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Chip R
01-08-2005, 08:46 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050108/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_commentator_21

Columnist Dropped Over Payments From Gov't

CHICAGO - A conservative columnist has been dropped by a major syndication service because he accepted a payment from the Bush administration to promote the No Child Left Behind law to fellow blacks and to give the education secretary media time.
*
Armstrong Williams, one of the nation's leading black conservative voices, has acknowledged that a company he runs was paid $240,000 by the Education Department, and he called criticism of his relationship with the department "legitimate."
Tribune Media Services said it told Williams on Friday that it was halting distribution of his weekly newspaper column.

The company, a subsidiary of the Tribune Co., said it accepted his explanation that the payment was for advertising on his radio and television programs.

"Nevertheless, accepting compensation in any form from an entity that serves as a subject of his weekly newspaper columns creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Under these circumstances, readers may well ask themselves if the views expressed in his columns are his own, or whether they have been purchased by a third party," a statement said.

Williams also hosts a radio show and appears regularly on CNN as a commentator. CNN said it would evaluate the situation, pointing out that Williams has no formal contract with the network.

"We will consider very seriously this issue before booking him as a guest again," said CNN spokeswoman Megan Mahoney.

A contract required Williams' company, the Graham Williams Group, to produce radio and TV spots featuring one-minute "reads" by Education Secretary Rod Paige and to allow Paige and other department officials to appear as studio guests with Williams.
Williams also was to use his influence with other black journalists to get them to discuss No Child Left Behind, a centerpiece of President Bush (news - web sites)'s domestic agenda, which aims to raise achievement among poor and minority children and penalizes many schools that don't make progress.

The National Association of Black Journalists expressed disappointment in Williams, who is not a member of the group.

"I thought we in the media were supposed to be watchdogs, not lapdogs," said NABJ Vice President-Print Bryan Monroe, assistant vice president-news at Knight Ridder. "I thought we had an administration headed by a president who took an oath to uphold the First Amendment, not try to rent it."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday that the decisions on the contract were made by the Education Department.

The Education Department defended its decision as a "permissible use of taxpayer funds under legal government contracting procedures." The point was to help parents, particularly in poor and minority communities, understand the benefits of the law, the department said.

The radio show "The Right Side," which Williams both hosts and owns, is carried by the Lynchburg, Va.-based Liberty Channel, which is affiliated with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, by Sky Angel satellite network, a Christian organization, and by Hunt Valley, Md.-based Sinclair Broadcast Group of Hunt Valley, Md.

Messages seeking comment were left Saturday from the Liberty Channel, TV One and Sinclair, but there was no immediate response.

His other show, "On Point" where Williams interviewed Paige last year is carried by TV One, a Silver Spring, Md.-based network aimed at African Americans. The Washington Post quoted Williams as saying he had disclosed his contract to TV One, but said chief executive Johnathon Rodgers told the newspaper the network knew nothing about it and has taken the show off the air while it investigates.
Williams said the criticism was "legitimate."

"Even though I'm not a journalist — I'm a commentator — I feel I should be held to the media ethics standard," he told The Associated Press on Friday. "My judgment was not the best. I wouldn't do it again, and I learned from it."

Information about the contract with Williams was first reported by USA Today, and Williams' Web site, www.armstrongwilliams.com, carried the text of the newspaper's article.

RBA
01-08-2005, 08:59 PM
Looks like the Bush Administation has been caught once again using our tax dollars to promote their partisan political agenda. This ain't the first time and there are laws against this. This very well could be the most crooked administration in United States history. But this is what America voted for, so I guess that makes everything okay.

Chip R
01-08-2005, 09:09 PM
Looks like the Bush Administation has been caught once again using our tax dollars to promote their partisan political agenda. This ain't the first time and there are laws against this. This very well could be the most crooked administration in United States history. But this is what America voted for, so I guess that makes everything okay.
Are there actually laws against this? If there aren't you can't really blame the Bushies for doing this. Not that it's necessarily an ethical thing to do but they are trying to get their point across. It's really not much different than buying ads to do the same thing. Williams is the person at fault here. If NCLB was such a great thing why did he take the money to shill for it?

As for the Bush administration being the most crooked in US history, I'm no supporter of the Bushies but as far as crookedness goes, it doesn't even hold a candle to the Clinton administration, the Reagan administration or the Nixon administration.

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:08 PM
Yes, there are laws against this. I'll find it and post it.

