“Kleptocracy” is a term used to describe “[a] government characterized by rampant greed and corruption.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language 968 (4th ed. 2000); see also New Oxford American Dictionary 963 (3d ed. 2010); Random House Webster’s College Dictionary 724 (2d ed. 1998). To that definition dictionaries might add, as a helpful illustration: “See, for example,
Alabama’s Jefferson County Commission in the period from 1998 to 2008.” During those years, five members or former members of the commission that governs Alabama’s most populous county committed crimes involving their “service” in office for which they were later convicted in federal court. And the commission has only five members. One of those five former commissioners who was convicted did not appeal.1 We have affirmed the convictions of three others who did.2 This is the appeal of the fifth one.
Judge Carnes also ends the opinion with a one-word paragraph "Indeed" after quoting the district court on sentencing:
You see, when someone’s elected to a position of trust as an elected official, they don’t have the right . . . they don’t have a right to have a bag . . . at all. It’s not a function of how big the bag is, they just don’t have a right
to have a bag that they can carry around stuff they get from people that are involved with them in this process. And, so, I think a sentence which is 120 months total is appropriate.
In other news, Curt Anderson covers the $2.1 million payment by the feds in the photo editor's anthrax death. Details here.