of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad if he “doesn’t help us out” with Iraq war.
DeLay continues to insist that one of his “closest and dearest friends,” Jack Abramoff, deceived him. He still claims that he had no knowledge that Abramoff footed the bill for their lavish trip to Britain in 2000. (House Ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting such gifts from lobbyists.) This trip included a golf trip to a resort in Scotland, a performance of “The Lion King,” and stays at fancy hotels.
The one portion of the trip DeLay tries to justify as business is a meeting with Margaret Thatcher:
I’m involved in the conservative movement overseas, too. I went there to meet with Margaret Thatcher and other high-ranking officials talking and working with them on how the conservative party can get back into power.
Lord Bell, Thatcher’s spokesman, had a different story:
Lady Thatcher is visited by many politicians and political figures from around the world….It [the DeLay meeting] was not a business meeting.
If the meeting with Thatcher wasn’t business, what was?
Set your TiVos. Bill O’Reilly targets blogs on tonight’s Factor:
Personal attacks lodged through the internet!
How are so-called “Web logs” being used as ideological weapons? And who’s behind the smear campaigns?
We’ll have a No Spin look at a dangerous new weapon in the culture wars!
We’re sure it will be an informed, reasoned discussion, especially considering O’Reilly doesn’t even read blogs:
AUTHOR BERNARD GOLDBERG: There are some conservatives on the list ["100 People Who Are Screwing Up America"], but there are mostly liberals. And when they could write unanimously on the Web, you know, a review or post.
O’REILLY: Blogs. I don’t even read them. I mean, it’s so outrageous.
GOLDBERG: It’s beyond — it’s beyond vile.
O’REILLY: Let’s go to the — look, that’s just a waste of time. You shouldn’t even read it. It’s garbage. Nobody cares about it. Everybody knows the simpletons who are doing it are cowards and they don’t have any influence. [7/18/05]
UPDATE: Crooks & Liars has more.
On Fox News Sunday, anchor Chris Wallace asked Tom DeLay about the ongoing investigation into the Scottish golf junket he took with Jack Abramoff in 2000. In response, DeLay defended his inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a decent tee time.
Without the Majority Leader workload to deal with, DeLay will again be able to pursue his passion for golf, the “only thing” he does for himself.
WWII troops in an effort to score some cheap poltical points.
In his press conference today, President Bush expressed confusion and disappointment about his standing in the African American community, saying:
I was disappointed, frankly, in the vote I got in the African-American community. I was. I’ve done my best to elevate people to positions of authority and responsibility — not just positions, but positions where they can actually make a difference in the lives of people. I put people in my Cabinet. I put people in my sub-Cabinet.
Maybe President Bush should take a look at the facts if he wants to clear up his confusion:
– Today, 33% of black children live in families under the poverty level.
– Last year, African American households had the lowest median income of any racial group ($30134), down a full percentage point from the year before.
– The unemployment rate for African-Americans is double the rate for white Americans. Over the past six months, the average unemployment rate for white Americans was 4.39 percent; for black Americans, it was 10.06 percent.
– President Bush’s political appointees in the Department of Health and Human Services doctored a report about racial disparities in healthcare. The department deleted a key section detailing racial ”inequalities” and ”disparities” in health care from its findings. Deleted: conclusion by HHS scientists that healthcare disparities are “national problems.” Deleted: key examples of health care disparities, including findings that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, die of HIV and be subjected to physical restraints in nursing homes.
– When a racial profiling report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed African Americans were more likely than whites to have their cars searched or be threatened with force after being pulled over in traffic stops, political supervisers at the bureau ordered the findings deleted. When the study’s author refused, he was fired.
Today, at President Bush’s Rose Garden press conference, a reporter asked him whether he ever discussed the issue of abortion at any point over the course of his long relationship with Harriet Miers. Bush ducked the question, saying: “I have no litmus test. It’s also something I’ve consistently said. There is no litmus test.”
When pressed by the reporter about the specific issue of whether he ever talked about abortion with Miers, he answered with an exaggerated untruth: “Not to my recollection have I ever sat down with her.”
Just a few minutes later in the same press conference, Bush said:
And I know her. I know her heart. I know what she believes. She knows exactly the kind of judge I’m looking for. And I know exactly the kind of judge she’ll be.
We already know that as president of the Texas State Bar in 1993, Miers urged the American Bar Association to reconsider its pro-abortion-rights stance. Her own former campaign manager said Miers opposed abortion rights while running for Dallas City Council in 1989. In 1991, during his confirmation hearings, Clarence Thomas suggested he had never had any discussions on the issue of Roe v. Wade. Forgive us for being skeptical, but why is Bush so afraid of disclosing his Supreme Court nominee’s views on abortion?
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.
Getting back to the leak investigation just for a moment, I’m curious, sir, whether you’ve had any conversations with any of your aides, particularly Karl Rove or Scooter Libby, about any of their dealings with reporters poking around on that issue and any strategy that they may have come up with to deal with that issue.
BUSH: A special prosecutor made it very clear early in the process that those of us in the White House should not discuss the case publicly or privately.
Bush’s response is misleading. He gives the impression that the White House has been instructed by the special prosecutor not to talk about the case. That’s not true. Spokesman Scott McClellan has made clear that the White House was under no specific orders not to speak about the case by the prosecutor.
Col. Stephen Davis, commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team 2, which is responsible for much of western Iraq, quoted in yesterday’s New York Times:
“We’re not going anywhere,” he told the murmuring crowd, adding that as long as there were attacks against Iraqi or American troops the house searches and roadblocks and bridge closings would continue.
“Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire from the base,” he said. “I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace.”