Greetings, loyal minons. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t like to objectify women. He particularly doesn’t like to objectify the platonic object of his affections, the lovely and talented Lola Astanova. But, then she posts a photo of herself on the beach while visiting Reunion island and well… Your Maximum Leader is a hormonally normal heterosexual man. What can he say? He can’t help himself.

Lola on the Beach
See what your Maximum Leader means?

Think of this as a reward for reading through the mess of political crap in the post above this one.

If you need further rewards… Check out Miss Astanova’s photo page. But if you do check out her images, would you also listen to some of her beautiful music too please? Your Maximum Leader bought her album off iTunes for $9.99. He probably would have paid more for all of the joy he’s gotten listening to it.

Ah… Lola…

Carry on.

Hizzoner pushes a button.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just saw a piece on the Washington Post web site that struck him in a way that compelled (yes, compelled) him to post right away.

The piece is: NY mayor decries “terror gap” in US gun laws.

When your Maximum Leader read the headline he thought to himself, “Self, what is this ‘terror gap’ for US gun laws? Should this gap be closed if it exists.” Then he read the piece and started to get very very angry. To quote the piece:

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told a Senate panel Wednesday that he strongly supports congressional efforts to close a “terror gap” in the nation’s gun laws, which currently allow persons on a federal terrorist watch list to buy guns and explosives legally in the United States.
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee in the wake of the latest alleged terrorist plot against his city, Bloomberg (I) pointed to a new Government Accountability Office report showing that individuals on the terrorist watch list were able to buy firearms and explosives from licensed U.S. dealers 1,119 times over the past six years.

According to the GAO report released Wednesday, FBI data show that individuals on the government’s terrorist watch list were involved in firearms or explosives background checks 1,228 times from February 2004 through February 2010. Of those transactions, 1,119, or about 91 percent, “were allowed to proceed because no prohibiting information was found — such as felony convictions, illegal immigrant status, or other disqualifying factors,” the GAO’s Eileen R. Larence said in prepared testimony.

Bloomberg said a bipartisan coalition of 500 mayors supports legislation that would allow the U.S. attorney general to bar such purchases. He said the group also wants Congress to close another loophole that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows with no background checks at all.

“It’s just common sense to give the FBI authority to keep terror suspects from buying guns and explosives,” he said.

So just to be sure we are getting this right allow your Maximum Leader to summarize. If an individual appears on a terror watch list he or she should be denied the right to purchase a firearm.

This is the same terror watch list that gets 12 year old boys from Long Island added to it for some reason no one can quite explain?

This is the same terror watch list that only seems to harass people getting on airplanes but ultimately doesn’t seem to stop anyone from getting on a flight?

This is a terror watch list made up of “suspects” that haven’t actually broken any laws and are legally residing in or citizens of the United States?

Now just to be clear. Your Maximum Leader has no problem whatsoever with our existing process to strip a person of the right to bear arms. It normally involves a judge’s order in fact. Last time your Maximum Leader checked, it didn’t require a judge’s intervention to get one put onto the terror watch list. (And from what he’s read it might take more than a judge’s order to get your name off the watch list once it’s there.)

If you are illegal, you shouldn’t have a right to bear arms anyway. (That could be a subject for a separate post however.)

So we are all in favor of stripping people of their rights because they are suspected of something? Can we extend this process to other situations? Should murder suspects lose the right to habeas corpus because they are on a police watch list? Should an anti-war protester lose the right to free speech or assembly because they are suspected of wanting to cause mischief at a rally? Where exactly do you want to draw a line?

Your Maximum Leader will tell you where he’d like to draw a line. He’d like to draw a line on the side of suspects not being stripped of any of their rights until they are convicted of something in a court of law.

Then again, your Maximum Leader finds himself agreeing with Skippy on so many items he isn’t sure what to think of the world anymore.

Carry on.

Hast thou seen?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wonders if thou hast seen the lastest standings in the National League East? Well, allow your Maximum Leader to say that they might surprise you.

NL East
Philadelphia 15-11
New York (Mets) 15-12 (.5 GB)
Washington 14-12 (1 GB)
Florida 13-13 (2 GB)
Atlanta 11-15 (4 GB)

Who’da thunk it was possible? Last nights game was well played. Livan Hernandez seems to be playing like he did a few years back (like during his first stint with the Nationals). Let us hope that the Nats continue to play like professionals. Your Maximum Leader is concerned about the teams -17 run differential. That number shows that they’ve been lucky more than once.

Your Maximum Leader reads that the Nationals are promoting (phenom) Steven Strasburg to AAA Syracuse yesterday. Your Maximum Leader is of two minds on Strasburg. The first tells him that they shouldn’t rush him up. Indeed, Strasburg shouldn’t even be thought of in the organization as a possiblity to play for the Nationals until after the All-Star break. And even then it might be best to wait until very late in the season and let him test the waters (and even start in AAA next season). The second mind says that (presuming one will still limit his appearances and pitches) he could help the team sooner if they continue as they have, so there might be a strong financial and on-the-field rationale to bringing him up. Your Maximum Leader still is concerned that the Nats might try too much to fast with him and blow out his arm…

Of course, one has yet to see if Strasburg is really the great hope that he is rumoured to be. We will not know, of course, until he has to stare down someone like Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols…

Carry on.

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