Archive for April 27th, 2007

by Jay Stevens

A couple of juicy resignations today – which must be really, really bad, announced as they were on a Friday.

First, the fun one: a senior administration official, Randall L. Tobias, resigned his office today because he was outed as a customer of a prominent DC madam.

Wait, it gets better.

Tobias was the administration’s “AIDS Czar,” the official responsible for co-ordinating with world leaders on fighting the AIDS epidemic.

Wait, it gets better.

Tobias – surprise, surprise! — was toeing the Bush administration line of promoting abstinence over distributing condoms as a preventative. (Hat tip, AmericaBlog.

If the official promoting abstinence and monogamy can’t keep it in his pants, why would a rational person expect the entire third world to?

The second resignation falls a little closer to home. Senior Dept of Justice official, Robert Coughlin II, announced his resignation retroactive to April 6 “because he was relocating to Texas.”

Or, more likely, it was, as “a Justice Department official with knowledge of the case” said, he was “coming under scrutiny” over his friendship with Kevin Ring, an Abramoff associate connected to the Doolittle investigation, and an old friend of Dennis Rehberg.

Wait, it gets better:

Making the situation more awkward for the embattled Department, the official, Robert E. Coughlin II, was deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff.

Hm. Aren’t some folks saying Carol Lam was fired because she busted Duke Cunningham over Abramoff-related corruption charges, and was following the case to Rep. Jerry Lewis, ex-CIAer Dusty Foggo, and defense contractor Brent Wilkes? And isn’t it for steering contracts to Wilkes that John Doolittle is facing heat?

So, Doolittle’s aide, Kevin Ring, and subsequent employee of Abramoff, involved in the Wilkes contracts, the investigation into which Carol Lam was likely fired…is the DoJ’s lead Abramoff investigator’s pal?

And you wonder why the Abramoff investigations dried up right around the elections?

Update: The Tobias story gets even better! Apparently during his tenure as “AIDS Czar,” he was pressuring international organizations to deny outreach to sex workers!


Attention DCer, a group of renegade Montanans is going to host their very own testicle festival in our nation’s capitol!

Montana’s Chief Justice of the state supreme court, Karla Gray, announces she will not seek re-election. Jeff Mangan pays homage to the retiring public servant.

Mike McGrath announces he’s a candidate for Montana’s now vacant Chief Justice seat.

Montana Senate, House adjourn without a state budget. Looks like we’re headed for a special session.

Gazette: “Legislature in tatters following angry tirade at Governor.”

David Sirota boils down the gridlock in Helena to one issue: taxes. Or more specifically, should tax relief go to average Montanans, or big money out-of-state interests?

Meanwhile Republicans may just revive HB 2, strip out some provisions, and vote on that. Thanks for wasting our time.

Nicole is irked that the House Republicans are using 5-year-olds as pawns in their political posturing.

The Notorious Mark T mulls the psychology behind The Obscene Rant and its apologists.

Matt urges us to read John Adams’ piece on Helena lobbyist, Jerome Anderson.

Matthew Koehler on why the Missoulian is misleading its readers on forestry and public lands issues.

Mark T prophesizes on a possible future under the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Let’s face it, Bill Moyers’ PBS show on the failure of the media before the Iraq War was neither long, nor new. Still, he’s got some great interviews with the biggest losers in the media’s pre-Iraq failure, and ties everything together neatly.

Glenn Greenwald calls the documentary a “valuable historical account,” and maintains – quite correctly, IMHO – that not much has changed in the national media since then.

On the other hand, Moyers’ segment scared a lot of journalists. Like Bill O’Reilly. So that’s good.

Mark Knoller defends the White Press Corps from Moyer’s accusation that they rolled over in an March 6, 2003, Presidential press conference. Atrios posts the questions. Knoller = idiot.

In the show, Moyer referred to an Oprah segment on Iraq in 2002, in which she talked with Judith Miller and Kenneth Pollack. Why doesn’t she invite them back and give them the James Frey treatment?

So Moyer succinctly showed what happened to those journalists who played cheerleader for the administration – nothing – but what he didn’t tell you, was what happened to those who spoke out against the Iraq policy.

Jane Hamsher roasts Tim Russert; John Amato, Bill Kristol; and digby trashes all the rich, journalist celebrities with their Nantucket summer homes pretending they’re poor, hard-working middle-class joes.

Jon Stewart: who’s to blame for the Virginia Tech shooter?

About, oh, a day after David Broder trashed Harry Reid and claimed Senate Democrats wanted to oust him as majority leader, the entire Senate Democratic Caucus (yes, including Joe) wrote the Post to unanimously support their leader. So does Broder just make up what he writes?

Ex-rep JD Hayworth (R-AZ) under scrutiny for Abramoff dealings. (Ol’ Connie got a mention in the article, too.)

Shane reviews the first Democratic presidential debate.

Guess who Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is referring to in this quote? “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

Another good government bureaucracy – the Center for Disease Control – getting the Bush treatment.

Condi Rice “not inclined” to respond to Congressional subpoena, which is, well, against the law. Only thing is, it’d be the Attorney General’s responsibility to bring her in.

Jon Stewart on Alberto Gonzalez’ testimony.

Former CIA Director George Tenet slams the administration for misusing his “slam dunk” comment…a couple of years too late.

President Bush “hopes someone is held responsible” for the mishandling of Pat Tillman’s death. Yeah, me too. Thank goodness for Henry Waxman.

The House and Senate vote to fund the troops, and set a timetable for withdrawal.

Coincidentally, the Pentagon announced the capture of a top al Qaeda operative…er…more than a year ago

Tell us the mission.

The Library of Congress gets a blog!

Wired: “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.”

The New York Times undercuts Nicole’s efforts on behalf of Bozeman architecture.

I love the Internet. Really.

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