Archive for August 28th, 2007

Chris Dodd Is Firefightered Up!

Chris Dodd, who may actually be my favorite of the current Democratic candidates (I still pine for Algore), has picked up an intriguing and resonant endorsement:

The International Association of Fire Fighters has announced that Chris Dodd will recieve their endorsement. IAFF President Harold Schaitberger says Dodd is “the man we trust to keep our country safe and families secure.” The Fire Fighters don’t know what challenges we will face in the future, but regardless of the situation, we know what kind of leadership Chris Dodd will offer.

Fire fighters bring more than just an endorsement in name – there are tangible benefits that come with this endorsement that build on our already strong grass roots organization – boots on the ground, organizational and volunteer strength.

The IAFF was crucial in helping John Kerry win the nomination in 2004. Check out this US News article on their impact in 2004, which called the IAFF “one of the [Kerry’s] most potent political allies.”

Cool! Go Dodd! Unless Algore jumps in, of course…

August 28th, 2007 at 10:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections

David Brooks Explains It All (Away) For You

BoBo clarifies the proper role of an Attorney General for those of us who may have been confused:

Any attorney general has to represent the executive branch in power rivalries against Congress and the courts, rivalries that are built into the Constitution and preoccupy every administration. Doing this effectively requires political experience and skill.


[Successful Attorneys General] had long experience in politics and the ways of Washington. They already had the personal relationships that are the essence of governance. They didn’t have to discover how to ram policy through the system; through long practice it was second nature to them. They had developed contacts across Washington, so they could practice politics without destructive partisanship.

The exemplar for this kind of excellence – the man everybody points to as the superlative attorney general – is Edward Levi, who served under Gerald Ford. Everybody mentions that he was a highly respected legal scholar with a detached, dignified leadership style and that he brought exceptionally smart lawyers to Justice to serve with him.

But he was also an experienced manager, and he fought for executive privilege with a canniness that could not have come from scholarship alone. As Antonin Scalia pointed out in a memorial essay in the University of Chicago Law Review, Levi fought off intrusions on executive privilege from all sides. He resisted the idea of a special prosecutor assigned by the courts, believing the executive branch should have its own. He battled a Congressional committee that sought confidential Commerce Department reports. (The House had initiated contempt proceedings against the Commerce secretary).

Alrighty then, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up: The AG’s proper role is to defend the power of the executive branch against all those who would seek to exercise oversight upon it. Who knew?

August 28th, 2007 at 09:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Republicans,Wankers

How To Set Yourself Up

From a WaPo chat yesterday – how stupid do you have to be to give Dahlia Lithwick a straight line like this:

New York: So Gonzalez stunk at PR. Period. However, why do you love skewering him when he was trying to utilize every legal means to protect our nation?

Dahlia Lithwick: Hi New York. I guess for myself I’d say that I started to love skewering Gonzales only after he began to use illegal means to protect the nation.

Yep, there you have it – Gonzo’s only failure was that he was bad at PR.

Full Disclosure: I have had a huge crush on Dahlia Lithwick ever since she used the phrase “hectic smurlbats” to illustrate just how meaningful cries of “judicial activism” are.

August 28th, 2007 at 08:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Quotes,Republicans

I’m A Bad, Bad Person

I went to Larry Craig’s “How to contact me” page, and “Just wave your hand under the men’s room stall partition” wasn’t listed anywhere.

Nothing about tapping your foot either.

2 comments August 28th, 2007 at 07:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Teh Gay

Question Of The Day

From the Life After Gonzo online chat in today’s WaPo:

Toronto: I’m worried that Gonzales might show up for work as usual because he won’t, after searching his memory, have any recollection of resigning. What happens then?

Unfortunately, almost everyone he worked with has the same kind of freakish memory problems (Alnesia? AGnesia?), meaning they might all forget they quit too…

2 comments August 28th, 2007 at 05:46pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Quotes,Republicans

Giving Paws

From the WSJ, so take with a grain of salt:

One of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton is a tiny, lime-green bungalow that lies under the flight path from San Francisco International Airport.

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

That total ranks the house with residences in Greenwich, Conn., and Manhattan’s Upper East Side among the top addresses to donate to the Democratic presidential front-runner over the past two years, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of donations listed with the Federal Election Commission.

It isn’t obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple’s grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to “attendance liaison” at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund.

The Paws’ political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events.

People who answered the phone and the door at the Paws’ residence declined requests for comment last week. In an email last night, one of the Paws’ sons, Winkle, said he had sometimes been asked by Mr. Hsu to make contributions, and sometimes he himself had asked family members to donate. But he added: “I have been fortunate in my investments and all of my contributions have been my money.”

Mr. Hsu, in an email last night wrote: “I have NEVER asked a single favor from any politician or any charity group. If I am NOT asking favors, why do I have to cheat…I’ve asked friends and colleagues of mine to give money out of their own pockets and sometimes they have agreed.”

Okay, let me be the one to ask the obvious question:

“Winkle Paw”???

(h/t Stoller)

August 28th, 2007 at 11:48am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections

Smithsonian Air & Space Photoblogging

I only had a few minutes in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum… the first time.

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SpaceShipOne, the culmination of Paul Allen’s lifelong dream of being the first private citizen to put Evel Knievel in space. I understand that the biggest technical challenge was building a big enough ramp (although lining up the 3,000 buses was tricky too).

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This is really a much better picture, but it doesn’t capture the 70s daredevil paint job.

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Some sort of early American jet fighter.

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…And the base of a flagpole in front of the museum.

August 28th, 2007 at 07:36am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Washington DC

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