aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, June 23, 2006
That’s a clean bill of health?
WASHINGTON - Casino-owning Indian tribes filtered more than $5 million through a series of corporations to satisfy what they said were Ralph Reed’s political concerns that he would be linked to the cash, a Senate committee concluded Thursday.
Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, used the money to mount religious conservative opposition to gambling in competing states. [...]
Reed was accused of no wrongdoing, but the committee said the use of nonprofit corporations by Reed, Abramoff and others “to obscure the source of funds” was worth more investigation.
Reed, who is running in the July 18 GOP primary for lieutenant governor in Georgia, characterized the Senate report as a clean bill of health that would free voters to focus on issues closer to home.
He said the report “confirms I have not been accused of any wrongdoing in this matter. It also confirms that I was hired as a subcontractor for a very respected law firm and had no direct relationship with their clients.”
That’s an artful elocution if ever there was one and I’m sure technically correct, but a lie by any other name… And it turns out he got lucky by getting squeezed out by others even more greedy than he:
[M]uch of the criminal activity by Abramoff and Scanlon occurred after they had pushed Reed out of their operations, beginning in late 2001. “They apparently began to squeeze Reed out and keep most of the money paid by the tribes for themselves,” the report said.
Miami & one percent
On GMA just now, after noting that the threat from those arrested in Miami was “apparently not iminent,” an unidentified (FBI?) spokesman says, “If you’ve got a scent of a problem you’ve got to move on that problem.”
I’d say that prett clearly illustrates The One Percent Doctrine:
The title of Ron Suskind’s riveting new book, “The One Percent Doctrine,” refers to an operating principle that he says Vice President Dick Cheney articulated shortly after 9/11: in Mr. Suskind’s words, “if there was even a 1 percent chance of terrorists getting a weapon of mass destruction - and there has been a small probability of such an occurrence for some time - the United States must now act as if it were a certainty.” He quotes Mr. Cheney saying that it’s not about “our analysis,” it’s about “our response,” and argues that this conviction effectively sidelines the traditional policymaking process of analysis and debate, making suspicion, not evidence, the new threshold for action.
After reminding us of the arrest of the innocent Army muslim chaplain and the false arrest of an Oregon lawyer and Richard Jewell, falsely accused for the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing, Larry Johnson at TPM says:
Caution is the watch word. The good news is that law enforcement had penetrated this group. This calls into question the Administration’s insistence that you can’t fight terrorism as a law enforcement matter. Really? If that’s true then why was this handled as a “law enforcement” matter? This should be a reminder that law enforcement, particularly with the help of local law enforcement, is our first and best defense against domestic terrorism. [...]
When this shakes out I suspect we will find a disaffected group of youths who had fantastical dreams of destruction but no real capability to carry out their evil fantasies. Given the Bush Administration’s proclivity to play the fear card and use the threat of terrorism to scare the hell out of the public, a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted.
LATER: James Joyner - quoting Deputy FBI Director John Pistole on CNN describing their plan as “More aspirational than operational” - observes, “That’s gotta leave a mark. It’s also a rather interesting thing to say in the context of an indictment, where one typically tries to portray the accused in the most menacing fashion possible.” Yes, rather.
Are we sexual deviants intolerant?
Also in SoVo, Chris Craine takes on Andrew Sullivan’s defense of Robert Smith, a longtime Republican Party activist in Montgomery County, MD fired by Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlichcalled for refusing to apologize after calling gays “sexual deviants” in a televised discussion about same-sex marriage.
Smith claimed he was simply expressing his Roman Catholic beliefs on the subject. Sullivan agreed calling the firing (by a straight governor) gay intolerance:
The gay rights movement needs to practise the same tolerance it is asking for. Leave orthodox Catholics - and Protestants - alone in the expression of their own faith, and their own politics.
Smith wasn’t fired for opposing gay marriage, of course, since we know Ehrlich does as well. He was fired because he allowed his own orthodox Catholic beliefs to define as “deviant” a class of citizens who are supposed to be protected from discrimination under the laws of Maryland, the District and the written policy of the Metro transit system itself.
It’s one thing for Smith’s private religious beliefs to run counter to Metro policy, state law and the governor’s stated support for equal treatment and inclusion (however unevenly Ehrlich lives up to that standard). It’s altogether another for Smith to tell the public so, and in such extreme terms.
Political appointees are sacked every day for not following their patron’s party line, and that’s all that happened here.
Yeah, right. I’m sure it was a sincere apology
Browsing SoVo this morning I found this from AP:
Outspoken Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Wednesday for using a derogatory term in referring to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, then kept up his criticism of the writer.
Guillen went into a profanity-laced tirade against Mariotti before Tuesday night’s game against St. Louis and called him a number of names, including a “fag.”
“Jay, I think I made this guy a lot of money and he’s famous. If not for Ozzie Guillen, no one would have heard of him,” Guillen said. “If I hurt anybody with what I called him, I apologize.”