Congressional Subpoenas Are the New Graymail

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emptywheel
The AP has the list of Congressmen whom Brent Wilkes has subpoenaed to appear at his trial. There are virtually no surprises on the list--all are either former or current Chairs of the Committees that knew of Wilkes' behavior and/or noted earmarkers in their own right. Here's why I think each person was subpoenaed. Duncan Hunter, R-CA:

Iraq Will Review All Contractors

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emptywheel
Following on yesterday's announcement that it was withdrawing the license of Blackwater, Iraq's government has announced it will review all the security contractors doing business in Iraq. The Iraqi government said today that it would review the status of all foreign and local security companies working in Iraq after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead. I'm as skeptical as I was yesterday that this is going to achieve anything.

Banana Cream Pie

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emptywheel
Remember that banana scandal, where a high-powered Republican lawyer advised Chiquita to go on paying right wing terrorists even though it was a felony? Where said high-powered Republican lawyer alleged that Michael Chertoff--the guy now in charge of protecting our country--told him that he could go on funding terrorists so long as he also cooperated with Administration investigations of the terrorists?

The United States of AT&T

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emptywheel
Back in June, the Bush Administration invited one of AT&T's key lobbyists, Ed Gillespie, to serve as White House counselor. A few weeks after that, BushCo expanded AT&T's resident lobbyist's role to include most of Karl Rove's portfolio. Just days after Gillespie took over that role, the DOJ made an unusual intervention into the FCC's request for comments on Net Neutrality, weighing against Net Neutrality. Well today, one of AT&T's former key

Orange County GOP Narrowly Avoids Horrible Embarrassment

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emptywheel
Well, faced with losing his job, Michael Drake found a way to un-un-hire Erwin Chemerinsky. UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake and Erwin Chemerinsky havereached an agreement that will return the liberal legal scholar to thedean's post at the university's new law school, the universityannounced this morning. With the deal, they hope to end the controversy that erupted whenChemerinsky was dropped as the first dean of the Donald Bren School ofLaw.

The Five Star Hotel Was on the Taypayer's Dime

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emptywheel
That five star hotel that Tommy K was staying in in Greece? You and I are paying for it, it looks like. A federal judge allowed a New York man who has admitted bribingformer North County U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to remain free onbond, after an Assistant U.S. Attorney said at a hearing this morningthat the man's recent trip to Greece was at the direction of federalagents. U.S.

Why Keisler

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emptywheel
Wildarseguess here. But I have a hypothesis for why Bush pulled his Clement-Keisler headfake this morning. Recall that, just last week, BushCo made an unusual intervention into the FCC's deliberations over Net Neutrality. Well, a lot of people have noted that Keisler's most notable achievement at DOJ was his role in spiking the tobacco settlement.

Clement Headfake

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emptywheel
So Paul Clement was Acting Attorney General for all of four hours this morning. But then Bush replaced him with the former (re-current?) head of the Civil Division, who had resigned but I guess is sticking around for a while (hat tip Pontificator). It's a pivotal time for our nation, and it's vital that theposition of Attorney General be filled quickly.

Mukasey

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emptywheel
A lot of you have asked what I think of the Mukasey nomination. I'm in the middle of day job stuff at the moment, so let me point you to what Glenn and looseheadprop have to say on Mukasey (which is really more valuable than what I could say anyway, since they're the ones with JD after their name--LHPJD; it's like a secret code!

Security

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emptywheel
If you win the battle to keep the troops in Iraq, but then get forced to withdraw your pet security firm, have you actually won the battle to keep troops in Iraq? The Iraqi government said Monday that it was pulling the license of anAmerican security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting ofcivilians during an attack on a U.S.

Too Late

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emptywheel
Two more exhibits in too little, too late to keep the Republican party in the mainstream. First, Chuck Hagel calling General Petraeus General Betray-Us Bush's used car salesman. Maher: Isn’t a dirty trick on the American people when you send a military man out there to basically do a political sell-job?” Hagel: It’s not only a dirty trick, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible.The fact is this is not Petraeus’

12 People

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emptywheel
The AP reveals how it is that a top legal scholar can be un-hired by the University that just signed him. A conservative Los AngelesCounty politician asked about two dozen people in an e-mail last monthhow to prevent the University of California, Irvine from hiringrenowned liberal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky as its founding law schooldean, a spokesman for the politician said Friday. Making Chemerinsky the head of the law school "would be likeappointing al-Qaida

Domestic Spying

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emptywheel
I've got more questions about the Patriots spy scandal than I do answers. Will the Pats do measurably worse now that the league is going to be watching for them videotaping their opponents defensive calls?Are the great halftime coaches really just users of illegal spy techniques, as is the logical progression of Brian Dawkins' thoughts?

Public Intellectual

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emptywheel
Kudos to Hugh Hewitt and Douglas Kmiec, who criticized Michael Drake's decision to "un-hire" Erwin Chemerinsky. "Even though I agree with him on only about one out of 100 issues, Ibelieve he is one of the top legal minds in the United States," saidHugh Hewitt, a law professor at Chapman University and host of a dailyradio talk show.
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It's All Zapruder's Fault

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emptywheel
Jay Rosen posts and comments on a letter from an anonymous member of the WH press corps. Said anonymous journalist tells you everything you need to know about the WH press corps: It's all Zapruder's fault. Zapruder, of course, was the guy--the only guy--who filmed all of Kennedy's assassination. And apparently, the press corps has to subject itself to continual abuse from the Administration because once upon a time, some average

Novak's Counter-Proliferation Problem

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emptywheel
Thank Jeebus for public libraries, where you can get propaganda written by conservative writers without putting any incremental money in their pocket. Yesterday I exchanged Hayes for Novak. While the Novak book has clearly been vetted more closely than Novak's blabber-fest last year, I'm just on page 6 and already Novak has a big problem.
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More Inauspiciousness: Your Rent-a-Sheikh Gets Killed

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emptywheel
As many of you have pointed out, the guy I called Bush's Rent-a-Thuggish-Sheikh last week died in a bomb blast today. The leader of local Sunni tribes in Iraqwho have joined American and Iraqi forces in fighting extremist Sunnimilitants was killed by a bomb today, Iraqi police officials said,potentially undermining what has become a new thrust of United Statespolicy in the country. [snip] It could be a significant setback for American efforts to work

McConnell and Lieberman

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emptywheel
Isikoff and Hosenball tell us what we already know--McConnell is a liar (only the crack headline artists at Newsweek call this "an error"). But here's an odd detail in their story about McConnell's petulant confession. After questions about his testimony were raised, McConnell calledLieberman to clarify his statements to the Senate Committee on HomelandSecurity and Governmental Affairs, an official said.
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Oil Oops

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emptywheel
It is probably inauspicious for Bush that on the eve of his debut in the Magical September extravaganza, the elusive Iraqi oil compromise is falling apart. A carefully constructed compromise on a draft law governing Iraq’srich oil fields, agreed to in February after months of arduous talksamong Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed.

McConnell: I'm a Liar

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emptywheel
Oddly enough I just read this anecdote in Stephen Hayes' hagiography of Cheney. In an interview with Hayes, Mike McConnell confesses to the childish tactics he used to force CENTCOM to commit, one way or another, whether they thought Saddam would invade Kuwait. "I'm going to see the chairman [Powell]," [McConnell] told his colleagues.
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