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Tilting at Windmills

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November 15, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LEGISLATIVE STATECRAFT....Hey, remember Manny Miranda, the Republican Senate aide who filched reams of notes and memos from Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago? Sure you do! Even Orrin Hatch disowned him when he found out what Miranda had done, but Miranda remained unrepentant throughout the entire affair and continued to be a darling of right-wing movement activists afterward. Rebecca Sinderbrand updated us on his activities earlier this year.

So what's the latest on Manny? Well, you can't let legislative talent like his go to waste, especially when there are legislatures in dire need of it. The Washington Post reports:

What a surprise to find an old face on the Hill yesterday — former Senate GOP leadership aide Manuel Miranda — but an even bigger surprise was learning his new job: giving legislative advice to fledgling democrats in Baghdad.

Miranda's official title is director of the Office of Legislative Statecraft at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. There, he's giving instruction on democratic principles to Iraqi lawyers and lawmakers, a group of whom he escorted around the Capitol complex yesterday.

The Office of Legislative Statecraft. Indeed. Who needs the Onion when we still have the Bush administration around?

Kevin Drum 1:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

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Comments

Is it any different in the field of journalism? In 1980, George Will advised presidential candidate Ronald Reagan on debating, and praised Ronald Reagan’s performance in the debates, without disclosing his behind-the-scenes role on Reagaan’s team. That should have permanently ended his career in journalism, but he continues to be one of America’s top pundits to this day.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 15, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Oh the surrealism of this Bushie administration. Please make it stop. They're ruining irony for everyone.

Posted by: MarkH on November 15, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Who else will take these jobs in Iraq?

It says more about the problems in Iraq than about his conflicting past.

Posted by: lilybart on November 15, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

All things considered, we're probably a lot better off with that guy in Iraq.

Posted by: tomeck on November 15, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 15, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck: All things considered, we're probably a lot better off with that guy in Iraq.

LOL. Indeed.

Posted by: shortstop on November 15, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall, Miranda "filched" the information by merely opening a web site, where it was not password-protected. Also, what Miranda found on that website was evidence that Democrats were blocking Miguel Estrada for no other reason than that he was Hispanic.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 15, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Did the Post mean to say, "fledgling politicians"?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on November 15, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, we remember Manny Miranda. The whistleblower who was punished for leaking details about Senate Dems' perversion of the course of justice.

Imagine, if you will, the howls if Republicans had pulled a stunt like that.

Posted by: am on November 15, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-libel,

Bullshit. That is all.
You may now resume catapulting the propaganda.

Posted by: Northern Observer on November 15, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Manny Miranda,
Wingnut hero class one, winner of the coveted purple jellybean medal of freedom, democracy and a pony. Upholder of justice and womanly virtue, a man amoung men, hounded out of Washington by old bumpkin Hatch and the Satanocrats. We remember you foundly cheeto brother, soldier on to surging victory in mess-o-potamia oh nobel warrior, soldier on my noble son.

Posted by: Northern Observer on November 15, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

an even bigger surprise was learning his new job: giving legislative advice to fledgling democrats in Baghdad

Maybe he's on a secret mission to filch battle plans from the insurgents.

Imagine, if you will, the howls if Republicans had pulled a stunt like that

We don't have to imagine, asshole; Gonzales and his toadies did it, and Republicans went to the matr for them.

Posted by: Gregory on November 15, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Being a Georgetown alum, I know this guy all too well. Even while being a political hack, he still makes time to inject himself in campus life whenever possible, from running the arch-conservative and rarely publishing Georgetown Academy to hobnobbing with the lamest collegiate secret society in the US, the Stewards.

Posted by: Cain on November 15, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Also, what Miranda found on that website was evidence that Democrats were blocking Miguel Estrada for no other reason than that he was Hispanic.

Yes, it had nothing to do with Estrada's conservative political views, the comparison of his judicial philosophy with Grand Inquisitor Scalia, the fact that he was a partner at the firm that represented Bush in Bush v. Gore -- or the fact that the Hispanic community overwhelmingly rejected Estrada on the grounds that he did not represent their interests.

As I recall, Miranda "filched" the information by merely opening a web site, where it was not password-protected.

Is this like the time you "recalled" that Al Qaeda had been attacking us since the 1970's?

Just wondering.

Sometimes a cocktail of medications works best.

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK
All things considered, we're probably a lot better off with that guy in Iraq.

Short-term, sure.

Long-term... I dunno. A generation down the line, us sending guys like that over there now to help run their government for them may be a factor frequently, and rightly, pointed to in "Why do they hate us?" discussions.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 15, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Irony is indeed absent from this administration. Totally absent. A little noted yet for me final nail was Bush's recent admonition to Musharraf: "You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time," Bush said, describing a telephone call with Gen. Pervez Musharraf. "I had a very frank discussion with him."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I guess Bush should relinquish the title "Commander-in-chief"?

Posted by: steve duncan on November 15, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone else noticed that there's some kind of slimey affair or incident involving one repub or another almost every day. It's mind blowing. YOu can't put your mind around it it's so pervasive.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 15, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

A generation down the line, us sending guys like that over there now to help run their government for them may be a factor frequently, and rightly, pointed to in "Why do they hate us?" discussions.

This made me laugh with a rasping, hollow sound that echoed hauntingly off the walls of my little office, not because it's not perfectly true, but because Miranda is one item on a longer-than-the-U.S.-tax-code list of "why they (justifiably) hate us."

Posted by: shortstop on November 15, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Add "undisclosed stolen Carter briefing book" to the George Will comment above.

Posted by: snarkvark on November 15, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you have to hand it to the GOP. They certainly take care of their own. Particularly the ones who go down in flames after committing vicious and unethical and crooked acts for the good of the Party.

But why do I have this horrible image of Manny Miranda going to Baghdad to teach the Iraqis how to be U.S.-style political hacks ... and then morphing into Colonel Kurtz in the movie "Apocolypse Now"?

Heads skewered on stakes. Skeletons strewn on the ground ... prisoners in cages. People waving spears and swords. The horror. THE HORROR!

Posted by: Bokonon on November 15, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Leave it to a crowd of thumb-sucking liberals to wonder why we're trying to bring democracy to a region that has never really seen democracy.

