Virtual Front Page, Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yeah, I’ve been kinda slack on posting today, because I’m busy with ADCO stuff. But here’s your news roundup, so quit yer whinin’…

  1. Gates calls in FBI on Wikileaks (BBC) — Quoth the SecDef, “The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world.”
  2. Evidence Ties Manning to Afghan Leaks (WSJ) — Kind of hard to believe that a Pfc. was in a position to do this. Especially one who looks like a 12-year-old Howdy Doody.
  3. Citi to Pay $75 Million in SEC Pact (WSJ) — This is “to settle regulatory charges that it failed to disclose $40 billion in subprime exposure to investors in the second and third quarters of 2007.”
  4. Shaw/McEntire do not make first cut for new jet ( — Dang. F-35s in the Midlands was going to be awesome. But we still might get them eventually. We just won’t be the first kids on the block to have ’em.
  5. Graham: No citizenship for illegal immigrants’ offspring ( — Boy, would I like to hear some elaboration on this one, particularly his use of the language, “They come here to drop a child,” which sounds to me to be just a step above the kind of dehumanizing remark we’d expect from Andre Bauer talking about free-lunch kids. Knowing Lindsey, he can probably explain it, but I’d like to hear that explanation.
  6. Rangel faces 13 charges of ethical violations (WashPost) — This sets the stage for an historic trial.

46 thoughts on “Virtual Front Page, Thursday, July 29, 2010

  1. Doug Ross

    Notice that Gates uses the words “potentially” and “may well”. If the truth hurts, take it like a man. Maybe if the military didn’t engage in hiding the truth whenever it doesn’t match the mission, we would have MORE respect in the world.

  2. martin

    Lindsey’s next comment was even stranger: “they call it drop and leave…”

    Does he think they leave the babies or leave the country after dropping them? And, who is “they”?

    Obviously, he’s swinging wildly to the right after saying he would vote for Kagan.

  3. Phillip

    Graham’s statement was so surprising that one wonders whether he has some other motivation up his sleeve. Maybe he is calling the bluff of folks on that side of the immigration debate by pointing out they’d have to amend the Constitution for that policy, which they have no prayer of doing. Or maybe he has some regrets about having been so refreshingly candid about Tea Partiers in the recent NYT Magazine profile. Or doing a little horse-trading to get some support for some other issue on the floor of the Senate from some swing vote GOPers.

  4. scout

    Martin, I wondered those exact same things. Who calls it that, and who drops what and leaves where? My understanding was the immigrants who have babies here are generally still here with their babies.

  5. bud

    I’m zero surprised at the Graham flip/flop. I’ve seen through his phony pragmatist persona for some time now. I don’t like him and I think he’s far more dangerous than DeMint. Except for his votes on judicial appointees has this radical conservative ever stuck with a centrist position? He changed on climate reform and now this. The whole gang of 14 ploy was a brilliant strategy to break of the Dem filibuster. The dems got nothing out of that while the GOP got their appointees. To suggest this man is anything but a radical conservative is to deny the facts.

  6. Doug Ross


    re: horse trading

    That’s exactly what I said when I wrote about his vote for Kagan. He’s not courageous, he’s calculating. He trades votes for his own political gain. He just has to figure out which liberal issues he can side with that won’t get the folks back at home so mad at him that they won’t vote him back in so he can remain a career politician — reaping the personal benefits that come with that job. Oh, he’s smart… crafty might be a better word. Principled? Not so much.

  7. bud

    I only have a minor problem with the fact that some of our secret documents were compromised. The ones published so far don’t seem to be of much national security consequence. What really has me steamed is how dishonest our government is in disclosing the ongoing atrocities that we appear to have committed. The American people deserve the truth when it comes to these wars, not the run around.

  8. Brad

    Bud and Doug — ya know, y’all may be the two most negative, down-on-the-world guys I know.

    If I took as dim a view of the human race as y’all do, I’d be so depressed I couldn’t get out of the bed in the morning.

