A government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Idaho Sen. Larry Craig Tuesday after Craig said he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's room. . .
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Senate ethics committee seeking an investigation into whether Craig violated Senate rules by engaging in disorderly conduct.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) may qualify to be described as a government watchdog group. What the Associated Press should have told its readers is that CREW is an extraordinarily partisan watchdog group.
According to its Web site, CREW has initiated lawsuits or lodged complaints against Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), and House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH).
Today's front page of the Chicago Tribune carries the story "Vast army of 'Hillary haters' has claws out." Written by Tribune national correspondent Jill Zuckman, the article cites a handful of people and organizations opposed to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's White House ambitions:
Armed with new technologies and fueled by animus, they are bent on preventing "four more years" of Clintonism. Every old charge, it seems, is being repackaged and sold as new. Every rumor is given a new, blog-stoked currency.
Correspondent Zuckman writes of the "venomous opposition" to Mrs. Clinton:
They may not be YouTube-friendly, but the Chicago Sun-Times has on staff at least two Obama Girls cranking out their undiluted admiration for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Columnist Lynn Sweet, the newspaper's Washington Bureau Chief, has expressed her displeasure with not being able to follow him into the East Bank Club's locker room. When Obama announced his candidacy, Ms. Sweet deemed his speech "soaring" and "inspirational," an evaluation not shared by everyone seeing it.
They just can't get it right. Yesterday on ABC News' Political Radar, senior political reporter Rick Klein wrote of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards calling conservative author Ann Coulter a "she-devil." Part of the background Klein provided:
In June, Coulter went on ABC's "Good Morning America" and said she had learned her lesson after being blasted for suggesting in a joke before the Conservative Political Action Conference that Edwards was a "faggot." "If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot," Coulter said.
As Noel Sheppard pointed out in his June 26, 2007 NewsBusters item, the complete Ann Coulter quote was:
Is the White House going to pull a Lucy again with the football trick all over again? For months, President Bush has been asking us to wait for a report from General Petraeus. How many times did we hear that phrase, Wait for the report from General Petraeus? Now we learn that the White House is going to write the report - the White House! - and that the general will testify publicly before Congress only after the report has been written by Bush‘s people.
And later as he hosted a panel discussion on the topic:
ABC7 Chicago's Andy Shaw reported today on a Democratic rally at the Illinois State Fair. Speaking was former steelworker Steve Skvara, who the mainstream media made an instant celebrity, not to mention health care authority, after he tearfully asked "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?" at last week's AFL-CIO debate.
The governor's rally on a sweltering afternoon with a heat index above 100 attracted hundreds of Democrats, including a steelworker from Indiana who lost his job and health care and repeated an emotional plea that highlighted a presidential debate in Chicago last week.
"I want to hear a roar! Who's going to change America? Who's America is it? Is it the corporations' America or is it the citizens that vote?" said Stephen Skvara, former steelworker.
On Tuesday, retired steel worker Steve Skvara tearfully asked Democratic presidential candidates, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?"
The question was, according to a reporter on the CBS Evening News, an example of when "a moment of truth breaks through a political campaign event." On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews told Mr. Skvara, ""You're a great American to speak so well to the needs of this country." Chrissy later gushed: "Well, can I pay tribute—can I pay tribute to you, sir?"
"GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, in a bid to highlight his support of abstinence education and appeal to his base vote, is going after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
"Romney is twisting benign comments Obama made about sex education to a Planned Parenthood Action Fund conference to bolster his credentials among, apparently, the GOP voters who see themselves as sole proprietors of 'faith and values.'"
Ms Sweet notes that Obama emphasized that sex education needs to be "age appropriate." Left unstated is what exactly that means.
In yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times article, "Could Obama end centuries of corruption?," staff reporter Jennifer Hunter questions if Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, "a champion of improving government ethics at both the federal and state level," can clean up the government. Ms Hunter finds the senator's "ethic proposals are praiseworthy" and lauds his efforts.
No mention is made in her article of Obama's intimate connection to someone who may not be quite so interested in ethics, indicted businessman Tony Rezko. Even after it was known that Rezko was the target of a Federal investigation, Obama asked the wheeler-dealer to get involved in the purchase of Obama's home.
"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.
Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]
Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.
In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:
"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'
Portland's NBC television affiliate, KGW, today carries on its Web site an Associated Press story about a county sheriff. It's now alleged he "knew of the child abuse problems that drove former Governor Neil Goldschmidt from an active public life in 2004."
"Former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt admitted yesterday he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 35 and mayor of Portland, and said he is resigning all his public and private positions to 'rebuild my life.'"
The Times article noted Goldschmidt "became the nation's youngest big-city mayor, going on to become transportation secretary for the Carter administration and Oregon governor from 1986 to 1990."
