Bob Franken


June 21, 2007
The Idle Mind (Bob Franken)
@ 10:30 am

Some random thoughts:

The uproar over passport backlogs misses the point: Not only are our leaders trying to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to get into this country, now they want to make it tougher for CITIZENS to get in.

If the importance of party affiliation continues to decline, would a Richardson-Tancredo ticket be tough to beat?

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June 20, 2007
The Bloomberg Party (Bob Franken)
@ 11:40 am

Back in the Cold War, commentator Nicholas Von Hoffman observed that the differences between Republicans and Democrats were no greater than between “minor factions in the Communist Party.”

It was arguable then and it’s probably more so today. But now we have a new ruling-class wrinkle.

Michael Bloomberg has announced that the Democrat who became a Republican is now becoming a nothing. Oh, excuse me — an independent.

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June 19, 2007
Dasvedanya, Space Station (Bob Franken)
@ 10:25 am

It’s nice to know we have something in common with the Russians. And what, you might ask, is that?

Well, I appreciate the question. What we have in common is technical people — geekskies. In both languages, their slogan is “If it ain’t broke, BREAK it.”

I speak, of course, of the Space Station, where things were going just fine until U.S. astronauts installed that solar panel “upgrade.” Then the Russian computers crashed. Of course they crashed.

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June 18, 2007
Ham Sandwiches (Bob Franken)
@ 6:54 am

If he feels like it, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. It’s a cliche, but it speaks to the power we give those who can and sometimes do sweep aside our so-called presumption of innocence. They can easily get life-ruining indictments from poorly informed grand juries, based on dismally low standards of proof.

Let’s be clear There is no comparison between Patrick Fitzgerald and Mike Nifong. Unlike Nifong, Fitzgerald has scrupulously followed the rules that delineate his power. But do the rules give him and all prosecutors too much power?

And do the pliant judges who rule in their favor care more about protecting a legal system than the rights of those who run afoul of it?

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June 15, 2007
Pardon or Warden (Bob Franken)
@ 10:47 am

The question has us all atwitter: Will the president keep Scooter Libby out of prison? But actually, here’s the tougher question: SHOULD Libby go to prison? I’m having great difficulty with this.

Let’s face it. This is a political conviction. The investigation into the leaks of Valerie Plame’s CIA identity was the result of a political uproar over the sleazy way her cover was blown as retribution. The administration had been embarrassed by her husband’s disclosure of the president’s Iraq weapons deceptions.

But should Libby go behind bars for lying and malicious conduct? If that’s the standard, we in Washington should be worried. Very worried.

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