Tag: Watergate

May 10

The Russian Connection: FBI Director Fired

There are a lot of Hillary supporters out there that think the firing of FBI Director James Comey was justice. Perhaps, there is a little satisfaction there but it was hardly the motive for the sudden dismissal. It is quite obvious that the real reason that Trump fired him was not his mishandling of the …

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Jul 10

Dallasgate?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In the “you can’t make this stuff up” category, from Charles P. Pierce at Esquire’s Politics Blog:

Dear god, tell me nobody anywhere near this government can possibly be this stupid.

“It’s a crazy, strange and suspicious situation,” attorney Cary Schulman told The Cable. “It’s clear to me that it was somebody looking for information and not money. My most high-profile case right now is the Aurelia Fedenisn case, and I can’t think of any other case where someone would go to these great lengths to get our information.” According to the KDFW report, the firm was the only suite burglarized in the high-rise office building and an unlocked office adjacent was left untouched. The State Department, which has repeatedly disputed Fedenisn’s allegations, denied any involvement in the incident. “Any allegation that the Department of State authorized someone to break into Mr. Schulman’s law firm is false and baseless,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. After assessing the surveillance footage, Schulman said he believed the motivations were likely political, but did not suspect department involvement. “It wasn’t professional enough,” he said. “It is possible that an Obama or Hillary supporter feels that I am unfairly going after them. And the timing of this is right after several weeks of very public media attention so it seems to me most likely that the information sought is related to that case. I don’t know for sure and I want the police to do their work.”

I disagree with Charlie on the lawyers claim that Fedenisn’s whistleblowwer case is the firms’s “most high-profile case right now.”

“It’s a crazy, strange and suspicious situation,” attorney Cary Schulman told The Cable. “It’s clear to me that it was somebody looking for information and not money. My most high-profile case right now is the Aurelia Fedenisn case, and I can’t think of any other case where someone would go to these great lengths to get our information.”  

Any case involving a whistleblower and the Obama administration is clearly a very high profile case for any law firm.

However, I do agree that the State Department denial is pathetic.

The State Department, which has repeatedly disputed Fedenisn’s allegations, denied any involvement in the incident. “Any allegation that the Department of State authorized someone to break into Mr. Schulman’s law firm is false and baseless,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The burglary, as Charles pointed out, was rather amateurish since the fools not only didn’t disable the surveillance cameras but left everything in the office untouched except for the computers they stole.

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Knowing how stupid some government civil service employees can be, anything is possible.

Oct 15

‘Will They Get What They’re Paying For?’ — the Best Election Flier I’ve Seen

As campaigns and volunteers hone their final electoral messages, the best flier I’ve seen asks a simple question — “Will They Get What They’re Paying For?”  Created by the Washington State Labor Council, and proudly bearing their name, not that of some shadowy front group, it portrays a check from the US Chamber of Commerce to Republican Washington State Senate candidate Dino Rossi. Notes in the memo field remind us of Rossi’s positions: Lower minimum wage, repeal Wall Street reform, offshore U.S. jobs. Below the check is a field of corporate logos: BP, Fox, JPMorganChase, Walmart, AIG, Philip Morris, Citigroup, Pfizer, McDonalds, Comcast, AT&T and more.  The relatively conventional back contrasts Rossi and Senator Patty Murray on key economic issues, stating “Dino Rossi works for them. Senator Patty Murray works for us.”

Apr 16

PA-06:Fool Me Once, SOY, Fool Me Twice, SOM

Fool Me Once, Shame On You, Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

I just saw this today, about PA-06,  http://www.dailykos.com/story/… at GOS, and since I have relatives who live in this district, plus I spent part of my life very close by, I thought I’d comment.  First, some background on Southeastern Pennsylvania politics.

In 2006 a former career Navy admiral named Joe Sestak(D) decided to run for Congress in nearby PA- 07.  It was a traditionally Republican district, but he managed to win.  Sestak was a Netroots candidate.  

