Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Meet the baby daddy
Levi Johnston describes himself as a f***in redneck.
He's also about to be a f***n redneck daddy


Bristol Palin's baby's father is not 23 years old, as some Internet rumors have said. He's an 18-year-old "hunky" hockey player named Levi Johnston. The New York Daily News picks it up from there:

He's a superhunky bad-boy ice hockey player from cold country; she's a chestnut-haired beauty and popular high school senior.

The all-American teen twosome will make GOP vice presidential pick and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a grandma at age 44 - just in time for Christmas.

Doe-eyed Bristol Palin, 17, and ruggedly handsome Levi Johnston, an 18-year-old self-described "f---in' redneck," have been dating a year, locals in Wasilla, Alaska, told the Daily News.

And the pregnancy? An open secret in the close-knit town of 9,780.

Oh, sorry, I meant to say "superhunky..." who writes this stuff, anyway?

The two have been dating for about a year, apparently.


A bit more from the Daily News:

Bristol's pregnancy was no secret in the town that lies wedged between two mountain ranges.

The mother of one of Levi's friends, who asked not to be named, told The News that locals knew about Bristol's pregnancy for weeks.

Besides his hard play on the ice, Levi Johnston was also a bit of a hell-raiser off it - another reason Bristol may have been smitten.

State troopers popped Johnston last year for snagging some king salmon out of season in Moose Lake, records from Alaska wildlife enforcement show. He had to pay $370 bail.

On his MySpace page, Johnston proudly declares: "I'm a f---in' redneck."

"I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing," he says on the site.

He also warns that if anyone messes with him, "I'll kick ass."



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posted by JReid @ 7:54 AM  
Monday, September 01, 2008
Sarah Palin, your womb, Lil' Bristol and you
Memo to women voters: Sarah Palin opposes the use of birth control, even for married couples (maybe that's why she has so many kids...) would force her daughter to have the baby even if she had been raped, and supports "abstinence only" sex education in schools. Too bad "AO" didn't work on daughter Bristol, 17, who may or may not be the real mother of baby trig (Andrew Sullivan wades into the Trig controversy on his blog, and then posts this update...)

Baby Trig: who's your mama?

... but who is definitely about to be somebody's mother. From Reuters:
The 17-year-old unmarried daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, according to aides of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, the aides said.

The Palins, in a statement released by the McCain campaign, said Bristol "came to us with news that we as parents knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned" and that their daughter "has our unconditional love and support."

"We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," their statement said.

Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter's pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.
The boy's name is Levi. You just can't make this stuff up.

So far, we've seen none of the outrage wingers like Bill O'Reilly heaped on Miley Cyrus for striking a sexy pose in Vanity Fair (Fox of course was always careful to include the photos in their OUTRAGED! coverage...) or the opprobrium heaped on Jamie Lynn Spears, who got pregnant one year younger than Bristol? Priceless commentary from Rush and crackpot "Doctor" Laura here. Best clip? The Radio Equalizer asks Dr. Laura for comment on Jamie Lynn:
Blasting the environment in which the Spears children were raised, Dr Laura replied, "I feel sorry for children who are robbed of their childhoods of innocence by parents who are negligent or voyeuristic. I feel sorry for the unborn baby, whose precious life is bound to be a toy in the hands of these young people.

"I feel sorry for the children of America who are bombarded by these images of inappropriate sexuality and out of control freedom - because they will come to believe they're entitled also. I feel sorry for America because we've lost our sense about judgment and the dangers of desires met but not earned," she added.
I wonder what the good "doc" has to say about Bristol... I'm guessing she'll praise her for her maturity in not aborting the child.

So far, the only reaction from the right is that Bristols keepin' her baby, so it's all good with the evangelicals.

Well, John McCain wanted his campaign -- and not Obama's -- to be the center of the media's attention. Mission ACCOMPLISHED. But will Americans want to live this erratic psychodrama for four years...


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posted by JReid @ 6:06 PM  
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Lobbyists to McCain: thanks for nothing
St. John the Self-Righteous catches hell from the lobbyists who bailed him out when he needed them most (and who have been running and financing his campaign) ... because now, he's bailing on them.

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posted by JReid @ 2:51 PM  
Friday, May 16, 2008
Who's that talking to 'the terr'rists?'
John McCain is going to be Hamas' worst nightmare if elected ... if by nightmare you mean boring them to death while negotiating with them...
...given his own position on Hamas, McCain is the last politician who should be attacking Obama. Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

... Given that exchange, the new John McCain might say that Hamas should be rooting for the old John McCain to win the presidential election. The old John McCain, it appears, was ready to do business with a Hamas-led government, while both Clinton and Obama have said that Hamas must change its policies toward Israel and terrorism before it can have diplomatic relations with the United States.


The Huffpo has the video.

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posted by JReid @ 3:47 PM  
Friday, May 09, 2008
McCain's Whitewater?
Let's see if this gets any traction in the McCain-loving media. A line item -- not a headline -- in today's Washington Post:
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Sen. John McCain championed legislation that will let an Arizona rancher trade remote grassland and ponderosa pine forest here for acres of valuable federally owned property that is ready for development, a land swap that now stands to directly benefit one of his top presidential campaign fundraisers].

Initially reluctant to support the swap, the Arizona Republican became a key figure in pushing the deal through Congress after the rancher and his partners hired lobbyists that included McCain's 1992 Senate campaign manager, two of his former Senate staff members (one of whom has returned as his chief of staff), and an Arizona insider who was a major McCain donor and is now bundling campaign checks.

When McCain's legislation passed in November 2005, the ranch owner gave the job of building as many as 12,000 homes to SunCor Development, a firm in Tempe, Ariz., run by Steven A. Betts, a longtime McCain supporter who has raised more than $100,000 for the presumptive Republican nominee. Betts said he and McCain never discussed the deal.

The Audubon Society described the exchange as the largest in Arizona history. The swap involved more than 55,000 acres of land in all, including rare expanses of desert woodland and pronghorn antelope habitat. The deal had support from many local officials and the Arizona Republic newspaper for its expansion of the Prescott National Forest. But it brought an outcry from some Arizona environmentalists when it was proposed in 2002, partly because it went through Congress rather than a process that allowed more citizen input.

Although the bill called for the two parcels to be of equal value, a federal forestry official told a congressional committee that he was concerned that "the public would not receive fair value" for its land. A formal appraisal has not yet begun. A town official opposed to the swap said other Yavapai Ranch land sold nine years ago for about $2,000 per acre, while some of the prime commercial land near a parcel that the developers will get has brought as much as $120,000 per acre. ...

Say it over and over again: John McCain is better than other politicians .. John McCain is better than other politicans ... John McCain is better than other politicans ...

Oh where, oh where, are the 527s???

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posted by JReid @ 2:09 PM  
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The Larry Craig Not-Gay-ometer

Keeping in mind that Senator Larry Craig of Ida-ho is so totally, seriously not gay ...

It's interesting the back story that's surfacing about him. Not just the stories of his bathroom stall mackadociousness, or his allegedly propositioning various men for sex over the years, but also his rather Mark Foley-esque implication in a 1982 congressional paige sexual solicitation scandal. Step into the wayback machine with me, will you? Let's go back to the Reagan era, and check out this ABC News report:



Well good thing Larry Craig isn't gay, because otherwise that denial might not sound so credible... And just to refresh your memory a bit more, here's TIME Magazine's reportage of that 80s sexual scandal:

These are serious charges," declared Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes, chairman of the House Ethics Committee. "I am deeply disturbed," said House Speaker Tip O'Neill. "This is the last thing Congress needs," agreed Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, who added, "I'm flabbergasted."

The source of their consternation was an FBI investigation into charges that perhaps three Congressmen may have had homosexual relations with teen-age boys who serve as pages on Capitol Hill. An unspecified number of the pages, who run errands for members of Congress, supposedly felt they would lose their jobs if they did not agree to have sex with the Congressmen involved. Claims that female pages were solicited were also being probed. There were vague allegations in a separate investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration that some Congressmen used cocaine supplied by pages.

So far, the sex scandal rests on shaky ground. One 16-year-old page told CBS News that he had once been propositioned by a Congressman and that pages had told him that they had been invited to parties at which Congressmen asked for sex in return for continued employment. CBS put the frightened page on its Evening News program, using silhouetted settings to obscure his features. An 18-year-old former page, who has been accused of car theft and writing bad checks, told CBS he had had sex with three Congressmen.
There are, of course, even more selacious allegations of past sexual scandal

Meanwhile, Republicans are just praying that Mr. Craig will just quietly go away... his seat, however, is up in 2008.

Update: Senators McCain and Coleman call for Craig to resign. I predict he will do so sooner rather than later, the better to spare the GOP further humiliation. Then, Idaho's Republican governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter could appoint a suitable, read "not gay" ... replacement.

Semi-relevant question: Why would gay rights groups get pissed that someone, even Tucker Carlson, would physically fight off the unwanted advances of another man in a restroom. Are straight people supposed to welcome such advances? Greet them politely? Or what? If a woman fought off the unwanted physical advances of a man, she would be applauded by my friends on the left. But a man? He's supposed to do what, thank the aggressor kindly or give him a high five? Give me a break.

Update: Check out the police report on The Smoking Gun. Keith Olbermann gave it an hilarious read on "Countdown" last night... Roger, Friday.

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posted by JReid @ 9:40 PM  
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Don't mess with Reggie
It isn't all that hard to bring out the wingnuts, as David Shuster hilariously referred to them tonight on Countdown (might have been a whoopsie, but I LOVED it!) Said nuts have opened up their cans of crazy on one U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Reginald Walton, the judge who heard the Scooter Libby case, and then sentenced ole' Scooter to 30 months in prison, to begin, not later, not upon the completion of his appeal, but soon, and very soon. The reaction from the dwindling cadres of the neocon faithful has been absolutely cookoo, with the stalwarts left to debate Pat Buchanan on Hardball as to whether perjury and obstruction of justice are legitimate subjects for prosecution. Earth to neocons: they ARE.

So what to do, when Bushie isn't acting fast enough to further discredit himself and his presidency by pardoning a man for no other reason than that he is a friend of the vice president, and despite the fact that you claimed to be coming to Washington to "restore honor and dignity" to the place ... not to make perjury and obstruction of justice fashionable among Republicans...

What to do?

Write nasty, threatening letters to the judge.

Yep. That's what the winguts are doing. Says the judge:

"I received a number of angry, harassing mean-spirited phone calls and letters," District Judge Reggie B. Walton said. "Some of those were wishing bad things on me and my family." Walton made the remarks as he opened a hearing into whether to delay Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence.

He said he was holding the letters in case something happened but said they would have no effect on his decision.

It must be soul-killing to be a right winger ...

So who is this guy?

Well, he's not a card carrying liberal, anti-American Socialist, as some on the right might wish. He is an African-American Republican, and an appointee of a guy named Bush:


Judge Reggie B. Walton assumed his position as a United States District Judge for the District of Columbia on October 29, 2001, after being nominated to the position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. In May 2007, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Walton to serve as a Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which is a 7-year appointment. Judge Walton was also appointed by President Bush in June of 2004 to serve as the Chairperson of the National Prison Rape Reduction Commission, a two-year commission created by the United States Congress that is tasked with the mission of identifying methods to curb the incidents of prison rape. Former Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Walton to the federal judiciary's Criminal Law Committee, effective October 1, 2005. Judge Walton previously served as an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 1981 to 1989 and 1991 to 2001, having been appointed to that position by Presidents Ronald Reagan in 1981 and George H. W. Bush in 1991. While serving on the Superior Court, Judge Walton was the court's Presiding Judge of the Family Division, Presiding Judge of the Domestic Violence Unit and Deputy Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. Between 1989 and 1991, Judge Walton served as President George H. W. Bush's Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President and as President Bush's Senior White House Advisor for Crime.
Hm... that might be a problem for the righties who might want to characterize Walton as a latter day Al Sharpton... This is Bush's judge, just as Pat Fitzgerald is Bush's prosecutor. If the president vacates their work, he can't hide behind the veil of saving Scooter from a partisan witch hunt. As Richard Ben Veniste said on "Hardball" yesterday when he debated the barely coherent Joe DiGenova, if Bush wants to pardon Scooter, he'll have to stand up, be a man, and admit that he's doing a neocon friend a big, fat favor.

Meanwhile, John Dickerson from Slate predicts Bushie will do just that, and that Scooter won't see the inside of an orange jumpsuit. The reasons:

First: Dick Cheney. The vice president may not be winning as many foreign-policy battles as he used to, but Libby's fate is a highly personal matter for Cheney. He will ask Bush for a pardon, and he is unlikely to back down. If Bush resists, Cheney could argue that his close aide Libby should not go to jail while Karl Rove, another key figure in the scandal, has been protected by Bush and the administration.

The second reason Libby will walk is President Bush's dismal approval rating. The number of people who would be angered by a pardon who haven't already abandoned the president could fit in an airport shuttle bus. Given the conservative defections from Bush over his support of immigration reform, a pardon of Libby—which would be popular with conservatives—might actually improve his approval ratings. Libby's conviction is seen as such an outrage among conservatives that one former Bush aide suggested "the consequences of not pardoning, if Scooter is led away in shackles, will be uglier than pardoning."
Could be. But pardoning Scooter would also keep the story on the front pages, and keep people talking that ole' "underlying conduct," namely the administration's cavalier outing of a covert agent (using the same stooge reporter who stenographed for Robert Hansen, no less) to punish her husband for telling the truth about their war...

And who would want that?

Odds of a pardon at this stage: I'd say 4:3 in favor, but probably not until late summer, during the slow news months... Oh, and Dickerson says that if a Republican wins the White House in 2008 (perish the thought) he should offer Scooter a job. Go figure.
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posted by JReid @ 8:43 PM  
Scooter Libby and the hypocrite express
How to explain the striking reversal of mindset among "law and order" Republicans who called for the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton for purportedly misleading a grand jury in a civil sex case, and for, in the insistent words of people like Victoria Toensing and her equally natty husband Joseph DeGenova: "obstructing justice" in the Paula Jones case. President Clinton was, in fact, impeached for perjury and obstruction, though he was acquitted in the Senate.

Now, however, this collection of law-abiders, many of whom are, like DeGenova, Toensing and "Mr. 9/11," Rudy Giuliani, former federal prosecutors. And yet now, they have discovered a certain sympathy for the obstructor.

Even Chris Matthews can see through his fellow Clinton bashers' hypocrisy. Here was DeGenova on Hardball last night (along with Richard Ben Veniste, who got quite a chuckle out of the exchange). First, on whether Libby should, or will, be pardoned:


Joe diGenova, first up, should Scooter Libby be pardoned by President Bush?

DIGENOVA: Absolutely, and the sooner the better.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe he will act?

DIGENOVA: The president?

MATTHEWS: Yes.

DIGENOVA: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: Will he do what you want him to do?

DIGENOVA: Oh, no, he is going to pardon Scooter Libby. There‘s no question about it.

The equities here, everything point toward it. And, while the president has not been a serial pardoner—he and his father have not issued a lot of pardons during their presidencies—this is a—this is a case that cries out for a pardon. And the justification for it is evident. And I don‘t think there‘s any question that the president will do it.

The key will be whether or not Judge Walton sends Scooter Libby to prison in 60 days, or 40 days, or whatever it is.

MATTHEWS: Right.

DIGENOVA: The president will then have to act at the end of those 60 days, because, if Scooter Libby spends one day in prison, the black mark on this president‘s tenure in office will be indelible.

MATTHEWS: And it will be his black mark on Bush, not on Scooter Libby, as you see it?

DIGENOVA: No question about that, Chris, no question.

But I think the president is going to do it. And I think he understands the reasons for it, all of which are out on the public record.
And then, on the question of whether what Libby did -- lying to the FBI and a grand jury in a case involving, not sex, but the outing of a covert CIA agent working to protect this country's national security interests with respect to WMD. DiGenova's answers are pure GOPer talking points ("Plame wasn't covert" -- although she has definitively been proved to have been just that, Victoria's vapid fulminations aside, etc., etc.,) sprinkled with hypocrisy -- but unfortunately, no substance:


MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask Richard Ben-Veniste.

Should—should Scooter Libby be pardoned by this president in 60 days?

BEN-VENISTE: I think that is—that is entirely up to the president.

He has the right, in his discretion, to do it.

If he stood up and said, look, Scooter Libby, he was doing our bidding, that this whole attack on the Wilsons, outing Valerie Wilson, who was a covert operative of the CIA, a case officer of the CIA, which our government had invested millions of dollars in developing, casually outed by the administration, through Scooter Libby, if the president wants to step up to the plate and say, I‘m responsible, and I will be a man, and I will take that responsibility by acknowledging it, and issuing a pardon, then so be it.

Let him take the political heat for it and do it. I‘m of the view that—frankly, that, unless somebody is a danger to the community, unless a—an appeal is completely frivolous, that bail ought to be granted, pending an appeal, because people should not go to jail until they are adjudged guilty, and that means through appeal.

But, with respect to the pardon, that is entirely up to the president.

MATTHEWS: Jerry Ford, the former president, the late president now, pardoned Richard Nixon, under the belief that the Burdick decision, which was a precedent, held that a person who accepts a federal pardon from a president is accepting guilt.

Do you accept that as a precedent and as a matter of law, Joe diGenova?

DIGENOVA: I—I don‘t—first of all, there is no law on that question.

Whatever the president says who issues the pardon can say that. A president can say whatever he or she wants or say nothing when a pardon is issued.

Let me just make one point about the under—the alleged underlying crime which was never charged here...

MATTHEWS: Right.

DIGENOVA: ... and apparently never committed, which was outing an agent, when you know that he or she is an agent.

The first person to mention Valerie‘s name was not Scooter Libby. It was Richard Armitage, the undersecretary of state, in a flippant way, to Bob Woodward and to Robert Novak. Scooter Libby confirmed later in—at least three or four times that he had spoken about Ms. Wilson with reporters...

MATTHEWS: Right.

DIGENOVA: ... ultimately confirmed that.

So, the bottom line here is—and—and, by the way, if the CIA was attempting to take active measures, affirmative measures, to protect the identity of Valerie Plame, let me tell you something, their—their—their tradecraft stinks, because you would not send a covert agent‘s—which I believe she was not—a covert officer‘s...

MATTHEWS: OK.

DIGENOVA: ... husband overseas, and then let him write an op-ed piece about it, and then do a number of other things that clearly were not designed to protect her cover.

MATTHEWS: Joe—Joe, did you support—did you support the impeachment of President Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice?

DIGENOVA: Absolutely. I did.

MATTHEWS: What was the underlying crime then?

DIGENOVA: Obstructing a trial—a civil...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, what was the underlying—what was the underlying crime?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You‘re asking for—you—now, this guy is guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice.

But what—you‘re saying he doesn‘t have an underlying crime there. But what was the underlying crime with Bill Clinton? Monica Lewinsky, that was the underlying crime?

DIGENOVA: No. Actually, it was a civic proceeding...

MATTHEWS: Right.

DIGENOVA: ... in which there was a case pending in a United States district court.

MATTHEWS: Right.

DIGENOVA: And the—the—the president, apparently, according to the reason he—he gave up the practice of law for a period of time was because he did not tell the truth during a deposition.

MATTHEWS: Well, but neither did—neither did Scooter Libby. So, they are guilty of the same charge.

(CROSSTALK)
By "crosstalk," the transcriber means "humminahumminahummina..." because that's about the stuttering and stammering that came from DiGenova at that stage. Pathetic.

It's a fascinating argument DiGenova puts forth, however, since the fact that there was no underlying crime was the main reason Bill Clinton couldn't have been found guilty of perjury. But in Libby's case, there was an underlying crime -- knowingly disclosing the name of a covert operative -- but it couldn't be proven because of Libby's lies and obstruction. In other words, Libby put himself on the line to prevent prosecutors from proving the underlying crime -- whether that crime was committed by himself (unlikely) or others (bingo.) Now, Libby is being ordered to go directly to jail. He's Paris Hilton, baby, not Martha Stewart. And do you want to know why, Joe DiGenova? Hm? Mr. Prosecutor and former independent counsel who seems to have forgotten the law??? He's going to jail because prosecutors know HE IS STILL HIDING INFORMATION ABOUT THE UNDERLYING CRIME, IN ORDER TO PROTECT OTHERS, most probably the vice president of the United States. In jail, he has a much better chance of coming to his senses, rather than at home with his kids. It's kind of prosecution 101, deary.

Anyway, if you'd like to laugh at Joe the way I did last night, you can see his embarassing performance for yourself. C&L has the video.

It's not just DiGenova, of course, as Intoxication pointed out last week:

So now we have all the wingnuts beating their pardon chests harder and louder. From the National Review to William Kristol, the calls for pardon are getting louder. As matter of fact, today's Washington Post says that "pardon is a topic to sensitive to mention" in the West Wing...
And let's not forget Mr. Giuliani, the former federal prosecutor who, like DiGenova, seems to have mellowed over the years in his attitudes toward obstructing justice and lying to the FBI.

These people have no souls. Have fun in the big house, Scooter!
Update: WaPo's Dan Froomkin reports the White House has ruled out a pardon until the Libby appeal is complete, which could be in months, or even years. Not a good look for the neocons' neocon, but you never know, Bushie might just get religion and decide to do Bill Kristol's bidding (of course, there is the matter of Scooter's being Cheney's boy, not Bush's, but there you go) ... By the way, there is a simple exit strategy for Scooter, which will get him out of jail, most likely: he can recover his memory about precisely what the vice president told him to do with regard to Valerie Plame, and make a proffer to the special prosecutor to spill his guts. Tick, tock, Scooter...

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posted by JReid @ 3:05 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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