Rick Moran attempts to defend the Republican Leadership for covering up for Mark Foley (R- Neverland) and then goes a little, um, unhinged in his comments.
For the record, Rick thinks the ultimate lesson of Predatorgate is that the Democratic party is somehow at fault which is entirely consistent with the idea that everything bad that has happened in the past six years has also been the Democrats fault; 9/11, the failed war in Iraq, the incompetent response to Katrina, Taylor Hicks...
You get the idea.
(Added): Rick responds with what I guess passes for a witty rejoinder that is one of the most awkward insults I've ever heard.:
As is usual when TBogg links here, the knuckledraggers with IQ’s smaller than their penis length swarm my site...
Wow. That wouldn't rate a *snap* at a middle school.
Ann Althouse can't blog about the Torture Bill one way or the other because to do so would be a sign of partisanship:
This is one of the biggest problems for a law blogger. Because you are writing every day about things that happen to be in the news, readers assume that if something in the news is important enough, failure to blog about it means you don't care or you're some kind of fraud. This thinking is magnified when you're a law professor and the news story has legal significance. Yet this may be precisely why you don't blog about it. Unless you have an automatic ideological position -- as many political bloggers do -- you can't just pop out a post. You could put a small block of time into crafting a more thoughtful post, but that would only give it the aura of a legal opinion and you don't want that. Given the complexity of the text under discussion and the legal issues it generates, it is quite resistant to serious blogging by a law professor. Failure to blog should therefore be read as a sign of the law professor's distance from partisanship. It is not that we don't recognize the importance of the matter. It's that we do.
So if I read this correctly, the complexity of the issue puts it beyond the purview of law professors (since blog post = amicus curiae brief) in which case our nation must turn its lonely eyes to Constitutional Expert/Call Center Manager Special Ed for guidance. We wanted to turn to Ace, but he's specializing in libel law these days.
Foley [Jonah Goldberg] I have no worthwhile instapunditry. But, I think if the allegations are true this is just one more reason to add to the phonebook-sized list of reasons why grown men shouldn't mess around with underage boys. It goes some considerable distance after, "it's gross" and a good bit before "it takes time away from yard work."
It goes without saying that blogging is pretty much "instapunditry" so I find Jonah's first line an uncommon act of intellectual honesty. As for the rest...messing around with underage boys "takes time away from yard work"?
I tried watching L & O: SVU afterwards, which is now the franchise's ratings winner, but was defeated by the reliably bad acting of the male ensemble: Richard Belzer just seems to be hanging around like an undertaker awaiting corpse delivery; Ice T still says every line as if he bore it a minor grudge; Christopher Meloni is down to one sulky bearing the etch of bitter experience. I know a lot of people like this series, but what's to like?
Oooo! Oooo! I know that one. Pick me! Mariska Hargitay
If there was a one hour show called Mariska Hargitay Wearing Sweatpants and Ironing, I'd watch it...
Byron York, (who has no friends, I was only kidding above. Byron's hairdresser thinks he's a bitch) tries to make something out of nothing regarding real journalist Seymour Hersh:
On a trip to Washington State yesterday, journalist Seymour Hersh took time to do a little campaigning for a Democratic candidate for state office. From the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune :
"You don’t need me to tell you about Iraq – it’s not salvageable," the veteran journalist told a crowd of 50 as they chowed on salad and pasta at Tacoma’s Primo Grill. "Afghanistan is going south, and George Bush has Iran on the brain."
The stage for the feisty remarks was a $20-a-plate political fundraiser. Hersh, headed for a speech in Seattle, stopped in Tacoma to stump for his friend Larry Seaquist, a candidate for the state House of Representatives. Seaquist is a Democrat in the 26th Legislative District.
Hersh said he met Seaquist a decade ago while working on a story about Gulf War syndrome. At the time, Seaquist was nearing the end of a 32-year career in the Navy, a stint that included commanding the USS Iowa.
"I didn’t even know what party he was in," Hersh said, when he asked why he would appear at a political event. "It’s not about the party, it’s about the man. Larry’s a man of high integrity. I’d do the same thing if he was a Republican."
We imagine that was written with a half-cocked eyebrow.
I'm not sure why I even clicked on this link at ESPN, but this is probably the funniest column I've ever read about sports. It helps if you have a passing knowledge of the NFL. Samples:
Classic Falcons: Just when you believe they're good, they mail their next game in more egregiously than Pearl Jam mailed in the "Binaural" album. Did you ever wager on Mora's Falcons, watch Michael Vick chuck one of those two-hop grounders to a wide-open receiver on third down within the first three minutes of the game, then hold your head like the Senator who was covered in the hooker's blood in "Godfather 2" and scream, "What did I do? WHAT DID I DO???????" Um, me neither.
You can come out of the gate with the whole "ball control, no mistakes, keep it close, waste as much time as possible, hope the other team screws up" routine for about three weeks before everyone realizes, "Wait, there's not a lot here." Coincidentally, the same goes for mediocre actors -- they have about three starring roles in them before everyone eventually realizes, "Wait, there's not a lot here." Call it the Josh Hartnett Syndrome.
Pre-Friday Random Ten Got no religion, don't need no friends Got all I want and I don't need to pretend Don't try to reach me, 'cause I'd tear up your mind I've seen the future and I've left it behind
Pleasure and Pain - Ben Harper Oh, No - Shivaree Ostriches and Chirping - Elliott Smith Supernaut - Ministry (Black Sabbath cover) Queer - Garbage Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) - Marvin Gaye Superbeast - Rob Zombie Thrice All American - Neko Case and Her Boyfriends Superman (live) - Stereophonics Fox Confessor Brings The Flood - Neko Case
Bonus #11: Arms Aloft - Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
No video for Ostriches and Chirping, but here's a charming video of the late great Elliott Smith doing Angeles:
Well I took the camera to work to record the damage...and I left it on my desk, so here's some golden oldies and ones that I may or may not have posted before: I think this is from when baby Beckham had pneumonia. $4000 later he pulled through. Yes. $4000
...and baby Satchmo and parts of me. Notice the BIG Puppy feet.
