Thursday, October 27, 2005

Their clout rising, blogs are courted by Washington's elite |

Their clout rising, blogs are courted by Washington's elite | "Beltway politicos, famously slow to adopt technology, are wooing blogs - all but Trent Lott.

'Bloggers claim I was their first pelt, and I believe that. I'll never read a blog,' says the former Senate majority leader, who forfeited that title after bloggers Joshua Micah Marshall and Glenn Reynolds picked up a racially charged remark, drawing the attention of mainstream media (MSM) and his Senate colleagues."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Top blogs often too one-sided

Top blogs often too one-sided

Blogophiles see blogs as a new way for citizens to express themselves and, especially among the political bloggers, a new way for citizens to talk back to the "MSM" -- the mainstream media. According to Mike Godwin, legal director of a First Amendment advocacy group called Public Knowledge, "A.J. Liebling famously commented that freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. Well, we all own one now."

But in all the excitement and hype, it's easy to overlook the fact that in some ways political blogs are not so different from or even separate from the MSM they often love to hate.

One similarity is found in emerging patterns of Web traffic. Blog abundance creates a paradox: Given more information choices than ever, most people economize, trying to find efficient ways to tame the information tide. So most regular users rely on a few blogs for most of their information. That's one reason why a handful of political blogs gets the lion's share of traffic. A recent study of 2 million Internet users found that the top four blog "hosts," such as, are visited by more than 5 million visitors per quarter. Unique visitors to the Drudge Report and the conservative blog number2 million to 3 million per quarter, twice as many as their nearest competitors and dwarfing countless smaller blogs.

In this respect, these top blogs end up playing a role very similar to what The New York Times -- a favorite target of many bloggers -- does for the MSM. - House to review who pays Texas lobbyists - House to review who pays Texas lobbyists

House Speaker Tom Craddick wants two House committees to investigate the use by local governments and school boards of taxpayer money to lobby the Legislature.

Craddick blamed the education lobby for killing school finance bills that were proposed during this year's regular and two special sessions. He also criticized cities and counties for successfully fighting legislation to lower the cap on property appraisals.

The speaker last week announced the subjects that he wants House committees to study in advance of the 2007 legislative session.

He also charged the Public Education Committee with studying the controversial subject of vouchers by looking at "the impact of successful school choice programs on students, parents and teachers."

Craddick is a longtime supporter of a pilot program to allow families to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools. The House killed a voucher bill earlier this year.

The Public Education and General Investigating committees will jointly conduct the review of lobbying.

Groups representing school superintendents and teachers were solidly opposed to school finance bills proposed by the House leadership. They said the legislation provided inadequate funding and intruded on local control.

Gov. Rick Perry, angry about the opposition, in August ordered school districts to disclose funds provided to any person or organization for lobbying or consulting.

Perry: DeLay should keep House post

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Gov. Rick Perry defended U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on Monday, saying his recent indictments on conspiracy and money laundering charges stem from work by an 'overzealous prosecutor.'

'I'm for Tom DeLay. I don't get confused about what's going on here,' Perry, a fellow Republican, said after speaking about economic development at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce lunch. 'The fact of the matter is – I happen to think that this is an overzealous prosecutor who is working very hard to take a Texan off of the national stage who's been doing some great and good things for the state of Texas.'

DeLay and other Republicans have accused Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle of partisanship, allegations the Democratic prosecutor has denied.

When Perry said he believed DeLay should remain the House majority leader, the crowd of about 450 people erupted in applause. The felony charges forced DeLay to give up his House leadership post, but he wants his job back."

Daily Kos: Radnofsky to Hutchison: Resign if you tolerate perjury

Daily Kos: Radnofsky to Hutchison: Resign if you tolerate perjury: "Texas Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Barbara Ann Radnofsky called on her Republican opponent to resign if she tolerates perjury. 'No elected official should tolerate or excuse perjury. I call on Kay Bailey Hutchison to renounce perjury. She should resign if she tolerates it,' Radnofsky said.

On October 23, Kay Bailey Hutchison said in televised comments concerning the Plame investigation that, 'I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime...'"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

DeLay booked on conspiracy charges - Politics -

DeLay booked on conspiracy charges - Politics - "The day before Rep. Tom DeLay was to make his first appearance at court, the former House majority leader turned himself in Thursday at the Harris County sheriff’s bonding office, where he was photographed, fingerprinted and released on bond on state conspiracy and money laundering charges.

“He posted $10,000 bond and they have left the bonding office,” Lt. John Martin of the sheriff’s department said."

Craddick issues interim agenda | News for Denton, Texas | Texas/Southwest: "School vouchers, state spending limits, business taxes, election fraud, eminent domain, property taxes, stem-cell research.

The list of issues that House Speaker Tom Craddick outlined Wednesday for his 40 committees to study during the next year or so reads like a ticker of the last year's attention-grabbing headlines and most memorable moments in recent state politics."

Welcome to!

Welcome to!: "White House adviser Karl Rove told the grand jury in the CIA leak case that I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, may have told him that CIA operative Valerie Plame worked for the intelligence agency before her identity was revealed, a source familiar with Rove's account said yesterday.

In a talk that took place in the days before Plame's CIA employment was revealed in 2003, Rove and Libby discussed conversations they had had with reporters in which Plame and her marriage to Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV were raised, the source said. Rove told the grand jury the talk was confined to information the two men heard from reporters, the source said."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Daily Kos: Indictments Coming for Cheney, Rove, Libby, Hadley, Matalin...

Daily Kos: Indictments Coming for Cheney, Rove, Libby, Hadley, Matalin...: "Here's what former CIA operative and intelligence expert Larry C. Johnson has to say about the fruits of Fitzgerald's investigation:

A New Tidbit on the Plame Affair
Larry C. Johnson

Had lunch today with a person who has a direct tie to one of the folks facing indictment in the Plame affair. There are 22 files that Fitzgerald is looking at for potential indictment . These include Stephen Hadley, Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney, and Mary Matalin (there are others of course). Hadley has told friends he expects to be indicted. No wonder folks are nervous at the White House." - Politics - Former Rep. Sets Sights on DeLay's Seat - Politics - Former Rep. Sets Sights on DeLay's Seat: "A former Democratic congressman on Tuesday launched a national fund-raiser aimed at unseating Rep. Tom DeLay (search) next year as the former House majority leader battles an indictment and ethics charges.

Nick Lampson (search) lost his congressional seat last November after Texas Republicans targeted him and other Democratic House incumbents in a DeLay-backed plan to redraw the state's district lines. Those targeted in the Lone Star State became known as the 'Texas Five.' The incumbents at risk were: Reps. Martin Frost, Charles Stenholm, Max Sandlin and Lampson. Rep. Chet Edwards was the only Democrat out of the five to keep his seat."

Gray areas: Perry's security plan creates legal, logistical problems - Gray areas: Perry's security plan creates legal, logistical problems: "IN contrast to his counterparts in Arizona and New Mexico, Gov. Rick Perry has responded to frustration over federal border control with distinct restraint. While the two Democratic governors criticized the president and called states of emergency over border problems, Perry quietly adopted an ambitious $9.7 million proposal marshaling state and local agencies and the National Guard to fill in where federal policy has failed. Perry repeatedly, and rightly, calls border security a federal problem, but contends that Texas cannot wait to address terrorism, crime and illegal immigration at its frontier.

But Perry's plan is at once too broad in scope, skimpy in funding, and blurry in its conception of constitutional protections. The program calls for almost $10 million for measures that include strengthening local law enforcement by hiring more deputies and paying current officers overtime; including the National Guard in training and emergency response exercises; and expanding state wiretap authority."


HEAVY PLAMEGATE PRESSURE FOR ALL: "After two years, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald must decide whether to indict some of Washington's most powerful men over charges stemming from 'leaking' the identity of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent Valerie Plame. While the speculation is that one or maybe two of George Bush's inner circle will be charged, there also have been charges, as reported by FMNN and others, that the Bush Administration has put Fitzgerald under a great deal of pressure to back off. "

Monday, October 17, 2005

DeLay Offered Deal Before Indictment - Yahoo! News

DeLay Offered Deal Before Indictment - Yahoo! News: "DeLay will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process.

Steve Brittain, one of DeLay's Austin attorneys, also said the lawmaker has the option of turning himself in to Fort Bend County authorities, the county where DeLay resides."

Let's hope the press is there for the booking process.

Conservative Bill Kristol: both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby will be indicted | WesPac | Securing America Community

Conservative Bill Kristol: both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby will be indicted | WesPac | Securing America Community

Yesterday on FOX News Sunday, FNC regular Bill Kristol, the very conservative editor of the Weekly Standard, made an unofficial prediction that both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby will be indicted, although not on the charges everyone expects.

Kristol told host Chris Wallace: "I believe, if I had to predict - and I don't know more about this than anybody else reading the papers - that both Libby and Rove will be indicted, not for what the original referral was about but for some combination of disclosing classified information or perhaps failing to be fully candid with federal investigators or with the grand jury."

