Why McCain Got a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Manage His NYT Push-Back

Bmaz sent me this article the other day, about McCain’s ham-handed attempts to pre-empt news about his wife Cindy’s struggles with addiction. I sent back this passage,

But both of Cindy McCain’s staged, teary drug-addiction confessions have been vintage John McCain. His MO is this: Get the story out — even if it’s a negative story. Get it out first, with the spin you want, with the details you want and without the details you don’t want.

McCain did it with the Keating Five, and with the story of the failure of his first marriage (Cindy is his second wife). So what you recall after the humble, honest interview, is not that McCain did favors for savings and loan failure Charlie Keating, or that he cheated on his wife, but instead what an upfront, righteous guy he is.

Candor is the McCain trademark, but what the journalists who slobber over the senator fail to realize is that the candor is premeditated and polished. [my emphasis]

… Noting how differently McCain has dealt with his Iseman problem. McCain didn’t get the story out first, not even in the three months since it became clear NYT was chasing the story. As a result, McCain’s presser yesterday was an obvious–and ineffective–attempt at cover-up, with none of the candor he affected in his previous attempts to bury his own faults. For some reason, McCain failed to head the Iseman story off when it might do some good.

This Isikoff story reveals part of the reason why McCain didn’t follow his normal MO of heading such scandals off at the pass.

Just hours after the Times’s story was posted, the McCain campaign issued a point-by-point response that depicted the letters as routine correspondence handled by his staff—and insisted that McCain had never even spoken with anybody from Paxson or Alcalde & Fay about the matter. "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," the campaign said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. [snip]

[Floyd] Abrams [] asked [McCain during a deposition for a Mitch McConnell lawsuit fighting McCain’s campaign finance reform]: "Did you speak to the company’s lobbyist about these matters?"

McCain: "I don’t recall if it was Mr. Paxson or the company’s lobbyist or both."

Abrams: "But you did speak to him?"

McCain: "I’m sure I spoke with him, yes."

Isikoff’s article also lays out what has been reported elsewhere–that Iseman gave McCain’s staffers a draft letter to the FCC.

Isikoff’s revelation sure makes it a lot clearer why McCain retained Bob Bennett to try to convince the NYT not to publish this story. Aside from the favors the NYT already owes Bennett, Bennett knows a thing or two about conflict of interest cases–not least from his investigation of McCain during the Keating scandal.

You see, it’s one thing to cry "smear!" and push back against a newspaper that, incidentally, can’t seem to figure out what the narrative of this story is. It’s yet another to represent a client who has given sworn testimony–as McCain has–that this certainly appears to be corrupt.

At another point Abrams asked McCain if, "looking back on the events with Mr. Paxson, the contributions, the jets, everything you and I have just talked about, do you believe that it would have been justified for a member of the public to say there is at least an appearance of corruption here?"

"Absolutely," McCain replied. "And when I took a thousand dollars or any other hard-money contribution from anybody who does business before the Congress of the United States, then that allegation is justified as well. Because the taint affects all of us." Elsewhere McCain said about his dealings with Paxson, "As I said before, I believe that there could possibly be an appearance of corruption because this system has tainted all of us."


Incidentally, given his history of receiving politically motivated leaks, I wonder if Isikoff has had this deposition transcript from back in the day when Republicans still bitter about McCain’s campaign finance work–like Mitch McConnell, who took this lawsuit–were pushing for another candidate to get the Republican nomination. Abrams has been known to leak to journalists as well, though you’d think Bennett would have been able to convince Abrams to keep this under wraps. It sure looks like years of animosity from even more corrupt Republicans is coming back to haunt McCain.

Update: Oh, this will be fun. Copies of McCain’s depositions are here and here.

53 replies
  1. choochmac says:

    Hopefully now that he has been caught lying, the MSM won’t drop it so quick and actually do some investigating on what other lies are in his statement.