Reports circulated on the Internet earlier this week, indicating that in private emails, Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) had requested photographs of the page, asked what he wanted for his birthday, and inquired about his age. The emails may be viewed below.
A subsequent investigation by RAW STORY discovered that the addresses on the emails were indeed those of Foley and a now-seventeen year old boy, who forwarded them to a fellow staffer. There is no overtly sexual communication in Foley's emails, and the age of consent in Washington, DC is sixteen.
Our investigation also uncovered a MySpace profile attached to the congressman's personal address, containing very little information.
Foley's office has told ABC News that it is their policy to keep pictures of former interns so that they could be remembered by anyone looking to recommend one. However, ABC also reports that the page did not work in Foley's office.
RAW STORY spoke with several sources, who confirmed that they felt Foley was unusually friendly with young Hill pages, but failed to uncover anything of a more serious nature.
Mark Foley is a 52 year-old man and he's asking for pictures from a sixteen year-old boy. (John has more on the emails)
Sorry. But that's creepy. And it's a shame because, despite Foley's role helping George Bush steal the Florida election, he's fairly moderate as far as Republicans go. And it's not like he hasn't been under the sexuality microscope before. If this blows up...and it probably will (Republicans will run away from him like he's a Army recruiter), his replacement will likely be another Republican loon of the type we have come to expect from Florida.
As an aside, Foley was supposed to run for Bob Graham's senate seat but dropped out leaving the candidacy to...Katherine Harris. Had he run and won the primary, and this happened, he'd probably still beat her numbers.
“It’s a peculiar apparatus,” said the Officer to the Traveler... "Our sentence does not sound severe. The law which a condemned man has violated is inscribed on his body with the harrow. This Condemned Man, for example," and the Officer pointed to the man, "will have inscribed on his body, 'Honour your superiors.'"
As the Senate goes through the motions of debating the American Torquemada Bill today, it brings to mind Franz Kafka's The Penal Colony.
Here the Officer explains to the Traveller the function of an elaborate device called the Harrow that inscribes, using needles, the "commandment" broken by the guilty, who is known only as the "Condemned Man:
The Traveler had a quick look at the man. When the Officer was pointing at him, the man kept his head down and appeared to be directing all his energy into listening in order to learn something. But the movements of his thick pouting lips showed clearly that he was incapable of understanding anything. The Traveler wanted to raise various questions, but after looking at the Condemned Man he merely asked, “Does he know his sentence?” “No,” said the Officer. He wished to get on with his explanation right away, but the Traveler interrupted him: “He doesn’t know his own sentence?” “No,” said the Officer once more. He then paused for a moment, as if he was asking the Traveler for a more detailed reason for his question, and said, “It would be useless to give him that information. He experiences it on his own body.” The Traveler really wanted to keep quiet at this point, but he felt how the Condemned Man was gazing at him—he seemed to be asking whether he could approve of the process the Officer had described. So the Traveler, who had up to this point been leaning back, bent forward again and kept up his questions, “But does he nonetheless have some general idea that he’s been condemned?” “Not that either,” said the Officer, and he smiled at the traveler, as if he was still waiting for some strange revelations from him. “No?” said the Traveler, wiping his forehead, “then does the man also not yet know how his defence was received?” “He has had no opportunity to defend himself,” said the Officer and looked away, as if he was talking to himself and wished not to embarrass the Traveler with an explanation of matters so self-evident to him. “But he must have had a chance to defend himself,” said the Traveler and stood up from his chair.
The Officer recognized that he was in danger of having his explanation of the apparatus held up for a long time. So he went to the Traveler, took him by the arm, pointed with his hand at the Condemned Man, who stood there stiffly now that the attention was so clearly directed at him—the Soldier was also pulling on his chain—and said, “The matter stands like this. Here in the penal colony I have been appointed judge. In spite of my youth. For I stood at the side of our Old Commandant in all matters of punishment, and I also know the most about the apparatus. The basic principle I use for my decisions is this: Guilt is always beyond a doubt. Other courts could not follow this principle, for they are made up of many heads and, in addition, have even higher courts above them. But that is not the case here, or at least it was not that way with the previous Commandant. It’s true the New Commandant has already shown a desire to get mixed up in my court, but I’ve succeeded so far in fending him off. And I’ll continue to be successful. You want this case explained. It’s simple—just like all of them. This morning a captain laid a charge that this man, who is assigned to him as a servant and who sleeps before his door, had been sleeping on duty. For his task is to stand up every time the clock strikes the hour and salute in front of the captain’s door. That’s certainly not a difficult duty—and it’s necessary, since he is supposed to remain fresh both for guarding and for service. Yesterday night the captain wanted to check whether his servant was fulfilling his duty. He opened the door on the stroke of two and found him curled up asleep. He got his horsewhip and hit him across the face. Now, instead of standing up and begging for forgiveness, the man grabbed his master by the legs, shook him, and cried out, ‘Throw away that whip or I’ll eat you up.’ Those are the facts. The captain came to me an hour ago. I wrote up his statement and right after that the sentence. Then I had the man chained up. It was all very simple. If I had first summoned the man and interrogated him, the result would have been confusion. He would have lied, and if I had been successful in refuting his lies, he would have replaced them with new lies, and so forth. But now I have him, and I won’t release him again. Now, does that clarify everything? But time is passing. We should be starting the execution, and I haven’t finished explaining the apparatus yet.”
For those who haven't read The Penal Colony, I won't ruin the ending for you, but my point is this: in our headlong rush to hand George W. Bush the keys to the Great American Torture Machine we do damage to our enemies, we do damage to the innocent, and just as importantly, we do damage to ourselves. We will have inscribed upon ourselves the following: 'We are not innocent.'
True, George W. Bush didn't do much better during his first eight months in office, but he had the remainder of his terms to make up for it.
I'm sure that this will be a comfort to the families of the victims of 9/11 that George Bush, a man who failed the first test of his presidency (keeping the people safe), is making it up to them by turning in some extra credit projects before the end of the semester in the hopes of driving his grade back up to a gentleman's C.
