Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Investigate Larry Craig? Don't Bother

Question: what does it take to get Republicans in Washington to investigate alleged wrongdoing?

Answer: a public bathroom, lewd behavior, and a police report.

From today's Washington Post:

Senate Republican leaders called for an ethics investigation of Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) yesterday as he dug in for a legal and political fight to save his congressional career after acknowledging that he had pleaded guilty to disorderly-conduct charges stemming from an incident with an undercover police officer in an airport men's room.

Craig denied doing anything wrong and said he had "overreacted" in pleading guilty after his June 11 arrest at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He said that he is "not gay" and vowed to continue to serve in the Senate.

But there really is not much to investigate. The police report says what it says: Craig was trying to find a partner for sex in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport. And Craig conceded the facts when he pleaded guilty. Now he claims he's innocent. Who believes that? The GOP doesn't need an inquiry to cut through Craig's nonsensical spin.

From the Post:

"This is a serious matter. Due to the reported and disputed circumstances, and the legal resolution of this serious case, we will recommend that Senator Craig's incident be reported to the Senate Ethics Committee for its review. In the meantime, leadership is examining other aspects of the case to determine if additional action is required," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Minority Whip Trent Lott (Miss.) and three other elected leaders said.

Actually, it's not that serious a matter. But it's too bad these GOP leaders were not as assiduous when the subject was WMDs in Iraq, Enron, the missing billions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction money, or global warming.

Which reminds me: why did these Republican leaders not call for an investigation of Republican Senator David Vitter, who also may have violated the law by using the escort service of the DC Madam? Unlike the Case of the Supposedly Non-Gay Senator Caught in the Gay Sex Sting, the Vitter episode raised questions that are still unresolved. Vitter acknowledged calling the escort service, but he has declined to say anything else. So what use did he make of the escorts? Did he break the law in doing so? Vitter refuses to address such queries.

To date, Vitter's say-no-more approach appears to be working. He's still a U.S. senator (even if he's the butt of jokes). And the political pressure on him to come clean or to resign has eased. He must be saying to himself these days, "Thank God for Larry Craig."

Vitter once argued that Bill Clinton ought to be impeached because he had engaged in immoral acts. Vitter has not held himself to the same standard and, for the moment, he has escaped retribution. But he's the sex-scandal-tainted Republican senator worthy of an investigation. As for Craig, the record--that is, the police report he acknowledged as accurate--speaks for itself.

Posted by David Corn at August 29, 2007 01:14 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Does seem like more hypocrisy from the professional hypocrites.



capt said...

I think it is good to revisit the Clinton issue now that some time has passed. The hooker hoppers and those living a lie or at least living in ways they condemn.

I remember many calls of immorality and discussions of character and family values that included way too many that think themselves open minded or progressive. Too many people from the left willing to accept the false premise that somehow it was our business what went on behind closed doors.

The whole situation with regard to Vitter, Craig and others is just so sad. They are very wrong to be so judgmental on any issue especially while being dishonest.

Imagine a world where adults could really consent to __________ (fill in the blank) with other adults knowing they would not be judged or belittled. A world where the old labels are discarded in favor of acceptance or at minimum tolerance insulated by a mutual respect of privacy.

I have never been in a position to pass judgment on the private lives of any person - celebrity, politician, family or friends.

The details of such stuff makes me cringe. Not because of the specifics - more because there are specifics. I know the exposure of these things are a necessary evil when doing so exposes hypocrisy and lies. I think we all have to be careful to never cross that line into lewd specifics for the sake of nothing more than licentiousness.


David B. Benson said...

On another topic, it appears that raising animals for meat does more environmental harm than all forms of transportation combined.


capt said...

Upbeat Bush hints at more troops for Iraq

THE US President, George Bush, has given his strongest indication yet that he intends to continue with plans to increase troop numbers in Iraq after the September 15 report to Congress, when he delivered an upbeat assessment of military progress and a more positive view of the political outlook.


Mr Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $US50 billion ($61 billion) in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said on Tuesday, a move that appears to reflect increasing White House confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawback of forces.

The request - which would be in addition to about $US460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defence budget and $US147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - is expected to be announced after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September.


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When will anybody say NO to this crazyman?


capt said...

The "American" diet is so good for everybody just look how it has rounded out the population.


capt said...

Musharraf agrees to quit as military leader in deal with Bhutto

President Musharraf has agreed to relinquish his role as chief of Pakistan’s army as part of a power-sharing deal with his main political rival, Benazir Bhutto.

The embattled leader has also agreed to drop corruption charges against Ms Bhutto and dozens of MPs.

The deal paves the way for Ms Bhutto, a former Prime Minister, to return to Pakistan from exile in London and Dubai. Nawaz Sharif, another former exiled prime minister, has already announced plans to return to Pakistan early next month.


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Should be good news. Better than many other options.


Carey said...

Nice essay on "immorality" Capt.

Happy Katrina Anniversary New Orleans.

capt said...

"To initiate a war of aggresion.. is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." - Nuremberg Tribunal
"The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter." UN Chief Kofi Annan - -September 2004. Source BBC

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." : Aesop - (c. 550 B.C.) legendary Greek fabulist Source: The Wolf and the Lamb


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

"Truth is the secret of eloquence and of virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and life."
~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel

capt said...

History Will Not Absolve Us

Leaked Red Cross report sets up Bush team for international war-crimes trial

If and when there's the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA's secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament—as well as such deeply footnoted books as Stephen Grey's Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (St. Martin's Press) and Charlie Savage's just-published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (Little, Brown).
While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn't let them in.