  2. bmaz says:

    There may be a bit o bad blood between Bennett and Floyd at this point from the Judy Blew Lies (best name evah) bit; you probably have a better read than me, but I sure got the feeling they were nowhere near on the same page by the end.

    • emptywheel says:

      Hmm. Had not thought about that angle. Note that the deposition is available publicly, so it may not have been Abrams. Though Abrams has been known to give journalists documents available publicly, too.

      Though I could imagine it was McConnell trying to ream McCain, only at a time that was more convenient for him. Who knows. Maybe we’ll see the return of MittMentum.

      • scribe says:

        Re: Depositions available publicly. What is a little-known fact is that depositions are generally pretty freely available. Assuming you can find them. The way its done is find the court reporter who took the testimony and transcribed it. Then pay the court reporter the fee for a copy. It ain’t cheap, and it ain’t always easy to find the reporter, but it is easy once you do. The only times you can’t get the dep transcripts are when (a) the court had entered a protective order precluding disclosure (like sealing, but not as formal) or (b) the passage of time.

        A while back a colleague represented a congresscritter who was called to testify in a deposition as a witness, not a party, in a case involving an intramural Party dispute. I advised him to not let the congresscritter testify, or at least get a protective order, the latter either by invoking Speech and Debate – even though it was probably the weakest argument for Speech and Debate ever made and getting the judge to enter an order or getting a consent order. The critter declined any such protection and I reminded him that, at some point, that transcript will have found its way to a file cabinet in one of Rover’s back offices – even though (honestly applied) it couldn’t hurt the critter a bit.

        re: Whose fingerprints? I’ve been smelling Newt around this mess since jump. Either he’s orchestrating an Eagleton-type scenario so he (or one chosen by him) can replace the “not-a-real conservative” McBush, or he’s working to unify the party behind the presumptive nominee. If the latter, it’s working so far.
        There’s little doubt in my mind that Keller held the story in December to help the Rethugs. Maybe to make sure it would have some impact. Maybe also to make sure Mittens (or Huckster) would not get the nod. Think back to those days before Christmas – Mittens the apparent nominee, McBush dead on his feet, Rudy Cue Ball’s feet of clay only starting to show themselves in the “more you see him, less you like him” way, Huckster sitting in front of a cross in a TV ad and putting everyone into a tizzy. If McBush had been hit with this story then, he would be gone now. And Mittens would have won an impressive string of primaries, but likely Huck would have actually won more than he did – and been in a position to dictate how the convention turned out.
        Just some tea leaves, there.

        re: Service Academy grads, lying and McBush.The grads of the various service academies might not like it, but if they have any sense of integrity, they’ll have to acknowledge this: the honor code they came through school under* does not make them any more honest than they would have been without it. But it can, and does, make better liars. An honest man will not need that code. A dishonest man, to survive under it, has to become a better, more skilled dissembler, liar, cheat and thief.

        I did my service with a bunch of Academy grads in my unit. The ones who were bullshitters and liars were very good at it. The ones who wanted to avoid inconvenient issues were very good at reframing the discussion and avoiding making direct statements that would have had to have been dishonest. The honest ones were honest.

        And now, we see what the character of John McBush was all along: there is little truth in him. Not that his performance whoring himself out for Bushie’s torture bills was out of character.

        (* e.g. “I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”)

  3. maryo2 says:

    It was sweet to see Floyd Abrams on his son’s show last night. “This is Floyd Abrams, I call him Dad.” Aah.

  4. IrishJIm says:


    I have formally dugg your article. I subtitiled it: Just because I wrote a letter to the FCC in exchange for campaign donations and rides on corporate jets with a pretty blonde lobbyist, does not make me corrupt.

