votes 90-9 to define and limit interrogation techniques that U.S. troops may use against detainees at U.S. prison camps.
“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…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,” the AP reports.
Author/blogger David Kline appeared last night on the O’Reilly Factor, purportedly to talk about the role of blogs in modern politics. As Kline noted today on his website, he was very clear with O’Reilly’s producers about what he was interested in discussing:
I told [O'Reilly producer Ron] Mitchell: “Look, if you’re hoping I’m going to trash political blogs as harmful to the country, forget it. Because I think they’re the best thing to happen to American politics since … well, since the advent of the TV talk show. They encourage public participation in the democratic process.”
“Perfect,” said Mitchell. “That’s exactly what we want.”
As it turns out, O’Reilly spent the entire segment smearing political websites and blogs — Media Matters in particular — as “assassins” and “zombies,” and pressing Kline to join in. Given the way O’Reilly introduced the segment, it seems this was his plan all along:
Tonight — political smear sites! They operate on both sides of the political spectrum. There are no rules. These people will do and say pretty much anything to harm people with whom they disagree politically.
But the final insult didn’t come until later:
When I got back to my office after the show, I had a voice mail from O’Reilly Factor producer Rob Monaco:
MONACO: “We just wanted to thank you for appearing on the show. I realize the segment didn’t turn out exactly the way we had discussed, but we think you did a great job. And Bill was very pleased.”
David Safavian, the Bush administration’s former chief procurement official, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on five felony counts of “making false statements and obstructing investigations into high-powered Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff,” the AP reports.
Harriet Miers may have broken through glass ceilings on her way to a Supreme Court nomination, but President Bush’s “work wife” has a long way to go with gender stereotyping in mainstream media coverage. Need proof? Compare news coverage in the days after her nomination with coverage this summer of the John Roberts nomination:
ROBERTS : “A career that had been marked by distinguished and relentless advancement.” (LA Times, 7/25/05)
MIERS: “She’s not somebody who is a gossip.” (AP, 10/4/05)
ROBERTS: “Brilliant but self-deprecating, earnest but not humorless.” (Boston Globe, 7/21/04)
MIERS: “She never misses a birthday.” (LA Times, 10/4/05)
ROBERTS: “Exceptional intellect. Exceptional temperament. A conservative judicial philosophy.” (LA Times, 7/25/05)
MIERS: “She makes a wonderful sweet potato pie. Many marshmallows.” (AP, 10/3/05)
ROBERTS: “Disciplined, self-assured and performance driven.” (Chicago Tribune, 7/24/05)
MIERS: “She would look at you blankly if you mentioned the name of a designer.” (Bloomberg, 10/4/05)
MIERS: “A pit bull in size 6 shoes.” (New York Times, 10/3/05)
ROBERTS: Sorry. No word on what size shoe John Roberts wears.
Ann Coulter isn’t impressed at all by people who go to Ivy League schools:
Like John Roberts, Souter attended church regularly. Souter was also touted for his great intellect. He went to Harvard! And Harvard Law! (Since when does that impress right-wingers? So did Larry Tribe. It is one of the eternal mysteries of the world that liberals are good test-takers.) [7/27/05]
Except when Ann Coulter is only impressed by people who go to Ivy League schools:
[On Harriet Miers, who attended a Methodist university in Texas:] If you’re going to pick somebody who’s your personal lawyer, that person better be especially qualified. … I mean, the historical fact is generally, the most strong conservatives are the ones who did go to the most liberal elite schools. [Fox News, 10/4/05]
Army Secretary Noel Harvey and vice chief of staff Gen. Richard Cody said Monday that the Army was using looser Defense Department rules that permitted it to sign up more high school dropouts and people who score lower on mental-qualification tests, but they denied that this meant it was lowering standards.
The Army has a recruiting shortfall of 6,000 to 8,000 soldiers over the past 12 months. It hasn’t fallen so short of its annual goal since 1979, several years after the Vietnam war.
The problem, Harvey said, is “a combination of three factors: a good economy, the war in Iraq and parents reluctant to see their sons and daughters enlist” because of the war.
The move comes on the heels of a free iTunes offer by the National Guard, debates about military recruitment in high schools, legislation to raise the age limit for active-duty recruits from 35 to 42, recruiters talking to Katrina evacuees, and the appearance of a Marines advertisement on CraigsList.
Rather than putting the focus on broadening the pool of new enlistees, the administration would be better off spending their time developing a clear and reasonable exit strategy. Such a plan might be the most effective recruitment tool of all.
Yesterday morning, right-wing Powerline blogger John Hinderaker (“Hindrocket”) told readers that his partner Paul Mirengoff would be appearing on last night’s O’Reilly segment about bloggers:
Paul will be interviewed on the O’Reilly Factor tonight. It should be a fun conversation, and I’d encourage our readers to tune in.
But later in the day, Paul posted an update, saying that O’Reilly had chosen someone else:
I won’t be appearing on the Factor after all. They’ve decided to take the segment in a different direction.
Which begs the question: If O’Reilly was actually turning guests away, why did he try to smear Media Matters by claiming he had trouble booking anyone for the segment?
These people [bloggers] are so vicious and they — the media is so corrupt in taking their uncorroborated…defamation that most people won’t run for office, sir. They won’t do television and radio commentary. We had to book this segment — I couldn’t get people to come on and say what you guys are saying, because they were afraid that Media Matters would go after them. They — I couldn’t — I had people turn down this segment — a bunch of them. [They said,] ‘What are you, crazy? I’m going to criticize these assassins? They’ll come after me.’ That’s a chilling effect.
UPDATE: As always, much more at Crooks & Liars