The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, July 12, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

File Under: Why Should We Care? [*]
Why should we care what Second Lady Lynne Cheney thinks about anything, let alone what she thinks about amending the Constitution of the United States of America? These always carefully timed stories of wifely Republican disagreements, let alone the daughterly Republican disagreements became trite and tiresome more than twenty-five years ago.

Which Kind of Liar: Congenital or Pathological? [*]
Whenever the term “Bush Republicans” comes up in conversation (and it really does), I reach for my wallet. The junta’s latest trial balloon has me -- or should I say them reaching for my ballot box. The Associated Press is out with this story:

The head of a new federal voting commission suggested to congressional leaders Monday that there should be a process for canceling or rescheduling an election interrupted by terrorism, but national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said no such plan is being considered by the administration.

Yeah, right, Rice says so. The only person is the Bush administration with less credibility than Rice is Vice President Dick Cheney.

Swing State Watch [*]
Huh. I didn’t know Idaho was a swing state. From the Associated Press:

The Bush administration Monday proposed lifting a national rule that closed remote areas of national forests to logging, instead saying states should decide whether to keep a ban on road-building in those areas. […]

Under the proposal, governors would have to petition the federal government to block road-building in remote areas of national forests. Allowing roads to be built would open the areas to logging.

The rule replaces one adopted by the Clinton administration and still under challenge in federal court. It covers about 58 million of the 191 million acres of national forest nationwide.

The Bush administration heralded the plan as an end to the legal uncertainty overshadowing tens of millions of acres of America’s backcountry.

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, called the administration proposal the biggest giveaway to the timber industry in history, arguing that many western states would likely press for development to help struggling rural economies.

Timing is everything: “The new plan will be published in the Federal Register this week, and will go into effect after a 60-day comment period extending into September and subsequent departmental review,” the A.P. reports.

Reckoning DeLay
The Washington Post lays out to latest on par-for-the course Texas Republican Tom DeLay (“DeLay’s Corporate Fundraising Investigated,” by R. Jeffrey Smith):

DeLay’s fundraising efforts helped produce a stunning political success. Republicans took control of the Texas House for the first time in 130 years, Texas congressional districts were redrawn to send more Republican lawmakers to Washington, and DeLay -- now the House majority leader -- is more likely to retain his powerful post after the November election, according to political experts.

But DeLay and his colleagues also face serious legal challenges: Texas law bars corporate financing of state legislature campaigns, and a Texas criminal prosecutor is in the 20th month of digging through records of the fundraising, looking at possible violations of at least three statutes. A parallel lawsuit, also in the midst of discovery, is seeking $1.5 million in damages from DeLay’s aides and one of his political action committees -- Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) -- on behalf of four defeated Democratic lawmakers.

DeLay has not been named as a target of the investigation. The prosecutor has said he is focused on the activities of political action committees linked to DeLay and the redistricting effort. But officials in the prosecutor’s office say anyone involved in raising, collecting or spending the corporate money, who also knew of its intended use in Texas elections, is vulnerable.

For background, see excellent long-running commentary on the TRMPAC scam and other sleaze, see Texas Scandal Blog, published by Austin-based Campaigns for Texas.

Times Square Ad Controversy
The New York Times today reports “Antiwar Group Says Its Ad Is Rejected,” by Raymond Hernandez and Andrea Elliott) that members of Project Billboard, an antiwar group, claim Clear Channel Communications Inc., a media megalopolis with close ties to Republicans, have rejected an advertisement proposed for in New York’s Times Square during the Republican Party the billboard. Clear Channel says the billboard requires the approval of the New York Marquis, a Marriott hotel.

See also “Bay Area Group in Flap Over Anti-war Billboard,” by Demian Bulwa and Leah Garchik, the San Francisco. )

Terror Alert Status Photos Down
Access to and publication of the terror alert status photos and other images at Rittenhouse has been interrupted temporarily. Photos will return as soon as practicable.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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