

And then there’s the crazies out there that have become one with the Republican Party. This past Tuesday illustrated this perfectly: Nathan Deal, a Birther who has made comments about “ghetto grandmothers”, was nominated as the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Georgia. In Colorado, Dan Maes, who thinks that bicycling is a United Nations plot to take over local governments in the United States, was nominated as the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

And then there is Sharron Angle (Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada), who by all indications, may be a Christian Fundamentalist.

And you can throw in the other hard-right social-cons into this group too. And I’m talking about the people who literally believe that the United Nations is coming to take their kids, who will give them to gay couples that will molest them. And that’s not an exaggeration, there are people in the Republican Party that believe that.

Locally

And then we turn to the local candidate for me, Congressman Rob Wittman. I supported Wittman during the primary, in part because he was running against that nut Catherine Crabill.

But, now, I see no reason to bother to vote for him this November. Wittman talked constantly during the primary season about how he was all for cutting the size of government and reducing government inefficiency.

But, like every other “fiscal” conservative or Republican out there, while they talk about reducing the size of government, when it comes to cutting something that is inside their district, or may affect their district, all their talk goes out the window. I’m speaking of Wittman’s various and repeated comments about SecDef Robert Gates’s plans to disband the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

Supposedly, Wittman’s a huge fan of reducing the size, scope, and extraneous redundancy in government, right? But, like every other politician out there, he doesn’t have the fortitude to actually follow through and do it.

Catherine Crabill: Calls blogger “wicked”, refers to his parents as “Ahab and Jezebel”, and calls for demons to be cast out of them.

Special guest post by your favorite hate-blogger’s mother, Kay Watson:

On Election Day, my son, Timothy and I were doing volunteer work for Congressman Rob Wittman, handing out literature at the Port Royal Precinct in Caroline County. At about 4:25 PM, an SUV pulled up and I got up from my chair, picked up some pamphlets, and started walking over to the car to ask if the occupants wanted any information on Congressman Wittman. I saw it was Catherine Crabill getting out of the passenger side of the car so I turned around and went back behind my table in the tent. Ms. Crabill had already been rude to my husband and me last Friday at the Westmoreland Republican meeting (she called us character assassins) and I did not want a confrontation with her. Timothy was also behind the table talking to his brother on the phone. Mrs. Crabill walked about 50 or 60 feet to our table and started harassing me. She called Timothy wicked and my family wicked and then she said that Congressman Wittman was doing so well because of Timothy’s lies and my families’ lies about her. (Timothy and his brother, Garrett, have blogged about Ms. Crabill on their blogs and have never lied about her. They just wrote about and made fun of her ridiculous statements. And no one has said anything about her family, excluding her husband hiding in the woods waiting for the National Guard which was a direct quote from a magazine article. Before I commented last Saturday on Virginia Virtucon, I have never written anything about her and neither has my husband.) She also called me Jezebel twice (once Timothy got on the following tape). And she implied that I was stalking her by saying she should get a restraining order against me. I have been to four public meetings where she was in attendance. She just happened to come to my voting precinct after Timothy tweeted about being there. The tape starts after she has said that she should arrange to have the demons cast out of Timothy and then she said my family should have the demons cast out and I respond, “You should have the demons cast out of you!” I did not realize Timothy was taping the last part of the conversation but I am so glad he did. This is the real Catherine Crabill. I cannot diagnose anyone’s illness; but in my professional nursing opinion, I do recommend that she make an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Here’s the audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Note: In the original, which is available upon request, there’s a 70 second period of dead air and me speaking on my cell-phone before she comes up with a comeback as noted in the transcript below:

K. Watson: Someone should cast the demons out of you… You’re — uh — one thing, you are really a rude one.

C. Crabill: Me rude?

K. Watson: Yes, ma’am.

C. Crabill: I’d love – I’d love to examine your family, the way your son has explained mine, and put it out there for the whole world to see.

K. Watson:  I haven’t run for any office and made the statements that you’ve made, Ms. Crabill.

C. Crabill: Oh. I — I —

K. Watson: Think about it.

C. Crabill: I’m sure —

K. Watson: There are a lot — there are more things that could have been put out there and weren’t.

C. Crabill [sarcastically]: Oh, well, thank you so much, I feel so [inaudible].

C. Crabill: I have said nothing but the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

K. Watson: No, that’s what my husband told you the other —

T. Watson [on cell-phone]: Quiet down.

K. Watson: — day when you called us “character assassins”.

C. Crabill: You are character assassins.

K. Watson: No, It doesn’t have anything to do with character; I think it has to do with poor judgment.

C. Crabill [interjecting]: I — I have — I have never experienced, such a — you are the Ahab and Jezebel of my experience with your wicked son.