Legislative Statecraft is a noble endeavor, designed to speed up the transformation of a nascent democracy into something other than a dysfunctional mess. Think of it as a hydroponics setup to cultivate the seeds we've planted in Iraq. It takes a lot of feeding and care to make democracy grow. It takes a lot of water, electricity and gumption to also make it grow--something the Iraqis need to fix for themselves. You need secure space, extension cords, cultivation planters, and, above all else, nutrient-rich dirt--once you get these things, you need time and energy to get things to grow. And don't bother making the connection to illegal drugs, liberals. My hydroponics farm is designed to grow potatoes, corn and zuccini for my own personal use. Let's not deviate from the subject, shall we?

I've often wondered--why don't they have clean water and electricity in Iraq? Is it because we didn't bring them these things? American troops have more than enough water and electricity, so they're obviously not stealing it from the Iraqis.

Could it be that the insurgents are stealing these things and blowing these things up? Makes sense to me.

It also makes sense to inject a few "steroids" into the Iraqi body politic to get it to grow and sustain itself. Who could find fault with that, besides a handful of moonbats and a crank or two? And you wonder why I'm astonished at how simple-minded you people can be at times.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 15, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

And you wonder why I'm astonished at how simple-minded you people can be at times.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

This from someone who has to fake lucidity in order to get a day pass from the care facility so that he can grace us with his "wisdom." I wonder what personality he used today.

Posted by: DJ on November 15, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

This from someone who has to fake lucidity in order to get a day pass from the care facility so that he can grace us with his "wisdom." I wonder what personality he used today.

I'm sitting in a fine home, comfortably situated on several acres with shared access to a pond. How's your corner of the trailer park holding up? Still got that Chevy Malibu up on concrete blocks, homes? Why don't you eat a corn dog and enjoy another lip-smacking taste of futility?

Heads skewered on stakes. Skeletons strewn on the ground ... prisoners in cages. People waving spears and swords. The horror. THE HORROR!

If that's what it takes to get the hooligans to stop turning over trash cans in my neighborhood, so be it. Iraq is no different than any other lawless place on Earth--all you need to do is bring in someone who understands the criminal mind and the situation can be turned around. Liberals decried the selection of Bernie Kerik to run things in Iraq, but ever since they ran him out of Baghdad, the city has been a basket case. If Kerik had been able to turn Baghdad into Manhattan, we'd certainly be further down the road of bringing the troops home, wouldn't we? Oh, sorry! That would mean Bush had won.

Where I live, lawlessness abounds. Trashcans are rolled this way and that way. My attempts to contact my political leaders have ended in frustration. I refuse to believe that raccoons are completely to blame. We have some really poorly situated leadership where I live, and none of these people can quite grasp what it takes to have a happy community. Law and order, people! Law and order. It worked in 1968 and it works today.

Someone merely needs to teach statecraft to the people where I live--this is how you get consensus, this is how you allocate resources, this is where you reward the private sector, etc. Statecraft is easy, once someone figures out how to grease the squeaky wheel and get everyone thinking the same way.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 15, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, Norman, I though Bernie Kerik ran himself out of town when he fled Baghdad on that midnight flight back to the U.S.

I should have guessed that the liberals were really behind it. Liberals and raccoons. Jihadist raccoons, even.

Damn them! Will they stop at nothing?

Posted by: Bokonon on November 15, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Did any of you consider that a good part of the lawlessness in Iraq could be caused by animals? They engage in quite a bit of tomfoolery where I live, so perhaps Iraq is seeing so much lawlessness because the war has unleashed some species of animal common to the Middle East. There are feral cats that can kill people, you know. I don't know if there are feral cats in Iraq, but if there were, who would know about these things?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 15, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sitting in a fine home, comfortably situated on several acres with shared access to a pond. How's your corner of the trailer park holding up? Still got that Chevy Malibu up on concrete blocks, homes? Why don't you eat a corn dog and enjoy another lip-smacking taste of futility?

So...the Sophisticated Lord of the Manor persona is in charge today. Thanks for enlightening us.

BTW, sophisticated lords of the manor don't refer to people as "homes." Tells me that your fake hipster persona is trying to assert itself. Get to the medication ASAP.

Posted by: DJ on November 15, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK
o perhaps Iraq is seeing so much lawlessness because the war has unleashed some species of animal common to the Middle East. There are feral cats that can kill people, you know.
Think small, blame latent Toxoplasmosis. And cats. Posted by: Bill Arnold on November 15, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Bill Arnold" explains who peed in DJs kitty litter today.

Legislative Statecraft is an important thing to teach people who don't have the structure in place to build their own institutional processes of democracy. I can't understand why this subject is one for a goofy laugh--this is serious business.

Do you want the Iraqis to come up with their own form of government, based on how they've been led for the last fifty years?

Severed heads and impaled enemies, indeed. It would be like watching liberals try to put up a Habitat for Humanity home. At some point, someone would figure out how to use a nail gun to settle a dispute.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 15, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you eat a corn dog and enjoy another lip-smacking taste of futility?

Norm haters be damned. This might be the funniest thing ever posted at Political Animal.

Posted by: shortstop on November 15, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
You need to send Inkblot to Norman's house. Obviously the raccoons have been meddling with his meds. Inkblot needs to recalibrate Normie's does level.

And while he is there, he can pretend he is feral. Course that might be a stumbling block to his '08 presidential run.

Posted by: optical weenie on November 15, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

That should be dose level, not does level.


Thursdays are not good typing days.

Posted by: optical weenie on November 15, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

... on several acres with shared access to a pond.

Fucking socialist.


Posted by: junebug on November 15, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I was not being completely unserious. Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior, Schizophrenia Bulletin vol. 33 no. 3 pp. 757–760, 2007.

Seriously though. We wrecked a functioning police state, which was serving most citizens in Iraq reasonably well, as long as they didn't cross the dictator, or his family, or important officials. We had no plan to prevent it from being replaced eventually by a Shiite theocracy friendlier with Iran than we'd like. And we're not in a position to impose any system of government, at least not without quadrupling the size of the occupation. I think we should announce a departure date, with the caveat that "we'll be back" if whatever takes over poses a threat.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on November 15, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

What's the big deal? Was he charged with a crime? Doesn't Miranda have rights?
Hell, he's young, a mere novice.
Still an undergrad of the Sandy Berger School of Political Dynamics.

Posted by: majarosh on November 15, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Liberals decried the selection of Bernie Kerik to run things in Iraq, but ever since they ran him out of Baghdad, the city has been a basket case."

Baghdad has ALWAYS been a basket case. What was Bernie Kerik going to do about it, schtup Judith Regan in a Green Zone office? Get some mob acquaintances to remodel bombed-out buildings?

