Friday, September 30, 2005

Bounty For Proof of Hastert Bribes

By way of the superlative Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!, I've learned of a $100,000 offer for information leading to the "arrest and conviction of high government officials" in both the Plame outing and allegations that Denny Hastert accepted bribes from foreign nationals in exchange for his influence in killing legislation minutes before a scheduled vote in the House.

The group,, made up of some 120 liberal and progressive groups, announced the bounty on their website on September 15.

Friday Afternoon: Critical Time In News Cycle

I'm convinced one of two things will happen this afternoon between 3 and 630ish (Central Time). First, let me explain the timeframe.

This is the critical time when Friday evening newscasts are being planned, polished and aired. It's also when supplemental programming for time critical broadcast stories are determined. If it's big enough, the broadcast news may make a decision as late as the time the evening news airs to follow up with an additional half hour of programming and pre-empt, you know, more important, really good Friday evening crap that is poured through the old broadband.

In the print world, magazines are being knocked off for massive, decentralized press runs and mail operations. And Newspaper Sunday editions are being planned in afternoon doping sessions all over the country.

While many give this White House lots of credit for being sharp with the Friday news cycle, burying embarrassing announcements and resignations, many of us give the press a big fat F for their followup on news that breaks on Fridays. It's not as if they don't care, it's just that they have fundraisers and Washington parties to attend. Some have shuttles to catch to get home to honeybun or the future ex.

Hey, don't screw with a "newsman's" family time: It's more important than the government bending you over a barrel.

So I am going on record with two possibilities for this afternoon's news cycle.
    Bush will name the O'Connor replacement;
    Dick Cheney will drop dead.
OK. That may sound harsh to some, but think about it: Rove Inc. has so many reasons to stop the story from exploding this weekend. And without some patented Rovian Dog-Wagging™, it's sure to simply explode beyond control after today.

Oh, yes, the Cheney thing. That is the masterstroke (no pun intended) that is Dick Cheney. He could pull that one off, rescue his sorry political career and be worshipped on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Rotunda by Monday morning.

Of course, one can't rule out the possibility that Bush will appoint Cheney to the Court, and he'll drop dead at some other politically convenient point in time.

Hey, Judy: We're Not Buying It

After seeing some of the morning news coverage and doing some story scanning online, it appear no one (except the unusual bedfellows NYT and Fox News) is buying Judy Miller's story about giving up Lewis "Scooter" Libby as her source in the Valerie Plame outing.

Why didn't the conversation take place 80 days ago. Christ, even Karl Rove got in touch with Matthew Cooper in time to keep him from jail.

It's not that I don't believe Judy Miller might have a Joan of Arc complex; it's that this was not a decision for these people to either stop to pick up milk at a convenience store on the way home or take the long way because it's on sale at Kroger.

This was about going to jail and eating baloney sandwiches with ketchup three times a day.

Haven't noticed much mention of John Bolton's visit to Miller over last weekend, but watch for that to figure in here.

God Almighty.

From this morning's Chicago Tribune:
    Four adults were found dead Thursday in the Aurora home of a Plainfield computer exporter after a relative became concerned at not reaching the residents at their home and called police, authorities said.

    Police had not identified the bodies as of late Thursday. Jimmy Tsao, 34, and his wife, Kate, 31, owned the home in the upscale subdivision surrounding the White Eagle Golf Club.
For anyone who know the Aurora area, this is not like beautiful downtown Aurora, where you almost expect this to happen some summer weekends.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Queen of All Iraq Free From Jail

So now she'll testify, eh? What, it took you guys 12 whole weeks -- including a prison visit from John Bolton last weekend -- to fabricate the story?

It will certainly be interesting what Judith Miller tells Peter Fitzgerald and the grand jury tomorrow morning. I know I'll be watching the ticker.

Hastert Loses Again

Looks real at ease here, doesn't he? Not many images available of Denny's red-faced announcement that Blunt would succeed DeLay (hmm, Blunt? Delay?), but his disheveled appearance for 6 seconds yesterday said it all.

Hastert has lost yet another battle with the out-of-control Conservatives he's promoted for so many years.

First, he promoted Jim Oberweis for a run for governor (only to find out later that Oberweis is horribly afraid of Mexicans). Then Hastert's Kendall County cronies couldn't even get their own pick for county treasurer through the primary (he was soundly defeated by first-time candidate Jill Ferko -- who has turned out to be an excellent public servant as Kendall County Treasurer). Jill is aces, btw, and is not being associated with the out-of-control set; just another good Hastert loss.

