« Homeward Bound | Main | BSG Blogging: Exodus, Part I »

October 14, 2006

Comments

"And now he's being investigated by the FBI for using his political influence to line up contracts with his daughter."

There have been endless stories about this for a long time now; particularly regarding Russian connections, more than regarding Milosevic.

There have been endless stories, and I have even blogged some of them; but to my knowledge this is the first time the FBI has put in an appearance.

Yes, my point was: about time. I decided that it was redundant to include that after "a long time," but I apparently was in error.

More.

Also, on versus Sestak.

Another day, another splendid news cycle for Republicans. Along with the Weldon story, the following stories made headlines today.

Republican Representative and former Page Board Chairman John Shimkus testified before the House Ethics Committee today about his role in the handling of information pertaining to Mark Foley's relationships with House pages. Shimkus declined to describe his testimony to the press.

Several media outlets revealed today that retiring Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe, who is gay, is under federal investigation regarding a camping trip Kolbe took several years ago with, among others, two male pages.

Republican Congressman Bob Ney, until recently Chairman of the influential House Financial Services Subcommittee, pled guilty to multiple federal charges today, but did not resign his Congressional seat.

I wonder if Ney and others who are bound to join him can get passes and keep their day jobs? Maybe it would be better to just build a new low-security wing in the Capitol. Incarcerated Congresspersons would be able to speak on the House floor by teleconference and there would be a special low-security voting area.

"It Couldn't Happen To A More Deserving Guy"

I'd have to say I disagree. While Weldon richly deserves it, there are, in fact, far, FAR more deserving people in the GOP.

And I certainly hope it happens to them too.

As I said, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Oh, yes, it could. There are plenty of people just as deserving, and a handful more deserving. When a government engages in as much financial corruption as the present Republican administration, there's plenty of desert to go around.

(I'll have the chocolate mousse made with double cream, 70% chocolate, and a sloosh of orange vodka, thanks.)

Have you people learned nothing?

Surely this Weldon business is the fruit of a long-planned Democratic strategy of placing dictators in key positions around the world, pretending to oppose them, and then arranging for them to bribe Republican members of Congress (and/or hire their families). Then, at just the right time... {sproinnng!} The trap closes.

I used to live in the PA 7th district (Montgomery county). I have to admit to voting for him in 2000. Keep in mind that was before all these financial shenanigans came to light. I thought he did some good work, especially in regards to local fire departments. Then there was the Cox Committee and I thought that was important work.

Given his now obvious corruption, if I still lived there I would hold my nose and vote for “Sleestak”, even though I don’t agree with his Iraq policy (out by the end of 2007). Weldon’s meddling in foreign policy is bad enough, but I won’t stand for this kind of blatant corruption anymore. You always kind of knew in the back of your mind that this stuff went on – but lately it’s just completely in your face. A retired admiral comes with a lot of assumed integrity (for me anyway).

OCSteve: me too. Also: regardless of one's views on foreign policy, I think it's terrible for the country when only one party is thought (rightly or wrongly) to be "serious" about defense and security. It would be much, much better if there were two parties putting forward different views and having them seriously debated.

We could debate how much blame for the fact that this is not happening lies with the Democrats, right-wing media distortions, or happenstance (good people retiring, etc.) But it's surely bad, and getting Democrats with real security cred can only help.

And here is the Whiskey Bar's take on it.
The The Very Naughty Caterpillar

don't know if the emerging scandal will be enough to squash the Curterpiller next month, but it certainly can't hurt. I'm not wildly thrilled about Sestak (he's a Clinton Democrat through and through) but losing Weldon's seat might at least help crack the GOP's iron grip on the public trough here in Delaware County, particularly if it's followed by an indictment of both Weldon and the local machine boss. That would be entirely for the better.

The one that fills me with loathing is Pombo. He's connected to Abramoff, but it hasn't become an issue yet.

Several media outlets revealed today that retiring Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe, who is gay, is under federal investigation regarding a camping trip Kolbe took several years ago with, among others, two male pages.

I saw that story and for no very clear reason had the gut reaction that Kolbe is probably innocent of any wrongdoing. Does anyone have details beyond the existence of an investigation? What would be the minimum requirement to get an investigation started?

One of the articles I read--I don't remember where--said that one of the pages was made uncomfortable during the trip by pats, shoulder rubs, etc.

Usually a federal investigation means the feds have good reason to think a crime has been committed, which in this case I think would mean they know more than the public does. The investigative resources are scarce. But I don't know of any bright-line standard on that--I think it's a product of what the U.S. Attorney thinks needs to be looked at.

Of course, it's always possible that it could be purely political, although that seems less likely when Republicans run everything under the sun.

OCSteve; I have to admit to voting for him in 2000. Keep in mind that was before all these financial shenanigans came to light.

Well, quite. Six years seems rather a long time to have to wait to turf someone out of office, but that's the Brit in me. By-elections are good.

I still lived there I would hold my nose and vote for “Sleestak”, even though I don’t agree with his Iraq policy (out by the end of 2007).

The Iraqis agree with his Iraq policy, though, and that is frankly more important than whether you do. The US doesn't own Iraq: it just broke it. And the world is not a gift shop where if you break something you own it.

There is an unbelievable degree of financial corruption apparently taken for granted - the way the fat contracts for Iraqi "reconstruction" were being handed out was a red light to Brits three years ago, but it appears caused no significant dismay in mainstream political debate in the US.

I read John Cole's posts with interest: nice summing up of the various criminal fates awaiting Republicans should by some mischance they fail to rig the 2006 election. (Which I still think likely.) It will be pardons all round, presumably, once control of both Houses has been safely re-established.

Trickster: Of course, it's always possible that it could be purely political, although that seems less likely when Republicans run everything under the sun.

Ah yes, but as Kolbe is a gay Republican, that means he's really a Democrat.

it's always possible that it could be purely political, although that seems less likely when Republicans run everything under the sun.

Unlikely, maybe, but could it be a CYA move in light of the Foley scandal?

"and vote for 'Sleestak',"

?

"The one that fills me with loathing is Pombo. He's connected to Abramoff, but it hasn't become an issue yet."

I think it has.

Random pick, today's news:

The McNerney-Pombo contest is a repeat of the 2004 election, which Pombo won handily. Since 2004, however, both Doolittle and Pombo have suffered from their association with convicted Washington lobbyist and power broker Jack Abramoff.

Doolittle's wife, Julie, owns a political consulting firm that did extensive work for Abramoff. Doolittle has also been criticized for paying his wife's firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, a 15% commission on campaign contributions.

When President Bush raised $600,000 at the Oct. 3 fundraiser, Julie Doolittle earned $90,000.

Pombo received $7,500 in campaign contributions from Abramoff and $30,000 from Abramoff clients.

Like Doolittle, Pombo has also come under attack for bestowing campaign funds on his immediate family, including several hundred thousand dollars for his wife, Annette, and brother Randall.

On the heels of the Abramoff matter came the congressional page scandal that led to the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican. With the environment for Republicans deteriorating, the independent Cook Political Report last week downgraded both the Pombo and Doolittle races from likely GOP victories to merely leaning Republican.

I linked above to 348 recent news stories on Pombo and Abramoff.

Another excellent post, hilzoy (as usual) - but I would take issue with your characterization of the Rev. Moon's weird "coronation" ceremony at The Capitol - far from "never-to-be-forgotten", this incident seems (at least as far the MSM is concerned) to have slipped down the memory hole virtually since it occured. Whether it is because of the "religion" angle, or (more likely, imho) that the Rev. is a major wannabe-Player in Washington, this ceremony seems to have vanished from memory - thanks for reminding us of it again.

"...this incident seems (at least as far the MSM is concerned) to have slipped down the memory hole virtually since it occured."

This sort of thing makes me crazy. Unless there's fresh news about an incident of years past, what, exactly, do you or anyone expect "the MSM" to do about incidents of years ago?

And how does the lack of a fresh headline last week or last month about an event of years ago cause amnesia and something to "to have vanished from memory"?

Presumably, as well, nobody remembers the Civil War, Watergate, or World War II.

After all, show me a newspaper headline about any of them in the last week. Everyone has forgotten about them!

This is nuts, it should be needless to say.

I don’t agree with his Iraq policy (out by the end of 2007).

Too bad we don't yet know what the Baker Iraq policy is going to be. It's a good bet that it won't be 'Fire Rumsfeld and Double Troop Strength' or 'Stay Until a Pro-Israel Democracy is Acheived.'

Presumably, as well, nobody remembers the Civil War, Watergate, or World War II.

There's this guy named Leno, and he sometimes interviews ordinary people walking down the street . . .

Presumably, as well, nobody remembers the Civil War, Watergate, or World War II.

ask 100 people if they know anything about any of those. ask the same 100 if they know anything about Moon's ceremony...

do a Lexis search on the four topics...

Surely you know what a Sleestak is Gary :) OK maybe not...

The first time I saw his name I read it as Sleestack rather than Sestak and it stuck with me.

"There's this guy named Leno, and he sometimes interviews ordinary people walking down the street . . ."

I remain unconvinced that those aren't, ah, helped by people who -- and I know this is nearly inconceivable -- want to appear on camera, and know that appearing as dumb as possible is the point.

Not that there aren't plenty of wildly ignorant people out there: absolutely, there are, lots. It's just that few of them are quite as articulate in their dumbness as at least some of the ones who show up on The Tonight Show.

