Scandals Archive:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Republican Playbook on Foley: "Let's Find One Lie and Stick to It"

Posted by James L.

Hotline On Call had a couple of very good pieces on the Democratic and Republican political playbooks in the wake of the House Republican Sexual Predator Scandal (and yes, when House Republican leaders are involved in turning a blind eye to keeping a child sex predator in charge of the Congressional Caucus on Missing & Exploited Children, you're damn right I'm calling this an institutional Republican scandal). One thing that really stuck out from the Hotline's Republican playbook is this action item:

Fourth, they'll try to tamp down on internal disagreements about the timeline. This will be hard.

Translation: We better find one lie and stick to it. But isn't it telling, when caught off guard by the initial media scrums last Friday, that Alexander fingered Reynolds, then Boehner fingered Hastert (and then promptly recanted), followed by Reynolds throwing the blame, again, to Hastert? It's classic game theory: if you don't give the criminals a chance to get their "story" straight with each other, they'll throw around all kinds of bombshells when backed into a corner, isolated. Whichever lies the House Republican Leadership concocts to minimize the damage to their careers as politicians, they'll have to deal with the fact that their original media statements were very, very incongruent. They worked all weekend to iron out the edges, but that boulder is already rolling off the cliff. Good luck surviving November, fellas.

Posted at 12:26 AM in 2006 Elections, Scandals | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 14, 2006

OH-18: The Next CA-50?

Posted by James L.

In the 50th Congressional District of California, an entrenched Republican incumbent (Duke Cunningham) pled guilty to corruption charges.

In the 18th Congressional District of Ohio, it appears that another entrenched Republican incumbent is about to do the same:

Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney has agreed with the Justice Department to plead guilty to at least one criminal charge in a deal that could be announced as early as Friday, Capitol Hill sources said Thursday.

Charlie Cook ranks CA-50 as having a Partisan Voting Index of R+4.6 (that is, the district voted an average of 4.6% more Republican in the last two presidential contests than the national average).

Charlie Cook ranks OH-18 as having a PVI of R+6.1

In CA-50, Duke Cunningham's "early retirement" (ie. prison term) allowed another experienced Republican politician to assume his place on the ballot against a Democratic challenger with a thin-to-minimal political resume (Francine Busby).

In OH-18, Bob Ney's announcement that he would not seek another term allowed another experienced Republican politician (State Sen. Joy Padgett) to assume his place on the ballot against a Democratic challenger with a thin-to-minimal political resume, Dover Law Director Zack Space.

In CA-50 special election, Busby ran a campaign entirely focused against the Republican culture of corruption, and emphasized that she would take no 'gifts, trips or secret meetings' with lobbyists.

In OH-18, Space is running a campaign primarily focused on rooting out corruption, promising to accept "no gifts, meals or trips" from lobbyists. (For an example, check out this almost laughably boisterous ad.)

In the CA-50 special election, Busby fell short of Bilbray by less than 4 points (49.3-45.5).

Will Zack Space fare any better in a district that leans even more to the Republicans? At first glance, one would have to be pretty skeptical of such a scenario. But there are a number of factors that should complicate an easy victory for Republicans in this district. First off, Padgett was Ney's handpicked candidate, a line of attack that Space has already opened on her. Bilbray did not have the curse of being associated with Cunningham. Secondly, Padgett endorsed Ney's re-election bid even after his ethical "lapses" came to the fore. Thirdly, her political career has evolved from her close relationship with Gov. Bob Taft (the least popular Governor in the nation with a whopping 79% disapproval rating). If Space can consistently tie Padgett with the Bobs (Taft and Ney, that is), he may be able to succeed where Busby failed.

Posted at 10:55 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio, Scandals | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 07, 2005

VA-Gov: Republican Governor's Association Misleads for Jerry Kilgore

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE (David): An MP3 of the call is available here. (Thanks for hosting it, Markos.) The sound quality isn't exactly great, so make sure you check out the transcript while you listen.

UPDATE (David): Folks, do NOT contact VPAP (the site we link to which has the Honest Leadership/RGA information). VPAP is just a campaign info database, like or They have nothing to do with this.

In the final days of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, the Republican Governor's Association is resorting to disgusting tactics in their support of Jerry Kilgore, even going so far as use robo-calls pretending to come from Tim Kaine.

These Republican Governors' Association prerecorded telephone calls are misleading and violate Federal law intended to prevent such political dirty tricks. Consider that "The Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC" is not just a front group, it is the Republican Governors Association's Virginia political committee. The "Honest" Leadership for Virginia PAC received just three contributions totaling $1,860,000 in 2005 – all from one donor, the Republican Governors Association.

RGA's Pre-Recorded Telephone call misleads recipients by implying that it is sponsored by Tim Kaine and fails to disclose the actual entity paying for the call – the Republican Governors Association. Using Tim Kaine's voice implies that he sponsored the call. Using a misleading name, like Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC, for their Virginia political committee, the RGA further misleads recipients that this entity is something other than what it is – an arm of the RGA. In fact, just check the contact info, the Treasurer's email ends in

Here is a transcript of the ad:

[Voice of Tim Kaine] I am running for Governor and I am not afraid to tell you where I stand.

I am conservative on issues of personal responsibility. As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage. I support restrictions on abortion: No public funding and parental consent. And I've worked to pass a state law banning partial birth abortion.

Paid for and authorized by Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.

Registration number 05-034.

Now I'm no big city lawyer, but a former Hill staffer sent me an email that lays out a convincing case against the RGA:

Federal law requires disclosure of the entity that is responsible for initiating a pre-recorded telephone call to disclose its true identify at the beginning of the message. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(1).

• The Federal regulation states: "All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(1) At the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for the call. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(1).

• Neither the RGA, nor its shadow organization, Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC, is identified at the beginning of the prerecorded message.

• RGA violated Federal Communication Commission regulations by failing to identify the entity responsible for initiating the prerecorded message.

4. Federal law requires the entity making prerecorded telephone calls to provide a telephone number in the message. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(2).

• The FCC regulation states: "All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(2) During or after the message, state clearly the telephone number (other than that of the autodialer or prerecorded message player that placed the call) of such business, other entity, or individual. The telephone number provided may not be a 900 number or any other number for which charges exceed local or long distance transmission charges. For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a don-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(2).

• No telephone number is provided in the RGA's prerecorded message for the RGA or its shadow organization, Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.

• RGA violated Federal Communication Commission regulations by failing to clearly state telephone number during or after the prerecorded message.

Lies and distortion, the Kilgore campaign is clearly desperate.

Posted at 04:45 PM in 2005 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (13) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

Thursday, November 03, 2005

2006: NRSC Chair Elizabeth Dole's FEC Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last month:

We already know that Schumer and the DSCC is kicking Liddy Dole's ass in candidate recruitment. Now, for the second straight quarter, Schumer has kicked her ass in fundraising.
That response followed the DSCC have a 2:1 cash on hand advantage over the NRSC for most of the cycle. But now we learn that National Republican Senate Committee Chair, Senator Elizabeth Dole, has more problems with the money she has raised:
On Monday, the Federal Election Commission issued its audit of the Dole North Carolina Victory Committee Inc. (DNCVC), a campaign committee that served as a joint fundraising arm affiliated with Senator Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 Senate campaign. As a result of the audit, Dole has once again been told to refund more than $81,000 in illegal corporate contributions. This report comes six years after Dole, then an underfunded presidential candidate, decided she cared about campaign finance reform. Of course, the better funded Dole became, the more campaign finance reform became a “frivolous” issue. And now, any respect for the law seems to have just flown the coop altogether.
History after the jump...

FIRST: AS AN UNDERFUNDED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DOLE WAS AGAINST CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. In July 1999, then-presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole said, “I would say let's rule out all soft money for corporations, unions and individuals.” [NPR, “All Things Considered,” 7/19/99]

THEN: AS A SENATE CANDIDATE, DOLE CARED LESS AND LESS ABOUT CAMAPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. During her 2002 U.S. Senate bid, Dole was asked about an FEC complaint alleging she violated the corporate contribution ban by having a photo and quote from her distributed to millions of families in a publication printed by Wal-Mart. At the time, Dole referred to the complaint as just one of the “frivolous issues” Democrats were involved in. [AP, 9/6/02]


BACKGROUND: DOLE AIDE EMBEZZLED FUNDS, DOLE’S COMMITTEE LACKED OVERSIGHT TO PREVENT IT. The FEC found that the committee’s assistant treasurer, Earl Allen Haywood, “wrote unauthorized checks from the committee’s account” which were either not reported or wrongly reported on the original reports filed by DNCVC. The audit further found that “the lack of basic internal controls…and oversight” by Dole’s committee “created an environment that contributed to the misappropriation of funds.” In all, a review found a total of $70,750 in misappropriated funds from 2002 and an additional $104,001 from 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE ACCEPTED CORPORATE CHECKS. Dole’s Committee received 55 contribution checks totaling $104,720, including $81,320 from corporations, in 2002 that were not deposited into the account until 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CORPORATE CHECKS ARE ILLEGAL. Federal political committees are barred from accepting campaign contributions from corporations. If a corporate check is delivered to a campaign committee, the committee must return it or, if deposited, refund the contribution. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE DEPOSITED MORE THAN $600,000 WITHOUT PROPER INFORMATION. Dole’s Committee accepted at least 421 contributions totaling $634,743 from individuals without disclosing the donor’s occupation or employer. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CONTRIBUTIONS OVER $200 REQUIRE EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION DISCLOSURE. According to the audit, the Committee “was unable to demonstrate that it had made any follow-up requests for the missing information.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

FEC RULING: THREE YEARS LATER, DOLE COMMITTEE STILL NEEDS TO RETURN ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. “The Audit staff concludes that DNCVC still bears the responsibility for the return of the prohibited contributions.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]


AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR, AND 15 LETTERS FROM THE FEC, MARTINEZ FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES FLAWED FINANCE REPORTING. This week, a lawyer for Sen. Mel Martinez acknowledged that the Senator’s 2004 campaign reports filed with the FEC were “not done with the precision that was required.” The lawyer blamed the erroneous reporting on campaign stress, saying, “They got overwhelmed… If you've not been through it [a campaign] before, the deluge can cause great problems.” But since January 2004, Martinez’s campaign committee “has received 15 letters from the FEC requesting additional information, corrections or revisions in the reporting of contributions, expenditures and debt.” As one independent expert explained, “At the very least, this is sloppiness that is very unusual for a Senate campaign.” [Tampa Tribune, 11/1/05]

DELAY’S INDICTMENT WAS TRIGGERED BY ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was recently indicted “on felony criminal charges of money-laundering and conspiracy related to the allegedly illegal use of corporate funds in the 2002 state election.” [Washington Post, 10/20/05]

Click Here to View the Complete Dole Audit Report from the FEC.

Ouch, Senator Dole is going out of her way to look pathetic compared with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair, Senator Chuck Schumer.

Posted at 06:23 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, North Carolina, Scandals | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Day Democrats Said Enough

Posted by Bob Brigham

Every Republican Senator should be on notice, today isn't like yesterday. Tomorrow won't be either. We have new rules, Democrats with spine, and enough is enough. Today, Harry Reid attempted to end the cover-up surrounding how the Administration lied to the American people while fabricating a case for a needless war. Kos says:

Reid asked the Senate to go into special session on intelligence -- that is, a closed session -- to discuss prewar intelligence. This mostion, along with a second (provided by Durbin), requires all Senators to report to the Senate floor. It is a non-debatable motion.

Cue in lots of hystrionics from Frist and company. Republicans whined that this was a violation of Senate tradition. This coming from the gang that wants to eliminate the judicial filibuster. Frist whined that he wasn't consulted. As though Democrats have had a seat at the table in this Congress. They want to play hardball? Fine. Reid sent notice that he can play that game as well.

Frist whined, "Senator Daschle never did anything like this." Damn right. A new sheriff is in town.

Now, this is more than a temporary stunt. The Democratic leadership has promised to call a special session in the Senate every single day until Republicans alllow for a real investigation.

So let's see what we have here --

Democrats showing leadership and fight. Very nice. Democrats creating a media narrative around Republican stonewalling of a real investigation into pre-war intelligence. Also very nice. Republicans getting a taste of things to come if they initiate the nuclear option? Very crafty.

Here are some quick facts on Rule 21:


* Since 1929, the Senate has held 53 secret sessions, generally for reasons of national security.
* For example, in 1997 the Senate held a secret session to consider the Chemical Weapons Convention (treaty).
* In 1992, the Senate met in secret session to consider “most favored nation” trade status for China.
* In 1988, a session was held to consider the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and in 1983 a session was held on Nicaragua.
* In 1942, a secret session was held on navy plans to build battleships and aircraft carriers, and in 1943 a secret session was held on reports from the war fronts.
* Six of the most recent secret sessions, however, were held during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.


* During a secret session, the doors of the chamber are closed, and the chamber and its galleries are cleared of all individuals except Members and those officers and employees specified in the rules or essential to the session.

* Standing Senate Rules 21, 29, and 31 cover secret sessions for legislative and executive business. Rule 21 calls for the Senate to close its doors once a motion is made and seconded. The motion is not debatable, and its disposition is made behind closed doors.

Reid's full statement in the extended entry.

Reid ask to go into special session on intelligence to discuss intelligence failures and the war in Iraq. Statement below

Statement by Senator Reid
Troops and Security First

This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of the I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff and a senior Advisor to President Bush. Libby is the first sitting White House staffer to be indicted in 135 years. This indictment raises very serious charges. It asserts this Administration engaged in actions that both harmed our national security and are morally repugnant.

The decision to place U.S. soldiers in harm's way is the most significant responsibility the Constitution invests in the Congress. The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.

As a result of its improper conduct, a cloud now hangs over this Administration. This cloud is further darkened by the Administration's mistakes in prisoner abuse scandal, Hurricane Katrina, and the cronyism and corruption in numerous agencies.

And, unfortunately, it must be said that a cloud also hangs over this Republican-controlled Congress for its unwillingness to hold this Republican Administration accountable for its misdeeds on all of these issues.

Let's take a look back at how we got here with respect to Iraq Mr. President. The record will show that within hours of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, senior officials in this Administration recognized these attacks could be used as a pretext to invade Iraq.

The record will also show that in the months and years after 9/11, the Administration engaged in a pattern of manipulation of the facts and retribution against anyone who got in its way as it made the case for attacking Iraq.

There are numerous examples of how the Administration misstated and manipulated the facts as it made the case for war. Administration statements on Saddam's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities and ties with Al Qaeda represent the best examples of how it consistently and repeatedly manipulated the facts.

The American people were warned time and again by the President, the Vice President, and the current Secretary of State about Saddam's nuclear weapons capabilities. The Vice President said Iraq "has reconstituted its nuclear weapons." Playing upon the fears of Americans after September 11, these officials and others raised the specter that, left unchecked, Saddam could soon attack America with nuclear weapons.

Obviously we know now their nuclear claims were wholly inaccurate. But more troubling is the fact that a lot of intelligence experts were telling the Administration then that its claims about Saddam's nuclear capabilities were false.
The situation was very similar with respect to Saddam's links to Al Qaeda. The Vice President told the American people, "We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know he has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups including the Al Qaeda organization."

The Administration's assertions on this score have been totally discredited. But again, the Administration went ahead with these assertions in spite of the fact that the government's top experts did not agree with these claims.

What has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress to the Administration's manipulation of intelligence that led to this protracted war in Iraq? Basically nothing. Did the Republican-controlled Congress carry out its constitutional obligations to conduct oversight? No. Did it support our troops and their families by providing them the answers to many important questions? No. Did it even attempt to force this Administration to answer the most basic questions about its behavior? No.

Unfortunately the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prisoner abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina. And we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration.

Time and time again, this Republican-controlled Congress has consistently chosen to put its political interests ahead of our national security. They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican Administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why.

There is also another disturbing pattern here, namely about how the Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Time and again this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course.

For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career came to an end. When then OMB Director Larry Lindsay suggested the cost of this war would approach $200 billion, his career in the Administration came to an end. When U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix challenged conclusions about Saddam's WMD capabilities, the Administration pulled out his inspectors. When Nobel Prize winner and IAEA head Mohammed el-Baridei raised questions about the Administration's claims of Saddam's nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When Joe Wilson stated that there was no attempt by Saddam to acquire uranium from Niger, the Administration launched a vicious and coordinated campaign to demean and discredit him, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a CIA agent.

Given this Administration's pattern of squashing those who challenge its misstatements, what has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress? Again, absolutely nothing. And with their inactions, they provide political cover for this Administration at the same time they keep the truth from our troops who continue to make large sacrifices in Iraq.

This behavior is unacceptable. The toll in Iraq is as staggering as it is solemn. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives. Over 90 Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice this month alone - the fourth deadliest month since the war began. More than 15,000 have been wounded. More than 150,000 remain in harm's way. Enormous sacrifices have been and continue to be made.

The troops and the American people have a right to expect answers and accountability worthy of that sacrifice. For example, 40 Senate Democrats wrote a substantive and detailed letter to the President asking four basic questions about the Administration's Iraq policy and received a four sentence answer in response. These Senators and the American people deserve better.

They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation about how the Bush Administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:

o How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?
o Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
o How did senior Administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?
o What was the role of the White House Iraq Group or WHIG, a group of senior White House officials tasked with marketing the war and taking down its critics?
o How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration's assertions?
o Why has the Administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that will shed light on their misconduct and misstatements?

Unfortunately the Senate committee that should be taking the lead in providing these answers is not. Despite the fact that the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly committed to examine many of these questions more than 1 and ½ years ago, he has chosen not to keep this commitment. Despite the fact that he restated that commitment earlier this year on national television, he has still done nothing.

At this point, we can only conclude he will continue to put politics ahead of our national security. If he does anything at this point, I suspect he will play political games by producing an analysis that fails to answer any of these important questions. Instead, if history is any guide, this analysis will attempt to disperse and deflect blame away from the Administration.

We demand that the Intelligence Committee and other committees in this body with jurisdiction over these matters carry out a full and complete investigation immediately as called for by Democrats in the committee's annual intelligence authorization report. Our troops and the American people have sacrificed too much. It is time this Republican-controlled Congress put the interests of the American people ahead of their own political interests.

Indeed. In terms of the 2006 mid-term elections, it is important to note that Democrats have the high-ground:

Democratic Efforts to Address Misuse of Intelligence Have Been Repeatedly Blocked by Republicans

For more than two years, Senate Democrats have pressed Republicans to address the misuse of intelligence. At every turn, Republicans have blocked efforts to investigate how intelligence was used in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Below details the long record established by Democrats to investigate this matter.

March 14, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Director Mueller requesting an investigation into the origin of the Niger documents.

May 23, 2003 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller sent a letter to the CIA and State Department Inspectors General to review issues related to the Niger documents.

June 2, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller issued a press release endorsing a statement made of the previous weekend by Senator Warner calling for a joint SSCI/SASC investigation.

June 4, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller issued a press release saying he would push for an investigation. Senator Roberts issued a press release saying calls for an investigation are premature.

June 10, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Senator Roberts asking for an investigation.

June 11, 2003 – All Committee Democrats signed a letter to Senator Roberts asking for a meeting of the Committee to discuss the question of authorizing an inquiry into the intelligence that formed the basis for going to war.

June 11, 2003 – Senator Roberts issued a press release saying this is routine committee oversight, and that criticism of the intelligence community is unwarranted. Senator Rockefeller issued a press release calling the ongoing review inadequate.

June 20, 2003 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller issued a joint press release laying out the scope of the inquiry.

August 13, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Senator Roberts making 14 points about the investigation, asking to expand the inquiry to address the “use of intelligence by policy makers” and asking for several other actions.

September 9, 2003 – After press reports quoting Senator Roberts as saying the investigation was almost over, Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Senator Roberts urging him not to rush to complete the investigation prematurely.
October 29, 2003 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller sent a letter to Director Tenet expressing in strong terms that he should provide documents that have been requested and make individuals available.

October 30, 2003 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller sent letters to Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice expressing in strong terms that they should provide documents that have been requested and make individuals available.

October 31, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Director Tenet asking for documents related to the interaction between intelligence and policy makers, including the documents from the Vice President’s office related to the Powell speech.

November 2, 2003 – Senator Roberts made statements during a joint television appearance with Senator Rockefeller claiming that the White house would provide all documents they jointly requested.

December 5, 2003 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to National Security Advisor Rice asking for her help getting documents and access to individuals.

January 22, 2004 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Director Tenet asking for compliance with the Oct. 31 request for documents.

February 12, 2004 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller issued a joint press release announcing the Committee’s unanimous approval of the expansion of the Iraq review, to include use of intelligence in the form of public statements, and listing other aspects of what became Phase II.

March 23, 2004 – Senator Rockefeller sent yet another letter to Director Tenet asking for compliance with the Oct. 31 request for documents.

June 17, 2004 – Senators Roberts and Rockefeller joint press release announcing the unanimous approval of the report.

July 16, 2004 – Committee Democrats sent a letter to Bush asking for the one page summary of the NIE prepared for Bush. The Committee staff had been allowed to review it but could not take notes and the Committee was never given a copy.

February 3, 2005 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Senator Roberts outlining Committee priorities for the coming year and encouraging completion of Phase II.

August 5, 2005 – Senator Rockefeller sent a letter to Senator Roberts expressing concern over the lack of progress on Phase II and calling for a draft to be presented to the Committee at a business meeting in September.

September 29, 2005 – All Committee Democrats joined in additional views to the annual Intelligence Authorization Bill criticizing the lack of progress on Phase II.

With actions like this, I think we will soon be hearing the title Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Posted at 04:14 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, Nuclear Option, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, October 29, 2005

MT-Sen: Conrad Burns Declares Bush's Record 'Isn't That Bad'

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Montana Senate race is going to be a great race for the netroots to follow. Conrad Burns has the most exposure of any senator in the Jack Abramoff scandals. Montana is a red state with a vulnerable three-term incumbent. Even Karl Rove is worried about this race amidst all of his other problems.

That, and we have an inspiring challenger in Jon Tester (who is on the Swing State Project Actblue page).

Today, the Montana press headlined, Burns facing tough re-election bid which included the type of quote you don't expect from a GOP Senator:

"The president is having his problems but that could straighten out," Burns said, adding that Bush's record "isn't that bad."

Not that bad, eh? Remember, this is a state where Bush enjoys an approval rating 11% pts. better than the national average -- yet a three term incumbent who has already raised 80% of what he need in 2000 is still running scared from Bush. And Burns sounds worried, here is the story's lede:

In the staid halls of the U.S. Senate, Montana Republican Conrad Burns is known for his booming voice and his cheery, back-slapping confidence. But when it comes to talking about his upcoming bid for re-election, his demeanor turns more serious.

Burns' is up to his cowboy hat in Jack Abramoff's scandals, so he should be worried about coming off as cocky because of how much money he has in the bank:

Democrats plan to make up for their financial disadvantage by leveling ethics charges at Burns. Strategists have already signaled that they plan to exploit Burns' ties to GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has been indicted on fraud charges.

The Montana Democratic Party aired a television ad in August that criticized Burns for what it said was his vote to give one of the nation's wealthiest American Indian tribes $3 million from a federal program intended for cash-strapped tribal schools.

Abramoff was a lobbyist for the Michigan tribe, and also donated to Burns' political action committee along with some of his associates. Abramoff is now under a wide-ranging investigation, accused of bilking his Indian clients.

The Democratic ad said the financial arrangements add up to an "improper relationship" between Burns, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that wrote the bill, and Abramoff.

Sketchy. Here's another great quote from Burns, not as good as his defense of Bush, but still desperate:

"I'm here and they're not," he said, sitting in his Senate office. "I've got the seniority and they don't. And I'm in the majority and they're not."

My response: Not for long, give Tester time, not for long.

Speaking of which, it is Tester Time.

Posted at 12:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, Montana, Scandals | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 28, 2005

MD-Sen: Michael Steele Blasted as Traitor

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm glad to see this battle playing out back in Maryland, instead of Virginia. Here's today's Baltimore Sun:

In an e-mail interview with The Sun, Gilliard said he considers Steele a traitor to his race because he initially dismissed news that his political partner, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., held a golfing fund-raiser this year at the Elkridge Club of Baltimore, which at the time had never admitted a black member in its 127-year history.

"Generally, it is an accurate depiction of Steele's groveling, lackey behavior," Gilliard said of the image. "It is 2005, and such an institution [as the Elkridge Club] should not exist, nor should a governor with as many black people as the state of Maryland attend a function at such a place.

"My point is that politicians like Michael Steele insult us, use us as whipping boys and then run to their white supporters to show how loyal they are. The suffering and problems of black Americans are beyond their concern," said Gilliard, who lives in New York City. "I find it wildly humorous that Lt. Gov. Steele calls me, a black man, racist, but then refuses to condemn the governor attending an event at an all-white country club."

The Maryland Senate race dynamics have changed radically following Katrina, especially considering Bush is polling at 2% with African Americans. The dynamic between identity politics and interest politics will be on center stage in Maryland. Steele may have found himself on the wrong side of a very powerful trend of blacks near universal agreement that Republicans don't care for black people.

Steve says:

You know, I've gotten far more support than comdemnation, and you know where a lot of that support came from? Black people. It's a wonderful feeling to have the community appreciate your words.

If Steve's sample is representative, then Gilliard may be writing what far more African Americans are thinking. In a post-Katrina world, does Mike Steele stand a chance?

Posted at 12:54 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Maryland, Scandals | Comments (6) | Technorati

Thursday, October 27, 2005

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine Ad Controversy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine has found himself at the center of a scandal for bowing to right-wing racists and cancelling ads on an African American blog:

So now the Kaine campaign is in the silly position of responding to a racist while withdrawing support from an African-American. Which could have been avoided if they had talked before running scared. [...]

But what really and truly bothers me is not the ad pull. You play football, you wake up sore. But the responsiveness to the opposition.

The Kaine campaign has never been responsible for the content on this site. They just buy space. They have probably disagreed with my stands. But they respond to people who will not vote for them, want them to lose and uses anything to pressure them.

And in the end, hurts them more than if they blew it off. The campaign didn't need me to go after them, but I am, because they are cowards. [...]

Cowardice should not be rewarded.

Tim Kaine is running a cowardly campaign, from the get-go he has been running scared, trying to offend as few people as possible.

But this scandal highlights a larger misconception about blogs, blogads, and netroots support.

It is important for people to realize that advertising on a blog doesn't mean the advertiser endorses the content of the site, all it means is that a decision has been made that the advertiser is interested in individuals who may read a particular blog.

Likewise, a blog running an ad doesn't mean that the blogger(s) endorse the product being advertised.

This shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp.

For example, Tim Kaine is advertising on the Swing State Project right now, yet here I am calling him a coward. Earlier in the year, Tim Tagaris didn't hold back his thoughts on Bob Casey, Jr. when Casey advertised here. In fact, if memory serves me right, both Tim and I wrote some hard hitting posts while the ad was running.

Look at the other two ads running. One is for Steve Westly, who is running against Phil Angelides in California's Democratic gubernatorial primary. As the lone SSP writer who votes in California, I'll still be voting for Angelides and plan on devoting a good deal of posts next year to why Angelides inspires me with his campaign. As for the final ad, you all know it is a long story but we still approved the ad and it hasn't changed any of our thoughts on the issue.

When you see an ad in a newspaper, you don't assume that the editorial board supports the advertiser so don't make the same mistake with blogs. Likewise, you don't assume that advertisers support the view of the editorial page.

Politicians who think they can buy support by running ads are just as misguided as politicians who pull ads for what the blog posts.

UPDATE: (Bob) Now this is on the front page of Daily Kos. Kaine is going to lose a great deal of support and volunteers because of this fuckup. Even more, now he won't have blogosphere support for rapid response during the home stretch of the campaign. Tim Kaine's cowardice may have just cost him the election.

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (10) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Republican Electoral Liability on Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

OK, this is funny. In the last post, I pointed out how the Swing State Project would be focusing on the electoral fallout of the White House Indictments. As always, I made a point of mentioning that our readers are our eyes and ears to what is going on race-by-race. However, the Republican National Committee decided to pull all of this information together for us:

Republican Senators Defend Karl Rove:

NRSC Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole (R-NC): “The Partisan Attacks Against Karl Rove Are Out Of Control And Entirely Inappropriate. He Is A Distinguished Member Of The White House And He Is My Friend.” (National Republican Senatorial Committee, “Elizabeth Dole Statement On Karl Rove,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

  • Dole: “It Is Incredibly Irresponsible For Individuals And Organizations To Make Accusations Based On Rumor And Innuendo. It Is Unfair To The Investigation And Even More Unfair To Karl Rove.” (National Republican Senatorial Committee, “Elizabeth Dole Statement On Karl Rove,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): “My Democratic Friends Would Be Doing The Nation A Great Service If They Spent Half As Much Time Getting Legislation Passed That Will Benefit The Country As They Do In Attacking Karl Rove.” (Sen. Norm Coleman, Press Release, 7/13/05)

  • Coleman: “We Have Enough To Do In The Senate In Minding Our Own Business Than To Be Sticking Our Noses Into Someone Else’s Business. Everyone Needs To Cool The Rhetoric, Focus On The Business Of The People, And Allow The Investigation To Run Its Course.” (Sen. Norm Coleman, Press Release, 7/13/05)

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA): “I Don’t See Any Evidence Out There That He Violated The Law.’’ (Richard Keil and Holly Rosenkrantz, “Rove’s Role In Spy Inquiry Reverberates Throughout Capital,” Bloomberg, 7/12/05)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT): “In All Honesty, The Facts Thus Far – And The E-Mail Involved – Indicate To Me That There Is Not A Problem Here…” (Jim VandeHei, “GOP On Offense In Defense Of Rove,” The Washington Post, 7/13/05)

Hatch: “I Have Always Thought This Is A Tempest In A Teapot." (Jim VandeHei, “GOP On Offense In Defense Of Rove,” The Washington Post, 7/13/05)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “If Anyone Thought The Anger And Political Sniping That Infested The Capital During The Campaign Would End After The Election, They Were Flat Wrong. Partisan Attacks In Lieu Of The Facts Have Replaced Ideas, Action And Cooperation.” (Sen. John Cornyn, “Attacks On Rove ‘More Anger And Political Sniping,’” Press Release, 7/13/05)

  • Cornyn: “Sadly, These Attacks Are More Of The Same Kind Of Anger And Lashing Out That Has Become The Substitute For Bipartisan Action And Progress. While Republicans Focus On Accomplishing An Ambitious Agenda For The American People, Some Democrats And Their Allies In The Hyper-Partisan Interest Groups Continue On Their Path Of Smear And Distract.” (Sen. John Cornyn, “Attacks On Rove ‘More Anger And Political Sniping,’” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA): “I Support Karl Rove.” (Tom Raum, “Newsview: CIA Leak Probe Focuses On Rove,” The Associated Press, 7/13/05)

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “Karl Rove Is A Friend Who, By All Accounts, Is Fully Cooperating With The Investigation. He Has Been A Most Valuable Member Of President Bush’s Team And Has Always Conducted Himself According To High Standards. It’s Disappointing That Some Democrats Are Using An Ongoing Investigation To Try And Score Political Points. Instead Of Focusing On The People’s Business, Democrats Are Prejudging An Incomplete Investigation And Doing Nothing More Than Mounting Partisan Political Attacks.” (Sen. Jeff Sessions, “Statement Of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions On Karl Rove,” 7/13/05)

Republican Congressmen Defend Karl Rove:

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO): “I Think We See Too Many Efforts Now Where People Quickly Rush To Judgment, Rush To Call For The Most Bizarre Solutions To Problems That Are Problems That Are Often Just Created In Their Own Minds.” (Rep. Roy Blunt, Floor Statement, U.S. House Of Representatives, 7/13/05)

Blunt: “Karl Rove Has Fully Cooperated In Any Investigation, And For More Than A Year Now Has Permitted Investigators To Talk To Him.” (Rep. Roy Blunt, Floor Statement, U.S. House Of Representatives, 7/13/05)

House Republican Conference Chair Deborah Pryce (R-OH):” I Think What The Democrats Are Doing With Karl Rove Is Just Another Politically Motivated Part Of Their Agenda.” (CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” 7/13/05)

NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY): “The Extreme Left Is Once Again Attempting To Define The Modern Democrat Party By Rabid Partisan Attacks, Character Assassination And Endless Negativity. And As Has Become Their Custom, The Rest Of The Democrat Party Is Standing By Silently.” (National Republican Congressional Committee, “NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds Statement On Karl Rove, Democrat Partisan Attacks,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

  • Reynolds: “Democrats Are Bitter About Losing In 2004. And They Will Stop At Nothing To Accomplish Through Character Assassination What They Could Not Accomplish At The Ballot Box.” (National Republican Congressional Committee, “NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds Statement On Karl Rove, Democrat Partisan Attacks,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): “Karl Rove Is Just The Latest In A Long Line Of Targets For The Democrats Vitriol And Political Games. The American People Want To Know How Congress Is Going To Keep The Economy Growing, Lower Energy Prices And Keep Them Secure At Home.” (Rep. Eric Cantor, “Cantor Statement on Democrat Attacks On Karl Rove,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA): “Karl Rove Who Did Not Even Know This Woman’s Name Did Not Have Any Information Of Her Acting In Any Covert Manner. It Is Just Silly.” (“Fox News’, “Fox News Live,” 7/13/05)

  • Kingston: “The Democrats Are Absent On Issues Such As Social Security, They Are Ambivalent About Iraq To Begin With And They’re Throwing Up One More Smoke Screen Aimed At Karl Rove Who They’re Mad At.” (“Fox News’, “Fox News Live,” 7/13/05)

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX): “I Support Karl Rove …” (Tom Raum, “Newsview: CIA Leak Probe Focuses on Rove,” The Associated Press, 7/13/05)

DeLay: “This Is Typical Of The Democrats. They Smell Blood And They Act Like Sharks. Karl Rove Is A Good Man. He Was Doing His Job. He Was Trying To Talk A Reporter Out Of Filing A False Story Based Upon False Premise. I Don’t See That He Has Done Anything Wrong.” (Fox News’ “Studio B,” 7/13/05)

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX): “The President And Karl Rove Are Doing Exactly What They Should. They Are Cooperating Fully With The Pending Investigation.” (Rep. Kay Granger, “Congresswoman Granger Calls Democrat Attacks On Rove Partisan Gamesmanship,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

  • Granger: “He Knew Then That Much Of What Joe Wilson Was Saying Was Untrue. The Calls For Mr. Rove’s Resignation Are Simply Partisan Gamesmanship.” (Rep. Kay Granger, “Congresswoman Granger Calls Democrat Attacks On Rove Partisan Gamesmanship,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY): “Republicans Should Stop Holding Back And Go On The Offense: Fire Enough Bullets The Other Way Until The Supreme Court Overtakes.” (Jim VandeHei, “GOP On Offense In Defense Of Rove,” The Washington Post, 7/13/05)

Thank you to the RNC for pulling all of the quotes together on which Republicans are defending the treasonous outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Posted at 06:01 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Indictments of White House Staff

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project has devoted a good deal of time to the Karl Rove Scandal. As the indictments come down, we will be looking for information on how this is influencing specific races, please feel free to use the contact info to keep us in the loop.