  9. Libb

    Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY) made his own statement yesterday after the GOP(using some pathetic procedural excuse) successfully blocked a bill to provide healthcare to sickened 9/11 Responders. Rep Weiner took the floor and let it be known what he thought of putting partisan politics ahead of peoples’/heros’ lives. He reminded me of an old school, Southern Baptist, fire & brimstone preacher. And is there any need to ask how our SC House delegation voted on the bill? Anyway… here’s the clip if anyone wants to watch:

  10. kc

    Boy, would I like to hear some elaboration on this one, particularly his use of the language, “They come here to drop a child,” which sounds to me to be just a step above the kind of dehumanizing remark we’d expect from Andre Bauer talking about free-lunch kids. Knowing Lindsey, he can probably explain it,

    Really? how? That remark can’t be explained, justified, or rationalized by any decent person. If you believe differently, then I myself would like to hear “some elaboration” on what would make that comment acceptable.

    The only Graham should do is apologize, but he won’t, because he is vigorously pandering to the far right.

  11. scout

    I’m just wondering if career politician has to be a bad word? I suspect that like in almost any area there are also good and bad career politicians. Any profession is going to have members with vastly different motivations, some honorable and some not. If you are a politician because you get off on power and like to hear yourself talk, I agree that’s not so good. But if your motivation is that you actually want to work for the public good (yea, I think there really are such people though clearly some do not belive that is possible), then wouldn’t being a career politician be an asset. You surely would learn the tricks of the trade and be able to serve the people better, the longer you served.

    I’m just saying, I think you need to evaluate politicians on their own merits and not automatically brand them evil because they are “career politicians.”

  12. bud

    Brad, I don’t think I’m negative in general, just when it comes to most Republican politicians. I like Obama and the Clintons. They both pulled our country in the right direction. Lindsey Graham just gives me the creeps. He just comes across as someone I don’t trust to do what’s right for this country. Isn’t it crystal clear how he’s pandering to the far right while at the same time trying to convince a few centrist voters that he’s one of them?

    You never liked John Kerry and I thought he would have made a great president. You even endorsed his opponent when you really didn’t care for him so much back in 2004. Does that mean you’re “one of the most negative people I know”? It all depends on your world view.

  13. Kathryn Fenner

    RE: 9/11 responders–Nice to see how the GOP is keeping up the same strategy it has about children–make doggone sure they get born and then they’re on their own. We can’t let the “terrists” win, but God forbid we should take care of the wounded civilian warriors! Why, they might start getting ideas!

  14. Doug Ross


    You don’t know me very well. I’m only down on lies, hypocrisy, and wasting time and money. Unfortunately, that pretty much represents our political system for as far back as I can remember.

    I feel about Graham like you do about Sanford. That doesn’t make you negative, just wrong.

  15. Brad

    But Doug, you see “lies, hypocrisy, and wasting time and money” EVERYWHERE.

    And I really think I’ve given Sanford more of a chance than you do Lindsey — several years worth of chances, before I realized what a bad deal for SC he actually was.

  16. scout

    Don’t think I’d choose a “cook out” as the venue to disseminate a “cut the fat” message. But I guess that’s just me.

  17. bud

    Brad I can understand the animosity toward Sanford. He is after all pretty much diametrically oppossed to your established world view. That was true even before the “Appalachian Trail” incident.

    But why are you so down on John Kerry? You even recently accused him of faking his purple heart. The only reason that makes sense is that he eventually saw the folly in continued involvement in Iraq. Apparently that’s an unforgivable sin.

  18. Kathryn Fenner

    Your “giving Sanford chances” may have given us four more years of Sanford. How’s that workin’ for you?

  19. Doug Ross

    I’ve been in SC for 20 years. I’ve seen enough of Lindsey to know I don’t like his politics or his methods.

    As for seeing it everywhere, should I trust you or my lyin’ eyes?

    Charles Rangel is the latest… it’s out there every day. Our government is full of people with ethical issues.

  20. Kathryn Fenner

    @Doug Ross–Sometimes our eyes don’t lie, but they are deceived by the filters we place in front of them…

  21. Brad

    Charles Rangel and Lindsey Graham. You’d have to build a pretty strange pigeonhole to put both of them in it together. I’m not seeing ANY points of commonality.

    Bud, to clarify… you say, “even before the Appalachian Trail incident.” Of course it was before that. That doesn’t play a big role in my impression of Sanford, although in some ways it enlarges upon it. I knew that in public life he was an apostle of the self. All that incident showed was that he is the same in his private life, but that’s not really my concern.

    The final straw for me with Sanford was when he vetoed the entire state budget in 2006. It demonstrated, finally and completely, that he was all about empty ideological gestures (based in a deeply offensive ideology), and cared not a damn for governing.