If Taranto had finished the thought with "Now watch this drive" he'd be next in line for Tony Snow's job.
7-Eleven drops Citgo, denies political angle Retailer replaced Venezuelan oil company with its own brand after 'devil' speech
but then says this:
7-Eleven Inc. said on Wednesday the war of words between Venezuela's leftist government and the Bush administration had no part in its decision to drop gasoline supplier Citgo Petroleum Corp., which is owned by Venezuela's state oil company.
The contract expires on Sept. 30, 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said, and the decision was made long before Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez called U.S. President George W. Bush "the devil" last week.
"People are making it out to be more than it is," Chabris told Reuters.
Very little time to blog tonight because domestic issues took precedence (waterheater commits suicide on third floor...film at eleven) but here's a collection of stupidity to make you feel good about yourself:
Score! We win! Victory dance! 7/11 drops CITGO because of our boycott! Go us! Go us! Uh-huh, we bad --- Oh wait. They did that a month ago.
Len Munsil, the Republican candidate for governor (and a total Sex Machine I might add) is still trying to shore up his faltering campaign by debating a monument:
PHOENIX (AP) — The Republican candidate for governor says the state's recently dedicated 9/11 memorial should be torn down, calling it an insult to America because of wording that he says criticizes the United States and fails to adequately honor victims and military personnel.
The monument was "supposedly put in place to remember the losses of 9/11, an evil attack on our nation that killed thousands of innocent Americans," Len Munsil said Monday at a rally near the capitol. "Instead it reminds us of American failings and American mistakes, real and imagined before and after 9/11. This memorial is a tribute to moral relativism."
Right below an inscription noting that President Bush addressed the nation the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, is one stating that an unidentified terrorist leader addressed the American people in 2004, Munsil said.
"Only in the relativistic context of left-wing protesters holding 'Bush is a terrorist' signs do such inscriptions make any sense," said Munsil, the former head of a conservative Christian advocacy group who won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the Sept. 12 primary.
"It explains why despite the outpouring of public prayer and the bipartisan singing of 'God Bless America' on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, there is not a single mention of God in this memorial. It explains why there are inscriptions raising conspiracy theories, like questions about whether the U.S. knew of these attacks and didn't prevent them."
Munsil said some parts of the memorial are fine but that the structure should be torn down and replaced with a new one that includes the phrases "Let's roll," "United We Stand" and "God Bless America."
It should be noted that God is not mentioned on the monument because he/she/it did not die on 9/11/2001 instead having passed away back on Apr. 8, 1966. No. Really. You can look it up.
Hopefully someone will mention to Len that the Arizona memorial was built with private funds and that, if he doesn't like it, he can fuck off; something he is apparently quite good at.
Paul Mirengoff reports from the today's Rightwing Daisy Chain that everyone was impressed by the fact that, if you hold their echo chamber up to your ear, the cognitive dissonance sounds like the ocean which can be quite soothing if you're cowardly platitudinous windbag. Oh, and he also laid down Miregoff's First Rule of Etiquette:
I consider it in poor taste, and too partisan, to hurl obscenities at people one disagrees with or to refer to the President of the United States (or anyone else) as a "smirking chimp".
You dumb shit, he didn't get access using a fake name, he used his real name. You lefties' concern for White House security is really touching, but you know what, you stupid asshole, I think the Secret Service has it covered. Go crawl back into your hole, you stupid left-wing shithead. And don't bother us anymore. You have to have an IQ over 50 to correspond with us. You don't qualify, you stupid shit.
The rest of the panel agreed to enforce John's proposal for a baseline IQ of fifty and then they spoke very slowly and asked Bryan Preston and Dan Riehl to leave the room. I understand that cookies were offered and accepted.
And , no big surprise here; an angry, livid, possibly rabid George Bush lied again:
"We'll let history judge all the different finger-pointing and all that business. I don't have enough time to finger-point," he said at a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Pardon me for pointing it out. But thirty years later remembering a brief distant conversation outdoors by a pond, isn't it quite possible Taylor heard the word neighbors, as opposed to the other? I doubt he'd hold up on the stand in a court of law.
The Allen camp released a statement from Allen's first wife refuting Taylor's story. Anne Waddell, who was married to Allen from 1980 to 1984, said she recalled Taylor coming to their home to buy a puppy.
"I can say with absolute certainty that his recollection that George said anything at all that could be considered racially insensitive is completely false," she said. "He would never utter such a word."
Waddell said, "I was the one who fished for the turtles in our pond because they were eating the young goslings. The person who ate the turtles was our neighbor."
I didn't think it was possible but I'm starting to feel sorry for Dan Riehl.
Republican lawmakers and the White House agreed over the weekend to alter new legislation on military commissions to allow the United States to detain and try a wider range of foreign nationals than an earlier version of the bill permitted, according to government sources.
As a result, human rights experts expressed concern yesterday that the language in the new provision would be a precedent-setting congressional endorsement for the indefinite detention of anyone who, as the bill states, "has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" or its military allies.
The definition applies to foreigners living inside or outside the United States and does not rule out the possibility of designating a U.S. citizen as an unlawful combatant. It is broader than that in last week's version of the bill, which resulted from lengthy, closed-door negotiations between senior administration officials and dissident Republican senators. That version incorporated a definition backed by the Senate dissidents: those "engaged in hostilities against the United States."
The new provision, which would cover captives held by the CIA, is more expansive than the one incorporated by the Defense Department on Sept. 5 in new rules that govern the treatment of detainees in military custody. The military's definition of unlawful combatants covers only "those who engage in acts against the United States or its coalition partners in violation of the laws of war and customs of war during an armed conflict."
The president got everything he wanted. What he calls the "program" -- and which much of the world calls "torture" -- will continue unabated, arguably even stronger, as a result of this legislative "compromise." In his celebratory statement Thursday night, the president was absolutely right when he said: "I had a single test for the pending legislation, and that's this: Would the CIA operators tell me whether they could go forward with the program, that is a program to question detainees to be able to get information to protect the American people. I'm pleased to say that this agreement preserves the most single -- most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks, and that is the CIA program to question the world's most dangerous terrorists and to get their secrets."