    Interesting that the whole GOP theme has been blame the “liberal” media. When in fact the sources have come straight from the GOP. Why hasn’t anyone looked into the Huckabbee campaign? We need to nip this liberal media meme in the bud. IMHO

    • Peterr says:

      It was out in the TNR backstory piece yesterday:

      In early December, according to sources with knowledge of the events, Thompson requested a meeting with Bennett to arrange access to the senator and to discuss why the Republican presidential candidate had sought out a criminal lawyer in the first place. Bennett agreed to meet, and on the afternoon of December 18, Labaton, Rutenberg, and Thompson arrived at his Washington office. During a one-hour meeting, according to sources, Bennett admonished the Times reporters to be fair to McCain, especially in light of the whisper campaign that had sundered his 2000 presidential bid in South Carolina. He told them that he would field any questions they had, and promised to provide answers to their queries. Of the reporters in the room, Bennett knew Labaton the best. In the 1990s, Labaton had covered the Whitewater investigation, and Bennett viewed him as a straight-shooting, accurate reporter who could be reasoned with. Rutenberg he knew less well, and Bennett was miffed that Rutenberg had been calling all over Washington asking probing questions about McCain and his dealings with Iseman. The rumors were bound to get out.

      Two days after that meeting, on December 20, news of the Times’ unpublished investigation burst into public view when Matt Drudge posted an anonymously sourced item on the Drudge Report. “MEDIA FIREWORKS: MCCAIN PLEADS WITH NY TIMES TO SPIKE STORY,” the headline proclaimed; the story hinted around the core of the allegations and focused on Keller’s decision to hold the piece. “Rutenberg had hoped to break the story before the Christmas holiday,” the item said, quoting unnamed sources, “but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.”

      Immediately, the media pounced on the budding scandal. “If John McCain has hired Bob Bennett as his lawyer,” one commentator said on Fox News, “that’s a big–you don’t hire Bob Bennett to knock down a press story. You hire Bob Bennett because you have serious legal issues somehow.” On MSNBC, Pat Buchanan speculated that the Times newsroom was the source of the leak. “They’ve been rebuffed and rebuffed on this story, and they say we’ve had it, and they go around then and Drudge pops it just like he popped the Monica Lewinsky story first.”

      *setting glass down first*

      Buchanan sounds like he might be right on that.

      *picking up glass, taking largish drink*


      Agreeing with a Buchanan — either Pat or Bay — can’t be good for you. If I keep doing that, one of these days I’m going to hurt myself.

  5. maryo2 says:

    Suppose one were an environmentalist. They found politicians with similar interests and sent him/her literature to better educate themselves on the issue. The politician writes an official letter (not hidden from the public) to the Congressional Committee who is considering legislation.

    I don’t see what is illegal or unseemly about that. Is the issue with McCain a particular vote change that signals he was bought?

    If the whole issue is “McCain is not as honest as he would have people believe” then duh. Where’s the beef?

    “No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC,”
    This is true because Iseman gave her draft letter to McCain’s staff (not to John McCain himself). And Mr. Paxson is not “a representative of Paxson” – he IS Paxson.

  6. malcontent says:

    It seems to me that McCain’s different method of response this time can also be explained by collusion with the NYTimes. We know that Drudge had already scooped them and the info was eventually going to resurface, and theNYTimes endorsed McCain so…

    The timing of the story is causing the least amount of damage possible to his campaign. He’s now got the GOP nomination locked and it will be old news during the general election.

    Kabuki redux.

    • randiego says:

      Yep, I think they like the timing now – they have time to knock it down before the general, and a month or two ago it likely would have hurt him against Mitt or Huck. Funny how the headline thing with the flashing sirens guy (he who shall not be named) never got traction.

  7. FrankProbst says:

    I think Team McCain has to realize that they’re in quite a bit of trouble here. The NYT story had two prongs to it: Sex and power. The sex part was that McCain’s own staff that he was having sex with a lobbyist, they confronted him on it, and the even told the lobbyist to take a hike. The power part was that McCain was doing favors (writing letters to the FCC) for this same lobbyist.