This is a story that the netroots have been all over from day one and I'm sure there will be plenty of electoral fallout for SSP to cover.

Strategically, I prefer to devote my time blogging to issues at their beginning or end. I have said that I don't believe blogs are the best vehicle for sustained engagement. However, I am questioning that after viewing the coverage to date from Talk Left:

October 26, 2005 - Fitzgerald Meets With Judge, No Announcement Today
October 26, 2005 - Report: Indictments May be Announced Today
October 26, 2005 - Indictment Watch
October 26, 2005 - Hutchison's Spokesman Deflects Criticism With a Lie
October 26, 2005 - How Karl Rove Could Walk
October 25, 2005 - Reviewing Cheney
October 25, 2005 - Report: Fitzgerald Visited Rove's Lawyer Today
October 25, 2005 - Report: Fitz Talked to Wilsons' Neighbors Today
October 25, 2005 - Clemons: Other Shoe Drops Tomorrow
October 25, 2005 - The Crime in Outing a CIA Agent
October 24, 2005 - NYT: Tenet Told Cheney Who Told Libby
October 24, 2005 - Report: Wurmser Told Libby and Hadley
October 24, 2005 - Pre-Indictment Spin Planning
October 24, 2005 - The Cover Up Statutes
October 23, 2005 - Report: Novak Cooperated
October 23, 2005 - Fitzgerald to Decide and Tell Lawyers Monday
October 23, 2005 - Hannah's Lawyer Denies Target Status
October 22, 2005 - A Kinder, Gentler Libby
October 21, 2005 - Plame Grand Jury Met With Prosecutors Today
October 21, 2005 - Launchdate for Campaign to Discredit Wilson
October 21, 2005 - Pow-Wow at Camp David This Weekend
October 21, 2005 - Fitzgerald Launches Website
October 21, 2005 - Libby: As the Worms Turn
October 21, 2005 - PlameGate and Bush's Pardon Power
October 20, 2005 - Report: White House Charges Will Relate to Cover-up
October 20, 2005 - The Valerie Flame Name Game
October 20, 2005 - Miller Asked About June Meeting During First Grand Jury Visit
October 20, 2005 - Stalking Russert in PlameGate
October 20, 2005 - RoveGate Update
October 19, 2005 - Ex-Intel Officers: Miller a Charter Member of White House Iraq Group
October 19, 2005 - Report on Fitzgerald and A Final Report Is Misleading
October 19, 2005 - Is Rove Cooperating?
October 19, 2005 - Raw Story: Wurmser Cooperating
October 19, 2005 - PlameGate: Powell and Flesicher
October 19, 2005 - Myths About PlameGate
October 18, 2005 - Murray Waas: It's Libby vs. Miller Time
October 18, 2005 - Plame Grand Jury Still Meeting
October 18, 2005 - No Passes for Judy Miller
October 18, 2005 - The Latest Rumor: Cheney Might Resign
October 18, 2005 - Raw Story: John Hannah Is Cooperating
October 18, 2005 - Let's Make a Deal : The Legalese of PlameGate
October 17, 2005 - Report: White House Official May Have Flipped
October 17, 2005 - Fitzgerald Speaks: Decision to be Announced in D.C.
October 17, 2005 - Was the AP Snookered on WINPAC story?
October 17, 2005 - List of Reporter Contacts Subpoenaed by Fitzgerald
October 17, 2005 - Conyers and Skelton Demand Info on Miller's Security Clearance
October 17, 2005 - The Leaks Probe: Andrea Mitchell, Cheney and Ari
October 17, 2005 - On Cheney's Role in Leaks Probe
October 17, 2005 - Bennett's Role in Judith's Tell-All
October 17, 2005 - Bloomberg: Wilsons May Sue Bush, Cheney
October 16, 2005 - Judith Miller Talks on Belatedly Discovered Notes
October 16, 2005 - Federal Grand Jury Witnesses & Secrecy Laws
October 16, 2005 - Was Novak's Source in the CIA or White House?
October 16, 2005 - Time: Rove, Libby Will Resign if Indicted
October 16, 2005 - Miller's Lawyer Turns on Libby
October 15, 2005 - NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller
October 14, 2005 - Rove Testifies for FourthTime
October 14, 2005 - Questions About Miller and The Times
October 13, 2005 - Cheney, The White House and Wilson: Part One
October 12, 2005 - Report: Fitzgerald Examining Cheney's Role
October 12, 2005 - Judith Miller Released From Contempt Order
October 12, 2005 - Miller's Source(s)
October 12, 2005 - Fitzgerald Widening His Probe
October 11, 2005 - Miller to Testify Again Before Grand Jury
October 11, 2005 - Bushies: Special Prosecutor "a Bully"
October 11, 2005 - New From Waas: Libby in Cross-Hairs Over Miller
October 9, 2005 - Judy Miller and Her June Notes
October 8, 2005 - Weekend RoveGate Reading
October 7, 2005 - Waas: Rove, Novak and Bush
October 7, 2005 - Judith Miller Finds Earlier Notes on Libby
October 6, 2005 - Karl Rove Will Testify Friday Morning
October 6, 2005 - More on Target Notices and Rove
October 6, 2005 - AP: Rove to Testify Again in Leaks Probe
October 6, 2005 - Target Letters: Terminology
October 5, 2005 - Rumor: 22 Plame Indictments Imminent
October 5, 2005 - Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs
October 4, 2005 - Fitzgerald's Letter to Scooter Libby's Lawyer
October 2, 2005 - Newsweek: Libby Did Not Talk to Novak
October 2, 2005 - Stephanopoulos: Source Says Bush, Cheney Directly Involved
October 2, 2005 - Judith Miller and Fitzgerald's Agreement
October 1, 2005 - A Crucial Time Period in PlameGate
October 1, 2005 - Cheney, Libby and Miller Leads Where?
September 30, 2005 - Judith Miller Grand Jury Day
September 29, 2005 - Judith Miller Released, Will Testify Tomorrow
September 20, 2005 - PlameGate: Moving Towards John Bolton?
September 15, 2005 - Justice Department Balks at Turning Over Plame Records
September 14, 2005 - House Committees Reject Plame Resolution of Inquiry
September 9, 2005 - Is Judith Miller Getting Ready to Fold?
September 7, 2005 - RoveGate: What Statute Would Fitzgerald Use?
August 25, 2005 - New Plame Leak Analysis
August 20, 2005 - RoveGate Tidbit: Look for Fitzgerald to Go for the Top Dog
August 18, 2005 - RoveGate, Watergate and Lessons for the White House
August 18, 2005 - Miller, Sulzberger and Kovac
August 17, 2005 - Is Rove Facing an Obstruction of Justice Charge?
August 16, 2005 - New Murray Waas Exclusive: Dems to Demand Investigation of Ashcroft in Plame Leak
August 16, 2005 - Is a Criminal Contempt Charge Looming for Judith Miller?
August 15, 2005 - Report: Bolton Visits Judy Miller in Jail
August 15, 2005 - Ashcroft, Fitzgerald and Rove: New From Murray Waas
August 12, 2005 - Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe
August 12, 2005 - A Who's Who in RoveGate
August 10, 2005 - Pincus on Plame: Who Really Sent Joseph Wilson to Niger?
August 8, 2005 - Judy, Jehl and the New York Times
August 8, 2005 - Dems Demand Libby Give Personalized Waiver to Judith Miller
August 7, 2005 - Newsweek: Fitzgerald Could Thwarted by Comey's Replacement
August 7, 2005 - Sunday RoveGate Roundup
August 7, 2005 - Judith Miller and Lewis Libby
August 4, 2005 - Waas and Wilson Discuss Fitzgerald
August 4, 2005 - Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and Ginsberg
August 3, 2005 - Beware Immunity for Rove and Company
August 2, 2005 - Rove Aides Queried About Matt Cooper Testimony
August 2, 2005 - Was Tenet a Source for Novak?
August 2, 2005 - RoveGate Debates
August 2, 2005 - Rove Pals Called to Grand Jury
August 2, 2005 - Novak and the Plame Name
August 1, 2005 - Novak Breaks His Silence
July 31, 2005 - Time: Rove May Have Learned of Plame From White House
July 29, 2005 - RoveGate: Where Does Condi Rice Fit In
July 29, 2005 - Back to Connecting Judith Miller Dots
July 29, 2005 - Fitzgerald Knew It Was Rove All Along
July 28, 2005 - NYT Late to the Pincus Party
July 27, 2005 - Was Judith Miller the Leaker or Leakee?
July 27, 2005 - Karen Hughes Declines to Answer Plame Questions At Confirmation Hearing
July 27, 2005 - Judith Miller's Husband Goes on Cruise
July 27, 2005 - Beware Congressional Immunity for Rove and Others
July 27, 2005 - House Judiciary Documents
July 27, 2005 - Who Was Novak's Second Source?
July 26, 2005 - Judiciary Dems Seek 12-Hour Gap Investigation
July 26, 2005 - Rove-Plame-Miller Primer
July 25, 2005 - Will Fitzgerald Extend the Grand Jury?
July 25, 2005 - Senators Call for Congressional Plame Investigation
July 24, 2005 - Alberto Gonzales Told Card Immediately About Preservation Order
July 23, 2005 - Who Was On Air Force One?
July 22, 2005 - Statements of Witnesses at CIA Leak Hearing
July 22, 2005 - Report: Bolton Was a Frequent Source for Judy Miller
July 22, 2005 - Testimony: Bush Jeopardizes National Security
July 22, 2005 - O'Donnell's Latest on Luskin
July 22, 2005 - Who is Leaking the Grand Jury Testimony
July 22, 2005 - Bloomberg's Latest: Back to Ari Fleischer
July 22, 2005 - Karl Rove's Newest Version: George Tenet
July 21, 2005 - Bloomberg Scoops New Rove Story
July 21, 2005 - Memo Marked Plame's Identity as Secret
July 20, 2005 - Sports Book Odds on Karl Rove's Departure : 1-6
July 20, 2005 - Hearing Set on Disclosure of Covert Officers' Identities
July 19, 2005 - New Damaging Information About Karl Rove
July 19, 2005 - Ex-CIA Agents Send Letter on Valerie Plame
July 18, 2005 - Judith Miller's Life Behind Bars
July 18, 2005 - News Report: Ari Saw the Memo on Air Force One
July 18, 2005 - Bush Speaks: Will Fire Anyone 'Who Committed a Crime'
July 18, 2005 - Open Thread on Judith Miller
July 17, 2005 - Question About Cheney and Wilson
July 17, 2005 - From the Vanity Fair Article on Joseph Wilson
July 17, 2005 - Is Rove Now Implicating Judith Miller?
July 17, 2005 - Cooper and Libby Old News: Miller and Libby is the Question
July 17, 2005 - Matthew Cooper: Rove Said, ' I' ve Already Said Too Much'
July 17, 2005 - Who Really Sent Wilson to Africa?
July 16, 2005 - Judith Miller: Why is She Protecting Lewis Libby
July 16, 2005 - Frank Rich: Rove Resignation Is a Certainty
July 16, 2005 - The Mechanics of the Rove-Cooper Waiver
July 16, 2005 - Criminal vs. Civil Contempt
July 16, 2005 - John Hannah and Lewis Libby: Still Key in Plame Probe
July 15, 2005 - Classified Memo Naming Wilson's Wife Was on Air Force One
July 15, 2005 - Rove Didn't Go to Africa, Not On Air Force One
July 15, 2005 - Rove E-Mailed Hadley About Conversation With Cooper
July 15, 2005 - Keeping an Eye on Fitzgerald's Big Picture
July 15, 2005 - Dean on Rove
July 15, 2005 - Fact Sheet on Karl Rove's Non-Disclosure Agreement
July 15, 2005 - Karl Rove's Latest Version: Reporters Told Me
July 14, 2005 - What Fitzgerald's Indictment Might Look Like
July 14, 2005 - Bloomberg: Joseph Wilson's Accusations Hold Up
July 14, 2005 - What Novak Said Then About Import of Disclosure
July 14, 2005 - Where Does Ari Fleischer Fit In?
July 13, 2005 - House Dems to Call for Karl Rove Inquiry Tomorrow
July 13, 2005 - Text of Karl Rove's Waiver to Cooper
July 13, 2005 - Cooper Testifies, Names Karl Rove as Source
July 13, 2005 - Bush Answers (Not) Questions on Rove
July 13, 2005 - Midnight Plame Gate Roundup
July 12, 2005 - Walter Pincus' Source: Was it Karl Rove?
July 12, 2005 - Murray Waas Exclusive: Novak Cooperated
July 12, 2005 - Luskin Speaks on Rove and Cooper
July 12, 2005 - Where Did Karl Rove Get the Information on Valerie Plame?
July 12, 2005 - White House Breaks Silence: Has Confidence In Rove
July 12, 2005 - Say Hello: Fire Him Now
July 12, 2005 - Update on Judith Miller: How Did They Know
July 12, 2005 - Judith Miller: How Did They Know?
July 12, 2005 - Will Karl Rove Resign?
July 12, 2005 - Watergate Deja Vu
July 11, 2005 - President Bush Called Leak 'A Criminal Action'
July 11, 2005 - Don't call Rove at the Congressional Hearings
July 11, 2005 - Calls for Rove's Resignation
July 11, 2005 - Ethics Group Asks Bush to Revoke Rove's Security Clearance
July 11, 2005 - Former President Bush's Comments on Leakers
July 11, 2005 - Cat and Mouse With McClellan
July 11, 2005 - The Name Game : Rove and Plame
July 11, 2005 - Rove's Lawyer's Admission: Nothing New Here
July 10, 2005 - Reactions to Newsweek's Latest on Karl Rove
July 10, 2005 - Robert Novak's Version Of the Plame Leak
July 10, 2005 - Newsweek to Name Rove as Cooper Source
July 9, 2005 - Lewis Libby and the Valerie Plame Investigation
July 7, 2005 - Rove-Plame Speculation Update
July 7, 2005 - O'Donnell Says 'Good Reason' Rove Might Be Indicted
July 7, 2005 - Wapo and NYT Differ on Karl Rove as Source
July 6, 2005 - White House Press Corps Blackout on Rove
July 6, 2005 - Judith Miller Placed in Alexandria Detention Center
July 6, 2005 - Who is Judith Miller Protecting?
July 6, 2005 - Judith Miller Jailed, Cooper Agrees to Testify
July 5, 2005 - Joe Wilson on What Rove Didn't Know
July 5, 2005 - Joe Wilson on Leakers: Elliot Abrams, Libby & Rove
July 5, 2005 - Prosecutor Addresses Jail Requests for Judith Miller
July 5, 2005 - O'Donnell Has Questions Re: Rove
July 5, 2005 - Cooper and Miller: The Subpoenas
July 5, 2005 - Fitzgerald Plays Hardball in Leaks Probe
July 5, 2005 - When Can DOJ Subpoena Reporters?
July 4, 2005 - Valerie Plame Returns to Work at CIA
July 3, 2005 - O'Donnell Snaps Back at Rove's Lawyer
July 3, 2005 - Rove's Lawyer Denies Rove Leaked to Cooper
July 3, 2005 - The Bush Administration's War Against Open Government
July 3, 2005 - Time's Decision: The Rule of Law Trumps Confidentiality
July 2, 2005 - The Plame Leak InvestigationTime Line
July 2, 2005 - Rove Update
July 2, 2005 - Could the Perjury Investigation Evolve Into Obstruction of Justice?
July 2, 2005 - O'Donnell Says Rove as Leak Source is Confirmed
July 2, 2005 - What Does the Government Really Want from Miller and Cooper?
July 2, 2005 - Miller and Cooper Submit Jail Preferences
July 2, 2005 - Was Karl Rove The Leaker?
June 30, 2005 - Time Magazine to Turn Over Matthew Cooper's Notes
June 28, 2005 - Hearing Weds. for Reporters Miller and Cooper
June 27, 2005 - Why the Support for Only One Reporter?
June 27, 2005 - Reporters Lose in Leaks Case
May 26, 2005 - Judge Rules Against DeLay Pac Member
April 28, 2005 - Reporter Switches Lawyers in Plame Appeal
April 17, 2005 - Gonzales Speaks to Plame Investigation
April 7, 2005 - Valerie Plame Investigation May Be Over
February 16, 2005 - A Shield Law For Reporters
February 15, 2005 - Appeals Court Rules Against Reporters in Plame Case
December 31, 2004 - Valerie Plame Investigation Review
October 15, 2004 - Karl Rove Testifies Before Grand Jury Re: Plame
October 7, 2004 - NYT Reporter Judith Miller Ordered Jailed, Stayed
September 16, 2004 - Court Orders NYTimes Reporter to Testify in PlameGate
August 13, 2004 - NY Times Reporter Judith Miller Subpoenaed in Plame Investigation
August 9, 2004 - Reporter Held in Contempt in CIA-Plame Leak Probe
June 24, 2004 - Bush Interviewed in Plame Leak Probe
June 5, 2004 - Cheney Interviewed in Plame Investigation
June 4, 2004 - Cheney May Have Consulted Outside Counsel Over Plame Investigation
June 3, 2004 - Report: Bush Knew of Leak of Valerie Plame's Identity
June 3, 2004 - CIA Director George Tenet Resigns
June 2, 2004 - Bush Seeks Legal Advice over Plame Leak
May 22, 2004 - Reporters Subpoenaed in Plame Investigation
May 3, 2004 - Joseph Wilson Names Possible Plame Leakers
April 29, 2004 - Wilson's Book Points to Cheney
April 2, 2004 - Plame Leak Investigation Widened
March 9, 2004 - Details of Karl Rove's Plame Testimony Revealed
March 9, 2004 - Karl Rove Profile
March 5, 2004 - Subpoenas Issued in Plame Investigation
February 9, 2004 - Bush's Press Secretary Testfies in Leaks Probe
February 5, 2004 - Cheney Employees Implicated in Valerie Plame Scandal
January 22, 2004 - Grand Jury Begins Hearing Valerie Plame Case
January 6, 2004 - 'I Got a Witness': Plame Investigation
January 2, 2004 - Plame: It's Still Bush Investigating Bush
January 2, 2004 - Will Reporters Talk in the Plame Case?
January 1, 2004 - Plame Leak Not a Crime?
December 30, 2003 - Joseph Wilson Interview
December 30, 2003 - Ashcroft Recuses Himself from Valerie Plame Investigation
December 25, 2003 - Movement in the Valerie Plame Investigation
December 10, 2003 - Whatever Happened to the Valerie Plame Investigation?
October 27, 2003 - CIA Leak May Violate Patriot Act
October 23, 2003 - FBI Interviews Rove and McClellan in Leaks Probe
October 16, 2003 - Alterman on Abrams, Novak and Plame
October 16, 2003 - Ashcroft Takes Heat from Within in Leaks Probe
October 12, 2003 - Leaks Probe: FBI Focusing on Month Before the Leak
October 11, 2003 - White House E-Mails Mention Wilson and Plame
October 10, 2003 - More Agents Added to CIA Leaks Probe
October 9, 2003 - Executive Privilege in the CIA-Plame Affair
October 8, 2003 - Bush is Downplaying Leaks Investigation
October 7, 2003 - Bush Now Uncertain Leaker of CIA Information Will Be Found
October 7, 2003 - Bush Calls CIA Leak a 'Criminal Action'
October 4, 2003 - What the Wilson-Plame Affair Reveals About Bush
October 3, 2003 - David Corn Interview on 'Treason Gate'
October 1, 2003 - News Descriptions of Plame and Wilson
October 1, 2003 - What the Meaning of CIA Operative Is
September 30, 2003 - Can Novak Be Ordered to Divulge Source?
September 30, 2003 - Guardian's Borger Names Rove
September 30, 2003 - New: On the CIA's Request for Justice Department Investigation of Plame Leak
September 30, 2003 - Petition for Independent Investigation of Plame Leak
September 30, 2003 - Justice Opens Full-Blown Investigation in Valerie Plame Affair
September 30, 2003 - Robert Novak's Column on Valerie Plame
September 29, 2003 - White House: No Independent Counsel For CIA Leak
September 29, 2003 - CIA Leak Investigation: Who Goes Down First
September 29, 2003 - Reaction to Report of Justice Dept. Intelligence Probe
September 28, 2003 - Schumer's FBI Request for Investigation of Plame Leak
September 28, 2003 - White House Leaks in Plame Affair
September 27, 2003 - CIA Asks for Probe of Valerie Plame Leaks
July 25, 2003 - Valerie Plame Update
July 22, 2003 - Valerie Plame: Some Call it Treason

Posted at 05:42 PM in Culture of Corruption, Netroots, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Doug Forrester Loses Election Over Stem Cells

Posted by Bob Brigham

In two weeks, the armchair quarterbacks are going to look back on the New Jersey Governor's race and I predict a good deal of the talk on why Doug Forrester lost will be focused on Jon Corzine's new Stem Cell ad. The ad features Karl Riccio bodyslamming Doug Forrester.

Scott Shields has a lot more on the ad and Forrester's chickenshit attack on the young man in the ad.

Posted at 04:32 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Scandals | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

TX-22: Texas Command to Arrest Tom DeLay

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Arrest Warrant:



Greetings to Tom DeLay, enjoy your attempt at re-election.

Posted at 09:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Scandals, Texas | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

TX-22: Warrant Issued for Tom Delay

Posted by Bob Brigham

Republican Congressman and de-throned Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay is facing a perp walk in Texas:

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas court issued a warrant Wednesday for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to appear for booking, where he is likely to face the fingerprinting and photo mug shot he had hoped to avoid.

Bail was initially set at $10,000 as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and money laundering charges. Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County jail for booking.

The warrant was "a matter of routine and bond will be posted," DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin said.

The lawyer declined to say when DeLay would surrender to authorities but said the lawmaker would make his first court appearance Friday morning.

Tom "The Hammer" DeLay is facing life in prison for his role in the Republican Party culture of corruption.

The smart money is being contributed to Nick Lampson, who is on track to beat Representative DeLay is 2006.

file photo Congressman Tom DeLay warrant indictment

Posted at 05:06 PM in Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Texas | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

CA-26: David Dreier, the GOP, and a Re-Election Challenge

Posted by Bob Brigham

During the few brief hours David Dreier was Republican Majority Leader, there was speculation that Dreier was gay. Actually, for a long time it has been conventional wisdom among insiders that Dreier is in fact gay. Now, it is is coming out that Dreier is not Majority Leader because of this scandal.

California congressman David Dreier (R-CA) was passed over to replace House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in part because of questions about his sexuality, a congressman and several reporters told RAW STORY this week.

Dreier was expected to replace DeLay after the tough-talking Texan was indicted for conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. After being rebuffed, media reports indicated that conservatives were upset about the congressman’s “moderate positions.”

But several Washington reporters and an openly gay congressman say Dreier’s views were not the ultimate factor, asserting that speculation the Republican was gay played a major role in derailing his nomination.

This crazy episode made Dreier look pretty weak in his home district. And now that the cat is out of the bag, Dreier won't be able to count on the conservative base if he ends up in a tight race.

A dispatch from a Swing State Project source in southern California indicates that Congressman Dreier can look forward to a challenge in 2006. Not only a challenge, but a challenge by a Democrat with a story to tell and resources to invest...Dreier came so close, but the GOP homophobia caught up with him and now he might even lose his seat in congress. Here is some more background on CA-26

John Aravosis has more on GOP Closet Heterosexuals.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

MT-Sen: Max Baucus Joins Culture of Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

The new Hotline On Call (subscription free) yesterday exposed Montana Senator Max Baucus (D?) for his ties to Leo Giacometto. For those unfamiliar with Montana politics, Giacometto has a reputation as being the most crooked hack around -- no matter where in the country he goes. We aren't just talking typical pay-to-play corruption, we're talking one of the key guys in the death of Republican Rep. Paul Sliter. Yet Democrat Max Baucus is now entangled in Giacometto's culture of corruption.

Montana blogger Matt Singer is widely respected because he talks truth to power and refuses to give free passes to Democrats when their actions deserve to be criticized. So go check out Left in the West, Singer justifiably takes his Senator to the woodshed.

UPDATE: (Bob) On the most popular Democratic blog (average of more than 750,000 readers a day), the word is:

Corruption is corruption, no matter where it takes place, no matter which party engages in it. [...]

Keep that shit on their side of the aisle. It's hard to talk "culture of corruption" when our own side starts fraternizing with their sleaziest characters.

Posted at 01:08 PM in Culture of Corruption, Montana, Scandals | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 07, 2005

VA-Gov: Jerry Kilgore a Porn Star?

Posted by Bob Brigham

jerry kilgore Jerry Kilgore is running for Governor of Virginia, but looks a helluva lot like a former porn star. I'm not one who usually makes generalizations from a photo, but the Republican candidate really does look like a vintage porn star.

Anyway, I'm guessing the voters of Virginia are far more concerned about the issues then the fact the GOP nominee looks like an old-school porn star. I mean, voters decide on the issues, don't they?

If voters do decide on the issues, then Jerry Kilgore has a bigger problems then the fact he looks like a seventies porn star. Go watch the video the pic is taken from, it is Kilgore back when he ran the prisons. He is bragging about going an entire day without a prison break.

I'm not making this up, he actually brags about this. If you look at the hard numbers, prison escapes jumped 300% under Jerry Kilgore.

Now I'm not saying that somebody who looks like a third-rate porn star can't run a prison system. And I'm not saying that somebody who looks like a dirty porn star can't run an entire state. But Jerry Kilgore both looks like a pervert porn star and the way he ran the prison system suggests he would be an awful Governor.

Me, I hope the voters decide on the issues rather than the fact Jerry Kilgore sported a porn star mustache. Because somebody who is both incompetent and sets the bar that low has no business running Virginia.

Go check out the video at

Posted at 04:52 PM in 2005 Elections, Republicans, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

OH-Sen: Democrats Need to Support Major Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Paul Hackett The Democratic Party has a major problem on the issue of Iraq. The voters have decidedly turned against the war, but Democrats have been unable to capitalize upon the movement because Democrats have lacked a clear message and support for the war by Washington Establishment Democrats has created a situtation where Democrats don't have credibility on the issue.

It doesn't have to be that way. The Democratic Party has a unique opportunity in Ohio to finally have both credibility and a message on Iraq. Major Paul Hackett can single-handedly change the national dynamics around the war. But, instead of embracing this opportunity, Washington Insiders decided to frag Major Hackett. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

But before [Sherrod] Brown, 52, can talk about his own work on health care, trade, Social Security and the environment, he'll have to deal with a clumsy situation that his entrance created Thursday.

Brown announced his intentions just three days after another Democrat, Paul Hackett of suburban Cincinnati, got into the Senate race. Hackett decided to run after Brown announced in August that he would stay in the U.S. House - a decision that, Brown said two weeks ago, he didn't regret.

The Hackett camp says it feels betrayed, since Brown, of Avon, assured Hackett face-to-face that he was not running.

"Sherrod Brown told the candidate three weeks ago that he was not entering the race, so the campaign was surprised at Sherrod's indecisiveness and change of heart," said Michael Brautigam, an adviser to Hackett. "Sherrod's entry into the race is not only dishonorable, it's disloyal to the Democratic Party and to democratic ideals."

While Congressman Sherrod Brown is attempting to clean up the mess from him breaking his word, Major Hackett is drilling with his Marines. The contrast between another untrustworthy Washington politician and a true leader couldn't be clearer.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Ohio, Scandals | Comments (42) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

MT-Sen: Conrad Burns Denies Being Corrupt

Posted by Bob Brigham

Montana Senator Conrad Burns is a key figure in multiple investigations (FBI, Justice Department, and the Interior Department Inspector General), the scandals are hurting his re-election chances, and even Karl Rove is worried.

Burns first ran a campaign against Washington politicians, vowing to only serve to terms so he wouldn't become corrupted by Washington politics. But Burns loved Washington politics so he broke his word to the voters and ran for a third term. Now, even though his is up to his cowboy hat in corruption, he is running for his fourth term. And it is playing out in the Montana newspapers.

Today, Conrad Burns had an op-ed distancing himself from his close ties to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and playing himself off as a victim. He even goes so far as to say:

They have declared me guilty of ethics violations. Absolutely not true. I am not under any investigation, nor have I been.

That is the type of spin you would expect from somebody who has been in DC for too long. As a Swing State Project reader notes in an email:

The Senate Ethics Committee was asked to investigate these claims by Montana Democratic Party Chairman Bob Ream. The Ethics Committee does not comment on ongoing investigation, therefore Sen. Burns cannot honestly say that he knows he is not under investigation. However, this is what we do know:
• The Senate Gifts Rule restricts gifts from lobbyists. Members, officers, and employees of the Senate may not accept “gifts of personal hospitality” from registered lobbyists. Jack Abramoff was a registered lobbyist. As a result, neither Sen. Burns nor any member of his staff was permitted to accept reimbursement for travel expenses from Mr. Abramoff. [Senate Ethics Manual, ch.2, p. 43]
• Members and staff of the Senate are only permitted to accept reimbursement for officially related travel. “Reimbursement for necessary expenses for events which are substantially recreational in nature, however, is not considered to be ‘in connection with the duties of a Member, officer or employee . . . and will not be allowed.’” As examples of travel that may not be accepted, the Senate Ethics Manual includes “charity golf, tennis, fishing, or ski tournaments.” It is extremely difficult to believe that a trip to the Super Bowl with a side trip to a gambling ship wouldn’t fall into the same category. [Rule 35, Senate Ethics Manual, p. 44.]

Burns can play himself off as the victim, but Montanans know Senator Burns is crooked. Montana voters are the victims, the taxpayers are the victim, good government is the victim. Burns is so out of touch, you would think he has been in DC for 17 years. Wait, he has. And during that time, he has become exactly what he campaigned against when he first ran in 1988.

Posted at 12:40 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, Montana, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

MO-07: Roy Blunt Exposed as Central Figure in GOP Culture of Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

In 1998, the Democrat challenging Republican Congressman Roy Blunt in Missouri's 7th District didn't raise or spend a dime. In 2000 and 2002, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn't even field a candidate against Blunt, allowing Blunt to focus on his "Battleground 2002" project which moved $5.6 million to Republican House candidates. In 2004, Democrats at least bothered to field a candidate, but Blunt had a 15:1 cash advantage and wasn't pinned down, allowing him to raise money for other Republicans to the point where he is now Republican Leader in Congress.

But, the rising profile for Congressman Blunt is a double-edged sword, because he just got busted by the AP for his role in laundering money with Tom DeLay (who is currently facing life in prison for illegally laundering money):

Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.

The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.

Congressman Roy Blunt needs a strong Democratic challenger willing to expose Blunt's "Culture of Corruption" and pin him down in Missouri so he isn't raising money for candidates in targetted races.

Blunt's crooked transactions with DeLay deserve an investigation:

The government's former chief election enforcement lawyer said the Blunt and DeLay transactions are similar to the Texas case and raise questions that should be investigated regarding whether donors were deceived or the true destination of their money was concealed.

"These people clearly like using middlemen for their transactions," said Lawrence Noble. "It seems to be a pattern with DeLay funneling money to different groups, at least to obscure, if not cover, the original source," said Noble, who was the
Federal Election Commission's chief lawyer for 13 years, including in 2000 when the transactions occurred.

None of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations DeLay collected for the 2000 convention were ever disclosed to federal regulators because the type of group DeLay used wasn't governed by federal law at the time.

Check out Blunt's spin and tell me he isn't vulnerable.

Blunt and DeLay planned all along to raise more money than was needed for the convention parties and then route some of that to other causes, such as supporting state candidates, said longtime Blunt aide Gregg Hartley.

"We put together a budget for what we thought we would raise and spend on the convention and whatever was left over we were going to use to support candidates," said Hartley, Blunt's former chief of staff who answered AP's questions on behalf of Blunt.

Hartley said he saw no similarity to the Texas case. The fact that DeLay's charity, Christine DeLay's consulting firm and Blunt's son were beneficiaries was a coincidence, Hartley said.

Whoops, the fact that money ended up going to Blunt and DeLay family members was an accident...

Much of the money — including one donation to Blunt from an Abramoff client accused of running a "sweatshop" garment factory in the Northern Mariana Islands — changed hands in the spring of 2000, a period of keen interest to federal prosecutors.

During that same time, Abramoff arranged for DeLay to use a concert skybox for donors and to take a golfing trip to Scotland and England that was partly underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients. Prosecutors are investigating whether the source of some of the money was disguised, and whether some of DeLay's expenses were originally put on the lobbyist's credit card in violation of House rules.

Both DeLay and Blunt and their aides also met with Abramoff's lobbying team several times in 2000 and 2001 on the Marianas issues, according to law firm billing records obtained by AP under an open records request. DeLay was instrumental in blocking legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's clients.

Noble said investigators should examine whether the pattern of disguising the original source of money might have been an effort to hide the leaders' simultaneous financial and legislative dealings with Abramoff and his clients.