Then along came the runaway loonies who turned on Jack Ryan and invited Alan Keyes to come to the rescue. Oh, yes. The Coach sat that one out, didn't he? He probably had no opinion (that's his traditional role as Speaker, dontcha know). At least no opinion that he could share publicly. He wouldn't even endorse Oberweis (who finished second in the primary, behind Ryan).

So why do House Conservatives like loud-mouth JD Hayworth (R-AZ) hate David Dreier, Hastert's choice to succeed DeLay?

Couldn't be Dreier's rumored lifestyle choices, could it?

Take pictures, if you can, sports fans. You're watching a melt-down of the GOP now in progess!

Tom DeLay=Baby Jesus

In the era when Abrasive Bastard=Diplomat and Denny Hastert=Political Genius (hold on, I just wet myself)...

Republicans want to make out Tom DeLay's image as if his face is painted over the head of Baby Jesus.

Come now. Here's a man who takes great pride in the handle, "The Hammer," and made himself by calling comparing the EPA to the Gestapo, and federal agents "jack-booted thugs."

Tom DeLay is a sonofabitch no matter how you shave off bits of the little bastard, and whatever he gets from the indictment handed down (not by Ronnie Earle but) by a Texas Grand Jury, he deserves it.

Why does Denny Hastert ally himself with people like Tom DeLay?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Laura Doing Reality Show With Victims

The photo, typical of the best-matched lightweight First Lady in history, shows the First Lady's diamond-encrusted hand gripping a box of clothing. As she points to the contents, an evacuee child looks on. She is flanked by Preston Sharp, host of the ABC program, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

And, of course, she's wearing an entirely inappropriate Stepford smile.

The program will air in November (when, the First Lady says, may be diminished). Of course, no one can see through the thin veneer of mock compassion and novel interest in the least of our society, who have lost everything in Katrina.

The greatest challenge for Laura, she says, was in selecting just one home to "remake." Here's a makeover tip: Get ready to move back to Texas a year early.

Fitting Reception for ManHands

Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes (who also holds the title of Largest Hands on Any Woman Alive) had a fitting reception at her first stop in Saudi Arabia. Hughes is touring Arab nations on a goodwill tour (first, so she can say she's been there; second, to help spread W's brand of Democracy) that started with a speech to a group of women professionals in Jidda.

Basically, her audience of about 500 women told her she was spreading pap for the Bush administration; that she doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to "women's rights" issues in Saudi Arabia. Hughes and her entourage of aides were shocked by the reaction.

Ah, another qualified appointee! Freedom and Equality are On The March!

Those man hands of hers are going to make a fine trophy for someone, no?

Oy. What a Day to Be Offline...

Traveling today and got the news about DeLay on the way to the airport. Fortunately, I didn't feel like Elvis'ing the TV at the bar, which only plays FOX, because I got to see Denny sweating, looking disheveled, etc. Anybody catch that?

More to come, now that I've discovered free wireless at the airport (AHEM! Mayor Daley: Take note!).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Real Beauty of the Select Committee...

Appointed by Hastert and DeLay is that with things, you know, moving so quickly, that the public will get all caught up in the details of Mike Brown's utter incompetence. What will be left out of the discussion altogether is the rampant toady/boot-lick appointments Bush has been making for five years; that this has been going on under the noses of the pliant media and a sleeping Minority, promulgated all along by a corrupt and incompetent Majority party in both houses of Congress is the biggest sham.

What's more, companies like Halliburton -- with a record of billing excesses and scandal -- have already received as much as two-thirds of the $62 billion rushed through the House for approval. Once again, no oversight. No time for the bidding process, right?

Many of the locals I know say Denny Hastert is not crooked. Well, maybe not. Maybe he's just in way over his head (like every other GOP lackey who's been given a cherry job the past eleven years of the Gingrich era). Or maybe he's just extremely ignorant; an oafish dolt incapable of seeing reality.

Maybe it's just utter incompetence. Maybe he's thinking no one notices.

Shays a Crafty Pick by Hastert, DeLay

That was a crafty move Denny "J. Dennis" Hastert and Satan "Tom" DeLay committed when they put Chris Shays (D-CT) on the Select Committee To Make George W. Bush Look Good in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (Helluvan acryonym, too, I know). Quotes from the hearing here.

