• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who's Who Entre Nous

Under cover of New Year’s and minutes before he left office, Governor Arnold (“Terminator”) Schwarzenegger, commuted the sentence of Estaban Nuñez, son of State Assembly Speaker, Fabian Nuñez.

Nuñez fis, 21, was sentenced to 16 years prison for the manslaughter stabbing Luis Dos Santos during a frat-spat at San Diego State University in 2008. In commuting the sentence to seven years (not including good-time behavior credits), Schwarzenneger said that “given Nuñez’s limited role in Santos’ death and considering ...[he]..had no criminal record..., I belive Nuñez’s sentence is excessive.”

Awwwww. Surely it must warm the cockles of all our hearts. We all know that Arnie takes a stack of sentence reports to bed at night and pours over them looking for “excessive” sentences. Our Arnie, the same Pump King that vetoed the People’s initiative that corrected the Three Strikes Law so it would not wreak such outrages as life sentences for pizza stealing.

So, some wrecked, over-the-hill ex-con, is found passed out at 5 a.m., in a parking lot. Because he has some meth and a syringe, a felony, he is sentenced to 25 years to life, at a warehousing cost to the taxpayer of $35,000 per year. (People v. Lee A085239.) In contrast, young Nuñez participates in the homicide of just-as-young Dos Santos, and Arnie feels that 16 years (excluding half time credits) is too much.

In commuting the sentence, Arnie noted that Nuñez was not the actual stabber of Dos Santos. No...no... He only stabbed another guy who managed not to die. But according to Terminator, Nuñez only played a “limited” role in the actual homicide.

To those familiar with California’s aiding and abetting laws, the excuse is nauseating. Virtually all states punish aiders and abettors as if they themselves actually did the shooting, stabbing, robbing or whatever. The issue hangs on the aider’s knowledge and intent. Under California’s extremely sloppy application of the rule, if you were present when the crime was done, you can kiss your sweet self goodbye. Nuñez pled guilty to a reduced crime of manslaughter because, his well paid, high powered attorneys knew that there was no way he could avoid conviction as a principal.

Nuñez had not just been present. He and his cohorts, pissed at being turned away from a party, went out, got knives and came back looking to settle scores. They then came upon an unarmed group that included Santos.

The only “mitigating” factor in this case is that Nuñez pere now works with Adam Mendelsohn, Governor Schwarzenegger’s former communications director. It’s an entre-nous kinda thingie.

As entre-nous as Blue Cross Girlie Boy's veto of California's single payer bill, so that he and his dearests could enjoy all-expenses taxpayer paid health care while the actual people of the State groan under unsustainable premiums or are given to choose between bankruptcy or death.

As entre-nous as Lloyd Blankfein’s grinning attendance at the swankie pankie for Premier Hu at the White House.

If there is a surveyor’s target for disastrous Great Recession and for a culture of callous anti-social corruption that makes Attila look like a social worker, Blankfein and the Goldman Sachs he heads is it. Worse than a common criminal, Blankfein is the primum mobile behind the destruction of entire sectors of the global economy. But Obama doesn’t just begrudge him is ill-gotten billions. No! No! Obama works with him on destroying social security; and to betoken their collaboration invites him to a dinner designed to show off Who’s Who Entre Nous.

Jaded cynics will smirk that “entre nous” is harly news; and that is indeed a fact. But the acceptability of corrupt back-scratching is assessed in relation to the welfare of the rest of us slobs.

Let it be premised that all human government is more or less corrupt. When the corrupt government provides well for the people corruption can be passed off as the “price” of doing business. But when corruption becomes the business and when government at the same time fails to provide for the common welfare, then, as in pre revolutionary aristocratic France, it is time for a cleaning out of the Augean Pig Sty.