"You see Abramoff involved and see the meetings that were held and one gets the sense Abramoff is helping this along in order to get access and push his clients' interest," he said. "And at the same time, you see Delay and Blunt trying to hide the root of their funding.

Blunt is just as crooked as DeLay:

Blunt and DeLay have long been political allies. The 2000 transactions occurred as
President Bush was marching toward his first election to the White House, DeLay was positioning himself to be House majority leader and Blunt was lining up to succeed DeLay as majority whip, the third-ranking position in the House.

The entities Blunt and DeLay formed allowed them to collect donations of any size and any U.S. source with little chance of federal scrutiny.

DeLay's convention fundraising arm, part of his Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), collected large corporate donations to help wine and dine Republican VIPs during the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in late summer 2000. DeLay's group has declined to identify any of the donors.

Blunt's group, a nonfederal wing of his Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, eventually registered its activities in Missouri but paid a $3,000 fine for improperly concealing its fundraising in 1999 and spring 2000, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records.

Blunt claims he had no clue he was crooked:

Hartley said Blunt was unaware that Mrs. DeLay worked at the firm when he made the payments, and that she had nothing to do with Blunt's group. [...]

Hartley said Blunt always liked to help the state party and the fact that his son got party help after his donation was a coincidence. "They are unrelated activities," he said.

When Congressman Roy Blunt runs for re-election, he needs to be met with a full court press. The voters deserve a choice.

Posted at 12:29 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Culture of Corruption, Missouri, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

DCCC Incumbent Protection Message on Iraq

Posted by Bob Brigham

Two months ago today, David Sirota rightly blasted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a disconnect on Iraq:

On the issue of the Iraq War, the disconnect between the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party establishment and political reality in America is growing by the day. Case in point is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's attitude towards the tremendous special election run by Paul Hackett in the staunchly Republican Cincinnati suburbs.

Hackett, an Iraq War veteran, made headlines in the campaign for taking a strong position against the original decision to go to war in Iraq, even calling the President of the United States an SOB. And while it's true, Hackett didn't support full withdrawal from Iraq, few would deny that his position opposing the war was a key part of his campaign.

Ultimately, the anti-war position defined his candidacy, and was the clear reason he was able to do so well in such a Republican district. That should be no surprise: polls have been telling us for months that America agrees with Hackett in believing going to war in Iraq was a mistake. Meanwhile, Americans' view of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level ever.

Incredibly, however, in a memo sent to all Democratic House Members about what Democrats should learn from the Hackett race, the DCCC makes not one mention of the Iraq War and its effect on the election. Not one. It is as if the party is going out of its way to deny the importance of Democrats taking a strong position against the war, or making the war a serious issue in their campaigns.

In the two months since the infamous DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel sent this memo, more than 150 US troops have made the ultimate sacrifice and public opinion polls have moved another 5-10 points against Emanuel and Bush.

Any Democrat serious about challenging an incumbent Republican member of Congress is wise to make Iraq a defining issue in the race. Yet the DCCC has remained silent on Iraq because the message is quite different for incumbent Democrats who -- like Congressman Rahm Emanuel -- are on the wrong side of the issue. As long as the DCCC remains silent, it is clear that their message and priority is incumbent protection -- trying to minimize losses instead of winning seats.

Yesterday, Chris Bowers noted that Congressman Rahm Emanuel never mentioned "Iraq" when talking about the difference between Democrats and Republicans on Meet the Press:

This is despite the fact that recent polling has repeatedly shown that the number one difference between rank and file Democrats and rank and file Republicans is, in general, differing views on national security policy and the use of military force and, in particular, the decision to go to war in Iraq. This is despite the fact that back in May, during the first vote on withdrawal in the House, Republicans voted 98% against and over 60% of Democrats voted in favor. And that was in May.

So, it would appear that the DCCC wants to sweep the number one issue that separates Democrats from Republicans under the rug. This issue also happens to be the number one issue in the country. And oh yeah--it is an issue on which the majority Democratic position has overwhelming national support, including a near majority among Republicans.


But hey, let's not run on said issue. In fact, let's not even mention it. Let's take it off the table, because that worked really well in 2002. Let's brag, like Schumer did in 2002, that Bush was winking at us during his speech when he was stating his case for war--a war which DSCC head Schumer voted for--rather than arguing that said speech and said war was based upon lies. Let's not talk about Iraq, because we are Democrats, and we don't want to win, and we don't want to address the important issues of the day, and we don't have the guts to stand up and support what the vast majority of our caucus, our rank-and-file, and our entire nation supports.

If Iraq isn't on the Democratic agenda in 2006, we will lose. A party will never sweep to power if it holds the same minority position on the most important issue of the day as the current governing party. I am starting to wonder if Democrats in D.C. have the ability to grasp this, or if they even care.

That last line brings up an important question and the answer is the difference between Rahm Emanuel's DCCC being incompetent or just lacking an interest in anything other than protecting incumbent Democrats. Because I would hate to think it is the former, I'm going to assume it is the latter. Regardless, I think it is clear that the DCCC is not focused on winning additional seats in 2006.

A few hours later, Bower's post was linked on the most popular Democratic blog where Kos said:

The DCCC's top dog, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, is putting together a pretty solid foundation for a "Democratic agenda". Yet he continues to avoid Iraq like the plague, ignoring the most pressing and important issue of the day.

A reminder to those blinder-wearing DC Dems -- support for the Iraq War is crashing.

Two months ago, Sirota smacked Emanuel upside the head and it played out in the papers:

"This sentiment gives Democrats an opening," he said recently. "We can now make the case that an exit strategy from Iraq will actually strengthen our national security. We have to stand up for our principles. There is strength in national-security prudence. There is weakness in national-security impulsiveness, as Bush has demonstrated. People will believe us. They have the evidence in front of their eyes every night on the evening news."

Unfortunately, he argued, the top Democrats are boxed by their own past complicity: "They were proponents of this war... . They can't speak out now with any moral authority."

Some net-roots liberals are even demanding that the pro-war Democrats show some contrition. Bob Brigham, who runs, said: "We as a party can't run from this issue any longer. Some people need to admit being wrong about the war. And we all need to show some political courage. That's what voters respect. If you have core convictions, and aggressively demonstrate that, voters will respect you, regardless of whether they agree with you on individual issues."

Brigham and Sirota, among others, cite the results of an Ohio congressional race on Aug. 2. In a die-hard Republican district where Democrats routinely lose by 40 points, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who contended that Bush has been "incredibly stupid" on the war, lost by only two. Yet the Washington Democrats seemed not to notice; when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee analyzed Hackett's strong showing in a memo, it never cited the war as a factor.

Congressman Emanuel needs to make a major adjustment in strategy. As long as the DCCC ignores Iraq, it is not an organization worth supporting unless your goal is to waste money on incompetence or fund an effort focused on Democrats minimizing losses.

Bloggers are calling bullshit on this strategy and something tells me we are close to another round of this playing out in the press. While I'm pulling together some choice quotes for reporters, I hope Congressman Emanuel begins dealing with a subject he has avoided for far too long.

The 2006 midterm elections could be tidal for Democrats, but we need some leadership on the most important issue of the day to pull it off. The current leadership vacuum will be filled, if not by the DCCC then from the ground up with a message they can't control.

While I would love to see 2006 be a Democratic year, the establishment Democrats lack of contrast with the Republicans means it could very well be a "throw the bums out" cycle. If Emanuel cares about keeping incumbent Democrats in congress, the quickest route is to join the American people on the most important issue and have some contrast with the GOP. This is also the quickest route to pick up seats, but I think we all realize that isn't the goal.

UPDATE: Sirota piles on.

UPDATE: Looking at the transcript, we see that Emanuel was asked about Iraq:

MR. RUSSERT: So, for example, should we withdraw troops from Iraq?

REP. EMANUEL: Well, I--let me--let's take what the general just said. Let's deal with that.

The correct answer is, "damn straight" but since Emanuel wants to sit on the fence and not offer a yes or no answer, he gets questioned again.

MR. RUSSERT: But what are the Democratic ideas?

REP. EMANUEL: I'm going to lay them out. I here to answer it. You know, what you guys have provided, Tom, is a set of old policies, even in this crisis we have with Katrina, that got us to this result, which is a failed set of policies, where, in fact, we've added up $3 trillion in the nation's debt, more people are losing health care, and poverty's going up. Democrats want to offer big ideas to change the direction of this country because we can do better.

On Iraq, we have a false choice between stay the course and get the same results and just pull up. I think Senator Levin laid out a very good agenda, which is we're going to have measurements. You can't say after two and a half years, like you asked the general before, two and a half years, nearly $400 billion, and we have one Iraqi battalion? We're going to set standards every way and measurements from the political process, economic process and also on the military and national security where Iraq has to stand up.

MR. RUSSERT: OK. So--so...

REP. EMANUEL: Let me go over--let's go...

MR. RUSSERT: No, no, wait. So if the Iraqis do not stand up, if there are not 10 battalions, 15 battalions in place, we withdraw?

REP. EMANUEL: See, Tim, that's the wrong question, in my view.

MR. RUSSERT: Well...

REP. EMANUEL: I'll tell you why, because when we...

MR. RUSSERT: But it's the question I asked.

REP. EMANUEL: But the Congress has an obligation to hold a standard. We have given the president a blank check. It's been a rubber-stamp Congress that sent troops in there without Kevlar vests, without Humvees. We have to have a standard in which Iraq and the administration measure up over the two years, and at that point we'll evaluate where we are.

There is an answer that fits nicely on a bumper sticker.

MR. RUSSERT: So was it a mistake for Democrats in the Senate and House to vote to authorize the war?

REP. EMANUEL: Given the information that we were given them, they made their decision. What has been a mistake is to let this type of administration basically run a policy of incompetence when it comes to Iraq.

The problem is that Bush is able to continue his "policy of incompetence" because of weak Democratic leaders who were on the wrong side of the vote, have been hiding from the issue, and won't give a simple answer that voters can digest.

Why Democrats don't have a message on Iraq as part of what is the difference between Democrats and Republicans is a major, major problem. Emanuel needs to get his act together.

Posted at 11:25 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Democrats, International, Ohio, Polls, Scandals | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OH-Sen: Harriet Miers, the Blogs, and Mike DeWine's Re-Election Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following Paul Hackett's astonishing showing in the OH-02 Special Election, there was a great deal of ink used by pundits trying to understand how Hackett's blogosphere support allowed him to outspend Jean Schmidt in a congressional district Democrats had written off for the longest time.

In fact, Campaigns and Elections Magazine currently has a cover story: Blogging Down the Money Trail on the subject. The netroots scored CNN's Political Play of the Week. The press and establishment hacks on both sides of the aisle began paying attention to the potential of online small dollar donations being deployed to crucial districts. You would think more people would have been thinking this way after Howard Dean, but then again, most of the people now paying attention are the ones who said Dean was making a mistake by not accepting matching funds. Yet Dean raised more money with his distributed model, Hackett outspent Schmidt, and now a helluva lot of serious people are wondering how this will play out in 2006.

I think we can get an idea of this dynamic by looking a Senator Mike DeWine's re-election campaign in Ohio.

The Ohio Senate race is destined to be one of the most closely watched in the nation. Ohio is a crucial swing state, and Ohio Republicans are engulfed in major corruption scandals. As Democrats move to embrace the "Culture of Corruption" meme against Republicans, polls in Ohio will give us an early glimpse of how such a message could move voters.

Ohio is also home to very expensive media markets and the winning campaign will be the one most successful at capturing the attention of voters. As a tight swing state, the potential for a close race is very real and the impact of the blogs could be enormous.

Republican Blogs and Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine is in a tricky situation as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kos says:

One last key point -- DeWine sits on the judicial committee, which will become a flash point as social conservatives gear up to oppose the Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. DeWine can't afford to lose the diehard social conservatives, already made difficult when he joined the Gang of 14 that prevented Frist from executing his "nuclear option" on judicial filibusters.

After the Gang of 14 move by Senator DeWine, conservative bloggers mounted a Not. One. Dime. boycott of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Not. One. Dime. The next time Ken Mehlman sends you a request for money, that's the message he needs to get back. We ponied up in 2004, and in 2002, and in 2000. The GOP not only has not delivered, its current leadership won't even try. Frist and Rick Santorum claim they don't have the votes. Balderdash -- they don't have the leadership to get the votes. I'm not going to fund or support people who won't try to win, especially when the issue is so important.

Not. One. Dime. We're not in an election year, so this makes it easy for the Republicans to get this message to party leaders. No balls, no Blue Chips, boys. I don't mean just for the Senate, either. I mean for the entire Republican party. Feeding a fever may be good medicine, but feeding a failure only makes it last longer. Perhaps hunger will work where courage has so obviously failed.

Not. One. Dime. And when a vote does come, those Republicans who wind up supporting the minority's extortion over the majority in defiance of the Constitution will never see another dime from me -- but their opponents will, at every level of contest. Honestly, with Republicans like these in the Senate, we may as well have Democrats.

Now, convervative bloggers a livid over the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. The GOP is fracturing and his now on the defense in 2006 and 2008. The Harriet Miers' paper trail is on the verge of making conservative heads explode.

The smart move for DeWine would be to use his position on the Judiciary Committee to blast Miers and then vote against her, saving his conservative credentials and patching up his strained relationship with the right-wing bloggers. But it doesn't look like that is his intention:

DeWine's ability to defend his seat against suddenly competitive Democrats might depend on his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which puts him at the center of the latest Supreme Court nomination process.

DeWine and his 17 committee mates will hold confirmation hearings for White House counsel Harriet Miers, announced Monday by President Bush as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. [...]

In an interview Monday after the nomination was announced, DeWine gave Miers a strong endorsement.

That is not what the conservative bloggers want to hear. Even worse, it looks like DeWine's situation will both hurt him with his base while not yielding any position with independents:

White isn't so sure that voters will focus on the nomination process because of the investment and ethics scandals involving Ohio's Republican-controlled state government.

"At this time, (the Supreme Court) is not driving the political arena here," White said, adding DeWine could have to deal with fallout from decisions Miers and recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts make.

To recap, DeWine is in a situation where the voters are focusing on the "Culture of Corruption" in the Ohio Republican Party and the conservative blogs have zero interest in helping him. This was the same position (now) Congresswoman Jean Schmidt found herself in when the conservative bloggers sat out this year's Special Election.

Democratic Blogs and the Ohio Senate Race

Even with a (slim) prospect of Congressman Sherrod Brown challenging Paul Hackett for the Democratic Party nomination, the Democratic blogs are remarkably focused upon the race.

Sure, there is some internal tension with the Blogfather pushing Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett enjoying a 70 percentage point advantage in a new straw poll.

Yet either way, the Democratic Blogosphere is going to be pumped to support the Democratic nominee against Senator DeWine.

Since Hackett is the only announced candidate, let's see what he brings to the table.

The above is a map of Hackett contributors during the Special Election. Yes, that is a 50 state base that came together in two weeks. With Hackett running, we can expect a campaign of straight talk and bold action that cuts through the clutter and connects with voters of all political leanings.

When I was embedded with the Hackett campaign, I kept hearing, "I don't agree with you, but I appreciate where you're coming from." These were voters who disagreed with, but respected, Major Hackett. They voted for Hackett, because they knew he was something special.

Democratic activists also have a lot of respect for Congressman Sherrod Brown since he is the exact personification of a Representative who will makes the grassroots feel a sense of pride in supporting.


So going into 2006, it appears that Senator Mike DeWine will be lacking the newest force in politics for his re-election campaign. At the same time, the Democratic blogosphere and netroots are united to throw DeWine out of office.

The only out for DeWine is to vote against his President and vote against Harriet Miers nomination for the Supreme Court. But DeWine is too chicken and that is part of the reason the conservative base won't raise a finger for his campaign.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are embracing cutting edge campaign tactics. Paul Hackett ran the most efficient blogosphere campaign ever and Rep. Brown started Grow Ohio. No matter what happens, it is looking like the netroots are going to kick Mike DeWine's ass out of the U.S. Senate.

Posted at 08:18 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Ohio, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Harriet Miers Paper Trail

Posted by Bob Brigham

Conservative bloggers were outraged to learn of Harriet Miers Homosexual Agenda of support gays and lesbians. Conservatives lost it when they found out Miers had donated money to Al Gore's campaign. During the first 24 hours, the Harriet Miers paper trail was nothing but bad news for her nomination.

Now we have the photo trail, an event that the mainstream media won't touch. From Editor and Publisher:

On its front page Tuesday, The New York Times published a photo of new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers going over a briefing paper with President George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch “in August 2001,” the caption reads.

USA Today and the Boston Globe carried the photo labeled simply “2001,” but many other newspapers ran the picture in print or on the Web with a more precise date: Aug. 6, 2001.

Does that date sound familiar? Indeed, that was the date, a little over a month before 9/11, that President Bush was briefed on the now-famous “PDB” that declared that Osama Bin Laden was “determined” to attack the U.S. homeland, perhaps with hijacked planes. But does that mean that Miers had anything to do with that briefing?

As it turns out, yes, according to Tuesday's Los Angeles Times. An article by Richard A. Serrano and Scott Gold observes that early in the Bush presidency “Miers assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial 'presidential daily briefing' hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.”

The significance?

The PDB was headed “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and notes, among other things, FBI information indicating “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks.”

This is the probably with Bush promoting cronies -- they aren't fit for jobs they are giving. It appears Harriet Miers is earning the nickname, Brownie Miers

Posted at 03:14 PM in International, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

TX-22: Tom DeLay Facing Life in Prison

Posted by Bob Brigham

There is a major political battle brewing in the twenty-second congressional district of Texas where embattled Republican Majority Leader Congressman Tom DeLay is being challenged by former Congressman Nick Lampson.

Last spring, this race looked competitive because everyone knew Rep. Tom DeLay was crooked. Then this race catapulted because Tom DeLay was indicted for conspiracy to committ crookedness. Yesterday, DeLay was indicted again, this time for money laundering with a bonus charge of conspiring to launder money.

And now DeLay's trickster lawyers have him looking at life in prison:

A bit of a chess game is developing in Texas, as Ronnie Earle attempts to make Tom DeLay pay for his sins. First, we had an indictment on conspiracy, a charge which carries a penalty of six months to two years in jail. "Conspiracy!" Republican operatives mocked. "This is just a conspiracy against Tom DeLay." And really, people said, conspiracy is just what you charge when you've got nothing better.

But then DeLay lawyer Dick Deguerin, who embarrassed Ronnie Earle in the Kay Bailey Hutchison case, files a motion to say the conspiracy statue didn't apply to campaign finance law in TX until September 2003, a year after DeLay dreamt up his little conspiracy.

Wham!! Just a few hours later, Earle (who seems to have snuck a new grand jury into his back pocket without Deguerin noticing) gets a jury to indict on money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Charges which carry sentences of up to life in prison for the money laundering charge, and twenty years for the conspiracy to commit money laundering.

So DeLay's lawyers had a client looking at 2 years and their expert legal maneuvering positioned their client to now be looking at life behind bars?

Back in Sugar Land, the Democratic candidate for congress is letting the courts and the national media give Congressman DeLay his due. Reports indicate Nick Lampson is keeping his focus on running hard for the Texans in the district, instead of just running against DeLay.

Here is Lampson's statement:

"We always knew ethics would be an issue for Tom DeLay, but I cannot make that the entire basis of my campaign. I now have to work even harder to get my agenda out to the voters of this district, and present a positive alternative to Congressman DeLay. I will campaign on a return to fiscal discipline, service to constituents and security for Southeast Texans. Ethics will inevitably be a part of this race, but it will be up to the judicial system to decide whether or not Tom DeLay is guilty."

Indeed, the judicial system will decide whether DeLay is guilty of corruption, but the voters are already making up their minds about whether Tom DeLay is crooked.

DeLay's re-election campaign will be one of the most expensive in the nation and is anchored in a high-dollar media market. But if Nick Lampson has enough money to get out his message, Tom DeLay's past will continue to fuel the ethical fires consuming the Republican Party.

Posted at 01:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Texas | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Chickens Out; Conservative Heads Explode

Posted by Bob Brigham

The consensus is established: Bush is a lame duck and the reaction to Harriet Miers is nothing but angst from the Republican base. Because President George Bush is a "Lame Duck" who fears the Democrats more than the loss of his base. Here is the raw political analysis...

The New York Times:

By instead settling on a loyalist with no experience as a judge and little substantive record on abortion, affirmative action, religion and other socially divisive issues, Mr. Bush shied away from a direct confrontation with liberals and in effect asked his base on the right to trust him on this one.

The question is why.

On one level, his reasons for trying to sidestep a partisan showdown are obvious, and come down to his reluctance to invest his diminished supply of political capital in a battle over the court.

The White House is still struggling to recover from its faltering response to Hurricane Katrina. The Republican Party is busily trying to wave away a scent of second-term scandal. The relentlessly bloody insurgency in Iraq continues to weigh heavily on his presidency. And no president can retain his political authority for long if he loses his claim to the center.

"The swagger is gone from this White House," said Charles E. Cook Jr., editor of The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter, citing a litany of other difficulties afflicting the administration, including high gasoline prices and the failure of Mr. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. "They know they have horrible problems and they came up with the least risky move they could make."

The Bush Administration and the Republican Party have been gripped by the Fear. They are playing defense. One might even say the GOP is behaving like the Democratic Party (ouch).

The Washington Post:

If President Bush's goal is to shift the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction, his nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers yesterday signaled a desire to do so as quietly as possible. The nomination appeared designed primarily to avoid a major fight in the Senate and, said skeptics on the left and right, was made out of a position of political weakness, not strength.

Bush's decision confounded both right and left, as perhaps the president's advisers had hoped. In nominating someone who caused dismay among conservative activists but who provoked little strong opposition among Democrats -- and words of praise from Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) -- the White House may have calculated that Bush can more easily afford some early heat from the right than a titanic struggle with Democrats that could tie up the Senate and leave him in an even weaker position three months from now.

Reaction to Harriet Miers from the Republican Party

The Republican Establishment is pissed, just ask Richard Viguerie:

“Congratulations are due to Ralph Neas, Nan Aron, and Chuck Schumer for going toe-to-toe with President Bush and forcing him to blink,” said conservative activist Richard A. Viguerie. “Liberals have successfully cowed President Bush by scaring him off from nominating a known conservative, strict constructionist to the Court, leaving conservatives fearful of which direction the Court will go.”

“President Bush desperately needed to have an ideological fight with the Left to redefine himself and re-energize his political base, which is in shock and dismay over his big government policies,” Viguerie added.

“With their lack of strong, identifiable records, President Bush’s choices for Supreme Court nominees seem designed more to avoid a fight with the extreme Left than to appeal to his conservative base,” lamented Viguerie.

Many conservatives worry that without verifiable records, President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees will be more like the liberal Justice Souter than the conservative, strict constructionists Scalia and Thomas.

Remembering and still dismayed about how his father, President George H. W. Bush (the 41st), lied to conservatives and American voters by saying he was a conservative and expressly stating he would not raise taxes, conservatives fear President George W. Bush (the 43rd) has done the same by failing to nominate well-known conservative, strict constructionists to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“President Bush has presided over the largest growth in government since Lyndon Johnson, and now he appears willing to lose all credibility with conservative voters by failing to fulfill his campaign vow to nominate an openly Scalia- or Thomas-like justice,” Viguerie concluded.

Conservatives are also exceedingly disappointed in the Republican Leadership in Congress as well. Conservatives will now begin to seriously consider why they should continue to give their support –money, labor, and votes – to Republican politicians who take their conservative base for granted by continually lying to them.

The Emerging Republican Base is pissed, as the National Journal's Beltway Blogroll reports:

Then came Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court today. The current White House counsel has never served as a judge; she apparently has no substantial paper trail that would enable conservatives to vet her record; and perhaps worst of all, she contributed money to Bush's 2000 nemesis, Democrat Al Gore, when Gore sought the presidency in 1988.

The rhetorical dam burst wide open after Bush announced her nomination, and the flood of criticism is thick with conservative voices.

Once again, Malkin is at the forefront. Numerous blogs are quoting her refrain: "What Julie Myers is to the Department of Homeland Security, Harriet Miers is to the Supreme Court." And Mike Krempasky of RedState said bluntly: "Mr. President, you've got some explaining to do. And please remember -- we've been defending you these five years because of this moment."

Right Thinking from the Left Coast eloquently connected the cronyism dots from Brown to Miers. "I'd like to take a moment to coin a new phrase: Brownie moment. A Brownie moment can be defined simply as the moment when a supporter of President Bush is smacked in the head by reality and loses any and all faith in the president from that moment forward. ... This was my Brownie moment," Lee wrote of the Miers nomination.

Bush made the type of cowardly move you would expect from a Lame Duck Chickenhawk. We'll see whether the GOP base sticks to their beliefs or is forced to stand by their failed President. Either way, the political entertainment value of Harriet Miers is significant.


WASHINGTON — President Bush's decision to nominate White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court shows that he isn't afraid to disappoint conservatives, prefers to promote trusted advisers and listens to his wife.

Not a good night to be a conservative.

Posted at 11:51 PM in Netroots, Republicans, Scandals | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Harriet Miers Homosexual Agenda and the Republican Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last week, Gay Republican David Dreier was (briefly) annointed as Republican Majority Leader, until the radical right realized he was gay and flipped out. The fact Congressman David Dreier was even considered was perceived to be a major slap to the conservative base.

Harriet Miers does not have much of a paper trail, but there is clear records documenting her support for gay rights. And, gay adoption. Did Bush really ignore the entire Christian Right and nominate a lesbian and gay support for a lifetime gig on the Supreme Court? So far, this is the only paper trail available.

This has set up a scenario where the Republicans are heading into the 2006 election cycle, without the support of their base.

This began during the filibuster battle. The GOP blogs called it their Not. One. Dime. campaign:

Not. One. Dime. The next time Ken Mehlman sends you a request for money, that's the message he needs to get back. We ponied up in 2004, and in 2002, and in 2000. The GOP not only has not delivered, its current leadership won't even try. Frist and Rick Santorum claim they don't have the votes. Balderdash -- they don't have the leadership to get the votes. I'm not going to fund or support people who won't try to win, especially when the issue is so important.

Not. One. Dime. We're not in an election year, so this makes it easy for the Republicans to get this message to party leaders. No balls, no Blue Chips, boys. I don't mean just for the Senate, either. I mean for the entire Republican party. Feeding a fever may be good medicine, but feeding a failure only makes it last longer. Perhaps hunger will work where courage has so obviously failed.

Not. One. Dime. And when a vote does come, those Republicans who wind up supporting the minority's extortion over the majority in defiance of the Constitution will never see another dime from me -- but their opponents will, at every level of contest. Honestly, with Republicans like these in the Senate, we may as well have Democrats.

Not. One. Dime. If Bill Frist can't lead the GOP, then let's get rid of him now and find someone with the stomach for it. As long as he dithers, he'll never see a dime out of me for any election. Kay Bailey Hutchinson would have more guts and could pull the troops in line better; maybe we should give her a try as Majority Leader for a while.

It's time to send a real message to the Republicans about their priorities and their lack of leadership. This fight has been brewing for months, and it should have already been resolved by now. If they can't hack it, then we will find -- and fund -- the leaders who can.

That was before today, now the Republican base is really pissed off (see here and here).

Billmon Reports:

What's happening over in Right Blogostan right now is simply amazing. It's like the political equivalent of Yugoslavia -- and Tito just died.

Suddenly all the repressed anger and resentment at Bush and Rove is boiling over. Hordes of wing nuts are almost literally howling (in ALL CAPS) about the metric tons of shit they've put up with -- the round-the-clock pork festivals, the federal entitlement for drug companies, the congressional leadership so corrupt it would make Boss Tweed blush, the bloody quagmire in Iraq, Mike Brown, the New Deal on the Mississippi, etc. etc. [...]

Meanwhile the hardcore Bush loyalists kinda have their backs pressed up against the wall, with big, round, white eyes -- like a bunch of guards in an asylum for the violently insane who've just realized the Thorazine shots aren't working any more.

I haven't seen anything like this -- a full-scale, knock-down, intra-party brawl that doesn't involve Democrats -- since Shrub's daddy decided he didn't want people to read his lips after all. And all because Harriet Miers gave a few bucks to Al Gore!

I'm sure there is much, much more to come.

Posted at 08:48 PM in 2006 Elections, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Harriet Miers & 2006

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today, Bush nominated Harriet Miers in a move that is fracturing the GOP. As Kos notes:

Mier's nomination was predicated by fear. Bush is afraid. That's why the right-wingers are pissed. Their fearless leader couldn't muster up the courage for a real fight against Senate Democrats.

Fear yes, but of the Senate Democrats or fear of more conspiracy charges? From Think Progress:

Near the end of a round table discussion on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos dropped this bomb:

Definitely a political problem but I wonder, George Will, do you think it’s a manageable one for the White House especially if we don’t know whether Fitzgerald is going to write a report or have indictments but if he is able to show as a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.

This would explain why Bush spent more than an hour answering questions from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It would also fundamentally change the dynamics of the scandal.

Indeed, serious people are using the term "unindicted co-conspirator". While Harriet Meirs doesn't have much of a paper trail legally, she does has a strong background when it comes to Bush scandals:

But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal.

How will this effect the 2006 midterm elections?

Kos says:

More immediately, this is the sort of pick that can have real-world repercussions in 2006, with a demoralized Republican Right refusing to do the heavy lifting needed to stem big losses. That Bush went this route rather than throwing his base the red meat they craved is nothing less than a sign of weakness. For whatever reason, Rove and Co. decided they weren't in position to wage a filibuster fight with Democrats on a Supreme Court justice and instead sold out their base.

We'll have several months to pick through Miers' record, as well as highlight her role in any number of Bush scandals (like Georgia10 notes).

The GOP is totally on defense. Just look at the slate of GOP Senate challengers with a shot of being competitive. The only problem is that there is no list, the GOP senate plan is to minimize losses.

As for the House, Tom DeLay's indictment means that the gains could be tidal.

The GOP Culture of Corruption is catching up and the backlash is building for 2006 and 2008 campaigns.

Too many scandals. Too much corruption. And yet another crony appointed to a key post without any experience.


Wikipedia on Harriet Miers

Posted at 12:55 PM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Harriet Miers Fractures GOP in Real-Time

Posted by Bob Brigham

An important function of the blogosphere is a peek into real-time politics. Bloggers show and create what is going on in politics right now. The announcement of Harriet Miers gives us a short window to peer into the GOP.

First, look at the National Review's David Frum. Last week, Frum blasted Harriet Meirs:

In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.

Today, not only did he blast her again, but he then deleted the middle paragraph in the following:

Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is impossible to me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse - or resist the blandishments - that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today.

She rose to her present position by her absolute devotion to George Bush. I mentioned last week that she told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met. To flatter on such a scale a person must either be an unscrupulous dissembler, which Miers most certainly is not, or a natural follower. And natural followers do not belong on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Nor is it safe for the president's conservative supporters to defer to the president's judgment and say, "Well, he must know best." The record shows I fear that the president's judgment has always been at its worst on personnel matters.

Right now, the White House is spinning like a top in GOP circles. Ankle Biting Pundits is "highly disappointed" and points out, "politically it's not good because it just opens the President up to charges of "cronyism"" while offering the following roundup of conservative bloggers reaction to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court:

John Hawkins of RightWingNews goes further than me and calls Miers a "disaster"
Michelle Malkin is "utterly underwhelmed"
Powerline is also disappointed.
Confirm Them is underwhelmed.
John Podhoretz calls it dumb.
Mike Krepasky at Red State rightly says the President has some explaining to do.
Polipundit isn't exactly thrilled but is willing to give her a chance.
Andrew Sullivan is going the "Crony" route. But can we say he's wrong?
Mark Levin says that the President "flinched"
Betsy Newmark has a hard time putting an adjective on just how disappointed she is and says the President bowed to pressure.
Gerry Daly is in the "Anger" stage (#2 of the 5 stages)
Captain Ed is "mystified", and not in a good way.

The timing couldn't be worse for the GOP as today's newsstands are graced with a new Newsweek cover-story titled, Troubled Waters: War, storms, leak probes—and a growing array of ethics clouds. Dark days for the Republican Party:

Bush and his fellow Republicans have little margin for error. Three forces—sky-high gasoline prices, the massive costs of rebuilding the Gulf Coast and ever-gloomier public assessments of the war in Iraq—have combined to weaken Bush's reputation as a strong leader, and leave him vulnerable to the kind of second-term fiascoes that tend to befall all presidents: think Ronald Reagan and Iran-contra, or Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Indeed, polltaker Frank Luntz, who helped develop the "Contract With America" message that swept Republicans to power in 1994, was on the Hill last week warning the party faithful that they could lose both the House and the Senate in next year's congressional elections.

The Republicans' power outage is real—and the historical irony is as vast as Texas. Beginning in the 1950s, the Democratic Party of Texans Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn built a congressional machine of unrivaled power. But starting in the '80s, led by a firebrand named Newt Gingrich, Republicans led a revolt from below in the name of smaller government and an ethically cleansed Congress. In 1989 Newt & Co. forced out Democratic Speaker Jim Wright—a Texan, too, who resigned over charges that he profited improperly from book sales—and five years later the GOP took control of the House after a Biblical 40 years in the wilderness. But it took the Republicans only 10 years to become yet another ruling party beset by charges of profligate spending, bloated government and corruption—a party led by two Texans, Bush and DeLay, who don't particularly care whether they are beloved outside their inner circle. To paraphrase David Mamet, the Republicans became what they beheld.

And there is much to behold. Michael Brown, the hapless yet arrogant former head of FEMA, managed to anger even putative Republican allies in an appearance before a House committee.

Michael Brown is a name that should come up a great deal during the Miers' confirmation process. Harriet Miers is a Michael Brown quality pick. Even right-wing bloggers are using the word 'cronyism' and are worried because they know Bush can't afford this.

The storyline of Bush giving key jobs to completely unqualified political hacks is connecting with the American people. By picking people on the basis of loyalty, rather than effectiveness, Bush has set the stage for the Culture of Corruption that engulfs the entire Republican Party.

