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April 26, 2007


Ah! The best-laid plans of Karl Rove going astray! This whole issue of "talking points" deals with more than suggestions -- it expects that the people involved will be good little automotons, and repeat everything verbatim that Karl comes up with for them to say.

It is very clever to use the phraseology "informational briefings about the political landscape" to attempt to evade anything suspicious. It is so typical, though, of everything that we see from this administration -- walking a very thin line between legal and illegal.

I think it also says a lot about Rove and whoever else is helping him pull the strings to accomplish what he wants -- they expect that no one else is capable of rational thought, or thinking for themselves. How arrogant! Also, how stupid! Eventually, smart people rebel against the chicanery that they are forced to dispense.

I suspect there is a major rebellion brewing in the ranks, and there are some people who have integrity that are fed up... Everything we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is off topic EW but I want to mention something I saw on Moyer's Iraq show last night - the 'reverse Judy,' Chalabi telling journalists stories about Iraq and the journalists going to the WH to get confirmation of his fictions. I'd love to know who in the WH came up with these press manipulations.

Regarding the various other WH scandals, I am comforted to know that you are doing your usual great work.

Very OT so please excuse - what's up with the sight?

Unless here in 'posting a comment' it looks very strange with limited articles, no info on recent posts, categories, archives, contributors etc.

Most of the blue section stuff usually to the viewer's right is at the bottom of the page starting after EW's "The Other 13" with Where We Met.

Do I need gallons of more coffee?


What browser/platform are you using/ It looks good to me--and I'm still on teh first cup of coffee.

Since every day brings us one more closer to the next election, every Republican who is facing re-election in 2008 must begin sorting the wheat from the chaff.
In the Senate where the proportion of Dem/Repub up for re-election is skewed to the Dems favor, the continuing litany of this administration's transgressions is anathama for the Republicans.
Because the body politic has evolved to one third republican, one third democrat and one third independent, it is the control of the independent vote that becomes crucial.
Democrats need only to continue questioning the ethics and morals behind this bizarre amalgam of paleocons and evangelical christians.
The sudden apparition of Mr. Bloch as defender of truth can best be seen as another segment in a holding action that is desperately clinging to the notion that the best defense is a good offense - the operative word being good.

Still lookin' funky even with more coffee in me. Using Windows- Explorer. I bet it's better later (much like the noise in my car no one hears but me ya'know?)

I was wondering when this Stanzel would show up again. I'm thinking we will be seeing him often!

(using Windows/IE: it does look very different now, the 'recent posts' and contributor list don't appear on the front page)

Non-political briefings, my *ss! Non-political briefings wouldn't have slides listing GOP candidates who needed help and Democrats who should be fought tooth and nail. They wouldn't have slides listing candidates at all - that's blatantly political right there.

visual site problems:

It's a typepad problem, not you or me. Should be resolved soon.

More on visual site sight problems.

I use Mac OSX 10.3.9 and Safari, and it started for me last night with the April 25, 2007 "The Other 13" post by emptywheel. I can't see any posts older than that one, no way to comment on that posting, wrong formatting, etc.

At least, today's postings look and behave OK.

Dem from CT.

More weirdness. I clicked on the Emptywheel link under Contributors, and the "Other 13" post abruptly jumps (in the middle of the post) to the "Foley Preying on Parents' Inability to Monitor Internet Use" post dated Sept. 30, 2006. There are NO posts between 9/30/06 and 4/25/07 visible (to me). A bigger TypePad problem??

Looking at the known facts, if using government resources for political purposes is a violation of the Hatch Act then:

1. Were the political appointees (paid for with tax dollars) required to attend the briefings (wherever they were held)? If not, was anyone _invited_ who did not attend, and who still has a job.

2. Was the workplace (the fact that everyone was together during the day) used as a way of organizing the meetings? Simply having the WH Staff showing up at your workplace seems like the government facility is being used as an organizational resource, not available to non-party workers.

3. Did the WH Staff use government resources to travel to the location of the meetings? Although department workers might have taken a lunch break from their job, if the intent of the meeting was political, then travel to and from the meeting during work hours would be use of government resources.

Maybe these points are why the WH is pushing the idea that the meetings themselves were not political activity. Isn't this a change from a few weeks back where there were claims that the meetings were during lunch?

It's Hatching!

One very telling stat from the WSJ poll that came out yesterday (in today's paper) is that only 21% of the public want the next Prez to follow Bush's policies and and a whopping 74% want something different. That is more than 3.5-1, something I doubt we have seen in my lifetime, which goes all the way back to FDR.

This is going to drip on and on, with the non-Bush/Cheney GOP getting more and more desperate about their politcal prospects.

And career people are already going to Congressional staffers. They don't need to go to the Press (and why would they, other than Dana Priest, Walter Pincus and McClatchy); they go to Waxman or Conyers and then the Press has to cover the hearings. Career people see that the next Pres isn't going to be looking for Bush loyalists to promote.

This is going to unravel. It just may be slower than we want. But it is going to unravel. Not everyone is a Libby, or a Liddy.

Our old pal James Comey is due to appear before the Waxman committee on USAGate.


ew -- the Committees might also ask Bloch and each of the agency contacts to provide information/e/-mails etc on who advised each of them to use the terms "information briefings about the political landscape."

Tomj, in addition there may be an assumptive "workplace environment" situation here, as in employment harassment cases, where you are not required to attend or take action, but it is clear that your career and employment performance metrics will be negatively impacted if you don't.
So: play with the Party or lose in your job. The whole career vs. political employee thing is BS anyway. If you are career civil service and some political hack is your boss, you've gotta dance to his tune to keep your career on track.
It's more clearly looking like Bloch's in the game on Rove's team, doesn't it?

hey, tokyo jodi, the worm tongue, YOUR TALKING POINT IS READY

There is no prohibition under the Hatch Act of allowing political appointees to talk to other political appointees about the political landscape in which they are trying to advance the President's agenda. None.

you can stop hiding under your bridge now worm tongue

Even if some of the "informational briefings" were held at the Whitehouse, wouldn't that be using Government property for Political purposes? It seems to me the only way they could really get around it would be to have them at a personal residence or restaurant or RNC rented space, AND either take time off from their jobs, or do the meeting after hours.

nesquite @ 16:33

That's how they should have done it, to keep it legal. But IOKIYAR. (Anyone think there wouldn't have been GOoPers loudly screaming for impeachment if this had happened under Clinton?)

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