Sep 28, 2007

Raw Video...

Feds Detail Alleged Murder-For-Hire Plot Fitz-TV

I think I did medium well. ;)


The Big Mo...?

landed in my email today...
From: Barack Obama <>
Date: Sep 28, 2007 1:56 PM
Subject: Hey

I'm just now leaving New York, and you've got me fired up. Nearly 25,000 people came together last night for the rally.

Here's the video:

Video: NYC Rally

We're still shy of our goal of 350,000 people giving to the campaign by Sunday's deadline.

Make a donation now and get us there:

More soon.


P.S. Serious problems require serious solutions.

P.S.S. Run, don't walk to my rally.

P.S.S. Bill Clinton Says He Was More Experienced Than Me?

Polls, schmolls! Go Mets!

Sep 27, 2007

Law Enforcement Good...

torture bad!

Alleged torture by police is now a Fitz matter

"After years of listening to calls for a federal investigation into the Chicago police torture scandal that allegedly ran from the 1970s into the early 1990s, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald announced Wednesday that his office is engaged in a criminal investigation of the matter.

Without using the names of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge or the detectives who worked under him, Fitzgerald said his office would look into whether any of the officers lied under oath or obstructed justice as part of the civil litigation resulting from allegations that police tortured dozens of suspects."

"We're not going to prejudge what will happen," Fitzgerald said at a news conference called to announce an unrelated arrest. "We're not going to predict whether there will be charges or anything beyond that, but we do want to make clear that we're very, very serious about this investigation." <more>

Sep 26, 2007

Romper, Bomper, Stomper Boo...

"Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all my "authors" had fun at play?"

"Imaginative Author: The skeleton in Pat Fitzgerald's closet" - Rawstory


Sep 25, 2007

Away Go Troubles Down The Drain...

‘Most corrupt’ list members keep vanishing

After creating a list called “The 22 most corrupt members of Congress (and two to watch),” one must make haste in releasing it.

That’s because those pesky designees have a way of disappearing.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit watchdog, released its third-annual list on Sept. 18.
It included Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), who announced on Sept. 22 that he wanted to spend more time with his family and would retire next year.

Yes, the decision was 100 percent about his family, and had nothing at all to do with the list or a Chicago Tribune investigative series of stories that uncovered omissions in his financial disclosure filings.

Sen. Craig, who is one of the “two to watch,” is on his way out the door at month’s end — at least, his Republican leadership hopes he is.

At this pace, CREW can hope to get results like its list did last year. Of the 25 lawmakers who earned the distinction in 2006, 10 are no longer in Congress and eight more are under federal investigation.

But not everybody is impressed by the organization’s work. Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), who is the target of a Justice Department probe and two-time winner of a slot on the list, fought back, informing the local Auburn Journal that he doesn’t like CREW anyway.

“I just really think it’s unfair and wrong for an underhanded and vile organization like CREW, who disagrees with me because I’m a conservative Republican, to attack me on that,” he reportedly said.

I heart CREW for demonstrating that with a little sunshine, elbow grease and diligence -- (extra)ordinary citizens like them CAN make a difference in cleaning up Congress!
Brownmail Alert - White House Approved Lobbying Effort to Block Approval of California Vehicle Standards


Sep 21, 2007

Very Good Yontif...

Federal grand jury issues subpoena for Buckham payroll records
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed payroll records from the House for Ed Buckham, former chief of staff to ex-House Majority Leader and exterminator Tom DeLay.
The subpoena, issued by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., is the first formal notification that Buckham is the focus of a federal corruption probe by the Justice Department. The subpoena was sent to Daniel Beard, chief administrative officer for the House, and formally read into the Congressional Record this afternoon, although Buckham was not mentioned in the official notification.
Buckham served as DeLay's chief of staff before leaving to become a lobbyist. He had extensive dealings with now imprisoned GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and a former buiness associate Tony Rudy - also a former DeLay aide - has already pleaded guilty to accepting payments from Abramoff's clients while working for DeLay. The gifts, including payments to Rudy's wife, were in exchange for helping Abramoff and his clients with legislative matters, according to Rudy's plea agreement with DOJ.

Rudy also pleaded guilty to violating the one-year ban for former senior aides to approach their former bosses as lobbyists. It is unclear if the Justice Department is pursuing the same allegation against Buckham. Neil Volz, ex-chief of staff to imprisoned former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), pleaded guilty to same charge as well.

Buckham, an ordained minister, remained very close to DeLay after he left the Texas Republican's staff, advising DeLay on numerous political and legislative matters.

In recent months, a number of ex-DeLay staffers have been subpoenaed - or voluntarily came in for questioning - by the Justice Dept. to discuss the day-to-day operations of DeLay's office, including the role Buckham played once he left DeLay's staff, according to several sources familiar with the investigation.

Buckham also has ties to other lawmakers under federal investigation, including Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.). Buckham's lobbying firm hired Doolittle's wife, Julie Doolittle, to do consulting work. Doolittle's house was recently raided by FBI agents as part of the continuing Abramoff investigation.

DeLay and Buckham have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, although a number of former associates have pleaded guilty to corruption charges as a result of the Abramoff probe.

Roger That...

Indictment sought for Good Cop/Bad Cop Burge
Aldermen urge Fitzgerald to look into federal charges

As always, if you have any questions, speak to Randall or post them on here.

Sep 19, 2007

Protocol - WWJD..?

Pope 'refused to meet with Rice'
Snub by the Vatican towards the Bush administration

What I learned at Regis: Confession is good for the soul and -- Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! Psalm 34: 14


Sep 18, 2007

Until I Am Red In The Face...

Just say "No, thank you!" to graft!

Today, CREW released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch). This encyclopedic report on corruption in the 110th Congress documents the egregious, unethical and possibly illegal activities of the most tainted members of Congress. CREW has compiled the members’ transgressions and analyzed them in light of federal laws and congressional rules. <more>
Top U.S. Official Eyed For Blocking Probes
Investigation Alleges State Dept. Inspector General Blocked Investigations Into Baghdad Embassy Graft

Sep 17, 2007

Freedom Of X...

FOX bleeps Sally Field’s anti-war Emmy speech

The network really doesn't like her?

Sep 16, 2007

Blowing Shofars..!

Sep 15, 2007

Don't Cry For Me Abu Ghraib...

Gonzales receives praise, standing ovations at farewell ceremony

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales received an emotional and staunchly supportive send-off in the final hour of his last day on the job at the Justice Department on Friday.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gets emotional during a farewell ceremony on his last day of work Friday.

With a handful of protesters noisily celebrating his departure on the sidewalks outside, Gonzales was praised by no fewer than 10 Justice lieutenants and agency heads -- some with their voices cracking, others crack smoking.

Gonzales himself at one point wiped tears from his eyes and praised the Justice Department as "a place of inspiration" in his farewell speech. <warning --tissue zone>
Sing it, Madonna...

Sep 14, 2007

I Once Developed A Deep...

thigh bruise after bumping with Condi while dancing after a heated evening of Klingon Scrabble.
After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll. Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud.
It's true! ;)

Hat tip: Condi, chose, public service, over a budding song writing, career! And that's the rest of the story, good day.

That's A Pricey Meatball..!

Sep 13, 2007

My AG Party Evite Must Be Lost...

somewhere in the Internets.

Gonzales Ready to Leave the Stage

Democrats to make AG nomination less political -- Vow to block Olsen

Harry Reid vowed on Wednesday to block former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson from becoming attorney general if President George W. Bush nominates him to replace Alberto Gonzales. <more>
Surely, a big going away party is planned for AG Gonzalez? Hello? Anyone?

UPDATE: my Evite <-----woo hoo!!!