Posted by: CJColucci on November 15, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, using illegally intercepted electronic communication is beyond the pale. Ask Representative Jim McDermott.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Little ab-Normie is obsessed with critters today. Have Ewe been spending time on the Republican Sheep Ranch with your Bushboys?

…. an undergrad of the Sandy Berger School of Political Dynamics.majarosh at 4:43 PM …. Ask Representative Jim McDermott.Will Allen at 5:17 PM

RepubliConTarian drama queens, frothing for Dear Old Manny, say it's bad when Democrats commit lesser acts but really neato when one of their boys goes at it big time.

Posted by: Mike on November 15, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a grand idea to send Miranda over to Iraq. Subvert democracy over there, so he doesn't have to continue subverting it here!

Posted by: bigcat on November 15, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

The guy won't last three weeks "in country".

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on November 15, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hey ... isn't a form of socialism for the government to give this guy a job?

Socialism! Socialism!

If he is true to his own ideology, he ought to be out there hustling for jobs in the private sector. Like ... exterminating nuisance raccoons.

Posted by: Bokonon on November 15, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

RepubliConTarian drama queens, frothing for Dear Old Manny, say it's bad when Democrats commit lesser acts but really neato when one of their boys goes at it big time.

Golly, Mike, it's so inconvenient when your liberal idols are exposed as having feet of clay while you're busy congratulating yourself for your moral superiority, isn't it?

Are you illiterate? I never said I'm happy about what Mr. Miranda did, which you would have noticed if you weren't so busy bonding with your tribe here. I am concerned about the civil rights abuses of both parties, and I'm going to tell Mr. Bush so the very minute I take his cock out of my mouth.

Posted by: shortstop pinch-hitting as will allen on November 15, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Cain, I think you mean the Second Stewards Society, since it actually split in two.

Is it even still active? I was a member for about a day, joining after being assured by a bunch of people, including Miranda, that it was entirely non-political (thankfully, I'm more cynical now). Then I got assigned to work on "Project Caesar," which was supposed to replace President O'Donovan when he retired with someone much more conservative. Myself and 5 of the other ten new members quit. Needless to say, DeGioia was not who they had in mind to replace O'Donovan.

Posted by: JoshA on November 15, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, shortstop, you are what passes for in intellect in this forum. Now get busy and tell us how intolerable it is for people to use illegally intercepted electronic communication! It's just terrible, isn't it!

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

All things considered, we're probably a lot better off with that guy in Iraq.
Short-term, sure.

Long-term... I dunno

Long term, we're better of with nobody in Iraq.

As to the guys defending Miranda, wasn't it the Republicans (Orin Hatch?) who canned the guy? Just how are we supposed to get some liberal conspiracy out of that?

Posted by: tomeck on November 15, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK
Long term, we're better of with nobody in Iraq.

Actually, I think that's the current plan: make a wasteland and call it peace.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 15, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

ROFLMAO! A show of hands, please! Which post oozed with more tasty and threadbare Will Allen neurosis:

--my imitation at 6:15
--Will's Pavlovian (ding, ding, drip) imitation of my imitation at 6:57?

This is all so meta. Voting closes at 10 p.m. eastern!

Posted by: shortstop on November 15, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Yes, it had nothing to do with Estrada's conservative political views, the comparison of his judicial philosophy with Grand Inquisitor Scalia,

Give me a break. Bill Clinton appointed Estrada as Asst Attorney General. Estrada represented Clinton's White House before the Supreme Court on a number of cases. The Clinton AG praised Estrada's work. Would Bill Clinton have chosen to be represented by an ultra-conservative extremist?

the fact that he was a partner at the firm that represented Bush in Bush v. Gore

Now, you're getting warm. We konw from the material that Miranda discovered that the Dems didn't want a highly capable Republican Hispanic appellate court judge. They were afraid the first Hispanic SC Justice might be a Republican appointee.

In addition, as you suggest, they might have been punishing Estrada for representing Bush in Bush v. Gore. That's appalling behavior, in my opinion. There was nothing dishonorable about representing either Bush or Gore.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 15, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

What, shortstop, no description of sexual organs in orifices? Your mind can attend to other things?

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break. Bill Clinton appointed Estrada as Asst Attorney General.

Wrong again. Clinton appointed Estrada as Assistant to the Solictor General. You are an idiot.

Would Bill Clinton have chosen to be represented by an ultra-conservative extremist?

Nice strawman, but no one is arguing that. Bill Clinton would and did promote and/or compromise on conservative-minded individuals. You're so used to thinking in the hyper-partisan terms of a Bush sycophant you've forgotten history. Clinton actually WAS a uniter.

The fact that the Democrats found Estrada too conservative for a high judgeship under Bush is entirely unrelated to his career as a political appointee under Clinton.

We konw from the material that Miranda discovered that the Dems didn't want a highly capable Republican Hispanic appellate court judge.

What they did not want was a stealth candidate who would use the cover of ethnicity, lack of a paper trail, and refusal to answer questions to sail through the process only to turn out to be some kind of ideological monstrosity with no respect for the law or the constitution - like, say, Gonzales.

You will find that they check for this often.

In addition, as you suggest, they might have been punishing Estrada for representing Bush in Bush v. Gore. That's appalling behavior, in my opinion.

That's politics, you pay for your choices. And you may want to contrast the screening and purging of the DOJ for and of Democratic attorneys before you rest your argument on such an ignorant claim again. Career attorneys with excellent records were dismissed, sometimes because they wouldn't engage in illegal or ethical acts on behalf of the Republican party.

Oh, and the screening of applicants for job in Iraq based on their political contributions and views on abortion and capital punishment. A bit more appalling, I might say.

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

shorter Will Allen: "Oh look, some Democrat did something similar, so it doesn't matter. Vote Republican."

This is what passes for intelligent debate in Will's little world.

Posted by: haha on November 15, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

What, shortstop, no description of sexual organs in orifices? Your mind can attend to other things?

Face it, she does a better you than you AND she's funny. As haha said, if the schtick wasn't always "both parties are equally bad but Democrats are worse" in the face of reams of countervailing evidence you wouldn't get the abuse.

Orwell observed this character trait and its constellated issues in nationalists, but it applies almost as well to present-day Republicans, who tend to be a subset thereof:

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by "our" side.

Emphasis mine.

Like looking in a mirror much?

