Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's finally irony-meter is broken

The books that tell the dirty little secrets about the Bush administration and the John Stuart Mill/ Utilitarian Machiavellian, win-at-any-cost, depraved and debased nature of the modern incarnation of the GOP.

Funny enough - they are the only books about the GOP that are selling - Karl Rove made the rounds trying to sell a book idea with a high-powered rep and got no takers. Ann-thrax Coulter-geist went to the well one too many times, and her latest book has totally tanked. Total sales have not even risen to the level that they could be called anemic. Even the choir has told the preacher to shut the hell up already.

The one that I already ordered an advance copy of that doesn't even publish until next month is How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative, which tells the story of the 2002 New Hampshire Senate Race. The book is a tell-all by the operative who committed the election tampering. He believes that the decision to tamper with the dead-heat election reaches high up in the national party, and that when it unraveled they conspired to hang it all on him.

I don't have a copy yet - but McClatchy got hold of one:
The 2002 New Hampshire Senate race, in which GOP Rep. John Sununu edged Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen by 19,000 votes, was among several targeted by Republicans seeking to win control of the U.S. Senate.

Raymond said those who've tried to make him the fall guy for the New Hampshire scheme failed to recognize that e-mails, phone records and other evidence documented the complicity of a top state GOP official and the Republican National Committee's northeast regional director.

Both men were later convicted of charges related to the phone harassment, along with Raymond and an Idaho phone bank operator. Defense lawyers have since won a retrial for James Tobin, the former regional director for both the RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

A lawyer for Tobin didn't respond to phone messages.

Various GOP organizations have paid high-powered Washington lawyers in excess of $6 million to defend Tobin, and to fight a civil law suit brought against the GOP by the Democratic Party as a result of the election tampering. The cash outlay alone gives the impression that it might go higher. "Any tactic that didn't pass the smell test would never see the light of day without, — at the very least, the approval of an RNC attorney," he wrote.

A lawyer representing the Democratic party said that phone records show that Tobin called Rove's political shop in the White House a total of 22 times in the 24 hours before and after the jamming. When asked about the calls under oath, Tobin exercised his fifth amendment right against self incrimination.
Raymond said it was Tobin who first phoned him 2 1/2 weeks before the election and asked if he could jam Democrats' phone lines, connecting him with Charles McGee, the executive director of the New Hampshire GOP.

However, he said, when he phoned Tobin after Sununu's 19,000-vote election victory to tell him that a Manchester, N.H., police officer was looking into the scheme, Tobin responded, "I don't know what you're talking about."

Raymond said he was seething with anger in the ensuing weeks as he read news reports of McGee denying knowledge of the scheme.

In early 2003, Raymond recalled, the state GOP wrote to demand its money back.

"They were going to throw me under the bus," Raymond wrote, "but first they wanted to check my pockets to see if there was any cash there."

Raymond and McGee pleaded guilty to harassment charges. Their cooperation with investigators led to Tobin's conviction.

Raymond predicted that political dirty tricks "will only get tougher, nastier, more brutal" in coming elections.

As for his three months in a Pennsylvania prison, he wrote: "After 10 full years inside the GOP, 90 days among honest criminals wasn't really any great ordeal."

And this is what broke my irony-meter...

You might recall that a while back I was quite obsessed with the Department of Justice scandal, and specifically Bradley Schlozman, who blew into my town and started tampering with elections that I participated in. Yeah. I kinda took it personal...

Well! File this one under the heading "It all Depends on Whose Ox is Getting Gored"!!!

While in Kansas City the U.S. Attorney promptly got down to business and made with the filing of specious suits on flimsy evidence; in New Hampshire, the DoJ delayed prosecuting Tobin until after the 2004 election, so they could protect top GOP operatives from the scandal until the votes were cast and counted! Federal prosecutor Todd Hinnen was hindered from bringing charges against the New Hampshire Republican Party by officials at main Justice. Not only that, but weeks before the election he was told to ask a judge to halt action temporarily in a Democratic Party civil suit against the GOP so that it wouldn't hurt the investigation, even though Hinnen had expressed no concerns that it would.

Tobin's lawyer, a former Pentagon general counsel named Terry O'Donnell was in contact with senior DoJ officials even prior to Tobin's indictment.

The House Judiciary Committee started investigating the role of partisan politics in the investigation and indictment in October.
An official with detailed knowledge of the investigation into the 2002 Election-Day scheme said the inquiry sputtered for months after a prosecutor sought approval to indict James Tobin, the northeast regional coordinator for the Republican National Committee.

The phone-jamming operation was aimed at preventing New Hampshire Democrats from rounding up voters in the close U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. John Sununu and Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Sununu's 19,000-vote victory helped the GOP regain control of the Senate.

While there were guilty pleas in the New Hampshire investigation prior to the 2004 presidential election, involvement of the national GOP wasn't confirmed. A Manchester, N.H., policeman quickly traced the jamming to Republican political operatives in 2003 and forwarded the evidence to the Justice Department for what ordinarily would be a straightforward case.

However, the official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told McClatchy that senior Justice Department officials slowed the inquiry. The official didn't know whether top department officials ordered the delays or what motivated those decisions.

Is anyone else just simply non-fucking-plussed by this point? Holy chocolate-covered Christ, how god-damned far does it all go? Is there a single aspect of public life that these fiends haven't tainted?

Yeah, I can't think of one either...But our Democratic "leaders" still won't put impeachment back on the table?

What? The? Fuck.?

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