    As for John Kerry: First, I did no such thing as accusing him of “faking his Purple Heart.” Nor would I. Review my words, if you can find them…

    In fact, search on “John Kerry” both on this blog and the old one. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anything really harsh, and certainly nothing as critical as what I’ve written about Sanford in recent years.

    Basically, I don’t think about him much.

    Now that you mention it, I DON’T much like him, on a personal level. But I can’t think when I’ve expressed that.

    He was probably my least favorite of the six Democrats who came in for endorsement interviews in 2004. But that was a very personal impression, and not anything I’d have been likely to write, in the paper or a blog — mainly because it wasn’t important. He was just a grim, unpersonable, pompous, supercilious sort of person to try to talk to. Not somebody you talk to and come away thinking, “I wanna vote for THAT guy”…

    But ultimately I disliked John Edwards much more, even though he was so (superficially) personable in the meeting. Who’d I like the most, on that gut level? Joe Lieberman, Howard Dean (who came in twice) and Dick Gephardt.

    Philosophically (and this is far more important than my gut likes and dislikes) I had few real problems with Kerry. On most things, I agreed with him a lot more than Bush. But his disturbing ambivalence on national security — THE most important measure of a potential president — was a deal-breaker for me. From his Jane Fonda days to his voting for it before he voted against it, I just couldn’t see him as commander in chief.

    But that’s about it as far as any rap I have on Kerry.

  22. kc

    And I really think I’ve given Sanford more of a chance than you do Lindsey — several years worth of chances, before I realized what a bad deal for SC he actually was.

    Semi-shorter Mr. W: “In my defense, allow me to point to this massive error in judgment that proves what a positive guy I am . . .”

  23. Doug Ross


    I don’t have filters. I take it all in, process it, analyze it, think about it, and then form an opinion. I don’t bother with things like Fox News or the equally execrable MSNBC. I read multiple sources and and process the information. I deal with facts and statistics that support my opinion.

    Look at Brad’s response to Graham’s statement — his automatic response was that Graham couldn’t have meant what he said because that would cause the pedestal that Brad puts him on to teeter a little bit. Same for McCain. It’s scary to think that Brad might endorse McCain again in 2010 even after everything that has happened since the election — John McCain is the Founding Father of the Tea Party. It wouldn’t exist without his selection of Sarah Palin. McCain is a frequent target of mine because he has been a hypocrite since at least 2000. I was duped into thinking he would be a good President then. That (like Brad’s reversal on Sanford) was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made politically.

    I’m not an angry guy (since you and Brad are Facebook friends of mine, you can judge for yourself…)

  24. Doug Ross

    One other point on comparing my reversal on McCain to Brad’s on Sanford — the difference is that McCain changed and Sanford didn’t. Sanford is now what he was when he first got elected.

  25. scout

    From my point of view, and admittedly I have not paid near as detailed attention the whole time like Brad has, but it’s not so much that Sanford changed but that he misrepresented himself. Some of his ideas sound reasonable, but it was not at all immediately clear that his interaction style would make his ideas completely unimplementable. It was not immediately clear (to me anyway) how narrow his thinking is and how libertarian leaning his views are. He talked like he was going to bring new ideas and change things up, but he didn’t do anything but raise people’s hackles. I am sad to say that I was duped and voted for Sanford the first time around – only republican I’ve ever voted for in my whole life in a general election. (Hodges felt slimy to me and Sanford claimed to be an independent thinker who would change things – worst decision ever on my part). Also, I don’t think Sanford showed his true colors on the public education/voucher issue during his first campaign. Could be I just wasn’t paying close enough attention though.

  26. Doug Ross

    Add another Congressman to the ethically challenged list (Maxine Waters, Dem, CA):

    The longer they stay in office, the more likely they have ethics issues. The money and power get them every time. You think all those lobbyists don’t understand the game? Why else would they spend millions of dollars courting the politicians? Quid pro quo.
    Another reason for term limits – long tenure = more power = more valuable to lobbyists.

    With Rangel, Waters, and Kerry’s tax evasion all coming up in a single week, the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly as we approach the midterm elections.

  27. David

    Doug, how can you call what Kerry did “tax evasion”?

    That’s a bit over the top for such an anti-tax guy.

  28. Kathryn Fenner

    The “changing” Sanford is Exhibit A on why I don’t like term limits–the new crop is unknown and unknowable. To throw the known quantities out just because they’ve reached their sell–by date makes no sense. The devil you know, especially since I can see some good in almost all politicians through my rose-colored glasses (Hope springs eternal).