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, I was just agreeing with Kevin regarding how terrible it was that someone who used illegally intercepted electronic communication could hold a position of responsibility in a U.S. Embassy. Goodness, what's next? Chairing a sub-committee in the United States House of Representatives?

Nah, the Democrats are in charge of that institution, and they would never stand for it, right?

Trex, is there somethong called irony on your planet?

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Trex, is there somethong called irony on your planet?

Um, not in this case, particularly because the two situations aren't particularly similar, despite your fuzzy wording to make them sound so.

McDermott did not record the conversation. It was given to him by concerned citizens as potential evidence of wrongdoing by someone undergoing an ethics investigation. By contrast, Miranda himself stole information from a server repeatedly for over a year and used it for political advantage.

Should McDermott have leaked it? No. Does it rise to the level of Miranda's theft or the treasonous behavior by the White House officials in the Plame Case? Not even close.

I'm convinced that a key requirement for being a wingnut is lacking any sense of moral or ethical proportion. Well, so was Orwell.

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, I was just agreeing with Kevin regarding how terrible it was that someone who used illegally intercepted electronic communication could hold a position of responsibility in a U.S. Embassy.

No, you were engaging in your usual douchebaggery.

Nice try.

Posted by: haha on November 15, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

And no, I'm not going to sit here and argue with you endlessly for hours as is your usual wont. One's time on this planet is much too precious to spend with people who are literally incapable of knowing when they've been beat.

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

yeah, Trex, McDermott's deliberate use of illegally intercepted electronic communications is so minor in comparison that he has been ordered by a Federal Court to pay over $600,000 in damages and fees, and the order has been upheld on appeal. Really, willfully using that which was known to be illegally obtained is regarded as something far more minor. Really.

Your hand-waving response of "Let us not examine the practice of using illegally obtained electronic communication. Look over there; Valerie Plame!!!!!" is consistent with Kevin's post regarding Miranda. It is all just part of the phony outrage machinery. Democrats, like Republicans, are outraged when someone uses illegally intercepted electronic communication. Except when they do it to their opponents.

And if we are going to engage in hand-waving, it may as well be mentioned that admitted classified document destroyer and disbarred hack Sandy Berger is now an advisor to the leading Democratic candidate. One can only imagine what the tone in this forum would be if the convict Scooter Libby was advising Giuliani.

You're a phony, trex, like most of your allies here.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Really, haha, I think it is terrible to use illegally obtained electronic communication, and people who do so should not hold positions of responsibility. I'm sure you agree.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

McDermott's deliberate use of illegally intercepted electronic communications is so minor in comparison that he has been ordered by a Federal Court to pay over $600,000 in damages and fees, and the order has been upheld on appeal

Just to get you up to speed, that decision has been vacated.

Whoopsie.

Secondly, the $600,000 was constituted by Boehner's legal fees. If he had had a cheaper lawyer or pro bono counsel then that fee would have been zero dollars. Just puts a little different spin on it.

And any hand-waving is to point out the fact that you routinely and completely ignore infractions that are a thousand times worse -- so who the fuck are you to complain about this? Outing a NOC agent working on WMD's and thereby making the country yet more vulnerable to attack? Lying about the threat from Iraq to make a case for an illegal, preemptive war? Versus Boehner leaking a conversation of Gingrich planning yet more illegal and unethical shit. Hello?

The law itself distinguishes between the seriousness of infractions. Not every bad act is equal. You need some sort of basic primer in judging similarities between things. And in trends and sets. I'm not holding my breath.

But I'll tell you what. Of couse I think that Democrats should be bounced for serious ethical infractions and for any illegal ones. I think Jefferson should go. I think any Democrat who is even half as bad as Delay on his best day should go. But all you have to do is read the papers and the crime reports to know that if and when it comes time to chop heads, the corrupt Republicans have been and will continue to lose by tenfold - and that says it all.

Sandy Berger. Keee-rist. You really need a fucking life. Why not mention the French and Barbara Streisand and go for the trifecta?

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, no, Trex, it was intitially vacated, until the entire appellate court heard the case, which decided against McDermott. McDermott has announced that he is appealing to the Supreme Court.

Whoopsie

Yeah, if McDermott had enough integrity to admit to the wrongness of his acts, he wouldn't be on the hook for such huge legal fees, but that's his fault, isn't it?

Also, you really are stupid enough to think that the relative amount of illegality the elected representatives from our major parties engage in is not a function of which party holds power, aren't you? How many Brooklyn Bridges do you own? Ever heard of the name Danny Rostenkowski? When did you fall off the turnip wagon?

Yeah, regarding Berger, former National Security Advisors are fined 50k by Federal Judges, and surrender their license to practice law, in order to avoid having to answer questions under oath regarding their behavior, all the time.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 15, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

in order to avoid having to answer questions under oath regarding their behavior, all the time.

Sandy Berger didn't have the convenience of claiming Executive Privilege where there was none, or failing to respond to a subpoena because in the end the Secret Service isn't going to allow the Sergeant at Arms near the White House like Condi Rice and others have done.

IOW, Berger didn't have a lawbreaking White House getting his back.

How many DOZENS of times have White House officials and staff refused to answer under oath now? And how many fines would have been levied and jobs lost and criminal investigations begun had they done so?

Berger got sacked for wrongdoing, as he should have, and plead guilty to wrongdoing, as he should have. by contrast e'll never know the true story behind the runup to Iraq or Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo or rendition or the Plame case because this White House just covers its tracks.

Why are you fine with that?

But the reaeeallly interesting thing about you mentioning Berger is that's all you got. The most compelling thing about him and Jefferson is that they're outliers in the Democratic party, which by comparison suffers from much less corruption than the Republicans. You want to explain that by saying it's because they're not in power, but that's a joke: when they were in power there were no scandals that rose to the level of a Duke Cunningham or Iran-Contra or Watergate or the Iraq invasion or the Attorney General Purge and on and on and on.

Hilariously, just as an aside Berger was fired because he didn't divest himself of a couple thousand dollars of Amoco stock. Man, there was an investigation and everything. By comparison Rove never divested himself of hundreds of thousands of dollars of Microsoft stock and Paul O'Neill millions of dollars and the White House just laughed it off even after these guys met with CEO's of industries they were invested in to discuss policy and made all kinds of money off of it.

What is so amazing and revealing is that you don't realize how ridiculous you look carping about McDermott and Berger in the midst of towering Republican corruption that completely overshadows them. Were you the guy in World War II complaining about your burgermeister's extramarital affair while Hitler rode roughshod over Europe?