"an interesting phenomenon that has arisen over the last few months: a trend of moderate Republicans who want to vote for Barack Obama. It may seem counterintuitive, conservatives supporting a candidate who wants to tax the wealthy and embrace the conventions in the Kyoto Accord, but there is something in Obama's message about ridding politics of partisanship that is appealing to these Republicans."
In the first sentence, moderate Republicans are backing Obama. By the next, they've become conservatives. You'd think Ms Hunter, who is married to the newspaper's publisher, would know - as most people do - that moderate Republican isn't synonymous with conservative.
Today, MiamiHerald.com needed to explain a picture appearing in yesterday's newspaper:
A photograph of Bill Clinton and Officer Alan Davis on Page 3B in Monday's local section did not intend to imply that the former president had involvement in a sexual solicitation case against the officer. Davis and Clinton were photographed together when the officer did bomb checks during a visit by Clinton. Davis was arrested Sunday and charged with solicitation and transportation with the purpose of prostitution.
What a sad commentary it is that we have a former president whose reputation is so shabby that a newspaper believes clarification is required. Still, I can see where it would be necessary whenever Bill Clinton is involved.
Moreover, Kass claims that Rosie's tactics are comparable to those espoused by the late Senator Joseph McCarthy:
According to Kass, "McCarthy was famous for his vicious conspiracy theories. He kept opening his mouth, too, just like Rosie. But instead of yelling about 9/11, he insisted that Soviet spies were crawling under every rock in Washington."
Really? That's the party line advanced by Commies, pinkos, socialists, leftists, liberals, and their lackeys and handmaidens for the past half century. The reality is quite different.
In Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times, TV critic Doug Elfman wasn't enthusiastic about a new USA Network program, "Starter Wife":
"The show just kind of lies there, like the bird poop that fell on our president's face at a press conference the other day. Oh, I mean, his shirt. Sorry. Wishful thinking."
When Elfman won an award at a newspaper he previous wrote for, the editor cited him for his "quick wit."
Perhaps among mainstream media types, wistfully dreaming of bird poop on President Bush's face qualifies as a real knee slapper. What's next at the Sun-Times, the food editor hoping to see the President slide on a banana peel?
Elfman is right about one thing: He is indeed sorry.
Time Magazine appears to have difficulty telling one Republican presidential candidate from another. Its "McCain and Romney's War of Words" article includes this addendum:
The original version of this story featured a statement made by John McCain to reporters — "No, we did not hire anyone who was in this country illegally, and we made sure we didn't. And you might go back to my opponent's camp and [tell them] we've moved. We now live in a condominium, OK? Duh." — that was incorrectly attributed to Mitt Romney. The statement has been omitted from the story.
Confusing the candidates may be Time's subtle way of encouraging the Republican Party to, as they say, celebrate diversity.
But how courageous was Murrow? Did he save the Republic from a man whose vicious tactics silenced any criticism?
There was already massive media opposition to the Wisconsin senator. Edwin Bayley’s 1981 book, “Joe McCarthy and the Press,” catalogs newspaper coverage after Joe launched his anti-Communism crusade in February, 1950.
The passing of the Reverend Jerry Falwell will give those who opposed him in life an opportunity to criticize him again. A glimpse of what might be expected appeared in the McClatchy Washington Bureau's obituary today.
Mr. Falwell, it says, "once criticized the children's show 'The Teletubbies' because he thought one of the four colorful, non-human characters - Tinky Winky, the purple one with the red bag - might be gay."
That is inaccurate. In 1999, that Tinky Winky story did appear in a publication that the minister published, but an editor submitted it, not Jerry Falwell. Moreover, it was certainly not the first time that the character's sexual orientation was the subject of media speculation:
On CNN's "American Morning" today, senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta warned of proposed cuts to a Federal program. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is under assault by - you guessed it - George W. Bush.
Since WIC was founded over 30 years ago, thoughts on nutrition have changed. See, the problem then was malnutrition, not obesity. So most WIC vouchers are for cereal, breads, crackers, milk products. Checks for force (sic) fresh fruits and vegetables don't exist.
So last August the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to add produce to the voucher system, to give clients a more balanced diet. They're expected to be available next year. But some say that might not happen, because WIC is on the chopping block, slated for a $145 million cut in President Bush's 2008 budget.
Alleged actor Alec Baldwin can be pretty vicious, at least verbally. He's called Vice President Dick Cheney "a lying, thieving Oil Whore." During the Clinton impeachment, he said: “If we were living in another country, what we, all of us together, would go down to Washington and stone (Republican Congressman) Henry Hyde to death, stone him to death, stone him to death! Then we would go to their house and we’d kill the family, kill the children.” (see update below for MRC coverage of same)
Kill the children? A typically measured, thoughtful comment from a member of the Hollywood Left. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Baldwin's contempt for children extends even to his own.
