Visions of South Carolina, circa 2000
September 15, 2008

Well, this doesn’t sound very good:

Jewish voters are complaining of a poll that, after confirming their religion, asks a series of questions that appear aimed at alarming Jewish voters, including linking Barack Obama to Palestinian terrorist groups.

Which, of course, is remarkably similar to the deplorable tactics Karl Rove employed against John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary.

I can’t wait to find out where this is coming from.

Do-it-yourself Woodwarding
September 8, 2008

God, I love it when news publications partially outsource their document combing. I’m going to do a little bit of digging when I have the time tomorrow – anyone else who wants to should chip in as well.

I know I promised not to blog about Palin anymore, but …
September 2, 2008

So, Alaskan secessionists, right-wing religious extremists, Ted Stevens, Troopergate … what are we missing here?

Oh, that’s right. Jack fucking Abramoff.

Sarah Palin: Directly or indirectly affiliated with every bad thing ever.

Ted Stevens wins primary, still indicted
August 27, 2008

It looks in Alaska, two absurdly corrupt Republican congressmen facing primary challengers stood victorious. Thanks, Alaska Republicans! Turning Alaska blue this year would have been tougher if we weren’t running against the double threat of Scrooge McDuck and the rabid Alaskan Mink, but now it looks like we have a shot at removing two of the most corrupt people on the planet and replacing them with Democrats.

McCain gives up the Stevens money
July 31, 2008

Lamar Alexander and Cornyn too.

It looks like the Republican Party is going to pretty much wash their hands of Stevens, which is the right thing to do. It’s a pretty striking contrast to how they’ve dealt with some of their other indicted leaders, coughTomDelaycough.

The Northern Lights are in my mind
July 30, 2008

Looks like Al Franken is the first Democratic challenger to use Ted Stevens against a recipient of his dirty money. Via OpenSecrets, here’s a list of candidates that the Northern Lights PAC donated money to. So far, looks like McConnell, Smith, Collins, Dole, Johanns and Sununu have all dumped their contributions.

Two notable names on the list who, to my knowledge, haven’t gotten rid of the money: John McCain and Don Young. Don Young, of course, has his own extensive corruption issues, and was both the only House member to receive Stevens’ money and one of the lucky $10,000 jackpot winners, which is the maximum amount the PAC gave to anyone.

As for McCain, supposedly Stevens’ indictment is supposed to draw attention to how squeaky clean he is – but he’s got $5,000 from the PAC sitting in his warchest, and a presidential campaign staffed by corporate lobbyists. Maybe Obama (or Obama surrogates, anyway) should consider following Franken’s lead here.

Connecting the Dots
July 30, 2008

Looks like the Senate’s investigation into the politicization of the Justice Department might go in an interesting direction.

WASHINGTON — On May 17, 2005, the White House’s political affairs office sent an e-mail message to agencies throughout the executive branch directing them to find jobs for 108 people on a list of “priority candidates” who had “loyally served the president.”

“We simply want to place as many of our Bush loyalists as possible,” the White House emphasized in a follow-up message, according to a little-noticed passage of an internal Justice Department report released Monday about politicization in the department’s hiring of civil-service prosecutors and immigration officials. [Emphasis mine.]

The implication being, of course, that numerous other agencies have been politicized in the same way as the Justice Department. Which we already know (just look at the EPA, for chrissake). But what this article shows is that these weren’t just a bunch of isolated incidents – Monica Goodling making a few political hires here, Cheney squashing a report about climate change there – but instead part of a single, coordinated effort that goes back to the White House. Basically, we’re talking about a return to the spoils system here.

Lucky for us, our ever vigilant White House press corps will probably be all over this.

Rove Held in Contempt
July 30, 2008

Hmm. Maybe corruption will be an issue again after all. Keep your fingers crossed for that, and for a neat visual of Rove being physically manhandled into a jail cell in the Capitol basement.

Full Steam Ahead
July 29, 2008

From Politico:

Stevens has a reputation as a fighter, so he may very well launch a counterattack on the Justice case against him. His campaign has said it’s “full steam ahead” for the fall election, adding that Stevens’ office has been “flooded” with calls and e-mails from supporters urging him to press on.

“The message from them is clear: Alaska needs Ted Stevens in the U.S. Senate.”

Yay!

The great thing about guys like Ted Stevens is that the same amorality and narcissism that gets them into dirty politics in the first place means that they won’t think twice about screwing their former allies if they think it will save them some humiliation.

Senator Ted Stevens Indicted
July 29, 2008

According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, the average adult male is composed of about 60% water. With Ted Stevens, however, it’s only about 25% water and 35% corruption. For you math whizzes out there, that’s 5% corruption per indictment he received today.

This has been a very long time coming – and it couldn’t have come at a better time. If Stevens decides to tough the election out – and I hope he does, more for sheer entertainment value than any tactical concerns – then, as election oracle Eric Kleefeld points out, Democrat Mark Begich probably has this one in the bag.

But you know what else would be nice? If this put corruption back on the table as an issue. I’m not just talking about the kind of corruption that gets you indicted – I’m talking about institutional, officially sanctioned corruption, too. We were just starting to have a conversation about that in 2006, but the resulting bill was only a slight improvement.

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