“More than a week after the Ford Motor Co. changed its ad-campaign plans for gay magazines, executives from the automaker met with at least five leaders from LGBT groups in an attempt to quell growing concerns that the company caved in to pressure from an anti-gay group. Ford said it would have an official response by Wednesday.” Get the latest at AmericaBlog.
“A European investigator said Tuesday he has found mounting indications the United States illegally held detainees in Europe but then hurriedly shipped out the last ones to North Africa a month ago when word leaked out.”
Over the weekend, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Post reporters are upset with Dan Froomkin because they think the title of his column confuses readers:
Political reporters at The Post don’t like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin’s “White House Briefing,” which is highly opinionated and liberal. They’re afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter.
But Howell’s column didn’t offer the full story. In an interview today, Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. made clear that the top concern of the paper’s editorial team wasn’t regular readers after all — it was the Bush administration:
We want to make sure people in the [Bush] administration know that our news coverage by White House reporters is separate from what appears in Froomkin’s column because it contains opinion. And that readers of the Web site understand that, too.
The White House knows exactly who is doing political reporting for the Washington Post. The real message Post editors are sending here is that they don’t approve of Froomkin’s content, and that’s a different story altogether.
The prosecutions of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) for money laundering and former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham for bribery have finally converged:
A Texas prosecutor has issued subpoenas for bank records and other information of a defense contractor involved in the bribery case of a California congressman as part of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
District Attorney Ronnie Earle issued subpoenas late Monday afternoon for California businessmen Brent Wilkes and Max Gelwix, records of Perfect Wave Technologies LLC, Wilkes Corp. and ADCS Inc. in connection with a contribution to a fundraising committee at the center of the investigation that led to DeLay’s indictment on money laundering charges.
Former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham resigned in late November after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to companies…
Wilkes, head of Wilkes Corp., is one of four unnamed coconspirators listed in Cunningham’s plea agreement.
Wilkes and DeLay had a very cozy relationship:
Wilkes’ company also hired Alexander Strategies, a consulting firm that employed DeLay’s wife Christine. His private jet company, Group W Transportation, provided flights to DeLay three times.
Small world. Very small.
An analysis of “a little-known government research project shows that black Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger.”
White House Secretary Scott McClellan, today:
MCCLELLAN: I think it’s becoming very clear to the American people in these speeches and in the document we put out just a couple weeks ago that we have a plan for winning and it is the right plan for winning.
Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Bush doesn’t have a clear plan on Iraq, compared to 38 percent who said they believe Bush does have a plan for victory. [CNN Poll, 12/13/05]
[Ed Note: Sen. Daschle will return this afternoon to respond to some of your comments.]
It’s good to be back online with you all.
I have been flabbergasted by the continuing news coming out of the Justice Department. I first wrote on this blog a few weeks ago to discuss the harmful impact that requiring photo IDs would have on the most basic right in this country – the right to vote. Just a couple of weeks later, I returned to Think Progress to discuss how political bureaucrats at the Department of Justice overrode the strong recommendation of experienced DOJ professionals who suggested that the Georgia photo ID law was inconsistent with requirements under the historically successful Voting Rights Act. We have since learned that political bureaucrats at Justice overrode the professionals on the Texas redistricting case, too.
Now, the Justice Department has enacted a policy to not even seek the recommendations of career professionals on cases regarding state compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Republican and Democratic Administrations for decades have sought to insulate this important process from politics by establishing a transparent process shepherded by experienced professionals, not political appointees.
In 2002, we fought to protect the rights of experienced professionals at the new Department of Homeland Security because we felt it was vital that we emphasize the role of experts who are able make decisions based on the merits and for the good of the country, not for the good of a political party. The Bush administration sees government as a mechanism to protect their own interests, not the most basic rights of American citizens.
What is amazing is the Administration does not even hide its intention to completely disregard checks and balances – it sees the historic institutions of our government as vehicles to protect its political equities, not as vehicles to protect Americans’ fundamental rights.
According to one of President Bush’s advisers, Katrina “has fallen so far off the radar screen, you can’t find it.” Meanwhile, Congress has not yet approved funding to repair New Orleans’ broken levee system. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has threatened to keep the Senate in session through holiday recess unless funding is approved for flood protection, and she is backing a D.C. rally tomorrow that hopes to bring attention to the issue.
A group of Katrina evacuees has taken action to counter the federal government’s apathy. In today’s edition of Roll Call, displaced residents of the Lakeview section of New Orleans purchased a full-page ad chastising the response thus far to Katrina. Together, they pooled some $10,000 to purchase the “Message From Homeless New Orleanians,” with the purpose of reviving awareness about their city’s perilous situation.
Here is an excerpt from the ad:
In the past three months, we have become experts at waiting. Waiting for flood waters to recede. Waiting for word from family and friends. Waiting to see what our homes and our city has become. “¦ Now we are waiting on you.
It is fully within your power to spearhead the rebuilding of our flood protection and reclaim one of the nation’s most important cities from ruin. You can secure the Port of New Orleans and the surrounding infrastructure, insuring new commerce and economic opportunity. You can safeguard our lives from storm. You can support legislation that would assist the thousands of underinsured families who have nothing left but hope. All of this is in your power.
It’s truly a sad day when victims of a natural disaster have to purchase ad space to have their voices heard.