"The first time I saw his name I read it as Sleestack rather than Sestak and it stuck with me."

Land of the Lost was, well, I was a bit old for it by the time it came out; but thanks for the explanation.

Did you ever respond to the queries I asked (about what we should be surprised by in Patterico's interview series) in this thread, and then again in a subsequent thread? (It can get confusing when we're both ducking in and out of the blog, can't it?)

"ask 100 people if they know anything about any of those. ask the same 100 if they know anything about Moon's ceremony..."

Well, that would be pointless, unless I had suggested that Moon's ceremony was as well known as the Civil War, Watergate, etc.

Since I'm not insane, I said no such thing.

Did you ever respond to the queries I asked (about what we should be surprised by in Patterico's interview series) in this thread, and then again in a subsequent thread?

Sorry no. Often I only have a short time to read/comment. I don’t have time now but I will try to check your comments tomorrow and reply.

Jes: Six years seems rather a long time to have to wait to turf someone out of office

OCSteve needn't have waited; Weldon is a member of the House of Representatives, who's been up for re-election twice since 2000. (I don't know whether he had any opposition in 2002 or 2004, though -- credible or otherwise.)

I don't know whether he had any opposition in 2002 or 2004, though -- credible or otherwise.

I moved out of his district before the next election, and truth be told, never gave him another thought before this post. I think that the saying 'all politics is local' is very true. I find that I pay a lot more attention to local politics than I do national politics, excepting presidential elections.

When I read this post today and followed Hil’s links I was slightly shocked to remember that I voted for this clown. Not my finest moment :(

Gary – updated on that thread so as to not get too OT here.

OCSteve, if it's not too personal, which district/state are you in now and what is the lay of the land there? I think it would be interesting to see a local race (perhaps a closely contested one) thru your eyes. I realize that there is a strong possibility of people jumping on you with both feet, but I hope in light of the civility thread, we might be able to do better.

I realize that there is a strong possibility of people jumping on you with both feet...

I swear that at least one of my feet will remain on the floor at all times.

japonicus:

OCSteve, if it's not too personal, which district/state are you in now and what is the lay of the land there?

Not really personal, maybe more information than I planned to put out there on the web, but what the hell…

The OC in OCSteve stands for Ocean City, MD. (I can’t tell you how many people upon realizing my right of center views assume Orange County CA.)

Starting really local – I go to the polls next Tuesday to vote for city counsel and mayor. Shocker – I can’t tell you the party affiliation of any of the current counsel members or candidates. You never see them with a D or R after their names. It is all about their views and what they represent locally. I think they are mostly Democrats but it really does not matter, it is all local issues that I won’t bore you with and I only consider where they stand on those issues. So I have voted for lots of Democrats at the local level.

Our last mayor – Jim Mathias, was named to fill the remaining term of state delegate K. Bennett Bozman when he passed away in April. So for MD district 38B, I will vote for him – a Democrat. But who better to represent my little town (in the wintertime anyway) at the state level than someone who was mayor for 10 years, and on city counsel 6 years before that? Yeah I know, he is not really representing the town anymore – but I am positive he will always have our best interests at heart. BTW I think he did a hell of a job. His replacement, Mayor Rick Meehan (D) who was bumped up from counsel president when Mathias got the state gig is running unopposed. I have no problem with that – he is doing a great job. Democrats across the board here locally.

So… Michael Steele for senate? I don’t care much for Cardin… Ehrlich – yeah probably, but his hands are hopelessly tied by a state legislature that is overwhelmingly Democrats.

So at the local level I vote almost exclusively Democrat, or rather, I don’t much consider party affiliation. As we get into the state level I will vote for the local guy I know (D). Senate and governor I have to go R.

"The OC in OCSteve stands for Ocean City, MD. (I can’t tell you how many people upon realizing my right of center views assume Orange County CA.)"

Well, yes, given that for 99% of the country, OC means that, especially given a tv show, and a whole lot more, who could imagine that most people could believe that most people believe what most people believe?

Thanks, OCSteve, that's interesting. I used to live in PG County but just during elementary school so there's interest, but not a lot of background knowledge, though that's also why the Post is my first read, along with a burning desire to see the Redskins win.

Well, yes, given that for 99% of the country, OC means that, especially given a tv show, and a whole lot more, who could imagine that most people could believe that most people believe what most people believe?

I lived in CA (Monterey) for 18 months back in the early 80’s. I never heard that much about Orange County, never associated “OC” with it. Never realized it was some supposed bastion of conservatives among the hostile libs. I would say that I never heard much of Orange County CA until I used the handle OCSteve on blogs.

Not exactly both feet – but why the nitpick?

a burning desire to see the Redskins win.