    McCain’s response was a blanket denial of just about everything. Big mistake. You know it’s bad when reporters are calling bullshit on you and you have to reverse yourself during your own press conference. His statements on this whole matter to date have been–at best–evasive. That’s the kiss of death to someone whose entire persona is that of a “straight talker”. The press is going to keep digging, and they’re going to find more and more “inconsistencies” in his statements. I think he could have survived the “NYT smear job” unscathed. It’s his own lies that are going to come back to haunt him.

  8. maryo2 says:

    Apologies, harsh questions to follow –

    In a nutshell, Zionist Jews are trying to buy McCain so they can control the US media?

    But instead we talk about a Ms. Iseman, because we can’t say the J word??

  9. oldtree says:

    Can Bush pardon McCain prior to his being charged? I am sure Shooter is trying to find loopholes for his martial law plans and is too busy to help. Be pretty nice icing to have the GOP pres nominee either indicted for vast corruption, a squirrel eating hillbilly that admits he is both, or a mormonic hair sample that suspends his campaign so he can try to recoup some of his 40 million sold.
    fascinating stuff. how do these people sleep at night?

  10. Slothrop says:

    Yes, it’s a 2-hearted scandal.
    There’s the basic corruption of accepting money in return for favors.
    Then, there’s the sleazy acceptance of sexual favors in return for, well, money.
    Whoa baby.

  11. Ishmael says:

    McCain hasn’t seen so much flak since he got shot down over VietNam – although that time he really was being targeted by “commie leftists who hated America” instead of the ones they pretend exist at the New York Times. He seems to have really walked into a perfect storm this week on all his signature issues – possible sex scandal, consorting with lobbyists and doing their bidding, he has sullied his campaign finance reform credibility by getting into a fight with the FEC (and perhaps more damaging to his ability to pull out of this tailspin, he may have locked the Republican party into spending limits for the next six months – even though we know they’ll ignore them, it still keeps the subject alive), Isikoff has come up with a reverse-perjury trap deposition a la Paula Jones (except he likely told the truth under oath), and the only thing that seems to be saving him from complete immolation at this point is his vaunted base in the press. All in one week – hard to believe that this was not all choreographed in some way, even Bill Clinton didn’t have weeks like this, it usually got spread over months.

    • bmaz says:

      McCain hasn’t seen so much flak since he got shot down over VietNam – although that time he really was being targeted by “commie leftists who hated America”

      McCain was the worst pilot in the freaking Navy. The VC could have saved their ordnance; McCain probably would have crashed his plane all by himself. Ever hear of this nightmarish incident on the USS Forrestal? Here is a video (lousy video, but shows how bad the situation the article describes was).

      • freepatriot says:

        McCain was the worst pilot in the freaking Navy

        he makes a DAMN FINE pinata though …

        some people just got different talents, that’s all

        mccain always wanted to be the repuglitard candidate real bad

        now he’s the repuglitard candidate, real bad

        at least Gore and Kerry get off the top of the “Worst Campaign Ever” list*

        *as bad as mccain’s candidacy is doing, he already lost that race too: I give the new champ, rudi gholiani

  12. Minnesotachuck says:

    OT, but for those of us who remember 11/22/63 this headline from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram is just plain, f**King scary: “Police concerned about order to stop weapons screening at Obama rally”. According to the piece, the Secret Service supposedly ordered the Dallas police to stop screening for weapons over an hour before the Wednesday’s rally began. The Dem Congress Critters ought to start an investigation ASAP of who gave that order and why!

    h/t to Echidne.

    • LS says:

      Pretty scary indeed, but not surprising. The only good thing is that they know it was Secret Service…so fingers need to point there…before something happens.

      • Sara says:

        Remember, Secret Service is now within the Department of Homeland Security, a place with the competence of Heck of a good Job Brownie. I believe oversight in the Senate of DHS belongs to Joe Lieberman’s committee.

        Maybe it is time for Harry Reid to tell Joe to get off the campaign trail and do some needed oversight given his committee responsibility.

        And yes, the generation hat watched the sequence of JFK and Malcolm, then MLK and RFK have reason to demand sufficent metal scanners and purse searchers at every venue where Obama appears. No Katrina style security wheel spinning — and that message needs to be loud.

        • prostratedragon says:

          I believe oversight in the Senate of DHS belongs to Joe Lieberman’s committee.


          And going back at least to the Kennedy stops at the airport someone has shown a tendency to indulge nasty little bits of mischief. I’ll be glad to see the campaigns move on from TX.

    • trianarael says:

      Two things immediately came to mind. First, echoes of the prelude to the Bhutto assassination, and second, the longstanding, deep and mostly hidden connections of the Bush family in Texas.

      • rosalind says:

        or they had too few screeners, the line was backing up, and in order to get everyone in on time a judgment call was made.

        not excusing the secret service at all, every person should go through a search, just know from working in rock’n’roll production that getting thousands of people searched and inside the door does not always go as planned. in particular if you start an event with thousands of people still waiting to get in, you can trigger a potentially dangerous situation.

        • Sara says:

          Actually no excuse for under calculating how many agents and scanners and purse searchers you need. They have been doing this at least since the Clinton years. There is a clear formula. You know how many attendees can be processed through one scanner-search station in a time frame, you know the capacity of the hall for the event. You divide the hall capacity by the number of search stations — and that tells you how long before the event you begin to process attendees. It the time frame is too long, then you add stations accodingly. It ain’t rocket science.

  13. LS says:

    There a bunch of pages in the Paxson part of the deposition that are withheld by Counsel…. Pages in the 30’s and 40’s.

    • emptywheel says:

      Check the very end–they’re all there. Basically, McCain was saying that he thought the soft money from tobacco companies that Mitch McConnell had gotten was corrupt, and Abrams made it clear that both the FEC and DOJ had found it okay afterawrds.

      The whole thing does reek of McConnell going after McCain. I do wonder whether this whole Iseman thing didn’t start with McConnell as an attemtp to ruin McCain’s chances (McConnell HATES campaign finance, and McCain along with it), only it didn’t work until too late. Maybe.

      • emptywheel says:

        One more point abotu timing.

        I think McCain sees it as a Republican trying to ruin his chances–he has said he doesnt’ want a repeat of South Carolina 2000. That is, of his Republican opponent smearing him.

      • Ishmael says:

        McConnell is a likely choice, but what intrigues me is that Drudge had this whole story out there months ago, and I thought he “ruled their world” – it seems unlikely that Drudge would launch a missile like this without clearance from the Republican establishment, and that it was released at a time when it would do Mittens maximum good when McCain hadn’t yet picked up the Rudy vote – so who ordered the Code Red? Rove? Newt? Cheney?

        • BooRadley says:

          GOP has deep divisions within it. Drudge was representing the part of the GOP that didn’t want McCain to get the nomination.

        • emptywheel says:

          Who called it off, you mean? I think the NYT just fucked it up. Drudge’s job isn’t to do journalism. It’s do force others to go forward with their own. I think it’s likely that Bob Bennett (a known Democrat) just did his job too well–even got the NYT on the hook with their endorsement of McCain.

          I’m curious, though, why they weren’t pushing Isikoff on this. Like I said, there are obvious fingerprints from people who have likely leaked to Isikoff in the past.

      • LS says:


        “…and I will also provide again for the record Senator McConnell’s statements concerning don’t worry about voting against the tobacco bill because the tobacco companies will contribute money to you which is also in the media. That to me is the most egregious incident that I have seen about the appearance of corruption since I have been a member of the United States Senate, telling senators that they can vote in a way that would help the tobacco companies and the tobacco companies in return would pay for their campaigns which is what was said in a luncheon at a Republican conference when I was present. That is the appearance of corruption in my view. I personally witnesses (sic) it, and if I had witnessed it again, I would have — what I should have done is stand up and say this is an outrage for you to say this kind of thing, but I was so astonished that any member of the Senate would say such a thing, I was temporarily at a loss for words.”

  14. Sara says:

    Ever since this went public, I have wondered whether our old friend Jack Abramoff has had anything to do with the McCain matter. While he is safely locked up in a Federal Prison, of all the Republican operatives he has the greatest motivation for revenge on McCain. It was the Indian Casino Scams Hearings, after all, that pushed a marginal Abramoff probe off of Page 17 A, and into the forefront. It was McCain who chose to do those hearings, more or less fully outing Abramoff — and I suspect some cold revenge at work, via all sorts of Republican Operatives who once had a relationship with an Abramoff matter, but as yet have not been touched by a far reaching investigation. Abramoff may have limited mobility and phone privileges, but I suspect he knows how to call cards if he wants to.

    • bobschacht says:

      Ever since this went public, I have wondered whether our old friend Jack Abramoff has had anything to do with the McCain matter. While he is safely locked up in a Federal Prison, of all the Republican operatives he has the greatest motivation for revenge on McCain. It was the Indian Casino Scams Hearings, after all, that pushed a marginal Abramoff probe off of Page 17 A, and into the forefront. It was McCain who chose to do those hearings, more or less fully outing Abramoff — and I suspect some cold revenge at work, via all sorts of Republican Operatives who once had a relationship with an Abramoff matter, but as yet have not been touched by a far reaching investigation. Abramoff may have limited mobility and phone privileges, but I suspect he knows how to call cards if he wants to.

      Yes, and during those hearings, IIRC McCain obtained a HUGE number of administration insider documents (including emails) that I am sure would be very useful for any number of investigations. Remember that this boodle of documents were obtained before the Democrats took over Congress, and probably before the Republicans started scrubbing their computer drives.

      Who has control over those documents and their disposition now?

      Bob in HI

      • freepatriot says:

        Who has control over those documents and their disposition now?

        survey says:

        senator john mccain

        last I heard, the “straight Talk” corkscrew was bragging about his role in helping convict abrammoff

        mccain is one of the few repuglitards who actually does know jack

        and mccain is ensuring that nobdy else knows jack by hiding MILLIONS OF PAGES of documents related to how jack abramoff cheated some Native American tribes

        I mentioned this a few days back when I decided that john mccain was a PINATA

        and he’s gonna dish out political candy to Democrats with every whack

        GOP, The “Goofy Old Pinata” party

        everybody gets to take a whack

        • bobschacht says:

          In response to bobschacht @ 46
          Who has control over those documents and their disposition now?

          survey says:
          senator john mccain

          Why should McCain have control? He got those records as chair of his committee, and he is no longer the chair. Why wouldn’t the new chair have control?

          Bob in HI

      • Sara says:

        Unless the Democrats shifted committee membership, I believe McCain’s ranking member of the Indian Affairs Subcommittee was Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. I would assume he took over the committee, and the committee files. I don’t believe files acquired by a committee belong to the chair — they remain under the committee’s jurisdiction even through a shift in Party Leadership and staff.

  15. Phoenix Woman says:

    Glenn Greenwald weighs in:

    It’s hard to imagine how there could be a clearer contradiction in McCain’s statements than (a) “I’m sure I spoke to [Paxson]” and (b) “No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay discussed with Senator McCain the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding.”

    Making matters much worse, when the McCain campaign today was confronted by Newsweek with this glaring contradiction, they plainly told another untruth. They said that when McCain testified that “he” spoke with Paxson, he merely meant that his staff did:

    “We do not think there is a contradiction here,” campaign spokeswoman Ann Begeman e-mailed NEWSWEEK after being asked about the senator’s sworn testimony five and a half years ago. “We do not have the transcript you excerpted and do not know the exact questions Senator McCain was asked, but it appears that Senator McCain, when speaking of being contacted by Paxson, was speaking in shorthand of his staff being contacted by representatives of Paxson.”

    But just look at what McCain actually testified to, and there is no doubt that the McCain campaign’s excuse — that Paxson merely spoke with his staff members, not McCain himself — is patently false:

    [T]he campaign’s insistence that McCain himself never talked to Paxson about the issue seems hard to square with the contents of his testimony in the McCain-Feingold case.

    [Deposition questioner Floyd] Abrams, for example, at one point cited the somewhat technical contents of one of his letters to the FCC and then asked the witness, “where did you get information of that sort, Senator McCain?”

    McCain replied: “I was briefed by my staff.”

    Abrams then followed up: “Do you know were they got the information?”

    “No,” McCain replied. “But I would add, I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue.”

    “You were?”


    Abrams then asked McCain: “Can you tell us what you said and what he said about it?”

    McCain: “That he had applied to purchase this station and that he wanted to purchase it. And that there had been a numerous year delay with the FCC reaching a decision. And he wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I said, ‘I would be glad to write a letter asking them to act, but I will not write a letter, I cannot write a letter asking them to approve or deny, because then that would be an interference in their activities. I think everybody is entitled to a decision. But I can’t ask for a favorable disposition for you’.”

    Abrams a few moments later asked: “Did you speak to the company’s lobbyist about these matters?”

    McCain: “I don’t recall if it was Mr. Paxson or the company’s lobbyist or both.”

    Abrams: “But you did speak to him?”

    McCain: “I’m sure I spoke with him, yes.”

    That is nail-in-the-coffin testimony demonstrating the deliberately false nature of McCain’s denials this week.

  16. freepatriot says:

    mccain’s FEC problems are starting to get some play on chicken noodle network

    that “straight Shooter”, ??? he looks more like a CORKSCREW

    and not the good sharp kind of corkscrew with the easy pull levers either

    more like an old dull corkscrew with a broken handle

  17. bigbrother says:

    The over arching questio…will this end McTorture and lierman’s political powers and los McTorture’s senate seat or just a censure?

    • bigbrother says:

      The over-arching question for me…will this end McTorture and Lierman’s political powers and lose McTorture’s senate seat or just a censure?

  18. freepatriot says:

    Why should McCain have control? He got those records as chair of his committee, and he is no longer the chair. Why wouldn’t the new chair have control?

    I didn’t understand how a US Senator could keep unclassified documents out of the view of the People of the United States in the first fucking place

    last I heard, mccain was the guy holding up disclosure

    I’m not even sure which committee we’re talking about here

    I don’t splain em, I jes try to keep track of em

  19. Sara says:

    continuation- – – –

    I think the Indian Casino Investigation is pretty well rung out — but Abramoff had many other interests beyond milking the casino interests for his own fun and profit. There were clear suggestions of direction in those hearings — the connections to right religious groups for instance, and Abramoff’s interest in furnishing the West Bank Settlers with sniper rifles, but I think there may be much more, and moreover Abramoff probably has knowledge of other similar lobby games played by others, to the benefit of various lobby shops and the members with whom they worked. I think even from Prison, Abramoff would be able to threaten to drop the dime on others — for instance those now around McCain or their associates in their lobby shops — as vengence for what was done to him. It just strikes me this could be why some of McCain’s former staff and advisors may have become available to the press. Abramoff has nothing to lose in such an effort. He probably doesn’t rate a Bush Pardon next Xmas, so why not sink the ship? He’s looking at 12 years — and I doubt if he figures Obama or Clinton would be in a pardon mood.

    Frankly, I find no interest in the suggestion of “romantic interest” in this McCain Story — where I do see real opportunity is in developing the narrative about the evil done by the lobby’s who have stolen the idea of National and common interest from American Politics. Yes, of course, it is in the constitution that citizens have the right to petition Government for redress of grievances, but we need to develop the corellary that this does not include the right to buy the people’s representatives. We need to push into the debate the demand for much more seperation between legitimate lobby work, and campaign finance, favors for Congresspersons and Senators, and any and all political appointees. In some ways the little sex bit out of the Times Article obscures the key issue.

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