I'm stepping out of the tar now Will. You're on your own. There's no abuse like self-abuse.

Posted by: trex on November 15, 2007 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I think you did just fall off the turnip truck, trex. What a sap. You apparently never heard of Rostenkowski,Ballance, Mavroules, Bustamante, Reynolds, Trafficant, or Biaggi, all Democratic members of the House of Representatives convicted of felonies over the past 20 years or so.

For the record, I never said I was "fine" with anything.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Also, if you are going to go back as far as Watergate, let's not forget ol' LBJ, who abused the citizenry every bit as much as Nixon, went into public service a poor man, and left it a multi-millionaire. But he started Medicare, so you don't feel compelled to mention that, right?

Gosh, if you want to get all historical, let us not neglect that is was a Democratic President who lied through his teeth in the run-up to WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. Let us not forget that it was a Democratic President who herded tens of thousands of people into camps and allowed their property to be stolen. Let us not forget that is was a Democratic President who had American citizens executed after trials by military tribunals, and after intimidating the Supreme Court during the appeals process.

Let us not forget that the last Democratic President used rendition with the full knowledge that torture would be the result. Let us not forget that the Democratic Attorneys General of the two most populous states in this country have spoken favorably of the torture employed in the prisons they oversee. Yeah, you Democrats, you really are morally superior.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, trex, Bill Clinton appointed Estrada as Assistant Solicitor General.

In a sense you're right about Estrada being punished for representing Bush in Bush v. Gore Someone who pisses off a powerful Senator is apt to be denied a federal appointment. It is just politics, but it's the politics of personal destruction. Our Senators are behaving like degenerate royalty.

You and I were the losers when Estada was denied his judgship. Estrada lost nithing. He's probably making a million dollars a year by now as a partner in law firm. But, the people of the United States are served by less-capable judges than we might have been.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 16, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

No one died when Sandy Berger lied, either.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "ex-liberal" criticizes someone else for being degenrate.

And, shoot, I missed the Will Allen Show last night!

Posted by: Gregory on November 16, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Snorting coffee...the smoothly competent trex had Will for dinner and Will couldn't even comprehend it while he was busily reproducing every rhetorical pathology I mocked in my preemptive imitation. And then we got the late-night series of solitary, increasing-in-impotent-fury Will posts as a capper...too fucking funny! Woof!

Posted by: shortstop on November 16, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

No irony on your planet either, huh, shortstop? Does the pathetic little fortress mentality you and your allies adopt here, wherein any suggestion that there isn't a gigantic differential in the morality you possess, compared to those with whom you differ politically, throws you into a frenzy of scatological rhetoric and shouting? You are so desperate to convince yourself as to your status as morally superior beings that any suggestion to the contrary produces a hysterical response. Of course, this is exactly what you think of your adversaries but the fact that this is true of them as well does not reduce the irony.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

You are so desperate to convince yourself as to your status as morally superior beings

Wow...project much, Will?

Posted by: Gregory on November 16, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

It just came to me...Will Allen == Steven den Beste, without the personal charm.

Posted by: Gregory on November 16, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon the length, but I want to take Will Allen apart line by line and give my take on what's going on with his inability to argue properly. Every time someone tears him to pieces, as trex does above, he acts like the most wronged person on the planet. No suprise he has wingnut tendencies.

Does the pathetic little fortress mentality

-Will asks a question that he won't bother waiting for an answer to. This is a rhetorical question, and a lot of people who think they're smart will ask a rhetorical question. However, if the rhetorical question itself can be easily dismissed--as in, what fortress mentality? the liberals on this blog fight with each other more than they fight with conservatives--then there can't really be an answer to it that would make sense.

you and your allies adopt here,

-Will tries to contradict himself within his own rhetorical question. The fact is, the liberals here quarrel on a number of issues, and Shortstop has allies, but also detractors, and therefore the question of a "fortress mentality" runs up against the accusation of what Shortstop and her "allies" adopt as their position. When you're that confused about what your own rhetorical question is trying to answer, you can be rest assured that whatever point you're trying to make comes with its own inherent bias and will be mitigated by the fact that you, Will Allen, couldn't get your facts straight at the outset.

wherein any suggestion that there isn't a gigantic differential in the morality you possess,

-Questioning someone's morality is a ploy to get a larger group, as in, some supposed supporter of Will Allen's point of view, to see that Shortstop has attempted to stake or a moral high ground that Will Allen already possesses. In a broadly varied progressive community such as this, there are people who have morals and they are as varied as the backgrounds of the people here. When someone, such as Will Allen, tries to mix unsuccessfully with that group, the "morality" of the group that has basic agreements runs up against the "morality" that Will Allen thinks the group should have. Because Shortstop, and the larger progressive community, dismiss out of hand Will Allen's "morality" as being politically naive and uninformed, Will Allen asserts that others don't have his own personal high moral standards.

compared to those with whom you differ politically,

-Here Will Allen seems to find the one grain of truth that exists in his long run-on sentence--and he seems to be saying, you don't agree with me politically, but I can't handle the way that you refute my every point with logic and skillful rhetoric, so I'm going to throw myself on the mercy of the community for relief. This is standard practice for someone who cannot support their own arguments. Instead of acknowledging that trex parsed his statements, refuted his points, and effectively ended further debate, Will Allen turns 90 degrees and attacks Shortstop and tries to impugn the way she argues and makes points by appealing to an unsympathetic community to see that she is the dishonest debater and he, Will Allen, is not at fault for losing his debate with trex because Shortstop is immoral and unfairly attacks people with whom she disagrees with politically. This ploy is laughably ridiculous because Will Allen has not learned that the progressive community on this blog largely ignores and rejects any arguments he makes. Will Allen is gripped with uncertainty and petulance because he cannot persuade anyone to support his argument; therefore, he has to attack in different directions. His real problem is with trex but he turns and attacks Shortstop by trying to redirect the subject to some supposed moral failing on the part of Shortstop.

throws you into a frenzy of scatological rhetoric and shouting?

-Will Allen drops a zinger that doesn't score points. The accepted practice within the community is a fair amount of abuse when someone says or argues in a dishonest fashion. Because Will Allen has been refuted soundly, and because he exhibits classic immaturity by redirecting his anger at someone else, he tries to enlist the support of the larger community (which has, again, rejected him) to attempt to make the way Shortstop conducts herself an issue. Whether Shortstop makes bland, precise comments or rollicking fun insults has no bearing on whether or not Will Allen can support his own arguments and deal with his rhetorical beating at the hands of trex.