K. Watson: You might want to consider getting some help, you really might.

C. Crabill: Oh, I know that you would think that way. I would say the same for you. In fact, I might have to get a restraining order against you.

K. Watson: No, you can’t get a restraining order against us in a public building, in a public meeting, only if we come to your home, which we have no desire to do.

C. Crabill: Thank you for that, I’m so reassured.

[Unintelligible]

G. Watson [over cell-phone]: Call the Caroline Sheriff’s Department on ’em.

C. Crabill [low]: You might want to break out your little recorder, get this all on tape. You’re missing an opportunity here.

I miss no opportunity Cathy. Carpe diem. Continued from the transcript:

[70 seconds later]

C. Crabill [low]: It’s interesting that you know so much about restraining orders, I guess you’ve had some filed against you.

T. Watson: No, we know something about the law, it’s not very —you know— hard. Kinda like treason being defined in the Constitution.

The 70 seconds it took for Crabill to think of a comeback, as well as her coming up with nothing to my retort reminded me of this video, featuring George Costanza as Catherine Crabill (I would embed the video but embedding is disabled):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLjxp_86dKs

Cross-posted at On The Right and Virginia Virtucon.

Catherine Crabill refuses to oppose bank bailouts.

And she’s running for Congress why now? She accuses Representative Rob Wittman of not being conservative enough but he actually bothered to oppose TARP and voted against it twice.

When asked by the Prince William County Family Alliance if she would “[a]uthorize regulatory agencies to provide relief to banks in exchange for bank stock”, she checked the “Undecided” box and wrote the following as a comment: “Don’t know enough about this (the ramifications).”

Uh-huh, she doesn’t know enough about this. TARP was almost two years ago, and she still hasn’t bothered to learn anything about it?

Why exactly is she even running for Congress? She yells constantly that she’s the most conservative candidate running, but she doesn’t even bother to state clearly and succinctly that she opposes bailing out banks.

Again, why is she running? Other than the fact that she thinks that Obama is a Communist Muslim who was born in another country and the fact that she hates him. Or is it because she hates Wittman because he refused to endorse her candidacy after it was revealed that she thinks the United States government was responsible for the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City?

In all, it comes down to the the fact that she hates someone, and hatred doesn’t get people very far in politics usually (thankfully).

Cross-posted at On The Right.

Lies, damn lies, and even more damn lies from the Catherine Crabill camp.

I simply have to marvel at the stuff coming out of the Catherine Crabill campaign. At the 99th District Tea Party’s website (get your own link), they ask the question: “Is Rep. Rob Whitman [sic] Conservative Enough ?”

One of the inane points the author uses is that Wittman has refused to debate Crabill despite being offered “several opportunities”.

For the record, I’ve been told that an invitation was extended to Catherine Crabill by e-mail to participate in the 2010 Rappahannock Bloggers Forum. She never bothered to respond to the invitation. Wittman, on the other hand is in, as Democratic Party challenger Krystal Ball.

Then she requested time to speak before the Spotsylvania County Republican Committee meeting. While not a debate per se, the Chairman agreed to give her time to speak and to answer questions presented by the committee at their last meeting on Thursday (May 27th). The Chairman also extended an invitation to Representative Wittman to speak as well. While Wittman couldn’t attend because he was busy on The Hill, he did sent a representative in his stead.

What did Catherine Crabill do? She didn’t bother to show for the meeting last Thursday. This was after she contacted the Chairman and requested time.

Of course, this is not the first time that Catherine Crabill has blatantly lied about Wittman’s positions. First, she accused Wittman of supporting TARP (he voted against that twice). Then she “Oops”, and said that he actually supported Obama’s “Stimulus”. Turns out it was the stimulus proposed by George W. Bush, which was mostly tax cuts. Oops again. And now this.

And, as a final note, the lovely folks responsible for that blog can’t even spell the name of a sitting United States Congressman correctly. If you’re going to attack a Congressman on a blog — much less the Congressman that represents the district you’re in — you might want to learn how to spell his name. It’s Rob Wittman, not Whitman.

Christ, these folks are worse than The Free Lance–Star.

Cross-posted at On The Right and Virginia Virtucon.

Rob Wittman to hold telephone town hall meeting Wednesday night.

Washington, D.C. Tomorrow, Congressman Rob Wittman will host a live telephone-town hall to hear directly from constituents about their concerns as the first session of the 111th Congress comes to a close.

