The Things They Do

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“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.” – E. B. White

To underline the suspicion note in the EB White quote I gleaned articles from today’s news stories.  The ones who govern us on the basis of that 50% + 1 majority do some strange things.  And so do their spouses.

“Cindy McCain, whose husband has been a critic of the violence in Sudan, sold off more than $2 million in mutual funds whose holdings include companies that do business in the African nation.

The sale on Wednesday came after The Associated Press questioned the investments in light of calls by John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, for international financial sanctions against the Sudanese leadership. ”

“…woman accused of booking clients for a high-priced call girl ring pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering and promoting prostitution in the federal probe that brought down former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Temeka Rachelle Lewis, who worked as a booking agent for the Emperor’s Club VIP, is the first defendant to admit guilt in the case that led to Spitzer’s resignation.”

“WASHINGTON (AP) – Hold on, NFL. Spygate isn’t over. Not if the “incensed” Pittsburgh Steelers fan in Congress has anything to do with it. Sen. Arlen Specter on Wednesday called for an independent investigation of the New England Patriots’ taping of opposing coaches’ signals, possibly similar to the high-profile Mitchell Report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball. “What is necessary is an objective investigation,” Specter said at a news conference in the Capitol. “And this one has not been objective.”

The Pennsylvania Republican was unforgiving of his criticism of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, saying that Goodell has made “ridiculous” assertions that wouldn’t fly “in kindergarten.” The Senator said Goodell was caught in an “apparent conflict of interest” because the NFL doesn’t want the public to lose confidence in the league’s integrity.”

“Can Bob Barr become the next Ron Paul?

Mr. Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia who on Monday announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination, certainly hopes so. It is a prospect that could give Senator John McCain’s campaign fits, threatening to siphon critical Republican votes away from him in important battleground states.

The situation is purely speculative. But Mr. Barr is keeping close to the script that has had Mr. Paul, a Texas congressman, drawing votes long after Mr. McCain became the presumed Republican presidential nominee.

Mr. Barr is trying to tap into the fervent band of followers who were attracted to Mr. Paul online and donated generously to his campaign by hiring the same Internet firm that ran Mr. Paul’s Web site. And he is hoping to spread his message to those fans, by running online advertisements on their Web sites, proclaiming: “Advance liberty? Learn more about Bob Barr!””

“The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged.

The government’s forced use of antipsychotic drugs, in people who have no history of mental illness, includes dozens of cases in which the “pre-flight cocktail,” as a document calls it, had such a potent effect that federal guards needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane.

“Unsteady gait. Fell onto tarmac,” says a medical note on the deportation of a 38-year-old woman to Costa Rica in late spring 2005. Another detainee was “dragged down the aisle in handcuffs, semi-comatose,” according to an airline crew member’s written account. Repeatedly, documents describe immigration guards “taking down” a reluctant deportee to be tranquilized before heading to an airport.

In a Chicago holding cell early one evening in February 2006, five guards piled on top of a 49-year-old man who was angry he was going back to Ecuador, according to a nurse’s account in his deportation file. As they pinned him down so the nurse could punch a needle through his coveralls into his right buttock, one officer stood over him menacingly and taunted, “Nighty-night.”

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