Friday, September 30, 2005

More Dirt On Ronnie Earle

As if there wasn't enough controversy swirling around Tom Delay's indictment, consider this story from the AP:

The Texas district attorney who brought the criminal case against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay gave a movie crew behind-the-scenes access during the investigation - proof, DeLay's defenders say, that the D.A. is trying to make headlines for himself.

"It proves that Ronnie Earle's determination to move ahead with a baseless case was scripted from day one," said Ben Porritt, DeLay's spokesman in Washington...

Long before the indictment, DeLay defenders had said Earle, a Democrat, was on a witch hunt and was seeking national publicity with his campaign-finance probe. Earle made appearances in connection with the investigation on "60 Minutes" and PBS'"NOW" and has been profiled by Time and Esquire magazines and other news organizations.

The access given to the filmmakers "clearly shows Ronnie Earle had ulterior motives. Not only was he out for partisan gain, he was out to promote himself as well," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The objective of Ronnie Earle is exposed here for what it is: a cheap opportunistic attempt at getting national attention and recognition.

As I suggested on Wednesday, head over to Captain's Quarters for a comprehensive post on Delay's indictment, including more background information on Ronnie Earle.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Judith Miller Walks

New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released from prison late today. She will testify tomorrow in front of a grand jury that is investigating whether any government officials illegally leaked the name of the CIA's Valerie Plame to the media.

Miller has been in jail since July 6 after refusing to testify before the grand jury, saying that she had sworn an oath of source anonymity. However, after a phone conversation with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, Miller decided she would testify.

The perplexing aspect of all of this is that Miller never actually wrote a story about Plamegate, yet still maintained that she had to keep her sources secret. This was despite the fact that the name of her primary source, Scooter, was long ago revealed to the public, and that Scooter has publicly released her from her pledge of anonymity.

In other words, Miller went to jail for the principle of source anonymity, yet gave in and decided to talk only weeks before she would have been released when the grand jury ends in October. Very strange.

In any regard, let us not forget the juiciest part of this story, as Power Line reminds us:

The real story here is about [Valerie Plame's] husband Joe Wilson, who, at his wife's instigation, was sent on a diplomatic mission to Niger for which he was ill-suited, and who then lied about his own findings there in a New York Times op-ed, for the purpose of damaging President Bush politically. Joe Wilson is one of the great scoundrels of recent times, but you wouldn't know it unless you are a regular reader of this or a handful of other sites. If you search our site for "Joe Wilson" or "Joseph Wilson," you will find a link to the Congressional report that concluded that Wilson is a liar.

The substantive aspects of this story, however, have been completely lost in the media love-fest with Valerie Plame.

Well said.

Roberts Confirmed

John Roberts won confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States this morning. The vote was 78-22. All 55 of the Senate Republicans voted for confirmation, and the Democrats split evenly with 22 voting for and 22 voting against confirmation.

Confirm Them has a list of who voted which way. Note the names of those voting against Roberts, they are essentially the leadership of the Democratic party. If their judgement causes them to vote against confirming someone as qualified, even-tempered, and accomplished as John Roberts, it should raise concern about how the Democrats reason in general.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Blogosphere Must Reads For Today

Tom Delay was indicted today by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle, a hyper-partisan DA with a history of abusing his office. Go to Captain's Quarters to know all there is to know about the indictment, Earle, how the MSM will cover the story, and all the other significant details.

As more and more information begins to emerge about MSM negligence in reporting Katrina, one wonders how we can find their reporting on other issues (such as Iraq) credible. Go to Hugh Hewitt for a great post discussing the failures of old journalism as well as CBS' attempts to join the modern era with it's "Journo-Blog."

The Washington Post is catching up with the Zarqawi story. Austin Bay presents the key graphs and offers some good links for more on the situation.

For great coverage of the war on the ground in Iraq read Michael Yon's posts about his encounters with the "Deuce Four." Yon's coverage is just about as "hands on" as you can get, and you won't find more accurate reporting on what is happening in Iraq.