You are so desperate to convince yourself as to your status as morally superior beings that any suggestion to the contrary produces a hysterical response.

-Will Allen reaches for another trick--claiming someone else is hysterical when, in fact, his long-winded accusations and redirected rage at Shortstop are far more hysterical than anything anyone else has said on the thread.

Of course, this is exactly what you think of your adversaries but the fact that this is true of them as well does not reduce the irony.

-For there to be irony in the situation, the accusations Will Allen has failed to make against Shortstop would have to be true. In fact, Will Allen's complete and total rejection by the larger community and the fact that he failed to make any kind of rhetorical case against Shortstop prove there is no irony in Shortstop making a joke at Will Allen's expense. Shortstop made an observation at the impotence of Will Allen's arguments, which failed to dislodge any of trex's points or move the discussion forward.

In short, Will Allen fails again to make any substantive points, even when attempting to redirect attention away from his own failure to say anything substantive.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Will Allen is gripped with uncertainty and petulance because he cannot persuade anyone to support his argument; therefore, he has to attack in different directions.

PR's entire post was a gem, but this sentence sums up ol' Will even better than I did.

Posted by: Gregory on November 16, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Pale, please quote me where I've indicated anger or rage. I simply noted Trex's ignorance, and that shortstop is engaged in nothing more than a rhetorical food fight. The fact that you have written what may be the longest post in this thread, to comment on my long-windedness, and to refute what you claim has already been soundly refuted, is still more irony.

The "progressivism" in this forum is akin to a fundamentalist cult's. Kevin writes a post, mocking the fact that someone, who used what may have been illegally intercepted electronic communication among House members, has been given a job in an embassy, supposedly due to his legislative knowledge. I merely note that the party Kevin supports has seen fit to give a House of Representatives subcommittee chairmanship to a person who knowingly used illegally intercepted electronic communication between House members. Shortstop responds by talking about penises in mouths. Trex responds by claiming that using what one knows has been illegally obtained is a lesser offense if one didn't actually steal it in the first place (this is a legal theory that people convicted of running a fencing operation would be interested in), then yelling "Valerie Plame!", and making ignorant claims (Gregory, do you ever read thse threads before posting?) that Democrats have a decidedly lesser track record of corruption.

Yeah, I'm the hysterical one. Now go ahead and write another tome which refutes which you say has already been refuted, while noting my verbosity, Pale.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Pale, please quote me where I've indicated anger or rage.

After being mocked and made to look bad at the hands of Shortstop and trex, you responded thusly:

What a sap.
You're a phony, trex, like most of your allies here.
What, shortstop, no description of sexual organs in orifices? Your mind can attend to other things?
Yes, shortstop, you are what passes for in intellect in this forum.

Nowhere do you prove trex is a sap or a phony, and nowhere do you successfully make the case against Shortstop. You appeal to the larger group for a sympathy for your point of view that doesn't exist. You insult posters and try to respond to their mocking of you with mockery of your own which is ineffective. That you escalated this to the point where you accuse everyone of being against you and engaging in not only a "fortress mentality" and of being members of a "cult" indicates that you are increasingly angry about being rejected and mocked.

I simply noted Trex's ignorance, and that shortstop is engaged in nothing more than a rhetorical food fight.

You made baseless personal attacks that increased the level of the rhetoric, showing your anger and rage at Shortstop's withering assessment of the ridiculousness of your post. When Shortstop adopted the tenor of your arguing voice, and mimicked you perfectly, you responded angrily by trying mock her; you failed to score any points so you kept up the mocking, which failed to achieve any results for you.

It is every bit within your right to call people names--no one is saying you should be a model of decorum. If insulted, you can insult anyone you wish to insult. But you make the hypocritical challenge--please quote me where I've indicated anger or rage--without having the self-awareness to realize that you are quite enraged and unable to see how ridiculous you appear in this discussion. You are free to insult and mock whoever you wish; the larger community is free to comment on how ineffective and hypocritical it is for you to claim the high ground while calling people "a sap" and "a phony."

The fact that you have written what may be the longest post in this thread, to comment on my long-windedness, and to refute what you claim has already been soundly refuted, is still more irony.

I apologized, at the outset of my post, for going into meticulous detail. There is no irony in first apologizing to the larger community for being longwinded in my analysis of your post, which was not longwinded but instead contained a "run-on" sentence. You were NOT accused of being long-winded; you were shown to be using a confused run-on sentence to try to make a point and that you contradicted yourself in the span of that run-on sentence.

The "progressivism" in this forum is akin to a fundamentalist cult's.

There is uniformity of thought in a cult; here, the liberals argue with each other more than they argue with anyone else. Hence, there is too much dissent and argument and unwillingness to accept "groupthink" for there to be a "cult mentality."

Kevin writes a post, mocking the fact that someone, who used what may have been illegally intercepted electronic communication among House members, has been given a job in an embassy, supposedly due to his legislative knowledge.

What's not in dispute is the condemnation and punishment for his actions that Miranda faced from his employer for doing what he did. That separates the issue from your points about others who engaged in similar activity. The irony is that Miranda was moved into a position requiring some form of "ethics" and no where do you prove that anyone who had similar conduct was then promoted or hired to teach ethics to foreigners. trex beautifully refutes all of your points above; hence your impotent rage directed at Shortstop.

I merely note that the party Kevin supports has seen fit to give a House of Representatives subcommittee chairmanship to a person who knowingly used illegally intercepted electronic communication between House members. Shortstop responds by talking about penises in mouths. Trex responds by claiming that using what one knows has been illegally obtained is a lesser offense if one didn't actually steal it in the first place (this is a legal theory that people convicted of running a fencing operation would be interested in), then yelling "Valerie Plame!", and making ignorant claims (Gregory, do you ever read thse threads before posting?) that Democrats have a decidedly lesser track record of corruption.

No where does this accurately depict the conduct of anyone on the thread. Your summary of the events actually shows how others refuted your points, mocked you for being foolish, mocked you for failing to accept that you were honestly refuted, and then mocked you for failing to understand why you were being mocked. The source of the mockery is your lack of self-awareness.

There is no personal animus against you; there is a complete rejection of your ideas and your beliefs because they contradict commonly held methods of analyzing events and situations and because your assertions cannot stand up to even a cursory line of questioning or analysis. You have brought an idea to a group that rejects your idea, rejects you for failing to argue honestly, and rejects your tactics when you try to avoid dealing with the fact that your points were refuted.