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Call in Number: 877-229-8493

Log in Pin: 13327

To be placed on the call list to receive future calls, please visit Congressman Wittman’s website: http://wittman.house.gov/

My agnosticism towards the tea party movement validated once again.

Does anyone consider this rhetoric attractive? (The Free Lance–Star):

Members of the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party and questions about health care greeted Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-Montross) at a gathering Tuesday night in his hometown.

“Where in the Constitution is government charged with protecting people’s health?” asked Catherine T. Crabill, a maverick Republican who, despite being shunned by Wittman and state GOP leaders, came close last month to winning the seat Wittman once held in the House of Delegates.

“My frustration is that we don’t want any government-run health care. The Constitution is the only thing that will save us from this death spiral that the country is in,” Crabill said.

“Some elected officials are committing treason by not upholding their sacred oaths. Do you intend to uphold your oath of office and fight to make sure that your elected colleagues uphold theirs?” she asked Wittman, who promised he would.

I’m still laughing about how the constitutional scholar, Catherine Crabill, is making comments about what’s in the United States Constitution when she’s apparently unfamiliar with the Article III, where the founders went to the trouble of specifically defining the crime of treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

And why did Madison et al. decide to be that specific regarding the crime of treason? Consult Federalist No. 43:

As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author.

But that nut Catherine Crabill wants to prosecute people for political disagreements (and probably execute them). This is the same thing that the crazies on the left wanted to do for George Bush et al. for the Iraq War and the USA PATRIOT Act.

And then we have this one:

“The federal government is gang-raping the people,” said Mark Carpenter of Acorn, a Westmoreland County community–not the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Do I need to expand how absurd, vulgar, and bordering on obscene that comment is? Does this idiot need someone to explain to him what the crime of rape is, much less the crime of gang-rape?

Best-of clip of the insanity at Rob Wittman’s town hall meeting in Warsaw, Virginia, on August 30th, 2009.

Ouch, just ouch.

These people really need to lay off the Glenn Beck and the internet. At the very least, they need to do a little research before they repeat everything they see on television or on the internet. Just because someone writes it on a blog or somewhere else doesn’t make it true.

Heck, just take a look at this blog for example.

UPDATED: What the heck is the First Congressional District Republican Committee smoking?

UPDATE: Chairman Tom Foley of the First Congressional District Republican Committee had this to say in an e-mail:

Dear Mr. Watson,

At its June meeting the committee authorized $1,500.00 to each of the three challengers running  either against an incumbent or for an open seat in the district.

The 3,000.00 you cite is not correct.  I looked up the SBE report, and upon inquiry have been told that campaign staff filed that report with SBE in person and were instructed to show the single contribution in two places. It is now being corrected.

Okay, but this raises an even bigger issue: If Catherine Crabill received only $1,500 from the committee and not $3,000, that means her campaign committee currently has a balanced of -$480.61, which isn’t possible either logically (since she discloses no debts) or under state law.

CORRECTION: The math actually works out correctly with the removal of the second $1,500 contribution from the committee.

The campaign finance disclosure reports covering July 1 through August 31 for most candidates were released today by the State Board of Elections and there were some surprises in Catherine Crabill’s report.

On July 13, 2009, the First Congressional District Committee contributed $1,500 to Crabill’s campaign. On August 24, 2009, ten days after Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli, and Pat Mullins publicly repudiated Crabill and her campaign, the First Congressional District Republican Committee contributed another $1,500 to her campaign.

There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start: First, the committee contributed money to a candidacy of someone that’s obviously insane and believes that the United States government was responsible for, inter alia, the murder of 168 people, including 19 children, in the Oklahoma City bombing. Do I need to stay more? Do the values expressed by Crabill match those held by members and chairman of the First District Committee?

Second, why is the committee contributing money to the candidacy of someone that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning? As a sidenote on point two, doesn’t incumbent Rob Wittman have two Democratic challengers running against him in 2010? Am I the only person that thinks they could find a better use for this money they’re blowing on Crabill’s campaign?

Third, why is the committee supporting this Crabill which serves to hurt the candidacy of McDonnell et al.? Are they blind to that fact or do they just not care?

All told, Crabill raised $4,538.95 during the reporting period and has $1,019.39 on-hand. Meanwhile, Delegate Albert Pollard raised $14,101 and has $16,301.36 on-hand.

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.

Video: Participants at Rob Wittman’s Fredericksburg town hall meeting refuse to “fall in line”.

Nicely handled by Rep. Wittman too:

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.