The Spectacle Blog

Re: Murtha and Wolf

By on 9.29.06 | 6:59PM

Not surprisingly, Murtha blatantly contradicted himself in his CNN appearance with Wolf Blitzer. As Dave points out, first Murtha said he didn't know money was being offered. Then he said, "they offered me the money, I said no." Did Wolf Blitzer call Murtha out on his explicit contradiction and likely fib? Of course not. Blitzer continued lobbing gentle questions with carefulness one would expect from an aging soft-ball coach.

Blitzer quickly went on to change the subject from Murtha's involvement in Abscam to the subject of why someone would bring this up at all. He then allowed Murtha to go on and criticize President Bush's handling of the Iraq War and comment on Bob Woodward's new book -- a story that dominated Blitzer's broadcast for the previous 45 minutes before the Murtha segment.

Dobson v. Armey

By on 9.29.06 | 6:18PM

Shawn, perhaps unsurprisingly, I don't agree that Armey is massively more important than Dobson.

One thing people don't understand about the "Religious Right" is that guys like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are not as important as James Dobson and Chuck Colson. The latter two have formed an axis of respectability for conservative Christians for decades.

Dobson takes a lot of fire now because he's been more outspoken since the late 1990's and has been determined not to let the GOP take cultural conservatives for granted. I think that's a worthwhile function. Armey certainly didn't keep them from going spend-crazy. Maybe Dobson can keep them pro-life.

Between Dobson and Armey, Dobson may actually have been the more prestigious academic. Back before he went full-time for Focus on the Family, Dobson was on the faculty of the University of Southern California med school (as a children's psychologist). Dick Armey was with the University of North Texas.

Murtha and Wolf

By on 9.29.06 | 6:11PM

Same old stories from Jack Murtha today on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer about the "alleged" FBI surveillance tape from the "conservative publication" The American Spectator.

At first he said, "I had no idea they were offering me money." But he later acknowledged the agents put $50,000 in front of him.

He still says he was "only interested in investment in my district." CNN chose a rather innocuous quote about Murtha's influence from the transcript. But let's go to the tape:

Oh Lord

By on 9.29.06 | 5:43PM

Dave Weigel:

Quick: See if you can guess what caucus Rep. Mark Foley led before today's news that he would resign from Congress after being exposed for e-flirting with young boys?

Give up? Come on, it's easy. The Missing and Exploited Children Caucus.

That link goes to a press release in which Foley touts a sex offender registry bill. "The bill adds, among other things, the 'use of the Internet to facilitate or commit a crime against a minor' as one that will trigger registration." I swear I'm not making this up.

Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned

By on 9.29.06 | 5:14PM

Back on June 20, 2003, our Prowler reported, apropos possible Republican senatorial candidates for 2004, the following:

There are already two candidates running for the GOP Senate nomination: U.S. Rep. Mark Foley and former Rep. Bill McCollum, who lost a previous Senate run in 2000. Few believe that McCollum can win statewide, and while Foley has been raising money in both Washington and Florida, questions about his personal life, which he declines to address, have begun nibbling at the corners of his campaign and are raising doubts inside the White House whether he's the strongest candidate to put forward for the job.

Re: Oy

By on 9.29.06 | 5:11PM

If proven true (looks like it is), especially with those IMs, I hope Foley loses his freedom as well as his job.

Oy

By on 9.29.06 | 4:28PM

Republican Congressman Mark Foley won re-election in Florida's 16th district with 68% of the vote in 2004. (Bush got 54% against Kerry's 46.) It almost goes without saying that Florida-16 is in reach for the Democrats now. Also: Ewww.

Murtha on CNN

By on 9.29.06 | 3:50PM

The word is that Congressman Murtha takes to CNN in the 5 p.m. hour to defend himself. Interestingly, they did not call me.

For those of you who are around a TV or computer at quitting time, I will live-blog Murtha's appearance here.

Elephant in the Room

By on 9.29.06 | 3:19PM

Via Reason's Hit and Run we learn James Dobson is none too happy with some of Dick Armey's quotes in the new Ryan Sager book. And he can't very well be blamed for that. Obviously sentiments will vary across the libertarian-conservative spectrum, but on my own personal meter of Usefulness to Civilization, Armey dwarfs Dobson to a point of scale where you'd have to clone several dozen Dobsons to get within measurable range. Like I said, just my personal opinion.

My interview with Sager, incidentally, resides here.

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