Odds and Enders for Feb. 22

~ Consent of the Governed in Question

Two opinion polls are particularly enlightening. According to a CBS-New York Times poll, 81 percent of those polled did not want members of congress reelected. Just 15 percent approve of the job congress is doing. Yet unlike the market, government job performance is not indicative of job security. At least 90 percent of incumbents will get another term, if the historic figures play out.

In a Rasmussen poll, only 21 percent of respondents “believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.” The poll was further broken into the populist class and the political class. According to the site, the populist class, about 65 percent of the nation, trusts individuals to solve problem better than political leaders. The political class, about four percent of the nation, trusts politicians more than individuals.

Of the populist class, only 18 percent believe the government has the consent of the governed and most them view the government as a special interest group. Nearly two-thirds of the political class believe government has consent. That means a despicable 37 percent of the political class, approximately 1.77 million, trust politicians more yet do not believe those politicians have the consent to act.

~ (Parking) Anarchism in Action

Without having to use the power of the state, individuals find an ingenious solution to the parking problem in downtown Boston. It’s just another example of what F.A. Hayek called spontaneous order.

~ Tarrant County Judge Acted as Prosecutor

I don’t know how common this is around the country, but it is hard to image that the judge can be indifferent when he or she is responsible for acting on behalf of the government prosecutor.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article:

Robert K. “Bob” Gill disposed of nearly 8,000 such cases in 14 years as a state district judge before his retirement in 2007. No other judge in Tarrant County handled more….

An attorney who regularly represented indigent probationers facing revocation in Gill’s court has testified that the judge personally negotiated plea deals, a role normally reserved for prosecutors. Rejecting Gill’s offer often meant a tougher sentence if he later heard the case and decided a violation occurred, the attorney, William H. “Bill” Ray, said under oath.

Of course, it is no surprise that lawyers did not complain. They are repeat compulsory customers of Gill’s services.

jimposter made a comment on the site that summed up my feelings.

“This was not okay. The system is The State v. the defendant, not the state and the court v. the defendant. The judge’s role is to be unbiased and neutral and to hear evidence and make decisions based on it. His role is not to negotiate on behalf of the state. “How would you feel about the referee catching a pass and then ruling whether it was a completion or not?”

~ Grandview Council Rejects Stimulus Dollars

In some good news from the Star-Telegram, the Grandview city council rejected a $500,000 federal earmark to build a new water tower. In the council’s resolution, the members said “The city of Grandview does not believe such funding is ethical or constitutional.” Chet Edward (D-Waco) defended the pork spending, saying that earmarks represent just two percent of the federal budget. The city council may not be so sacrosanct either.

In 2007, the council requested the money for a new water tower but may not have wanted to spend the $225,000 in required matching funds for the project. The main objector to the earmark is also a supporter of the guy running against Edwards in the November general election.

~ Bob Barr Shouted Down for Opposing Torture

Bob Barr, the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, was booed for saying that water boarding is torture. Don’t praise him so fast. He later said he supports “enhanced interrogations.”

http://embed.crooksandliars.com/v/MTE5MTEtMzUwNjc?color=173466

Image credit: Boston Globe

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