Powerful House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who is currently under federal investigation for corruption charges, has “fired 60 investigators who had worked for his committee rooting out fraud, waste and abuse, effective immediately.” According to Congressional Quarterly, “The investigators were contract workers, brought on to handle the extraordinary level of fraud investigations facing the panel.”
“The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today, saying it is inspired by God. ‘He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,’ said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
On Tuesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity told right-wing pundit Bob Novak that “you don’t see as much in the newspapers about this [the Reid land deal], Bob Novak, and I wonder if it would be the same if it was a Republican.” Bob Novak agreed, calling it “one of those strange things.” Watch it:
But in reality, the media have extensively covered the Reid land deal, while ignoring the $207 million earmark House Speaker Dennis Hastert inserted into the 2005 highway bill that greatly increased the value of his property in Illinois:
– CNN has devoted 50 times as much coverage to Reid’s case as to Hastert’s.
– According to a Lexis-Nexis database search, Fox News has mentioned the Reid land deal nine times, but has brought up the Hastert deal just three.
According to Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Scott Lilly, Hastert made an astounding 136 percent a year on what he invested, whereas Reid made an annual return of 29 percent, probably quite typical of the profits made by other Las Vegas real estate investors during the same period.
Reid immediately apologized for the oversight lapse and amended his 2001 disclosure forms. Hastert, on the other hand, has done nothing.
– Kindra Wilson
Full transcript below: Read more
In an apparent effort to deflect controversy from the congressional page scandal, some prominent conservatives have begun baselessly accusing their opponents of being allied with the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
NAMBLA is a group that promotes pedophilia and has called for the “abolition of age-of-consent and all other laws” regarding sexual relations with minors. Some examples:
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA):
Rep. John T. Doolittle — under fire for his connection to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff — has been attacking his Democratic opponent, Charlie Brown, for belonging to the ACLU. To Doolittle, Brown’s membership in the ACLU is enough to characterize him as an extremist liberal, since the group has defended sexual predators such as the North American Man Boy Love Assn. in the past.
“It is astounding that anyone could defend a group dedicated to aiding and abetting pedophiles,” Doolittle said in a recent press release. [LA Times, 10/17/06]
Political pundit Pat Buchanan:
[House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)] has marched in gay pride parades with the North American Man/Boy Love Association, NAMBLA. Which, who are pedophiles who are trying to get the laws repealed for sex between men and boys. If she’s been marching with pedophiles, is she credible standing up there saying I’m shocked, shocked that some Republican is after 17 year old pages? [CNN, 10/8/06]
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R):
With Republican Ken Blackwell trailing by double digits in almost every poll, Blackwell’s campaign Tuesday tried to link his Democratic opponent to child sex predators…
Blackwell also reiterated charges Tuesday that Strickland had voted in stride with the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which supports pedophilia. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/18/06]
Political pundit David Limbaugh:
Does Mrs. Pelosi truly support the National American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) or just proudly march in parades with them and receive 90 percent approval from their enablers in the American Civil Liberties Union? Inquiring minds surely want to know. [Washington Times, 10/12/06]
ABC News reports, “Trandahl planned to name Ted Van Der Meid, [Speaker Hastert's] counsel and floor manager, as the person who was briefed on a regular basis about any issue that arose in the page program, including a ‘problem group of members and staff who spent too much time socializing with pages outside of official duties.’ One of whom was Mark Foley.”
US treasury officials are investigating whether American basketball players who were paid to play for Iranian teams have violated US sanctions. Under the sanctions regime, a special licence is required by any American citizen providing services to Iran… Last year, 20 Americans were contracted to play for Iranian teams. They could now face fines of $50,000 (£26,700). Basketball is a popular sport in Iran, and many saw the Americans’ involvement as a rare example of sport overcoming political tensions. However, this co-operation looks set to end, and there are now only two American players left in Iran.
This seems misguided to me, but whatever. I’ve had the following, probably deeply unoriginal, observation on my chest for weeks now and this seems like a reasonable pretext for unloading. If you look at where baseball is popular outside the USA — primarily Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Caribbean basin — you’re basically looking at a sport that’s spread on the coattails of American “hard power” to regions of the world where there have been large US military deployments. Basketball, by contrast, is most popular in the areas where we haven’t based troops — Brazil and Argentina in Latin America; mainland China in Asia; Eastern and Southern Europe. And, apparently, Iran. What this signifies, I couldn’t say.
Yesterday, President Bush said New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman “could be right” that the current spike of violence in Iraq is “jihadist equivalent” of the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. The event was “widely credited with eroding support for President Johnson” and turning the American public against that war.
President Bush has flatly rejected comparing Vietnam and Iraq as recently as June 2006. In 2004, Bush said such an analogy “sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.” Watch it:
Q: Do you see, as some of your critics do, a parallel between what’s going on in Iraq now and Vietnam?
THE PRESIDENT: No. [6/14/06]
Q: Mr. President, April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy. [4/13/04]
Gilbert Arenas denies allegations of quirkiness. He seems pretty quirky to me. Relatedly, Bethlehem Shoals had an insightful post on how Agent Zero’s eccentricity has gone from being the reason he’s not a marketable star to the mechanism by which people try to market him.
In 1995, just three days into her tenure as Secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, [Rep. Heather] Wilson [R-NM] removed a routine working file alleging that her husband had engaged in inappropriate contact with a minor. The file was then transferred to the department’s attorney in her own Albuquerque office, where it soon went missing.
Brian Beutler has the story.
“A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney’s office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election season debate over lobbyists’ White House access.”