This Focus on the Family Internet Predator Got None

Well, the Focus on the Family people are SHOCKED that an employee of the organization was caught trying to coax an underage girl into sex. Shocked I say! but, wait. There’s a gay wedding! Gay marriage BAD, BAD!

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Heck, and he ain’t going to market anytime soon. I’m thinking Juan Alberto Ovalle is going to jail. The Colorado Independent has the story, but I’ll quote from the Denver Post:

A man who narrates Christian CDs has been arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to arrange sex with a teenage girl.

Juan Alberto Ovalle, 42, thought he was corresponding with a girl under the age of 15, but instead it was undercover officers with the Jefferson County district attorney’s office, according to court documents.

Ovalle works for a Spanish-speaking arm of the Colorado Springs Christian group Focus on the Family and narrates Biblical text for CDs, according to Internet websites that sell the products.

“We’re shocked,” said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman with Focus.

Schneeberger said the group “is beginning its own process of looking into the allegations” and that it “will work with authorities” if asked.

It should be noted that there may be other internet predators out there pretending to read the Bible and live upstanding lives. Heck, there might even be internet predators in Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family. We just don’t know. But we should be encourage the work of the Colorado Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations Unit.

Oh, if you want a copy of Mr. Ovalle reading the Bible, you can get a copy here from Always happy to give good shopping tips to readers.

Monday, April 6th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Grand Jury Probing Latest GOP Culture of Corruption Suspect

More Republican corrupt politicians is always an entertaining thing, though in Florida this case might end up as small potatos. Or oranges, or whatever. Still, it will likely harm the Republican brand in the state as they fight to keep the Mel Martinez Senate seat in two years.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The GOP Culture of Corruption Grand Jury target is Ray Sansom, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He’s accused of funnelling money to Northwest Florida State College while he held a $110,000 job at the same institution. The original story broke on January 7th in Florida Today, and we reported about it then. But there’s new developments today, as the Grand Jury has decided to investigate. From the Miami Herald:

A grand jury decided Monday to look into allegations that House Speaker Ray Sansom abused his position by taking a six-figure job at his hometown college.

“From this point on, we’ll be calling witnesses,” State Attorney Willie Meggs said at the Leon County Courthouse. “I don’t know what we’re going to find until we look. We will get the people who have this information and present it to the grand jury.”

Sansom, R-Destin, took the unadvertised $110,000 a year job at Northwest Florida State College on the same day he became speaker of the House two months ago.

Sansom, though he denies all charges, has lawyered up, according to the Miami Herald Blog. Florida tends to be a pretty corrupt state, so maybe he won’t be charged or convicted, but this is going to play badly for the Republicans as they prepare to take the Senate seat abandoned by Mel Martinez.

Monday, January 26th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

When Does Dick Cheney Become Merely an Historical Footnote?

Dick Cheney is whining about how Bush didn’t pardon Scooter Libby, calling the Libby conviction a “miscarriage of justice.” The real injustice here is that anyone other than historians are puclishing any of Cheney’s words. Would that Cheney went the way of the Evans-Novak Report, which ceases publication next week.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Dick Cheney is out of office, and already an ugly footnote in history, a man who learned dirty politics and a lust for power early, and then put those values into practice over the last eight years. American history will come to see Dick Cheney as arrogant and as an enemy of the constitution. But for now the media is covering everything Dick Cheney says, though he’s only talking to the few people who are friendly to him for the moment, like William Kristol at the Weekly Standard. So what’s Dick Cheney whining about now? He’s whining that George Bush didn’t give Scooter Libby a pardon. Here’s the scoop from CNNPolitics:

Former President George Bush should have pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney said after stepping down as vice president this week.

“He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush’s decision,” Cheney told Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative Washington magazine.

Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the revelation that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. Bush commuted the sentence, which he called “excessive.” But he did not pardon Libby, much to the aggravation of many influential conservatives.

My view is that Cheney is simply a greedy mother who wants everything his way. Cheney orchestrated the exposure of a CIA agent as an instrument for him to gain politically. Everyone knows that is shameful. Libby got caught lying, and in this country lying to authorities has consequences. Well, Libby didn’t have to pay those consequences because Bush commuted his sentence. Sucks, but what are we going to do. Now Cheney whines because Bush didn’t give Scooter a full pardon?

I suggest Cheney go whine to historians or something. Better yet, go whine to Bob Novak, the big mouth who published the story exposing CIA agent Valerie Plame. Then Cheney will get what he deserves, absolutely zero press, because the Evans-Novak Report is shutting down. There’s something poetic about that timing, just three days into the transformative Presidency of Barack Obama.

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Alberto Gonzales Can’t Find a Job, Whines

Alberto Gonzlaes has decided to write a book. It will consist of several hundred blank pages, as he simply doesn’™t recall much of what he did during his tenure in the Bush Administration. What is pitiful is that Gonzales compares himself to victims of the War on Terror, because the Senate picked on him, I suppose. Shameful and pitiful.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Republicans have been unable or unwilling to protect their own, and have not found a nice, cushy job for amnesiac and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Poor Alberto Gonzales. He’™s whining to the Wall Street Journal about his treatment on Captial Hill and et cetera, and has now decided to write a tell all book. (OK, the jokes about how he could possibly write a book if he ‘œcan’™t recall’ are cheap, if accurate.) Gonzales, famous for tracking down John Ashcroft in order to justify violating the constitution with the NSA domestic surveillance program, is now whining because, as a lawyer charged with knowing the law, he’™s got a track record of not recalling how he violated the constitution. But the whiney complaints are good reading, at least when in a Wall Street Journal blog:

Mr. Gonzales has been portrayed by critics both as unqualified for his position and instrumental in laying the groundwork for the administration’™s ‘œwar on terror.’ He was pilloried by Congress in a manner not usually directed toward cabinet officials.

‘œWhat is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?’ he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that ‘œfor some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.’

This is pretty much the most clueless statement I can imagine. The treatment Gonzales received concerned the program of politicizing the department he was in charge of, the Department of Justice. It came after a string of answers which showed Gonzales either didn’™t know at all what was happening in his own DOJ, or was purposely misleading Senators with a string of ‘œI do not recall’ answers. Gonzales now doesn’™t just fail to recall, he fails to understand the enormity of his incometencies. Look for no responsibility taken in this book.

Worse here is that Gonzales compares himself to the real victims in the War on Terror, the men and women who died on 9/11, the soldiers who died because of Bush’™s policies, the tens of thousands of Iraqi dead. . . those are victims of the ‘œWar on Terror.’ Mr. Gonzales is at worst complicit in some of those deaths in that he helped justify some ugly policies. At best, Gonzales is merely a bumbling incompetent, and thus his is not a tragic story. Tragedy requires one fall from great heights, after all, and while Gonzales’™ role in the Bush Administration was a high-ranking one, it was still a role in the failed and incompetent Bush Administration.

The interview with the WSJ is a bit pitiful and self-serving, of course. Gonzales is a Republican, after all. Here’™s another excerpt:

Among other things, Mr. Gonzales said Tuesday that he didn’™t play a central role in drafting the widely criticized legal opinions that allowed the Central Intelligence Agency to use aggressive interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects and expanded the president’™s power to hold ‘œunlawful combatants’ and terrorism suspects indefinitely. He also said he told the truth to Congress about a classified eavesdropping program authorized by the president, and admitted to making mistakes in handling the U.S. attorney firings while maintaining that he made the right decisions. He says that while he bears responsibility as former Attorney General that ‘œdoesn’™t absolve other individuals of responsibility.’

Mr. Gonzales, 53 years old, doesn’™t have a publisher for his book. He said he is writing it if only ‘œfor my sons, so at least they know the story.’

This last bit seems a bit poignant. Gonzales gives excuses about his behavior concerning the NSA program and the torture policies of the Bush Administration, and then cops a little responsibility about the US Attorney scandal. I’™m surprised he admits to anything, really. This guy is universally considered a liar and an incompetent, after all. But it is poignant because it appears Gonzales knows that the only ones he can convince about his good name and reputation are his own sons. How far he has fallen.

Let’™s not let Alberto Gonzales off the hook, though. He was a lawyer with a degree from Harvard when he was hired by President Bush. He’™d worked for Bush in Texas, so likely knew what he was getting himself in for. There are no excuses for the damage he did to our constitution, and while Alberto Gonzales’™ sons may indeed believe his accounts, it is unlikely anyone else will. I’™m just wondering where the man finds a publisher who will touch the book.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 by Richard Blair |

Katherine Harris and Another Steaming Cup of GOP Culture of Corruption

The gift that keeps on giving is the culture of corruption Karl rove, George Bush and the GOP built over the last 20 years or so. Mitchell Wade is about to be sentenced, and there’™s some information in the documents related to his sentencing that indicates Katherine Harris and a couple others may be the next targets. Isn’™t that sweet?

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The sentencing memorandum on behalf of Mitchell Wade is in, and there’™s some indications that he’™s told some stories about yet more Republican office holders who accepted illegal campaign contributions. Among those office holders is Katherine Harris, she of the Florida vote recount that was so pivotal to giving us the failure that is George Bush in 2000. Seth Hettena has the story, as does Politico. Here’™s a bit from Seth:

Mitchell Wade, the man who bribed Randy ‘œDuke’ Cunningham and then did much to speed the congressman’™s spectacular fall, is asking a judge to sentence him to a year of home detention for all the help he provided the government. Prosecutors don’™t dispute that Wade was helpful, but they believe that four years in prison is more appropriate for $1.8 million in bribes.

Would Cunningham ultimately have been convicted without Wade? Probably, but Wade made it happen much, much faster. He was debriefed 23 times by government investigators and supplied them a searchable electronic database of 150,000 documents, including the infamous ‘œbribe menu.’ And Wade’™s cooperation didn’™t stop with Cunningham. He provided damaging evidence against several others, including his testimony at the bribery trial of his former boss, Brent Wilkes, who’™s now serving time in prison.

A 42-page sentencing memo filed by Wade’™s attorneys says he aided the government in its investigation ‘œof at least five other members of Congress’ who were under investigation for ‘œcorruption similar to that of Mr. Cunningham.’ These no doubt include Virgil Goode and Katherine ‘œPink Sugar’ Harris. Wade wanted to open facilities in their districts and made $78,000 in ‘œstraw’ contributions to grease the wheels. Neither Harris nor Goode has been charged with wrongdoing.

Prosecutors drop tantalizing hints about an even bigger, ongoing investigation. Wade was debriefed in 2006 and provided ‘œmoderately useful’ background information in another ‘œlarge and important corruption investigation’ that also has not yet resulted in any charges.

‘œLarge and important corruption investigation?’ Man, this Duke Cunningham, Wilkes, Wade thing is the gift that keeps on giving. Sure, we all expect that there will be Republicans who escape the culture of corruption web they wove, but I’™m sure we’™re all hoping Katherine Haqrris gets caught in this one. This would be true justice in pursuit of voter fraud, eh?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

House Judiciary Panel Cites Karl Rove for Contempt of Congress

The House Judiciary Committee voted this morning to hold Karl Rove in contempt of congress. Big deal. The entire Bush administration has held congress in contempt for the past seven years. And there is no intent on the part of the House to actually, you know, enforce the citation. So what’™s the point?



So what? [/cheney]

The Bush administration has held congress in extreme contempt for the past seven-plus years. For five of those years, it didn’™t much matter. The past two years haven’™t made much of a difference either.

So, Conyer’™s committee cites Karl Rove for contempt of congress because he wouldn’™t comply with a subpoena, claiming ‘œexecutive privilege’. And now, the full House must vote on the citation, at least if that isn’™t off of Speaker Pelosi’™s table, too.

Riddle me this: what difference does it make? Are they gonna send the sheriff to Fox News headquarters in New York to pick up Rove prior to his next appearance on the set? Not a chance. Send a strongly worded letter to his lawyer? Probably. The bottom line is that nothing is going to happen, and in fact, the GOP members of the committee got it mostly correct:

It’™s all political theater. Quit wasting time and taxpayer dollars with stupid stuff** like this that the Democratic Party congressional leadership has absolutely no compunction (or apparently, ability) to back up with action.

** I’™m being snarky, of course. Contempt of congress is not ‘œstupid stuff’; it’™s really a pretty serious charge. But it’™s thoroughly meaningless when there’™s no intent for (or expectation of) enforcement action.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

Scott McClellan: What If It’s All a Ruse?

Could Scott McClellan ‘™s book, and the apparent outrage from his former colleagues, be an elaborate GOP ruse, staged in order to bolster McCain’™s (and the GOP’™s) message of bipartisanship? The repetition of some curious phrases from McClellan makes one wonder. McClellan was a true believer. True believers don’™t turn on the cult. Think about it’¦


Watching Scott McClellan on Countdown last night, a frightening thought struck me. What if his book, and the kerfluffle around the book, is simply more psyops from the GOP? Here’™s an example of what I mean:

In the interview with Olbermann, former Minister of Propaganda McClellan invoked the term ‘œpermanent campaign’ about 10 times to describe how he ostensibly feels about the hyper-partisan mindset in Washington, D.C., and how the bunker mentality of the Bush administration has evolved over the past 8 years.

It occurred to me that one of the selling points of the McCain campaign has been (and will continue to be) John McCain’™s ‘œmaverickness’ and willingness to reach across the political divide to get things done.

Let’™s be honest, there are few revelations in McClellan’™s book that appear to be new, at least to anyone who’™s been paying the least bit of attention during the course of the Bush regime’™s dismantlement of the American dream (more on that in a future post). Mostly, what McClellan relates is no more than insider confirmation of incidents and hubris that for the most part is already in the public domain.

So, could McClellan’™s book, and all of the apparent outrage from McClellan’™s former colleagues, be an elaborate GOP ruse, staged in order to bolster McCain’™s (and the GOP’™s) message of bipartisanship? As I listened to Olbermann’™s interview, it was almost like McClellan was utilizing the time tested GOP strategy of repeating focus-grouped phrases (such as ‘œpermanent campaign’). As the interview progressed, the words he was using started sounding like he was reading from a Frank Luntz talking points script.

Are McClellan’™s words (and indeed, the book itself) a well-calculated psyops move by the GOP to put further distance between the party and George Bush? Let’™s not forget that Scott McClellan was a true believer in the Bush deity. He didn’™t just drink the Texas koolaid, he power chugged it from a firehose. True believers do strange things for their godheads ‘” such as creating the illusion of throwing themselves under the proverbial bus ‘” for the greater good of the cult. Just think about Scooter Libby for a moment. Or Joseph Goebbels.

As we’™ve discovered over the past 8 years, in the Bush house of mirrors, any illusion is possible. Don’™t believe a thing that you read or hear right now. As I noted before, anyone who harbors a present (or past) association with this criminal regime is at great personal legal risk going forward, so nearly anything is possible.

It’™s all very strange’¦and something just isn’™t quite adding up. There’™s no need to put on a tinfoil hat when it comes to analyzing any move by the GOP and Bush administration. However, there is the continuing necessity to think outside the box, look beyond the obvious, and consider alternate realities, because the Bush administration has specialized in creating false illusions.

I’™m not the only one who’™s thinking there is something amiss in how all of this is playing out.

Friday, May 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

So, Is Dana Perino “Gruntled”, Then?

You knew it was coming. The current Minister of Propaganda, Dana Perino, went after her former boss today. She says that Scott McClellan was “disgruntled”. I guess that means she’s still gruntled.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Ok, so, the White House smear campaign against former Minister of Propaganda Scott McClellan is raging in full force now. According to current MP Dana Perino:

White House aides seemed stunned by the scathing tone of the book, and Bush press secretary Dana Perino issued a statement that was highly critical of their former colleague.

Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House,” she said. “For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad – this is not the Scott we knew.” …

The implications of Perino’s statement are pretty clear: Scottie has jumped the shark. We don’t know if he’s had a brain injury, or what. But clearly, he’s not in his right mind. As opposed to me. I’m merely gruntled. Next question, please.

Listen, I don’t even want to waste a byte of internet bandwidth in dissecting Ms. Perino. I’ve said before that I don’t know how she can wake up in the morning and look at herself in the mirror. Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan, Tony Snow, all of them – each of the Bush propaganda ministers – have revealed themselves as little more than a pack of lying, snide, smug, sycophantic shills. They knew their roles. (In Perino’s case, still do.)

Perino said the reports on the book had been described to Bush, and that she did not expect him to comment. “He has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers,” she said…

Yeah. He always has.

John Feehery (Dennis Hastert’s former press secretary) writes blithely at Politico:

It is hard to know what Scott McClellan’s motives are for writing this book. He is not the only one to jump ship and turn on his former client. Doug Feith, Jerry Bremer and a host of others have tried to shift the blame to others for failed policies in the Bush administration…

No, John, it’s not hard to understand the motivations. In fact, it’s incredibly easy. Start with war crimes and the International Court of Justice (The Hague), then work your way down the laundry list of complaints to common criminal investigations. They’re all in it up to their hips, and they know it. They’re scared. They’ve all lived a charmed media life for the past 8 years, and it’s about over.

I’ll return to blogging full time when every single one of the enablers of this criminal regime (including la Perino and McClellan) have been shackled and frog marched in a conga line through the front gates of the White House, and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been empaneled by congress.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

Nancy Peolosi, Contempt of Congress, and a Stupid Question

How is it that miscreants from the Bush administration can ignore legally issued congressional subpoenas, be cited for contempt of congress, yet still walk the streets with apparent immunity from prosecution (or arrest or detention) by the U.S. Justice Department?


I am quite floored by this. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi demanded that the Justice Department (gasp!) enforce the law:

Today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, informing him of the referral letter sent to U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia Jeffrey Taylor on contempt citations of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten. Taylor is required by law to bring the matter before a grand jury. However, Mukasey has indicated that the Justice Department intends to prevent Taylor from complying with the law’¦

In essence, Miers and Bolten refused to comply with congressional subpoenas to appear.

Let me ask a stupid question. Supposing that I was subpoenaed to appear in a local or county court for either a criminal or civil matter, however minor. And, let’™s suppose that I refused to appear. What would happen?

A local magistrate could (and would) issue a bench warrant for my arrest. My name would be entered into a police database such that if I were driving down the road, with a bench warrant on my head, if I were driving a car registered in my name an pulled over by the local Hooterville constabulary, I’™d be cuffed and taken to the local lockup until I made an appearance before the judge.

So how is it that miscreants from the Bush administration can ignore legally issued congressional subpoenas, be cited for contempt of congress, yet still walk the streets with apparent immunity from prosecution (or arrest or detention) by the U.S. Justice Department?

Isn’™t that kind of making a mockery of the law for the rest of us? I’™m just saying’¦

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

It is Time for Bill Richardson to Retire From the Presidential Race

Pete Domenici is resigning, and Bill Richardson would be a great man to replace him. Bill, it is time to make a decision.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Pete Domenici is retiring, the latest Republican culture of corruption casualty. It is time for Bill Richardson to retire from the Presidential nomination race in the Democratic Party and take Domenici’s seat. From Chris Cillizza’s blog on the Washington Post:

Veteran Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is expected to announce tomorrow that he will retire from the Senate in 2008, according to several informed sources, a decision that further complicates an already difficult playing field for Republicans next November.

Domenici has struggled with health problems over the last several years and has been dogged by questions about the role he may have played in the firing of U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in Albuquerque. As a result, he had been long been rumored as a potential retirement. Domenici’s Senate office did not return a call this afternoon, but sources close to the senator say he will fly home to New Mexico tomorrow to make the announcement that he is retiring.

Richardson is a good man, and would make a fine President, but he’s outgunned in that race. He’d also make a fine Senator, no doubt. I’d like to see Bill Richardson leave the primaries right now and put his hat in the ring for Senator. Bill Richardson, it is time to make a decision. Help us get a bigger majority in the Senate, willya?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 by Steven Reynolds |