The White House's Dan Bartlett put it best, and most accurately, when he said: "We proposed a more direct approach to bringing clarification. This one is more of the scenic route, but it gets us there." Only the Bush administration could speak of taking a "scenic route" to torture. But Bartlett's description, creepy and chilling though it may be, is not mere spin designed to make a compromising president look triumphant. Bush, in fact, did triumph and did not compromise in any meaningful sense, because the only goal he had -- to ensure that his "alternative interrogation program" would continue -- was fulfilled in its entirety as a result of this "compromise" (with the added bonus that it will even be strengthened by legal authorization from Congress).
This is how the world sees us:
In America they torture people, including their own, in secret prisons.
This has become my major issue with air travel, worse even than having to throw away my shaving cream and toothpaste. (Want a stock tip? Invest in a company that makes really, really small toiletries.) The airports of America--as far as I can tell, there aren't any exceptions--have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN's outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don't have any choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the volume is turned up so loud that you can't miss a single snarky attack on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I'd rather be waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?
This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the Democratic Party is the "home team" of American politics. CNN is the "official" news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be: we can't do that, Fox is conservative! It isn't, actually, for the most part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of the road, and suitable for infliction--like it or not--on the air travelers of America.
From Dan Riehl we get the weakest defense yet of Senator George "Never Going To Be President" Allen. Riehl calls the stories about Allen a "lynching". Nice try but Clarence Thomas shot that wad (as well as many other others so we hear) oh so many years ago:
The New York Times appears to want to complete the lynching of Senator George Allen of Virginia for an alleged racist remark.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 — Two acquaintances of Senator George Allen of Virginia said today that he had used racially inflammatory language in the 1970’s and 1980’s, compounding allegations of racial insensitivity that have dogged his re-election campaign since he referred to a young Indian-American as “macaca” a few weeks ago. Mr. Allen said he had never used the language attributed to him by the acquaintances.
Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor at Alabama University in Birmingham, Ala., said that in the early 1980’s he heard Mr. Allen use an inflammatory epithet for African Americans. Mr. Taylor, who is white and was then a graduate student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said the term came up in a conversation about the turtles in a pond near Mr. Allen’s property. According to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Allen said that “around here” only the African Americans — whom he referred to by the epithet — “eat ‘em.”
Color me skeptical, but I believe Anthropologist Christopher Taylor is pictured above with his wife Esperance during a field trip in Rwanda. I say skeptical as Taylor's speciality is African Studies. It's a little difficult to imagine he's the type of guy one would want to hang around the pond and crack wise with about race....
From the end of the article that Dan couldn't seem to get through:
Mr. Taylor, the Alabama professor, said he was “kind of taken aback” by Mr. Allen’s language because it was their first meeting and Mr. Allen knew he was talking to a graduate student in anthropology. “Most of us are antiracist,” Mr. Taylor said.
Still, Mr. Taylor said, he did not give Mr. Allen “a moral lesson.” Mr. Taylor said he had come to pick up an Australian shepherd puppy and left with the dog.
So it doesn't look like Taylor was standing around spittin' and shootin' the shit with Allen.I will give Dan extra points for finding a picture of Taylor with his wife who is, uh, you know, one of "those", which is always suspect.
The above comes out in two weeks. I haven't read it and I'll admit that I really don't know anything about it other than the fact that it's being published by William Morrow which gives me hope since we don't have a Regnery of our own.
POLITICSCENTRAL will host a panel discussion/reception at the National Press Club in Washington DC on September 26. ( 5:30PM cocktail reception / 6:30 Panel - note time change). Topic: “How Partisan Is Too Partisan?” Confirmed panelists so far: Michael Barone (US News), Paul Mirengoff (Powerline), Tom Bevan (Real Clear Politics), Mark Blumenthal (The Mystery Pollster). Moderator: Glenn Reynolds.
Watch this space for more surprise panelists and guests as they develop… Just added: Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Jane Hall of Fox News Watch. Nidra Poller from Paris! Richard Miniter. (This event will be videotaped and podcast.
Thank goodness that they invited the Ole Perfesser to moderate lest they lean too far to the right and fall off the dais.
Cry memento mori! and let slip the gibbering Malkin Monkeys
It would seem that people in this country can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that 9/11 is the sole property of wingnuts because it gives them a reason to hate and with that, a reason to live. Jesus people, get with the program, and I don't care if you were personally affected by that day. This event is not yours. And god forbid that any community attempt to memorialize 9/11 without the express written permission of Major League Wingnuttia, LLC.
We speak, of course, of the 9/11 memorial in Phoenix that has the usual suspects in foam-flecked sputtering outrage because the memorial is either "stomach-churning" (Malkin), a "hateful piece of shit" (Ace Spades) - well, write what you know, I always say. You see, the quotes o the memorial don't include phrases like "If they're brown, flush them down", "It's Bill Clinton's fault", or "BUSH RULZ!!!" but they instead express "the tragic losses of life and the inspiration, heroism and lessons learned that day".
What the fuck!
Everyone knows that the only way to observe 9/11 is with a brief moment of silence before setting off into the world like a heavily sugared-up two year-old with a claw hammer. What is it with this doubt and lack of absolute moral clarity? Lessons? We're Americans, we don't 'do' lessons. Lessons are for countries that are unwilling to spend billions of dollars and sacrifice the members of their military in a futile attempt to confer manhood upon their chickenhawk leaders. As Americans it is our manifest destiny to keep charging ahead secure in the knowledge that the world will recognize that what is best for us may not neccesarily be best for them, but it is still best for us.
And it's bad enough that the people of Arizona don't seem to recognize this, but add to the fact that the memorial Is. In. The. Shape. Of. A. Crescent. and, well, it's pretty obvious that Arizona is a state full of deeply unserious people.
Monday morning at 11 a.m. we will be at Janet Napolitano's anti-American 9/11 Memorial at Wesley Bolin Plaza, 17th Avenue and Washington, to discuss the need for this outrageous monument to come down.
