Fired former U.S. Attorneys David Iglesias and John McCay testified before Congress today about the political pressures put on them by Senator Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson. Is it not entirely obvious by now that they were trying to pressure the former attorneys into prosecuting Democrats before the election for purely political [...]
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This is just my own little theory but I never expected Domenici to run for re-election next year. I have believed for a long time now that he was aiming to hand-off the seat smoothly to his protege, Rep. Heather Wilson, mostly to keep the other Republican congress member from New Mexico, reactionary extremist Steve Pearce from jumping in, probably beating Wilson and then losing the seat to a Democrat. (The theory is that the more mainstream conservative Wilson can appeal to people with a 3-digit IQ whereas Pearce's extremist allure runs out when you get beyond the people who have learned to sing Horst Wessel Lied.) Anyway, Domenici has about a quarter million dollars cash on hand, a pittance for a Senate run-- and far less than Tom Udall has on hand (over $700,000) and nothing compared to what Governor Bill Richardson would have left over from what he's out raising-- and is transferable-- for a presidential or vice-presidential campaign that is unlikely to go very far.
This dovetails nicely with how both Wilson and Domenici got on Republican federal prosecutor David Iglesias' ass about not staging a showy political trial against some Democrats in time for what was proving to be a very tough re-election battle for Wilson. (She won by 879 votes and had she lost Domenici's plan would have been mortally wounded.) When Iglesias proven to not be a team player, Domenici got tough with him, threatened him, tried to intimidate him and eventually called Gonzales and had him fired. This is absolutely a New Mexico version of Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" and it probably dooms Domenici's and Wilson's plans no matter what they are.
This afternoon the Washington Post reported that Domenici, finally realizing what hot water he's in, hired a top defense attorney. He hired a Republican shyster who wasn't able to do much to keep his last GOP criminal client, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, out of prison. The Senate Ethics Committee has announced it is investigating Domenici's outrageous behavior. Hiring a heavy hitter like Blalack, who has managed to keep another crooked client, Bill Frist, out of jail so far for his stock manipulations when he was Senate Majority Leader, is very expensive. Like I said above, Domenici has around $260,000 in his kitty. Rep. Jerry Lewis, another Republican crook being investigated, has already reported spending almost a million dollars and he hasn't even been indicted yet!
What makes matters even worse is that Domenici has been unable to keep his stories straight and they change every day. At first he denied everything and accused Iglesias of lying. Now he admits he called him but disputes Iglesias' recollections. (Iglesias is sharp and Domenici, aside from being nasty and vicious, is noticeably senile.)
The DSCC smells a dead pig and they're eager to pick up a seat in Democratic-leaning New Mexico. As I said a few days ago, Bill Richardson, Tom Udall, Lt. Gov Diane Denish or Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez could all make credible runs against Domenici now. Richardson would be heavily favored to beat him.
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Yesterday, John McKay, the former U.S. attorney in Washington, revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Rep. Doc Hastings’s (R-WA) office contacted him and attempted to pressure him in an ongoing investigation. McKay was investigating voter fraud in the hotly contested 2004 gubernatorial election, which had been certified in favor of the Democratic candidate. [...]
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O.J. Simpson and Anna Nicole finally united in a single segment.
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One divorce, okay, maybe evangelicals would give a candidate a break. But three marriages? No way.
Richard Land, head of public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Associated Press that evangelicals believe the former New York City mayor showed a lack of character during his divorce from his second wife, television personality Donna Hanover.
"I mean, this is divorce on steroids," Land said. "To publicly humiliate your wife in that way, and your children. That's rough. I think that's going to be an awfully hard sell, even if he weren't pro-choice and pro-gun control."
As BarbinMd at Daily Kos says:
First it was James Dobson of Focus on the Family saying that he wouldn't support John McCain "under any circumstances," and now the Southern Baptist Convention is repudiating Giuliani. This sounds like good news for Romney and better news for Democrats.
MS. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
Yes, I was glad to see Libby convicted, but what about the crime of outing a CIA agent? If this whole episode regarding Libby was to be compared to the peeling of a giant onion ... Libby is just the outside skin and not anywhere near the heart of the matter.
The race is on to see how long the talking heads can keep the wheels on the “Straight Talk Express” with the McCain campaign staff jumpin’ off “The Crazy Train”:John McCain’s Obama-esque remarks about our “wasted” resources in Iraq weren’t the only comments that landed him in hot water after a recent appearance on Late [...]
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A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Peter Michaelson
The White House Correspondents Association must cancel its April 21 dinner if it's serious about atoning for its complicity in the American tragedy in Iraq. Guest-of-honor George W. Bush does not deserve such moral support as this dinner bestows upon him. And our democracy can't survive the media-government cronyism this event signifies.
I'm getting tired of hearing gay Republicans repeat the mantra that Bill Clinton was a disaster for gay rights, that this proves how much the Democrats have failed us, and somehow this exonerates how hateful the Republican party is to gays. Yes, Clinton screwed us on DOMA, and his wife is following suit. But putting that aside, and it's a big thing to put aside I admit (and I'll be addressing it shortly), the gay Republicans are lying to us in an effort to assuage their own guilt at still supporting a party that hates them.