During the same show, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice dropped a bombshell when she told Wallace that she, too, has "cooperated" with Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

RICE: "I am not going to talk about, Chris - as you might imagine - an ongoing investigation. I have, like everybody else, cooperated with prosecutor Fitzgerald and am quite certain that he will make his report. But I don't think that it's appropriate to comment about those events."

WALLACE: "Now when you say you have cooperated with the prosecutor, does that mean, in fact, that you spoke to investigators or to the grand jury?"

RICE: "I cooperated in all the ways that I was asked to cooperate."

While she would not go into detail, the mere fact that she has "cooperated" indicates that prosecutor Fitzgerald's net has been thrown wider that heretofore suspected.

ABC News: DeLay Offered Deal Before Indictment

ABC News: DeLay Offered Deal Before Indictment: "A Texas prosecutor tried to persuade Rep. Tom DeLay to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and save his job as majority leader but DeLay refused, the congressman's attorney said Monday.

Dick DeGuerin described such an effort in a letter to the prosecutor in the case, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle.

DeLay has been indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges in a Texas campaign finance investigation, both felonies. He was obligated to step aside under House Republican rules."

Gay marriage bill a ruse

Gay marriage bill a ruse: "The constitutional amendment, passed by the Texas Legislature and needing final approval by voters, is aimed at defending the institution of marriage, proponents say.

At its essence, the amendment says that a marriage in Texas consists of one man and one woman, virtually mimicking current state law.

The reality is that the amendment is aimed at re-election for the lawmakers backing this bill.

During a contentious three-hour debate in the Texas Senate earlier this year, the amendment's chief sponsor, Sen. Todd Staples, R-Palestine, suggested there was a threat to the institution of marriage. “We should protect the institution of marriage as it is defined in law today,” he said. “We should hold that higher up than any other relationship.”

Staples may have had a point. I think the institution of marriage has been under attack for years.

In fact, Texas has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, with an average 4.1 divorces per 1,000 people. It is one of 10 Southern states that leads the nation in divorce rates with roughly 50 percent more divorces than the national average, according to an Associated Press analysis of U.S. Census data."

Suit underscores state's prison rape problem

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Texas/Southwest: "In the Allred state prison near this ranching and oil town, Roderick Keith Johnson says he was bought and sold for sex by prison gangs with names like Gangster Disciples, Mandingo Warriors and the Mexican Mafia. But his biggest tormentor was a man named Monster, who called him Coco and was his pimp.

'Monster was the guy who was controlling me,' said Mr. Johnson, a 37-year-old, gay former inmate of the James V. Allred prison unit. In a quiet voice before the jury hearing his federal civil rights lawsuit, Mr. Johnson detailed his 18-month sexual hell. There were, Mr. Johnson says, near-daily rapes, a forced shower sex show with a mentally retarded inmate, and a prison guard who called him a 'commissary ho.'

Mr. Johnson's allegations – he is suing six Allred prison authorities and staff members, alleging they ignored his repeated pleas for help – cast light on what prison experts say is a serious problem among Texas' 156,000 inmates: the rise of warring prison gangs who use rape, sexual intimidation and assault to establish control and hierarchy among inmates.

Mr. Johnson's attorneys call it a system of 'gang-run sexual slavery,' and they say that prison authorities are aware of the sexual abuse going on within their institutions."

Texas shrimpers struggle to stay afloat

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Texas/Southwest: "Prices for commercial diesel have increased from 90 cents a gallon to $2.70 a gallon in a year and half. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita didn't hurt the industry along the Texas coast, although the Louisiana industry suffered casualties.

The Texas shrimping industry is part of the larger Gulf of Mexico industry, which competes with shrimp caught off the east and west coasts as well as domestic, farm-raised shrimp and imported shrimp.

Shrimping accounts for 90 percent of the value of the Texas commercial fishing industry, according to a 2004 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas."

Cheney May Be Entangled in CIA Leak Investigation, People Say Top Worldwide: "A special counsel is focusing on whether Vice President Dick Cheney played a role in leaking a covert CIA agent's name, according to people familiar with the probe that already threatens top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis Libby.

The special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, has questioned current and former officials of President George W. Bush's administration about whether Cheney was involved in an effort to discredit the agent's husband, Iraq war critic and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, according to the people.

Fitzgerald has questioned Cheney's communications adviser Catherine Martin and former spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise and ex-White House aide Jim Wilkinson about the vice president's knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff, the people said. The information came from multiple sources, who requested anonymity because of the secrecy and political sensitivity of the investigation."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Judy Miller’s Confession; wading through the rubbish for a grain of truth by Mike Whitney

TITLE: "If you plan on reading Judy Miller’s long and circuitous apology in the New York Times Sunday edition, bring your hip-waiters. The obfuscating manure is knee-deep and bound to stymie even the most curious reader.

Miller’s a slippery customer, but a picture is slowly developing of someone who was deeply involved in White House maneuverings to discredit Joseph Wilson. "

mparent7777: Karl Rove has a plan

mparent7777: Karl Rove has a plan

Karl Rove has a plan, as always. Even before testifying last week for the fourth time before a grand jury probing the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, Bush senior adviser Rove and others at the White House had concluded that if indicted he would immediately resign or possibly go on unpaid leave, several legal and Administration sources familiar with the thinking told TIME.

Resignation is the much more likely scenario, they say. The same would apply to I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the Vice President's chief of staff, who also faces a possible indictment. A former White House official says Rove's break with Bush would have to be clean—no "giving advice from the sidelines"—for the sake of the Administration.

Severing his ties would allow Rove—who as deputy chief of staff runs a vast swath of the West Wing—to fight aggressively "any bull___ charges," says a source close to Rove, like allegations that he was part of a broad conspiracy to discredit Plame's husband Joseph Wilson. Rove's defense: whatever he did fell far short of that.

Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be seriously weighing a perjury charge for Rove's failure to tell grand jurors that he talked to TIME correspondent Matthew Cooper about Plame, according to a person close to Rove. Rove corrected himself in a later grand jury session. If charged with perjury, he will maintain he simply didn't recall the conversation with Cooper and told Fitzgerald as soon as he did.

Those strategies are being shaped absent any real knowledge of what Fitzgerald might do before the grand jury's scheduled dissolution on Oct. 28. "If he played his cards any closer to the vest, they'd be in his underwear," says a lawyer who is a friend of the White House. But Fitzgerald's intentions aren't the only mystery. Another character in the drama remains unnamed: the original source for columnist Robert Novak, who wrote the first piece naming Plame. Fitzgerald, says a lawyer who's involved in the case, "knows who it is—and it's not someone at the White House."

Rove cancels campaign appearance

Rove cancels campaign appearance: "Presidential adviser Karl Rove unexpectedly canceled an appearance at a Republican breakfast in Virginia where he was to have delivered the keynote address."

San Angelo Standard-Times: Local

San Angelo Standard-Times: Local: "Various media and advocacy groups are urging Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to create a committee to study the possibility of requiring a record of every vote in the legislature.

Currently, House and Senate rules govern whether lawmaker votes are recorded. During the regular session, the House allowed any member to request a record vote, and Senate rules required a record of all votes - thanks to a new rule. Lawmakers can change the rules, and advocacy groups want a state law requiring them to record all votes.

Lawmakers should shine a bright light on their official work in Austin, said Katherine Garner, executive director the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

''It's important for citizens to know how the legislators are voting,'' said Garner, whose group advocates for open government. ''People need to know if their views are being represented.''

Garner's group has teamed with dozens of organizations, including the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, which has been one of the most active groups in the recorded-vote drive.

During the regular session, lawmakers introduced several pieces of legislation to require record votes.

None of them passed."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Valley lawmakers appointed to border drug task force

The Brownsville Herald - Online Edition: "At least three Rio Grande Valley lawmakers will be part of a team assigned to study the role drugs play in the lives of youth on the border.

Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, appointed five members of the House to serve on the Binational Alcohol and Substance Abuse Task Force.

The task force was created by the Legislature this year. It will study the effects of substance abuse on 14- 24-year-olds, their role transporting drugs for traffickers and binge drinking in people of all ages.

Rep. Aaron Pe�a, D-Edinburg; Rep. Veronica Gonzales, D-McAllen; and Rep. Armando Martinez, D-Weslaco, will sit on the task force.

Rep. Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, will chair the task force, and Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville, will also be a member.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will appoint five senators to join them.

“Alcohol and substance abuse are issues that Texas youths and their families face on a daily basis,” Craddick said. “I am confident the Binational Task Force will come up with creative recommendations to help alleviate these problems in our border region.”"

I think very little of Craddick, but I'm glad to see these Dems included.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: October 09, 2005 - October 15, 2005 Archives

Thousands told to flee tank explosion in Texarkana

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Hundreds of homes were evacuated Saturday after a liquid propane gas tank was hit by a Union Pacific train car, exploding in a ball of fire and leaving a plume of smoke over the south end of the city, a police spokesman said."

Texas conservatives uneasy about Bush court choice. | W. Gardner Selby: "President Bush might be peeved that Right Coast conservatives (Bill Kristol, George Will) don't want his lawyer on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maybe he yawns at Barbara Radnofsky, a Texas Democratic prospect for the U.S. Senate, who said: 'Very bright and loyal to the president still don't make you qualified.'

But mixed reaction from Texans who usually lead huzzahs? Watch his eyebrows."

Editorial: Kinkster, sing us a song Editorials

Gov. Rick Perry is Gov. Rick Perry; he is not The Rickster.

But Kinky Friedman — ah, Kinky Friedman is different. Kinky Friedman is The Kinkster.

The Kinkster. Those words go together, like rum and Coke. And he wants to add a third word to that linguistic duo — Gov. The Kinkster.

The Kerrville cowboy is the most refreshing and irreverent gubernatorial candidate in the state.

If his rivals — Perry, Chris Bell and Carole Keeton Strayhorn — morphed into one giant politician, they would not boast half the pizazz of The Kinkster.

Not that he is necessarily the best individual for the job, mind you (although he may be, depending on your ideology).

But he is the most engaging, and that makes the author, humorist and country music singer special — so special that voters have a right to expect a different kind of campaign approach from him.

Yes, we want to see his stands on the issues. But we also want to hear the singer sing.

With that in mind, the Express-News Editorial Board is issuing a challenge to the independent: Give the people your views in the form of a campaign song, a song that captures your feelings about the state, where it has been, where it should go, how you will lead it there.

Sing it on the campaign trail. Sing it loud, and sing it true. Kinky, how hard can it be? | Supporting Miers may put Cornyn in a bind | Supporting Miers may put Cornyn in a bind: "U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, swimming against an unexpected tide of conservative opposition, will rely on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to provide key crunch-time help during Senate confirmation hearings expected next month.

It will be the same service that Cornyn, a Republican, provided during this year's confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: barrages of rapid and impassioned e-mails to reporters and supporters rebutting criticism as it surfaces.

Such zingers, gleefully skewering liberal Democrats such as Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dick Durbin of Illinois, have made Cornyn a darling among national conservatives and one of the Senate's most prominent supporters of President Bush's agenda.

But in defending Miers, Cornyn may find himself in the touchy position of rebutting members of his own party who have expressed doubts about Miers' qualifications. In the protocol-rich Senate, airing intraparty squabbles is virtually taboo."

Judges Asked to Calm Furor Over Miers Nod

Judges Asked to Calm Furor Over Miers Nod: "Two former Texas Supreme Court chief justices are the White House's latest weapon in the fight to calm the conservative uproar over Harriet Miers' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

John Hill and Thomas Phillips are due in Washington on Monday, bringing testimonials about Miers' qualifications based on their dealings with her in Texas.

Despite his longtime support for George W. Bush, Hill is a Democrat whose word may not be the right salve for those among the Republican right most nervous about Miers' judicial philosophy.

Also, it was unclear whether either Hill or Phillips ever heard Miers argue the kind of cases that might rebut criticism that she lacks knowledge of constitutional issues."

The Modern Populist - Daily News - Karl Rove, Scooty Libby, Valerie Plame, and Integrity

The Modern Populist - Daily News - Karl Rove, Scooty Libby, Valerie Plame, and Integrity: "President George W. Bush lowered the integrity bar in Washington DC for Karl Rove and Scooty Libby when he said, 'If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration.' Backpedaling from an earlier statement in which Bush assured the country that anyone involved in the case would no longer work at the White House. This statement is exampel of the Bush administration lawyering-up.

Read the rest.

Off the Kuff: Strategic split

Off the Kuff: Strategic split: "Tom DeLay may want a speedy trial for the money laundering charges on which he's been indicted, but that's not the case for his codefendants.


Truth Serum: It's easier than torture

Truth Serum: It's easier than torture: "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job Tom DeLay is doing as Congressman?



Not sure

Come and Take it!: "Attack Dog" Prosecutor? Look Behind You!

Come and Take it!: "Attack Dog" Prosecutor? Look Behind You!: "'Attack Dog' Prosecutor? Look Behind You!"

Republicans are worried. The prosecution of Tom DeLay may turn the disgraced Party Leader into a lead domino - his fall in turning knocking down Republican after Republican as the corruption that has eaten its way through the Republican Party is exposed. How worried?

The Free Enterprise Fund, a conservative Republican-shadow-attack organization, is now paying FOX network (big surprise!) to air a television commercial that smears Prosecutor Ronnie Earle an "attack dog". It warns that a prosecutor with an ax to grind can be "dangerous".

Not that Ronnie Earle has such an ax (other than against corruption), but the Republicans actually got one right - a politically motivated prosecution is dangerous. They should know. They are the ones that let their pet attack dog, Ken Starr, hump the leg of the American people for five long years. Even Starr himself has admitted (see link above) that his investigation never should have progressed in the manner it did. Of course, a dog will follow the Meaty Bone no matter where its master puts it. In this case, it stuck it in the pants of a sitting President. No matter, the job is more important than the man - and the American people deserve to know if their elected leader committed a crime.

Ok, so why is this NOT true for Tom DeLay?

Let's examine the facts:

Gonzales hints at possible return to Texas politics

KRT Wire | 10/14/2005 | Gonzales hints at possible return to Texas politics: "The Supreme Court may not be in his future, but Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have his eye elsewhere.

The Texas Republican suggested he wouldn't be averse to running for office in his home state once he leaves the Justice Department. That statement places him on the radar screen for Republican strategists and contributors strategizing campaign cycles in 2008 and beyond, political experts say.

'I wouldn't close the door, no,' Gonzales said in an interview.

Suggesting he's given the issue some thought, Gonzales noted that his absence from the Texas political scene since 2001 might prove a hindrance.

'It would be kind of tough,' he said Thursday as he returned to Washington from a border summit in San Antonio. 'But I love Texas.'

Bill Miller, a Republican political consultant in Austin, Texas, said it is 'very significant that he's showing colors at this stage.'"

Political Wire: Rove Keeps Fundraising

Political Wire: Rove Keeps Fundraising: "'While colleagues express concern that presidential adviser Karl Rove could be indicted in the CIA leak case, he continues to be scheduled for private fund-raisers by the Republican National Committee,' Robert Novak writes.

'Rove was listed for such a money-raising reception Oct. 14 in New York City, the same day he was to testify for the fourth time to a federal grand jury. Rove is scheduled for a fund-raiser Monday in Greenwich, Conn. Earlier, he appeared at such events in Lexington, Ky., and Indianapolis on Sept. 26.'

'A footnote: President Bush is scheduled to raise money at a reception and dinner in Los Angeles Thursday. That ignores the request by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that the president stay out of California prior to the Nov. 8 election on several propositions favored by the governor.'"

DeLay raises more than $1.1 million in last 3 months

KRT Wire | 10/14/2005 | DeLay raises more than $1.1 million in last 3 months: "Rep. Tom DeLay has been getting some serious help from his friends, raising more than $1.1 million in the last three months for campaign and legal expenses - and smashing his own formidable personal bests for both accounts.

The former majority leader, a Texas Republican, raised more than $800,000 in the last three months for his campaign, aides said Friday, putting the total close to $2 million as he girds for a fight with former Rep. Nick Lampson, a Democrat. He also raised more than $300,000 for his defense fund, just as his legal bills started to mount with his indictment two weeks ago.

The high tallies reflect two central facets of DeLay's current situation. He's in the fights of his life - political and legal - and he's still got plenty of allies and favors to call in.

On Friday, for instance, he was in Midland, Texas, raising campaign cash with help from a freshman congressman, Rep. Mike Conaway."

Texas District Ponders Fate of Tom DeLay

::.Angus Reid Consultants.::: "Voters in Tom DeLay’s Texas constituency are divided on the political future of their congressman, according to a poll by SurveyUSA released by KPRC-TV. 40 per cent of respondents believe DeLay should resign from Congress, while 39 per cent believe he should remain as the majority leader of the House of Representatives.

DeLay—a Republican—has been elected to the lower house of the United States Congress on 11 different occasions. In the 2004 ballot, he defeated Democrat Richard Morrison with 55 per cent of all cast ballots in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. 46 per cent of respondents in the district approve of DeLay’s performance."

ABC News: DeLay Uses Website to Attack Prosecutor

ABC News: DeLay Uses Website to Attack Prosecutor: "Stung by his recent indictment in Texas, Tom Delay is trying to turn his legal woes into a financial boon for his re-election. The former House majority leader is using his congressional campaign to distribute to voters derogatory information about the prosecutor who brought the charges against him and to solicit donations for his re-election.

'Help Tom fight back,' reads one of the solicitations on the Web site that voters are being directed to as part of an Internet-based campaign funded by DeLay's re-election committee.

Contributors, voters and others who sign up can get regular e-mails and an electronic 'toolkit' from DeLay's campaign with the latest disparaging information his legal team has dug up on Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle."

Boortz: Faced with an impending national disaster, "we should save the rich people first"

Boortz: Faced with an impending national disast ... [Media Matters]

On the October 14 broadcast of his daily radio show, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz stated that if the country is faced with an impending national disaster, it should make it a higher priority to save rich Americans rather than poor Americans.

An October 13 New York Daily News article spurred Boortz's comments. The front-page story, headlined "Rich Got Terror Tip," reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched an investigation into whether its officials alerted certain New Yorkers of a terror threat to the city's subway days before the rest of the city learned of the possible plot. According to the article, the probe was launched after the discovery of two emails describing the bombing plot that "had been sent early last week to a select crowd of business and arts executives by New Yorkers who claimed to have close connections to Homeland Security."

After summarizing the story, Boortz responded, "This is as it should be." He went on to imagine a scenario in which the country is forced to "set some priorities" regarding who will be notified of an impending disaster. "We should save the rich people first," Boortz declared. "You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity." Boortz described the poorest Americans as "a drag on society" and stated that they "don't achieve squat. They sit around all the time waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can't afford. They're uneducated. They can barely read."


The Washington Monthly: ".The Washington Post's account of today's grand jury testimony from Karl Rove includes the following from a 'source familiar with Rove's account':

Rove's defense team asserts that President Bush's deputy chief of staff has not committed a crime but nevertheless anticipates that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald could find a way to bring charges in the next two weeks, the source said.

So Rove's own defense team thinks that charges are likely? That's mighty interesting, isn't it?"

Friday, October 14, 2005

City Pages - The Blotter - Rove/Plame: Karl testifies again, and a cryptic note from The Note

City Pages - The Blotter - Rove/Plame: Karl testifies again, and a cryptic note from The Note: "Karl Rove is in Patrick Fitzgerald's black box this morning, and with every paper and network and blogger in the land trying to get the lowdown, we'll have a fresh read by tomorrow of how well Fitzgerald has patched the leaks in his investigation.

One other item of possible interest: ABC's The Note included the following passage in an FAQ about the case today:

Q. Could there be an indictment today?

A. Don't bet on it, but don't rule it out.

Q: Could there be a plea agreement today?

A: Don't bet on it, but don't rule it out."

DeLay associates released on bond

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

Attorneys for two co-defendants of Rep. Tom DeLay made it clear Friday they're not in the same rush to get to trial as the former House majority leader and they want to distance themselves in other ways as well.

The defense team for Jim Ellis and John Colyandro is hoping to persuade appeals courts to dismiss the charges. DeLay has said he wants to get to trial as quickly as possible.

Ellis and Colyandro were released Friday on $10,000 personal bonds on the two most recent charges against them stemming from allegations of campaign-finance wrongdoing in 2002 Texas legislative races.

“Mr. DeLay can go to trial when he wishes to without us. And we'll pursue the process that we've invoked and hopefully get a ruling from the appellate court that brings all this to an end,” said attorney J.D. Pauerstein, who represents Ellis.

State District Judge Bob Perkins on Friday agreed to wait for rulings from an appeals court on motions to dismiss charges before setting a trial date.

DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro all are awaiting trial in the case in which prosecutors allege there was a scheme to circumvent Texas' ban on using corporate money for state legislative campaigns.

Pauerstein and attorney Joe Turner, who represents Colyandro, also said they had no part in television ads that a national conservative organization began running this week criticizing the prosecution of DeLay. Turner said the ads were inappropriate and should be stopped.

“If there was money out there for those kind of ads, we'd ask that it be given to the defense fund and not for some attack ads,” Turner said. “We don't think that has any place over here.”

Republicans' Texas Spending May Bolster Charges Against DeLay U.S.: "The Republican Party's $190,000 in donations to seven Texas politicians in 2002, which are at the center of criminal charges against Representative Tom DeLay, dwarfed all other contributions the national party made to state legislative races that year, federal records show.

The size of the donations -- five times more money than the national party gave to other state legislative candidates -- may bolster a prosecutor's accusations that DeLay channeled funds through the party to skirt a Texas law banning corporate contributions to political races, campaign-finance experts say.

The money was distributed on Oct. 4, 2002, to Republican legislative candidates backed by DeLay's political action committee, Federal Election Commission records show. That was about two weeks after the national party got $190,000 from the PAC. An indictment obtained by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle charges that DeLay's PAC sent a list of the candidates to the party along with $190,000 raised from companies."

Daily Kos: The Ugly Truth for Tom DeLay

Daily Kos: The Ugly Truth for Tom DeLay: "Did you see the latest poll numbers? Despite Tom DeLay's spin machine kicking into crisis mode with a well-documented media blitz, DeLay continues to lose support among Texans who live in his district.

According to a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by Houston's KPRC-TV that was conducted this week, 40% of DeLay's constituents believe he should now resign from Congress -- the highest number recorded since polling began 5 months ago."

Ticket sales dropped during Miers' tenure overseeing lottery

KLTV 7 Tyler-Longview-Jacksonville, TX: Ticket sales dropped during Miers' tenure overseeing lottery: "Lottery ticket sales plummeted nearly 30 percent in the last three years of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' tenure as Texas Lottery Commission chairwoman."

Political Wire: Economic Outlook Favors Democrats

Political Wire: Economic Outlook Favors Democrats: "The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reviews the latest WSJ/NBC News poll and notes an overall 'public gloom' is lifting Democratic prospects for recapturing Congress.

'Nearly eight in 10 say 'the worst is still ahead' or there's 'a long way to go' for the economy, quadruple those who see better times. Political handicapper Charlie Cook says sour mood could 'pop' decisive Senate races against Bush's party; Democrats' House chances, he adds, turn on recruiting.'"

Papers: DeLay Group Used $100K for Races - Yahoo! News

Papers: DeLay Group Used $100K for Races - Yahoo! News: "Tom DeLay's political group used nearly $100,000 in corporate and unlimited donations to mail last-minute political appeals praising five congressional candidates despite rules meant to keep such money out of federal races, documents released Thursday show.

The records also detail payments DeLay's group made to Jim Ellis and Warren Robold, two longtime fundraisers indicted in Texas in the same state campaign finance case as DeLay. All three men say they are innocent in that case.

The documents from the
Federal Election Commission's audit of DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC (ARMPAC) were obtained by Political Money Line, a group that studies campaign fundraising."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Burnt Orange Report - Harriet Miers, liberal Democrat

Burnt Orange Report - Harriet Miers, liberal Democrat: "I have a bad habit of clicking links that take me to Drudge. But some times that leads to interesting tidbits, like this one:

The DRUDGE REPORT can now reveal that not only did Harriet Miers testify that she would not join the “politically charged” Federalist Society -- she testified that she had joined a liberal organization – the Democratic Progressive Voters League."

Watching the conservatives twist themselve into knots can be amusing.

Burnt Orange Report - No Bush Library for UT

Burnt Orange Report - No Bush Library for UT: "The state's two largest higher education systems have both been passed over in the quest to find a home for the Bush II Presidential Library. Neither UT nor A&M made it to the final cut (not did the City of Arlington for what it's worth). Moving on will be Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Dallas and a group led by Texas Tech University in Lubbock."

My bet is Baylor. No way will the Shrub let his library go to a public university that might someday be controlled by Dems.

The peak oil problem We may be running out sooner than we think

Rutland Herald: Rutland Vermont News & Information

In recent months the term "peak oil" has begun to enter the mainstream vocabulary for the first time, yet most people are not familiar with what it really means. This is an issue that I have been deeply concerned about for a number of years, both as a writer who has focused primarily on renewable energy, and in my work with the Vermont Biofuels Association. Peak oil deserves our immediate attention. Here's why.

Peak oil is now viewed by a growing number of observers as a more imminent danger to human society than global warming. That doesn't mean that global warming isn't a serious problem. It is. But peak oil is such a threat because the modern global economy is now almost totally dependent on enormous quantities of (still) relatively cheap petroleum products or their derivatives. Anything that seriously disrupts the supply or price of oil means big trouble, and the current extreme volatility of oil prices caused by tight supplies and rising demand is already causing problems that are beginning to ripple through the national and global economies. This is just the beginning.

OK, so what does peak oil really mean? When we arrive at peak oil, we will have consumed half of the total recoverable global reserves of oil. That might not seem like such a big deal, since half the total reserves are still available. But what many people don't realize is that the first half was the easy part to find and exploit and also represented the highest quality. While the remaining half is still in the ground, it's generally much lower in quality and located in much smaller fields in, shall we say, inconvenient places like the Arctic, or under deep water. Consequently, what remains is going to be much harder and more expensive to extract and produce.

Cabinet Ratings Down - FOX News Polls - FNC Poll - 10/13/05 FOX Poll: Cabinet Ratings Down: "Today more Americans disapprove than approve of the job performances of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney (search) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (search), according to a new FOX News poll. In addition, as many people think radical Muslims are 'deeply committed to winning' in the war on terrorism as think the United States is."

When FOX says the Prez and his cabinet are in deep trouble, you know it must be true.

Americans betting Rove's White House days are numbered: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Americans betting Rove's White House days are numbered: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "With Karl Rove's future as White House Deputy Chief of Staff in serious doubt, is the only online sportsbook to offer updated odds on the long-running scandal that continues to plague the Bush Administration. Current odds are 1-2 that Rove will have to leave the White House in the wake of an ongoing criminal investigation, and 3-2 that he will not.

Speculation on Rove's job security intensified when the indispensable Bush adviser was called to testify yesterday for the fourth time before a federal grand jury. At issue is whether Rove knowingly leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative to reporters in an effort to discredit an outspoken critic of the administration's war in Iraq. According to investigation insiders, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is also trying to determine whether Rove lied after the fact to conceal his involvement in the leak."

Trouble in Texas

Trouble in Texas: Commentary: OutRight: - Commentary - Gauge at Metro Weekly magazine - Washington DC gay/lesbian newspaper, fashion, issues, trends, shopping.: "Hardly anyone seems aware of it, but on Nov. 8, Texans will vote on an unusually far-ranging state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and anything ''similar'' to it. Since it's an off-year election, the turnout is likely to be very low. It's an excellent -- almost unique -- opportunity to make a strong showing in a state where we should be blown away. But the campaign against the amendment has been lackluster and marred by poor strategic and substantive decision making.

The proposed state constitutional amendment would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Nothing surprising there. But its second sentence goes on to prohibit the state and any of its political subdivisions (like counties and cities) from creating or recognizing any status ''identical or similar'' to marriage. That means civil unions are out, and it probably prohibits broad domestic partnership programs too. The amendment might also make enforcement of some private agreements between same-sex partners more doubtful since enforcing them might require a judge to ''recognize'' a relationship ''similar'' to marriage."

Prosecutor Subpoenas DeLay Phone Records - Yahoo! News

Prosecutor Subpoenas DeLay Phone Records - Yahoo! News: "A Texas prosecutor subpoenaed records for the home telephone of former House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay and the phone of his political campaign Thursday.

Also subpoenaed by prosecutor Ronnie Earle were records for two numbers for DeLay's daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro.

DeLay is facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy in a Texas campaign finance case.

The subpoenas list telephone numbers, but not whom they belong to. They ask for information about the calls and the numbers' subscribers, voice mail service, billing information, long distance calls made from or charged to the numbers and special features.

'The thing is no big deal,' said Bill White, Austin attorney for DeLay.

Earle's office declined comment on the subpoenas. He has said the investigation is continuing.

Earle is seeking the records and information from Sept. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2002, the time period when a political committee founded by DeLay, Texans for a Republican Majority, was raising money for the 2002 election cycle."


DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2005�: "The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained a copy of sworn testimony given by Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers in 1990 in which she said that she “wouldn’t belong to the Federalist Society” – a conservative and libertarian lawyers’ organization – because it was “politically charged.”

But Bush's Supreme Court nominee did not include in that category the NAACP and other liberal groups, the transcript reveals! "

Texans' credit risk up

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Business: "With the tougher bankruptcy law taking effect Monday, this is the last news you'd want to hear: According to credit bureau Experian, Texans are the most likely to file for personal bankruptcy in the next 12 months.

Experian calculates individuals' bankruptcy scores by looking at such factors as how close consumers are to their credit card limits, how many of their accounts are delinquent, and how many new accounts they're opening.

For the first time, the bureau studied average bankruptcy scores by state and found that Texas' average score was worst among the 50 states.

The report is based on consumer data from July.

The report backs up previous ones from the three major credit bureaus that Texans come in at or near the bottom for credit scores, the bureaus' main measure of a consumer's creditworthiness.

But the report is also surprising because Texans historically file for bankruptcy at a lower rate than the rest of the country."

This doesn't bode well for our state economy.

Conservatives fear Rove missed boat on Miers

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Karl Rove has long had an eye for judges.

In Texas, President Bush's political guru was a central figure in moving the state Supreme Court from Democratic control to Republican, transforming the bench into a more conservative, business-friendly body. At the White House, he's been a fixture in helping choose federal judges, all the way to the Supreme Court.

This time, though, the selection of Harriet Miers has drawn stinging criticism from key conservative leaders, stirring rumblings that Mr. Rove has been distracted by mounting legal troubles and failed to foresee the ferocity of the resistance to her Supreme Court nomination.

So, now he's working overtime to quell the rebellion."

Attorney announces her candidacy for District 31

NBC 6 News - Local Headlines: "The mother of two active duty soldiers has announced her candidacy for the District 31 seat in the United States Congress. Mary Beth Harrell, a democrat, has lived in Central Texas for 20 years.

She's a criminal attorney in Killeen and has served as city prosecutor in Nolanville and interim prosecutor in Temple. Harrell says she wants to tackle the issues of health care, gas prices, and ending the war in Iraq.

'A lot of us think the country is heading in the wrong direction,� she says. �We want to turn that around. I plan to lead by example and I plan to do what is the in the best interest of middle class America and those interest haven't been served in the last couple of years.'"

Burnt Orange Report - Anti-Prop 2 Ads: Good or Bad idea?

Burnt Orange Report - Anti-Prop 2 Ads: Good or Bad idea?: "I noticed today, that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has gone up with a $200,000 TV ad buy in Houston, urging voters to cast ballots against Constitutional Amendment 2. I have mixed feelings to say the least. To view them go here.

One of the good things about Houston cable is that you can do much better targeting than say in Austin or San Antonio, because they have their network set up where you can get your ad only in front of the audiences you want it. Don't want to broadcast to blacks? Or just to certain age demographics? Odds are that you can do it with Houston cable. For that I am thankful because for this election, untargeted Broadcast Ads are NOT the way to win. There are very few areas where raising awareness of an actual election going on to the populace at large gets us a boost in turnout that actually help us."

Sadly, I think Karl-Thomas is right in this piece. Read the rest. - Conservatives launch TV assault on Earle - Conservatives launch TV assault on Earle: "A national conservative organization today is launching a television commercial in Austin and nationally comparing Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle to an attack dog because of his prosecution of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay.

'A prosecutor with a political agenda can be vicious,' the ad says over footage of a snarling dog.

The ad, sponsored by the Free Enterprise Fund of Washington, D.C., reminds viewers that Earle, 'a liberal Democrat,' once tried to prosecute U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican."

If you can't attack the facts attack the man--typical GOP thuggery.

Conaway to host fundraiser for DeLay | - Local News - 10/13/2005 - Conaway to host fundraiser for DeLay |: "Saying former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay 'will be just fine' despite his Travis County indictments, Congressman Mike Conaway Wednesday announced he will host a re-election fundraiser for DeLay from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Petroleum Club.

Quoting author Tom Clancy, Conaway said, ''If you yank on the tiger's tail, you must deal with the tiger's teeth.'

'I have great confidence in the justice system that Tom DeLay will be just fine. Mr. Earle has gone after conservatives in the past,' the 11th Congressional District Republican said, referring to Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle."

The Raw Story | Vice President's role in outing of CIA agent under examination, sources close to prosecutor say

The Raw Story | Vice President's role in outing of CIA agent under examination, sources close to prosecutor say: "Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney had a role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, individuals close to Fitzgerald say. Plame’s husband was a vocal critic of prewar intelligence used by President George W. Bush to build support for the Iraq war."

mparent7777: CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command?

mparent7777: CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command?: "CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command? "

A great piece on Rove's evolving defense.

mparent7777: CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command?

mparent7777: CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command?: "CIA Leak Scandal: Rove Defied Bush's Command? "

A great piece on Rove's evolving defense.

News Hounds: Hannity In A Panic Over Possible Karl Rove Indictment

News Hounds: Hannity In A Panic Over Possible Karl Rove Indictment: "Finally a discussion about the Valerie Plame investigation on Hannity & Colmes! I think I know why they steered clear of it before - Hannity can't take it. The prospect of his beloved Bush Administration getting into serious hot water sent him into a frenzy of Democrat-bashing that may have diverted his TV audience but will likely do nothing to help Karl Rove, Scooter Libby or anyone else involved in the outing of CIA agent Plame avoid indictment."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Perry pledges money to border security plan

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

Gov. Rick Perry vowed Wednesday to provide $9.7 million for a sheriff group's security plan along the Texas-Mexico border, money he said would meet immediate needs until the federal government decides on permanent funding.

“It's a one-time thing right now, but the fact of the matter is we're going to be counting on our federal counterparts,” Perry said while making the announcement across the border from Nuevo Laredo, which has been plagued by drug-related violence this year.

“Operation Linebacker,” the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition plan to boost border security, would get $3 million to hire additional deputies, $3 million for overtime pay and $3.7 million for other initiatives from Perry's criminal justice fund.

The plan also would establish four rapid deployment teams, each with 50 Department of Public Safety troopers, and permanently assign 54 DPS criminal investigators on the border to support local law enforcement.

“Enforcement of our border is a federal responsibility, but the consequences of inaction is suffered by border states,” Perry said. “The state of Texas cannot wait for the federal government to implement needed border security measures.”

In August, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano declared states of emergency for counties in their states along the border with Mexico. In the case of New Mexico, four border counties will share $1 million promised by Richardson as part of his plan to increase security along the border.

Perry said he has been in talks with governors of Mexico's border states about the plan. He said he will ask the Legislature next session to expand wiretap authorities for border investigations. Perry said he will not support a particular federal plan.

“I'm for the one that frankly brings the most money to our sheriffs,” he said.

Will Miers Sit on the Supreme Court?

Miers foes see law questions as way to derail nomination - The Boston Globe

Miers foes see law questions as way to derail nomination - The Boston Globe: "Some of the advocacy groups that are concerned about Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers's lack of a record on social issues are favoring a new approach to thwarting her nomination: Asking the nominee, who has no judicial experience, complex questions about constitutional law and hoping she trips up.