When these are the rules (or lack thereof), you have multi-million bagmen like Jack Abramoff. You have conspiring congressmen like Tom DeLay. You have national security traitors like Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.

Today's Republican Party puts allegiance to Party above duty to country. But individual Republicans are growing increasingly disgusted, because like so many members of the National Guard, they aren't getting what they signed up for.

The stakes are high, this is the swing vote, as evidenced by the following 5-4 decisions:

Sandra Day O'Connor has been the deciding fifth vote in many important Supreme Court decisions affecting civil rights, environmental protection, personal privacy, reproductive freedom and reproductive health, religious liberty, consumer protection and much more. If she is replaced by someone who doesn't share her fair and impartial perspective -- someone in the mold of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia -- the constitutional consequences will be devastating. These are among the key 5-4 decisions in danger of being overturned:

Environmental protection

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation v. EPA (2004) said the Environmental Protection Agency could step in and take action to reduce air pollution under the Clean Air Act when a state conservation agency fails to act.

Reproductive rights and privacy

Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) overturned a state law that would have had the effect of banning abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy and that lacked any exception to protect a woman’s health.

Consumer protection and corporate power

Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran (2002) upheld state laws giving people the right to a second doctor's opinion if their HMOs tried to deny them treatment.

Civil rights: affirmative action and discrimination based on sex, race, and disability

Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. Of Educ. (2005) ruled that federal law protects against retaliation against someone for complaining about illegal sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs.

Tennessee v. Lane (2004) upheld the constitutionality of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and required that courtrooms be physically accessible to the disabled.

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) affirmed the right of state colleges and universities to use affirmative action in their admissions policies to increase educational opportunities for minorities and promote racial diversity on campus.

Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ. (1999) ruled that it is a violation of federal law for school districts to be deliberately indifferent towards severe and pervasive student-on-student sexual harassment.

Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (2001) affirmed that civil rights laws apply to associations regulating interscholastic sports.

Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia (1996) said key anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act apply to political conventions that choose party candidates.

Hunt v. Cromartie (2001) affirmed the right of state legislators to take race into account to secure minority voting rights in redistricting.

Access to justice

Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) told the government it could not indefinitely detain an immigrant who was under final order of removal even if no other country would accept that person and that access to federal courts is available to combat improper, indefinite detention.

Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington (2003) maintained a key source of funding for legal assistance for the poor.

Hibbs v. Winn (2004) subjected discriminatory and unconstitutional state tax laws to review by the federal judiciary.

Religious liberty and church-state separation

McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky (2005) upheld the principle of government neutrality towards religion and ruled unconstitutional Ten Commandments displays in several courthouses

Lee v. Weisman (1992) continued the tradition of government neutrality toward religion, finding that government-sponsored prayer is unacceptable at graduations and other public school events.

Money, politics and government accountability

McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003) upheld most of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, including its ban on political parties’ use of unlimited soft money contributions.

Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (2001) upheld laws that limit political party expenditures that are coordinated with a candidate and seek to evade campaign contribution limits.

UPDATE: From Atrios:

Wingnuttia is rather angry at the choice. I don't think this is because they're really concerned that she's not conservative enough for their tastes, although that's part of it. They're angry because this was supposed to be their nomination. This is was their moment. They didn't just want a stealth victory, they wanted parades and fireworks. They wanted Bush to find the wingnuttiest wingnut on the planet, fully clothed and accessorized in all the latest wingnut fashions, not just to give them their desired Court rulings, but also to publicly validate their influence and power. They didn't just want substantive results, what they wanted even more were symbolic ones. They wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft. They wanted to watch Democrats howl and scream and then ultimately lose a nasty confirmation battle. They wanted this to be their "WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" moment.

Whatever kind of judge she would be, she doesn't provide them with that.



Wikipedia on Harriet Miers

Posted at 11:20 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, General, Netroots, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | TrackBack (7) | Technorati

Sunday, October 02, 2005

2008: HRC Missed Bridge to 21st Century

Posted by Bob Brigham

I've written about this before (here and here), but now that Matt Bai has a major story in the Sunday NYT Magazine, I think the issue of HRC's political positioning needs revisiting. The article is aptly titled, "Mrs. Triangulation"

You can hardly pry up a floorboard in the basement of Democratic politics without finding some sign of the Clinton operation churning underneath.

The chief benefit of this network is that it spans the ideological divide in the party, from far left to far center. The problem is that labels like "left" and "center" seem to have lost much of their meaning in the party, and the divisions in Democratic politics no longer seem to run along traditional lines. Gone are the days when Hubert Humphrey waged war against Strom Thurmond on civil rights, when George McGovern's protesters clashed with Scoop Jackson's hard-liners. In the era after Bill Clinton, the vast majority of Democrats, whether they once considered themselves liberals or centrists, mouth allegiance to the same set of often tepid principles on issues like trade, terrorism and gun control - positions that they will often cite as evidence of hard-won unity but which in truth represent the absence of the real intellectual discussion that once defined (and sometimes doomed) the party. As a result, aside from a few subtle disputes - whether troops should be withdrawn from Iraq now, for instance, or next year - the philosophical differences between liberals and centrists have never been more obscure. Nothing better illustrated the passing of the party's long ideological debate better than the explosive presidential campaign of Howard Dean (now the party's chairman), whose record as a pro-gun, pro-Democratic Leadership Council governor did nothing to prevent him from seamlessly assuming the role of chief spokesman for those liberal voters who had always embodied the so-called Democratic left.

What Dean's candidacy brought into the open, however, was another kind of growing and powerful tension in Democratic politics that had little to do with ideology. Activists often describe this divide as being between "insiders" and "outsiders," but the best description I've heard came from Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic operative who runs the advocacy group N.D.N. (formerly New Democrat Network), which sprang from Clintonian centrism of the early 1990's. As Rosenberg explained it, the party is currently riven between its "governing class" and its "activist class." The former includes the establishment types who populate Washington - politicians, interest groups, consultants and policy makers. The second comprises "Net roots" Democrats on the local level; that is, grass-roots Democrats, many of whom were inspired by Dean and who connect to politics primarily online, through blogs or Web-based activist groups like The argument between the camps isn't about policy so much as about tactics, and a lot of Democrats in Washington don't even seem to know it's happening.

The activist class believes, essentially, that Democrats in Washington have damaged the party by trying to negotiate and compromise with Republicans - in short, by trying to govern. The "Net roots" believe that an effective minority party should disengage from the governing process and eschew new proposals or big ideas. Instead, the party should dedicate itself to winning local elections and killing each new Republican proposal that comes down the track. To the activist class, trying to cut deals with Republicans is tantamount to appeasement. In fact, Rosenberg, an emerging champion of the activist class, told me, pointing to my notebook: "You have to use the word 'appease.' You have to use it. Because this is like Neville Chamberlain."

This is an ominous development for Hillary Clinton, because the activists' attack on the party hierarchy is a direct and long-simmering reaction to the Clintonism of the 90's and the "third way" instinct of the D.L.C.

My thoughts after the jump.

This article seems to back up those of us who have questioned Hillary's political instincts. As far as internal Democratic Party politics go, it appears Hillary is trying to bridge old divides that no longer exist and in the way she is going about doing so, has put herself on what will inevitably be the losing side of the current debate going on in the Democratic Party.

I firmly believe the new divide is between the establishment and the base; the bosses and the netroots; the past and the future.

Under these conditions, is the following helpful?

The pollster Mark Penn and the ad-maker Mandy Grunwald, both of whom worked for Bill Clinton and are among Hillary's closest advisers, have longstanding ties to the centrist, pro-business Democratic Leadership Council, while two other Clinton confidants, the operatives Ann Lewis and Harold Ickes, remain close to women's groups and Big Labor, respectively. The trusted aides Howard Wolfson and Patti Solis Doyle have been associated with the Glover Park Group, one of the most influential consulting firms among Democratic interest groups.

Hillary's attempt to staff up to bridge the old divides only cement her position on the side of the tired old Democratic establishment that is currently in a tug-of-war with the base.

By failing to understand the current realities in the Democratic Party, Hillary has embraced a misdiagnosis that has compromised her political standing and exposed the out-of-touch advice that she is receiving. The fact that HRC appears unable to grasp the current dynamics within the Democratic Party actually lends credibility to the activists in the netroots and grassroots who think that many Washington DC Democrats have lost touch.

Additionally, Clinton's ties to Al From's DLC could tether her presidential ambitions:

"I think people are looking for leadership from Hillary Clinton, and she's not showing any leadership on anything," says Markos Moulitsas of, one of the new movement's leading blogs. Even in Hollywood, where the Clintons have been royalty for more than a decade, patience for bipartisanship is running low. Last month in Beverly Hills, I talked about Clinton with Norman Lear, the television and film producer who founded the liberal organization People for the American Way. "I love her," he told me. "But as terrific as I think she is, my concern is that we need someone who will tell the truth as they see it all of the time. She, like all of them, is not somebody who does that."

That Clinton doesn't fully understand the depth of this resentment seemed painfully apparent in July, when, at the D.L.C.'s annual gathering in Columbus, she accepted the assignment of fashioning a new agenda for the group and publicly called for a truce between factions on the left and center. Her aides thought she was actually delivering a mild rebuke to the D.L.C. for criticizing Dean and the bloggers; what they didn't understand was that her presence at the D.L.C. event itself was enough to infuriate the "Net roots," and the suggestion that the two sides should work together made it only worse. The response from the blogosphere was swift and bilious. "It's truly disappointing" that this is the garbage "Hillary has signed on to," Moulitsas wrote on, provoking the blog's devotees to write hundreds of passionate and often profane diatribes in agreement. In a strikingly blunt appraisal, John Podesta told The Washington Post that Clinton had "walked into a cross-fire maybe she should have realized was out there." ("I didn't get any carnations for that one," Podesta told me later, laughing.)

In fact, Clinton's advisers disagreed about whether a bunch of 20-something bloggers really mattered. In a conversation last month, Mark Penn scoffed at my suggestion that there might be a strong backlash in the party against the ethos of Clintonism. "Strong backlash?" Penn said. "Former President Clinton is at a 70 percent approval rating, stronger than even during his presidency. More people would like to see him president than President Bush. In this environment, that is a notion I would have to laugh at." It's true that most Democratic voters are probably too busy working and raising kids to spend a lot of time debating political tactics online, and the importance of the "Net roots" can be overstated. And yet, the blogosphere is bound to be an important organizing force in 2008, and some other candidate will almost certainly rise to fill the space that Dean once occupied. If nothing else, this would make it harder for Hillary Clinton, the heir to her husband's legacy, to run the unity campaign her advisers envision.

After I spoke with Penn, I repeated his assessment of the backlash to Podesta, whose reach into all aspects of the progressive world - from bloggers to members of Congress - makes him as knowledgeable about the party's crosscurrents as anyone in Washington. "The D.L.C. incident is over, and it isn't particularly meaningful," Podesta told me. "But in the long run, if you believe what Mark believes, it will get you in trouble."

Clinton is chair of the DLC's "American Dream Initiative, which has already been marked DOA. If Clinton wanted her DLC membership to be good for more than negative articles in major newspapers, she would immediately call for Al From to be fired. But for that to happen, she would have to understand the where the Democratic Party is headed, which she doesn't. In part, because she hangs out in DC with the likes of Al From and the other dinosaurs who have failed to cross the bridge into the 21st century. In fact, every single move the DLC has made this millennium has been a disaster. Every single move.

The Clintons may have allowed us to go to where we are, but they didn't join us. And we aren't waiting for them to catch up, because we are too busy following their example and pushing on.

Posted at 02:01 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots, Scandals | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CA-26: Gay Republican Leader David Dreier

Posted by Bob Brigham

The accession of David Dreier as GOP Leader could fracture the GOP and cost Dreier his seat. The potential for Dreier to suffer the same fate as Bob Livingston is very real.

The first major problem for Dreier is the fact that the press is covering the reports Dreier is a closetted gay man:

My latest L.A. Weekly article, THE OUTING: DAVID DREIER AND HIS STRAIGHT HYPOCRISY, has only been out on the Weekly's website for a little while, but it is already causing quite a stir. I've already been interviewed live on-air by four L.A. radio stations that broadcast into Congressman Dreier's Los Angeles County district, one of the daily newspapers in his district has been in touch with me requesting information (this is a story they wouldn't touch up until now)--and, I hear, ABC News is on the story and looking for people in Dreier's district who will go on-camera and say he's gay.

I have not the slightest doubt that the outing campaign initiated by Mike Rogers' and supported by Raw Story's reporting is accurate in exposing Dreier. I first heard that Dreier was gay back when he first came to Congress over two decades ago and I was Washington correspondent for New York Magazine--in those days, Dreier was much more active on the gay social scene than he was later as he mounted the Republican food chain. Moreover, in the course of reporting this story, I talked to a gay Member of Congress who has observed Dreier in gay behavior and is 100% "sure," as this member told me, that Dreier is gay. And, clearly, Dreier's demagogic political homophobia justifies reporting the outing campaign targeting him.

Right now, the Christian Right looks like it has zero power in the Republican Party. I would not expect this trend to continue for long.

The other fault line that opens up by Dreier having a prominent role in the GOP is immigration. In his last election, Dreier was targeted by a Fire Dreier campaign that used radio to organize protests and has already purchased the following domains:

In 2004, Dreier outspent his opponent 50 to 1 yet received the lowest percentage of the vote during any of his elections since 1980. Dreier's district is surrounded by Democratic areas and has a significant immigrant population that could easily shift in 2006.

Right now, Dreier needs to shore up his flank, but getting today's Republicans to rally around a gay guy who is soft on immigration presents challenges that I doubt Dreier can overcome. With DeLay gone, internal GOP politics are going to get nasty. Via MyDD an important quote from Off Center

In American politics, centrifugal tendencies are everywhere. Asked to contemplate a House of Representatives without the leadership of the great coordinator, Tom DeLay, a Republican strategist with close ties to the White House commented: "It would be complete and total chaos. The House would descend into 'Lord of the Flies.'" (p. 137)

Now throw in the fact that most of GOP leadership is looking at jail time:

Washington, DC - Today, a Texas grand jury returned a criminal indictment against House GOP Leader Tom DeLay on a charge of conspiracy. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement, saying DeLay's indictment is symptomatic of the Republicans' culture of corruption in Washington, DC:

"Today, the state of Texas is doing what the Republican-controlled federal government has failed repeatedly to do, which is hold Republicans in Washington accountable for their culture of corruption. This alleged illegal activity reaches to the highest levels of the Republican Party.

"With House Republican Leader Tom DeLay under criminal indictment, Senate Republican Leader Frist facing SEC and Department of Justice investigations, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove under investigation, the Republican leadership in Washington is now spending more time answering questions about ethical misconduct than doing the people's business."

“Tom DeLay is neither the beginning nor the end of the Washington Republicans' ethical problems. America can do better than leaders who use their power to promote their own personal interests instead of the interests of the American people who elected them. We simply must change the way business is done in Washington."

The GOP is totally FUBAR and Democrats are Fighting.

Posted at 03:09 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

TX-22: Tom DeLay Indicted

Posted by Bob Brigham

From CNN:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay indicted on one count of criminal conspiracy by Texas grand jury, according to Travis County clerk's office.

Tom DeLay is the poster boy for the Republican Culture of Corruption.

UPDATE (Tim): The media has already started consistently placing the word "Democrat" before the name of prosecutor Ronnie Earle in an attempt to perpetuate the Republican meme that the indictment is a "partisan witch hunt." It would be helpful for media-types to consider this nugget from the Houston Chronicle:

During his long tenure, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has prosecuted many more Democratic officials than Republicans. The record does not support allegations that Earle is prone to partisan witch hunts.

UPDATE (Bob): Via Atrios we learn the time DeLay is looking at:

The charge, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years incarceration, stems from his role with his political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, a now-defunct organization that already had been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate money during the 2002 legislative elections.

Posted at 12:48 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Texas | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MT-Sen: Max Baucus Runs from Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

Montana Senator Max Baucus is a skittish senator known for bolting and running. In fact, Senator Baucus has quite a reputation for running. On November 22 of last year Baucus was running from something for 50 miles when he hit his head on a rock and needed urgent brain surgery. I'm no big city doctor, but I think Baucus lost his fucking mind:

WASHINGTON -- Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, said Tuesday he will vote for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. [...]

Baucus is breaking with his party's top senator in deciding to vote for the 50-year-old appeals court judge and former Reagan administration lawyer.

Why is Max Baucus running from the Democratic Party? Instead of running away, why can't Max Baucus play with the team? Call each number below and ask.

Washington D.C.(202) 224-2651
Billings (406) 657-6790
Bozeman (406) 586-6104
Butte (406) 782-8700
Great Falls (406) 761-1574
Helena (406) 449-5480
Kalispell (406) 756-1150
Missoula (406) 329-3123
Washington DC Fax (202) 224-0515

Thanks for taking 10 minutes to make those quick 8 calls. If you have 2 more minutes, use the email form.

I am totally fuckin' pissed at Baucus. Senator Reid is from a redder state, but he isn't running from what he cares about. Why is Baucus chicken?

Baucus isn't even up until 2008 and (hopefully) won't be running for re-election. Senator Baucus doesn't need to go around acting like a dipshit coward, but this isn't the first time. Matthew Yglesias explains (2.1.04):

As a result, literally none of the president's signature initiatives -- from tax cuts to the resolution authorizing war in Iraq to the Medicare bill -- garnered sufficient GOP support to pass without cooperation from some Democrats, cooperation that the White House has largely succeeded in obtaining.

Among the defectors, Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) has tended to attract the lion's share of media attention for his florid denunciations of his ostensible party. But the practical effects of Miller's histrionics have been rather limited compared with the betrayals of his more low-key colleague Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). As the ranking member (and, for a period, chairman) of the Finance Committee, arguably the Senate's most powerful, Baucus, who underwent successful brain surgery on Jan. 9, has not only voted for many pieces of Republican-backed legislation but actually taken the lead in authoring much of the president's domestic-policy agenda. During the 2001 tax-cut debate, Baucus cut a deal with committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the White House to co-sponsor a slightly watered-down version of the president's proposal. In doing so, he not only gave the GOP his vote but, more importantly, his support for the tax cut effectively handed the White House the staff and other committee resources under his control.

Fellow Democrats were even more aggrieved, however, by Baucus' behavior during the Medicare battle with which Congress closed last year's session. The Senate initially passed a compromise bill with support from Republicans and some liberal Democrats like Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), while the House put forward a much more partisan piece of legislation on a narrow vote. A conference committee composed of members of both chambers was convened, but the Republican leadership, in a sharp break from precedent, said that though Democrats could be officially appointed to the committee, none would be invited to the meetings where the substantive negotiations would take place and the actual bill be written. None, that is, except for Baucus and the similarly cooperative John Breaux of Louisiana, who will retire at the end of the year.

By lending this farce a veneer of bipartisan credibility, Baucus and Breaux essentially denied the Democrats what was not only their best chance of defeating the bill in question but the party's last hope of putting a stop to a long string of Republican provocations aimed at reducing the minority party to window-dressing status. (emphasis mine)

WTF? Call each phone number and let your rage be heard. This is totally fuckin' unacceptable and you can quote me on that.

Posted at 09:30 PM in Activism, Montana, Netroots, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (5) | Technorati

Thursday, September 15, 2005

2006: GOP Fears Accountability for Lake George

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Americablog:

54 US Senators today KILLED legislation establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong with Hurricane Katrina.

76% of Americans want an independent bipartisan commission, like the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks, to investigate what went wrong. In fact, according to the same poll, Americans of all stripes, Republicans and Democrats, are united behind their support for such a commission (64% of all Republicans and 83% of all Democrats want a commission) even though they were aware that the Republicans in Congress are doing their own biased and partisan investigation (see below).

So why did every Republican US Senator (save the Senator from Louisiana, who simply didn't vote) vote AGAINST forming this independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong, and to find out how we avoid an even larger catastrophe the next time Osama attacks a major American city with a chemical, biological or nuclear bomb?

It's time to find out.

Call all the Republican Senators, fill their office voice mails with messages. Ask them why they voted against forming an impartial, independent commission to find out the truth about what went wrong with Hurricane Katrina? (Or in the case of the Louisiana Republican Senator, ask him why he didn't vote.) Ask them why they would rather have America unprepared for a future chemical, biological or nuclear attack from Al Qaeda? If we don't know why we were unprepared today, we will surely be unprepared tomorrow.

Every senator on this list will face a tough re-election campaign due to this scandal. This is disgusting. This is a cover-up.

Call them

Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN) Class II
(202) 224-4944
Web Form:

Allard, Wayne- (R - CO) Class II
(202) 224-5941
Web Form:

Allen, George- (R - VA) Class I
(202) 224-4024
Web Form:

Bennett, Robert- (R - UT) Class III
(202) 224-5444
Web Form:

Bond, Christopher- (R - MO) Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form:

Brownback, Sam- (R - KS) Class III
(202) 224-6521
Web Form:

Bunning, Jim- (R - KY) Class III
(202) 224-4343
Web Form:

Burns, Conrad- (R - MT) Class I
(202) 224-2644
Web Form:

Burr, Richard- (R - NC) Class III
(202) 224-3154
Web Form:

Chafee, Lincoln- (R - RI) Class I
(202) 224-2921
Web Form:

Chambliss, Saxby- (R - GA) Class II
(202) 224-3521
Web Form:

Coburn, Tom- (R - OK) Class III
(202) 224-5754
Web Form:

Cochran, Thad- (R - MS) Class II
(202) 224-5054
Web Form:

Coleman, Norm- (R - MN) Class II
(202) 224-5641
Web Form:

Collins, Susan- (R - ME) Class II
(202) 224-2523
Web Form:

Cornyn, John- (R - TX) Class II
(202) 224-2934
Web Form:

Craig, Larry- (R - ID) Class II
(202) 224-2752
Web Form:

Crapo, Michael- (R - ID) Class III
(202) 224-6142
Web Form:

DeMint, Jim- (R - SC) Class III
(202) 224-6121
Web Form:

DeWine, Mike- (R - OH) Class I
(202) 224-2315
Web Form:

Dole, Elizabeth- (R - NC) Class II
(202) 224-6342
Web Form:

Domenici, Pete- (R - NM) Class II
(202) 224-6621
Web Form:

Ensign, John- (R - NV) Class I
(202) 224-6244
Web Form:

Enzi, Michael- (R - WY) Class II
(202) 224-3424
Web Form:

Frist, Bill- (R - TN) Class I
(202) 224-3344
Web Form:

Graham, Lindsey- (R - SC) Class II
(202) 224-5972
Web Form:

Grassley, Chuck- (R - IA) Class III
(202) 224-3744
Web Form:

Gregg, Judd- (R - NH) Class III
(202) 224-3324
Web Form:

Hagel, Chuck- (R - NE) Class II
(202) 224-4224
Web Form:

Hatch, Orrin- (R - UT) Class I
(202) 224-5251
Web Form:

Hutchison, Kay- (R - TX) Class I
(202) 224-5922
Web Form:

Inhofe, James- (R - OK) Class II
(202) 224-4721
Web Form:

Isakson, Johnny- (R - GA) Class III
(202) 224-3643
Web Form:

Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ) Class I
(202) 224-4521
Web Form:

Lott, Trent- (R - MS) Class I
(202) 224-6253

Lugar, Richard- (R - IN) Class I
(202) 224-4814

Martinez, Mel- (R - FL) Class III
(202) 224-3041
Web Form:

McCain, John- (R - AZ) Class III
(202) 224-2235
Web Form:

McConnell, Mitch- (R - KY) Class II
(202) 224-2541
Web Form:

Murkowski, Lisa- (R - AK) Class III
(202) 224-6665
Web Form:

Roberts, Pat- (R - KS) Class II
(202) 224-4774
Web Form:

Santorum, Rick- (R - PA) Class I
(202) 224-6324
Web Form:

Sessions, Jeff- (R - AL) Class II
(202) 224-4124
Web Form:

Shelby, Richard- (R - AL) Class III
(202) 224-5744

Smith, Gordon- (R - OR) Class II
(202) 224-3753
Web Form:

Snowe, Olympia- (R - ME) Class I
(202) 224-5344

Specter, Arlen- (R - PA) Class III
(202) 224-4254
Web Form:

Stevens, Ted- (R - AK) Class II
(202) 224-3004
Web Form:

Sununu, John- (R - NH) Class II
(202) 224-2841
Web Form:

Talent, James- (R - MO) Class I
(202) 224-6154
Web Form:

Thomas, Craig- (R - WY) Class I
(202) 224-6441
Web Form:

Thune, John- (R - SD) Class III
(202) 224-2321
Web Form:

Vitter, David- (R - LA) Class III
(202) 224-4623
Web Form:

Voinovich, George- (R - OH) Class III
(202) 224-3353
Web Form:

Warner, John- (R - VA) Class II
(202) 224-2023
Web Form:

Posted at 10:04 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Louisiana, Mississippi, Republicans, Scandals, Texas | Technorati

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

KY-Gov: Walls Closing in Around Fletcher

Posted by DavidNYC

Embattled Kentucky Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher just fired nine staffers who have been involved in a major crony hiring scandal - all of whom he had recently pardoned:

Among those to be sacked are Richard Murgatroyd, Fletcher's deputy chief of staff and close friend. Fletcher said he would also ask the state Republican Party to oust Darrell Brock as its chairman. Brock used to be head of Fletcher's local development office.

Of course, with Republicans, accountability never goes all the way to the top, even in the face of indictments:

Except for Murgatroyd, though, Fletcher left the highest ranking members of his administration who were indicted in their jobs, notably acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and deputy secretary Jim Adams.

But the walls are nevertheless closing in:

Fletcher and his supporters have accused Stumbo of pursuing the investigation for his own political agenda when there was no real wrongdoing.

Fletcher said he hoped to "bury the hatchet" with Stumbo and work together.

For Fletcher to say he wants to "bury the hatchet" in this case is the political equivalent of crying uncle. I think things are gonna get a lot worse for Fletcher & Co.

In any event, The BluegrassReport sums up Ernie Fletcher, flip-flopper extraordinaire, perfectly:

Governor Fletcher Version 1.0 (2003) -- Send me to Frankfort so that I can clean-up the mess and restore hope by bringing in people with rock solid values.

Governor Fletcher Version 2.0 (June 2005) -- This is all political witch hunt and the beginning of the 2007 governor's race. We didn't do anything wrong. All we did was level the playing field.

Governor Fletcher Version 3.0 (Today) -- "It is now clear to me that there were mistakes made by staff members who either did not understand - or appreciate - the spirit of the merit system rules. And it is now time for me to take action that I believe is appropriate for the circumstances at hand."

Hopefully Version 4.0 is right around the corner -- "I resign."

I look at this as just one more example of the utterly corrupt-to-the-bone state the modern Republican party finds itself in. Ethics really has got to be our big issue for 2006.

(Hat tip to BluegrassReport, as you might expect. They also have some thoughts on why Fletcher has chosen this moment to start caving.)

Posted at 06:18 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina: Brigham Enters the Big Easy

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Don't ask me how, but Bob Brigham is entering New Orleans today as part of a military convoy led by the 82nd Airbone along with Governor Blanco. I can't even imagine the stories he will have.

You can follow his travels at Operation Flashlight.

I talked to him the other day, and he has tons of video, photos, and stories from the region. He has been in Biloxi, Gulfport, Waveland, Baton Rouge, and even managed to get into the largest shelter in Louisiana--something supposedly off-limits. He is something else.

Posted at 12:52 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

There's Always Plenty of Time

Posted by Tim Tagaris

There's always plenty of time to answer questions that never seem to get resolved. Always plenty of time to hold people accountable that end up getting medals. I'll leave the heavy lifting to the good folks over at Think Progress (one of the best blogs out there), but here is just a taste.

On George Bush being AWOL during Vietnam - (White House Press Briefing)

Let me finish the question there that you asked. There is going to be plenty of time to talk about the campaign. Right now this President is going to remain focused on the great challenges that we are working to meet.

On Iraq - (A Presidential Press Conference)

A free and peaceful Iraq is part of protecting America. Because I told you before, and I truly believe this, this will be a transforming event in a part of the world where hatred and violence are bred; a part of a world that breeds resentment.

And, you know, look, we're going to an election; there's going to be plenty of time for politics. And people can debate all they want. I'm going to do my job. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do my job to make this country safer, and I believe we're making good progress toward that objective.

On Valerie Plame - (Scott McLellan - July 11, 2005)

MR. McCLELLAN: Terry, I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked relating to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. The criminal investigation that you reference is something that continues at this point. And as I've previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.

On Katrina - (Director Michael Chertoff)

Chertoff defended the job of FEMA Director Michael Brown and declined to get into a discussion about whether the government moved quickly and forcefully enough to deal with the catastrophe, saying there would be plenty of time for a review.

He did complain about problems getting information from local officials.

On Nominating a Supreme Court successor to Justice O'Connor and the issues that surround it - (McLellan Press Gaggle)

Q Scott, you talked -- the President talked about culture of life being very important to him, and Justice O'Connor has disappointed people who expressed similar views in the years. Is he -- how important is that going to be in picking her successor?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there will be plenty of time to talk about the process and things of that nature, but today is a day to honor Justice O'Connor. I think the President talked about the type of individual that he is looking for. He described it in general terms --

I don't know how anyone in the "Liberal Media" lets this stand after hearing it time and time again, on issues after issue after issue. Like I said, this is just the smallest of samples. Go to the White House homepage and run a search on the words "plenty of time;" that should give you the most basic of starting points.

Posted at 11:23 PM in Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina: Live from Houston, TX

Posted by Bob Brigham

I'm at the Houston airport, waiting for a flight into Birmingham, then driving south.

During Paul Hackett's campaign, I think we proved that being on the ground is a great fulcrum. "Showing up maximizes" the leverage and we need it now, more than ever. Bush failed America, so now the burden falls to each American to help do what needs to be done.

Donate Housing :: Find ShelterMy specialty is using the internet, which is a perfect vehicle. From ABC News:

"When I put the listing on the Web site in the evening, I had five or six families respond by the morning," van Gelderen said while he was sending out e-mails to his friends challenging them to help. Van Gelderen had his entire staff mobilizing relief efforts, rather than focusing on business. "The private sector has to start doing just as much as the government."

Van Gelderen listed his available housing through, a liberal-leaning non-profit political organization.

MoveOn launched its hurricane housing site on Thursday afternoon, and within 25 hours received offers for 45,000 beds — 11,500 within driving distance of New Orleans, according to MoveOn president Eli Pariser.

"Basically we were just racking our brains trying to figure out how we could help our members provide some help for victims," said Pariser. "We have a direct line to 3 million people and there might be a lot who might be able to open up their homes."

At Swing State Project, I will continue to examine the electoral implications of the second disaster: the response. When Bush's poll numbers dropped below 40%, I didn't think they could go lower. I mean, he would always hold the Republicans, wouldn't he?

Apparently not...

The right wing realizes Bush's decision to continue his vacation kick-started a chain of events that will haunt the Republican Party for a long time. Geographically, Bush's incompetence has put the entire south in play. As the harvest forces tough conversations about transportation, the Midwest will also come into play. Not only is the Republican congress corrupt, but voting Republican gives another vote to the incompetent Republican Administration.

Bush fucked up. And even rabid right-wingers know it. The Washington Times knows it; Fox News knows it. Hell, even the Bull Moose is talking about impeachment. These organizations have propped Bush up for years and now they are cutting him loose, realizing that it is impossible to defend Bush's response – it is a credibility killer.

The hurricane was a disaster, but Bush's vacation-based reaction has been the real catastrophe.

So I'm going in. We're bringing in a SUV full of supplies, I also have my laptop and video camera.

Please sign up for Hurricane Housing.

Additionally requests will be coming.

Posted at 03:26 PM in 2006 Elections, Activism, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Site News, Texas | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kentucky: Ernie Fletcher Takes 5th Amendment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lexington Herald-Leader:

Gov. Ernie Fletcher kissed his wife, Glenna, before heading into a grand jury room this morning.

Fletcher stayed in the room for 2 minutes and 18 seconds, then proceeded with his attorneys to the office of Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham.

At a news conference later at the Capitol, Fletcher said he gave the grand jury his name, address and occupation but did not answer any other questions.

He said he did invoke his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination.

Name, rank, and serial number? Lots more at Bluegrass Report.

Posted at 06:10 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Bush Flip-Flops on Vacationing During Disaster

Posted by Bob Brigham


President Bush will cut short his vacation to return to Washington on Wednesday, two days earlier than planned, to help monitor federal efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, the White House said Tuesday.

''We have got a lot of work to do,'' Bush said, referring to the damage wrought by the hurricane along Gulf Coast areas.

The president had been scheduled to return to the nation's capital on Friday, after spending more than four weeks operating from his ranch in Central Texas. But after receiving a briefing early Tuesday on the devastation Katrina unleashed, the president decided that he needed to be in Washington to personally oversee the federal effort, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

AmericaBlog asks:

Either you can manage hurricane relief sufficiently while on vacation, and in that case there's no need for you to return to DC tomorrow, or you can't, and in that case where the hell have you been the past 5 days?

So which one is it, Mr. President?

Where the hell has Bush been? Here are the pics.

Posted at 05:27 PM in Louisiana, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Bush Fails Katrina Victims - Worst President Ever

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today's headlines:

CBS: Flood Waters Rise; Toll Mounts
cnn: 'Significant' death toll in New Orleans
Washington Post: Katrina Leaves Massive Devastation

So where is Bush? Creating his own headlines:

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Aug 29 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush was greeted by Iraq war supporters and protesters on Monday as he interrupted his Texas vacation to promote a new Medicare prescription drug program.

Hundreds of demonstrators for and against the Iraq war staged protests near Rancho Cucamonga, California, where Bush wove comments on Iraq into a Medicare speech to a group of senior citizens.

Bush said progress was being made in Iraq despite the ongoing attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security forces and Sunni opposition to the draft constitution.