After he won his second term, he became bored or more ambitious, and decided to run for the Pennsylvania Senate against Arlen Specter, who had switched parties from Republican to Democrat.

Even though he was still in the House, Sestak’s campaign donations jumped dramatically until he officially announced he was out of the congressional race and into the Senate.  This happened during the height of the health care debate in the spring of 2009, and during that, the issue was, for many activists, whether or not we would have a bill with a Public Option.

In spite of my online, public queries as to whether or not Sestak supported a Public Option, his online coordinator remained coy and merely directed me to links on Sestak’s campaign site, which did not supply that information. I also searched elsewhere.  From those links, it seemed that Sestak was for the concept of health care reform in general, but which sounded like mostly private plans, managed differently.  Since Sestak had campaigned on his family’s personal health care struggles, this was rather annoying.

Plus, with Sestak running for Senate, it now left PA- 07 at risk of being retaken by the Republican Party, after a lot of people for a very long time had worked to get it out. Triple annoying.   Now it looks to be a race between a Democratic State Representative, Bryan Roy Lentz, and a former Republican US Attorney, Patrick L Meehan.  http://www.thegreenpapers.com/…   Here is Meehan’s site, http://www.meehanforcongress.com/   he’s raised over a million so far, and he’s not going to do a damned thing for that district.  Here is Meehan’s version of health care “reform”  http://meehanforcongress.com/h…      which is to give people tax credits to purchase insurance and have them use Health Savings Accounts.  He is against the current bill and would have voted against it.   On the other issues, economy, taxes, and transportation, he ignores foreign policy.   Meehan’s probable Democratic opponent, Bryan Lentz, isn’t something to get enthused about, either, he is also tacking to the right trying to keep up with the “more tax cuts will solve everything” meme.   His healthcare stance is vague other than he says he will “fight” to let Americans keep their doctor and insurance, and “fight” against insurance companies to stop discrimination against those with pre existing conditions. “Bryan will fight for real lobbying reform that includes banning all gifts from lobbyists ” to reform our government.”  “Bryan will also work to provide tax cuts to companies that take advantage of innovative renewable energy technologies like wind, solar and geothermal.”  http://votelentz.com/index.php…

So, if Lentz loses, because he is a klutz, http://www.pa2010.com/2010/04/…     Sestak has turned the seat over to the Republicans, only to run against a Democratic incumbent in a race he is also likely to lose, because he underestimated Specter’s being a known quantity state wise, and his personality seems to have some Philly area, eastern PA loyalty.

In 2006 I had travelled to the district and had talked a high school friend into campaigning for Sestak, so I was very interested in the answer to the Public Option query, as here it was 3 years later, in 2009,  since the Democrats had taken control of the House, the economy was worse, the war(s) were still going on, and we still did not have any sort of decent bills coming out of this Congress on this matter.  I take my endorsements seriously.  Especially since I was talking to somebody who told me what his life was like living in a town whose economy was not doing well, and he was now enthused about this candidate.

It was only after Senator Arlen Specter publicly said that he was for a Public Option, in 2009,  that the formerly reticent Sestak began to publicly be for one, too.  THIS is the power of the primary.  It makes candidates commit to platforms and give their stances on issues, which then we the voter can compare to their later behaviors.

Arlen Specter is a crafty old ex Democrat, then ex Republican who’s a Democrat again, who’s alway’s had a bit of a moderate- liberal streak.  If there is one thing he knows, it’s that you can’t undercut your own Party consistently.  Hence Arlen, after a bit of a fumble out of the gate, got with the program and supported Health Care Reform and the Public Option.  He also signed the “Bennet Letter”  on Feb 19, 2009,  which supported the leadership to use reconciliation to pass a Public Option.   http://www.politico.com/news/s…   Yes, I know that we didn’t get one, but we also had alleged Democratic Senators who were actively fighting against this P/O the entire way, such as Blanche Lincoln ( D, “Koch Oil, Walmart”)  of Arkansas, and a lot of alleged Democratic congressmen.   Overall, Specter has been a Democrat during his time as a Democrat.

