Thursday, May 11, 2006


Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is now the target of an investigation for possible ties to the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal. Some of the money shots:
"For goodness sake, why would they be doing that?" Lewis asked...

Cunningham's campaign slogan was: "A congressman we can be proud of."

...Wilkes and his companies have given Lewis at least $60,000 in campaign contributions over the years, making them among the lawmaker's largest contributors...

Jeff Shockey, a key Lewis staffer, went to work for Lowery as a lobbyist in 1999 and then returned to Lewis' staff last year. According to a source familiar with the investigation, Shockey received $600,000 in severance payments from Lowery's firm before returning to Lewis to become the deputy staff director for the House Appropriations Committee — with an annual salary of $170,000.
For goodness sakes, there's nothing to look at here, folks...move on. Yea, right. At the very least it's worth investigating.

War and Piece and Hit and Run are both reporting today on a USA Hurray story about NSA wiretapping of all domestic calls in the U.S. I'd link you to the original story, but for some reason my browsers are showing good taste and not opening the page. Here's the quote from Hit and Run:
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans รข€” most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

Of note, Qwest did not give into the NSA requests, telling them to go get a FISA warrant. As Laura Rozen of War and Piece writes:
Which of course, would have involved the NSA telling the FISA court what they were up to, which was apparently considered undesirable, for some reason. Here's a question. Since when did a big federal government spying on Americans with no accountability become a conservative aspiration?

And think of the many potential uses of this program. For instance, now special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald doesn't have to count on Mr. Rove's memory of anything. What's to keep the DOJ just allowing him to subpoena this NSA database to determine every phone call Mr. Rove ever made in the relevant time period from every possible phone?

Wonder why Cheney decided to lecture Russia on human rights this past week after the Bush administration has turned a blind eye to them for 6 years? According to the Guardian, it has to do with Turkey and energy supplies.

The Independent would like you to know that cloth diapers are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than disposable ones. Greens will tell you they've known this for years, but American parents never seem to get the memo. Hey, weren't you ever told that there were dirty consequences involved with sex?

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