Tomorrow's news:

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California Five years after delivering a major campaign address here about the need to revamp Social Security, President George W. Bush returned Monday with a similar message, urging an overhaul of the retirement system as he celebrated changes to Medicare that will take effect at the beginning of next year.

In a speech at the James L. Brulte Senior Center here, Bush began laying the groundwork for a return to domestic issues when Congress reconvenes next week.

"I haven't changed my mind since I came here to talk about Social Security," Bush said. In a nod to the political hurdles that have stalled his proposed changes to Social Security and to predictions that he may have to jettison his plans for individual retirement accounts altogether, Bush added, "I'm going to keep working this issue."

Louisiana is in awful shape and their National Guard is in Iraq.

Bush interrupted his vacation to try and swindle seniors out of their economic security, that tells you a lot about his values. Instead of helping every last victim, Bush places a higher value on looting the Social Security Trust Fund. Disgusting.

Posted at 12:10 PM in Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

Kentucky: Ernie Fletcher Pardons

Posted by Bob Brigham


Gov. Ernie Fletcher said it would be "inappropriate" right now to consider executive pardons for members of his administration who have been criminally charged in the attorney general's personnel investigation.


On the eve of an appearance before a grand jury investigating his administration's hiring practices, Gov. Ernie Fletcher granted a blanket pardon on Monday night to current and former aides charged in the inquiry.

Mr. Fletcher also said that although he would appear before the grand jury, he would not testify.

It was "inappropriate" five weeks ago and it stinks on the eve of Governor Fletcher's Grand Jury questioning. Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher should resign in shame. If he does not, he should be impeached and thrown out of office.

Posted at 12:35 AM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 29, 2005

Kentucky: Impeach Governor Ernie Fletcher

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was shocked to hear this was happening, but Governor Ernie Fletcher has abused his position by seeking to cover-up a corruption scandal before he testifies tomorrow. It is unknown whether Governor Fletcher will take the 5th, but it is certain that he has created a gigantic political scandal. Bluegrass Report has been the source on this and Bluegrass Report has a legal source who understands Section 77 of the Kentucky Constitution:

Section 77 relates to retrospective acts only -- the Governor is empowered to nullfy punishment. This was the ruling (dicta) of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Anderson v. Commonwealth, 107 S.W.3d 193 (Ky. 2003) -- opinion by Johnstone -- all concur! In the opinion (p. 196) the Court looked to the US Supreme Court's decision in Schick v. Reed, 419 U.S. 256 (1974) for guidance from the English common law in construing a President's power to pardon under Article II. The Schick Court observed that the Constitution gives "plenary authority to the President to "forgive" the convicted person in part or entirely." Id. at 266. The Governor just has no authority to pardon indicted persons because there is no fine to remit, no sentence to commute and no punishment imposed from which to grant a pardon or reprieve. There sure as hell is no authority to pardon persons who "might" be indicted!

No wonder serious legislators are talking about impeachment. And now, the suspects -- who were potentially illegally pardoned -- will be compelled to testify and can no longer take the fifth.

Posted at 09:23 PM in Activism, Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (2) | Technorati

Culture of Corruption -- Kentucky Style

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Bluegrass Report (source to follow on this):

Governor Ernie Fletcher has called a news conference for a major announcement regarding the merit hiring investigation. The conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) tonight.

Reports from the media are inconsistent, but there is a consensus emerging that Fletcher is issuing pardons -- some say nine of them. Mark Hebert (WHAS-11 Louisville) and Bill Bryant (WKYT-27 Lexington) are both reporting online. Sources inside the investigation have told that they expect Fletcher will pardon himself as well.

Stay tuned as will be reporting on this development all evening if pardons are issued.

I hope some lawyers in bluegrass country are looking into impeachment, looking into recall. This is an obscene abuse of power. And the timing is disgusting, not just for trying to get it buried in the Katrina coverage, but because of what happens tomorrow:

Gov. Ernie Fletcher will appear Tuesday before a special grand jury investigating personnel actions in his administration.

At a court hearing today, Fletcher’s attorney, James Neal of Nashville, told Franklin Circuit Judge William L. Graham that he and Assistant Attorney General Scott Crawford-Sutherland had agreed that Fletcher would appear Tuesday. The deal also calls for the prosecutor to issue a new subpoena for records from the governor’s office, giving Fletcher and his attorney more time to respond.

Neal had filed a motion earlier in the day asking the judge to delay Fletcher’s grand jury appearance for a few days. Neal said he requested the delay because he had a medical appointment.

The judge accepted the agreement between Neal and Sutherland. Neal declined afterwards to say if Fletcher would answer the jury’s questions Tuesday or invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

stay tuned...

Posted at 06:38 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

National Guard Belongs in the Nation

Posted by Bob Brigham

Maybe Katrina will kickstart the debate on how Bush is destroying the National Guard. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has been trying to get the conversation started for some time. From Roll Call:

It’s forest fire season in the Mountain West.

But if disaster were to strike in drought-stricken Montana, many of the people who would be expected to fight the fires are half a world away.

Fully half of Montana’s National Guard — and most of its helicopters — are deployed in Iraq. And Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is fired up about it.

Schweitzer wants to start a dialogue about the way the military has changed its ratio of active-duty to Reserve and Guard forces — a policy in place long before the war in Iraq but one whose full impact is only now being felt.

“One of the things they didn’t consider in this policy,” said Schweitzer, “is that there are governors who are commanders-in-chief of the Guard and they have important missions for them at home.”

We should never have to see quotes like this:

JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

"The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard.

I wrote about this yesterday because we need to have the debate about why the Louisiana National Guard is in Iraq instead of defending their state. Why?

Posted at 11:16 AM in International, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina Proves Bush is a Failure

Posted by Bob Brigham

Three reasons why George Bush has failed the entire gulf coast -- especially New Orleans -- and should be held accountable for the result of Katrina:

3. The Louisiana National Guard is in Iraq

2. The energy of the storm is compounded by the higher sea tempurature that is forced upon a hurricane by Global Warming

1. Bush received warnings that this was one of the "three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters" and did nothing but stay on vacation and cut funding

Posted at 09:09 PM in Culture of Corruption, International, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (5) | Technorati

Katrina Proves Bush Failed New Orleans

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE (Bob) Here is the full recap

So far today, I've looked at Global Warming and Katrina and the crisis resulting from Lousiana's National Guard being in Iraq instead of defending their state.

Will Bush stay on vacation? At this point, it doesn't really matter. Because Bush has been asleep at the wheel for four years. From the Houston Chronicle in 2001:

New Orleans is sinking.

And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.

So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.

The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.

The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.

FEMA said this was the "three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters". Bush's response? Cut preparedness:

(UPDATE -- Tim:) I wanted to take a moment to spell it out for the visiting freepi fawning over the head start the Superdome is giving you supporters of minority internment. Of course we don't believe Bush caused the hurricane, although I think many of us wish he would have asked Pat Robertson to pray for a re-direction.

And most of you failed to read the article Bob linked, no surprise there. But inbetween vacations, the preznit got massive tax-cuts passed at the expense of important projects. Among them, preparedness for natural disasters--some of which happen to be in New Orleans.

In general, funding for construction has been on a downward trend for the past several years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the New Orleans Corps' programs management branch.

In 2001, the New Orleans district spent $147 million on construction projects. When fiscal year 2005 wraps up Sept. 30, the Corps expects to have spent $82 million, a 44.2 percent reduction from 2001 expenditures. [...]

Unfunded projects include widening drainage canals, flood- proofing bridges and building pumping stations in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The Corps also wants to build levees in unprotected areas on the West Bank.

Irresponsible distribution of resources has, yet again, put American lives in peril. If the freepi were able to see past 9/11 and recognize the difference between real life, health, and safety risks (ie. environment & port protection among others) and not get distracted by contrived security risks (ie. Iraq), things might not look so grim tonight.

In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.

It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.

I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it's not so much the reduction, it's the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It's the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.

There is an economic ripple effect, too. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.

Remember, this was a top-three "likeliest catastrophic disasters" and Bush shelved the study of how to protect against Category 5 hurricanes like Katrina? For most of Bush's time as President, FEMA has been saying this could be the deadliest scenario facing America. And Bush cut the preparedness funding, sent our strategic reserve National Guard troops to fight an unnecessary war and then went on vacation. Not only is Bush the worst President ever, but he is also a total asshole for fucking over New Orleans.

Hat tip to Ms Librarian and commentors.

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is some more...


Katrina could be the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. But it was not a surprise. Experts have been warning for years of the potential catastrophic devastation that a category 4 or 5 hurricane could have on the Gulf Coast. And in Louisiana, local officials have fought for federal funding to implement hurricane defense plans that could have avoided the widespread flooding of New Orleans. But under the Bush Administration, funding for those projects has been continuously slashed, leaving the Gulf Coast unprepared for such a disaster.


Federal Government Has Neglected Disaster Preparedness, Left Enormous Vulnerabilities. Disaster and emergency experts have warned for years that governments, especially the federal government, have put so much stress on disaster response that they have neglected policies to minimize a disaster's impact in advance. Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, said “It's going to be very evident that there were an enormous number of vulnerabilities that weren't addressed. There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing.” [Newhouse News Service, 8/31/05]

Disaster Mitigation Programs Slashed Since 2001. Since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA’s Project Impact, a model mitigation program created by the Clinton administration, has been canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been cut in half, and now communities across the country must compete for pre-disaster mitigation dollars. [Baltimore City Paper, 9/29/04]

In 2003 White House Slashed Mitigation Programs In Half. In 2003, Congress approved a White House proposal to cut FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in half. Previously, the federal government was committed to invest 15 percent of the recovery costs of a given disaster in mitigating future problems. Under the Bush formula, the feds now cough up only 7.5 percent. Such post-disaster mitigation efforts, specialists say, are a crucial way of minimizing future losses. [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]

Bush Continuing To Propose Cuts To Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers will be cut in 2006. Bush’s 2005 budget proposal called for a 13 percent reduction in the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget, down to $4 billion from $4.6 billion in fiscal 2004. [Associated Press, 2/6/05; Congressional Quarterly Online, 2/3/04]

Under Bush, FEMA Reverted To Pre-Clinton Status As One Of The Worst Agencies. Former President Clinton appointed James L. Witt to take over FEMA after its poor response to Hurricane Andrew. Witt adopted recommendations and FEMA was described as an agency reborn: “transformed itself from what many considered to be the worst federal agency to among the best.” But FEMA under the Bush administration has destroyed carefully constructed efforts. After the 9/11 attacks the agency’s inspector general in 2003 criticized portions of FEMA’s response, citing “difficulties in delivering timely and effective” mortgage and rental assistance to those in need. [USA Today, 6/1/2005]


States Expected To Shoulder More Of The Burden In Emergency Management With Fewer Funds. “The federal focus on terrorism preparedness has left states with an increased responsibility to provide support for natural disasters and emergencies,” noted a report released by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) this summer. “State budget shortfalls have given emergency management programs less to work with, at a time when more is expected of them. In fiscal year 2004, the average budget for a state emergency management agency was $40.8 million, a 23 percent reduction from fiscal year 2003.” [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]

Bush Tried to Cut Federal Percentage of Large-Scale Natural Disaster Preparedness. The administration made a failed attempt to cut the federal percentage of large-scale natural disaster preparedness expenditures. Since the 1990s, the federal government has paid 75 percent of such costs, with states and municipalities funding the other 25 percent. The White House's attempt to reduce the federal contribution to 50 percent was defeated in Congress. [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]


Bush Opposed Necessary Funding For Hurricane Preparedness In Louisiana. The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. Ultimately a deal was struck to steer $540 million to the state over four years. The total coast of coastal repair work is estimated to be $14 billion. In its budget, the Bush administration also had proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need. [Newhouse News Service, 8/31/05]

Republican Budget Cut New Orleans’ Army Corps Of Engineers Funding By A Record $71.2 Million. In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said. “I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction,” said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Money is so tight the New Orleans district instituted a hiring freeze. The freeze is the first of its kind in about 10 years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the Corps' Programs Management Branch. [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Landrieu Called Bush’s Funding Priorities Shortsided. Landrieu said the Bush Administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority. “I think it's extremely shortsighted,” Landrieu said. “When the Corps of Engineers' budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.” [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Emergency Preparedness Director Furious With Project Cuts. A study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now. Terry Tullier, the New Orleans emergency preparedness director, said he was furious but not surprised to hear that study had been cut from the Bush budget. “I’m all for the war effort, but every time I think about the $87 billion being spent on rebuilding Iraq, I ask: What about us?” he said. “Somehow we need to make a stronger case that this is not Des Moines, Iowa, that we are so critical that if it hits the fan in New Orleans, everything this side of the Rockies will feel the economic shock waves.” [Times-Picayune, 9/22/04; New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Flood Protection Projects Put On Hold Because Of Republican’s 2006 Budget. One of the hardest-hit areas of the New Orleans district's budget is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project. SELA's budget is being drained from $36.5 million awarded in 2005 to $10.4 million suggested for 2006 by the House of Representatives and the president. The Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects in a line item where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. “We don't have the money to put the work in the field, and that's the problem,” Naomi said. [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Senator Landrieu Urged Action After SELA Budget Slashed. Louisiana’s congressional delegation assured local officials they would seek significant increases for SELA. “We could have lost 100,000 lives had Hurricane Ivan hit the mouth of the (Mississippi) River before it turned,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., alluding to last year’s storm that largely spared Louisiana but devastated parts of Alabama and Florida. “God has been good, but one of these days a hurricane is going to come and, if we don’t get projects . . . finished, we’re sitting ducks,” she said. [Times-Picayune, 3/11/05]



Louisiana National Guard Said Before Katrina That It Needed Equipment Back From Iraq If It Is To Respond To A Natural Disaster. “The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission,” said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard. “You've got combatant commanders over there who need it they say they need it, they don't want to lose what they h ave, and we certainly understand that it's a matter of us educating that combatant commander, we need it back here as well,” Col. Schneider said. [ABC 26 WGNO, 8/1/05]


Iraq Has Left National Guard Units At Home Short Of Equipment. Already suffering from manpower shortages, the National Guard’s overstretched forces are being confronted with another problem: not enough equipment to supply Guard troops at home. “To fully equip troops in Iraq, the Pentagon has stripped local Guard units of about 24,000 pieces of equipment. That has left Guard units at home, already seriously short of gear.” [Detroit Free Press, 6/13/05]

Gen. McCaffrey Said We Could Permanently Damage The Guard And Reserve. Gen. McCaffrey warned against overstretching Guard and Reserve. “[W]e're going to damage fatally the National Guard if we try and continue using Reserve components at this rate. Forty percent of that force in Iraq right now is Reserve component. We have shot the bull. We've got to back off and build an Army and Marine Corps capable of sustaining these operations.” [Meet the Press, 8/28/05]

Governors Say Long Deployments Leaving Their States Vulnerable. “[S]tate officials think continued deployments will have an effect on people who sign up for or remain in the Minnesota National Guard. At a National Governor's Association meeting…some governors criticized the burden of repeated deployment, saying that the troops' absence leaves their states unprotected against things like natural disasters. Officials in Idaho and Montana have said they are unprepared if forest fires hit their states this summer.” [AP, 8/10/05]


Coast Guard Gave Congress List of $919 Million in Unfunded Priorities. The Coast Guard has given Congress a $919 million wish list of programs and hardware not funded in the Bush Administration's fiscal 2006 budget request. For the first time, the Coast Guard has sent Congressional representatives an unfunded priorities list - a tally of needed items not included in the fiscal 2006 request. The list includes an additional $637 million for the service's Deepwater recapitalization program; $11.6 million for helicopter repairs; $4 million to increase aviation maritime patrol hours, and $59 million to renovate shore stations. [Journal of Commerce Online, 5/11/05]

Coast Guard Faced With Helicopter Problems. The head of the US Coast Guard told Congress his equipment is failing at unacceptable rates. Despite increases in spending on maintenance, the agency's older large craft -- called cutters -- experience equipment failures capable of ruining a mission almost 50 percent of the time, according to Coast Guard officials. Further, the agency's HH-65 helicopters suffered a rate of 329 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours in 2004, way over the Federal Aviation Administration's acceptable standard of 1 mishap per 100,000 hours. [UPI, 6/10/05; USA Today, 7/6/05]

Commandant Says Coast Guard Short On Resources. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas H. Collins said, “Do we have more business than we have resources? Yes.” The Coast Guard has put the cost of implementing safety regulations laid out by Congress at $7.3 billion over the next ten years. The Bush administration only asked for $46 million for aid to the ports in the 2005 budget. [Budget of the United States,; House Approps Cmte Transcript, 3/31/04; Washington Post, 4/2/03; Boston Globe, 6/30/04]

Posted at 06:27 PM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Economy, General, Louisiana, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (57) | Technorati

Katrina and Global Warming

Posted by Bob Brigham

From WWLTV's great coverage:

Katrina could be strongest storm in recorded history
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered an immediate mandatory evacuation Sunday for all of New Orleans, a city sitting below sea level with 485,000 inhabitants, as Hurricane Katrina bore down with wind revved up to nearly 175 mph and a threat of a massive storm surge.

The storm had the potential for storm surge flooding of up to 25 feet, topped with even higher waves, as much as 15 inches of rain, and tornadoes, the National Hurricane Center said.

Only three Category 5 hurricanes - the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale - have hit the United States since record-keeping began. The last was 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which leveled parts of South Florida, killed 43 people and caused $31 billion in damage. The other two were the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys and killed 600 people and Hurricane Camille, which devastated the Mississippi coast in 1969, killing 256.

Category 5's are rare, but for how long?

The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricane will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions. This expectation is based on an anticipated enhancement of energy available to the storms due to higher tropical sea surface temperatures.

When you hear "global warming" think "George Bush". Global warming is now a national security crisis. Bush's oil buddies have endanged American soil with their corrupt refusal to deal with the consequences of their greed. Bush doesn't get it.

Posted at 01:37 PM in Culture of Corruption, International, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, August 26, 2005

MT-Sen: John Morrison Can't Win Primary or General Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ouch. Membership in the DLC will be the kiss of death for anyone in a Democratic primary. From Kos:

[Jon Tester is] an awesome guy, awesome candidate, the Montana netroots loves him, and he'll win his primary and take out Conrad Burns.

His primary challenger, John Morrison, is, ahem, a DLC rising star. The big knock against Tester? He's a farmer from nowhere in eastern Montana and won't be able to raise the kind of money the slick, polished, Morrison can muster. It's the classic well-connected attorney politician type versus the "real" and "genuine" candidate.

There is no way a DLC lawyer like John Morrison can beat Conrad Burns. There is too much history. Montanans will choose a fake cowboy over a real lawyer any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

Posted at 05:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Scandals | Comments (10) | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

San Francisco: Michela Alioto-Pier vs. Jonny Moseley

Posted by Bob Brigham

As a civic minded blogger, from time-to-time I feel it necessary to intervene in local affairs. Today's announcement that San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier was successful in her bid to hold-up Jonny Moseley's 30th birthday gift to The City provides an opportunity for me to adjudicate a compromise.


Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley has spent more than a year organizing "Icer Air 2005" as a birthday gift to San Francisco on the day Moseley turns 30. Moseley envisioned using his name to draw dozens of world class names to San Francisco for a televised event featuring trucked-in snow creating a ski jump on one of San Francisco's legendary hills.

As is often the case in San Francisco, an opportunistic, third-rate politician stepped in at the very last minute to...cancel Jonny Mosely's birthday. From the San Francisco Examiner:

Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Allan was disappointed, saying these type of quirky events give San Francisco its reputation and draw tourists and visitors. He also said it was unfair to cancel the contest after organizers had spent more than a year applying for three separate event permits.

"Every neighborhood contributes to the vitality of the international persona by hosting street fairs like the Castro Fair or the Folsom Street Fair," Allan said. "All of that contributes to the mystique and allure that draws visitors to San Francisco. I find it disingenuous that one neighborhood would feel aloof and detached from making our city great."

That neighborhood is represented by Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier. The San Francisco Chronicle asked her about her push to cancel Jonny Moseley's birthday:

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who represents Pacific Heights, was also pleased that the competition had been called off.

"This is the only responsible thing to do,'' she said.

That Michela would pull a hold-up maneuver is not surprising in the least bit, she is known as the champion of fluff issues. There seems to be no bounds to the lengths Alitio-Pier will go to in her quest to score cheap political points, which makes sense considering she lost and kept losing as a candidate until she was appointed to her seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Michela Alioto-Pier is best known for her opposition to smoking outdoors and her tear-drenched tantrums that result whenever somebody says a bad word that is overheard by her socialite ears.

While Alioto-Pier lacks the ability to get anything done on the real issues, she excels at making a big deal out of fluff-issues. And she was successful in her battle against Jonny Moseley. But Michela only won the first round. Which wasn't exactly a win when you consider the extreme financial backlash that could result from Michela's hold-up job.


If Jonny Moseley isn't sick of politicians like Michela Pier-Alioto, he should be given all available help to reschedule the event at the earliest possible date. In return, there should be no swearing or smoking by any of the fans or participants. If, for example, an athlete were to crash after flying 70 feet in the air and accidentally mutter the word "crap" – the perpetrator would need to immediately recite 5 Hail Marys. Ten for the word 'shit' and the f-bomb should result in 20 Hail Marys. Unless the F-bomb precedes "Michela Alioto-Pier" –- in that case it is justified.

Posted at 12:44 PM in Activism, California, Culture of Corruption, Economy, General, Netroots, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, August 19, 2005

MT-Sen: Burns / Abramoff Link Charged with Poaching

Posted by Bob Brigham

Helena Independent Record:

HELENA — Shawn Vasell, a one-time aide to U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and a former associate of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has been charged in Stillwater County with poaching.

Vasell, 32, of Arlington, Va., was charged in June with four counts of breaking state big game laws: illegally possessing big game, hunting on private property without permission, hunting with someone else's license and hunting without a license, better known as poaching. [...]

Vasell pleaded not guilty to all four crimes on June 18 in Stillwater County Justice Court. A Sept. 20 trial is scheduled. [...]

The crimes carry a variety of punishments, including fines up to $1,000, restitution of up to $8,000, six months in jail and a lifetime ban from hunting in Montana.

The missing link.

Vasell was Burns' state director for most of 2002. He quit in December of that year and ended up joining the lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig, where he worked with Jack Abramoff, the embattled D.C. lobbyist.

Abramoff was arrested and charged with federal fraud and conspiracy charges earlier this month for allegedly duping investors into financing a $147 million fleet of gambling ships in Florida.

Abramoff's alleged mishandling of millions of dollars in lobbying fees charged to American Indian tribal clients was the subject a Senate Indian Affairs investigative hearing in June. Vasell was tapped to testify at the hearing, but cited his right not to incriminate himself and refused to answer any questions.

Abramoff lobbyists and his tribal clients gave $137,000 to Burns and his political action committee between 2001 and 2004, more than any other lawmaker, Bloomberg News reported this spring.

News reports on Abramoff's lobbying scandal have referred to Vasell as the link between the embattled former lobbyist and Burns. (emphasis mine)

Throw the book at him. This is the guy pleading the fifth in the corruption investigation. More here, here.

Hat-tip to Left in the West.

Posted at 05:49 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, Montana, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GOP Culture of Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

I think this post is the ideal way to kick off our new Culture of Corruption category. From Grow Ohio:

11:15 A.M. - Taft plead no contest and waived his right to a jury trial.  He was spared jail time (of course), but is forced to pay the maximum fines and court fees allowable ($1,000 x 4).  Embarassingly, Taft has to send an email to every Ohio media outlet and stateworker outlining an apology for his ethical violations.[...]

11:30 A.M. - Governor Taft steps to the podium to make a statement after the hearing. "I am here today to publicly apologize to the people of Ohio." The Republican Governor just called the events "social" -- He later called them "recreational events with friends." It will be interesting to see what State Senator Marc Dann and the press can uncover about who the outings were with and what state contracts/other benefits were potentially on-the-table with those individuals.

Ah, "recreational" corruption...

Posted at 02:42 PM in Culture of Corruption, Ohio, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Annatopia says:

oh man, apparently someone is too busy covering their ass to run a campaign today...

If you want to know why she said that, it is because she has sources...

UPDATE: (Bob) Atrios says:

Schmidt Campaign Imploding?

Word is that Spankin' Joe Braun is too obsessed with what's being said about him on the internets to actually actively manage the campaign...

Wow. Must suck to be Joe Braun. Remember Friday's Hotline? The Washington Republicans didn't write the big checks because Joe Braun was doing a good job.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

Friday, July 29, 2005

OH-02: Culture of Corruption Surrounds Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Ann Driscoll's MyDD diary:

Accusations surfaced against Schmidt's campaign managers Brett Buerck and Kyle Sisk and Larry Householder, the disgraced former House speaker. Ignoring the preference for officeholders to remain neutral during primaries, Householder actively raised funds for Schmidt and worked in conjunction with Buerck and Sisk, who were his top aids at the time. The three Republican politicos were accused of threatening lobbyists, engaging in unscrupulous negotiations, and running baseless smear television ads through a purportedly neutral PAC during the Schmidt campaign.

Threatening Lobbyists

The allegations began when Schmidt's opponent, Tom Niehaus publicly acknowledged a call that he had received from an apologetic lobbyist. The lobbyist told Niehaus that Householder had contacted him and threatened his lobby with unfavorable legislation if he did not contribute to the Schmidt campaign. About six other lobbyists informed Niehaus of similar threats made by Householder or his chief of staff, Brett Buerck.

Kenneth Blackwell, who launched an investigation into the campaign, stated that there is "a direct correlation" between campaign contributions and legislation in the House. But Blackwell, the official that many blame for Ohio voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential election, may have motivations of his own. Around the same time, a 109-page report written by Buerck, Sisk, and Householder's spokesman David Crum surfaced that detailed a scheme to destroy Blackwell's political career.

Smear Ads

The non-profit PAC Ohio Taxpayers Association spent $120,000 running smear television commercials against Niehaus, claiming that he was "anti-tax payer" and that Schmidt was "pro-tax payer." The ads attacked Niehaus for voting "to raise sales, income, gas and cigarette taxes." But voting records show that Schmidt voted identically on those exact same taxes. The Enquirer acknowledged in their endorsement for Schmidt in the District 2 primary that the ads "distorted the two candidates' records on taxes." Scott Pullins, the head of the Ohio Taxpayers Association admitted that Householder and Sisk raised money for the group and that at least some of that money was used to produce the ads.

I'm sure some google monkeys might have fun searching on this.

Posted at 04:55 PM in Ohio, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: Culture of Corruption and Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

"There is a clear difference between my opponent and myself on moral issues." -Republican Jean Schmidt

Toledo Blade:

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. Ms. Schmidt is currently running for Congress against Paul Hackett, a Democrat who served in the Iraq War.

The race has attracted national attention.

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

"The documents indicate that she is lobbying the governor on behalf of Roger Ach," said her opponent, Mr. Hackett. "After doing their bidding, she takes a $1,000 donation. That is the culture of corruption - documented."

Indeed, there is a very clear difference. Paul Hackett needs your help, please volunteer and contribute. The Republican Culture of Corruption must end.

Posted at 11:27 AM in Ohio, Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Cracks in Debate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jean Schmidt After watching this video, I can think of few words that describe Jean Schmidt better than batshit crazy.

She lost her last her last election by 22 votes and it appears that the Fear has taken ahold of her. She's cracking, maybe she's already cracked. Who knows what type of crazed hallucinations have overcome her, but the Fear has taken it's toll.

It ended up in the local press and now the video is online.

Some people are good under fire, some crack up.

Posted at 02:54 PM in Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

OH-02: Max Cleland: Send a Marine to Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) Via Chris Bowers, Paul Hackett is doing Al Franken today. Tune in.

Democrats are fired up for Paul Hackett. The midnight scoop by Tim Tagaris (Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt, rec'd on Daily Kos) has compounded the momentum.

The coingate scandal is reminding everyone about Jean Schmidt and her deeping scandals.

While Schmidt sinks, Democrats are coming together to send a marine to Congress. Mayor Paul Hackett received a major show of support from Max Cleland. Over at MyDD, Ann Driscoll covers a Hackett Veterans' Event with Max Cleland.

Also, the DNC sent a few million netroots Democrats an email from Cleland. Full copy in the extended entry.

Marine Major and Democrat Paul Hackett could be a first for our country -- the first veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be elected to Congress. He fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel.

Paul Hackett knows what's really happening in Iraq. And, he's ready to take his experience to Washington. He's running in the August 2nd special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District stretching from just outside Cincinnati eastward along the Ohio River.

Paul's campaign has a tough fight against some of the most entrenched special interests in Ohio. His opponent, Jean Schmidt, is a favorite of the corrupt and ever-present Republican establishment -- one that never misses an opportunity to smear and cheat.

Take a look at a day in the life of the two candidates. On the night of October 25, 2004, Jean Schmidt had dinner at an expensive restaurant and partied at a Bengals game in Cincinnati. Her trip, sponsored by a global bio-tech lobbyist, yielded yet another ethics scandal for Ohio Republicans.

That same evening, Paul and his men were keeping insurgents' supplies from entering war-torn Falluja. They ate the standard-issue MRE and fought to defend Iraqi civilians and their fellow troops.

At the end of the day, the choice for voters couldn't be clearer. In Jean Schmidt, they have the hand-picked choice of the backslapping insiders who sell the process to the highest-bidding right-wing group or corporate interest.

In Paul Hackett, voters have someone with first-hand experience in uniform and the drive to solve problems and put us on the right track. He proudly served his country in Iraq, and he's ready to serve in Washington.

So, take a moment and read the article about Paul Hackett below. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about what's happening in Ohio's 2nd District because it's a preview of what's to come next year -- real leaders stepping up to serve at a time of abuse of power and corruption in government.

Thank you,

Senator Max Cleland

If you haven't, go donate to Hackett. The current total stands at $137,024.02 from 2,728 online Democrats.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

Sen. Democratic Policy Committee and House Gov. Reform Committee Hearing on Leak

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watch live on C-SPAN 3. I'll use this thread for updates. Here is the background on today's committee investigation

UPDATE: (Bob) Check out the c-span live blog at Mahablog and Republic of T.

UPDATE: (Bob) DC Media Girl has Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony (full remarks posted in extended entry)

UPDATE: (Bob) Good Americans are talking about the hearings over at AmericaBlog.

UPDATE: (Bob) Great moments in mainstream media asking great questions and getting proportional responses:

Carl, and then I'll go to Bob.

Q Scott, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, lead by Byron Dorgan, along with the Democrats of the House Government Reform Committee, are going to hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the leaking of classified information and the damage that it could cause. Do you think that that investigation that they're conducting on -- just Democrats is helpful?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that it's helpful for all of us to make sure we're doing our part to allow the people overseeing the investigation to do their job. And that's what we've been doing from this White House. And I really don't have anything to add beyond that.

UPDATE: (Bob) Building is NOT being evacuated.

UPDATE: (Bob) Daily Kos has Live Open Thread.

UPDATE: (Bob) If you have surround sound, put your settings to "Hall" (or equivalent)...if you're looking for something to read, browse our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Via DC Media Girl, Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony:

Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats.


by Larry C. Johnson I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 as a member of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch had written a letter of recommendation on my behalf and I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA. From the first day all members of my training class were undercover. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife. Most of us were given official cover, which means that on paper we worked for some other U.S. Government Agency. People with official cover enjoy the benefits of an official passport, usually a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card. It accords the bearer the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. At the time I only knew her as Valerie P. Even though all of us in the training class held Top Secret Clearances, we were asked to limit our knowledge of our other classmates to the first initial of their last name. So, Larry J. knew Val P. rather than Valerie Plame. Her name did not become a part of my consciousness until her cover was betrayed by the Government officials who gave columnist Robert Novak her true name.

Although Val started off with official cover, she later joined a select group of intelligence officers a few years later when she became a NOC, i.e. a Non-Official Cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. She was using cover, which we now know because of the leak to Robert Novak, of the consulting firm Brewster-Jennings. When she traveled overseas she did not use or have an official passport. If she had been caught engaged in espionage activities while traveling overseas without the black passport she could have been executed.

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department. Some reports, such as one in the Washington Times that Valerie Plame’s supervisor at the CIA, Fred Rustman, said she told friends and family she worked at the CIA and that her cover was light. These claims are not true. Rustman, who supervised Val in one of her earliest assignments, left the CIA in 1990 and did not stay in social contact with Valerie. His knowledge of Val’s cover is dated. He does not know what she has done during the past 15 years.

Val only told those with a need to know about her status in order to safeguard her cover, not compromise it. Val has never been a flamboyant, insecure person who felt the need to tell people what her “real” job was. She was content with being known as an energy consultant married to Joe Wilson and the mother of twins. Despite the repeated claims of representatives for the Republican National Committee, the Wilson’s neighbors did not know where Valerie really worked until Novak’s op-ed appeared.

I would note that not a single member of our training class has come forward to denounce Valerie or question her bona fides. To the contrary, those we have talked to have endorsed what those of us who have left the CIA are doing to defend her reputation and honor.

As noted in the joint letter submitted to Congressional leaders earlier this week, the RNC is repeating the lie that Valerie was nothing more than a glorified desk jockey and could not possibly have any cover worth protecting. To those such as Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, P. J. O’Rourke, and Representative Roy Blunt I can only say one thing—you are wrong. I am stunned that some political leaders have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak’s compromise of Valerie caused even more damage. It subsequently led to scrutiny of her cover company. This not only compromised her “cover” company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

Another false claim is that Valerie sent her husband on the mission to Niger. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report issued in July 2004, it is clear that the Vice President himself requested that the CIA provide its views on a Defense Intelligence Agency report that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. The Vice President’s request was relayed through the CIA bureaucracy to the Director of the Counter Proliferation Division at the CIA. Valerie worked for a branch in that Division.

The Senate Intelligence Report is frequently cited by Republican partisans as “proof” that Valerie sent her husband to Niger because she sent a memo describing her husband’s qualifications to the Deputy Division Chief. Several news personalities, such as Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly continue to repeat this nonsense as proof. What the Senate Intelligence Committee does not include in the report is the fact that Valerie’s boss had asked her to write a memo outlining her husband’s qualifications for the job. She did what any good employee does; she gave her boss what he asked for.