Hmmmm. Trying to make this into a campaign issue for Napolitano? I wonder why? Oh yeah.
In an election for Governor of Arizona today, 9/19/06, incumbent Democrat Janet Napolitano defeats Republican challenger Len Munsil, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KPNX-TV Phoenix. Today, 7 weeks to the 11/7/06 election, Napolitano leads by 16 points, 56% to 40%. Napolitano is up by 27 points among women and by 5 points among men. 91% of Democrats and 70% of Independents support Napolitano. 23% of Republicans cross over to vote for the Democrat. Munsil leads 3:1 among Arizona's Conservatives, who make up 35% of the electorate. But Napolitano's 50-point lead among Moderates and 69-point lead among Liberals is too much for Munsil to overcome. Napolitano is up by 19 points in Metro Phoenix, by 12 points in the Tucson area, and by 10 points in the rest of AZ. Munsil does best among the least educated voters. Napolitano does best among the most educated voters.(my emphasis)
Although next door to Arizona, I'm not really up to date on the local political scene although I do remember Evan Mecham:
He finally won in 1986, which opened an ominous chapter in Arizona history. Known for his outspoken conservative stance, he would be impeached from office after only a year. He would be known as the governor who canceled Martin Luther King Jr. Day, defended the word "pickaninny" as well as other racist remarks, bizarre paranoid behaviour such as declaring John Kolbe of the Phoenix Gazette a "non-person", and causing such turmoil as to prevent a Super Bowl from coming to town. Losses to the state approached $500 million, including $200 million from the NFL's decision to move the Super Bowl.
A recall petition was begun by those who disagreed with his political stances. The final number of people who signed was over twice what was needed in the time allotted. An election was scheduled by the Secretary of State, but calls for impeachment had already arisen due to illegalities he committed while campaigning for governor and while in office. Mecham was impeached for for allegedly concealing a large campaign contribution ($350,000), misuse of funds for a state loan of $80,000 to his Mecham Pontiac dealership, and obstruction of justice by ordering the head of the state police to refuse cooperation to the attorney general in a criminal investigation. Mecham had also been indicted criminally for allegedly concealing an illegal campaign contribution of $350,000 from controversial attorney Barry Wolfson, then being investigated by the attorney general along with his partner, Hubert V. Gregan, for an alleged arbitrage scam. Under the terms of the agreement Mecham had written Wolfson a letter stating the arrangement would remain confidential." Wolfson had wired the money into a special Mecham campaign bank account created solely for these transactions. That contribution, coming as it did in the final days of the campaign, had made Mecham's victory possible. Mecham was impeached February 9, 1988 just days after his state of the state address. He was found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and removed from office April 4, 1988.
Mecham was acquitted in the criminal trial on all counts. He made another attempt to win the Republican nomination for governor of Arizona in 1989, but he could not overcome his reputation or raise enough money for his campaign. Mecham is still a force in Arizona conservative politics and is still able to influence conservative voters despite his impeachment.
Resigned on September 7, 1997 after convicted of fraud September 3, 1997.
"Republican J. Fife Symington became governor in 1989, but he also encountered legal problems. In 1994 Symington reached a settlement in a lawsuit with the government over charges that as a director of a savings and loan association he had engaged in actions that violated conflict-of-interest laws. Symington paid no money under the settlement and maintained his innocence. Symington was indicted again by a federal grand jury in June 1996 on multiple counts of fraud and extortion. In September 1997 a federal jury convicted Symington on seven felony counts for repeatedly misstating his net worth to financial institutions to obtain loans. By Arizona state law he was forced to resign his position as governor because of the felony convictions. He was succeeded in office by Arizona's secretary of state, Republican Jane Dee Hull. Symington was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and five years' probation, but remained free pending the outcome of an appeal. In 1999 Symington's convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court because a juror had been improperly dismissed during his trial."
BLITZER: Let's move on and talk a little bit about Iraq. Because this is a huge, huge issue, as you know, for the American public, a lot of concern that perhaps they are on the verge of a civil war, if not already a civil war…. We see these horrible bodies showing up, tortured, mutilation. The Shia and the Sunni, the Iranians apparently having a negative role. Of course, al Qaeda in Iraq is still operating.
BUSH: Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there's a strong will for democracy. (emphasis added)
Now playing the Bible Belt circuit Okay...okay...so this minister and his mom walk into an outhouse...
I'm glad to see that Jerry Falwell, has finally learned how to make a joke
The Rev. Jerry Falwell acknowledged on Sunday saying that if Hillary Rodham Clinton were the Democrats' presidential nominee in 2008, it would motivate conservative evangelical Christians to oppose her more than if the devil himself were running.
Falwell said in a telephone interview that his comments to several hundred pastors and religious activists at the "Value Voter Summit" conference were "totally tongue-in-cheek."
"I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate," Falwell said at a breakfast session Friday in Washington. "I hope she's the candidate, because nothing will energize my (constituency) like Hillary Clinton," he said. "If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't."
Clinton press secretary Philippe Reines said Sunday, "Working for someone who believes in the Golden Rule, we're not going to engage in such vitriolic discourse -- but it seems that a new low has been reached in demonizing political opponents."
Falwell told the AP that he did not intend to demonize the former first lady. "That was totally tongue-in-cheek and everyone in the building knew that and everyone laughed," Falwell said.
And yes, that's a hoot and all that, but here's one that's a real knee-slapper about Jerry losing his virginity:
Jerry Falwell: My first time was in an outhouse outside Lynchburg, Virginia
Interviewer: Wasn’t it a little cramped?
Falwell: Not after I kicked the goat out.
Interviewer: I see. You must tell me all about it.
Falwell: I never really expected to make it with Mom, but then after she showed all the other guys in town such a good time, I figured, "What the hell!"
Interviewer: But your Mom? Isn’t that a little odd?
Falwell: I don’t think so. Looks don’t mean that much to me in a woman.
Interviewer: Go on.
Falwell: Well, we were drunk off our God-fearing asses on Campari, ginger ale and soda—that’s called a Fire and Brimstone—at the time. And Mom looked better than a Baptist whore with a $100 donation
Interviewer: Campari in the crapper with Mom. how interesting.. .Well how was it?