The biggest complaint against Clinton, aside from DOMA, is, seemingly, that he didn't pass any great pro-gay legislation like ENDA, hate crimes, marriage, etc. Well, that's all well and good, until you realize that presidents don't make and pass legislation - Congress' do. And from 1994 until 2006, the Congress was Republican (albeit we had a brief Dem stint in the Senate when Jeffords defected). So any gay Republican who has a problem that we haven't had any great gay rights successes at the federal level in 12 years need go only in search of the nearest mirror in order to find who's to blame.
Now, let's start with DOMA. How conveniently the gay Republicans forget whose idea DOMA was in the first place: the Republican congress. They came up with the legislation to bash Democrats by bashing gays. The Republicans came up with the brilliant move (and I mean brilliant) to put the Dems in the mid-1990s in the position of either supporting gay marriage - something that was politically untenable ten years ago (and is still not super popular with the public today) - or of bashing gays. Most Dems, including Clinton, chose to bash gays rather than fall on their swords. Yeah, it sucks. But I don't hold politicians that responsible for falling victim to "gotcha" votes unless we as a community have done our homework in laying the groundwork to make it possible for those politicians to vote against this kind of legislation (though Clinton bragged in radio ads about supporting DOMA, and that was wrong). As a community we didn't do this on marriage, and still haven't done this on marriage.
The Republican majority gave the Democrats in Congress a Sophie's Choice. Yeah, I'm still pissed at Sophie, but let's not forgot the Nazis who forced the choice on her in the first place.
Next point, supposedly Bill Clinton didn't do anything for gays. We've already established that Bill Clinton couldn't pass ENDA or hate crimes or marriage or anything else pro-gay because the Republicans controlled Congress for 12 years, and Congress is the one that makes laws. What Bill Clinton could do, and did, was make political appointments, write regulations, submit budgets, and use his bully pulpit. And on all of those, he did his job for our community.
Let's look at what Bill Clinton did for gays. First off, keep in mind, we're talking 1992 here. Not 2007. It's easy now to say "George Bush also supports AIDS research." Yeah, but Ronald Reagan, who has president just 4 years before Bill Clinton, refused to even say the word AIDS for most of his presidency. It was huge for the community that Bill Clinton ran as an openly gay-friendly president and went on to be a president who supported massive AIDS funding, and appointing openly-gay staff to ambassadorships and senior government positions. And before anyone poo-poo the importance of gay jobs in the administraiton, remember the battle over Roberta Achtenberg? Appointing lesbians to political jobs was a big deal in the early 90s, even if today it might seem old hat. Clinton took a huge amount of heat for appointing Roberta, Jesse Helms practically shut down the Senate, but Clinton stuck by her, stuck by us, and got her confirmed.
We also got our first openly gay ambassador under Bill Clinton, Jim Hormel. We got job protections for federal employees based on sexual orientation - a HUGE change from the days of Reagan when gay employees were witch-hunted, lost their security clearances and their jobs. I spoke recently to a senior openly-gay State Department official who was the subject of a witch hunt in the 1980s under Reagan. The administration threatened to ruin his career if he didn't out every gay person he knew at the State Department. He said 'no' and hired a lawyer (a rather brave thing to do in the mid-80s). He told me that when Bill Clinton came in EVERYTHING CHANGED. I said to him, yeah, but things weren't still a problem in 1992 when Clinton came in were they? He told me I was wrong, it was, and the witch hunts didn't stop until Bill Clinton made them stop.
Then there's my story. I took and passed the Foreign Service Exam (oral and written) in 1989. It was my dream to join the Foreign Service. And I didn't because I was convinced they'd find out I was gay and that would be the end of my career. Funnily enough, prior drug use wasn't a problem for getting your security clearance, but being gay potentially was. I eventually refused to file the papers to get my first appointment, and that was that. The end of at least one of my dreams.
So spare me the revisionist history crap from self-loathing gay conservatives who need to convince us that the Democrats are as bad as Republicans on gay issues. That the pro-gay achievements of Democrats like Bill Clinton were no big deal at the time. The Republicans, the party of Ann Coulter, hate us. They make no bones about it. They are the folks who authored DOMA. They are the folks who block hate crimes legislation (Trent Lott personally killed it right after Matthew Shepard died). They are the folks who came up with the anti-gay amendment to Constitution to ban gay marriage. They are the folks who empowered the religious right and invited them into the entire administration, handing them the levers of government. Anyone who dares talk about how bad the Democrats are on gay rights, especially as it compares to the Republicans, is either delusional or a liar.
Yes, the Democrats aren't perfect. And as I've said, it's high time for Mr. and Mrs. Clinton to admit that DOMA was forced upon the president by the Republicans, and that it was a mistake he now regrets. But gay Republicans need to stop seeking therapy through historical revisionism. Gay GOPers are still in love with the prison guards, and no amount of lies is going to change that simple fact.
Framed: "Incompetence" is a dodge. The deplorable condition of so many aspects of our governance today is actually the result of the GOP's deliberate policy choices.DownWithTyranny! "Not since the Saturday Night Massacre, when President Nixon forced the firing of the Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, have we witnessed anything like this,"Headline Junky: The beginnings of a [...]
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