The decision to send Joe Wilson on the mission to Niger was made by Valerie’s bosses. She did not have the authority to sign travel vouchers, issue travel orders, or expend one dime of U.S. taxpayer dollars on her own. Yet, she has been singled out by the Republican National Committee and its partisans as a legitimate target of attack. It was Karl Rove who told Chris Matthews, “Wilson’s wife is fair game”.

What makes the unjustified and inappropriate attacks on Valerie Plame and her reputation so unfair is that there was no Administration policy position stipulating that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium in February 2002. That issue was still up in the air and, as noted by SSCI, Vice President Cheney himself asked for more information.

At the end of the day we are left with these facts. We went to war in Iraq on the premise that Saddam was reacquiring weapons of mass destruction. Joe Wilson was sent on a mission to Niger in response to a request initiated by the Vice President. Joe Wilson supplied information to the CIA that supported other reports debunking the claim that Saddam was trying to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger. When Joe went public with his information, which had been corroborated by the CIA in April 2003, the response from the White House was to call him a liar and spread the name of his wife around.

We sit here more than two years later and the storm of invective and smear against Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie, continues. I voted for George Bush in November of 2000 because I wanted a President who knew what the meaning of “is” was. I was tired of political operatives who spent endless hours on cable news channels parsing words. I was promised a President who would bring a new tone and new ethical standards to Washington.

So where are we? The President has flip flopped and backed away from his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are implicated in these leaks. Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson. This is wrong.

Without firm action by President Bush to return to those principles he promised to follow when he came to Washington, I fear our political debate in this country will degenerate into an argument about what the meaning of “leak” is. We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot expend its efforts attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

You can find more in our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Scandal in the White House

Posted by Bob Brigham

ap lauren shay karl rove bob novak

A couple of updates on the Karl Rove Scandal.

* It has been 741 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

* New website:

* Congressman Henry Waxman's first Kos Diary

* The June 2003 AP photo by Lauren Shay has been getting lots of attention in the last 24 hours, Rove's button says, "'I'm a source, not a target."

* Tune in to C-SPAN (hopefully) for coverage of the 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, 2005 U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority joint committee to investigate the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer:


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority will conduct a joint hearing at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, in Room 138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, to examine the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer. The hearing will be co-chaired by Senate DPC Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Committee.

The panel of witnesses will include former intelligence officers and analysts who will discuss the impact of such disclosures, based on decades of experience and service to our country on intelligence and national security matters.

The hearing comes only days after the witnesses who will appear at the hearing, along with other former intelligence officers and analysts, delivered to the House and Senate leadership a letter expressing deep concern over both the disclosure of the identity of a covert intelligence officer and the continuing partisan attacks on that officer. The letter said that public statements questioning her status and the significance of disclosing her identity "reveal an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover."

Details on Monday's hearing follow:

WHO: Members of Congress: U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), and other members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Witnesses: Larry Johnson, former CIA analyst; Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA

case officer; David McMichael, former CIA case officer; Mel Goodman, former

senior CIA analyst.

WHAT: Oversight hearing on the impact of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer

WHEN: 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, 2005

WHERE: Room 138 - Dirksen Senate Office Building, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.

WHY: To examine the national security consequences of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer.

And the scandal is not going away:

  • We now know that Karl Rove disclosed Plame's status to at least two reporters, contradicting two year old White House denials that Karl Rove had "no involvement" in the leak. We know that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer read a classified State Department memorandum which revealed information about Plame's CIA status in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a day before Karl Rove confirmed this information to the columnist Robert Novak. We know that the Vice President's Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, confirmed Plame's status to at least one reporter. We know that the CIA classified Valerie Plame's identity as covert and she wasn't, as Rove's defenders say, just a desk jockey at Langley. We know that President Bush promised to fire "those involved" in the leak and is now backing away from that promise.
  • And we learned in today's Washington Post, that the State Department's own investigations "already had disproved the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger" in February 2002 -- nearly a year before President Bush tried to terrify the American people by including that claim in his State of the Union speech. In the end, this matter all comes back to Iraq. The White House got into this trouble through its concerted and coordinated effort to smear anyone questioning its erroneous intelligence about WMD in Iraq [USA Today 7/24/03]. Continuing to stonewall and smear opponents will not get them out of it.
  • Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will determine if the White House officials' leaks violated the law. But it is undeniable that the White House has violated the public's trust. President Bush should put an end to the stonewalling and explain to the American people the facts about his White House's role in this grave matter.

Posted at 07:05 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stop the Cover-up

Posted by Bob Brigham

The DSCC has a new website:

The media is swarming with reports that Karl Rove may have illegally leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent to a reporter, but you wouldn't know it by listening to the "no comments" coming out of the White House.

Congressional Republicans, instead of tending to the people's business, have been distracted by the need to go into "defense mode." Instead of wasting time defending Karl Rove, Congressional Republicans ought to be standing up for what's right and demanding answers.

George Bush promised to fire anyone in his administration responsible for the leak. Now that new information suggests Rove had something to do with it, the White House has refused to answer any questions about the case. No one will even say whether the president is sticking to his promise to fire those responsible.

This is the worst kind of cover-up. It's up to us to show George Bush that the American people want answers. Sign the new DSCC petition and tell the White House to stop the cover-up today.

I don't normally sign petitions, but I signed this one because the cover-up needs to stop. Liberal Oasis reminds us that, It has been 740 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”.

740 days of covering up for the partisan hacks in the Bush White House.

Posted at 10:45 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Karl Rove's Last Stand

Posted by Bob Brigham

Bush White House #2 Man and Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove is in a pile of shit. It is up to his second chin.


Billmon's Rove's Last Stand -- an instant legend.

Fitzgerald is honing in and Rove's days are limited. Scott McClellan is now completely worthless as a Press Secretary -- he was busted lying to the American press to cover-up the sins of Karl Rove. Scooter Libby is also in trouble, along with Ken Mehlman and Ari Fleisher.

So when Bush nominates a partisan hack to distract attention I'm not going to let the arrogance of the Washington Republicans distract me from the White House Scandal.

John Roberts is nothing but a partisan hack, he won the spot for his partisanship, not his judicial record. I mean, the guy is a fucking lobbyist. And the Radical Right will spend millions on lobbyists to try to get a lobbyist on the bench.

But back to the Karl Rove scandal...

Play the West Wing game, the entire senior staff may have liability on this scandal:

Chief of Staff1mcgarry.jpgLeo McGarry2card.jpgAndy Card
Chief of Staff
1lyman.jpgJosh Lyman2rove.jpgKarl Rove
1ziegler.jpgToby Ziegler2bartlett.jpgDan Bartlett
1cregg.jpg C.J. Cregg2fleisher-mcclellan.gifAri Fleisher
Scott McClellan
Chief of Staff
1bailey.jpg Will Bailey2libby.jpg Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Play along. If Will Bailey and Josh Lyman were busted leaking the identity of an undercover CIA operative to Danny, who else would be involved. Let's say C.J. was caught on tape lying about Lyman. Who else? My guess is another Bush partisan hack.

Either Rove lied to the President or Bush lied to the American People.

What did the President know and when did he know it?

Why hasn't the White House followed protocol and initiated investigation into Rove's violation of his nondisclosure agreement.

Did Rove lie and committ perjury under oath?

Fire Karl Rove.

Posted at 12:01 AM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SCOTUS: Ethically Challenged John Roberts (Another Partisan Hack)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

An ethically challenged lawyer appointed by an ethically challenged "win-at-all-cost" administration.

U.S. v. Smithfield Foods - Roberts representing a pork processing company against Clean Water Act violations. This is what the court had to say about Roberts the litigator:

"The mischaracterization and distortion of this Memorandum is frustrating to the court. Quotes are being taken out of context, and it appears that words are being conveniently deleted or added for purposes of argument." "A totally misleading argument presented to this court."

I am not sure the amount of cases he has argued is very compelling if that is the way that he argues them.

UPDATE: Roberts on Roe v. Wade -- Brief field in Rust v. Sullivan

"We continue to believe that Roe was wrongfully decided and should be overturned." "[T]he Court's conclusions i Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

UPDATE (Bob) John Aravosis has info from NARAL Pro-Choice America on John Roberts and the huge oppo file from Alliance for Justice on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Tim) Aravosis has more, including Roberts' weak resume, and militant crusade to erode a woman's right to privacy, choice, and apparently right to live free from violence.

UPDATE (Tim) Jeralyn already debunks the Right's first talking point, that he was approved by the Senate to the Appeals Court overhwlemingly.

UPDATE (Bob) Here is PFAW on John Roberts (PDF)

UPDATE (Bob) Update the dkosopedia page on John Roberts and the Wikipedia page on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Bob) The John G. Robert's 2003 Confirmation Hearings

UPDATE (Bob Chris Bowers is right, John Roberts is a Partisan Hack:

The Bush administration has clearly stepped up the nomination of John Roberts in order to deflect attention from Karl Rove. Really, it makes sense. One partisan hack is deflecting attention from another.

Karl Rove is a lifetime Republican operative. John Roberts has been filing briefs and providing legal support for recounts (Roberts worked for Bush-Cheney 2000 in Florida) on behalf of Republicans for two decades. John Roberts is a partisan hack taking the heat for another partisan hack. He has only been a judge for two years. He has been a partisan Republican hack for twenty years.

The Bush administration was elected by the Supreme Court, and now it is electing a member of its campaign team to the Supreme Court in order to deflect attention away from ethics violations by the head of its campaign team, Karl Rove. The is partisan hackery at its best. The Bush administration has decided to treat the Supreme Court as an ambassadorship.

And so the fight is enjoined--the Bush administration wants to nominate a partisan hack who helped elect Bush to the Supreme Court, which elected Bush, in order to deflect attention from possible the possibly treasonous activates of another partisan hack who led the Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004. And so this is our fight--the Supreme Court is not the Northern Mariana Islands. The Supreme Court is not a way to reward those who helped get you elected. The Supreme Court is not a way to help deflect attention from the ethics violations of those who helped elect you. The Supreme Court is not a place for partisan hacks, but the Bush administration thinks it is. And so this is our fight--country over partisanship. And so it begins.

Howard Dean (from a press release):

Washington - Faced with a growing scandal surrounding the involvement of Deputy White House chief of Staff Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby in the leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative, President Bush announced his nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court late this evening. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement on the nomination:

"It is disappointing that when President Bush had the chance to bring the country together, he instead turned to a nominee who may have impressive legal credentials, but also has sharp partisan credentials that cannot be ignored.

"Democrats take very seriously the responsibility to protect the individual rights of all Americans and are committed to ensuring that ideological judicial activists are not appointed to the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will now have the opportunity to see if Judge Roberts can put his partisanship aside, and live up to a Supreme Court Justice's duty to uphold the rights and freedoms of every American and the promise of equal justice for all."

Posted at 08:02 PM in Activism, DNC Chair, General, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Plamegate, Scandals, Supreme Court | Technorati

Monday, July 18, 2005

GOP Smear Machine History

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watching the White House Scandal unfold, it has become clear that the GOP is smearing anyone and everyone not hyping RNC talking points. This isn't anything new, in fact, this is part of a very clear pattern.

A DNC press release:


Republicans follow a tried and true tactic of attacking, smearing, and sliming anyone who might get in their way or threaten their political survival. Their ongoing effort to discredit Joe Wilson and their destruction of his wife's career is just the latest in a long line of questionable tactics that the Bush Administration, Karl Rove, and Ken Mehlman consistently use to protect themselves and ensure their continued political power.


Shinseki Punished For Honest Assessment Of Troop Levels Needed In Iraq; Retribution Intimidated Commanders. Then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress in 2003 that the occupation of Iraq would require 'several hundred thousand' troops. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called that estimate 'wildly off the mark.' The Pentagon leaked the name of Shinseki's replacement months before his scheduled retirement, rendering him a lame duck. The Washington Times reported that some officers said privately that the rebuke intimidated commanders in Iraq. [UPI, 4/12/04; Washington Times, 4/10/04]


Richard Clarke Smeared After Talking About White House Lackadaisical Attitude Towards Al-Qaeda. The Bush White House worked hard to discredit its counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, after he wrote a book suggesting the President let down his guard on al-Qaeda because of an obsession with Iraq. After Clarke testified to White House inadequacies, the White House assailed Clarke's motives. "In an interview evening, Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, dismissed Mr. Clarke's charges as 'politically motivated,' 'reckless' and 'baseless.'" [ New York Times, 3/22/04; AP, 11/16/04]

  • White House Tried To Paint Picture of Disgruntled Former Employee. After claiming that Clarke is linked to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said "Mr. Clarke has been out there talking about what title he had...He wanted to be the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department after it was created. The fact of the matter is, just a few months after that, he left the Administration. He did not get that position. Someone else was appointed to it." [White House Briefing, 3/22/04]
  • Cheney Claimed That Counterterrorism Chief Was Not "In the Loop." Cheney: "[Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff...It was as though he clearly missed a lot of what was going on." [Cheney to Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04]
  • White House Asked the CIA to Declassify Select Material to Highlight "Contradictions." In response to Richard Clarke's call on "Meet the Press" for "all" of his testimony to be classified, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported, "NBC News has learned, at the request of the White House, the CIA is already going through Clarke's testimony to Congress to see what could be declassified, supposedly to show contradictions. All part of an unrelenting White House counteroffensive." [NBC Nightly News, 3/29/04]
  • Frist Called Clarke Apology to 9-11 Families Arrogant and Manipulative. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said "In his appearance before the 9/11 commission, Mr. Clarke's theatrical apology on behalf of the nation was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility. In my view it was not an act of humility, but an act of supreme arrogance and manipulation." [Frist Statement, 3/26/04]

O'Neill Fired For Expressing Misgivings Over Bush's Additional Tax Cuts. Paul O'Neill, his first treasury secretary, was fired after expressing misgivings about the need for additional tax cuts proposed by the president. [AP, 11/16/04]

Administration Launched Investigation After O'Neill Wrote A Book. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called O'Neill twice after hearing he was writing a book on the Bush Administration. Rumsfeld called it a "sour grapes" book. Soon after the book was published the Treasury department launched an investigation into whether O'Neill shared secret documents with 60 Minutes. Ron Suskind, the author of the book, who was given access by Mr. O'Neill to 19,000 documents that were turned over to him by the department after his departure, said the document that was shown on "60 Minutes" was the cover sheet for a February 2001 briefing paper on planning for a post-war Iraq. But he said Mr. O'Neill was not provided with the briefing paper itself. [NYTimes, 1/13/04; NYTimes, 1/14/04]


Lindsey Forced to Resign After Citing Large Cost of Iraq War. White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey annoyed the White House in September 2002 when he suggested that war with Iraq would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, an estimate Administration officials insisted was too high. In December 2002, the White House requested Lindsey resign from his post. "While I think this economic team has clearly had problems working together, I think the criticisms of Larry Lindsey have often been inconsistent and unfair for someone who was loyally carrying out the president's agenda, however much I disagreed with it," said Gene Sperling, Mr. Lindsey's immediate predecessor under Mr. Clinton. [NYTimes, 12/8/02; Houston Chronicle, 12/7/02]


Army Corps Director Fired For Comments On Bush Budget. "Mike Parker, director of the Army Corps of Engineers and a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, testified on the Hill that Bush budget cuts would have a 'negative impact' on the Corps and that he had no 'warm and fuzzy' feelings toward the Administration. A furious (Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell) Daniels sent a transcript of Parker's comments to the White House. Soon after, he was given 30 minutes to resign or be fired." [ Christian Science Monitor, 12/17/02; USA Today, 3/14/02]


Park Police Chief Fired For Comments On Bush Policy. U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers was suspended from her job when she said her "understaffed department had to curtail critical patrols in Park Service jurisdictions beyond the Mall, such as major parkways and crime-ridden U.S. parkland in neighborhoods, because of Interior Department orders requiring more officers to guard downtown national shrines... For responding with the truth to questions from The Washington Post and other news outlets about staffing in her department, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers has been placed on leave and notified that superiors in the National Park Service and Interior want her fired." [Washington Post, Editorial, 12/24/03]

Department of Interior Threatened Lawsuit Against Chambers; Turns Down Gag Deal. The Department of Interior's Park Service announced that it wanted to fire Chambers in December and was considering pressing charges related to release of sensitive information, lobbying, insubordination and breaking the chain of command. Chambers rejected an offer from the National Park Service that would have resulted in all charges against her being dropped in exchange for her agreeing to receive permission before speaking to Congress or the media. [Greenwire, 1/21/04]


ABC News Reporter Smeared By Bush Administration For Documenting Low Troop Morale. After ABC News reporter Jeffrey Kofman did a story on "World News Tonight" detailing low morale among the troops serving in Iraq, the Bush Administration sought to discredit the messenger rather than refute the message. The internet's Drudge Report published a headline that read: "ABC News correspondent who filed troop complaints story is openly gay, Canadian." Site publisher Matt Drudge later told the Washington Post that "someone in the White House communications shop tipped me" to the ABC correspondent's piece and the Advocate profile. [Chicago Tribune, 7/23/03; Washington Post, 7/18/03]


INS Agents Demoted for Discussing Lax Security On Canadian Border. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Agents Mark Hall and Robert Linderman were demoted from their positions after they told reporters that United States security at Canadian borders was lax. The demotions were later over-ruled by INS Commissioner James W. Ziglar after a report by the INS Office of Special Council found that Hall and Linderman were not aware of rules against INS agents speaking with the media. [Washington Post, 4/6/02]

Posted at 04:37 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Karl Rove Scandal Mementos

Posted by Bob Brigham

Nothing like a t-shirt vendor to compliment the festival-like atmosphere as we watch the Bush Administration attempt to cover-up treason. Either Karl Rove lied and should be fired or Bush lied to us all. So enjoy the entertainment and get your Karl Rove Scandal T-Shirt.

Posted at 12:55 PM in Activism, General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Howard Dean: American People "Deserve Answers"

Posted by Bob Brigham

The DNC issued a great press release on the abuse of power scandal. I've included the whole thing postjump.


"Despite his best efforts to cloud the facts, not even Ken Mehlman and the Republican spin machine can change the fact that the Bush Administration's credibility problem is only getting worse. The list of unanswered questions surrounding the Rove scandal and its impact on our national security continue to grow," said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. "The American people deserve answers to these questions. And they deserve to know whether the President is a man of his word. Mr. President, keep your word."

See below for a new document from DNC Research:


Until recently, Karl Rove had denied even knowing Valerie Plame’s name. Then, after the release of emails from Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper revealing the name of the White House source, Rove’s lawyer confirmed that Rove did speak with reporters about the case. Now, previously secret Time emails demonstrate that Rove did indeed leak to Cooper information about “Wilson’s wife” -- Valerie Plame, and lawyers revealed that Rove confirmed Valerie Plame’s identity for Bob Novak. That means that Karl Rove spoke with both of the journalists who published original accounts about Plame, and places him squarely in the center of this scandal.

“If left unpunished, this cowardly act will not only hinder our efforts to recruit qualified individuals into the clandestine service, but it will have a far-reaching, deleterious effect on our ability to recruit foreign intelligence assets overseas.”

— Larry Johnson, former CIA Analyst [Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, 10/24/03]


McClellan Said Rove Never Told Reporters that Plame Worked for CIA. White House Press Secretary Scott McCllelan was asked whether Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams or Lewis Libby told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?” McClellan responded by denying that Rove or the others had leaked any classified information. “Those individuals — I talked — I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that’s where it stands.” [WH Briefing, 10/10/03]


We know Rove’s initial public statements and his statements to Scott McClellan were false. And we know that after testifying once in front of the grand jury, they called him back. Did he knowingly lie to Scott McClellan? Did McClellan knowingly mislead the press? Did Rove change his answers to the grand jury? Did Rove commit perjury in front of the grand jury? Regardless of where Rove heard about Plame, wasn’t it a violation of national security policy for him to confirm her identity to Novak?


Rove Told Cooper That It Was “Wilson’s Wife” Who Worked on WMDs for the CIA. Rove had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper on July 11, 2003. Cooper wrote an email about the conversation to his Time bureau chief, describing how Rove gave him a “big warning” that Wilson’s assertions might not be entirely accurate and that it was not the director of the CIA or the vice president who sent Wilson on his trip. Rather, “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd who authorized the trip.” Wilson’s wife is Valerie Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]

Rove Confirmed Plame’s Identity for Bob Novak. Rove indirectly confirmed the CIA affiliation of Joe Wilson’s wife for Robert Novak the week before he named her and revealed her position. “Novak said he had learned that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA…"I heard that, too," Rove replied.” [Washington Post, 7/15/05]


Now that we know that Rove told Cooper about “Wilson’s wife,” who told Rove? Who was Bob Novak’s original source? If Rove really didn’t have first-hand knowledge of Plame’s work as an operative, why did he lead Matt Cooper to believe he did? Why did Novak use the name Valerie Plame when Cooper used the name Valerie Wilson?


Rove Gave Cooper Permission to Testify—Allowing Cooper to Avoid Jail Time—But Miller Chose to Go to Jail. Rove’s lawyer confirmed that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper’s lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify. Cooper avoided jail time last week by agreeing to testify before the grand jury about conversations with his sources, while New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for refusing to discuss her confidential sources. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]


Rove has “released” Cooper from confidentiality. If Rove were Miller’s source, wouldn’t he do the same for her? So who was Miller talking to? If everyone is cooperating with this investigation, why hasn’t Miller’s source released her from her promise of confidentiality? If everyone is cooperating with investigators, why hasn’t Bush fired those that have refused to sign waivers of confidentiality?


Rove Had Previously Denied Any Involvement: In August 2004, Rove Claimed He Did Not Know Who Plame Was. In August of 2004, facing questions of his role in the Plame leak scandal, Rove denied his involvement, saying that he did not even know who Plame was at the time of the leak. “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” [CNN, 7/4/05]

Rove Spoke With Novak Five Days Before Plame’s Name Became Public. Novak telephoned Rove in the week before the publication of the July 2003 column. Rove confirmed Plame’s identity for Novak, saying that he too had heard that she was a CIA operative. [Washington Post, 7/15/05]

Rove Spoke to Cooper Three Days Before Plame’s Name Became Public. To be considered a violation of the law, a disclosure by a government official must have been deliberate, the discloser must have known that the CIA officer was a covert agent, and he or she must have known that the government was actively concealing the covert agent’s identity. Although Cooper’s email does not prove that Rove knew Plame was a covert operative, “… it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak’s column appeared; in other words, [three days] before Plame’s identity had been published.” [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]

In Rove’s Defense, His Lawyer Claims that Rove Did Not Identify Plame by Name—But Who Else Could “Wilson’s Wife” Be? According to the Washington Post, “Rove’s lawyer said yesterday that his client did not identify her by name.” Yet, the substance of the email from Cooper to Time editors states that it was “Wilson’s wife.” Since there is as yet no evidence that Wilson was a bigamist, just who else “Wilson’s wife” could be besides Plame is unclear. [Washington Post, 7/11/05]


If Rove is innocent, then why would he claim that he didn’t know who Plame was? Why was he so careful, saying that “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name”? Even though Cooper’s email does not indicate that Rove knew what Plame’s job was, couldn’t this fact simply mean that Rove did not reveal any more than he needed to Cooper?

Get the latest scandal news.

Posted at 07:35 PM in DNC Chair, Democrats, General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Friday, July 15, 2005

Paging Former Secretary Tom Ridge

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's time for Tom Ridge to talk about the increased terror alert the week of the Democratic National Convention. From the USA Today, 5.10-2005.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled. [..]

"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge told reporters. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?' "

If this terror alert before the Democratic National Convention was raised for political reasons (and it's awfully fishy timing), this administration may very well be responsible for the attacks that happened in London last week.

Posted at 01:01 AM in General, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bush Responsible for London Bombings?

Posted by Bob Brigham

Did Bush tip off the bombers?

AmericaBlog is following the story.

Posted at 11:15 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Harry Reid on Rove Scandal: Cover-Up...Abuse of Power

Posted by Bob Brigham


Democrats stirred the pot Thursday in the case of powerful presidential aide Karl Rove and the news leak that unmasked a CIA agent. They triggered a partisan clash in the Senate, sought a House investigation and brought the husband of the undercover operative to the Capitol, where he accused the White House of a "smear campaign." [...]

Speaking in favor of his legislation to strip Rove of his clearance for classified information, Reid said the president should already have done so. Instead, Reid said, the administration has attacked its critics. "This is what is known as a cover-up. This is an abuse of power," Reid said.


But here's the best quote:

"I made my bones confronting Saddam Hussein. ... Karl Rove made his bones by dirty political tricks," said Joseph Wilson, who was the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War.

At a news conference hosted by Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat who heads his party's Senate campaign organization, Wilson said he has been targeted by a "smear campaign launched from the West Wing of the White House."

A smear campaign against somebody who disagrees with the Bush White House?

Senate Republicans countered with legislation — swiftly sidetracked — put together largely to embarrass Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and his deputy. [...]

In rebuttal, the Republican National Committee distributed a document entitled "Joe Wilson's Top Ten Worst Inaccuracies and Misstatements."

Senate Democrats attempt to defend National Security against a White House leaker and the GOP tries to embarrass Democrats. Joe Wilson, who like his wife has dedicated his entire career to America, is smeared as a liar by the RNC.

The GOP is beyond belief in their efforts to cover-up for a traitor.

Posted at 11:01 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Will Patrick Fitzgerald Hear Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dave Johnson:

Here is what I think the Rove thing will come down to: Is Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois, the special prosecutor investigating the Plame leak, able to withstand the kind of intense pressure and character assassination that will be applied to him?

If Karl Rove is known for anything, it is what happens to people who go against him. Remember the Rove quote, "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"

Can Fitzgerald hear Rove? Rove's trying, turn on any tv and watch the Republican lies.

Posted at 10:58 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Convention Wisdom: Bush Fucked Up

Posted by Bob Brigham


There is a confluence of events right now with the bad news on the ground in Iraq, the Downing Street memos, the London bombings and Rovegate flaring up that are beginning to filter into the body politic. A new conventional wisdom is being written. I think that people are putting these things together which is why you are seeing the preciputous dip in the president's approval ratings. It's not that people know, or even want to know, the details. Only junkies like me (and you) get this into it. But the ground has shifted and people are understanding that something went terribly wrong.

The president's right hand man exposing a covert CIA agent for political puposes perfectly symbolizes the entire fetid mess.

The backlash is building. Rove failed Bush. They wanted that war so bad they would do anything for the adventure. But they lied and got caught, people have heard about the Downing Street Memos and the Rove Scandal. People get it, Bush fucked up. He forced a war for no reason and is now losing.

Posted at 10:45 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Rove Scandal: W Ain't No H.W.

Posted by Bob Brigham

There was a time when self-respecting Republicans didn't take shit from anybody – least of not Karl Rove. President George H.W. Bush fired Karl Rove for leaking (to Bob Novak).

President George W. Bush is covering for Karl Rove's leaks – and this time the leaks the leaks are worse. (link via Dave after heard on Randi.) Wayne Madsen Report:

Another source reported that at least one Brewster Jennings NOC operating in a hostile intelligence environment was executed by counter-intelligence agents as a result of the White House disclosure.


Other B&JA assets were forced to abandon their ongoing operations to identify networks involved in weapons of mass destruction proliferation. The CIA has been working on a damage assessment report on the Plame/B&JA disclosures. If no indictments of White House officials result from the Fitzgerald investigation, look for parts of that highly classified report to be leaked and then look for more imprisonments of journalists who refuse to divulge the source(s) of those leaks. Word from intelligence sources is that the damage assessment report is "devastating."

The L.A. Times remembers how Daddy did it:

During George H.W. Bush’s second presidential campaign, Rove was fired from the campaign team because of suspicions that he had leaked information to columnist Robert Novak — the same columnist who first reported Plame’s CIA role in 2003, citing anonymous administration sources.

Rove own's Bush's ass. Rove will go when W. goes. Fire Karl Rove!

Posted at 10:39 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Bush Botching to Blame for Bombing???

Posted by Bob Brigham

Americablog has the details:

ABC News just reported that the British authorities say they have evidence that the London attacks last week were an operation planned by Al Qaeda for the last two years. This was an operation the Brits thought they caught and stopped in time, but they were wrong. The piece of the puzzle ABC missed is that this is an operation the Bush administration helped botch last year.

1. The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.

2. Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop, they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the west."

3. ABC reports that names in the computer matched a suspected cell of Britain's of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the town of Luton, England. According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year. Obviously, they hadn't.

4. Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic Convention. Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of Khan's name, his Al Qaeda contacts found out he was co-opted, and they fled. The Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of them as they fled, and, according to press reports, the Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.

Again, these were guys involved with the plot to blow up the London subway last week. Some may have escaped because of Bush administration negligence.

I'm sure John Aravosis will have more...

Posted at 08:15 PM in International, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

NJ-GOV: Lautenberg Says: Give Back the Blood Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

As was to be expected, the Karl Rove Scandal is now turning into an elections issue.

Check out the email Senator Frank Lautenberg sent today:

Last month, Doug Forrester and the New Jersey Republican Party held a fundraiser with Karl Rove as the star attraction. We don't know what Rove said, because the event was closed to the press and public. But we can guess, because the day after the Forrester fundraiser Karl Rove tore into progressives, saying "liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." What did Forrester have to say about this baseless partisan attack? Nothing.

Now according to his own lawyer, Karl Rove is involved in leaking the identity of a CIA undercover agent working to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet Forrester is still silent, apparently believing that it's more important to protect the patronage of the national Republican Party leadership than the safety of our country.

Sign the petition demanding Forrester repudiate Karl Rove's despicable behavior and return the blood money Karl Rove raised at the Forrester fundraiser:

Damaging national security for partisan revenge threatens the safety of all Americans. And having it come from inside the White House threatens the stability of our political system. Early last week, I called for Karl Rove's security clearance to be revoked. But we must ask for more than this. We must ensure that anyone who profits politically by the divisive and possibly illegal activity of high level operatives like Karl Rove be held to account for their implicit endorsement of such behavior. Add your voice to those demanding Forrester repudiate Rove's support:

It's not yet known how much damage Karl Rove has done to this country by compromising CIA assets. I hope and pray that this White House recommits itself to protecting Americans instead of playing partisan games.

Until then, we can only ask Republicans and Democrats of good conscience to demand that this behavior stop, and that those who compromise national security be brought to justice.

Thanks for your help, and if you have a moment, please forward this petition to your friends and family.

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Posted at 06:42 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

CA-50: Open Seat, Cunningham Craps Out

Posted by Bob Brigham


As regular readers know, California's 50th Congressional District has been rocked by the Randy "Duke" Cunningham Scandal. Now there are rumors, maybe on CNN that Congressman Cunningham won't be running for re-election.

Posted at 06:07 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Senate Democrats Stand Up for National Security

Posted by Bob Brigham

Check out CSPAN 2 right now, the Senate Democrats are sticking it to the GOP on national security.

Reid's statement in extended entry.

All caps from rush transcript...











Posted at 05:50 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Security Clearance Amendment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Reid will offer the following amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (on the floor right now) on behalf of Senator Levin:

No federal employee who discloses or has disclosed classified information, including the identity of a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, to a person not authorized to receive such information shall be entitled to hold a security clearance for access to such information.

Reid is being joined by (at least) Levin, Rockefeller, Biden and Durbin. A vote is expected today.

Posted at 02:25 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Scandal in the West Wing

Posted by Bob Brigham

With all of the lies and stonewalling and covering up the Bush Administration is doing in the Plame scandal, I think it might be helpful to think of The West Wing when trying to understand who is being investigated and why. Here's how the fictional characters in the Bartlet Administration match up with their real world counterparts in the Bush Administration.

Chief of Staff1mcgarry.jpgLeo McGarry2card.jpgAndy Card
Chief of Staff
1lyman.jpgJosh Lyman2rove.jpgKarl Rove
1ziegler.jpgToby Ziegler2bartlett.jpgDan Bartlett
1cregg.jpg C.J. Cregg2fleisher-mcclellan.gifAri Fleisher
Scott McClellan
Chief of Staff
1bailey.jpg Will Bailey2libby.jpg Lewis "Scooter" Libby

So play this out. Let's say there's an episode of The West Wing where Josh is accused of treason for outing an undercover CIA agent. In such an episode, we know some scenes that would be included. There would be the scene where Leo yells, "Get Josh in here" to find out why Josh got caught in such a petty political smear. There would be the scene with Tody prepping C.J. for the White House press briefing. There would be the scene where President Bartlett asks Leo what is going on. Will Bailey would be in the thick of things in the episode.

We know for a fact that at least one other senior Administration official is involved in the leak. Instead of asking which additional senior administration official is involved, I think we need to be asking if any officials are not involved.

When Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove, it wasn't one man lying to the press corps – it was the White House, the Bush Administration, lying to the American people. Which senior administration officials were involved in the outing? which senior administration officials were involved in the cover-up? What did the President know and when did he know it?

This wasn't just Rove or McClellan, this was The White House.

Posted at 02:03 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Ari Fleischer and the Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

What is former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher's role in the Karl Rove scandal over outing undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame? We know that Fleisher's former deputy and now successor Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove. And there is a good deal of discussion about whether Fleisher was the second source, why he is being questioned, and which names he might be naming.


People familiar with the inquiry say Fitzgerald also is reviewing testimony by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, though it is not clear whether the prosecutor is focusing on him or seeking information about higher-ups. Fleischer last night refused to comment.

Chris Bowers says:

As Anna noted in the comments, Fleischer actually resigned the day Novak's column first appeared. Even though Fleischer had announced his resignation nearly two months earlier, stepping down the day Novak's column appears means that he would have been able to avoid questions on the matter, and thus compile a public record of statements on the matter.