Yeah, I'm the hysterical one. Now go ahead and write another tome which refutes which you say has already been refuted, while noting my verbosity, Pale.

Done.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, somehow your brain functions in a manner which causes you to think that if one notes that another's ignorance of history is such that they are not aware of elected Democrats' record of felonious behavior, which cause them to think that the Republican track record of felonious behavior is decidedly greater, thus meaning that the person so ignorant is, indeed, a sap, rage is somehow indicated. It can only thus be concluded that your brain is malfunctioning.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'm laughing so hard people in Hyderabad are asking me if I'm choking (damn that malfunctioning mute button). Pale, you are a jewel; trex, you're brilliant; Gregory, you cracked me up; Will, just keep talking. Please. Don't stop now.

Posted by: shortstop on November 16, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, somehow your brain functions in a manner which causes you to think that if one notes that another's ignorance of history is such that they are not aware of elected Democrats' record of felonious behavior, which cause them to think that the Republican track record of felonious behavior is decidedly greater, thus meaning that the person so ignorant is, indeed, a sap, rage is somehow indicated.

Not at all. The point of your rather pointless run-on sentence is not made. You are speaking as if you have legitimate standing that has not been demonstrated; you speak as if you occupy a moral high ground which does not exist for you.

There are, legitimately, numerous examples of corrupt Democratic politicians that you could cite. I can cite you chapter and verse on some of them; in the case of Sandy Berger, I find his conduct reprehensible and I believe that his security clearance should have been permanently revoked instead of being suspended. In the case of Dan Rostenkowski, I believe he was a thoroughly corrupt politician who was punished appropriately. In the case of Rep. McDermott, the fact that his case was vacated should indicate that the pending nature of what happened does not constitute a fact that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans. The fact that you brought him up, and were humiliated by trex, reveals your debating skills to be at their lowest ebb.

I am more than critical of Democrats who fail to behave ethically. I am often dismayed when I see someone like Rep. Murtha or Rep. Obey earmarking funds for their districts at levels which can't really be justified. I think the process of granting earmarks by the Democrats in the House should be further examined and I have nothing but criticism for any politician who abuses the earmark process.

There is one other person who deserves praise, and that is Senator Orrin Hatch, whose condemnation and vilification of Miranda indicates that Hatch puts decency and ethics above scoring partisan political points and he deserves to be recognized for representing the institutional honesty of the Congress, rather than the narrow interests of his own party.

So-called "felonious" behavior is irrelevant in light of what I've said. It doesn't matter if it is felonious, misdemeanor, or otherwise if the behavior is unethical, illegal, or against the interests of the American people. You have reacted to one incident--the Miranda incident--by trying to make the point that Democrats are no better. There are no examples that show that a Democratic staffer stole information, used it, got caught, and then was promoted into a position to teach legislative statecraft to foreigners.

It can only thus be concluded that your brain is malfunctioning.

The anger and rage continues, with Will Allen performing another 90 degree turn to attack me for simply revealing that his methods, his actions, his lack of self-awareness, and his dishonesty are all in evidence today.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, the judgement against McDermott stands, pending Supreme Court review. The full appellate court ruled against McDermott. Democrats believe that a Congressman who willfully uses illegally intercepted electronic communication is fit to hold a subcomittee chairmanship.

Yes, yes, I know. This post is filled with rage.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, the judgement against McDermott stands, pending Supreme Court review. The full appellate court ruled against McDermott. Democrats believe that a Congressman who willfully uses illegally intercepted electronic communication is fit to hold a subcomittee chairmanship.

...a Congressman who willfully uses illegally intercepted electronic communication of someone talking about how they were going to manipulate the ethics investigation against him [Gingrich].

First of all, McDermott did not record the call; a Florida couple recorded the conversation because they believed there was illegality. McDermott should not have leaked it to the news media but should have turned it over to the police. Second of all, the incident is still under review. Third, you fail to grasp that you're citing a case where someone recorded House Republicans talking about how they were going to mislead and obstruct an ethics investigation against them.

If the partisan affiliation of the parties involved were reversed, you would likely be arguing from the moral high ground you believe yourself to occupy. You demonstrate no command of the facts; only the details that seem to support whatever misleading and false position you feel the need to occupy temporarily.

If the leak of the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame were placed in the proper context next to this leak of a recorded conversation, which incident would be of more significance to the safety and security of the United States?

Unfortunately, Will Allen does not possess the self-awareness to even understand the subject at hand--the promotion of a staffer condemned for his lack of ethics as a member of the staff to a legislator to a position where he could teach legislative statecraft to foreigners.

Yes, yes, I know. This post is filled with rage.

Because you are now sensitive to the fact that your public humiliation has been so successful, you make a "joke" about the misplaced rage you have demonstrated earlier. This attempt to use humor doesn't enlist anyone in your cause but further shows that you are sensitive and aware of past transgressions.


Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it was predictable that the ends justifies, or at least mitigates, the means argument would be raised. Funny how that argument hasn't flown in court. Look, why all the hand-waving? Just say it. You think that people who knowingly use illegally intercepted electronic communications are fit for chairmanships of House Subcommitees, while you mock such people being given embassy jobs. The determining factor, ya' ol' phony, you, (watch me rage!) is what tribe they belong to.

Finally, if you are going to yammer about command of facts, stop insinuating falsely that the judgement against Mc Dermott is currently vacated.

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's like he can't stop himself...he walks forward and sticks his hand into the fire again. "Maybe this time it won't be to ho...aaagggggh!"

Is it really possible that Will is missing the hilarious irony of his having obediently coughed up every single rhetorical tic and twitch I predicted, even as he continues to provide hand-colored illustrations of every point Pale Rider made?

I think it is, yes.

Insanity is doing the same thing 1,000 times, Will, and expecting a different result the 1,001st. A good chunk of your compulsion has a medical basis...but not all of it, surely?

Posted by: shortstop on November 16, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it was predictable that the ends justifies, or at least mitigates, the means argument would be raised.

Actually, it was a First Amendment issue that has not concluded its way through the courts.

Funny how that argument hasn't flown in court.

It has not been concluded in the courts. It is under appeal. Your failure to grasp simple, basic concepts reappears, even though you have had ample time to learn the facts and demonstrate your knowledge of the facts. The original decision has been vacated and the case will be heard again.

