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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is described on the Post syndicate's web page as a long-time "objective" journalist. "In a 25-year career at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section." That last job was a pretty powerful one.



The John Roberts confirmation story on the front page of today's Washington Post (by reporters Charles Babington and Peter Baker) jumps to page A4 with this sentence: "Among those opposing Roberts were presidential aspirants who typically veer to the center, but are now eyeing the liberal activist groups that will play key roles in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early-voting states in 2008. They included Sens.



Could New Orleans have been saved for $809,659?

It seems that as time progresses, we are going to continually be apprised of errors and poor assumptions that were reported to us during the days that followed the recent hurricane disaster in New Orleans.  Last night, “NBC Nightly News” peeled back the curtain on another misconception that was proffered by most media outlets right after Katrina hit, namely that the poor condition of New Orleans’ levees was the fault of the Bush administration.

Lisa Myers last evening told the nation otherwise:

“NBC news has obtained what may be a key clue hidden in these long-forgotten legal documents. They reveal that when this floodwall on the 17th street canal was built a decade ago, there were major construction problems, problems brought to the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This document shows that the contractor, Pittman construction, told the Corps of Engineers that the soil and the foundation for the walls were not of sufficient strength, rigidity, and stability to build on.”

Her report goes on in some detail with the help of former Army Corps of Engineers workers and college professors to outline that it was known more than a decade ago while President Clinton was in the White House that the earth under many of these floodwalls was not stable enough.  A link provided in the text version of this report at MSNBC's website shows the legal decision of the Corps' judge concerning this matter, and that all Pittman wanted was another $809,659 plus an additional 80 days to do the work properly.  Their request was denied.

What follows is a full transcript of this report, a link to the Corps judge's ruling, and a video link.



Despite John Roberts being confirmed today by a very strong 78-22 margin to be our nation's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, America Online (AOL) is blaring across its home page, "A Rough Week for Republicans." Here is the screen shot of AOL's home page from 3:31 pm PDT today (Thursday, September 30, 2005). According to AOL, the troubles of Senators Frist and DeLay are enough to signal a "rough week" for the Republican Party.



Democrat senator Vince Fumo has stepped forward trying to keep the Philly Inquirer from firing the staff who are slated to go. Columnist John Baer just can't figure out why.
IT STRIKES me as odd.


Shortly after yesterday’s announcement of Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Tex) indictment for alleged campaign finance violations, the mainstream media began doing reports on the subject with largely similar content. A memo written by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean posted at the Democratic Party’s website almost immediately after the announcement was made contained virtually the same “hotbuttons” as those subsequently raised in media accounts of the story. 

What follows is a copy of that memo, along with comparisons to what has since been reported by leading media outlets on this subject:



Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled Tuesday that the privacy rights of illegal aliens convicted here of crimes, including the most serious felonies, are more important than the public's right to know data needed to assess how the government is complying with the law that requires such aliens to be escorted out of the country upon their release from jail.

The ruling is in the case of CEI Washington Bureau Inc. v United States of America Department of Justice, Civ. No. 03-2651 (RJL).



Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s “The Situation Room,” had Angelina Jolie on yesterday. After a discussion on the Katrina disaster and her reaction to the newly discovered “poverty” there, the topic shifted to her relief work in Africa and HIV/Aids issues, and eventually, of course -- to funding. Wolf Blitzer, jumping on an opening, had the following line ready to go [emphasis added] - brief disussion followed:



Geoff Dickens reports that on Hardball last night, Chris Matthews was doing a little exaggerating. He asked Norah O'Donnell: "Norah he’s been charged with money laundering involving a Texas, a set of Texas legislative races down there." Wrong, said the Laura Ingraham radio show crew (two law school grads there): they said there's a separate state law for money laundering, and Earle didn't use that.



On this morning's Today show NBC's Chip Reid attempted to play down Tom DeLay's charges of partisanship in Texas Democrat prosecutor Ronnie Earle's indictment:

Chip Reid: "In a blistering attack DeLay called Earle, who is a Democrat a partisan fanatic."

[DeLay: "This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in, in American history. It's a sham and Mr. Earle knows it."]





With a tone and a look on his face suggesting "what have I just done?", Tim Russert let the cat out of the bag this morning about the Dems' political motivations in the prosecution of Tom DeLay.

The context was an otherwise-predictable interview with Katie Couric of the Today show. But toward the end, Russert had this to say: "DeLay is a fierce partisan infighter" then added "and the Democrats realize that and are trying to respond in kind."



The Washington Post Style section this morning runs a goofy Ann Gerhart dispatch from a birthday party for long-time political humorist Art Buchwald at the French Embassy. It was a fundraiser thrown by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.



On Wednesday night, Keith Olbermann, on his Countdown show on MSNBC, delivered his latest attack on Rush Limbaugh, indirectly implying that Limbaugh is a "rude, vile pig." This latest insult came as Olbermann introduced an update on Limbaugh's legal problems while transitioning from a story about entertainer Elton John in which Olbermann poked fun at a clip of John shouting the words "rude, vile pig" at paparazzi photographers.

Olbermann started his "Keeping Tabs" segment by relaying the story of Elton John's offer to perform a private concert for a substantial fee. He then played a clip of John shouting "rude, vile pig" at paparazzi members, and joked that the clip was a preview of one of John's songs. The Countdown host then flamboyantly pretended to be excited that this song might be played at the concert and, in an over-the-top manner, repeatedly shouted, "Rude, vile pig!" as he pumped his fists while the video screen beside him displayed a picture of Limbaugh. After quickly reassembling his composure, Olbermann immediately transitioned into an update on Limbaugh's legal problems by saying, "Which brings us to the latest on the Rush Limbaugh investigation."

A complete transcript of Olbermann's presentation of the Elton John story and the subsequent Rush Limbaugh story follows. Video excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media



On this afternoon’s “Live From...”, CNN’s Candy Crowley did a not-so flattering report on the newly indicted House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tex). Crowley interviewed a variety of Democratic foes in the report who have some pretty damning words for the embattled Congressman from Texas. Yet, some of the harshest criticisms came from Crowley herself:

“Someone once called him a cross between a concierge and a Mafia don, a guy who delivered.”

“They call him ‘The Hammer,’ pounding money out of donors... pounding votes out of colleagues. Pounding the Democrats.”

What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.