In addition to reminding us that Fleischer was one of the first Bush officials on record criticizing Wilson, Nico also provides the opportunity:

Details are still uncertain, but news reports suggest one theory for what might have occurred. In the days after Wilson’s NYT column was published but before Novak’s article appeared, Ari Fleischer was among the White House officials aboard Air Force One on a presidential trip to Africa, where he might have had access to the classified State Department document brought aboard by Secretary of State Colin Powell that likely tipped administration officials off to Plame’s true identity.

Talk Left says:

We know that Fitzgeral subpoenaed the complete transcript of his July 12, 2003 press gaggle conducted at a hospital in Nigeria. We know that he subpoenaed telephone records for Air Force One during a portion of the trip. We also know that he subpoenaed the July 6 to July 30, 2003 records of the White House Iraq Group, a public relations kind of task force formed by Cheney's staff to promote the Administrations' view of the war.
We also know that the White House won't release the names of those who accompanied President Bush on the trip, although we know that Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and Andrew Card were with him.
Why would Fitzgerald want these documents? I don't think it's to get Ari Fleischer. I think it's to catch Lewis Libby and others on Vice President Cheney's staff, and/or Karl Rove, who attended almost all the White House Iraq Group meetings, in a lie. Ari Fleischer's statements may lead Fitzgerald to the lie - and establish a conspiracy to out a covert agent or obstruct justice - or perjury or false statements to federal investigators by these White House officials.

At the very least I would think the Special Prosecutor would use the questioning of Ari Fleischer to delve into the process used by the Bush White House to prepare the Press Secretary for gaggle's and press conferences. Particularly, which senior administration officials participated in the daily prep. Or more likely, if there were any senior administration officials who were not involved.

Posted at 12:33 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Rove Scandal: Senior White House Officials

Posted by Bob Brigham

Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Karl Rove is in deep shit. Indictments are rumored to be imminent. At this point, the question is not if Rove will be indicted, the question is whether one of his defense lawyers will have the common decency to throw a coat over Rove's fat head during the perp walk and shield the American people from the look in Rove's eyes.

Like a jonsing political junkie, Rove has played fast and loose with his very unique style of politics. Bush has never told Rove to stop and with each smear Rove has become emboldened and more addicted to the thrill of the smear.

But this scandal isn't just treason, it is treason and a cover-up. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove.

The great thing about the popularity of The West Wing is that it has demonstrated to a helluva lot of people what goes on before a Press Secretary takes the podium. Americans know the Press Secretary doesn't go out before the cameras and wing it.

Senior White House staff keep the Press Secretary is on message by ensuring that the proper Administration line is ready and rehearsed in response to any potential question. They knew McClellan would be asked about Rove – they decided to lie. They prepared (prep'd) their flack. Senior White House staff.

So this is where it gets real interesting – who else was involved in the cover-up. Rove is looking at indictment, McClellan can no longer function in his role as the entire press corps despise him for lying to their faces. Who else will fall?

Andy Card? Dan Bartlett? Ari Fleischer? Lewis "Scooter" Libby? Adam Levine? Vice President Dick Cheney?

What did the President know and when did he know it?

Posted at 11:36 AM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Karl Rove's Security Clearance

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Atrios we have big news from David Sirota:

Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D) just announced that all Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today sent a letter to President Bush demanding that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's security clearance be revoked in the wake of revelations that he was involved in the leak of a covert CIA operative's name.


Do what needs to be done to get down to the White House at 2:30 PM -- tomorrow!

Posted at 07:36 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, Swing State Project Senior Elections Analyst Tim Tagaris also has a day job working for Grow Ohio. Today, he's putting on a demonstration on how to turn some breaking news into a shitstorm of a scandal online.

First, he wrote a great post and then spread the word. Over at DailyKos, DavidNYC put it on the front page. At MyDD, Chris Bower put it on the front page. It's on the Stateholder. And OH-02.

This is a huge day in the Special Election for Ohio's second congressional district. Go check out the Jean Schmidt scandal.

Posted at 03:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

EMERGENCY D.C. MOBILIZATION: Stop the Cover-Up and Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

If you live near DC, do whatever you have to do to get down to it. From a MoveOn Political Action press release:

Stop the Cover-Up and Fire Karl Rove

Citizens to Protest and Picket in Front of White House

Citizens from across the country will join MoveOn Political Action members tomorrow at a protest in front of the White House to demand that President Bush fire his top political advisor, Karl Rove, for outing Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative.

Currently the President has refused to take action against Mr. Rove, his close friend and top political advisor. On September 29, 2003, Scott McClellan stated in a White House press briefing: “If anyone in this Administration was involved in it, [theValeriePlameleak] they would no longer be in this Administration.”

MoveOn Political Action, formerly known as MoveOn PAC, demands the administration stay true to its word and fire those responsible for the leak.

Protest details:

Who: Citizens from across the country and MoveOn members
Where:1600 Pennsylvania Ave., in front of White House
When:Thursday, July 14, 2005, 2:30 PM EST

Full email invite:

Dear MoveOn member,

You're invited to come speak out against Karl Rove's abuse of power and demand that President Bush fire Rove. Join other MoveOn members and members of the community at a peaceful protest and picket, Thursday July 14, at 2:30 PM on Pennsylvania Avenue outside The White House.

Rove betrayed the identity of an undercover CIA operative forcing her to end a decade of important national security work. He did it to protect the Bush political agenda. Now, the White House is covering up this betrayal of our national security. The media is ready to report on public outrage about Rove. Will you show up and speak out?

Please join us tomorrow and let Bush, the media and Congress know that Americans are angry about Rove.

What: Protest and Picket to Demand Bush Fire Karl Rove

Where: The White House, Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC (Metro: Farragut West or McPherson Square)

When: 2:30 PM :: Thursday, July 14, 2005 (rain or shine)

Signs will be provided.

I'll see you there. Thanks for all you do.

-Tom Matzzie
MoveOn PAC
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

P.S. If you want to come dressed up in costume as a spy and protest the media will love that. Think: trench coat, sunglasses and a little nametag that says, "Spy."

Posted at 01:50 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rove is Busted

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove / Scott McClellan Lies have become a scandal. From the New York Times:

Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter.

Scott McClellan played the press corps like a $2 fiddle -- and they played for all they were worth. Which is crap.

Posted at 01:09 AM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, July 11, 2005

Scott McClellan Should Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

White House flak Scott McClellan was busted lying to the press corps. His job is not to lie for the Republican Administration, but to provide facts for the press corps. McClellan failed and since our tax dollars pay his salary, we need to pay attention. Tax dollars are financing his lying to the American people. If Scott McClellan doesn't resign, he should be fired.

Posted at 06:48 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Scott McClellan Lies about Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks to Billmon, we have a full history of Scott McClellan's statements on Karl Rove. Thanks to Raw Story, we have a Rush transcript of McClellan on Karl Rove today. Thanks to Crooks and Liars, we have today's video. Comparing, we see that Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove, right up until he was busted.

Scott McClellan


QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.


QUESTION: Has the President either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .

McCLELLAN: I don't think he needs that. I think I've spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I've just said there's no truth to it.

QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this . . .

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.



QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.


QUESTION: Weeks ago, when you were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I've known Karl for a long time, and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson's wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

McCLELLAN: I don't know whether or not -- I mean, I'm sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

McCLELLAN: We're going down a lot of different roads here. I've made it very clear that he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.



MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott...


... because after the investigation began -- after the criminal investigation was under way -- you said, October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this," from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

MCCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization. And I think you are well aware of that.

We know each other very well. And it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation.

And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this. Because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.


McCLELLAN: Let me make it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that's been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: The President doesn't condone the activity that you're suggesting, absolutely he does not.



QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

MCCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you've heard my response on this.

QUESTION: So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?

MCCLELLAN: You're asking this question in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I would not read anything into it other then I'm simply going to comment on an ongoing investigation.


QUESTION: Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

QUESTION: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

In today's gaggle, a report commented, "You're in a bad spot here, Scott." I agree. Conspiracy to cover up treason is a serious affair.

Posted at 04:05 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Suspend Karl Rove's Security Clearance

Posted by Bob Brigham

I've been saying this for some time, but now I'm not the only one. From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

CREW sends letter to President Bush: suspend Karl Rove's security clearance pending outcome of Plame investigation

As reported today in Newsweek, Karl Rove was a confidential source for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on the identification of a covert CIA agent. Rove disclosed that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Iraq to investigate charges that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was authorized by Mr. Wilson’s wife, a CIA employee working on issues related to weapons of mass destruction. At that time, Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson’s wife, was a covert operative with the CIA whose identity as such had not yet been publicly revealed.

Under federal law, it is a crime to “intentionally disclose[] any information identifying” a covert agent “to any individual not authorized to received classified information.” 50 U.S.C. §421(a). Thus, by disclosing to Matt Cooper Ms. Plame’s relationship with the CIA and thereby identifying her as a covert agent, Mr. Rove appears to have committed an illegal act.

“Considering that it is a federal crime to identify covert agents, and that President Bush signed executive orders identifying the vital role the President plays in protecting national security secrets from unauthorized disclosure, it is appropriate for the President to suspend Mr. Rove’s clearance pending the investigation’s outcome,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today.

“The evidence uncovered so far raises serious questions about Mr. Rove’s conduct and his ability to safeguard highly sensitive classified information. Until those questions are resolved, CREW believes it is not appropriate for Mr. Rove to have continued access to classified information. Anything short of suspension raises an unacceptable risk to our nation’s security,” Sloan wrote to the President today.

Posted at 02:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Scott McClellan on Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

One thing we all know, is that the White House Press Secretary knows what he is going to say before the question is asked. Senior White House officials work together to figure out these answers, so that they can be fine-tuned before the cameras are on. So when Scott McClellan misleads the press corps about Karl Rove, it isn't just McClellan, but probably points towards a concerted effort at a cover up.

And it is clear that McClellan repeated mislead the press about Rove's involvement in the Plame outing scandal. Which means this isn't just a case of the Deputy White House Chief of Staff outing an undercover CIA agent (treason), but also a case of the Republican White House working to cover-up the treason.

If there are any doubts, the historical record should put those to rest. Billmon stayed up late researching, I've included the entire results in the extended entry to make it easier for reporters researching the scandal to find:

Vouching for Karl
QUESTION: The Robert Novak column last week . . . has now given rise to accusations that the administration deliberatively blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative, and in so doing, violated a federal law that prohibits revealing the identity of undercover CIA operatives. Can you respond to that?

McCLELLAN: Thank you for bringing that up. That is not the way this President or this White House operates. And there is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House would have given authority to take such a step.
Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 22, 2003


QUESTION: Scott, has there ever been an attempt or effort on the part of anyone here at the White House to discredit the reputations or reporting of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, his wife, or ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman?

McCLELLAN: John, I think I answered that yesterday. That is not the way that this White House operates. That's not the way the President operates . . . No one would be authorized to do that within this White House. That is simply not the way we operate, and that's simply not the way the President operates.

QUESTION: In all of those cases?

McCLELLAN: Well, go down -- which two?

QUESTION: Joe Wilson and his wife?

McCLELLAN: No. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 23, 2003

QUESTION: Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove . . . Did Karl Rove tell that . . .

McCLELLAN: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

QUESTION: But did Karl Rove do it?

McCLELLAN: I said, it's totally ridiculous. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 16, 2003

This morning, ABC News producer Andrea Owen happened to find herself near Karl Rove (who was walking to his car), and an ABC camera.

Owen: "Did you have any knowledge or did you leak the name of the CIA agent to the press?"

Rove: "No."

At which point, Mr. Rove shut his car door as Ms. Owen asked, "What is your response to the fact that Justice is looking into the matter?" ABC News
The Note
September 29, 2003
(courtesy of Think Progress)

QUESTION: Has the President either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .

McCLELLAN: I don't think he needs that. I think I've spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I've just said there's no truth to it.

QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this . . .

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.

QUESTION: How does he know that?

McCLELLAN: The President knows. Scott McClellan
Press Gaggle
September 29, 2003

QUESTION: Weeks ago, when you were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I've known Karl for a long time, and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson's wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

McCLELLAN: I don't know whether or not -- I mean, I'm sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

McCLELLAN: We're going down a lot of different roads here. I've made it very clear that he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 29, 2003

QUESTION: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .


QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
September 30, 2003

McCLELLAN: Let me make it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that's been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: The President doesn't condone the activity that you're suggesting, absolutely he does not. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 1, 2003

QUESTION: Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers . . . Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them?

McCLELLAN: They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.

QUESTION: So you're saying -- you're saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: That's correct. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 7, 2003

QUESTION: Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

QUESTION: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 10, 2003

Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column. The American Prospect
Plugging Leaks
March 8, 2004
I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name. Karl Rove
CNN Interview
August 31, 2004
"Karl did nothing wrong. Karl didn't disclose Valerie Plame's identity to Mr. Cooper or anybody else . . . Who outed this woman? . . . It wasn't Karl." Luskin said Rove "certainly did not disclose to Matt Cooper or anybody else any confidential information."Rove attorney Robert Luskin
CNN Interview
July 4, 2005
Luskin confirmed that Rove and Cooper had spoken prior to the publication of the original Time article, but said that Rove “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA” nor did he “knowingly disclose classified information.” Newsweek
Turning Up the Heat
July 6, 2005
Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division . . . Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Newsweek
Matt Cooper's Source
July 10, 2005


As Atrios says:

Free research for the taking, reporters.

Posted at 01:38 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Rove Either Guilty as Traitor or Complete Idiot

Posted by Bob Brigham

I think this week will be a huge week as the Karl Rove Traitorgate scandal unfolds. It appears that Rove might be positioning for a legal defense that he didn't "knowingly" commit treason by outing and undercover CIA agent. As a Swing State Project reader pointed out in an email, "knowingly" is irrelevant, "he was either malicious or an idiot. in either case it was a treasonous act. our government officials are supposed to be smart and certain or silent."

I was thinking about that word -- 'knowingly' -- as I was reading Talking Points Memo's take on Rove's mob defense lawyer:

One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin took up his case on appeal.

Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?

Luskin insisted that he "never have, and never would, knowingly accept a fee that was the proceeds of illegal activities."

But when federal prosecutors finally got a chance to depose Luskin and Saccoccia's other lawyers, they found that their lawyers' fees had come in forms "such as gold bars, cash that was dropped off at hotels and trunks of cars, and money transfers from Swiss bank accounts."

Eventually, in 1998, Luskin came to a settlement with the government in which he agreed to cough up $245,000 of the money he'd gotten from Saccoccia.

Uh, yeah, probably should have known better. Rove is "Bush's Brain" so the "I didn't know" defense would be a clear indication he's guilty as hell. But whether he claims he knowingly did it or not is irrelevant, he played fast and loose with classified information and an act of treason occured. Rove has got to go. If he doesn't resign, Bush should relieve him.

Posted at 12:04 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

MoveOn PAC: Rove Should Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove Treasongate scandal is really taking off. From a MoveOn PAC press release:

MoveOn PAC Calls for Rove’s Resignation
Questions President’s Failure to Act

Michael Isikoff reports in the July 18 issue of Newsweek that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove revealed to Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper that Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, worked for the CIA.

Statement by Tom Matzzie, Washington Director, MoveOn PAC:

“This report makes two things clear:

First, in revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent, Rove either knowingly broke the law, or committed an act of gross negligence. In either case he should resign or the President should fire him.
Second, the President failed to act upon learning that his chief political adviser blew the cover of a CIA agent.

These facts raise several questions to which the President owes the American people answers: What did he know? When did he know it? And why did he fail to act?

Clearly Rove sought to retaliate against Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, for correctly refuting Administration claims that Saddam Hussein sought to acquire ‘yellowcake’ uranium in Africa, part of the case the President was attempting to make for invading Iraq. Clearly, Rove put the protection of President Bush's political agenda ahead of national security when he disclosed Plame’s identity. He jeopardized the safety of an under cover intelligence agent who was working to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Clearly Rove’s and the President's willingness to remain silent about this until the very last minute caused significant pain and anguish to two journalists, one of whom is now in jail, for refusing to reveal Rove as their source.”

Posted at 11:06 AM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rove Fingered as Traitor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Newsweek confirms what you knew was probably true. Rove should have his security clearance revoked and be placed on leave while we wait for the indictments. Rove has zero business working in the White House.

Posted at 12:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bloggers for Accountability - London Edition

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today many progressive bloggers responded to the London attacks like angry shareholders. The angst level was visible, the people were pissed -- why is Bush failing America in the War on Terror?

Today, many a blogger focused on accountability, here is a sampling:

Steve Soto:

[A]s Tony Blair oversees the carnage and anger in his country, he may want to ask his good buddy George W. Bush why his administration crippled Blair’s domestic anti-terror efforts to track down and stop Al Qaeda cells inside Great Britain by exposing a known Al Qaeda asset at a time when the Brits were very close to nailing a ring of Al Qaeda cells inside the country? With today's tragedy in front of them, don't you think that British intelligence would have wanted to finish their work last fall in smashing London's Al Qaeda cells before the Bush Administration blew a covert operation just so Bush could be reelected?

But as the Plame case shows, the Bush Administration has never let national security here or abroad get in the way of their Number One priority anyway, have they?


Bush's latest rationale for maintaining the course in Iraq adventure has been the "flypaper strategy" -- it's better to fight the terrorists over there than at home. Nevermind that the Iraqis never asked to have their country turned into a dangerous den of terrorism, insurgency, violence and death. For war supporters looking for an excuse, any excuse, to justify the continued disastrous American presence in Iraq, the flypaper rationale was as good as any.

Except that it's not working. The war isn't making the West any safer. In fact, it's creating a whole new class of terrorists. Today it was London. Next time it could easily be the United States. And waging the war in Iraq, rather than make us safer, is further motivating Islamic terrorists to strike at the West. [...]

But Bush (and Blair) took their eyes off the prize -- neglected to finish the job in Afghanistan, let Al Qaida off the hook to rebuild and reorganize, and helped swell its ranks with an unecessary and inept campaign in Iraq.

There are consequences to the mess in Iraq. And today, we're seeing one of them. Unfortunately, it won't be the last.

Steve Gilliard:

George Bush decided to place a significant number of this country's resources and effort into Iraq. Every Delta Force member, every CIA paramilitary and officer in Iraq, is one which is not hunting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Central and South Asia. In the two years we have been bringing democracy training terrorists in Iraq, Al Qaeda has attacked our allies in Iraq at home, first the Spanish, now the British. This is no surprise, since it has been expected for years that the British would be attacked in some way. [...]

And of course, our ineffectual right wing, who, like teenage girls, like the fashion of the moment, will call for something ot be done, but because Iraq hangs around our neck like a massive security albatross, Al Qaeda has freedom of movement and there is little to do. If Osama had a couple of divisions chasing his ass, this wouldn't be happening. Or at least we wouldn't be seeing him on video in the next few weeks gloating.

What will we do? Arrest a few naive, angry young men, toss them in jail, and have American idiots blather about "Islamofascism" and puff their chests up, while keeping their kids safe at home. AQ knows the content of the character and it is that they will fight for nothing, do nothing, except talk. They blather and whine, and America's real enemies see this and understand this. When these cowards talk of the right to their opinion while not serving, people see that, they understand that, and they see how willing we are to leave Afghanistan to molder.

AmericaBlog's Michael in New York:

Bush's failure to make our country safer is a sign of weakness and incompetence.

It's been 4 years since 9-11 and we STILL don't have a combined list of terrorists that can be checked against people coming into our country by plane, car or boat. It was crazy we didn't have this before 9-11. It's criminal that we don't have it now.

It's been 4 years and Bush has failed to strengthen security around our highly vulnerable chemical and nuclear energy plants. Why? Because big business doesn't want to pay for increased security and Bush is putting their concerns ahead of the safety of America.

It's been 4 years and Bush is delaying the strengthening of our coastlines and ports to two and a half DECADES. Any reasonable person would speed up the strengthening of our coastlines and ports. Why isn't Bush?

It's been 4 years and Bush has failed to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden.

It's been 4 years and Bush can't even ferret out a felon in the White House.

What else has Bush failed to do in this country to make our nation safer?

The American people aren't worried they'll lose the war on terror. They're worried that Bush is too weak to win it.

Talking Points Memo:

The threat of terrorism is very real, especially in major cities. But with respect to the folks who want to lasso this into a pillar of support for a disastrous policy in Iraq, frankly, we already knew terrorism was real. Most people are sick to death of our bumbling in Iraq because it's distracted us from actually defending ourselves.

The immediate answer to this is to hunt down the people immediately responsible, root out the primarily-non-state terror networks that support, plan and make these attacks possible and start getting about serious homeland defense -- port security, rail security, nuclear power plant security.

On that last count, what we've accomplished in the US over the last few years has been painfully inadequate, largely because of our focus on nation-states that have only a tenuous connection to this threat -- a lot of lies, mumbojumbo, and scurrilous and dark motives by the usual suspects notwithstanding.

David Sirota:

The idea that, because our troops are in Iraq, terrorists will only attack us there and not "in the streets of our own cities" is, first and foremost, an insult to our troops because it treats them as if their entire mission is to serve as bait for terrorists. That's not what our troops – or America – was told this was all about.

Secondly, are we really supposed to believe the same terrorists who masterminded the 9/11 attack can't walk and chew gum at the same time? I mean, maybe George W. Bush and the dolts around him are so intellectually impaired they can't do two things at once – but Al Qaeda sure can, and any sentiment to the contrary is idiotic.

But the fact that this line of reasoning insults our intelligence shouldn't be the biggest concern with it. The fact that this rationale has justified spending billions on a war in Iraq while shortchanging basic homeland security is what's really troubling. For years now, experts have begged the Bush administration to adequately fund key homeland security priorities - but they have been rejected at almost every turn.

Instea, the White House has knowingly left our ports, our borders and yes – our transit systems – totally vulnerable to terrorist attacks because they have refused to spend adequate resources, even as they have insisted on cutting taxes for the wealthy and plunging us into a war in Iraq. When Democrats have tried to reduce those tax cuts to pay for critical homeland security needs, they have been voted down. Meanwhile, GOP leaders in Congress have gone along: for instance, just a few weeks ago they gutted funding for transit security.

James Wolcott:

Whoever carried out these attacks managed with a minimum of expense and a modest amount of planning and ruthless execution to upstage the G8 Summit, instantly deflate London's euphoria over winning the Olympic nod for 2012, and wipe the smile off of Tony Blair's face--Blair, for whom the G8 summit was to be his big comeback stage and an opportunity to get out from under his poodle image by taking the high moral ground over Bush on the issues of global warming and African relief. It's been over three years since 3000 Americans died on 9/11, Bin Laden is still at large, Iraq is turning into quicksand, oil has crested $60 a barrel, and yet the Steadfast and Resolute politicians and pundits still insist on underestimating the strategic and tactical intelligence of Al Qaeda. Why, I don't know.

Quantifiably, the numbers prove Bush and the Radical Right are losing the War on Terror. We are losing because Bush values the Radical Right more than winning the War on Terror.

Today, my train ride was better than normal. This morning, there were bomb dogs when I got on (yet not this afternoon). But the entire security system on this critical rail line -- the commuter line through Silicon Valley -- is a mess. There is no security system, today's security was provided by an officer from AmTrak and by the Sheriff's Department (of the next county over). It was an emergency show of force, it wasn't adequate, and regular commuters will tell you it was not the norm (in fact, the TV camera suggested that covering one stop of the rail through Silicon Valley was newsworthy). The only reason it happened was based on a formula put in place when the Terror Level was raised for cities with mass transit. Yesterday, this critical artery of the new economy, was completely unsecured.

In the days following 9/11, we all knew we need to secure America -- Bush has failed.

After Madrid, we all knew we had more to do to secure our transportation infrasture -- yet Bush failed.

Now that we've seen this attack on BOTH of the major countries who invaded Iraq, how can we question whether we should stop wasting time and money in the War on Itaq when we need to focus our energy in the War on Terror.

Bush fucked up and Bin Laden reigns free. Democracy requires accountability. I'm proud to see bloggers carrying the responsibility of the press, but it would be nice if the press could at least do their jobs when lives are being lost.

Most bloggers, but not Kevin Drum:

A WISH....If I could have one small wish for today, it would be for the blogosphere on both left and right to refrain from political point scoring over the London attacks. Just for a day. Isn't tomorrow soon enough to return to our usual arguments?

I have a giant fucking problem with people who wish for politeness instead of justice. People are dying and Drum's one wish is to refrain from accountability? This premium on getting along instead of getting it write right is a major reason why Washington Democrats are so fucked up.

My wish is for reporters to focus upon accountability as well as most bloggers have been doing today.

Posted at 06:01 PM in International, Scandals | Technorati

GOP - Karl Rove Indictment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lots of chatter that Rove will be indicted – soon. As we learn via SusanG, the blogs are driving this story:

I am glad to play a small role. In my America, when companies get big and lazy, competion arises. That is what is happening with the blogs. The press MSM) has gotten fat and lazy. The blogs are now driving the stories.

Arianna Huffington points out:

From the way they’ve acted so far, the mainstream media would rather this scandal just go away (bloggers take note).

Digby says:

It is, therefore, a good time for the blogs to keep pushing. I believe that we were part of the reason that the DSMs finally gained some traction --- enough to make the administration nervous anyway --- and I think we can have an effect on this story as well. Nobody should ever forget that Drudge was fed quite a bit of his information during the Clinton scandals by journalists who were trying to find a way to get the story into the ether so they could say "it's out there."

Steve Gilliard looks one step further:

You want a not lazy media, you need to give us the tools to challenge the MSM. Money, support, spreading the word. Joe Wilson isn't just being nice. Bush tore his life and ruined his wife's career. This ain't a story to him. As we raise money, I'd consider what he said seriously. Because it's serious to him, and to us.

(Go support Steve during his fund drive)

Billmon has a must read piece on the marketplace of ideas and "thought contagion" in the pundit class. Understanding this dynamic is why it is critical that the blogs continue to lead on this scandal involving a traitor in the Republican White House.

More to come…

Posted at 01:59 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

CA-50: Randy "Duke" Cunningham Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Few things have given me such pleasure as of late as watching Josh Marshall spin the tale of Randy "Duke" Cunningham and the scandal that keeps going and going and going -- with no end in sight. As usual, Marshall has focused attention by asking all of the right questions while letting the story tell itself. As the Washington Post reports, we now have a second boat. To keep everything clear, I've provided the following chart:

scandal watchNumber 1Number 2
BAGMANMitchell J. WadeThomas T. Kontogiannis
BUSINESSDefense ContractorDeveloper
PRIORSunknownIn 2002, plead guilty in connection with alleged bribes involving a school superintendent and $6 million contracts
YACHTDuke-StirKelly C
YACHT $Cunningham stayed rent-free on this 42-foot namesakeCunningham bought it in 1997, for a reported $200,000.00, in 2002, appraised at $1.2 million and sold to Kontogiannis for $600,000.00 (but kept in Cunningham's name while Kontogiannis spent $100,000 on refurbishments), as of a month ago, Cunningham was planning to take boat back to D.C.
MANSIONDel MarRancho Santa Fe
MANSION $Cunningham sold to Wade for $1.675 million, Wade then sold for a $700,000 lossCunningham has Kontogiannis finance mortage (at wholesale rate) on $2.55 million home, then Kontogiannis pays off second mortage and writes receives from Cunningham a $70,000 check to pay off debt on Kelly C
SCOREWade banked tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contractsunknown
MONEY QUOTECunningham lawyer K. Lee Blalack said he couldn't talk about the case because he "hadn't gotten his hands dirty on this thing yet."Kontogiannis: "Why would I do that? I don't need the man"

And let's not forget the Top Gun scandal:

Cunningham's troubles may have extended this week to a company he owns, Top Gun Enterprises Inc. He started that company in 1987, primarily as a means of marketing a book he wrote about his experiences as a Navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War.

A Web site for the company sold the book and other items, including a $595 Buck knife that featured an imprint of Cunningham in his flight suit and what the site said was the Seal of Congress.

Use of that seal on commercial products is prohibited without specific approval from Congress, which Cunningham does not appear to have secured. On Thursday, the Web site had removed the knife and all the products it had been offering and put up a note saying only that the site was under construction.

So I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest the California's 50th Congressional District could be competitive in 2006.

UPDATE: (Bob) While we're doing charts, what about this chart on Randy Cunningham:

1Voting percentage with DeLay:
calculated through:
2Vote to weaken ethics rules:
H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05
3Vote to weaken ethics rules:
H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05
4Vote to table Democratic solution:
H. Res. 153, Roll Call #70, 3/15/05
5Closed door indictment rule vote:
6Donations to DeLay's Legal Defense Fund:,

Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Republican Congress!

Posted at 10:10 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - House, California, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (6) | Technorati

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via AmericaBlog, we have a stunning reminder of the stakes in the TreasonGate scandal. From cnn (September 29, 2003):

McClellan said that if anyone at the White House leaked Plame's identity, he should be fired, and pursued to the "fullest extent."

"No one was authorized to do this. That is simply not the way this White House operates and if someone leaked classified information it is a very serious matter," he said.

Totally ridiculous, I agree it is very serious, he should be fired. Luckily, I know of a Fire Karl Rove Petition. It talks about some different reasons, but feel free to sign it for whatever reasons cause you to organize to shitcan his ass.

Posted at 06:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Karl Rove: It's Not the Lying, It's the Treason

Posted by Bob Brigham

Updated with more on TreasonGate.

The blogosphere is a buzzing with news that Karl Rove has been exposed as the source of the Plame leak. In the next week, we're going to hear a great deal about the timeline and the two-person rule, the former centering on the federal crime of outing an undercover agent and the later necessary to establish the bonus charge of perjury.

Over at the Huffington Post, Lawrence O'Donnell hints that Rove may be in trouble on both counts.

I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's emails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. [...]

Since I revealed the big scoop, I have had it reconfirmed by yet another highly authoritative source. Too many people know this. It should break wide open this week. I know Newsweek is working on an 'It's Rove!' story and will probably break it tomorrow.

If Rove is the traitor and if he lied about it before the Grand Jury -- then he could achieve rare political status of having the cover-up not as bad as the crime -- for him at least. But cover-ups usually involve more than a single man, and this could turn into one giant shitburger considering who "Bush's Brain" spends time with in the West Wing (where he now serves as both Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Deputy White House Chief of Staff).

Last week, the story was about the move to fire Karl Rove. This week, at a minimum, Rove should have his security clearance yanked while this is investigated. From AmericaBlog:

And now that this allegation is out there, of Karl Rove being a TRAITOR who divulged national security information putting our lives and the lives of CIA agents and their contacts at risk around the world, is this suspected threat to national security still AT the White House at this moment? Is he in the proximity of the president of the United States? What does the Secret Service have to say about that? Simply because of this allegation, a very serious public allegation by a credible on-the-record source, this man's security clearances should be revoked immediately, albeit temporarily, until this matter can be resolved.

Is the Secret Service REALLY going to let a man facing these accusations have access to the president of the United States in a time of war?

Come on MSM, ask the White House NOW if Karl Rove is still in the building, or if his clearances have been temporarily revoked.

Now remember, the idea that Rove is responsible for this is nothing new, yet the Secret Service has done nothing to-date to secure the President and the White House from whoever is guilty. For more on Rove as the source, check out the "historical briefings" here, here, here, here, here, and here,

Also, a full investigation of Rove and the media, will of course come back to Jeff Gannon. Somebody in the inner-circle of the White House planted Jeff Gannon and with Jeff Gannon's relationship to the Plame Affair, we're going to see a lot more on this. Which could potentially even move the scandal into something beyond lying about treason. When I searched my computer for "Rove + Source" I found the following transcript from an appearance I had on Air America earlier this year. The transcript is from this MP3, about a 102 minutes in (from 02/03/2005):

Sam Seder: Just go back to the Gannon thing for a little bit, where do you think the investigation is going to come from?

Bob Brigham: I think that Congress, in one way or anot her, is going to have to start investigating. If this continues to be a blog-driven investigation, it's a worse case scenario for a lot of Republicans, specifically Republicans who might have hypocrisy liability on a gay prostitute story and it will actually defuse the story somewhat by there being an investigation, just because then it won't be just constantly the blogosphere outing more and more Republican hypocrites.

Sam Seder: So Bob, let me read between the lines here. What you're saying is that there may be information out there, that there are some gentleman involved in the White House, who have taken some positions that would be inconsistent with perhaps some of their sexual dalliances.

Bob Brigham: You know, the Republican Party has more perverts than a whorehouse on Saturday night.

Sam Seder: Sweet Bob

Janeane Garofalo: Nice one.

Bob Brigham: We saw this in the nineties with Clinton. And the hypocrisy there when that come to light was very telling in the true moral character of the Republican Party.

Sam Seder: That's right. Henry Hyde had like three girlfriends or something like that.

Bob Brigham: Livingston was taken down, was Speaker for what, a week? And now that that the Republican Party has spent two years bashing gays, that is going to catch up with the Republican Party also. The fact that they are now bashing the AARP on gay marriage, they're seniors, they aren't having gay sex, they aren't having any sex. It's seniors. It just shows how ridiculous the entire smearing people as homosexual, conduct has become in the Republican Party and they're going to pay a price for their hubris.

Sam Seder: So you're saying that there's going to be perhaps a couple of Ed Shrockian moments coming up?

Bob Brigham: I think definitly. I think that is going to be a very interesting swing of the penjelum.

Janeane Garofalo: May I throw my two cents in Bob, because you've be unbelievably polite about this. Here's exactly is going to happen. Here is what the Gannon/Guckert sexual hypocrisy, whatever the scandal is, beyond the scandal we all know about. My gut feeling is that Karl Rove is either bisexual or gay, Scott McClellan, either bisexual or gay and either one of those two men – I tend to think it is Karl Rove – has had an affair with Ganon/Guckert.


Janeane Garofalo: Oh, don't be so silenced.

Bob Brigham: Oh, well that is a very interesting theory.

Sam Seder: Well it remains to be seen. It remains to be seen.

Janeane Garofalo: I'm telling you that Rove and McClellan, I mean, Ken Mehlman is at least up front about being gay, is he not?

Sam Seder: I don't know.

Janeane Garofalo: He at least admits to being gay, doesn't he?

Sam Seder: I don't think so.

Bob Brigham: He refuses to claim that he's straight in public.