Rep. McDermott Appeals His First Amendment Case to the U.S. Supreme Court Petition for Writ of Certiorari Filed Today
September 28, 2007

“It is hard to overstate the D.C. Circuit majority’s affront to the separation of powers.”

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today, asking the nation’s highest court to accept his case for review, because of decisions made by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in his First Amendment case (Boehner v. McDermott).

The lower court was sharply divided in the decisions it rendered recently after hearing the case en banc (9 judges). By a 5-4 majority the court affirmed First Amendment protections the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in a landmark case, Bartnicki v. Vopper; but then, the same lower court voted 5-4 against Rep. McDermott in the case, citing internal U.S. House rules.

Quoting from the petition filed today: “The sharply divided en banc decision below thus flouts the authority not only of this Court, by evading Bartnicki, but also of Congress, by adjudicating a violation of an internal House rule.”

Called a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, the document filed today presents two compelling questions as justification for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, one having to do with the protection of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment and the other having to do with the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government.

The matter is hardly "decided."

Look, why all the hand-waving? Just say it. You think that people who knowingly use illegally intercepted electronic communications are fit for chairmanships of House Subcommitees, while you mock such people being given embassy jobs.

No, I consistently oppose the use of illegally gained communications. I am well versed in the rules concerning illegal collection of conversations; I have received training in the rules concerning FISA and USSID 18.

What is really striking is that Will Allen purports to claim mastery of the subject but cannot demonstrate even a basic command of the facts; what's more, it is wrong for a Democrat to have a recording of a conversation where Republicans are talking about lying to the public but there is no corresponding outrage at the illegal warrantless wiretapping activities of the Federal Government since before 9/11 and when the Bush Administration took power in January 2001.

The determining factor, ya' ol' phony, you, (watch me rage!) is what tribe they belong to.

You belong to the tribe that supports an out-of-control administration that has removed Habeus Corpus, federalized the military so that it can put down insurrection, compelled telecom companies to violate the law, illegally used national security letters to spy on Americans, and has illegally circumvented the FISA court to eavesdrop on Americans.

That you cannot reconcile the two issues demonstrates your ridiculous lack of self awareness or ability to debate an issue.

Finally, if you are going to yammer about command of facts, stop insinuating falsely that the judgement against Mc Dermott is currently vacated.

It was vacated; the matter is under appeal. If the appeal is denied, then the judgement against McDermott stands. Never mind that the lawyers for 18 news organizations filed a brief backing McDermott against the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Funny how conservatives are now for the DC courts when they consistently argue how "liberal" and "wrong" they are.


Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Rider, when I stated that the matter was being appealed to the Supreme Court, I noted that it was not settled. The fact of the matter is that the en banc appellate decision did not favor McDermott.

You have no idea of what my attitude is towards warrantless wiretapping, because I've never written about it here. Now, if you are in agreement with me that a Congressman who knowingly uses illegally intercepted electronic communication is not fit to chair a subcommittee, terrific, and why dodn't you just say so?

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, the use of boldface is clearly an indicator of rage. Careful!

Posted by: Will Allen on November 16, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK
What is really striking is that Will Allen purports to claim mastery of the subject

"Purports to claim"? I think you've overqualified that...

Posted by: cmdicely on November 16, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely says:

"Purports to claim"? I think you've overqualified that...

No, Will Allen has repeatedly attempted to claim a supposed "mastery" over the subject of Democratic politicians who are just as bad, if not worse than Republican politicians. The reality is much more complex than that. He mangles facts and misrepresents events to try to make points he then cannot support in basic arguments, as with trex above.

He "purports" to have a a moral authority over others, he "purports" to be in command of the facts and he "purports" to be more informed than any other commenter. The definition of "purports" is really 'professed' or 'implied' and much of what Will Allen does in his failed arguments is to imply or profess that which he really does not have, whether it is moral standing, factual standing, or a legitimate gripe.

A cursory reading of the thread would find examples such as this:

Also, if you are going to go back as far as Watergate, let's not forget ol' LBJ, who abused the citizenry every bit as much as Nixon, went into public service a poor man, and left it a multi-millionaire. But he started Medicare, so you don't feel compelled to mention that, right?
Gosh, if you want to get all historical, let us not neglect that is was a Democratic President who lied through his teeth in the run-up to WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. Let us not forget that it was a Democratic President who herded tens of thousands of people into camps and allowed their property to be stolen. Let us not forget that is was a Democratic President who had American citizens executed after trials by military tribunals, and after intimidating the Supreme Court during the appeals process.
Let us not forget that the last Democratic President used rendition with the full knowledge that torture would be the result. Let us not forget that the Democratic Attorneys General of the two most populous states in this country have spoken favorably of the torture employed in the prisons they oversee. Yeah, you Democrats, you really are morally superior.

When I say that he "purports" to claim this mastery over the subject being debated, which is whether or not Democrats have ever illegally wiretapped people, it is a sarcastic remark intended to ridicule Will Allen's ridiculous grasp of history and his almost verbatim repeating of far right-wing loony propaganda. As quoted, he seems to think that the actions of individuals such as J Edgar Hoover amount to a ringing endorsement from US Presidents of either political party.

Will Allen's refusal to debate honestly and his lofty, almost magisterial claims for a high ground that he does not have legitimate claim to, "purports" or "implies" that he has "mastery" of the subject material. In fact, he demonstrates time and time again that he has no mastery of any facts or information and simply wants to repeat lunatic fringe theories in lieu of discussion.

It also proves an earlier point that I made--individuals such as cmdicely are always close at hand to take exception wherever there is a less than clear point being made in a larger discussion. There is no "fortress mentality" or "cult" behavior in display on this blog.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Rider, when I stated that the matter was being appealed to the Supreme Court, I noted that it was not settled. The fact of the matter is that the en banc appellate decision did not favor McDermott.
You have no idea of what my attitude is towards warrantless wiretapping, because I've never written about it here. Now, if you are in agreement with me that a Congressman who knowingly uses illegally intercepted electronic communication is not fit to chair a subcommittee, terrific, and why dodn't you just say so?
By the way, the use of boldface is clearly an indicator of rage. Careful!

Noted: Will Allen is simply repeating himself over and over again, trying to prolong debate and "run out the clock."

No further comment necessary--see above examples of dishonesty.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 16, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

I really enjoyed this post, especially the examples in this post portion which made it really easy for me to SEE what you were talking about without even having to leave the article. Thanks

Posted by: best registry cleaner on July 31, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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