    I also don’t trust “change” candidates much–even Obama has deeply disappointed me.

    A wise person knows there’s only so much “change” you can effect-the checks and balances in the system are a good thing.

  29. Phillip

    Brad, I realize that we do not view the Vietnam experience through the same prism, so I don’t expect you to retroactively endorse John Kerry’s VVAW activities and statements against that war. However, to sum them up with the phrase “Jane Fonda days” is kind of a rhetorical cheap shot. The only thing they had in common is that they both opposed the war. You can’t compare Fonda’s terrible misjudgments and her actions with Kerry’s principled opposition to the war from his vantage point as a decorated veteran of that same war.

    They were both (along with many others) speakers at one VVAW rally in PA in 1970. That’s the extent of the link between Jane Fonda and John Kerry.

    Bud, my heart is glad to hear good words written about Kerry. Far from being “ambivalent on national security” (who could possibly be ambivalent about national security?) he was simply “ambivalent”—no, make that downright disdainful—of how national security had come to be defined and especially of the approaches utilized to achieve this supposed “security.”

  30. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Doug
    “The longer they stay in office, the more likely they have ethics issues.”

    “After this” is not the same as “caused by this.” The fact that the longer someone is in office, the more likely they are to be *caught* does not mean that being in office causes ethics issues.

    Agreed on McCain vs. Sanford. We knew Sanford was a scorpion when we accepted the ride.

  31. j

    Doug, Let’s not forget Sen Ensign as his alleged transgressions are before a grand jury and Sen Coburn is providing Justice info including emails on his helping Ensign at C Street.

  32. Pat

    Interesting comments about past presidential candidates and presidential candidatee wannabees… The honest to goodness truth about my opinion of Kerry – I never got past thinking his wife was a liability. McCain’s seemingly desperate campaign to get re-elected is unbecoming to him so late in his game. Doug is right about Sanford – he is what he was, and he was what he is – and we elected him again. I pray his protege won’t succeed. About Graham – and not that he has presidential ambitions – He has done a good job protecting our troops from being used and abused; he’s not perfect but I believe he is out for the common good.
    I still have hope for Obama. He took over a bad situation. After reading about how many of his appointees the Republicans have held up, I can see why it would be doubly difficult to do his job. He needs a full staff. I think his record so far is much better than he is given credit for.
    BTW, why is it that Rasmussen polls are THE polls now? What happened to Gallup? My impression is that Rasmussen is driving the opinion poll rather than the other way around. Comments?

  33. Doug Ross


    How many first term Congressmen can you name who have been embroiled in ethics scandals?

    The tenure is rewarded with powerful committee chairs and that leads to greater interest from the lobbyists. The lobbyists know where to invest their money – where it will do the most good.

  34. Kathryn Fenner

    Dear Doug–Unlike you, I don’t keep an ethics log of failed politicians.

    The thing is, a crook is a crook. It just takes longer to catch them. Those with ethics violations probably had them before they were even elected.

    I just heard over dinner about a Canadian minister who disappeared mysteriously and was discovered in flagrante in L.A. We aren’t the only place with problems.

  35. scout

    How many first term congressmen introduce or influence the passage of significant legislation? How many repeat term congressmen do? What is the ratio of good work that is done by longterm congressmen to corruption issues by same? I don’t know the answers to these questions but think they need to be considered when looking at the big picture. We definately need to work to curtail corruption and abuse of power but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  36. Doug Ross


    You mean legislation like Obama-care? The legislation that 70% of Missourians (and most Americans) don’t want? It’s because of the career politicians that the health care bill ended up as a Christmas list for every Democrat special interest group.

    We need less government. We don’t need a constant stream of laws, loopholes, spending. Less is more.

  37. Doug Ross


    So no evidence to support your claim? You just know that Congressmen are corrupt on arrival. Okay, I can agree with that.

  38. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Doug–Most Americans have health insurance, so they selfishly don’t give a rat’s about those who don’t.

    Tell a sick, hungry kid that less is more. Then you can tell him God is in the details. Got any other architectural maxims to share?

  39. Kathryn Fenner

    How can we know when someone is corrupted? You seem so sure of the corrupting effects of being in office. I’m not so sure. I grew up with people who seemed to be less-than-virtuous when they were young, and lo and behold, they weren’t when they got older, either. I know of no one from my hometown who has gotten into trouble who wasn’t trouble when he was younger.


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