With the confirmation of Roberts scheduled for tomorrow morning, we begin to look forward to the next SCOTUS nominee. Wizbang! blog has a fairly comprehensive overview of all the latest gossip from all the big names about who the president is going to choose.

Finally, the investigation of Chuck Schumer and his role in illegalling obtaining information about Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele continues. Michelle Malkin presents the latest, and notes that despite the importance of this story, the New York Times has yet to report it. But we dare not call the NY Times biased for neglecting to report the crimes of a powerful Democrat.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Judicial Update

The Roberts vote is scheduled for 11:30am in the Senate on Thursday. With solid Republican support, and division among Democrats, especially with the 7 Dems who are part of the 14 senator judicial compromise earlier this summer, I expect Roberts to be easily confirmed. Captain's Quarters assesses the situation facing the Democrats and the president with the impending confirmation of Roberts.

ConfirmThem thinks that Miguel Estrada could be the nominee.

RedState has a good review of what we know and don't know regarding the next SCOTUS nomiee.

But I'm still in agreement with Hugh Hewitt, and I'd rather see Luttig or McConnell appointed to the bench. Whatever the choice is, the Democrats have not put themselves in any sort of position of contention, and the new SCOTUS nominee shouldn't have a terrible problem with confirmation.

More On The Weekend's Anti-War Protest

In case you had forgotten, PoliPundit reminds us of ANSWER's communist ties, because the MSM isn't reporting it. The background of ANSWER isn't getting mainstream publicity for a few reasons. First, the agenda journalists of the MSM realize that if the story gets press, any support for the protests or ANSWER's particular brand of the anti-war movement will be lost. Thus, the vast majority of the American public hears nothing of ANSWER's support for oppressive regimes. Second, as Christopher Hitchens points out, some of the MSM might not even know the necessary background information about ANSWER. New York Times reporter Michael Janofsky classified ANSWER a group that "embodies a wide range of progressive political objectives." Says Hitchens:

I suppose that it is possible that he has never before come across "International ANSWER," the group run by the "Worker's World" party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda. Quite a "wide range of progressive political objectives" indeed.

Another story of the protest that won't get any press is found at Power Line, which tells us about a U.S. Marine who recently returned from Iraq, and his response to the protesters.

Also, Mudville Gazette weighs in on the protest, with some observations about the people who showed up at the rallies.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane Updates

The damage assessment for Hurricane Rita begins as the weather clears and rescue workers begin to move in. The official prediction out of Texas is that Rita caused about $8 billion worth of damage. With only 9 people reported dead so far, the human toll of Rita, thankfully, is considerably less than that of Hurricane Katrina. When evacution efforts are properly executed and local and state government officials do their jobs, lives are saved. The oil refineries also escaped major devastation, though they did not go unscathed. It is estimated that Rita will cost the U.S. 800,000 barrels a day in production, on top of the 900,000 barrels a day lost due to Katrina. In other words, while gas prices won't skyrocket, they could go above $3 a gallon again for a while.

Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is again trying to pursue his efforts to reopen the Big Easy so that residents can help rebuild the city.

On the other hand, it has surfaced that a lot of the reports of rapes and murders in New Orleans after Katrina never actually happened. Michelle Malkin investigates, and John Hinderaker of Powerline has some questions for the MSM.

Supreme Court rumors are again circulating after Bush, when asked about his next nominee, said "I will pick a person who can do the job. But I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country." If this hint at diversity implies the nomination of a woman or a minority, the president could go for a Garza or a Janice Rogers Brown. However, I still a Luttig or a McConnell would be a better choice. Check out the Supreme Court "Shorlist" for the most plausible nominees.

One reason the president's nomination could be greatly important is that the Bush administration is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate a national ban on a type of late-term abortion. This would likely be a big case for defining how the Court will look with its newly appointed members.

Finally, Cindy Sheehan was arrested today. She is also upset that the Hurricane got more coverage than her anti-war rally, saying that she couldn't understand how "a little wind and rain" could get so much attention. I wonder how the residents of homes and cities destroyed by Rita and Katrina feel about that statement. There are more important things in this world than Cindy Sheehan, and she apparently doesn't see that.

Go to reliefconnections.org and help out those afflicted by Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina.