Monday, September 8, 2014

Last Call For Nameless Helpers

Dick Cheney is not only not in a small cell, he's giving the House GOP election advice.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will meet with House Republicans on Tuesday, according to a Politico report.

A source told Politico that Cheney will talk about the midterm elections and "highlight the importance of keeping a GOP House majority."

The Huffington Post and CNN confirmed that Cheney will address the House GOP.

To recap, President Obama, horrible albatross on his party.  Dick Cheney, trusted party statesman and adviser.

America, you've lost your way.

Stopped Clock Is Right Alert, Warpigs Edition

Well now I've seen everything: Ron Fournier is correct about something substantial, to the point where I agree with him.  And he actually thinks President Obama needs to be be cut some slack on ISIS as it's a complex issue that cannot be solved with bumper sticker jingoism.

We can't shake it. Like the flu—no, like posttraumatic stress disorder, memories of wiretapping, waterboarding, and a war of false pretense in Iraq cling to the nation's consciousness. Called again to confront a threat in the Middle East, Americans keep tripping over the baggage of George W. Bush. 
In 2003, we trusted. Not again. The president vowed retribution against terrorists who slaughtered Americans. The Defense secretary and secretary of State spoke of imminent threats. The intelligence community leaked word of Americans-turned-terrorists and sleeper cells. Those actions echo today, but Americans are of a different mind—not nearly as credulous, or as willing to fight. 
President Obama is a living reflection of this psychological context. Uncertain and contradictory, Obama is grasping for the right mix of hawk and dove to rally Americans, unite the world, and confront ISIS without locking the United States into another unholy mess. 
God bless him. It's a hellish task. Obama's lack of clarity so far has drawn criticism from the across the political spectrum, including from me (here and here). Two loyal readers remind me by email, and for different reasons, that Obama needs time to get this right.

Fournier then went on CNN's media analysis show, Reliable Sources, to point out to host Brian Stetler that the media appears to be pushing for the rush to war again, and maybe that's a bad idea.

Amazing.  Not only do I agree with Ron Fournier, but Katrina vanden Heuvel as well.  When these two are the voice of reason in the Village, things have gotten dire indeed on the war drums front.

The Rise And Fall Of Bob McDonnell

The Washington Post story of former Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen is a fascinating morality play on privilege and hubris, the both of them convicted last week on multiple felony counts relating to trading influence to nutritional supplement businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for tens of thousands in cash and gifts.  His meteoric fall from 2016 hopeful to convicted felon represents everything wrong with today's GOP.

As McDonnell entered the last of his four years in office in 2013, things could not have been going better politically for the former state attorney general. Nationally, he had recently concluded a term as president of the Republican Governors Association, and he was increasingly being mentioned as contender for his party’s nomination for president in 2016. 
At home, polls showed McDonnell to be hugely popular as he prepared to steer his signature achievement through the state legislature: a bipartisan plan to improve the state’s crumbling transportation network. 
But unbeknown to McDonnell, the chain of events that would lead to last week’s guilty verdicts had already begun. 
Virginia State Police were quietly investigating allegations that Williams had paid $15,000 for catering at the 2011 wedding of one of the governor’s daughters. The governor had not disclosed the gift. 
The information came from the mansion’s former executive chef, Todd Schneider, who was fired in 2012 after he came under suspicion of stealing food. 
On Feb. 15, 2013, state police officers interviewed the first lady about Schneider, a session scheduled purportedly to help close out their investigation of the chef and send his case to a grand jury for charges. 
They asked Maureen McDonnell questions about the former mansion chef. But an officer also asked her about an unrelated topic: Williams, his wedding check and an additional $50,000 check made out to the first lady from a trust run by the businessman.

McDonnell lawyered up, and the rest is history.  The Washington Post broke the story last March and the whole dirty ball of twine began to unravel.  By April a grand jury had been convened, by July Jonnie Williams had agreed to turn state's evidence, and the rumors about McDonnell's resignation had begun.  By Christmas, the plea bargain of guilty for one count of lying to a bank in exchange for his resignation and disbarment as a lawyer was in the works.  Maureen McDonnell would have not been charged.

McDonnell rejected the deal insisting he wasn't guilty.

Last week a jury proved otherwise.  Enjoy prison, Bob.  Shoulda taken the deal.


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