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Thread: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

  1. #31
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
    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.

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  3. #32
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    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.
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  4. #33
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Ever heard the story "The Boy Who Cried Scandal"?
    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    I've read books about sparkling vampires who walk around in the daylight that were written better than a John Fay article.

  5. #34
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    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.

  6. #35
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    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.

  7. #36
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    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?
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    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.

  9. #38
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    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.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    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:

  11. #40
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    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?
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  12. #41
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    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."

  13. #42
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    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.
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  14. #43
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    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.
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  15. #44
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    Re: Conservative columnist dropped after receiving government payments

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan
    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.


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