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May 25, 2006

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Dennis Hastert is under investigation by the FBI.

Are you sure?

Is the FBI even investigating William Jefferson now?

My what a mess.

Hastert and DoJ are denying the story, and Hastert is calling for a retraction. ABC is standing by it, and quoting sources responding to the denials. A nice little pissing battle. Obviously, time will tell as to who is mistaken, or lying, and who is wronged.

The story of the '03 Iranian overture has bubbled up periodically, and given the detail and sourcing, and the lack of response, one assumes there's some truth to it; however, true or no, I just can't get particularly worked up about it.

It's not news; it's dog-bites-man. We know what motivates this administration, and what doesn't; they've made that clear in deed and word. "You don't negotiate with evil regimes" is not a caricature; it's a quote. Utter obliviousness to, or willful denial of, evidence discovered by independent fact-finders, or the opinions of long-standing and highly credible allies, simply do not figure into their calculus, compared to the economic interests of domestic constituencies, the machinations necessary to maintain domestic political control, or ideological idees fixes (more or less in that order).

What could it have gained their business allies to pursue rapprochement with Iran? How would it have looked to the mouth-breathers to cozy up to a member of the "axis of evil"? Why should we talk with Islamofascists who sponsor terrorism?

It's long since past time, imho, to cease being amazed by the galactic incompetence of the Bush administration (at everything but enriching their buddies, of course). The standard here should be the Grant administration, or perhaps Harding. Anything else is a grevious insult to past presidents.

Oh Dave, jefferson is a pig but h's just one pig. The Kstreet/Abramof thing has connections all over the REpublican party leadership.

but that aside, I will be moving too, soon. One month, in fact. Before I move I an giving away everything I have made but not sold in the last five years. A great divestiture. I have a whole garage full of ceramic sculptures that I do not want to pack again.
This move is completely unreal to me. Somehow it is mving into paul's life even though we have lived together for five years already. I suppose its because we are moving to an area that has connections for him going back thiry years but is relatively new to me. Anyway I'm experiencing a sense of disorientation. It will be awhile before it is home to me. so I am very conscious of packing my identity to bring it with me and conscious of shedding things, too.
I'll be looking for a new job too, which I regret becaue I love the school where I work now. Only thirteen days and it's goodby to students I've taught for three years.. please excuse the typos. The font on this computer is really pale. (It's always the computer's fault!)

Emptywheel parses the various utterances to mean "federal investigators know about the bribe Denny took, but they're not investigating it".

ABC has their source (Junior Throat?) remark: "You guys wrote the story very carefully but they are not reading it very carefully".

Hmm.

European geography anyone?

A fun little educational game.
My best so far?
100% correct in 83 seconds
(but you'll need a really
good mouse to beat that).

First, no doubt that moving sucks.

Second, there are serious doubts as to whether Hastert is being investigated.

Third, I think you're out to lunch on the so-called implosion of the Republican Party. The "command-control" business is just so much hooey, especially for the conservative wing, because it implies that a whole class of Republicans have been ordered to shut up and do as they're told. Delay tried that tack and it helped end his career. The debate between the conservative and Republican elements is a good thing and makes for a stronger party. Also, the conservatives have increasing influence because we're part of the reason why Bush's approval numbers are in the tank, and it's why he went through a recent housecleaning and it's why he hired a conservate in Tony Snow for press secretary, and it's why Alito is Supreme Court justice and not Mystery Date Miers.

Redstate has a series of posts on the "separation of powers" stupidity, the best one being this one. In fact, if the Democrats want to improve the health of their party, more public and spirited and passionate debate would be just the ticket.

As for Iran, that is one but one more reason why Bush is seeing conservatives separate from him. We should have face-to-face talks with the Iranians.

The debate between the conservative and Republican elements is a good thing and makes for a stronger party.

What's the distinction you're drawing between "conservative" and "Republican" here?

Xanax: I did it in feruary and to my dismay I only scored 76%...

Moving is really hard. My worst move was when I moved from a one-room appartment to a three-room appartment when I was a student. People would come and help in the afternoon and since I didn't have that many things I would pack the evening before and on the morning of the moving day. This was pretty close to an examination period so I didn't have a lot of time.

Unfortunately I fell really ill and had to be admittend to the hospital. Panicked I called my best friend, who had to do the packing and overseeing for me. I stayed in hospital for three weeks, and came out if it to go to a empty appartment I never lived in before, with a pile of binbags containing my stuff in the middle of the room - including my unwashed dishes of the day I was admitted to the hospital...

In the weird but nice news category:
We have a stork group in one of our animal parcs. The population consists of 9 males and 7 females - and they found that three couples decided to go for same-gender houshoulds :)
Two male couples and one female couples started brooding on eggs and taking care of the young when the eggs hatched.
There is no difference in upbringing between the homosexual and heterosexual couples :)

I guess the anti-gay movement will now claim it is contegious in the Netherlands. Or maybe in the water :)

Delay tried that tack and it helped end his career.

well, it might have helped, but it wasn't the deciding factor.

"Delay tried that tack and it helped end his career"

In what world? Delay's career ended solely because of criminal charges brought against him. Had they not been filed, no one was even considering challenging him, and he would still be majority leader, with Hastert still the kindly face fronting the Republican house machine.

Hastert says the DOJ leak was retaliation for his opposition to the search.

Jack Balkin is delightfully shrill about all this.

Is the FBI even investigating William Jefferson now?

Well, Dave, George W. Bush has sealed files from the Jefferson case for 45 days, so you should address your question to him.

You tell me why a Republican President wants to delay the investigation of a corrupt Democrat.

Our party really could use more discipline, tho.

Specifically, our Congresscritters need to take more joint stands in favor of some basic principles so that the party as a whole can run on them next election. For example, several Democratic Senators just voted to pass the Hayden nomination out of committee. The Republicans, as always, voted lockstep for Hayden, so not one of those Dem votes was needed. Even if a Dem thought Hayden was a good appointee for CIA head, they could safely have voted against. But by voting 'aye,' they removed the issue from the board for the entire party. The Dems can no longer point fingers at any attacks by Hayden on our rights, the Republicans can point right back and say in all honesty that his appointment was bipartisan.

This vote was myopic and selfish to the point of suicide. Even simple enlightened self-interest should show them the value of a united front -- don't these people ever want to be committee chairs? And this sort of thing happens every day. All I can imagine is that they just aren't thinking in terms of whole-party election strategy. And they should be.

Slart's theorem of moves:

The miscellaneous stuff that you've promised yourself you'll pack into the two or three carboard cartons you've got left after the packing of all the really important stuff will not, even if packed in garbage bags to make optimum use of trunk space, take less than a half-dozen trips in your car to transport. If there are any houseplants, better rent a U-haul.

Hastert says the DOJ leak was retaliation for his opposition to the search.

I say that Hastert's opposition to the search is because he's being investigated. With just as much evidence, too.

I moved twice last year. I think I'll be staying put for a while.

The second time, in November, was to move in with my lady love. I had planned to wait until April of this year, since that was when my lease was up, but I'm not a patient man, I'm afraid.

I found out that if I moved into another property managed my the same management company then it would only cost me a five hundred dollar transfer fee, instead of thousands and thousands of dollars in penalties, fees and lost security. There was one complex that was suitable for our needs and I began calling in September to see if they had a two bedroom apartment opening up.

Every week I would call and every week the nice woman would tell me no, she had none available. Then, about the middle of October, she said that there was one. The people had just moved out without warning and it was available immediately. In fact, if I wanted it, I had to move in by November 1st.

This gave me less than two weeks to plan, pack and execute a move encompassing three second-floor apartments (hers, mine and ours), thousands of books, dozens of pieces of furniture, huge amounts of bric-a-brac and god knows what else. Not to mention that my sweetie has a chronic illness and gets sick if she lifts heavy objects, so that I had to do a good part of the packing and stacking for her place as well as mine.

I did get it all done, in time and under budget. I hired movers for the actual move day. It was the first time I'd ever done that. I felt a bit like a slacker letting those guys move all my stuff, but I was totally exhausted when the day actually came and I was very, very happy that I had hired them. It was the best money I ever spent.

As for the Iran thing, I'm experiencing serious outrage fatigue. The administration could post videos on Whitehouse.Gov of W and Cheney taking turns putting kittens in a microwave and I couldn't gin up enough anger for a snippy blog post.

I'm not saying I believe him...

I always thought people let DeLay's loathesome qualities blind them to how bad Hastert was. He is the Speaker, and yet tended not to get the blame.

kvenlander- Thanks for the link to the emptywheel post.

Republicans take comfort. Hastert isn't being investigated. The FBI merely leaked the fact that they knew he took bribes. Bush is ordering the FBI to stand down anyway so dont fret about Denny he will be fine.

Yeah, last year we my girlfriend and I moved from individual apartments into a new home. My half of the move wasn't bad... I'd helped with enough bad moves that I was meticulous about having everything boxed, etc. However, Jennifer was a little less prepared...