Janeane Garofalo: Well I mean at least's he's, I don't think he's as closeted. He unfortunately supports a homophobic, bigoted, hypocritical agenda and that's the problem, not his gayness. And who cares if Gannon/Guckert is gay or bi and who cares if Rove or McClellan are gay except for their hypocrisy and their gay-unfriendly agenda. But I'm telling you McClellan, Rove, Ralph Reed, these guys are the gay mafia, they are gay as French horns as they say. I don't know why French horns are gay, but I think that the Gannon/Guckert scandal is, that the source of it is that Rove is his lover.

Discovering where this leads is going to be great fun, hubris is expensive and the bill is now past-due. Sure you're saying that would be totally ridiculous. Let me remind you of this White House exchange with Scott McClellan (via slate):

Q: On the Robert Novak-Joseph Wilson situation, Novak reported earlier this year quoting "anonymous government sources" telling him that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative. Now, this is apparently a federal offense, to burn the cover [of] a CIA operative. Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove. He's quoted from a speech last month as saying, "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." Did Karl Rove tell that—

A: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

Q: But did Karl Rove do it?

A: I said, it's totally ridiculous.

Hubris is costly.

UPDATE: (Bob): This is getting good, from Newsweek (via Atrios):

The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House. Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment. But in an interview with NEWSWEEK, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove.

But this is very interesting:

Novak appears to have made some kind of arrangement with the special prosecutor, and other journalists who reported on the Plame story have talked to prosecutors with the permission of their sources. Cooper agreed to discuss his contact with Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, after Libby gave him permission to do so. But Cooper drew the line when special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald asked about other sources.

It appears that unlike Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, Karl Rove did not give Cooper permission to discuss the scandal with the Special Prosecutor. Which is odd, given that Rove serves at the pleasure of the United States of America (via AmericaBlog):

Q Mr. President, on another issue, the CIA leak-gate. What is your confidence level in the results of the DOJ investigation about any of your staffers not being found guilty or being found guilty? And what do you say to critics of the administration who say that this administration retaliates against naysayers?

PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I'm glad you brought that question up. This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it seriously. As members of the press corps here know, I have, at times, complained about leaks of security information, whether the leaks be in the legislative branch or in the executive branch. And I take those leaks very seriously.

And, therefore, we will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. I've got all the confidence in the world the Justice Department will do a good, thorough job. And that's exactly what I want them to do, is a good, thorough job. I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker.

I have told my staff, I want full cooperation with the Justice Department. And when they ask for information, we expect the information to be delivered on a timely basis. I expect it to be delivered on a timely basis. I want there to be full participation, because, April, I am most interested in finding out the truth.

And, you know, there's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it. And if this helps stop leaks of -- this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked -- and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth.

Actually, I doubt Bush is looking forward to anything that is remotely related to the Truth when it comes to this TreasonGate.

UPDATE (Bob): We all knew that more and more people are going to be sucked into the TreasonGate Scandal, Digby gets the following tip:

Wilson indicates that the work up on him beginning March, 2003, turned up the information on Valerie -- which was then shared with Karl Rove who then circulated it through Administration and neo-Conservative circles. He cites conservative journalists who claimed to have had the information before the Novak column.

So the question is -- in the work-up process beginning about March 2003, who had the information re: Plame?

I think it was John Bolton. At the time he was State Department Deputy Secretary with the portfolio in WMD and Nuclear Proliferation. Assuming that Valerie Plame's identity was that of a NOC (No Official Cover) the information about her would have been highly classified, compartmentalized, and only those with a need to know would know. Bolton's Job probably gave him that status. However to receive it he would have to sign off on the classification -- that is he would have to agree to retain the security the CIA had established.

At the time, Bolton had two assistants who also worked in the White House in Cheney's office, David Wurmser and John Hannah. Their names have been around as the potential leakers -- Hannah if you remember is the guy who kept putting the Yellow Cake back in Bush's speeches even though Tenet had demanded it be removed.

So -- I think we have a game of catch going on here -- or maybe some version of baseball, and the scoring is Bolton to Wurmser and Hannah, to Cheney (and/or Libby) to Rove.

more to come...

Posted at 01:59 PM in General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (5) | Technorati

Monday, June 27, 2005

MT-Sen: Conrad Burns Staff

Posted by Bob Brigham

Normally, I don't make too much of who a politician keeps on payroll. But Burns former State Director is now pleading the 5th (i.e. not talking because he could incriminate himself) in a major corruption investigation. In fact, 3 former Burns staffers -- Will Brooke, Ryan Thomas, and Shawn Vasell -- are the focus of multiple investigations.

So my question is, how do you get hired by Conrad Burns?

When I visited Sen. Burns in Washington I had a chance to chat a while with a couple of his sprightly young interns. Both had thick southern accents. I remember how overly eager I was to ask them what they thought about some of the pressing issues that were facing my home state at the time. And I was surprised to find out that neither had ever even been to Big Sky Country. When I pointed this out to Burns he just chuckled, patted me on the back, and divulged in his raspy voice, "I don't hire the cute ones for their brains, kid. I hire 'em cuz they are easy on the eyes." (emphasis mine)

If Burns personally hires the interns, I think it is safe to assume he personally had a role in hiring senior staff.

Posted at 05:17 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Scandals | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, June 24, 2005

MT-Sen: New Report on Conrad Burns - Jack Abramoff Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Roots:

The latest installment in the Jack Abramoff sleaze-fest that's been playing out in Senate hearings this week involves Republican Conrad Burns and his questionable ties to Abramoff.

A few days ago, former Conrad Burns (R-MT) staffer Shawn Vassal invoked his right against self-incrimination before a Senate Committee investigating DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his former boss. Vassell began his career as an analyst for Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s old lobbying shop. After that, he went on to serve as state director for Conrad Burns.

In January 2003 Vassell returned to Greenberg Traurig to serve as director of governmental and administrative affairs. The Constitutionally protected silence of Shawn Vassell is the latest news in an unraveling story detailing Senator Burns’ ties to scandal-plagued Jack Abramoff.

The link also has the PDF of a new report on the scandal.

Posted at 02:18 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Scandals | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Karl Rove Scandal Scalds Doug Forrester

Posted by Bob Brigham

I knew the Karl Rove scandal would have impacts in local elections when I received the following email with an hour of the scandal blowing up:

Vicious Karl Rove Just Raised Money for Republican Doug Forrester

I’m sure you’ve heard about Karl Rove calling liberals and Democrats traitors, and the White House supporting his comments.

I think it’s interesting that Karl Rove was just in New Jersey raising money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester: link

Now there is an Action Alert to contact NJ Gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, New York City Mayor Michael Bloombloog and New York state Governor Bill Pataki. This already has support from Americablog, Eschaton, Steve Gilliard's News Blog, and Chris Bowers at MyDD.

From AmericaBlog:

Anti-Karl Rove Action Alert

Atrios suggests we all do the following. I agree:
This week Karl Rove headlined a couple of fundraisers for the Republican candidate for governor of New Jesrsey, Doug Forrester.

Call his campaign office and demand to know if Forrester stands by Karl Rove's assertion that Democrats like Dick Durbin are motivated by a desire to see troops die (especially if you live in New Jersey or imagine that you do). Demand that he return the money he raised. Find out if he's proud to stand with Karl Rove, and if also thinks that New Jersey Democrats are motivated by a desire to see our troops die.


GOP Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has refused to repudiate what Rove's, Mehlman's, and the White House's assertion that YOU want to kill the troops and didn't give a damn about September 11. And remember folks, this is New York City, if they want to play that "liberal" card, let them. 80% of the city would call itself "liberal." So Bush thinks 80% of New Yorkers didn't give a damn about September 11. You're traitors, you dishonor the dead. When your friends died that day, you wanted to give Osama a hug.

Call Mayor Bloomber and demand he publicly repudiate the White House's slander against New Yorkers and all those who survived September 11. Bloomberg's wishy-washy statement about how we wishes all sides would stop politicizing September 11 is cute, but "all sides" weren't politicizing it. Only one party has. That would be the party he invited to hold its patriotic orgasm of a convention there last fall, the one that politicized September 11.

It's time for Bloomberg to tell New Yorkers, is he with them or against them? Does he stand by the White House's words that 80% of New Yorkers are motivated by a desire to kill our troops, and that 80% of NYers didn't give a damn about September 11? Answer the damn question, or don't be mayor.

Email bloomberg here.

Then make some phone calls to Bloomberg's press people:

Edward Skyler, Robert Lawson, Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958


Pataki refused to even give a wishy-washy answer yesterday about the White House's slander of NYers and all Americans. He stood by Rove 100%. Give him a call too, and demand that he publicly repudiate this disgusting use of the 9/11 dead to help George Bush's polls.

Main governor's office phone: 518-474-8390, 212-681-4580
Email the governor here

Lynn Rasic (Governor)
(212) 681-4640

Forrester, Bloomberg and Pataki need to do the right thing by denouncing Karl Rove and returning the poisoned money.

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, New Jersey, New York, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Karl Rove has got to go. No apology, no compromise, no more White House access. Earlier today, I launched a Fire Karl Rove Petition that has been signed by over 1,000 people -- including many bloggers.

Now the DNC has a petition, headlined Fire Karl Rove:

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, desperate to save a presidency sinking under the weight of its own failures, stooped to lying about Democrats' reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. He said that Governor Howard Dean and others wanted to, "offer therapy and understanding to our attackers."

The truth is, Dean and others supported the war in Afghanistan because they believe the top priority in the war on terror should be capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and ensuring that Afghanistan and the region no longer provide a safe haven for terror.

Nearly four years later, a Republican administration and the Republican Congress have failed to catch bin Laden, and major forces have been diverted away from the hunt. Meanwhile, Afghanistan has again become the engine of an international drug trade that fuels terrorism in the region and elsewhere.

The American people pay Karl Rove's salary. If his only response to the administration's serious failure to capture or kill bin Laden is to smear political opponents with lies, he should be fired immediately.

Sign this petition urging George W. Bush and Chief of Staff Andrew Card to fire Karl Rove immediately.

Last night, the White House manufactured a scandal to divert attention from the fact the Republican Leadership is politically impotent. The White House is lashing out in desperation as more and more Americans realize that the Republicans have failed America. We are better than this and we deserve better from those who serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States. Karl Rove has disgraced our goverment, our White House, our America -- he needs to either resign or be fired. With haste.

Posted at 08:59 PM in Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Journalists Failing on Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

The problem with he said/she said journalism is that the truth isn't the average of Democrats and Republicans. This may come as a surprise to many of you, but sometimes politicians lie. No really, it happens.

It is a rare day when a reporter cares more about the truth than hiding in the safety of he said/she said. Today, in response to Karl Rove going out and lying to attack Democrats, Salon's Peter Dauo called bullshit:

I'm devoting much of today's report to Karl Rove's vile comments denigrating half of the American public. My office overlooks Ground Zero, and I'm looking at the gaping footprint as I write this. My wife and I were in New York that day, on our way to the WTC for a morning meeting. A chance phone call dragged on a few minutes too long and most likely saved our lives. I lost friends in the towers, and when I walk past the site, as I do almost every evening, the pain is as real as it was on September 11th, 2001.

I spent my youth in Beirut during the height of Lebanon's civil war, and I fought the Syrian presence in Lebanon long before the "Cedar Revolution." I watched young boys give their lives and mothers cradle their dying children in blood-soaked arms. I've seen more bloodshed, war, and violence, and shot more guns than most of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists combined. I wouldn't presume to question the strength or dignity of a stranger, and I pity those who blithely push the right=strong, left=weak rhetoric. It says far more about their inadequacies than it does about the target of their scorn. Today, Karl Rove took that rhetoric to a new, filthy low.

Indeed. Go sign the petition.

Posted at 08:16 PM in Scandals | Technorati

MT-Sen: Shawn Vasell Pleads the Fifth

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has written on Shawn Vasell before:

Now the Washington Post reports Shawn Vasell took the Fifth Amendment when asked to testify under oath about his role in the Conrad Burns & Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Abramoff, who is also at the center of a corruption investigation by the Justice Department, laundered tribal money by directing the Indians to donate to tax-exempt groups that the lobbyist later used for his own purposes, the Senate committee said. [...]

Three former associates of Abramoff and Scanlon who were summoned to testify declined to do so, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. They included former Greenberg lobbyist Kevin Ring, who continues to represent the Choctaw tribe as a lobbyist, and Shawn Vasell, who like Ring was a congressional aide before joining Abramoff's lobbying team.

Big Sky Democrats and Left in the West have more.

Posted at 07:23 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana, Scandals | Technorati

Rove Resignation Watch

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: Sign the petition.

America has never been as united as we were following September 11th. In fact, the whole world stood with us in our time of need. But Bush squandered that moment, that rare opportunity. Since then, support for both Bush and America has been in a tailspin because of the abuse of power by the Republican Administration. Now Karl Rove is seeking to further divide Americans to distract from the fact that Bush is losing the war on terror, has lost the war in Iraq, failed to privatize Social Security, was checked upon trying to eliminate the filibuster, and is widely considered to be a failed, lame-duck. Karl Rove's desperate maneuver must be dealt with promptly, Rove must either resign or be fired.

Here are the ACTION ITEMS, this entry will serve as a home for the blogswarm calling upon Rove to retire. It will be updated, feel free to send track-backs to be included and of course, feel free to repost:

AmericaBlog: "Fire this asshole, now."

Kos: "as their fortunes circle the drain, they resort to outrageous attacks in an attempt to distract from their own incompetence."

Paul Waldman: "Karl Rove's comments are even more despicable than what we've come to expect from Republicans. There is no depth to which they will not sink, no tragedy they will not exploit for political gain."

Talking Points Memo: "Rove should apologize or resign."

Mixter's Mix: "Seems our favorite neo-fascist is back to identifying enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. (#3 on the list of The 14 Characteristics of Fascism by Laurence W. Britt.)"

Pissed on Politics: "Rove, sensing Bush is in trouble, has decided to harkin back to the dark days of 9/11 in hopes of re-vitilizing that blind patriotism and mindless flag waiving this administration so desperately needs in order to propagate their agenda."

A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective: "My only response to this kind of lame nonsense is to say, Mr. Rove...shut the f**k up! See, people like this guy should be VERY QUIET when it comes to the subject of warfare or anything that even remotely pertains to warfare and warfighting. People like Rove, et al. are extremely dangerous and should be taken with a grain of salt whenever they start flapping their gums about military service, war or any other activity in which they have no real knowledge. George C. Scott (as General George S. Patton) said the following about clowns like Mr. Rove in the opening monologue of the Academy Award winning movie 'Patton' (

"...They don't know any more about real fighting, under fire, than they do about fornicating...""

Patridiot Watch: "Karl Rove's Pants Are on Fire"

Capitol Buzz: "Call the White House and tell him to shut the fuck up!!!"

Yowling from the Fencepost: "Rove, hubris, and foot-in-mouth disease."

Born Angry: "You know, when this is all over--if it is ever all over--Karl Rove and the entire Bush Bundestag should be sent to Gitmo!"

Democratic Planks: "How dare he say that as I sat terrified in my New York apartment and watched the twin towers crumble, my thoughts were "let's give therapy to these people... these poor people are just misunderstood."

No, Karl, you are totally fucking wrong.
How dare you play petty politics with the tragedy of 9/11?
And isn't it convenient that you are raking up the mud at the point when your brainchild administration's poll numbers are in the toilet? [...]

Rove's statement is simply gross, and right now I want to kick him in the head. What he suggested said out loud at a ballroom event held only a few miles from gound zero is reprehensible, dispicable and totally characteristic of the entire Bush administration."

Posted at 02:08 PM in Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Karl Rove Must Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Rove Must Resign blog swarm is gathering momentum quickly, because Rove needs to resign. There must be a zero tolerance policy.

Here are the action items:

  1. Are you represented by a Republican? Enter First-Draft's contest with a quick letter or call them
  2. Take a moment and call Rove, demand he resign: (202) 456-2369

  4. Sign the petition

The following statement from Senator Harry Reid is spot-on:

“I am deeply disturbed and disappointed that the Bush White House would continue to use the national tragedy of September 11th to try and divide the country. The lesson our country learned on that terrible morning is that we are strongest when we unite together, that America’s power is in its common spirit of democracy and freedom.

“Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign. The lesson of September 11th is not different for conservatives, liberals or moderates. It is equally shared and was repeatedly demonstrated in the weeks and months following this tragedy as Americans of all backgrounds and their elected representatives rallied behind the victims and their families, united in our common determination to bring to justice those responsible for these terrible attacks.

“It is time to stop using September 11th as a political wedge issue. Dividing our country for political gain is an insult to all Americans and to the common memory we all carry with us from that day. When it comes to standing up to terrorists, there are no Republicans or Democrats, only Americans. The Administration should be focused on uniting Americans behind our troops and providing them a strategy for success in the war on terror and the conflict in Iraq. I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks and urge Mr. Rove to take appropriate action to right this terrible wrong.”

An apology isn't good enough, this conduct is so out of line that the only appropriate remedy is for Karl Rove to resign or be fired -- immediately.

Posted at 01:27 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CA-50: Duke Cunningham Smacked Down

Posted by Bob Brigham

Congressman Pete Stark (CA-13) publically smacked down scandal-tainted Congressman Duke Cunningham. Stark spent $500 of his own money for web ads that ran on the D.C. insider sites Congress Daily and Hotline. As is to be expected with any investment in bold action, Stark earned traditional media, from The Hill:

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) spent $500 of his own money to place an ad online lampooning Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s (R-Calif.) recent controversial sale of his home to a defense contractor.

“Attention Powerful Lobbyists! House for Sale By Influential Member of Congress … From recent practices by defense contractor lobbyists, it appears that you may be able to slip a cool million to a Member of Congress with little fear of ethics violations,” read the ad, which ran yesterday on the National Journal website.

Stark said in a statement that he acted out of frustration with the House’s stalled ethics process, adding, “It is ridiculous that the House is still without a working ethics committee that can investigate abuses of power.”

Props to Congressman Stark for creatively bringing attention to the ethics-free zone the Republican Leadership has created.

Posted at 01:55 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, California, Scandals | Technorati

Friday, June 03, 2005

NJ-Gov: Bret Schundler Website Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Jon Corzine is widely expected to easily win New Jersey's 2005 gubernatorial campaign. Republican odds are long at best, but get even longer when the GOP tricksters get busted fabricating support with photoshop. Idiots.

Posted at 02:43 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Scandal: Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet

Posted by Bob Brigham

Does this sound familiar?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Where the fuck does the word "journalist" show up? It doesn't say anything about "fair and balanced" journalism (which is a good thing for Fox) -- instead it says "press". The founding fathers had in mind press including forms such as the Federalist Papers (written under the screen-name 'Publius') which have far more in common with blogs than with the New York Times.

This is but one of the many, many reasons why Carol Darr and the Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet at George Washington University have zero credibility in the battle to attack independent voices on the blogosphere. None. Zip. Students should ask for their money back as they're being taught by idiots.

Posted at 05:52 PM in Netroots, Scandals | Technorati

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Walmart Movie

Posted by Bob Brigham

From David Sirota:

My good friend Robert Greenwald (of Outfoxed fame) today publicly announced that his next documentary will be about Wal-Mart's unpatriotic behavior. Check out information about the movie, see the trailer, and help Robert collect as much information as possible about Wal-Mart.

It's no secret that Wal-Mart sells out average Americans. Though the company executives have always tried to wrap themselves in the flag, those PR efforts have been exposed as total shams. Wal-Mart is one of the big beneficiaries of corporate-written "free" trade deals with China - using those deals to help eliminate U.S. manufacturing jobs and exploit China's slave-like conditions. Not surprisingly, the company is now aggressively lobbying to pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) - a deal that once again sells out American workers.

Wal-Mart also drives down U.S. wages. It pays its own workers so poorly, in fact, they are among the biggest recipients of welfare. This, at the same time it uses huge campaign contributions to coerce politicians to shower the company with taxpayer handouts.

Now would be a good time to sign up for the June Democracy for America meetup" (from an email):

You can expect to see an exclusive glimpse of an upcoming documentary -- a glimpse that shows you the stakes in the battle to teach the country's largest company about corporate responsibility. And you'll get to see it before anybody else.

See you there.

Posted at 01:44 PM in Activism, Scandals | Technorati

TX-22: Fire Tom DeLay

Posted by Bob Brigham

From MoveOn PAC:

Fire Tom DeLay

House Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay has a pattern of repeated legal and ethical scandals. Yet he remains in one of the most important positions in our government—deciding what legislation Congress considers. Sign our petition to urge Congress to fire Tom DeLay as Majority Leader. Our goal is to top 500,000 petition signers by the end of the month and deliver these petitions to Republican members of Congress and local Republican Parties during the first week in June.

His offenses?

  • Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill legislation they opposed
  • Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign government in violation of House rules
  • Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign contributions
  • Helped sweatshops in the Mariana Islands at the behest of a lobbyist.
  • Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate donor
  • Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare
  • Allegedly used corporate money given to his PAC to finance Texas campaigns in violation of state law
  • Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with Democrats in Texas
  • Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish celebrations at the Republican convention
  • Threatened retaliation against interest groups that don't support Republicans
  • Stacked the House Ethics Committee with representatives who have contributed to his legal defense fund
  • Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics Committee by purging members who had rebuked him
  • Pushed for a rules change for the House Ethics process that paralyzed the panel
  • Sought a rule change that would have no longer "required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted"

Totally corrupted and abusing power to stay in power, Tom DeLay is a disgrace to Congress.

Posted at 01:14 PM in Republicans, Scandals, Texas, Texas | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

CA-Gov: Digging Holes to...Fill Them

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last week, Swing State Project reported on Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger getting busted having government workers dig a hole in the ground so that he could fill it in for a photo-op.

Today, we have the weakest attempt at spin I've seen in a long time. From David Vossbrink:

"San Jose crews were already planned to be at that location to work on scheduled repairs that require removing old pavement and replacing it."

So there was a plan to dig a pothole to fill it in, it had nothing to do with the photo op. Wink-wink, nod-nod...

Posted at 12:36 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Technorati

Friday, May 27, 2005

CA-Gov: Political Cheapness

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and -- dogged by protesters -- filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.

The choreographed press opportunity -- at least the governor's fourth recent event involving transportation issues -- seemed aimed as much at thwarting the demonstrators who have followed Schwarzenegger for weeks as grabbing new attention for his proposal.

The Governor is using state resources to tear up our roads so he can pretend to fix them on TV? This is one of the most pathetic acts of political cheapness I have ever encountered.

Even worse is the fact the Governor's handlers were busted trying to pull of this little stunt. You be the judge, is such an event an adequate rapid response to yesterday's FRONT PAGE STORY:

10,000 protest governor

Sacramento -- Thousands of public employees staged the biggest political rallies of the year at the state Capitol and in Los Angeles on Wednesday, charging that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's policy agenda shortchanges schoolchildren and undermines the fabric of California's poor and middle class.

The protests came after weeks of increasingly heated, campaign-style rhetoric from both sides as Schwarzenegger moved the state closer to a special election on issues such as state spending and teacher tenure.

Schwarzenegger has derided unions as "special interests" whose grip on Democratic party politics is the source of many of the state's ills. At the Capitol on Wednesday, firefighters, teachers, nurses and others -- many wearing the insignias of their professions -- stood under a sweltering late- afternoon sun and, in the most charged and personal rhetoric yet, fired back.

"The CEO of California is ... picking on women in wheelchairs," Frances Gracechild, director of Resources for Independent Living, told a crowd of roughly 10,000 people. "The only thing I can think of so he won't have to do hard time in hell is resign." (emphasis mine)

This on top of the product placement scandal? I don't think Schwarzenegger will be back.

Posted at 10:51 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

CA-Gov: Product Placement in Campaign Ads?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You have simply got to be kidding me. What a clown Arnold Schwarzenegger is.

The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.

Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are Ruffles, Sun Chips, Cheetos and a SoBe Beverage, all brands owned by Pepsi.

And polling results released earlier today over at Polling Report (subscription only) tell the story (MoE +/- 2%).

"Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California?"

Approve: 40%
Disapprove: 49%
Don't Know: 11%

"Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?"

Right Direction: 35%
Wrong Direction: 57%
Don't Know: 8%

Phil Angelides,
not sponsored by Pepsi, your next Governor of California.

Posted at 12:46 AM in 2006 Elections - State, California, Scandals | Technorati

Saturday, May 21, 2005

TX-22: Protecting Society from Tom DeLay

Posted by Bob Brigham


"Tom DeLay is corrupt. No question about it," Dean said Friday. "This is a guy who shouldn't be in Congress and maybe ought to be serving in jail."

The House ethics committee is investigating whether DeLay violated congressional rules by taking foreign trips paid for by lobbyists. The Texas Republican has not been charged with a crime, but Dean said he would not apologize for saying earlier this month that DeLay "ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence."

If justice is served and DeLay is locked up, I'm going to drop a fuckton of mail to other inmates in the prison -- mail that discusses certain Tom DeLay quotes and votes that the inmates might find of interest.

Posted at 12:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Scandals, Texas | Technorati

Friday, May 20, 2005

PA-Sen: Update on Santorum Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Two major updates on the Santorum Scandal.

Chuck Pennacchio, Democrat challenging Santorum in 2006, has posted a startling video on his blog of Santorum using a Nazi slander against the New York Times.

The Anti-Defamation League is outraged

Dear Senator Santorum:

We write to object in the strongest terms to your reference to Adolf Hitler in the context of a political debate on judicial nominations on the floor of the Senate today.

Whatever your views on the Senate rules relating to the use of the filibuster and judicial nominations, it is utterly inappropriate and insensitive to suggest that Democratic Party tactics in any way resemble actions taken by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Suggesting some kind of "equivalence" between these tactics and statements and actions of Adolf Hitler demonstrates a profound lack of understanding as to who Hitler was and what he and his regime represented.

We urge you to repudiate your remarks and apologize to the American people for distorting an important issue with such an inappropriate comparison to Hitler and the Holocaust.

Ricky Santorum should step down from his leadership position to avoid being censured by the full Senate.

Posted at 04:50 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Pennsylvania, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, May 19, 2005

PA-Sen: Senator Rick Santorum Out of Line

Posted by Bob Brigham

This post made CNN.

NOTE: This is a long post with lots of links that should be explored. This is completely outrageous, Santorum should step down from his leadership position.

Another Raw Story Exclusive:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) compared Democrats' attempts to keep the filibuster to Hitler's moves in 1942 in a floor speech in the Senate Thursday afternoon, RAW STORY has learned.

Atrios asks:

The "Move On" Standard

Once upon a time an organziation called Move On (or probably Move On Pac, forget which) ran a little ad creation contest. The initial submissions, of which there were many, weren't really screened by the organization, and a couple of them admittedly crossed the line by making Bush/Nazi comparisons. Those ads were yanked immediately by the organization, but are nonetheless used to this day by the liberal media to smear Move On as an irresponsible "extremist" organization.

Now we have the junior Senator from Pennsylvania comparing the entire Senate Dem caucus to Adolf Hitler. Will the "Move On" standard of the liberal media still apply?

Good question. My guess is that the blogosphere will be making a list of every reporter who wrote about the MoveOn non-story. If reporters will enable right-wing attacks by repeating non-stories about something posted online, but won't give more attention to a real story about this happening on the Senate floor, then I believe that these reporters deserve the wrath of the blogosphere.

We're watching, if you're a reporter, you had better be filing.


UPDATE: : Sean-Paul Kelley piles on at The Agonist. And Atrios busts Santorum for flip-flopping.
UPDATE: Dave Johnson piles on at Seeing the Forest.
UPDATE: David piles on at The Supreme Irony of Life (how fitting).
UPDATE: David Sirota piles on and escalates -- great stuff!
UPDATE: Oliver Willis has audio.
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has video.
UPDATE: Jeffrey Dubner at American Prospect tells Santorum to go to hell
UPDATE: In Santorum's home state Pennsylvania, Jeff's Little Blog Blue piles on.
UPDATE: Think Progress throws down.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo seemed to be in a state of disbelief
UPDATE: The blogswarm is turning into a shitstorm, Armando has it on the front page of Daily Kos.
UPDATE: DC Media Girl asks readers to call Santorum's office at 202-224-6324
UPDATE: Balloon Juice is in favor of bitch-slapping
UPDATE: ArchPundit calls Senator Santorum a jackass.
UPDATE: Chris Bowers of MyDD piles on
UPDATE: The Carpetbagger joins
UPDATE: Spin Dry suggests a spanking may be in order
UPDATE: The "view from above" is at the Rooftop Report
UPDATE: 2 Political Junkies: "Un-fucking-believable"
UPDATE: Left in the West call's Rick Santorum an asshole and has more here
UPDATE: And Random Ravings

UPDATE: This is now an issue in Pennyslvania's 2006 Senate race, Chuck Pennacchio's statement (also on Politics PA):

“As an historian of Holocaust-era Germany, I find Rick Santorum’s comment to be offensive, divisive, and destructive. Rick Santorum should immediately issue a public apology, and then retreat with conscience to consider the lasting damage he has done to the United States Senate and to the memory of 12 million Holocaust victims.”

“How ironic is it that he would make such an extremist comment, comparing Senate Democrats to Adolph Hitler, while his own political party seeks to consolidate all governmental party in its own hands?”

Pennacchio continued, “This is embarrassing to all Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, Rick Santorum’s hate-filled and heated rhetoric is completely consistent with the junior Senator’s past behavior.”

UPDATE: Damn Liberals piles on
UPDATE: Talk Left piles on.
UPDATE: Rob at Laughing at the Pieces: Holy Fucking Shit
UPDATE: Political Strategy: Scum of the Earth (and at Semidi
UPDATE: Yudel Line piles on
UPDATE: Charging Rino: the nuclear option's "Major Kong."
UPDATE: In Pennsylvania, Young Philly Politics piles on
UPDATE: The scandal made "BUZZ" on Salon's Dauo Report
UPDATE: Think Progress has the rebuttal from Senator Max Baucus: “This is the Way Democracy Ends”
UPDATE: David Sirota has his second post
UPDATE: Steve Gilliard of News Blog: this is like shitting on the WWII memorial
UPDATE: Stirlying Newberry of Blogging of the President calls for CENSURE
UPDATE: Brad of Brad Blog: Fillibuster Blitzkreig!
UPDATE: AmericaBlog piles on and on.
UPDATE: With way too much time to prepare before morning drive time, here comes Eric Hananoki with the Air America Al Franken Show Blog
UPDATE Over at Hullabaloo Digby writes: Santorum is full of shit and everybody but the theocrats and the press knows it. Even Ricky.
UPDATE Steve Soto at The Left Coaster: In fact, a good old liberal lynching of Frist and Santorum is just what this country needs right about now, if you ask me.
UPDATE DNC's Kicking Ass: truly sickening


Washington, D.C. Office:
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-6324
Allentown Office:
Counties: Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh, Berks
3802 Federal Office Building
504 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
Main: 610-770-0142
Fax: 610-770-0911
Altoona Office:
Counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Fulton, Huntingdon, Somerset
Route 220 North
Regency Square, Suite 220
Altoona, PA 16601
Main: 814-946-7023
Fax: 814-946-7025
Coudersport Office:
Counties: Cameron, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga
1705 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16508
Main: 814-454-7114
Fax: 814-459-2096
Erie Office:
Counties: Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren
1705 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16508
Main: 814-454-7114
Fax: 814-459-2096
Harrisburg Office:
Counties: Adams, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Union Snyder, York
555 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Main: 717-231-7540
Fax: 717-231-7542
Philadelphia Office:
Counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia
1 South Penn Square
Widener Building, Suite 960
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Main: 215-864-6900
Fax: 215-864-6910
Pittsburgh Office:
Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Westmoreland, Washington
100 West Station Square Drive
Landmarks Building, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Main: 412-562-0533
Fax: 412-562-4313
Scranton Office:
Counties: Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Montour, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming
527 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18503
Main: 570-344-8799
Fax: 570-344-8906

Posted at 05:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Pennsylvania, Scandals | Comments (3) | Technorati

Media Coverage of "Nuclear Option"

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was SHOCKED to see this screen-capture from Fox News. Keep an eye on the press during this constitutional crisis at Media Matters' Judicial Nomination page. They have already publically pointed out shoddy reporting at the A.P., NPR, and CNN.

He said/she said coverage is not journalism when one side is lying. This is a power-grab with the GOP seeking full consolidation of total control -- and they are lying to perpetuate this fraud.

When reporters repeat filibuster falsehoods they become active participants in partisan politics.

Posted at 11:34 AM in Nuclear Option, Scandals | Technorati

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

OH-18: Justice Department Investigating Bob Ney Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Congressman Bob Ney (R) is in serios trouble. Via The Stakeholder, The American Prospect's Art Levine has the scoop:

Take pity on poor Bob Ney, who insists he's just another victim of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public-relations consultant Michael Scanlon. Unlike the half-dozen Indian tribes that paid about $82 million to that scamming duo, however, the U.S. representative at least got campaign donations and a lavish trip to Scotland's legendary St. Andrew's golf course out of them. Whether he got more than that is now a matter of interest to Justice Department investigators, according to a knowledgeable source who says that the probers are seeking to discover whether Ney received any illegal donations from Abramoff.

An affable, 50-year-old conservative Republican from Ohio, Ney now portrays himself as a "dupe" of Abramoff and Scanlon, the pair of rapscallions targeted by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Justice Department for their alleged defrauding of tribes seeking increased clout.

Both Abramoff and a lawyer for Scanlon have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Yet the lobbyists' operation looks like such a breathtaking scam that it stuns even veteran observers of Washington scandals. [...]

A source familiar with the Justice Department probe says that federal authorities are investigating Ney's role in the scheme and asking whether Abramoff arranged payment of any illegal contributions or gratuities to him. This confirms previously published reports by Newsweek and The New York Times, which indicated that the Justice Department is seeking to determine whether Abramoff "improperly" provided contributions and gratuities to lawmakers and staffers "in exchange for legislative favors."

Posted at 11:43 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio, Scandals | Technorati

Scandals Archive: