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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And In Other News...



Tom DeLay is having a not-so-good day, according to Fired Up America. Subpoenas have been issued to the USA Family Network, according to an article in the National Journal. The USA Family Network issued payments to some folks with ties to both DeLay and Abramoff:
Sources familiar with the Justice Department-led probe say that one area of interest to investigators is $15,600 that the U.S. Family Network paid in 1999 to Liberty Consulting, a firm run by Lisa Rudy, the wife of Tony Rudy, who was a deputy chief of staff to DeLay before becoming a lobbying colleague of Abramoff's

Tony Rudy was one of two former Hill staffers identified in Abramoff's January plea-bargain agreement with the Justice Department as having provided Abramoff with legislative help in exchange for gifts and other financial favors.
And here's an interesting tidbit from a local ABC News affilliate: Rove and Abramoff were "casual acquaintences."
Three former business associates of Abramoff, who worked with the lobbyist in various roles between 2001 and 2004, told The Associated Press that Abramoff routinely mentioned Rove when talking about his influence inside the White House.

One said he was present when Abramoff took a call from Rove's office to confirm a White House meeting had been approved between Malaysia's prime minister and Bush in May 2002. Abramoff was being paid by Malaysia for helping it in Washington, according to evidence the Senate has made public....

Abramoff was a $100,000 fundraiser for Bush and lobbying records obtained by the AP show his lobbying team logged nearly 200 meetings with the administration during its first 10 months in office on behalf of one of his clients, the Northern Mariana Islands.

The contacts between Abramoff's team and the administration included meetings with Attorney General John Ashcroft and policy advisers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the AP reported last year.

Abramoff's former assistant, Susan Ralston, went to work for Rove in 2001. Abramoff's legal team declined comment Monday night.
Oh yeah, casual acquaintences. I am so not buying that spin.

I'm currently watching the press conference with the hospital in Corpus Christi -- the hospital is refusing to comment on how many pellets are in Mr. Whittington. But they've indicated that Whittington has waived his HIPAA privacy issues to allow the hospital to provide briefings. Interesting...to what extent has that waiver been given? Hospital saying they aren't removing the shot near or on the heart at the moment, that Whittington is stabilized with the use of medication, but that they are prepared to remove the shot should it prove necessary to do so with further defibrillation issues. No comment on any blood alcohol tests being done on anyone.

And on that note, reader seesdifferent has a helpful diary up on DKos on the medical issues, with a great find of a medical journal article on a situation that was similar to Whittington's condition. Both Seesdifferent and the NYTimes, along with the hospital briefing from yesterday, are saying that it is most likely that the shot went initially right into Whittington's chest -- and that the speculation that the shot migrated intravenously is more unlikely. More to come on this when and it we get it.

Speaking of Cheney, here's an older article on Cheney speaking about Fox News as being "fair and balanced," from the WaPo. (Oh, and catch the mention of the Veep being the Administration's designated speaker for the NRA meeting. Wonder why they've been so silent on the gun safety questions of Cheney's conduct? *cough*) (Hat tip to reader Captain Plaid on the find.)

This just in: Ann Coulter may be facing charges in Florida for voting in the wrong precinct. (Hat tip to reader Kurt on this one.)

Today's Froomkin is up, chock full of great links and reads and fantastic as always. (Thanks immanentize!)

UPDATE: Okay, there is a never mind on the Richard Sale article, it's dated at the bottom as being from October of 2005 (I thought I was having deja vu as I was reading it, but I missed the date. I've e-mailed to check on this, and will update as I get a response. Sorry -- my bad.

Chertoff is still testifying, and the damning House reports on Katrina failures, from the President on down have been released. More on that from the WaPo, and I'll post a link to the report if and when I find one.

As you can tell, it's a busy news day. Condi is speaking to the Senate, the President has a speech on health care plans at some point this afternoon, Chertoff is in the hot seat, the Veep will be dodging nerf balls on Fox this afternoon -- and that's not even the half of it. Stay tuned.

A personal thanks to all the readers giving me heads up on some of these bits -- it's great to have such a dedicated team on our side, and I can't thank you enough for all your hard work.

UPDATED to take out the Sale article paragraphs and reference to Fitz in the next to the last paragraph. If I hear differently from Sale or Sic Semper, I'll let everyone know. Apologies for getting anyone's hopes up prematurely today. Oops. My fault entirely for missing the date. (See how easy it is to take full responsibility?)

UPDATE #2: Two other items I meant to mention:

The Terrorism Watch list has reached 325,000 people. With no real means of oversight or ability for memebrs of the public to request having their name removed if it is on the list inaccurately, managing this unwieldy mess is raising a lot of eyebrows. Good on Walter Pincus for bringing this issue to the public's attention today.

And it looks like the Karl Rove threatening and arm twisting on behalf of the Administration may be having its desired effect, considering there are reports that the NSA Hearings may be spiked. Hmmmm...putting political expediency in front of the Constitution and considerations regarding separation of powers and history. Cowards. Much more on this as I get it.

UPDATE #3: Well, this isn't going to make Karl happy: turns out some of the NSA whistleblowers are pushing back here and here.

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