Sep 10, 2007

When The Moon Hits Your Eye...

Wiseguys and Cop -- Guilty In Chicago Mob Trial

A federal jury found five aging men guilty Monday in a racketeering conspiracy that involved decades of extortion, loan sharking and murder aimed at rubbing out anyone who dared stand in the way of the ruthless Chicago mob.

The verdicts capped an extraordinary 10-week trial that laid bare some of the inner workings of The Outfit. <more>

Sep 7, 2007

TGIF Potpourri...

Teamsters Local 743 Officer and Former Employees Indicted

CHICAGO, Sept. 7 -- An officer of Teamsters Local 743 and three former union local employees were indicted on federal charges for allegedly conspiring together with others to steal ballots in an effort to rig two elections in favor of an incumbent slate of officers in 2004, officials of the U.S. Justice and Labor departments announced today.

In two closely-contested elections just months apart, the defendants and others allegedly diverted to their friends, family and confidantes hundreds of mailed, official ballot packages that were intended for delivery to Local 743 members, and then cast the ballots or caused them to be cast to ensure election of the incumbent slate. Local 743 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, based in Chicago, represents more than 12,000 members engaged in warehouse, office, medical, service and other industries, and is one of the largest Teamsters locals in the country.

The seven-count indictment was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; Don Todd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards; Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General of the Labor Department; and Thomas P. Brady, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. <more>

Judith Miller joins conservative thunk tank!!!

Nifong not only rogue prosecutor???

Sep 6, 2007

Loose Lips S-to-tha-izzink Ships...

Ahead of tha Posse

Accord'n ta White Hizouse playa there were plans fo` ho-slappin' Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ta resign, but not as early as he did cuz its a G thang. "We wizzy pimpin' it over Labor Day weekend, not a week drug deala sez a White Hizouse staffa�.

In fact, few if any senior staff at tha Department of Justice were prepared fo` tha Monday (August 27) resignizzles of Gonzales. Ho-slappin' ta DOJ aides, Gonzales wrote his very brief remarks at tha press conferizzles wit gangsta n policy advisa completely in tha dizzy of wizzle was ho-slappin'

So why tha speed up? Ridin' ta DOJ staff, revelizzles tizzle tha Department was doggy stylin' ta improperly vet partna fo` Muslim outreach programm'n were brew'n, particularly wit tha resignizzles of tha heezee of tha departments civil rights division.

"Its bizzy an ongo'n issue, n there was politics at play, as well," accord'n ta a DOJ source.

Earlia in August, it was reported tizzy tha department had canceled a Muslim outreach event at Washington heezeequarters, W-H-to-tha-izzich would hizzy featured Gonzales, afta it was learned one of tha cosponsors had ties ta a Muslim organizzles tizzle was an unindicted co-conspirizzles in tha federal Holy Land Foundation terrorist hatin' prosecution.

And why was there concern `bout these stories? Coz tha U.S. Attorney pimpin' tha Holy Land case is nizzy otha tizzy Patrick Fitzgerald, of Scoota Libby fame. Fitzgerald is believed by some inside tha White Hizouse ta have been tha source of tha earlia Muslim leak T-H-to-tha-izzat embarrassed Gonzales.

American Spectator, word to your mother!

Firedoglake sez...

Sep 4, 2007

Who Knew..???

DOJ Seeks to Recover From Gonzales' Tenure
Many observers say the AG leaves behind a Main Justice in disarray

Demoralized. Discredited. Dysfunctional.

These words are among those used to sum up the state of the Justice Department under the watch of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who last week announced he will step down Sept. 17.

Much like a wounded patient in an intensive care unit, the department is in need of critical attention to revive its core mission: law enforcement.

Exactly how much influence Gonzales exerted throughout the department is still open to debate, but as his 2½-year tenure comes to a close, this much is clear: Main Justice is in disarray.