Groups are circulating lists of questions they want members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask Miers at her confirmation hearings. The activists' thinly veiled hope is that Miers will reveal ignorance of the law and give senators a reason to oppose her.

''We are trying to establish that there are thousands of questions that law students routinely deal with . . . and if she can't get to that level, it doesn't matter if you're for the left or the right, at that point it's a fait accompli that she is not fit for the office,' said Eugene DelGaudio, president of Public Advocate, a conservative profamily group."

House of Card

Whiskey Bar: House of Card: "If Howard Fineman is right, and Andrew Card really is making a move to topple Karl Rove, then this country could be in a heap of trouble. Rove, at least, is smart, even if it is a feral, devious brand of intelligence. Card, on the other hand, is as dense as a truck load of gravel -- a half-full truck load of gravel.

He'd might even tell you that himself, in fact he already has:

Like his boss, Card is an aggressively lowfalutin character . . . 'I'm not a very smart person,' Card says. 'I have to work really hard at remembering things.'

Having dealt with Card at various points during my own aggressively undistinguished career as a journalist, I can vouch for the fact that Andy is not misunderestimating himself."

"Bloggers" may not be eligible for Shield Law protection

"Bloggers" may not be eligible for Shield Law protection: "Senator Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.) recently revealed that so-called bloggers would 'probably not' be considered journalists by the Free Flow of Information Act of 2005, which will include provisions detailing 'shield law' protections for journalists. In effect, this could mean that it will be open season on those pesky bloggers once this bill passes."

Judith Miller Had More Than One Source (Duh!)

firedoglake: "
CNN is reporting that in Judy Miller's testimony today before Patrick Fitzgerald's Grand Jury she revealed she had more than one source.

How CNN would know I have no idea (must be some sort of lawyer or FBI leak) but it means one of two things:

1) Miller bold-faced lied in her press conference about the fact that the scope of her deal with Fitzgerald was limited to testimony about Libby alone:

Once I got a personal, voluntary waiver, my lawyer, Mr. Bennett, approached the special counsel to see if my grand jury testimony could be limited to the communications with the source from whom I had received that personal and voluntary waiver. The special counsel agreed to this and that was very important to me.

Since her attorneys Bob Bennett and Floyd Abrams both said in interviews that her testimony was limited to the entire Plame affair (meaning it excluded testimony about the Niger uranium matter, which Fitzgerald's original subpoena sought), this may well be true.

2) Fitzgerald busted Judy in a lie before the Grand Jury, and all deals are now off."

Buffalo News - Rove characterized Miers as pro-life to key conservative

Buffalo News - Rove characterized Miers as pro-life to key conservative: "In a private conversation designed to garner support for the nomination of Harriet E. Miers to the Supreme Court, White House aide Karl Rove told a key conservative Christian leader that the Texas lawyer had taken positions that 'would not be supportive of abortion.'

The unusual contact between Rove and James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a Colorado evangelical group staunchly opposed to abortion, came two days before President Bush announced Miers' nomination.

Dobson is one of the few fundamental Christian leaders to endorse Miers, whose lack of a public stand on abortion or other conservative legal issues has prompted widespread criticism among Bush's traditional supporters.

Dobson made the disclosure in a radio address tape-recorded Tuesday for broadcast today, following threats that the Senate Judiciary Committee might subpoena him and force him to describe his conversation with Rove.

'I'm gonna tell them what I would say to them if I were sitting before the Judiciary Committee,' Dobson said at the outset of the broadcast."

Think Progress � The “Broader Conspiracy”: What We Already Know About the White House Iraq Group

Think Progress � The “Broader Conspiracy”: What We Already Know About the White House Iraq Group: "The WSJ reports that Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation has zeroed in on the White House Iraq Group (WHIG):

Mr. Fitzgerald’s pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent’s name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy…Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group. Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. Rove and Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion. The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to Mr. Wilson’s claims.

It sounds plausible, especially considering how much we already know about the involvements of members of WHIG:"

Off the Kuff: Bell's ethics platform

Off the Kuff: Bell's ethics platform: "As previously noted, Chris Bell's plan for ethics reform is now available. Many of these ideas have been floated before, some of them in the 2005 legislative session. All of them strike me as common sense, but they've never had a Governor to advocate for them before, and that's the key. As long as Rick Perry or someone like him is in office, these items will remain on the wish list. Reform requires commitment, and that won't happen until there's a change at the top."

Burnt Orange Report - JetBlue in Austin

Burnt Orange Report - JetBlue in Austin: "So now Austin is connected to the JetBlue network via three non-stop flights to New York City. $79 for a one way ticket? Sounds like I might be doing some more adventuring at that price. Cool." - '97 suit accused Miers of violating constitutional right - '97 suit accused Miers of violating constitutional right: "A lawsuit filed by a former Texas Lottery executive director in 1997 accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers of violating the director's First Amendment free-speech rights and the Texas Open Meetings Act while conducting a partisan political purge of the state agency.

The case, brought by former lottery Executive Director Nora Linares, never went to trial and was settled with a statement from the commission absolving Linares of any wrongdoing during her five-year tenure at the lottery."

With his 'Kinky Toons,' Friedman's keeping it fun

With his 'Kinky Toons,' Friedman's keeping it fun: "Whatever your think of his campaign or his chances of becoming governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman has injected a fresh whiff of humor into what might otherwise be a grim campaign.

Incumbent Gov. Rick Perry and state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn seem headed for a bitter fight for the Republican nomination. Most political bookmakers would say today that the winner in the March GOP primary is a lock to become governor in this bright crimson state.

Former Houston congressman Chris Bell, unseated after the brutal, mid-census redistricting effort led by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in 2003, is the leading candidate for the Democratic Party nomination. Bell has some name recognition, Washington experience and party money , but he's running in the most Republican state in the nation."

The Raw Story | Report: Lawyers say investigation into CIA leak widens to probe 'broader conspiracy' around Iraq

The Raw Story | Report: Lawyers say investigation into CIA leak widens to probe 'broader conspiracy' around Iraq: "There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought, the Wall Street Journal will report Wednesday, "

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wrath of Earle feared in Texas

World Peace Herald: "Ronnie Earle, to many Republicans and especially Tom DeLay and his friends, appears as the devil incarnate: A rotten, mean-spirited Democrat with an ax to grind. Evil, partisan, unfair -- and not too bright.

Here in the Texas capital -- where they have elected him as their district attorney ever since 1976 -- it is a bit more complicated when talking of things Earle.

Some, particularly those Democrats who consider him the only thing between them and threatened obsolescence for the Democratic Party statewide, admire him greatly.

Others, including members of the Legislature -- heavily Republican -- and their staffs, fear him somewhat, even make fun of him behind his back, but tread cautiously. "

One of the best pieces of seen yet on Earle's non-partisanship.

Lawyer says Craddick won't be indicted in GOP probe Metro | State: "Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, is no longer a possible target of the campaign money-laundering investigation that has involved U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay and other GOP fundraisers, Craddick's attorney said Thursday."

Sorry it took me so long to catch this one. If true, why the hell not?

RED HERRING | Yahoo Adds Blog News

RED HERRING | Yahoo Adds Blog News: "Yahoo added blogs to its news search engine Tuesday so that blog links now appear next to news stories from major media web sites, further institutionalizing what was once mainly a grassroots publishing phenomenon.

The main page of Yahoo News Search now displays results with mainstream news media results on the left while blogs are displayed on the right.

“They will see a blogs link and will be able to do a blog search and find all the blogs related to that topic,” said Kathryn Kelly, Yahoo’s senior manager of public relations.


Kunstler & Chomsky:Iraq & Peak Oil By Bill Henderson

Kunstler & Chomsky:Iraq & Peak Oil By Bill Henderson: "'It would have been one thing to put the United States at the head of a coordinated, international effort to reduce dependence on carbon fuels; it is quite another to send American forces around the world – from Colombia to Uzbekistan, from Angola to the Persian Gulf – to oblige the world to meet an American demand for almost half the world’s oil supplies.' Godfrey Hodgson Oil and American Politics"

Daily Kos: ABC news makes it official, Peak Oil has arrived

Daily Kos: ABC news makes it official, Peak Oil has arrived: "On ABC news night, there was a story about the cost of home heating this winter, which is predicted to skyrocket. After describing how we are all going to freeze to death this winter, the reporter commented that while Katrina and Rita are partly to blame, the main reason is that demand has begun to outstrip supply. Looks like we didn't even make it to turkeyday, the date one of the peak oil prophets of doom has predicted would mark the beginning of the end. If the MSM is saying demand has eclipsed suppy, it is time to take this very seriously. Especially as it would be so easy to hide behind Katrina's skirts on this one, as the home heating problem is directly tied to Katrina."

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation (10/11/05)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation (10/11/05): "In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony."

Daily Kos: Poll: Americans Want Bush Impeached

Daily Kos: Poll: Americans Want Bush Impeached: "Poll: Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq

By a margin of 50% to 44%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003."

DeLay's lawyers subpoena district attorney

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Lawyers for indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on Tuesday subpoenaed the prosecuting Texas district attorney in an effort to show he acted improperly with grand jurors.