It started off fine, but we also had too few helpers, and we did both apartments on the same day. As we completed my place, people were beginning to drag, but we wanted to race dark (etc.) By the time we were clearing her place out, there was a lot more scraping furniture against walls, stumbling, and slowness. Not a good way to end-- too much just got tossed in the garage because we were too tired to deal with it. That's made unpacking more difficult over the last year plus...

Still, I'm living with her, so the move was worthwhile in the end. ;)

"What's the distinction you're drawing between 'conservative'and 'Republican' here?"

Anarch, with due respect (which is considerable), you can't know very much about conservatives or conservatism if you have to ask this.

It's the same question as "What's the distinction you're drawing between 'leftist' and 'Democrat' here"?

Neither answer is a mystery.

The differences get talked about constantly, outside the opposing echo chamber, within which if one only stays, the Other Side is homogenous mass led by the most extreme.

Gary,

"Conservative" and "leftist" are not opposites. If you changed "leftist" to "liberal" (a far closer antonym for "conservative"), then your complaint about Anarch becomes less obvious.

Bush is ordering the FBI to stand down anyway so dont fret about Denny he will be fine.

sounds like another opportunity for some bold FBI staffers to start whispering to the press. i'm sure the FBI wouldn't like to be shown as being a tool for partisan political purposes.

when my wife and i moved a couple of years ago, we packed for weeks, filling the garage with boxes. then, the day of the move came, and my wife came down with the flu. she could do nothing but sleep. but there was no bed, and the house was wide open, cold, (the week before Christmas) and full of people walking around with heavy things.

so, we drove her to the new house, with a blanker and a pillow. she curled up in an empty bedroom and slept in a ball on the floor the whole day.

the moving company put as much in their truck as they could hold. but they wouldn't take gas-powered things like the lawnmower, weed-eater, etc.. and, i still had to clean the house.

i ended up making ten trips bewteen houses that day (35 mins each way), loading up the car with leftover stuff, cleaning, vacuuming, repairing, etc..

moving is the pits.

Methinks Charles Bird is awfully wrong when he prescribes vigorous and passionate public debate as the means by which the Democratic party can help its political health. He would be right in thinking that it is healthy for society in general to hold vigorous public political debates, but when a party is out of power, it isn't smart to accentuate the differences within. Vigorous, passionate, public debate is a luxury a political party can afford when it is in power, and it is true that when it happens, it *can* lead to a strengthening of its health. The Democratic party should conduct its inner debate in a rather dispassionate and private manner, unless it wishes Charles Bird's Republican friends to opportunistically attack them as a fragmented bunch that offers no unified ideas for effective government.

3 Things:

1. Moving is still a bitch for me too, especially with the lovely onset of humidity (frown). It has become the task that never ends.

2. My sister works on the Hill and confirmed Dennis Hastert is under intense investigation and that things are sounding (very) bad. But at least corrupt officials are getting what they deserve. Hoorah!

3. Beach balls and commencement were fun.

Quite frankly, I'm not all that interested in prescriptions from Republicans on how the Democrats should act, what policies they should put forward or who they should nominate for various offices. I had a bellyfull of that in '04 when there seemed to be wide agreement that we should nominate Lieberman because he was the candidate they liked best. Not that they would actually vote for him, but they liked him. Most of their "advice" is of similarly useful quality. You see to your party sir and I'll see to mine.

I'll go so far as to say the same thing at this point about anyone still on the fence. I appreciate that it may be very difficult for you to contemplate pulling the D lever when you've been a GOPer all your life. However, if you can't put that aside after all that's gone down in the last five years, if you can't say that, just for an election or two, do all you can to clean out the Augean Stables of our government, if you can't do that, I'm not all that interested in your advice for my party either.

A few years ago I wrote a poem about a photograph of me and a young woman standing on a bridge looking in different directions, about my inability to comprehend her decision not to live any longer, and about how I'd lost the picture in a move.

Methinks Charles Bird is awfully wrong when he prescribes vigorous and passionate public debate as the means by which the Democratic party can help its political health.

Is Charles calling for intra party public debate, or for the Dems to step up and more publicly denounce Jefferson (and probably say 'yes, what the FBI did here was not ideal, but...')?

Anarch, with due respect (which is considerable), you can't know very much about conservatives or conservatism if you have to ask this.

I know how I'd distinguish between them. I know how many people distinguish between them, many in ways which are mutually incompatible. I don't know how Charles is distinguishing between them, especially in this context, which is why I asked.

This is particularly true of the term "conservative" which, IME, generally means something very specific to the (self-identified) speaker but that specificity can refer to any of a number of different branches of conservativism, e.g. Movement Conservativism, "classical liberalism", economic/free market conservativism, religious conservativism, libertarian conservativism (including lesser variants like the aptly-nicknamed "shmibertarianism"), etc., as well as, for lack of a better term, GOP hack. It's very much unlike "leftist" or "liberal", IME, which tend to be much more amorphous in their descriptive intent.