But The New Yorker's Jane Mayer has sources who have seen accounts of the Red Cross interviews with inmates formerly held in CIA secret prisons. In "The Black Sites" (August 13, The New Yorker), Mayer also reveals the effect on our torturers of what they do—on the orders of the president—to "protect American values."

She quotes a former CIA officer: "When you cross over that line of darkness, it's hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can't go back to that dark a place without it changing you."

Few average Americans have been changed, however, by what the CIA does in our name. Blame that on the tight official secrecy that continues over how the CIA extracts information. On July 20, the Bush administration issued a new executive order authorizing the CIA to continue using these techniques—without disclosing anything about them.

If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors.

We, however, have the right and the power to insist that Congress discover and reveal the details of the torture and other brutalities that the CIA has been inflicting in our name on terrorism suspects.


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Who knows, in the long run Bush might wish he was impeached.


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Is the GOP the world's biggest closet or what? :)

I await the inevitable moment when some GOP senator or congresscritter gets caught with a gerbil up his ass. [Or arse, for our foreign friends]

Y'know, "The Ass Gerbils" [or "The Arse Gerbils"] would be a great name for a punk rock band. :)

capt said...

“They wanted them poor niggers out of there.”

We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing “Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”

These aren’t just any homes. They are the public housing projects of the city; the Lafitte Houses and others. But unlike the cinder block monsters in the Bronx, these public units are beautiful townhouses, with wrought-iron porches and gardens right next to the tony French Quarter.

Raised up on high ground, with floors and walls of concrete, they were some of the only houses left salvageable after the Katrina flood.

Yet, two years later, there’s still bars on the windows, the doors are welded shut and the residents banned from returning. On the first anniversary of the flood, we were filming this odd scene when I saw a woman on the sidewalk, sobbing. Night was falling. What was wrong?


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You have to read this one.


capt said...

Right now, the U.S. Senate is preparing for a vote that could have major consequences for gays and lesbians across America. If they approve President Bush's nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the Federal bench, they'll give tremendous power to a man who once helped remove a woman's 8-year-old biological child from her custody in part because the mother was a lesbian.

I hope you'll join me in speaking out at:

Southwick even signed an unnecessary additional brief in the case saying that losing her child was the possible consequence of the mother's sexual "choice." Excuse me? This kind of misinformed bigotry has no place in our nation's highest courts. Southwick's appointment would be for life.

Click here to write your senators:


This is the kind of thing that runs under the radar.


capt said...

Conyers: Impeachment May Be Off Pelosi's Table, But Not Mine

Nick Juliano:"I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment," says Conyers.

This post, written by Nick Juliano, originally appeared on Raw Story

Rep. John Conyers declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not stop him from beginning impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee against a 'long list of people'in the Bush administration, although he did not make a firm commitment to begin proceedings.

"Nancy Pelosi has impeachment 'off the table,' but that's off her table, it is not off John Conyers' table," the Michigan Democrat said during a town hall meeting in his district Tuesday. "Nancy Pelosi, who I actually supported, cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution against, well I've got a long list of people who are eligible."

Conyers did not announce plans to begin impeachment proceedings, which he has previously said would be politically untenable. Rather, his speech seemed to indicate that pro-impeachment activists did not yet convince him that Bush and Cheney deserved to be booted from office. A Conyers spokesman did not immediately respond to RAW STORY's request for clarification of the congressman's comments.

"I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment ... whenever I feel that it is appropriate," Conyers said. "I only wish that I could be moved by a lot of people coming to my office."

One activist who helped organize hundreds of protesters who traveled to Washington to push Conyers to begin impeachment remains unconvinced that the congressman will actually take action.

"I think John Conyers ... is saying, 'I'm not going to do what my constituency wants, I'm going to do what the Democratic leadership wants,'" Tina M. Richards, CEO of Grassroots America, told RAW STORY Wednesday.

Although she acknowledged Conyers "adamantly wants to impeach," Richards said he is being precluded from doing so by Pelosi and other top House Democrats. Hundreds of impeachment activists are expected to descend on Pelosi's office next month to pressure the House Speaker to allow impeachment proceedings.

The 21-term congressman, who took control of the Judiciary Committee this year, boasted that he was the first to introduce a resolution calling for Richard Nixon's impeachment.

Conyers mentioned frequent visits by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who recently led hundreds of protesters to urge him to begin impeachment proceedings. He told the activists he would not begin impeachment hearings because there is not enough support among Democrats, who control the House, for the move.

"I understand the politics of impeachment," Conyers said. "But we have something going on now that we've never had before."


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I bet the next thing we hear will be: “There’s not enough time to impeach” because all the house members are going into re-election mode.


capt said...

Iran accepts fresh nuclear plan

The UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has agreed to a plan aimed at clearing up questions about its controversial nuclear activities.

The IAEA says the development is "significant", but adds that for the plan to work, it is essential to get full and active co-operation from Iran.

It also says Iran is continuing its enrichment programme, but at a slower pace than before, despite UN sanctions.

Western powers fear Iran could try to make nuclear arms, which Tehran denies.

They have warned Iran is playing for time and should halt its programme immediately to avoid further UN sanctions.

The UN Security Council has already imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran over the nuclear row.


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This could mess up any WH plans for military action against Iran. Watch the WH make some impossible demand. The script is written (and getting old).


capt said...

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