Today's Wide Angle Lens

Headlines and Commentary for 11.03.05

BBC – Fresh violence hits Paris suburbs

Rioting youths opened fire on police and set dozens of vehicles ablaze in a seventh night of violence in Paris.

In escalating unrest, shots were fired at police and firefighters, while gangs besieged a police station, set fire to a car showroom and threw petrol bombs.

At least 15 people were arrested and nine injured across north-east Paris.

France’s government is facing mounting criticism of its handling of the riots, triggered by the deaths last week of two teenagers of African origin.

Paris is burning. If Chirac can’t take control of this situation in the next 24 hours, he can kiss his political career goodbye.

AP – Libby Pleads Not Guilty in CIA Leak Case

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff pleaded not guilty Thursday in the CIA leak scandal, marking the start of what could be a long road to a trial in which Cheney and other top Bush administration officials could be summoned to testify.

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby entered the plea in front of U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, a former prosecutor who has spent two decades as a judge in the nation’s capital.

“With respect, your honor, I plead not guilty,” Libby told the judge.

Libby – the fall guy, the patsy. Every beltway controversy has to have one. This whole thing is about the Left trying to get rid of Karl Rove. Teflon Karl. What a waste of time, and money.

And speaking of the circus…

AP – Second Judge Out for DeLay Trial

Two days after Rep. Tom DeLay won a fight to get a new judge in his case, prosecutors Thursday succeeded in ousting the Republican responsible for selecting the new judge.

Administrative Judge B.B. Schraub withdrew after District Attorney Ronnie Earle filed a request to have him removed.

Schraub said he will ask the chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court — a Republican — to name a judge to preside over DeLay’s conspiracy and money laundering trial.

Like I said…what a waste of time, and money.

AP – South Carolina Prison Escapees Captured

Two violent felons who escaped from a maximum-security prison by hiding on a trash truck were captured early Thursday afternoon, a State Law Enforcement Division official said.

Jimmy Causey, 35, a convicted kidnapper, and Johnny Brewer, 39, a convicted murderer, had been on the loose since Tuesday, when they escaped from the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia.

They were apprehended at a motel along busy Interstate 95 in Ridgeland, about 110 miles south of Columbia, SLED Chief Robert Stewart said.

Pat Smith, a maid at the Palms Motel, said Causey told the clerk when he checked in that his identification was in his car, and that the car had been towed.

“He was real friendly,” she said. “When they got (Brewer) in the cuffs, (Causey) said, ‘Can I get my money back?’ He said, ‘Can I get a refund?'” Smith hadn’t seen Brewer before his arrest, she said.

Stewart would not immediately release details of the capture but said the men were being transported back to Columbia.

Can you begrudge these guys a little joyride? Seriously, I’m a 100% rule of law kind of guy, but when it comes to a story like this, especially one in which no major violence occurred, I can’t help but think of these guys as characters in a Hollywood movie. Have you ever seen ‘Raising Arizona’? Remember the two brothers who were escaped convicts (played by John Goodman and William Forsythe)?

‘Nuff said.

And speaking of 100% rule of law…

Las Vegas Sun – Mayor: Sever Thumbs of Graffiti Artists

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has suggested that those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

Goodman, appearing Wednesday on the “Nevada Newsmakers” television show, said, “In the old days in France, they had beheading of people who commit heinous crimes.

“You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it.

“I’m saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,” the mayor added. “That may be the right thing to do.”

Goodman also suggested that whippings or canings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

I think I just found my GOP candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election.

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