OT: holy crap, has anyone seen Crooked Timber's recent thread on incarceration? I knew the statistics but to see them laid out like that...

This is particularly true of the term "conservative" which, IME, generally means something very specific to the (self-identified) speaker

We have leftists over here, and socialists, and conservatives. We even have democrats - but no republicans :)

Does anyone understand what's going on with this fight between Bush and Congress re the Jefferson files? I'm baffled.

Why raid just Jefferson? If the FBI is serious about ivestigating corruption there are all kinds of offices which could conceivably be raided. The White House didn't hand over the complete list of Abramoff vists, for example.
Is the FBI in fact dragging its feet on investigations of Republicans?
Is the raid on Jefferson a stunt to get one Democrat all over the news and thereby lessen the impact of the all of the investigations into all of those Republicans?
Is this a stunt to make it look like the Bush people are the anti-corrution heroes against the corrupt Congress?
Why the hell did Pelosi object to the raid on Jefferson?
It all seems very weird.

Is the raid on Jefferson a stunt to get one Democrat all over the news and thereby lessen the impact of the all of the investigations into all of those Republicans?

smells that way to me. although, no doubt, Jefferson needs some, umm, investigating.

it's also interesting that Abu Gonzalez and the FBI head threatened to resign if they were forced to give the docs back.

Pure unadulterated leftist tinfoil mindreading here from me, but my feeling is that the resignation threat occurred as a sort of psychological compensation, in that people like Gonzalez have refused to stand up for the right thing so often recently, this offers an opportunity to convince themselves that they are true to their own principles.

I don't get why Gonzales et al. threatened to resign over this one. The Bush Admin has been violating the separation of powers principle since it came into office; Gonzales hasn't turned a hair over things like withholding information and defying subpeonas from the Senate; so why go to the mat now?

My distrust of the Bush Admin particularly, and the GOP generally, is such that I suspect the whole thing is Kabuki: meant to enable the GOP to distance itself from Bush, for the sake of the '06 elections, without risking anything that actually matters. (Jefferson, being a Democrat, doesn't matter.)

What's the distinction you're drawing between "conservative" and "Republican" here?

Those Republicans who supported Bush's unconservative acts and initiatives, Anarch. There are quite a few differences between the conservative wing and what Bush has trotted out, spending being a major one. There is some blurring with the immigration legislation. Personally, I believe it is more conservative to have a comprehensive bill than just securing the borders. If national security comes into play on the issue, securing the borders isn't good enough since the 9/11 hijackers came here legally but most had expired visas.

Delay's career ended solely because of criminal charges brought against him.

His career as majority leader was suspended because of criminal charges. His political career became toast in part when it was clear that conservatives refused to back him.

Vigorous, passionate, public debate is a luxury a political party can afford when it is in power, and it is true that when it happens, it *can* lead to a strengthening of its health.

I would say the opposite is true, pedro. When you're out of power, that is the best time to craft your issues, honing them with intense and passionate discussions among fellow members. A losing baseball team is not going to sit on its hands in the post-season. The good teams will analyze why they lost and get the best heads together to figure out how to turn their fortunes around. In politics, words and ideas are the coin of the realm, and there's no better way than to put them out there and let the best ideas come forth. Letting just inner sanctum do it would spell disaster, in my opinion. My so-called Republican friends are going to attack you either way, so why be afraid of putting your best ideas out there and debating them?

"Gonzales hasn't turned a hair over things like withholding information and defying subpeonas from the Senate; so why go to the mat now?"

Because this was defending the institutional rights (as seen by Gonzalez and Mueller and some of their subordinates) of the DOJ and FBI, of course.

Those Republicans who supported Bush's unconservative acts and initiatives, Anarch.

Amen, Gary.

Those Republicans who supported Bush's unconservative acts and initiatives, Anarch.

Ok then, how are you defining "conservative"?

Didn't CB have an intro post here describing his conservative worldview?

Didn't CB have an intro post here describing his conservative worldview?

Possibly, but a) I can't (or at least, don't care enough to) find it and b) I'm not interested in the abstract expression so much as I am who the debaters in this supposed debate -- a strengthening debate, at that! -- between "conservatives" and "Republicans" are, especially if Tony Snow counts as the former but not the latter.

Those Republicans who supported Bush's unconservative acts and initiatives, Anarch.

Amen, Gary.

However, that was Charles you're quoting, Slart.

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