But this isn’t about him, really, or Sestak.  It’s about Doug Pike vs. Manan Trevidi, in the Democratic Primary in nearby PA – 06 .    

Mar 26

Espresso Party USA

ESPRESSO PARTY MISSION STATEMENT: The Espresso Party Movement gives voice to Americans who are fed up to fcuking here with the bullsh*t in government.

We recognize that the federal government is the enemy of the people, not the expression of our collective will, and that we must all participate in the process of tearing the system down and kicking ass in November 2010 in order make room for building something fcuking useful to address the challenges that we face as Americans.

As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and we will mercilessly hunt down and politically destroy those who obstruct them.



A Message From Our Founder

Jul 24

Gordon Liddy, a Sad, Dottery Fool . 20090724

I just watched Hardball (The Tweetie Show), and damned old Gordon Liddy was a “guest”.  He looks very poorly, and speaks almost in a whisper.

He is  “birther”, or one that does not believe that our President is a natural born citizen of the United States.  Unlike the horrible folks Hannity and Limbaugh, I thing that Liddy actually believes his own distortions.

Feb 05

Impeachment: Conyers Ulysses

This is the second in a series of diaries on impeachment

There was a time when House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers was a fierce warrior for impeachment. As a fourth-term congressman in 1972, Conyers was one of the first to introduce a House resolution calling for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, even before the Watergate burglary had occurred. In 1974, just after President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, Conyers wrote an essay entitled, Why Nixon Should Have Been Impeached, in which he laid out his case for an article of impeachment condemning Nixon’s illegal bombing and invasion of Cambodia, as well as the constitutional threat posed to America by the choice not to pursue impeachment.

But since taking over chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee in January 2007 – the same Judiciary Committee on which Conyers served in 1974 when its members drafted the three articles of impeachment against Nixon that were about to be voted on by the House when Nixon abruptly resigned – Conyers’ passion for impeachment has cooled considerably. Why, is anyone’s guess. One possibility might simply be Conyers’ age – he is now 78 years old, not the 42 he was when he introduced his first impeachment resolution. Another, more disturbing, possibility might be that Conyers has been pressured by the Democratic leadership in Congress to forgo talk of impeachment, for what reasons one can only imagine.

Regardless of the reason, Conyers for some time has not carried the torch he once bore. The impeachment flame burns dim in him, if it burns at all.

And yet – perhaps because I am a romantic at heart – I continue to hope. Conyers’ descent into complacency reminded me of one of my favorite poems, a poem that tells the story of a once-proud warrior who finally chafes at his now-banal existence, and resolves to undertake one last campaign, a campaign to achieve “some work of noble note” before the end. Perhaps Congressman Conyers will feel the same desire to leave a meaningful legacy:

Oct 07

With today’s Congress, Nixon would not have resigned

Carl Bernstein was part of a 35-year retrospective on Watergate today as part of the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists National Convention. The Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, reports Carl Bernstein thinks Watergate would have played very differently if it happened today.

Why?

Because, Congressional oversight is more lax now than during Watergate.

“The difference with today is that the system did its job. The press did its job. The court did its job. The Senate committee did its job,” Bernstein said Saturday. “There’s been great reporting on this president. But there’s been no oversight. We have a Democratic Congress now and there’s still no oversight.

Bernstein also said that “35 years of ideological warfare” could also change how the public would react to such a scandal.

“We live in a very different atmosphere today,” Bernstein said. “With Watergate, eventually the people of this country looked around and decided Nixon was a criminal president. I’m not sure the same chain of events would have taken place today.”

If we had today’s Congress during the Nixon presidency, then I doubt Richard Nixon would have even resigned. Shoot. It is doubtful even Vice President Spiro Agnew would have been forced to resign. Image, if you will, this scene on February 2, 1973. Nixon is before a joint session of Congress for the State of the Union address, and then…

Welcome to 2007 with the same gang of Nixon minions running the U.S. government. Somewhere, Richard M. Nixon is smiling.