Current and ex-career employees, former political appointees, legal scholars, detractors, and supporters all tell the same story: The shortcomings are numerous and the successes few and far between.

With ongoing internal and congressional investigations into the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys, the controversial warrantless surveillance program, the politicization of the Civil Rights Division, and Gonzales' own testimony to Congress, it's hard to find observers willing to step out and put a positive spin on Gonzales' tenure. His detractors aren't so shy.

"There is no reasonable doubt that Alberto R. Gonzales will be remembered as one of the worst attorneys general in history and perhaps the most embarrassed, and embarrassing, Cabinet officers ever," says Daniel Metcalfe, a 30-year veteran of Justice who has become an outspoken critic since retiring in January as head of the department's Office of Information and Privacy. Some current Justice employees are just relieved to hear that Gonzales is stepping aside.

"The departure was a reassurance for a lot of people," says a career attorney in the Civil Division. "I'm looking forward to better times."

Not everyone is so critical of Gonzales' stewardship. His defenders highlight the creation of the National Security Division within the department and his emphasis on child exploitation as key accomplishments by the man who replaced John Ashcroft in February 2005.

"As for his legacy, the ironic thing is, I think he did a pretty good job as attorney general," says Viet Dinh, a former high-ranking official at the Office of Legal Counsel under Ashcroft.


Needless to say, not too many observers share Dinh's sunny assessment. Looking over the department's 40 offices, divisions and components, critics point to the Civil Rights Division and the Office of Legal Counsel as being the most tarnished under Gonzales' leadership. They also point to the Executive Office of Immigration Review as being heavily politicized under both Ashcroft and Gonzales. Records show that dozens of former Republican activists and loyalists without immigration law experience got jobs as judges there in recent years.

Evan Peterson, a Justice spokesman, last week strongly denied that politics had influenced some of the department's divisions or that the offices had become extensions of the White House.

But Douglas Kmiec, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says the office that oversaw the application of Gonzales' famed memo on interrogations must reinforce its commitment to independence.

"Much of the difficulty over torture memos and signing statements started in that office," says Kmiec, who teaches at Pepperdine University School of Law. "Somehow it lost its way. It lost its ability to say no. [The office] needs to get its act in order."

Dawn Johnsen, a former head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Attorney General Janet Reno, agrees.

"There are just appalling examples of the Department of Justice and its counsel acting as a rubber stamp for unlawful programs that the White House wanted to pursue," says Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University.

The office is currently headed by Steven Bradbury, who holds the title of principal deputy assistant attorney general and whom the Senate has refused to confirm as the official head of the office for more than two years. Bradbury has been accused of using the office to facilitate White House legal requests and recently wrote a memo advising former White House officials, including former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, to ignore congressional subpoenas.

Democratic senators have questioned Bradbury's credentials and have asked the White House to appoint someone else to head the office. They also are upset that an inquiry by the Office of Professional Responsibility into Bradbury's role in the warrantless surveillance program was quashed by President George W. Bush, who refused to grant OPR investigators security clearances.

Justice spokesman Peterson said in an e-mail statement that the Office of Legal Counsel "has provided rigorous and objective legal advice" to the White House and the executive branch.

"There is no basis to assert that OLC has been politicized or is a rubber stamp for the White House," Peterson said.

At the Civil Rights Division, meanwhile, some career attorneys say their influence has diminished as new department heads and political appointees sought to reverse decades of key civil rights law enforcement under Gonzales and, earlier, Ashcroft.

"The damage done to one of the federal government's most important law enforcement agencies is deep and will take time to overcome," Joseph Rich, a former chief in the voting section of the Civil Rights Division who retired in 2005, said in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year.

Some career staff complain about being overruled on key re-districting plans -- which were later challenged in court. Other controversial practices, such as diverting the hiring duties from career staff to political appointees, began under Ashcroft, but ex-career officials say Gonzales let them continue unchecked. <more>