Welcome to this weeks edition of The Daily Banter mailbag!! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the government’s decision not to read Djokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights, Sarah Palin’s assertion that everyone who went to the White House Correspondents Dinner was an ‘assclown’, and the penalties for bringing a book back late to George Bush’s new Presidential Library.
1. How do you feel about the government holding off on reading Djokhar Tsarnaev his miranda rights before questioning him at first? I thought it was a bad idea for a lot of reasons, first because it would give people like Greenwald more ammo but mostly because it just doesn’t pass the smell test.
Chez: It wasn’t a big deal and anyone who says it was is a) just looking for something to be pissed about, and b) doesn’t understand how his Miranda rights were held off and why. Nobody ever said Tsarnaev was going to be deprived of Miranda for the entire time he was being held and he wasn’t. The feds had a delay of about 48 hours by invoking the public safety exception, and that’s about all they got. Not a big deal. Greenwald and his ilk were going to make a big deal out of it regardless because that’s how they make their living, but in the end it was much ado about nothing.
Bob: Considering the insanity of the last 12 years I don’t blame you or anyone else for being skeptical of anything to do with these kinds of things. But at the same time, with new levels of transparency and access to the process that we evaluate what’s truly a crisis. In this case, questioning a terrorism suspect without mirandizing him has been done numerous times but we all noticed it for the first time last week. In fact, I was concerned myself until, believe it or not, I caught a tweet from Greenwald who confirmed that questioning a suspect without Miranda is, indeed, okay but only for a short time. Gratefully, that’s exactly what came to pass.
Ben: Hmm, not sure about this one. Given the US government’s propensity to use terrorism to justify increasingly invasive security measures, I’m always skeptical about them doing things like this. But I’ve done a bit of reading into this after I went on Thom Hartmann’s show on Friday, and what they did with Tsarnaev was actually perfectly legal (check here for Adam Goodman’s explanation in the Atlantic). The issue is going to be used by everyone to score political points, but as long as Tsarnaev is treated is afforded the same legal rights every other citizen is, there shouldn’t be too much to complain about.
2. I assume you all saw Sarah Palin’s response to the White House Correspondents Dinner. WTF? Was she just throwing a temper tantrum because she wasn’t invited? Also, how could someone who was once almost elected to the second highest office on earth use the word “assclowns” and not die of embarrassment?
Ben: I actually agree with Sarah Palin’s tweet. She’s right, the WHCD is a nerd prom for a bunch of assclowns. But they’re not nerds and assclowns for the reasons Sarah Palin thinks they are. She’s just mad because 1. she wasn’t invited and 2. everyone there is a lot smarter than her. Events like that poke fun at people like her, and she’s so stupid, she doesn’t understand the jokes.
Bob: I’ve never seen anyone quite as ridiculous as Sarah Palin. She’s descended from being a vice presidential candidate to an internet troll. She’s Morton Downey Jr. with less talent. Yet millions of Americans love her and if she’s ever elected to anything again, her voters deserve her.
Chez: Yeah, my first thought was that somebody was all pissy and jealous because she wasn’t asked to the prom. You know that if Sarah Palin were vice president right now, and she and John McCain hadn’t brought about Armageddon, she’d be loving every second of the attention. But since she wasn’t part of the party she has to be a fucking child about it. And yes, “assclowns.” Again, the fucking bullet we dodged in 2008.
3. What do you suppose happens to you if you check a book out of the Bush presidential library and keep it out for too long?
Chez: Nothing you should be worried about. The library will go after the people who live next door to you.
Ben: Depends how rich you are. If you have tons of cash, you can keep it out for as long as you want. The library will even give you other books to keep. If you’re poor, you’ll be charged by the hour and forced to sell your belongings to pay for it. It’s fair though, because the rich might allow some of the knowledge they’ve received from the books to trickle down to everyone else.
Bob: There’s probably a small fine, but on the upside you’ll be able to finish coloring in the drawings.