Falwell: The Campari was great but mom passed out before I could come.
Interviewer: Did you ever try it again?
Falwell: Sure. Lots of times. But not in the outhouse. Between Mom and the shit, the flies were too much to bear.
Interviewer: We meant the Campari.
Falwell: Oh, yeah, I always get sloshed before I go to the pulpit. You don’t think I could lay down all that bullshit sober do you?
From Hart's The October Surprise at The Huffington Post.
It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.
He goes on to suggest that Special Forces are already on the ground refining target data. Thank you, Gary - I'm certain if true, they will greatly appreciate your pointing it out to the world.
Hart's ship sailed long before we had to endure much of his Monkey Business. When we tackle Iran's nuclear ambitions isn't a matter for political debate, it's a matter of strategic timing. As I posted yesterday, we appear to already have begun deployment of naval resources necessary for a military strike.(my emphasis)
I'd go farther in defense of President Bush, too. The record is clear that he believed more effective, definitive action needed to be taken against al Qaeda and ordered a plan for such action to be prepared early in his Presidency. As I recall, such a plan was either just complete or almost so, when the terrorists struck first. Also, while one can argue that Bush didn't act aggressively enough soon enough, he didn't pass on an opportunity to collar bin Laden, as Clinton did.
On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.
That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.
"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."
Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002.
But George Bush has always been soft on catching terrorists, particularly when it conflicts with his invade Iraq agenda:
Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who was in the White House as the National Security Council's director for combatting terrorism at the time, said an NSC [National Security Council] working group, led by the Defense Department, had been in charge of reviewing the plans to target the [Zarqawi's] camp. She said the camp was "definitely a stronghold, and we knew that certain individuals were there including Zarqawi." Ms. Gordon-Hagerty said she wasn't part of the working group and never learned the reason why the camp wasn't hit. But she said that much later, when reports surfaced that Mr. Zarqawi was behind a series of bloody attacks in Iraq, she said "I remember my response," adding, "I said why didn't we get that ['son of a b-'] when we could."
[Retired] Gen. [John M.] Keane [then-U.S. Army vice chief of staff] characterized the [Zarqawi's] camp "as one of the best targets we ever had," and questioned the decision not to attack it.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI (NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent): With today's attacks, al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to Al Qaeda, is blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq. But NBC News has learned that long before the war, the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist group, Ansar al-Islam, perhaps kill Zarqawi himself, but never pulled the trigger. June 2002, U.S. government officials say intelligence revealed that Zarqawi and members of Al Qaeda had set up a weapons lab at Kirma in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide. The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp and sent them to the White House, where, say government sources, the plans were debated to death.
MIKLASZEWSKI: Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe. The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then, the administration had set its course for war with Iraq.
ROGER CRESSEY (NBC terrorism analyst): People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow [former Iraqi leader] Saddam [Hussein] than to execute the president's [Bush's] policy on preemption against terrorists.
MIKLASZEWSKI: And despite the Bush administration's tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi's killing streak continues today.
I guess all deeply serious people can agree that George Bush has never acted agressively enough when it comes to catching the terrorists because he's too busy creating new terrorists...
The Legacy of President George W. Bush Attacked and still not doing a fucking thing...
Atrios has the transcript up of Bill Clinton's interview with putative journalist Chris Wallace. Go read it here.
Clinton: Let's see what Richard Clarke said. Do you think Richard Clarke has a vigorous attitude about bin Laden?
Wallace: Yes, I do.
Clinton: You do, don't you?
Wallace: He has a variety of opinions and loyalties, but yes. (CROSS TALK)
Clinton: He has a variety of opinions and loyalties now, but let's look at the facts: he worked for Ronald Reagan, he was loyal with him; he worked for George H.W. Bush, he was loyal to him; he worked for me, and he was loyal to me; he worked for President Bush, he was loyal to him. They downgraded him and the terrorist operation.
Now, look what he said -- read his book and read his factual assertions -- not opinions, assertions. He said we took vigorous action after the African embassies, we probably nearly got bin Laden ...
No, no -- I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tenet that President (Bush) gave the medal of freedom to, and he said he did a good job setting up all these counter terrorism things. The country never had a comprehensive anti-terror operation until I came there.
Now if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan -- which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible. While I was there, they refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in in helicopters, refuel at night. Even the 9/11 commission didn't do that.
Watch those eyes bulge. There’s a Legacy at stake here, and no one, least of all Chris Wallace, is going to jeopardize that.
And he's right, there is a legacy at stake here, but that legacy belongs to President George W. Bush who ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden. His National Security Advisor was warned about bin Laden, Richard Clarke was right there. And... they... did... nothing.
They went on a one month vacation after only eight months in office.
Young, dumb and full of talking points The closest he's ever been to a negro
If there is one thing that is wrong with Republicans, besides the fact that they are lying opportunistic racist cowards , it's that they have too many Ben's. In comments earlier today it was pointed out that The Virgin Ben™ had appeared on MSNBC; but as you can see from the screenshot above, it was a different Virgin Ben (possibly v2.0). This model is named Ben Ferguson or Project MopTop.
Besides the fact that they look alike, they also laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike -- you can lose your mind, when wingnuts are three of a kind --- there are some differences.
In the interests of clarity, we present your guide to The Deceptive Bens
This is the Original Not-To-Be-Duplicated-Until-He-Achieves-Penetration and No-It-Has-To-Be-With-A Girl Virgin Ben Shapiro: Wrote a poorly sourced book. Doesn't know how to tie his shoes
And this is Ben Ferguson: My buddies are dying so that I can speak in their place
RHODES: Listen, you should be in Iraq. You're 22. When I was 22, I was in the military. Why aren't you there?
FERGUSON: I'm 24 years old.
RHODES: Why aren't you there? Then go.
FERGUSON: And just because I support something doesn't mean I have to always go fight.
RHODES: You go. You go. Go ahead. You go and then you come back because you know what happens when we come back?
FERGUSON: I support the Yankees doesn't mean I wear their uniform.
And this is Ben Domenech: Accrued no vacation time at the Washington Post.
A plagiarist who's also a director over at RedState and now edits The Critical which bills itself as "a new quarterly journal edited by Ben Domenech and featuring some of the best writing from the blogosphere".
We assume that the "best writing" that is represented in The Critical is credited to the original authors because, well, you know...
...what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two Another big, big book. Due Nov. 21
If the Christianist playa-haters do let us have a Christmas this year (and thank G-d it is so important to John Gibson that Christmas continue that he insisted that his publisher remainder his book so it could reach more people), I want this.
Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.
With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.
The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.
As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them.
Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.
Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck.
You know those guys who go to public parks and put on their homemade padding and armor and practice their medieval sword fighting techniques so that they'll be in shape for the next Renaissance Faire? Well imagine if one them was a bright twelve year-old who had read up on Wicca and libertarianism. And imagine if he had written a book. You'd end up with this.
Possibly the worst book I have ever attempted to read, although it does have the virtue of being unintentionally hilarious. Forty pages in and I have a cramp in my head from rolling my eyes.
What the hell was I thinking when I bought this?
(added) Go here and type in horn on the belly in search and read for about two pages.
"Grave breaches," the kinds of heinous abuses that should be prosecuted if they are visited on detainees during questioning or otherwise, will be spelled out in the war crimes act. The president, whose interpretation of treaty obligations is supreme in our system, will also issue orders outlining lesser forms of abuse that, while they will not result in prosecution, are to be avoided. Our interrogators will know what the rules are, and variations from them will be the subject of internal discipline.
In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them," he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking.
On Sunday, Trudeau's cartoon "Doonesbury" featured fictional character Mark Slackmeyer explaining the President's position against current anti-torture legislation by revisiting a series of 1967 Yale Daily News articles that exposed DKE's rush activities, which at the time included brandings and alleged beatings. Soon after these stories were published, the University's Inter-Fraternity Council fined the fraternity for performing "physically and mentally degrading acts," and the Times published an article in which Bush defended the brandings, comparing them to cigarette burns.
"At the time, it caused quite a stir on campus, even generating some national attention," Trudeau said.
The News article, published Nov. 3, 1967, featured a photograph of a half-inch high "D" burned into a pledge's naked backside. Trudeau drew his first cartoon for the News for the story -- a picture of smiling pledges, naked and bent over at the waist, with a figure holding a DKE branding iron standing over them.
In a News story the next day, Bush is quoted calling the branding "insignificant." He said he did not understand how the News "can assume Yale has to be so haughty not to allow this type of pledging to go on."
Trudeau's recent cartoon comes on the heels of the controversy over Sen. John McCain's Anti-Torture Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill. The amendment, which would outlaw torture and "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody," passed in the Senate 90-9 on Oct. 5, but Bush has threatened to use his first-ever veto on the bill if McCain's provision is included in the final passage.
Trudeau said he drew parallels between Bush's connection to fraternity hazing and his national policy today because he feels that it reveals a lot about the President's philosophy.
"While you can't draw a direct line between a 19-year-old's fraternity activities and national policy … this is part of a larger picture of this administration's belief that the ends justify the means," Trudeau said. "I don't think [Bush] gives much thought to what it means to torture people or how it makes us look in the eyes of the world."
The 1967 Yale Daily News article provided a look into the covert hazing practices of fraternities in general, but focused on the DKE branding. Some pledges at the time told the News their branding was preceded by a physical beating.
"By that time, my body was so numb [from the beatings] that the iron felt good, like a match was being held close to my body," an anonymous DKE pledge told the News in 1967.
"One of the local rituals for children," reported Nicholas D. Kristof of life in Midland, Texas, when George W. was a boy, "were meetings with cookies and milk at the home of a nice old lady who represented the SPCA. The cookies were digested more thoroughly than the teachings."
"We were terrible to animals," recalled [Bush pal Terry] Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush borne turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. "Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them," Throckmorton said. "Or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up."
Kristof made plain that "we" explicitly included George W. Bush, and that George W., the Safari Club International "Governor of the Year" in 1999 for his support of trophy hunting, was the leader among the boys who did it.
When George W. Bush was 16 or so, the frogs in the pond outside his boyhood home in Midland, Texas, weren’t the only targets for his trusty BB gun.
“He said, ‘I’m going to count to 10, and you run all the way down the hall,’ ” the president’s little brother, Neil Bush, recalled at a Republican Party dinner in Provo, Utah, two years ago, according to the Deseret News.
Big brother drawing a bead on his backside must have left a mark, because Neil also told the story to second-graders in Richmond, Va. “I was running as fast as I can with my little lightweight summer pj’s on, and then ‘7, 8, 9, 10!’ Boom! I felt it on my right [butt] cheek,” the Richmond.com news reported his recounting.
Zed & Maynard & the Gimp & Lynn US willing to get medieval on detainees ass's
Exactly what kind of initiation do you have go through to join the Grantville Ladies Garden Club?
Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland backed away from comments he made suggesting that he supports torturing terrorism suspects, but said intelligence agencies should be given latitude to use "the methods necessary" to get information from detainees.
On Tuesday, the Grantville Republican told a Douglas County Chamber of Commerce luncheon that he "voted for torture" and that "we need to get information out of these people the best way we can," the Douglas County Sentinel reported.
He said Wednesday that he should have "put that another way."
"Maybe I shouldn't have said I voted for torture," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I should have said I voted against the anti-torture bill."
Pressed on whether that means he supports torture, he said, "What's torture? Torture is many things to many people ... people have different breaking points."
Asked whether he would support using electric shocks, he said, "Electric shocks are given to people during initiations to different clubs ... Is that torture? I don't know."
Asked about beatings, he said, "Are you talking about tying his hands behind his back and beating him in the head? No, I'm not for that."
Westmoreland criticized the handful of GOP senators, including former Vietnam prisoner of war John McCain, R-Ariz., who are blocking President Bush's effort to reinterpret Geneva Convention protections on detainees.