Today at SFGate.com, Associated Press entertainment writer Sandy Cohen reports on a recent voice mail message left by Baldwin for his 11-year-old daughter. He tells her "You are a rude, thoughtless little pig" and "You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being."
Kyle Sampson, former aide to Attorney General Gonzales, testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cutting to what genuinely matters, Milbank writes: "Sampson was indeed a bit pudgy and jowly, and he spoke in a nerdy voice that sounded strange coming from a man whose combative e-mails had been released by the Justice Department in recent weeks."
This isn't the first time Milbank felt the urge to call a Republican a nerd. He said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was one when Alito was nominated. As I pointed out at the time, it's not likely Milbank himself would be confused for James Bond.
Milbank also highlighted how many times Mr. Sampson's memory failed him during the seven hours of testimony: "He used the phrase 'I don't remember' a memorable 122 times."
That may be memorable, but it's hardly a Washington record. Former President Bill Clinton, in his Paula Jones' deposition, couldn't remember 267 times. Of course, Clinton didn't say "I don't remember" that many times, only 71. He offered some variety with not recalling, not recollecting, not having any memory, not having direct knowledge and not having any idea. Clinton, who in high school was a drum major and won first chair in the state band's saxophone section, could never be accused of nerdiness.
Mr. Hunter detailed his opposition to the legislation, pointing out that it ignores military needs while at the same time the bill's backers "did find money for shrimp and spinach." Here he was referring to the almost $4 billion targeted for farm interests that are included in the legislation.
HARRIS: Yes. You are referring to some of the sweeteners in the deal, millions, for example, to make spinach farmers whole again after last year's E. coli episode.
On this morning's CNN Newsroom, anchor T.J. Holmes interviewed an Alabama 16-year-old who for the past two years has run an anti-Iraq war Web site.
Holmes began by pointing out to the girl, "Of course, your message is anti-war, not anti-troops." He then asked her about death threats she claims she's received.
He next asked her if she'd be endorsing a presidential candidate for 2008 based on their views on Iraq and wrapped up the interview with an enthusiastic plug for her anti-war site:
"Wow. It sounds like they all need to be after your endorsement right now. Ava Lowery, again, 16-years-old, been keeping up with that blog. It's some great stuff you're doing. It's peacetakescourage.com. Folks, check it out."
In yesterday's Los Angeles Times, columnist Rosa Brooks' piece is titled "The lunatic right returns." The cause of her current displeasure is the presence of people associated with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on a Conservative Political Action Conference panel.
Comments Ms. Brooks: "IF YOU HATED IT the first time, you might like the sequel better.
"Remember Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the right-wing goon squad whose defamatory insinuations helped sink John Kerry's presidential campaign? They're back! This afternoon, key Swift boaters George 'Bud' Day, Mary Jane McManus and Carlton Sherwood are holding a little reunion, in the guise of a panel discussion at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The panel topic? 'The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier.'"
Like MSNBC, CNN was most enthused about Illinois Senator Barack Obama's announcement today. Senior political correspondent Candy Crowley was dispatched to Springfield to cover the event. She reported Obama "obviously is the only post baby boomer to be running in this race at this point."
Since the baby boom period is commonly defined as the years 1946 through 1964, and Mr. Obama was born in 1961, this doesn't appear accurate. Still, a minor point like that wasn't going to dampen the excitement.
Anchor T.J. Holmes spoke of Obama's "rock star status in politics like maybe it hasn't been seen before or hasn't been seen in a while." Anchor Betty Nguyen chimed in: "And the thing, too, that we really want to note, T.J., is look at all of the people who have turned out to be there during today's announcement. History is being made today, and Barack Obama is doing it his way."
CNN Saturday Morning News included the customary mainstream media genuflection to Senator Barack Obama. Anchor T.J. Holmes and senior national correspondent discussed Senator Hillary Clinton's announcement of an exploratory committee to examine her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
HOLMES: "So, has Senator Barack Obama just really shaken things up in the Clinton camp to where they have to change things, shake things up, move a timetable up a little bit because of just the rock star power that this guy has and all the attention that he's generating?"
ROBERTS: "I think that Barack Obama really has changed the dynamic for the Clinton folks. . . Suddenly, in comes Barack Obama, steals a lot of the limelight. And he's just one of those guys that the spotlight loves. You know, he doesn't love the spotlight so much as the spotlight loves him, if you understand what I mean."
"We see his well-defined pecs, his perfectly hairless torso, just a bit of padding around the abs and a drawstring dangling from his form-fitting surfer trunks. The aspiring presidential candidate splashes through the water and squints into the distance; he is transformed into Burt Lancaster in 'From Here to Eternity.'"