"RUMOR ALERT. Former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl has told the House ethics committee about two Republican House members who had sex with congressional pages, and neither man is page-chaser Mark Foley. That's the rumor circulating in Washington. One of these Republicans supposedly had sex with a male page; one with a female page. The names of the implicated Republicans are on the rumor-mill, but I'm not going to disclose these identities."* wapo ed:
"A devastating report -- actually, the devastating executive summary of a still-secret report -- by a special counsel to the House intelligence committee found that the corrupt congressman steered between $70 million and $80 million in government spending to defense contractors Mitchell J. Wade and Brent R. Wilkes. The public deserves to see the full 23-page unclassified version of the report, which has been ready since July. Even more, it deserves to know whether any of those complicit in Mr. Cunningham's misdeeds will be disciplined and how such abuses will be prevented in the future.* AP:
This is an outrageous dereliction of duty. So what is the response of Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.)? Mr. Hoekstra has made a useful change in requiring that committee members' earmarks be approved by the chairman and the ranking Democrat, Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.). But he sounds more unhappy with the move by Ms. Harman to unilaterally release the report than about the findings themselves. Indeed, Mr. Hoekstra said in a news release that "it is reassuring that the committee's independent counsel has found no instances of wrongdoing on the part of other committee members or the committee's staff." If Mr. Hoekstra considers this report reassuring, you have to wonder: What is it that might raise a red flag for him?"
"A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election season debate over lobbyists' White House access.* amy:
The Washington Post asked for two years of White House visitor logs in June but the Secret Service refused to process the request. Government attorneys called it "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency."
U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled Wednesday that, by the end of next week, the Secret Service must produce the records or at least identity them and justify why they are being withheld."
"NYT Exec Editor Says Media Failed Public Before Iraq War
In media news, the executive editor of the New York Times has admitted he believes the American news media failed the public in the lead-up to the Iraq war. In a speech at the University of Michigan Monday, Bill Keller said: "The American media let the country down in its reporting before the war.'' The New York Times was widely criticized for publishing a series of articles that un-critically adopted the Bush administration’s argument that Saddam Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction."
"Chief Nuremberg Interpreter Criticizes Bush Admin Over Refusal to Join ICC* ezra:
The Bush administration’s refusal to join the International Criminal Court is coming under criticism from the Chief US interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. Richard Sonnenfeldt oversaw the translations during interrogations and questioning of several Nazi war criminals. He spoke Tuesday in New York.Richard Sonnenfeldt: "I personally think that is most regrettable because we took the leading part in pioneering and establishing world law, crimes, war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity in Nuremberg and yet when the only world court was established we did not accede to it.""
"In other words, for the right's big funders, channeling their money to the defense of free market capitalism was a natural, even selfish, thing to do. John Olin reportedly said he saw his role as "using my fortune to protect the system that made it possible." For the left, though, it would be quite the opposite: It would mean recognizing the inequities in the system that aided them, and possibly even in the precise elements or industries that enriched them. And psychologically, it's much harder to use your wealth in a way that implicitly disapproves of its existence (or at least size, or relative rarity) rather than to defend, promote, and pretend that this track is open to everyone, if only we make the sort of policy changes that benefit, well, you and people like you."
* via TL:
"Koering is the lone openly gay GOP state legislator -- out of 7,382 seats nationwide."