Okay, I'm drawing a blank here. Exactly which clubs make you fill out an application, provide the names of three sponsors, and then fit you with nipple clamps hooked up to a car battery? I mean, besides the kind of clubs that Jack Ryan would join?
Of course you may remember Westmoreland as Congressman Three Commandments
Fortunately for him, Thou Shalt Not Torture didn't make the cut because God was going for a nice round number...
Pre-Friday Random Ten Just before our love got lost you said I am as constant as a northern star And I said, constantly in the darkness Where's that at? If you want me Ill be in the bar
Looks like the iPod was in a Joni Mitchell mood, but without Joni Mitchell
Rudie Can't Fail - The Clash Five Man Army - Massive Attack Sleep - Godspeed You Black Emperor A Case of You - kd lang Smoke It - The Dandy Warhols Hawkmoon 269 - U2 Under My Skin - Rachel Yamagata Mysterons - Portishead A Case of You - Diana Krall Bottom - Tool
Bonus #11: Robert DeNiro's Waiting - Bananarama and bonus #12 because it's so cool: Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
Not on the list, but this goes out to my good friend, David "Dean' Broder:
I'm not sure but I think Mary Katherine Ham is one of the girls in the video...
Here at DFLSenate, we've checked out Mark Kennedy's supposedly shut down web site. What did we find? It appears that the Kennedy team did not shut down their Internet operation, but rather simply added some quick and dirty code to their web site to make it appear that everything had been taken offline.
Here's the facts on what appears to be a shutdown stunt by the Kennedy campaign.
At the time of this post, you can still read campaign manager Pat Shotridge's blog. Apparently Shortridge's attacks on Amy Klobuchar are so important that they were allowed to survive these so-called precautionary measures.
As for the rest of Kennedy's site, this does not appear to be a legitimate lockdown
Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been cancelled... David St. Hubbins: What? Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's not a big college town
To the disappointment of, well, no one, the San Diego Speaker Series has been cancelled. Why they thought people would pay $65 to sit in a basketball arena and listen to Saint Rudy or Bob Dole is beyond me.
The good news is that for the same price you can get three tickets to see GWAR at the House of Blues and still have money left over for parking.
Sure, they're not as scary as Ann Coulter, but who is?
Bring me the head of a staffer...and a corndog Like me, my readers will swallow anything...
Democratic candidates are best advised that it is not enough to fire staffers for blogging or consorting with bloggers. Ritual disembowelment of the offending party followed by dropping out of the race and renouncing all worldly goods would be a start for the rightwing Hellhounds of Ethics.
One of this year's key Senate races is in Minnesota, where Mark Dayton's retirement leaves an open seat. Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is running against Democrat Amy Klobuchar, an untested candidate who currently serves as Hennepin County Attorney, but has run only one contested race in her life.
Klobuchar is sensitive to crime issues, as violent crime is skyrocketing on her watch in Hennepin County. So she may have been chagrined to learn that a left-wing blogger apparently had hacked into Mark Kennedy's secure server and viewed a prospective Kennedy commercial; that the blogger had passed the login information on to Klobuchar's campaign spokeswoman, Tara McGuinness, last Saturday; that McGuinness watched the illegally-obtained commercial, and then recruited other Klobuchar staffers to view it.
Then again, perhaps Klobuchar wasn't so chagrined. Her office has reported the apparent federal crime to the FBI, and has hung the unnamed blogger and McGuinness out to dry--but only today, four days later, after Klobuchar had completed her scheduled debate with Kennedy, and after the Minneapolis Star Tribune had published a poll that showed her with a big lead.
The Associated Press story on the scandal assures us that, while Klobuchar's most trusted staffers may have committed federal crimes, the candidate herself is innocent. But how do we know that? There are a number of obvious questions that have yet to be answered:
Was the conduct of Klobuchar's staff a federal crime, or was it only unethical?
Why did Amy Klobuchar--who now holds herself out as an exemplar of effective law enforcement--wait for four days to report to the FBI the possible commission of a federal crime by persons associated with her campaign?
...Yadda yadda yadda.
But it's not enough that Klobuchar fired the staffer and apologized because Hinderaker (who is a lawyer, remember) smells a federal crime which looks... like... it... might... be... a bit of a stretch:
Kennedy's campaign manager responded by calling on Klobuchar to answer a long list of questions he said were raised by the revelations. The avowed blogger, Noah Kunin, 24 -- who maintains the political website www.blanked-out.com -- may have cleared up some of them when he came forward.
Goldfarb said the blogger had claimed to have used passwords, but Kunin denied circumventing any computer security measures to find the ad on the website of Kennedy's advertising consultants, Scott Howell and Co. of Dallas.
"It was in no way secure," Kunin said. "I was doing nothing wrong." He also apologized to Klobuchar for causing a diversion from campaign issues.
Several days ago, after Mark Kennedy’s campaign launched the first negative campaign ad against Amy Klobuchar, I decided to research Kennedy’s media consultant, Scott Howell. This research led me to the website of Scott Howell’s consulting company. Several of Scott Howell’s previous political ads for his clients were no longer on this website, nor were they on the websites of his clients.
While searching for political ads, I clicked on a link titled ‘netview,’ which then brought me to another webpage. No other information was requested. I therefore typed in the name ‘Allen.’ Nothing more, nothing less. This redirected me to a webpage containing three pieces of information. Kennedy for Senate, a date, and a hyperlink. Upon clicking the hyperlink, I was directed to the aforementioned political advertisement. At no point in this process did I circumvent or misrepresent myself. The website containing this ad can be accessed by anyone online. It is possible to directly go to this website. It is in no way secured.
CLARIFICATION: The word “Allen” was used because Scott Howell has also been retained by Senator George Allen. No user was asked for.
As a fitting end to this much-ado we submit the calm sensible deeply-serious understated words of John Hinderaker:
The FBI presumably won't conclude its criminal investigation until after November's election, but the voters will have to decide whether they want to be represented in the United States Senate by a woman who is not only powerless to stop the crime wave in Hennepin County, but whose staffers may have contributed to it.