The subpoena for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, filed in Austin, asked that the prosecutor and two of his assistants appear in court to explain their conduct.

The lawyers previously had filed a motion asking for dismissal of the conspiracy and money-laundering charges against DeLay, who stepped aside as House majority leader because of the indictment.

Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's attorney, also asked that grand jurors be released from their secrecy oath so they could answer questions about the prosecutor's conduct.

Earle had no immediate comment on the subpoena.

DeGuerin wants Earle to answer 12 questions about conversations he had with grand jurors, including whether the prosecutor became angry when a grand jury decided against an indictment of DeLay and why the decision was not publicly released.

He also wants to know the details of Earle's conversation with William Gibson, foreman of a grand jury that indicted DeLay on conspiracy"

American Chronicle: Karl Rove Reveals More Secrets

American Chronicle: Karl Rove Reveals More Secrets: "James Dobson and Karl Rove may have a lot of explaining to do in the near future. Supposedly Dobson was given “assurances” by Karl Rove about the Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

Last week, Focus on the Family head James Dobson said that his support for Harriet Miers was in part due to “confidential” information he had received during a phone conversation with Karl Rove."

Rove's Long History With the Bush Family - New York Times

Rove's Long History With the Bush Family - New York Times: "Political adviser Karl Rove's history with the Bush family:

1973 -- Rove became chairman of the College Republicans. During his time in Washington, D.C., he became a special assistant to Republican National Committee Chairman George H.W. Bush and met George W. Bush.

1977 -- Worked for a political action committee dedicated to making the elder Bush president in 1980.

1978 -- Advised younger Bush during his unsuccessful Texas congressional campaign.

1980 -- Assisted George H.W. Bush's unsuccessful presidential campaign.

1994 -- Adviser for George W. Bush's successful Texas gubernatorial campaign.

1998 -- Adviser for Gov. Bush's successful re-election campaign.

2000 -- Chief strategist for Bush's presidential campaign.

2004 -- Chief strategist for re-election campaign.

2005 -- Currently assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to President George W. Bush."

ABC News: DeLay Lawyers Subpoena District Attorney

ABC News: DeLay Lawyers Subpoena District Attorney: "Lawyers for indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on Tuesday subpoenaed the prosecuting Texas district attorney in an effort to show he acted improperly with grand jurors.

The subpoena for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, filed in Austin, asked that the prosecutor and two of his assistants appear in court to explain their conduct.

The lawyers, previously had filed a motion asking for dismissal of the conspiracy and money-laundering charges against DeLay, the former House majority leader who has stepped aside from that post because of the indictment."

la case de l'affreux thom: Holy Grail--Betty Everett

la case de l'affreux thom: Holy Grail

* "Just a matter of time" (1974 - Fantasy), sacré Willie

* "Wondering" (1974 - Fantasy), le coup de grâce

Attytood: Fun with Dick and George: The biggest story of 2005 is hiding in plain sight

Attytood: Fun with Dick and George: The biggest story of 2005 is hiding in plain sight: "No one in the mainstream media seems to be working on this, but the big story -- the one that could dramatically change the course of the next three years -- is right under their collective noses.

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush don't like each other anymore."

Off the Kuff: Rep. Kevin Brady arrested for DUI

Off the Kuff: Rep. Kevin Brady arrested for DUI: "Speaking of US Rep. Kevin Brady, it looks like he had a bit too much fun at Homecoming Weekend."

Monday, October 10, 2005

CIA Leak: Karl Rove and the Case of the Missing E-mail - Newsweek Periscope -

CIA Leak: Karl Rove and the Case of the Missing E-mail - Newsweek Periscope - "The White House's handling of a potentially crucial e-mail sent by senior aide Karl Rove two years ago set off a chain of events that has led special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to summon Rove for a fourth grand jury appearance this week. His return has created heightened concern among White House officials and their allies that Fitzgerald may be preparing to bring indictments when a federal grand jury that has been investigating the leak of a CIA agent's identity expires at the end of October. Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer, tells NEWSWEEK that, in his last conversations with Fitzgerald, the prosecutor assured Luskin 'he has not made any decisions.'" Can The RNC Be Indicted In Tom Delay-Gate? Can The RNC Be Indicted In Tom Delay-Gate?

The alleged money laundering that has become a modus operandi for the Republican culture of corruption is becoming increasingly well-known. At the center of the alleged money laundering is the ring-leader and recently indicted Tom DeLay, the creater and owner of a Political Action Committee called TRMPAC, which was also indicted in the ever-widening criminal scandal in Texas.

Alphaliberal.comIn Texas the law is clear: it is illegal to take corporate money and use it for elections. In an alleged money laundering scheme, Tom DeLay’s PAC took corporate money, sent it to the RNC, who cut checks back to individual canditdates in Texas.

American Chronicle: Gut Check Time: Tom Delay, Bill Frist, & Karl Rove -- Welcome to Washington

American Chronicle: Gut Check Time: Tom Delay, Bill Frist, & Karl Rove -- Welcome to Washington

It was announced recently that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) was indicted on charges of conspiracy in relation to some questionable dealings concerning campaign funds. Also in the news recently is the possibility that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is guilty of duplicitously dumping anywhere from $2-$6 million in stock in what looks to be an egregious instance of insider trading. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the president’s right hand man, the untelegenic Karl Rove, coming under fire for allegedly leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative to a newspaper columnist. This is just to give you a “highlight reel” of the many misfortunes our governmental leadership seem to find inescapable these days.

Meanwhile, the country these fellows are supposed to be leading isn’t exactly humming along on autopilot while things get sorted out. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and ‘Brownie’ (formerly known as FEMA honcho Michael Brown) combined to devastate large parts of the South, essentially laying waste to the city of New Orleans. The war in Iraq is spiraling out of control, and the public is beginning to take notice. Gas is a step away from being hoarded in wine cellars, and we’ve got Supreme Court members dropping like flies.

When asked how the White House felt about Republican government leaders being so encumbered with distractions while such a maelstrom of problems faced the nation, spokesman Scott McClellan’s reply was simple: “Welcome to Washington, D.C.”

Apparently, Mr. McClellan feels that politicians dealing with personal scandals as opposed to national crises is just part of the nature of business in our nation’s capital.

WorldNetDaily: Harriet Miers contributed to Hillary's election in 2000

WorldNetDaily: Harriet Miers contributed to Hillary's election in 2000: "On May 17, 2000, while Harriet Miers was managing the law firm of Locke Liddell from the firm's Dallas office, she contributed $415 to the law firm's political action committee. Federal Election Commission reports show that two days later, Locke Liddell's PAC contributed $1,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate Campaign Committee. For an unexplained reason, Harriet Miers listed herself as a 'self-employed attorney,' according to the FEC Report on her 2000 contribution to the Locke Liddell PAC.

FEC records also show a $500 contribution on Feb. 15, 2000, by the Locke Liddell PAC to Democrat Nicholas Lampson, who ran unsuccessfully against Tom DeLay.


Off the Kuff: DeLay's defense

Off the Kuff: DeLay's defense

Well, it's pretty clear that Tom DeLay has been listening to the damage control experts, isn't it? He's got his attack points down, and he's got a little wind at his back now, thanks in part to the efforts of his defense attorney and in part to the nature of the latest indictment plus recent comments by the first grand jury's foreman. I don't think those things will amount to much in the long run, barring a ruling in favor of the defense on the motion to dismiss the indictments, which I also don't think will happen, but DeLay doesn't need much to work with to be effective.

Though he's talking about a different subject, I think Josh Marshall raises a point that's worth considering as the DeLay Defense sets up its perimeter.

We tend to think that the real key to a scandalee's fate is how many mobilize against him or her. Usually, though, the key issue is whether and how quickly they can find some committed group to mount a defense. If that happens, and quickly, a scandal equilibrium can be reached, and an embattled pol can often withstand merciless attacks and revelations. With no true base of support, however, a career can rapidly collapse even if the opposition itself isn't all that intense.

Obviously, DeLay has a sizeable base of support at this time. Very few people on his side of the aisle have said anything (on the record, at least) against him, and the activists are firmly in his corner. What I'm wondering is whether or not anyone prominent - say, Ken Mehlman or Roy Blunt - will take a turn on the talk show circuit to aid in DeLay's defense, or if the only person out there on TV doing the talking points thing will continue to be just DeLay himself.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

10 Asinine Tom DeLay Quotes

Come and Take it!: October 2005: "10 Asinine Tom DeLay Quotes"

1) "I AM the federal government." -- snarled at the owner of Ruth's Chris Steak House, after being told to put out his cigar because of federal government regulations banning smoking in the building, May 14, 2003 (Source)

2) "So many minority youths had volunteered…that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself." -- clarifying, at the 1988 GOP convention, why he and vice presidential nominee Dan Quayle did not fight in the Vietnam War(Source)

3) "Now tell me the truth, boys, is this kind of fun?" -- joking to three young hurricane evacuees from New Orleans at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 9, 2005 (Source)

4) "We're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duper power." -- explaining why America must topple Saddam Hussein in 2002 interview with Fox News (Source)

5) "Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes." -- bloviating about the Republican agenda, March 12, 2003 (Source)

6) "Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills." -- pontificating on causes of the Columbine High School massacre, 1999 (Source)

7) "A woman can take care of the family. It takes a man to provide structure. To provide stability. Not that a woman can't provide stability, I'm not saying that... It does take a father, though." -- explaining his family values in a radio interview, Feb. 10, 2004 (Source)

8) "I don't believe there is a separation of church and state. I think the Constitution is very clear. The only separation is that there will not be a government church." -- interpreting the Constitution (Source)

9) "Emotional appeals about working families trying to get by on $4.25 an hour [the minimum wage in 1996] are hard to resist. Fortunately, such families do not exist." -- during a debate in Congress on increasing the minimum wage, April 23, 1996 (Source)

10) "I am not a federal employee. I am a constitutional officer. My job is the Constitution of the United States, I am not a government employee. I am in the Constitution." -- in a CNN interview, Dec. 19, 1995 (Source)

Another truly bad week for Republicans

Brains and Eggs: "Deputy Attorney General nominee Timothy Flanagan's name is withdrawn after his connections to Jack Abramoff are revealed.

The anti-torture bill is passed by the Senate 90-9 (Texas' John Cornyn is one of the nine voting in favor of torture). The president, stubborn as ever, will veto it anyway.

Hurricane-relief contracts awarded with little or no competitive bidding will be done over.

Bush finally gives up on Social Security reform and additional tax cuts. For the time being.

Tom DeLay fielded a second indictment, and Karl Rove is about to catch his first.

Did I forget to mention that the GOP is tearing itself in two over the nomination of Harriet Miers? Or that two polls now show Bush's support has eroded into the 30's?"

Off the Kuff: The grassroots movement on Prop 2

Off the Kuff: The grassroots movement on Prop 2

This Chron article gives the best reason why those who oppose the Double Secret Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, also known as Proposition 2, need to get out and vote on November 7:

"This is unique, historical. Nothing like this has happened in Texas. Most people don't know it's going to occur, and that's the fear," said Kelley Shackelford, one of [Texans for Marriage Political Action Committee]'s founders.

Similar measures against same-sex marriage were on the ballots of 11 states last November, and all passed. Texas is the only state this year where voters will consider measures defining marriage.

"If you had a huge turnout, there's no doubt in my mind, Texans are solidly behind keeping marriage between a man and a woman," Shackelford said. "I can't tell you whether they will show up or not. Anyone can win."

Don't wake up on November 8 with a case of the coulda-shouldas. This is important.

And this is the saddest thing I've read about the Prop 2 debate:

Shackelford says support for banning same-sex marriage crosses usual political and philosophical lines. Though socially conservative issues often are associated with Republicans and white evangelicals, this measure appeals to people regardless of their party affiliation, economic status and ethnic background, said Shackelford, who is white.

Willie Davis, the senior pastor at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and a supporter of the amendment, agrees. "This is not the normal right, evangelical fight. We are supporting it because of our biblical beliefs," said Davis, who is black. "That's not a principle we adopted because it's on the ballot. That's something we always believed in. I would hope we do not rewrite history as to what the creator has already defined."

Battle over gay marriage begins

Star-Telegram | 10/09/2005 | Battle over gay marriage begins: "Depending on whom you ask, this election season will be about the sanctity of marriage, the protection of individual rights, or nothing but a setup for the real races in 2006.

Either way, all the talk is going to be about gay marriage.

The fight over same-sex marriages in Texas is heating up, as both sides ratchet up their arguments over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Texas is the only state with an amendment on the ballot involving the hot-button issue this year, making it a focus of the gay-marriage movement -- pro and con -- for the next month."

People already following DeLay-Lampson race

The Galveston County Daily News: "The man who wants to unseat Congressman Tom DeLay — still a political force despite two recent indictments — is headquartered in a two-room office in a strip mall above a natural foods store in Nassau Bay.

Nick Lampson has a couple laptops, a smattering of staff and a campaign poster tacked to his door. As of Tuesday, no one had changed his office sign in the lobby, which still read: Suite 271, Law Offices of Daniel Conley.

Lampson said he’s running lean right now. The election, after all, is 13 months away.

But the nation is ignoring neither him nor the race.

On Lampson’s desk is a DeLay political cartoon that someone sent him from Sacramento. Those laptops hold records of more than $750,000 in contributions received since May, when Lampson, who represented Galveston County before the Republican-led redistricting, announced his candidacy. DeLay staffers say support for the congressman is also high, with contributions reaching a 20-year record last quarter.

The 22nd Congressional District race is already a big deal. And it’s only expected to get bigger. "

The People's Republic of Seabrook: I wonder if Ronnie Earle realized the firestorm he was in for?

The People's Republic of Seabrook: I wonder if Ronnie Earle realized the firestorm he was in for?: "good defense. As much as I detest using football metaphors when discussing politics, Tom DeLay has taken this message to heart, and he is leading an offense designed to lay waste to everything in it’s wake- particularly Travis County DA Ronnie Earle. The unfortunate aforementioned Earle is at a tremendouns disadvantage:

a) He’s not a demagogue.

b) He’s doesn’t have anywhere near the access to the national media that DeLay does,

c) DeLay is willing to do ANYTHING to “clear” his name, and

d) DeLay understands the power of propaganda (sounds as if someone’s been reading his Goebbels, eh??)."

The Raw Story | Former House leader DeLay loses nearly $20,000; Keeps driver

The Raw Story | Former House leader DeLay loses nearly $20,000; Keeps driver: "Erstwhile House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) lost his roughly $20,000 leadership salary premium when he resigned his leadership post, the Wall Street Journal reveals in (paid-restricted) Friday editions.

The tough-talking Texan was forced to relinquish his position when he was indicted for conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

The Journal also reveals that DeLay is breaking with the other defedants in the case. DeLay wants a swift trial to 'speed possible return to his post,' whereas his former fund-raisers are 'stalling the court date with pretrial motions and challenges.'"

Making the case for, against DeLay

Making the case for, against DeLay: "The conspiracy indictments against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay and his co-defendants tell an intriguing tale of a blank check, a wish list of campaign donations for Texas candidates and money laundering at the highest levels of the Republican National Committee.

To the defense team, it's just a tale: Lawyers argue that the $190,000 transaction at the root of the charges was legal, the list might never have existed, and DeLay learned of the money transfer, in passing, only after it occurred.

Yet Austin lawyer Randall 'Buck' Wood, who was the first to publicly question DeLay's campaign-finance tactics during the 2002 elections in Texas, says the case against DeLay and his two co-defendants, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, might turn out to be much simpler.

A single money transfer — the first in the series — could be the key, Wood says, because it shows that those handling the money went beyond what Texas allows when it comes to the use of corporate money in politics."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Rove Denied to Bush He Engaged in Leak - Yahoo! News

Rove Denied to Bush He Engaged in Leak - Yahoo! News: "Senior aide Karl Rove denied to
President Bush that he engaged in an effort to disclose the identity of a covert
CIA operative to discredit her husband's criticism of
Iraq policy, say people familiar with Rove's statements in a criminal investigation."

State income tax favorable to some but unlikely Metro | State: "Patti Hawley doesn't think it makes sense to keep socking homeowners with higher school property taxes when an alternative tax would be fairer.

The University of Texas at San Antonio student emerged from a state senator's school finance presentation last week convinced that Texans should adopt a personal income tax, which could cut school property taxes by 90 percent and create dependable school funding to bring the state to the national average.

'It makes sense to me because you shouldn't be overtaxed on your home,' Hawley said. 'Everybody should have a house.'"

Political Affairs Magazine - DeLay Indictment: The Hammer Searches for an Alibi

Political Affairs Magazine - DeLay Indictment: The Hammer Searches for an Alibi

After a second indictment on the charge of money laundering by a Texas grand jury this week, a Houston newspaper is reporting that Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) has changed his story about his involvement in illegal campaign finance transactions.

Early in the investigation, the former House Majority Leader told Travis County Prosecutor Ronnie Earle that he knew about a $190,000 donation from his Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC) to the Republican National Committee (RNC). The $190,000 was turned over in September 2002 with the request that the RNC make non-corporate donations to several Texas Republican candidates.

It would have been illegal to give the $190,000 to the Texas Republicans as several corporations had donated the money. The Texas grand jury has already indicted DeLay and two other TRMPAC officials on criminal charges for conspiring to use corporate donations to finance political campaigns illegally. The new indictment says that DeLay laundered the additional $190,000 to try to skirt this law.

Claiming he "misspoke," DeLay told ultra right radio personality Rush Limbaugh earlier this week that he tried to changed his story about knowing about the $190,000, but that the prosecutor wouldn't let him.

DeLay's lawyer, however, has two other stories about when DeLay knew about the check. On the same day that DeLay complained to Limbaugh about not being able to change his tune, his lawyer told the Houston Chronicle that DeLay didn’t know about the check until an October 2, 2002 meeting with his indicted co-conspirators.

Two days later, DeLay’s lawyers changed his story. He now claims that DeLay didn’t know until much later.

OK, why can't DeLay get his story straight?
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