Also over 1350 Americans and counting have died over cooked up intelligence. Clinton and Nixon don't even come close.

Edit: And Reagan

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:13 PM
U.S. Politics: Current Events

Money, "News" and Ethics
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From Kathy Gill,
Your Guide to U.S. Politics: Current Events.
FREE GIFT with Newsletter! Act Now!

January 07, 2005
Money, "News" and Ethics
A little reported news item from May 2004 : The GAO found that the Bush Administration illegally produced "video news releases" touting the Medicare prescription drug bill. The 16-page legal opinion says that the Administration illegally used federal money to produce propaganda and broke a prohibition against unauthorized use of federal funds. Flash forward to January 2005 : USA Today has discoveredthat the Bush Education department paid a TV pundit a quarter of a million dollars to push the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that ran in 2004, and to urge other black journalists to support NCLB.

What do the two have in common? In neither case is there full disclosure for the public. Although TV producers knew the video news releases came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "the VNRs did not alert television viewers that CMS was the source of the story package."
Armstrong Williams, called "one of the most recognized conservative voices in America" by the Washington Post, promoted NCLB on his daily TV show on "America's Voice' network. His column appears in the LA Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. At least four of his weekly columns in 2004 explicitly touted NCLB; in another column, close to the election, he endorsed Bush, mentioning, specifically, education policy.

Interestingly, a poll on Armstrong's web site is critical of his role in promoting NCLB: at this writing, 89.41% of those taking the poll believe it was wrong for the feds to pay him to promote the law.

See Armstrong Williams at Townhall ; GAO Decision (19 May 04) ; GovExec.com (20 May 04) ; USA Today (07 Jan 05) ; Washington Post (20 May 04) .

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:18 PM
The Bush Administation can buy ads. Yes, out of their own money. Not US Tax dollars for their partisan political agenda.

Chip R
01-08-2005, 10:24 PM
Also over 1350 Americans and counting have died over cooked up intelligence.
If that's your criteria then it still doesn't hold a candle to LBJ's administration.

Thanks for the articles. I just saw another article where the administration did something similar to the Medicare ads only it was an anti-drug thing. I'll see if I can find that story.

RosieRed
01-08-2005, 10:27 PM
Here's an excerpt from an AP article on this:


Three Democratic senators – Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Harry Reid of Nevada – wrote Bush Friday to demand he recover the money paid to Armstrong. The lawmakers contended that “the act of bribing journalists to bias their news in favor of government policies undermines the integrity of our democracy.”

Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House education committee, asked for an inspector general investigation into whether the deal with legal and ethical. The Republican chairman of the committee, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, supported the request.

Miller and other Democrats also wrote Bush to call for an end to “covert propaganda.”

The department’s contract with Williams, through the public relations firm Ketchum, dates to 2003 and 2004. It follows another recent flap about the agency’s publicity efforts.

The Bush administration has promoted No Child Left Behind with a video that comes across as a news story but fails to make clear the reporter involved was paid with taxpayer money. It has also has paid for rankings of newspaper coverage of the law, with points awarded for stories that say Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education. The Government Accountability Office, Congress’ auditing arm, is investigating those spending decisions.

The GAO has twice ruled that the Bush administration’s use of prepackaged videos – to promote federal drug policy and a new Medicare law – is “covert propaganda” because the videos do not make clear to the public that the government produced the promotional news.

Chip R
01-08-2005, 10:30 PM
The GAO has twice ruled that the Bush administration's use of prepackaged videos – to promote federal drug policy and a new Medicare law – is "covert propaganda" because the videos do not make clear to the public that the government produced the promotional news.

Sure. Steal my thunder. ;)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/07/national/07drug.html

Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law, Accountability Office Decides

By JOHN FILES

Published: January 7, 2005

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 - The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Thursday that the Bush administration violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people.

The accountability office said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, which were distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. They were broadcast by nearly 300 television stations and reached 22 million households, the office said.
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The accountability office does not have law enforcement powers, but its decisions on federal spending are usually considered authoritative.

In May the office found that the Bush administration had violated the same law by producing television news segments that portrayed the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly.
The accountability office was not critical of the content of the video segments from the White House drug office, but found that the format - a made-for-television "story package" - violated the prohibition on using taxpayer money for propaganda.
Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the senior Democrat on the Government Reform Committee, who requested the review, said the use of the mock news segments broke "a fundamental principle of open government."

A spokesman for the drug policy office said the review's conclusions made a "mountain out of a molehill."

The spokesman, Tom Riley, noted that Congress had authorized the drug policy office to fashion antidrug messages in motion pictures and television programming and on the Internet. His office stopped distributing the antidrug videos after the G.A.O. report on the Medicare segments, Mr. Riley said, and never acted unlawfully.

The drug policy office told investigators that it would have been difficult for "a reasonable broadcaster" to mistake the videos for independent news reports.

But the G.A.O. said the drug policy office "made it impossible for the targeted viewing audience to ascertain that these stories were produced by the government."

Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress. The accountability office has found that federal agencies violated this restriction when they distributed editorials and newspaper articles written by government officials without identifying them.

The accountability office said the administration's misuse of federal money "also constitutes a violation of the Antideficiency Act," which prohibits spending in excess of appropriations.

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:37 PM
IMO, this is just the tip of the ice berg. You know this is SOP. Who else is taking money? Rush, G Gordon, Michael Wiener, Ann Coulter, CNN, MSRNC, Fox News, ABC? He got caught, watch the rest of them plead ignorance.

RosieRed
01-08-2005, 10:45 PM
Sure. Steal my thunder. ;)

:MandJ: Sorry, I was just trying to help! :)

Chip R
01-08-2005, 10:47 PM
IMO, this is just the tip of the ice berg. You know this is SOP. Who else is taking money? Rush, G Gordon, Michael Wiener, Ann Coulter, CNN, MSRNC, Fox News, ABC? He got caught, watch the rest of them plead ignorance.
But it takes two to tango. Williams didn't have to accept that money. He should have known better and he even admits it. I blame the person who took the money more than the person who offered it. We know the person(s) who offered the money is/are corrupt. And this just taints every journalist now much like the NY Times' problems have tainted other newspapers. From now on you see someone on TV or in a newspaper expressing their opinion and you don't know whether or not that opinion was bought and paid for.

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:54 PM
So the person giving the bribe is less criminal than the person taking it? Can't agree with that. So all the companies in the Food for Oil program scandal are not as quilty as the old Iraqi regime?

RBA
01-08-2005, 10:56 PM
From now on you see someone on TV or in a newspaper expressing their opinion and you don't know whether or not that opinion was bought and paid for.


From now on? :eek: How about for the last 20 years?

Chip R
01-08-2005, 11:07 PM
So the person giving the bribe is less criminal than the person taking it? Can't agree with that. So all the companies in the Food for Oil program scandal are not as quilty as the old Iraqi regime?
I'm glad you asked me that because it reminds me of a story. This fellow was walking in the desert. All of a sudden he came across a rattlesnake. The fellow started to get something out to kill the snake when all of a sudden the snake spoke. The snake said, "Pick me up." The guy was intrigued by the snake but was still wary. So he said to the snake, "I'm not going to pick you up cause you'll bite me." The snake replied, "Trust me. I promise I won't bite you." So the guy reached down and picked up the snake. All of a sudden the snake bit him. The guy threw the snake down and yelled at the snake, "You promised you wouldn't bite me!" Then the snake replied, "But you knew what I was when you picked me up."

RosieRed
01-08-2005, 11:42 PM
But it takes two to tango. Williams didn't have to accept that money. He should have known better and he even admits it. I blame the person who took the money more than the person who offered it. We know the person(s) who offered the money is/are corrupt. And this just taints every journalist now much like the NY Times' problems have tainted other newspapers. From now on you see someone on TV or in a newspaper expressing their opinion and you don't know whether or not that opinion was bought and paid for.

Williams shouldn't have accepted that money, you're right. But this is the GOVERNMENT we're talking about. They never should have been offering him that money in the first place.

I find it much more appalling that the government is pushing propaganda in this manner than I do this columnist accepting money.

paintmered
01-09-2005, 12:06 AM
So all the companies in the Food for Oil program scandal are not as quilty as the old Iraqi regime?


only the french :D

Chip R
01-09-2005, 12:31 AM
Williams shouldn't have accepted that money, you're right. But this is the GOVERNMENT we're talking about. They never should have been offering him that money in the first place.

I find it much more appalling that the government is pushing propaganda in this manner than I do this columnist accepting money.
But the point of my story was that you should expect the government to do something like that. They are trying to get elected/re-elected any way they can and if paying off a columnist is a way to achieve that goal then they are going to do it. If they lose, nobody cares. If they win, their guy is in office and he can protect you. It's like when gamblers paid off the White Sox in 1919 to throw the Series. Sure it was dirty pool for those gamblers to do that but what do you expect from them? They were criminals, crooks, ne'er-do-wells. They wanted to set things up so that they made money. They could have cared less if the Series was on the level. They wanted to ensure the Reds would win so they could clean up. To them the ends justified the means. Same thing for the Bushies - and probably any other administration.

Redsfaithful
01-09-2005, 01:32 AM
But the point of my story was that you should expect the government to do something like that.

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't expect the government to do things like this.

And I really don't think there's any question that the Bush administration is more corrupt than Clinton's. Clinton had to deal with a strong opposition, and the opposite party leading Congress. Not to mention an independent prosecutor that went way beyond what he was meant to do, as he's admitted.

Democrats have been spineless for the past few years. Republicans have controlled all three branches of government. For such a secretive administration it's been shocking how little investigative reporting has been done.

And yet we've still had scandal after scandal. Most have just gotten far less attention than Clinton's.

Look at the Valerie Plume leak. That alone probably trumps any scandal from Clinton's administration - and you hardly ever hear anything about it.

GAC
01-09-2005, 09:21 AM
What happened was probably wrong. Evidence of a huge conspiracy or corruption? Pretty far-fetched. But I knew that as soon as I read this news on the internet, that it wouldn't be long before it would be posted on Redszone, with accusations by some, that this is proof that this is the most corrupt adminstration ever.

You didn't let me down guys. Run with it! :thumbup:


The Education Department defended its decision as a "permissible use of taxpayer funds under legal government contracting procedures." The point was to help parents, particularly in poor and minority communities, understand the benefits of the law, the department said.

Now I know that some will not want to believe that that was the Education Dept's intent, and that there is a wider, and more nefarious motive, behind all this. Because after all, the Education Dept is actually a underground, covert arm of the Bush administration, bent on indoctrinating this country to their fascist ideology. ;)

And just last week on here, conservatives were accused of being the new Joe McCarthys. :lol:

If some are really so concerned about how our hard-earned tax dollars are spent (and wasted), then there are far greater areas of concern within our government, and by our illustrious politicians, that ranges in the hundreds of millions in waste, then the Education Dept paying some radio talk show host for advertising and promoting the No Child Left Behind Act, which is already law by the way.

But when you're grasping for straws anything will do.

Ravenlord
01-09-2005, 09:40 AM
Maybe I'm naive, but I don't expect the government to do things like this.maybe i'm naive, by i don't expect government to abide by laws when the public choses to leave them on their own as such.

Chip R
01-09-2005, 10:32 AM
What happened was probably wrong. Evidence of a huge conspiracy or corruption? Pretty far-fetched. But I knew that as soon as I read this news on the internet, that it wouldn't be long before it would be posted on Redszone, with accusations by some, that this is proof that this is the most corrupt adminstration ever.

You didn't let me down guys. Run with it! :thumbup:



Now I know that some will not want to believe that that was the Education Dept's intent, and that there is a wider, and more nefarious motive, behind all this. Because after all, the Education Dept is actually a underground, covert arm of the Bush administration, bent on indoctrinating this country to their fascist ideology. ;)

And just last week on here, conservatives were accused of being the new Joe McCarthys. :lol:

If some are really so concerned about how our hard-earned tax dollars are spent (and wasted), then there are far greater areas of concern within our government, and by our illustrious politicians, that ranges in the hundreds of millions in waste, then the Education Dept paying some radio talk show host for advertising and promoting the No Child Left Behind Act, which is already law by the way.

But when you're grasping for straws anything will do.
So if this No Child Left Behind act is so great, why did the Bush administration have to pay Williams to pimp it? And if Williams thought it was so pretty, why did he even need to take the money? Why didn't he just say, "You know, I think the NCLB act is such a good law, I will promote it for free. Keep the money and spend it on something else." It's a huge conflict of interest when someone does this. What would you think if Hal McCoy started saying that everything the Reds were doing was right and never criticized them no matter how stupid the moves seemed and then later you found out that the Reds had paid McCoy to praise whatever they did? He'd have no credibility left as a journalist because you wouldn't know if those were his views or those views were bought and paid for.

RBA
01-09-2005, 10:55 AM
I knew as soon as I seen this story a few days ago that those on the right here will spin it as possibly illegal, but they were only trying to spread an important message.

I wasn't dissappointed by "the party of the buck stops nowhere"

GAC
01-09-2005, 10:56 AM
Maybe I'm naive, but I don't expect the government to do things like this.

Most people like to think and assume this. And most people, including myself, are pretty naive in thinking thus.

"absolute power corrupts absolute" - I firmly believe this because I have a different ideology then you do when it comes to human nature.

I get the impression that you're trying to contend that "corruption" is more aligned to political affiliation - i.e. Republican, in this instance.

I don't think that way at all.

People love authority and power. It's a dangerous combination - especially when one enters the political world within Washington D.C.

You're talking of a world of closed door meetings, secret deals, kickbacks, favors, etc. And all for the sake of securing power and position for oneself.

And I've seen it affect and also destroy both Repubs and Dems.


And I really don't think there's any question that the Bush administration is more corrupt than Clinton's.

How? Not saying either was more corrupt then the other.

What "scandal after scandal" have you seen? I guess it depends on how you define scandal? Are you referrring to scandals that occurred within the private sector, and were exposed during his first term (Enron, etc)? Because if so, then one can hardly contend then that that is the fault of the Bush adminstration. No more then I'd contend that the Terry McAuliffe and World Com, or any other scandals that came to light during Clinton's tenure, were his fault and evidence of corruption within that respectve administration.

For crying out loud. The Clnton's railed about the greed of the 80's and the S&L scandals.... then it was uncovered they, and their friends, were up to their necks in just such a scandal.

"ab****e power corrupts absloute"

Clinton was no worse, or different, then any other poltician I have experienced coming to Washington. He just got caught more often then the others.

Redsfaithful
01-09-2005, 11:09 AM
Bush administration scandals:

This one
Jessica Lynch
Lack of WMD
Yellowcake uranium
Plume
DUI
Ken Lay and Enron (this wasn't nearly as private sector as you think GAC - Lay and Cheney are pretty intertwined)
Rumsfeld auto-signatures
Halliburton and war profiteering
Lying about Medicare reform
Bribes to Rep. Nick Smith for Medicare vote
Abu-Ghraib and torture authorization by Rumsfeld
Cozying up to Chalabi

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I've probably forgotten things.

GAC
01-09-2005, 11:47 AM
Bush administration scandals:

This one
Jessica Lynch
Lack of WMD
Yellowcake uranium
Plume
DUI
Ken Lay and Enron (this wasn't nearly as private sector as you think GAC - Lay and Cheney are pretty intertwined)
Rumsfeld auto-signatures
Halliburton and war profiteering
Lying about Medicare reform
Bribes to Rep. Nick Smith for Medicare vote
Abu-Ghraib and torture authorization by Rumsfeld
Cozying up to Chalabi

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I've probably forgotten things.

I'm sure you could If you define those as "scandals". You could have page after page on every previous administration if we followed your criteria.

Clinton would have three pages alone on all the women, and nanny's that hired ilegal aliens. Oh...those arent scandals, but private matters. :lol:

Rumsfeld not personally signing those letters is a scandal?? Bad judgment maybe. But no scandal.

Jessica Lynch? propaganda by the military brass...yes. But no scandal.

WMD...has this been proven as a scandal? This was never implied by the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission. Why not? I think most people, who have any objectivity at all, saw this as a huge failure on the part of our government and our intelligence gathering community/coordination. But if you are going to say it is a scandal, then you had better indict every politician on both sides who served on the various intelligence committees, saw the same things that this adminstration did, and came to the same conclusions (so says Joe Biden and Joe Leiberman).


Has anyone yet to show any evidence of a connection between Cheney and Haliburton since Cheney resigned to run on the ticket? I know guys like you love to throw out assumptions as all the evidence one needs; but it has never been shown or proven. Especiallly when Haliburton was caught and investigated.

And Bush did punish/fine Haliburton for overcharging the taxpayers.

Question? When Clinton and other adminstrations were handing Haliburton no-bid contracts, do you think they knew that the taxpayers were being over charged/gouged? And do you think thet cared? And if you think they weren't RF, then you are more naive then I have thought.

And it's not just Haliburton that does it. Look at organizations such as Rockwell and thousands of other defense contractors and suppliers. I worked in military supply/requistioning. We, the taxpayers, have ben getting gouged for decades.

And until you show more on the Ken Lay/Bush adminstration, and how this is a scandal directly tied to this administration, then you have no argument. Ken Lay also had influential friends/ties within the Democratic Party also, and gave them quite a bit of money too. ;)

And I have no idea what "DUI" is that you list.

RBA
01-09-2005, 12:50 PM
I'm not going to post all the scnadals the Bush Administrations has been involved in, because I don't think the RedsZone server can handle all that data. :D

I am almost convince that GAC is on the Bush Administration payroll. At least he should be.

Falls City Beer
01-09-2005, 03:20 PM
This ain't your daddy's GOP.

Falls City Beer
01-09-2005, 03:25 PM
"As for the Bush administration being the most crooked in US history, I'm no supporter of the Bushies but as far as crookedness goes, it doesn't even hold a candle to the Clinton administration, the Reagan administration or the Nixon administration."

No offense, but I feel as though I've fallen down the white rabbit hole when I read something like this--up is up, right? down is down?

Just checking.

I'll just have to assume your definition of scandal is far, far different from mine.

pedro
01-09-2005, 03:44 PM
"As for the Bush administration being the most crooked in US history, I'm no supporter of the Bushies but as far as crookedness goes, it doesn't even hold a candle to the Clinton administration, the Reagan administration or the Nixon administration."

No offense, but I feel as though I've fallen down the white rabbit hole when I read something like this--up is up, right? down is down?

Just checking.

I'll just have to assume your definition of scandal is far, far different from mine.


One thing you have to realize is that the GOP has the government controlled right now. During the Reagan, Nixon, and Clinton years one side contolled the house while the other controlled the white house which naturally creates an environment in which one side is shining the spotlite on the other, be that right or wrong. If there was a democratic house right now I think that the amount of "scandal" investigations would easily equal those of the other presidencies you mentioned.

CbusRed
01-09-2005, 05:12 PM
Bush administration scandals:

This one
Jessica Lynch
Lack of WMD
Yellowcake uranium
Plume
DUI
Ken Lay and Enron (this wasn't nearly as private sector as you think GAC - Lay and Cheney are pretty intertwined)
Rumsfeld auto-signatures
Halliburton and war profiteering
Lying about Medicare reform
Bribes to Rep. Nick Smith for Medicare vote
Abu-Ghraib and torture authorization by Rumsfeld
Cozying up to Chalabi

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I've probably forgotten things.

:lol:

Chip R
01-09-2005, 05:29 PM
No offense, but I feel as though I've fallen down the white rabbit hole when I read something like this--up is up, right? down is down?

Just checking.

I'll just have to assume your definition of scandal is far, far different from mine.
Perhaps it is. If you want to see an administration with real scandals, go back about 20 years and then go back about 30 years. I haven't seen any Bush officials being arrested, investigated, jailed or even leaving the administration because of a scandal they were involved in. Closest I can remember was that Homeland Security guy who was going to replace Ridge. Possible Dick Cheney using his influence and connections in funneling business to Haliburton. But that's pretty low on the scandal scale. Now if you are using RBA's definition of scandal, you could say lying about the WMDs is a big one since it led to American soldiers being killed in Iraq. If you think that is a big scandal, that's fine, perhaps it is. But if you use that criteria, then you have to believe that isn't even in the same league as LBJ sending American soldiers to Vietnam because of a trumped up incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. And as long as we are talking about using business connections to get ahead, do a Google search on LBJ and Brown and Root - which is now called Haliburton, Brown and Root. That's right, the same Haliburton that Cheney used to work for. So as crookedness goes, Bush doesn't hold a candle to LBJ, Nixon, Reagan. My point is that governmental corruption isn't just a Republican or Democratic thing. Like GAC said, both parties have done it and I'm sure they will continue to do it. So that's why I am less outraged at this bribing of Williams as others are. Call me a cynic but it didn't come as a surprise to me. And it wouldn't if it were a Democratic administration that did the same thing. One other thing. Save for GAC, no one else is defending the Bushies for doing this. So they either think it's not defensible or they don't think it's a big deal. And they could feel it's both. Perhaps someday there will be an administration that is corruption free. But I wouldn't bet on it because no matter how honest the people at the top are there could always be this one individual who takes advantage of their office.

WVRed
01-09-2005, 05:31 PM
Ever heard the story "The Boy Who Cried Scandal"?

Phoenix
01-09-2005, 05:42 PM
Williams did jeopardize his credibility for taking these payments and I can understand why the employer dropped him. I also don't think it was right for the Administration to pay for his perceived objective opinion.

RBA
01-09-2005, 06:05 PM
Perhaps it is. If you want to see an administration with real scandals, go back about 20 years and then go back about 30 years. I haven't seen any Bush officials being arrested, investigated, jailed or even leaving the administration because of a scandal they were involved in. Closest I can remember was that Homeland Security guy who was going to replace Ridge. Possible Dick Cheney using his influence and connections in funneling business to Haliburton. But that's pretty low on the scandal scale. Now if you are using RBA's definition of scandal, you could say lying about the WMDs is a big one since it led to American soldiers being killed in Iraq. If you think that is a big scandal, that's fine, perhaps it is. But if you use that criteria, then you have to believe that isn't even in the same league as LBJ sending American soldiers to Vietnam because of a trumped up incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. And as long as we are talking about using business connections to get ahead, do a Google search on LBJ and Brown and Root - which is now called Haliburton, Brown and Root. That's right, the same Haliburton that Cheney used to work for. So as crookedness goes, Bush doesn't hold a candle to LBJ, Nixon, Reagan. My point is that governmental corruption isn't just a Republican or Democratic thing. Like GAC said, both parties have done it and I'm sure they will continue to do it. So that's why I am less outraged at this bribing of Williams as others are. Call me a cynic but it didn't come as a surprise to me. And it wouldn't if it were a Democratic administration that did the same thing. One other thing. Save for GAC, no one else is defending the Bushies for doing this. So they either think it's not defensible or they don't think it's a big deal. And they could feel it's both. Perhaps someday there will be an administration that is corruption free. But I wouldn't bet on it because no matter how honest the people at the top are there could always be this one individual who takes advantage of their office.


Have you ever heard of the Wolf guarding the Hen House?

Point is despite all the corruption in the White House, nothing will be done about it becuase the republicans own the executive, judicial, legistrative branches of the government. The Democrats can't get anything out of committee without republican approval. There will be no congressional hearings.

Chip R
01-09-2005, 06:33 PM
Have you ever heard of the Wolf guarding the Hen House?

Point is despite all the corruption in the White House, nothing will be done about it becuase the republicans own the executive, judicial, legistrative branches of the government. The Democrats can't get anything out of committee without republican approval. There will be no congressional hearings.
So the Dems can't bring up any minority investigations? They may be killed in committee but if the Bush Administration is as corrupt as you say it is, something would have started something by now. As for having control of both houses, haven't the Dems been in control of the Senate for at least a couple of years during Bush's first term?

RBA
01-09-2005, 08:49 PM
So the Dems can't bring up any minority investigations? They may be killed in committee but if the Bush Administration is as corrupt as you say it is, something would have started something by now. As for having control of both houses, haven't the Dems been in control of the Senate for at least a couple of years during Bush's first term?


I guess you forget about 9/11, everything Bush and his Administation did in their first 3 years was in the shadow of 9/11. If the Democratic Party would bring anything up they would and WERE accused of being unpatriotic and possibly traitor by the Republicans and the right wing hate radio circuit.

Chip R
01-09-2005, 09:10 PM
I guess you forget about 9/11, everything Bush and his Administation did in their first 3 years was in the shadow of 9/11. If the Democratic Party would bring anything up they would and WERE accused of being unpatriotic and possibly traitor by the Republicans and the right wing hate radio circuit.
Oh yeah. Like they didn't do that during the election.

RBA
01-09-2005, 09:27 PM
Oh yeah. Like they didn't do that during the election.

Correct the Democrats were accused of being unpatriotic during the election. I'm glad you are starting to see the light. :gac:

Chip R
01-09-2005, 09:54 PM
Correct the Democrats were accused of being unpatriotic during the election. I'm glad you are starting to see the light. :gac:
So what would they have had to lose if they started investigations about all this alleged corruption?

RosieRed
01-29-2005, 03:02 PM
Came across this article this morning, from the NYT:

Third Journalist Was Paid to Promote Bush Policies

By ANNE E. KORNBLUT
Published: January 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 - The Bush administration acknowledged on Friday that it had paid a third conservative commentator, and at least two departments said they were conducting internal inquiries to see if other journalists were under government contract. The investigative arm of Congress also formally began an inquiry of its own.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed having hired Michael McManus, who writes a weekly syndicated column and is director of a nonprofit group called Marriage Savers. Mr. McManus was paid $10,000 to help train counselors about marriage, an arrangement first reported in USA Today, but officials said he was paid for his expertise rather than to write columns supporting administration policies.

At the same time, the Government Accountability Office told the Education Department it was investigating a $240,000 contract with the commentator Armstrong Williams that came to light earlier this month, requesting that education officials turn over any paper or video materials related to the case. Another conservative writer, Maggie Gallagher, admitted earlier this week having a $21,500 deal with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Besieged with questions about contracts with outside public relations firms and columnists, officials at the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services said they were conducting their own inquiries and, two days after a demand from President Bush, they promised to stop hiring commentators.

In an e-mail message to his staff, Wade Horn, the assistant secretary for children and families, explicitly banned hiring columnists for the Health and Human Services Department, saying it was "important to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest."

In an interview, Mr. Horn said the line between journalism, commentary and consulting had blurred.

"Thirty years ago, if you were a columnist, you were employed full time by a newspaper most likely, and it was very clear," he said. "With the explosion of media outfits today, there are a lot of people who wear a lot of hats. Where's the line? What if you have your own blog? Are you a journalist?"

A similar message came from officials at the Education Department.

"I am diligently working to get to the bottom of it all," Margaret Spellings, the new education secretary, wrote to two members of the Senate Appropriations Committee who had demanded a full accounting of the contract with Mr. Armstrong.

Ms. Spellings also released a list of contracts the department had with outside public relations firms and media outlets, including Hager Sharp, a public affairs firm, ABC Radio Networks, Bauhaus Media Group, Radio One Inc. and the Corporate Sports Marketing Group. One firm, North American Precis, was given a "contract to develop short syndicated newspaper articles for national distribution informing the public about the National Center for Education Statistics Web site." The list did not show amounts paid.

The contract list showed two separate agreements with Ketchum Inc., which had arranged the contract with Mr. Williams. Although Department of Education officials said they had suspended Ketchum's work on the more than $1 million contract that included hiring Mr. Williams, they said they had not fired the public relations firm altogether, but were instead reviewing all existing agreements.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who has demanded several investigations into the so-called "payola" practices, welcomed the Government Accountability Office inquiry.

"The issue here isn't just whether a journalist violated ethics," Mr. Lautenberg said, "but whether the Bush administration broke the law. If the G.A.O. finds that the payment to Armstrong Williams was an illegal use of taxpayer dollars, then the money should be returned and Education Department officials should be held accountable."

Chip R
01-29-2005, 03:41 PM
That makes sense that more than one person was "on the take." After all, if you are going to pay one, why not pay several? Why leave these things to chance? It's kind of curious they paid Williams so much and the other two got relatively little in comparison. I guess Education's budget is much larger than HHS.

WVRedsFan
01-29-2005, 08:06 PM
This ain't your daddy's GOP.
That's true. Short story...

A friend of mine has been a loyal Republican for what amounts to 40 years. He served on the county committee and the state committee, one or the other for years. He's helped elect governors, congressmen, and other Republicans over the years.

He called me a month or so ago to tell me he had done something that "probably is making my parents spin in their graves. I changed my registration today."

Why? He says he saw enough of the Bush people in the 2000 election to almost convine him, but this election sealed the deal. No respect for people's rights and the cuddling up to the religious right, not to mention the election laws they shattered in certain area of the state.

It certainly wasn't his father's GOP.

Falls City Beer
01-29-2005, 08:16 PM
That's true. Short story...

A friend of mine has been a loyal Republican for what amounts to 40 years. He served on the county committee and the state committee, one or the other for years. He's helped elect governors, congressmen, and other Republicans over the years.

He called me a month or so ago to tell me he had done something that "probably is making my parents spin in their graves. I changed my registration today."

Why? He says he saw enough of the Bush people in the 2000 election to almost convine him, but this election sealed the deal. No respect for people's rights and the cuddling up to the religious right, not to mention the election laws they shattered in certain area of the state.

It certainly wasn't his father's GOP.


My father was a pretty moderate Democrat all his life, a Truman/Kennedy/Johnson moreso than a Roosevelt Dem, was able to have civil and only occasionally heated tiffs with his Republican neighbors, largely Eisenhower Republicans. My father died two years ago, but he said, in 2000, he'd never seen more "voter remorse" on the part of his Republican neighbors (those who voted for Bush) in his life. Not even close.