aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, April 25, 2005
Sinking like a stone
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling:
A. Social Security 31 64
B. Iraq 42 56
C. Economy 40 57
D. Terrorism 56 41
E. Energy Policy 35 54
A lot of other stuff, but this one is my favorite:
Which party better represents your personal values?
Dems - 47%
GOP - 38%
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), through a Freedom of Information Act request, got the Secret Service logs of James Guckert’s (aka Jeff Gannon) access to the White House.
Guckert made more than 200 appearances at the White House during his two-year tenure with the fledging conservative websites GOPUSA and Talon News, attending 155 of 196 White House press briefings. He had little to no previous journalism experience, previously worked as a male escort, and was refused a congressional press pass.
Perhaps more notable than the frequency of his attendance, however, is several distinct anomalies about his visits.
Guckert made more than two dozen excursions to the White House when there were no scheduled briefings. On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One-which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House. On other days, the president held photo opportunities.
On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.
Among the many questions raised by the documents, Salon asks:
First, if White House day passes—and the abbreviated security check that goes along with them—are meant for the occasional use of reporters who don’t need a permanent “hard” pass, why was Gannon allowed to use such day passes more than 200 times in less than two years? Is anyone else allowed, in effect, to turn a day pass into a “hard” pass, or was Gannon alone in his near-constant day pass access?
Second, in the post-9/11 world, is it too much to ask that the Secret Service keep track of who is coming and going at the White House? ...Maybe it’s just sloppy bookkeeping, but how hard can it be to get this stuff right? The White House isn’t exactly Grand Central Station, and the Secret Service checks everyone who comes and goes. Is there a reason other than ineptitude for missing many of Gannon’s entries and exits? And if it’s just ineptitude, what is the president going to do about that?
You’ll recall my solution to conscience clauses for pharmacists. Now, with the return of the contraceptive sponge, Pseudo-Adrienne at Alas, a blog wonders how long it will take for them to come up with a conscience clause for cashiers.
Yo, Adrienne. Please don’t give them any ideas.
“Democrat’s call Frist’s proposal to change the rules, ‘the nuclear option.’” - TODAY SHOW correspondent Chip Reid an hour ago.
Our media is at another pivotal moment - report the truth or cave? Today, Frist said:
Now if Senator Reid continues to obstruct the process, we will consider what opponents call the “nuclear option.” Only in the United States Senate could it be considered a devastating option to allow a vote. Most places call that democracy.
On November 14, 2004, there was the following exchange on Fox News:
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about one of them, because some Republicans are talking about what they call the nuclear option, and that would be a ruling that the filibuster of executive nominees is unconstitutional, which would require not 60 or 67 votes but only a simple majority of 51.
FRIST: Yes. That’s right.
WALLACE: Are you prepared to do that?
FRIST: Oh, it’s clearly one of the options. I’ve always said it’s one of the options.
What it basically—it’s called the nuclear option. It’s really a constitutional option. And what that means is that the Constitution says you, as a Senate, give advice and consent, and that is a majority vote. And then you vote on that, and that takes 50 votes to pass.
On November 16 he said to NPR:
Sen. FRIST: If we continue to see obstruction where one out of three of the president’s nominees to fill vacancies in the circuit court are being obstructed, then action would be taken. One of those is the nuclear option. The Constitution says advice and consent is the Senate’s responsibility; the president’s responsibility to it is to a point, and therefore, if the Constitution says `advice and consent,’ by 50 votes you can decide to give advice and consent. Will we have to do that? I can’t tell you, but I can tell you if obstructions are to continue like they have in the past, that clearly is an option that we have on the table.
UPDATE: Media Matters details the media shift in terminology.