Friday's various links and comments
Whether you agree with the death penalty or not you have to agree that properly used the death penalty would spare us from reading stories like this:
When Michelle Kosilek was convicted of murder in 1993, she wasn't known as Michelle. She was Robert and was sentenced as Robert to life without the possibility of parole for strangling his wife. While in prison, Kosilek, a self-identified transgendered woman, legally changed her name. Later, Kosilek also had her gender condition recognized by the court.A murderer sentenced to life in prison should never be heard from again. How much have the idiots in Massachusetts already spent trying to make this killer comfortable?
Now, Kosilek, 57, an inmate at a maximum security all-male prison in Norfolk, Mass., would like the Massachusetts Department of Corrections to pay for her sex-reassignment surgery.
As former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey kicks off his book tour with an appearance on Oprah, Andrea Peyser in the New York Post reminds us that McGreevey is using his personal failings to cover for his criminally corrupt behavior as a public official.
He badly wants this scandalette to be about sex. He wants to be seen as a savior to gay men and women, a closeted official who finally found his true self in the arms of another man - or men - when he announced to the world two years ago, "I'm a gay American!"
I wouldn't buy it.
McGreevey's sin was never his sexuality. He was a corrupt politician who raped the people he served. He hired a foreigner, a man he now says was his lover, for a top position in his administration. And when he was about to be caught, the coward hid behind his gayness - a move so cynical that I'm surprised it worked. Gay groups are loath to criticize McGreevey - openly. Privately, though, he couldn't get picked up in a bathhouse. "He's just another sleazy New Jersey politician," said a colleague. "He used a movement for which people genuinely suffered discrimination to make questions about his own moral behavior go away."
In a column titled "Has Michigan become TracFonistan?" Debbie Schlussel wonders what happened with the story of the suspicious acting characters from Michigan. Something stinks about that whole situation.
As divided as Congress can appear, there is one area of agreement - reluctance to passing legislation aimed at reducing bribery.
Nine months after congressional leaders vowed to respond to several bribery scandals with comprehensive reforms, their pledges have come to next to nothing.There is nothing surprising about this since congressmen understand that cleaning their act up would mean lobbyists and corporations wouldn't be buying their lunch, paying their greens fees, flying them to nice warm locations in the dead of winter, etc. In related news, Ohio Rep. Ney Expected to Plead Guilty. What is he admitting to doing? Failing to report a Scottish golf trip paid for by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Victor Davis Hanson isn't thrilled that we are granting student visas to 15,000 young men from Saudi Arabia. I feel naive that I didn't realize the numbers were anywhere near that high. I don't care how well our respective governments interact, as long as the religious nuts run their schools we need to be concerned about the students they want to send here.
A Lawyer by Any Other Name . . . The Best Lawyer Joke Ever. The Association of Trial Lawyers of America can decide they'd rather be called American Association for Justice but that doesn't change the need for tort reform.