While Shays's questioning was like putting a couple of slugs in the deer-in-the-headlights, don't think for a minute it wasn't a calculated move by Hastert and DeLay to at least make this committee's work look legitimate. The rest of the members of the committee can be labeled partisan hacks by any man on the street. But Shays offers the legitimacy Hastert and DeLay need to carry this off.

The best move of all, however, was by Nancy Pelosi. Boycotting this Barnum & Bailey act was one of the bravest moves I've seen from a leading Democrat in years. That Fristy Hastert would pull such a stunt without even talking with their counterparts in the minority party really says it all.

Now, why am I so cynical? Gee. I dunno.


A securities industry insider (no pun intended) tells me that if Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did sell off shares of HCA stock in his blind trust as a result of insider trading (and it looks suspicious because he sold his shares during what looks like a wholesale sell-off among insiders in the company), he's almost surely looking at jail time.

The fact that Chris Cox has recused himself does not bode well for Frist.

What's more, if Frist's statement yesterday on the trading contains even one scintilla of fiction, he's definitely going down.

Should have talked to your lawyer before you jumped behind that mike, Dr. Bill.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Who's a Crybaby Now?

"Cryyyy for me..." goes the chorus of that great song.

Under the fat category of "They Can Dish It Out But They Can't Take It," Kane County GOP crybabies are upset over DeKalb Democratic Chairman Mark Guethle's remarks to a crowd of local Dems.

To his credit, Guethle is taking the right approach. Let not one of us forget what GOP henchmen did to Dick Durbin earlier this year over his reading of an FBI memo on the Senate floor.

These Republican cretins love to blame the weakest in our society for society's ills. The feigned outrage thing just doesn't work anymore.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Why Does Dennis Hastert Hate The Social Security Administration?

Wow. That's a strong one!

Well, maybe now is the time to call and ask the Speaker of the House why this K Street lobbying firm has a retirement benefit calculator on the Social Security Administration's website that doesn't identify it as a non-government agency's website.

Josh Marshall at TPM had a post just now that was too good not to follow up on. Says Josh:
    "Check out this page, go to the bottom of this page and click the button entitled 'retirement income calculator.'"
Here's the whois data on the outfit that registered the site that owns the link:
    Created On:10-Feb-1998 05:00:00 UTC
    Last Updated On:04-Sep-2005 15:28:45 UTC
    Expiration Date:09-Feb-2008 05:00:00 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:Network Solutions LLC (R63-LROR)
    Registrant ID:26229498-NSI
    Registrant Name:Employee Benefit Research Institute
    Registrant Organization:Employee Benefit Research Institute
    Registrant Street1:2121 K Street, NW
    Registrant Street2:Suite 600
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Washington
    Registrant State/Province:DC
    Registrant Postal Code:20037
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.1800242073
    Registrant Phone Ext.:
    Registrant FAX:+1.2027756312
    Registrant FAX Ext.:
    Registrant Email:lopilatod@LAN2WAN.COM
    Admin ID:22326966-NSI
    Admin Name:Paul Fronstin
    Admin Organization:Employee Benefit Research Institute
    Admin Street1:2121 K Street, NW
    Admin Street2:Suite 600
    Admin Street3:
    Admin City:Washington
    Admin State/Province:DC
    Admin Postal Code:20037
    Admin Country:US
    Admin Phone:+1.2026590670
    Admin Phone Ext.:
    Admin FAX:+1.2027756312
    Admin FAX Ext.:
    Admin Email:fronstin@EBRI.ORG
    Tech ID:22326966-NSI
    Tech Name:Paul Fronstin
    Tech Organization:Employee Benefit Research Institute
    Tech Street1:2121 K Street, NW
    Tech Street2:Suite 600
    Tech Street3:
    Tech City:Washington
    Tech State/Province:DC
    Tech Postal Code:20037
    Tech Country:US
    Tech Phone:+1.2026590670
    Tech Phone Ext.:
    Tech FAX:+1.2027756312
    Tech FAX Ext.:
    Tech Email:fronstin@EBRI.ORG
    Name Server:NS71.WORLDNIC.COM
    Name Server:NS72.WORLDNIC.COM

If you think your Social Security is even moderately safe when Dennis Hastert is Speaker of the House, think again.

Those who know Denny know that he has never been for Social Security, and has wanted to either eliminate or privatize it for years.

Call the Speaker's office and ask "What gives?"
    D.C. Office
    Phone: 202-225-2976
    Batavia District Office
    Phone: 630-406-1114

    Dixon Regional Office
    Phone: 815-288-0680

    Geneseo Regional Office
    Phone: 309-944-3558