June 7, 2016 / by emptywheel

 

Posts

emptywheel’s Continuing Obsession with Ed Gillespie

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emptywheel

Via CREW, I see Ed Gillespie making grand promises that the GOP will have a scandal-free election in 2008.

Ed Gillespie, President Bush’s counselor and a former chairman of theRepublican Party, acknowledged that ethical scandals have hurt the GOP.He predicted that by 2008, the party “will not have candidates who haveany kind of ethical considerations that will be a concern to thevoters.”

Like CREW, I’m not holding my breath that the GOP will

Remember that Bankruptcy Bill We Passed…

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emptywheel

To bail out those poor, helpless little credit card companies? Well, it’s time to revoke it:

As subprime borrowers began to default on their mortgages in rapidlygrowing numbers this year, credit card issuers increased their effortsto sign up such customers with tarnished financial histories, accordingto a market research firm.

Direct mail credit card offers to subprime customers in the UnitedStates jumped 41 percent in the first half of this year, compared withthe first

Goldsmith’s PR Campaign Begins

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emptywheel

And so the man who began a silent revolt against BushCo’s shredding of the Constitution begins to speak. The NYT has a long Magazine article on Jack Goldsmith reviewing the revolt and previewing Goldsmith’s book, due to come out on September 17. The article provides details we’ve known in sketchy form before–like how the key decisions, prior to Goldsmith’s arrival, were made by Cheney and Addington bypassing normal channels in the

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War Council

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emptywheel

If you haven’t already read Pat Lang on Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq today, do so now. For whatever PR value BushCo is trying to milk out of this visit (here’s C&L with coverage), Lang is persuasive that the chief reason for the visit is to bring his war cheerleaders together to develop a game plan for the next few weeks.

Arrest John Boehner

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emptywheel

The government’s primary strategy, in responding to the ACLU’s request for release of the FISC rulings disallowing parts of the Administration’s domestic wiretapping program, is to argue that the ACLU doesn’t have standing to ask for the documents. Only an aggrieved person can ask for such rulings, and even then, the aggrieved person cannot see the orders themselves that authorize domestic spying.

But there are two problems with that, it seems.

How Long Has Gillespie Been Acting as White House Counselor?

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emptywheel

First, a correction. I suggested the other day that Dick was one of the three people who voted not to keep Rummy when Bush took a show of hands on Rummy’s fate. But Cheney may not have been among those polled. The WaPo has a review of the book and the incident today, and Cheney is not among those named (though Abramowitz does not identify all of the votes).

For Canning Rummy
Josh

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We’re Sorry for Spiking the News

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emptywheel

The NYT has a really weird story out today which tries to explain why news outlets don’t publish “open secrets” about public figures.

Old-fashioned as it seems, there are still tacit rules about when anopen secret can remain in its own netherworld, without consequence tothe politician who keeps it. But now that any whisper can become aglobal shout in an instant, how much longer can those rules apply?

Condi, AIPAC, and the A1 Cut-Out

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emptywheel

You’ll recall that the AIPAC defendants called Condi and Stephen Hadley to testify about how they routinely leak classified information. Well, the government claims that these two, at least, don’t have to testify.

Secretaryof State Condoleezza Rice and other senior intelligence officialsshould not be forced to testify about whether they discussed classifiedinformation with pro-Israel lobbyists, federal prosecutors argued in aclosed-door court hearing Friday.

Two former American IsraelPublic Affairs Committee lobbyists facing espionage

Bush’s Cheney’s Legacy

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emptywheel

I couldn’t help but think of Dick when I read this story on Bush’s legacy. First, because there’s this story of Bush’s show of hands vote on whether Rummy should be ousted.

Mr. Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details ofa meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on thefuture of Defense Secretary Donald H.

Ding Dong the Wicked Witch Is … Publishing at NRO?

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emptywheel

Reading Rove on his last day in the WH:

President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century by manipulating the scientific proof of that key test–global warming–so his donors could continue to profit off the dying petroleum age while they still had a chance.

Hewill be judged as a man of moral clarity who put America on wartimefooting in the dangerous struggle against

Tommy K’s Cooperation

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emptywheel

I’m trying to pull together as many of the details in the new transcripts about how Tommy Kontogiannis has cooperated (I was going to spell it “kooperate”) with the government. The information is actually conflicting–Tommy K wants to portray himself as a good American who was just seeking out powerful Congressman to give intelligence to.

How to Spike an Investigation

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emptywheel

This WSJ article–which relies on Debra Wong Yang and George Cardona as sources–suggests that the Jerry Lewis investigation has been stalled because of staffing shortages in the USA Office.

Overall, funding for the offices has grown well below the rate ofinflation. As a result, “fewer cases were getting charged and biggerinvestigations were taking longer because there weren’t enoughprosecutors to do them,” says Debra Yang, who stepped down in October2006 as the U.S.

August 24

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emptywheel

The WaPo provides more details on an investigation I’m rather interested in:

Fine’s office has also separately expanded a probe into whether seniorGonzales aides improperly considered partisan affiliations whenreviewing applicants for nonpolitical career positions. As part of thatinquiry, Fine sent hundreds of questionnaires in the past week to former Justice Department job applicants.

The Inspector General

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emptywheel

I noted the other day that Pat Leahy had sent a letter to Brad Schlozman asking for his overdue homework. What I didn’t note in the post–but did in comments elsewhere–was the carbon copy line:

cc: The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
The Honorable Glen Fine

In comments where I mentioned this, I suggested this reflected a belief on Leahy’s part that the Inspector General was a co-participant in his

Good Enough for Our Children, But Not Bush’s Vanity War

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emptywheel

I made the point this morning that the whole premise of No Child Left Behind is that, by determining whether every school–and every child–was passing or failing, you could require improvements on the schools.

Well, not surprisingly, Bush is unwilling to undergo the same kind of tough scrutiny that the six year olds in our nation’s schools undergo:

Stung by the bleakfindings of a congressional audit of progress in Iraq, the Pentagon hasasked

Seal-Fight in San Diego

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emptywheel

There are two, related developments in San Diego (hat tip to ChrisC for her updates) in the Wilkes/Michael/Kontogiannis side of the Wilkes trial. First, the government has responded to John Michael’s attempt to throw out his indictment because of a weird connection between Tommy Kontogiannis and one of the prosecutors, Phillip Halpern.

Speaking of Propaganda Reports

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emptywheel

They’re doing it with voting rights reports, too (hat tip bmaz).

Because my approach to election issues tends to be more closely alignedwith Democrats, I was paired with a Republican co-author. To furtherremove any taint of partisanship, my co-author and I convened abipartisan working group to help us. We spent a year doing research andconsulting with leaders in the field to produce a draft report.

Condi’s Jewels

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emptywheel

I appreciate the desire to make Condi look like a bitch. Or rather, to expose Condi’s imperious side. But does anyone suspect there’s some crucial context left out of this story?

Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor who is one of thesecretary of state’s closest friends, recalls going into a shop whereRice asked to see earrings.

The Report Liberation Review Process

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emptywheel

Remember back when someone liberated the Office of Special Counsel report finding Lurita Doan had violated the Hatch Act? I speculated that someone had liberated the report to prevent it from getting watered down in the review process.

I’ll bet Doan and her lawyer are pissed this report got leaked–kudosto whatever person in OPC liberated this report, which was provided toat least the WaPo and LAT.

Moral Relativists

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emptywheel

When David Vitter admitted to using a prostitute service, no Republicans asked him to resign.

When it became clear that Pete Domenici had asked Bush and Gonzales to fire David Iglesias because the US Attorney didn’t trump up charges against Democrats, no Republicans asked him to resign.

When it became clear that Bob Ney and Ted Stevens and John Doolittle and Don Young had received some mighty curious gifts, no Republicans asked them

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