It’s all Ravens all the time here, especially this time of year!

OCSteve: ever get in to Baltimore? We should do coffee or lunch or something; it you're ever out this way, my email address here is real. (Alternately, I'm usually out your way during the winter, looking for interesting ducks and seabirds.)

I moved away before that Colts/Ravens thing and I started living overseas before the whole Irsay move. Looking at the Wikipedia section, I get a little misty eyed when they discuss the agreement to rename the Browns and treat the Ravens as an expansion team.

while we're piling on, weldon's reason for not serving in viet nam has changed from " i had a high draft number" (later proven not to be true) to "my eyesight was too poor to be drafted," (a dubious claim) he's a draft dodger, chest-beating aside. sestak should wipe the floor with him.

On off-topic bleg, but since we have lots of ObWingians in the region, I'll toss it out: My band is performing next week in Dewey Beach, MD at the Dewey Beach American Music Fest. Anyone without plans for Saturday night, and who wants to make the trip, we're playing at the Rusty Rudder at 10:00pm. Hope maybe someone you can make it. Tell me -- The Hickories' bass player -- who you are and I'll buy you a drink. :)

We should do coffee or lunch or something

That would be a hoot - I would love that. I'll shoot you an email next time I am heading into the city.

I lived in CA (Monterey) for 18 months back in the early 80’s. I never heard that much about Orange County, never associated “OC” with it. Never realized it was some supposed bastion of conservatives among the hostile libs. I would say that I never heard much of Orange County CA until I used the handle OCSteve on blogs.

Not exactly both feet – but why the nitpick?

Apologies for any nitpicking.

It does occur to me to wonder how much attention you were paying to mass media in those days, though.

Absent that, you wouldn't be aware of the reputation, after all. Or of, say, B-1 Bob's.

Whereas some of us nuts were obsessive followers of politics and newspapers, including going to the library, in those pre-internet-for-all-of-us, weekly, to read up on international and regional news. And getting printouts of that newfangled internet stuff, from computer friends, since ~1977.

So: different perspectives. No offense intended.

OCS -- Shoulda known.

Officer Candidate School?

OT - we're still holding at least one person who the gov't does not consider a threat without charge more than 5 years after 9/11. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

So: different perspectives. No offense intended.

None taken. You nailed it there. My time in CA was spent as a private at Fort Ord. Much (60%) of that time was spent in the field (Fort Hunter Liggett or Fort Irwin). 7th ID did love their training. There were times I didn’t see a newspaper or a TV for 30 days. When I was back in civilization, following politics was so low on my list as to be undetectable. 30 days in the desert works up a powerful thirst :)

Officer Candidate School?

Nope – assuming that was directed my way. I was a simple grunt.

Phil,

Dewey Beach is in Delaware, not Maryland -- just over the state line, but for some reason no one seems to believe Delaware has beaches. Even in the Philly area, Rehoboth and Dewey are just never thought of. When one wants to go "Downashore", one is always talking about New Jersey.

Sorry I can't make the concert, though. I've seen concerts at the Rusty Rudder before, but it's too far, and too late, to drag the kids (and the Rusty Rudder is not really kid-friendly).

Delaware has excellent beaches. For birds, at least; I've never tried actually swimming there.

Danthaman -- are you here too? Maybe we should have a party or something.

the. DanTHEman.

hilzoy,

No, I'm from the Philly suburbs. Sadly enough, the district which already has a Democratic representative (Allyson Schwartz in PA-13), so I get all the fun of watching the grotesque number of political ads this fall in the other 3 Congressional races in the suburbs, without actually having them speak to me.

I've been to Rehoboth Beach twice in the last 5 years, once as a last getaway before our first was born, and then again when she was 1. The second time, my wife and I discussed how to handle the inevitable sand-tasting experiments that a toddler would try, and we agreed to follow a parenting book which suggested that trying to keep her from putting sand in her mouth was a way to make everyone annoyed. So we decided to let her put some in, feeling sure she would realize this was not food and stop.

Instead, once she tasted the sand, she decided it was so good that she started shoveling it into her mouth as fast as possible.

Why is it not surprising that a guy who engages in repeatedly dishonest political statements may also be guilty of dishonest criminal behavior?

Let's see: Ney, Cunningham, DeLay, Abramoff, Libby and others have seen the inside of a courtroom of late and there will be more to follow.

Dewey Beach is in Delaware, not Maryland -- just over the state line, but for some reason no one seems to believe Delaware has beaches.

I knew it when I typed it, but it never made it from my brain to my fingers. I think I was thinking of all the Maryland-DC area ObWingers, and just typed "MD" instead of "DE." Proving once again, never trust me to get things right.

My Philly-native ex-work-colleague LOVED Rehoboth. He was up there all the time when he lived down here in Va.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad