Hookergate Heats Up

Overnight we have learned quite a lot more about the “hospitality suites” that defense contractor MZM, Inc. maintained for Randy “Duke” Cunningham and an unknown number of other libidinous lawmakers.

First, via Josh Marshall’s new muckraking operation it appears that Mitchell Wade operated his sex ring for over 15 years. That stretches back into the Democratic Congressional era so no doubt the list of people who will soon have a serious chat with their wives (and their lawyers) includes lawmakers from both parties.

Several of Wilkes’ former employees and business associates say he used the hospitality suites over the past 15 years to curry favor with lawmakers as well as officials with the CIA, where both Wilkes and Wade sought contracts.

Wilkes hosted parties for lawmakers and periodic poker games that included CIA officials as well as members of the House Appropriations and Intelligence committees. Cunningham, who sat on both committees, was a frequent guest, according to some of the participants in the poker games.

Next, CIA Chief Porter Goss may have some explaining to do:

I’ve learned from a highly-connected source that those under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence comittees — including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post. [emphasis added]

Porter Goss inexplicably chose Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, a close friend and business associate of MZM’s Brent Wilkes, as his #3 man in CIA with a porfolio including appropriations. That seems like quite a boon for a firm whose niche consisted of inappropriately influencing lawmakers towards awarding it black defense- and intelligence-related contracts. Where did Goss meet Foggo? The shortest path between the two passes through MZM’s Watergate bacchanialiae.

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133 replies
  1. 1
    Brian says:

    Another fart in a tornado.

    Can you folks make up your minds as to whether sex is personal business or not? If it is, then leave it between the men (or women) and their spouses.

  2. 2
    Otto Man says:

    Can you folks make up your minds as to whether sex is personal business or not?

    If you can’t tell the difference between a private consensual affair with no quid pro quo, and a lobbying effort in which lobbyists arranged and paid for trysts with prostitutes in order to curry favor, then I’m guessing “another fart in a tornado” is your family’s official motto.

  3. 3
    Tim F. says:

    I would bet ten bucks that Brian still believes the Guckert/Gannon issue was about Guckert being gay.

  4. 4
    VidaLoca says:

    And the beautiful part is, it will be covered by the media. Relentlessly. Even by Fox news. Because Fox can’t not cover it while all their competitors are covering it.

    Just like the Clenis, sex sells.

  5. 5
    Krista says:

    Several of Wilkes’ former employees and business associates say he used the hospitality suites over the past 15 years to curry favor with lawmakers as well as officials with the CIA,

    That’s why it’s not just their personal business, Brian. The laws that affect you, an American, may have been put in place not because they were in your best interests, but because a lawmaker was bribed with a Dirty Sanchez.

  6. 6
    VidaLoca says:

    Krista,

    …”Dirty Sanchez”? Somehow this doesn’t sound like a feminist category of analysis :)

  7. 7
    Brian says:

    Dream on, kids. Going to be kinda tough, I’ll bet, to tie any person to actually being in one of those rooms. You think they registered at the door, like a guest at a wedding? And, yes, it’ll be tough for both parties if the story gets legs, but it has about as much chance of getting legs as a story about a CIA agent leaking info to a major newspaper.

  8. 8
    Krista says:

    Vida – it probably isn’t, but it just seemed to add a certain je ne sais quoi to my statement, so I went with it.

  9. 9
    Brian says:

    I don’t care if they got a Dirty Sanchez or an Alaska Pipeline, it’s sex, and it’s quite a leap to prove quid pro quo, even if we know there likely was such an exchange.

  10. 10

    Dream on, kids. Going to be kinda tough, I’ll bet, to tie any person to actually being in one of those rooms. You think they registered at the door, like a guest at a wedding?

    Josh Marshall says there are pictures.

    And the FBI is interviewing the prostitutes.

    It’s interesting to me how you always try to minimize Republican scandals, and at other times, over emphasize things involving Democrats. Just interesting.

  11. 11

    I don’t care if they got a Dirty Sanchez or an Alaska Pipeline, it’s sex, and it’s quite a leap to prove quid pro quo, even if we know there likely was such an exchange.

    Now just the other day you were claiming Stabenow was guilty of something because she took campaign contributions from a Michigan Indian tribe represented by Abramhoff.

    I pointed out then that it’d be difficult to prove quid pro quo in that situation.

    Now you’re changing your tune? Interesting.

  12. 12
    Brian says:

    Josh Marshall says there are pictures.

    Then the media will love it! Pictures always get airplay.

    It’s interesting to me how you always try to minimize Republican scandals, and at other times, over emphasize things involving Democrats. Just interesting.

    That would be interesting, if it were only true.

  13. 13
    VidaLoca says:

    Brian,

    Step 1: get all people of the male persuasion who might have been there under oath, swearing that they were not in those rooms.

    Step 2: get all people of the female persuasion who were in those rooms under oath, swearing that the people of the male persuasion were in fact there.

    Step 3: present the people in group one with an opportunity to reconsider their previous statements or face charges of perjury or obstruction.

    This is essentially the perjury trap that Clinton was presented with so it doesn’t seem too farfetched to believe that it’s possible to achieve again.

  14. 14
    VidaLoca says:

    Krista,

    I’ll grant you the je ne sais quoi — can you elaborate on the etymology?

    I blush to admit it but I lead a sheltered life; reason I ask is I’ve never run into the expression before…

  15. 15
    Krista says:

    This link will provide you with descriptions of various terms. I’d prefer not to explain it here…(blush). It’s #23 on the list. My apologies in advance for destroying your innocence.

  16. 16
    VidaLoca says:

    Brian,

    it’s quite a leap to prove quid pro quo

    you could ask Duke Cunningham what he learned about proving q.p.q. — if quid was exchanged for quo, it can be proven. But more fundamentally, proof is not really necessary.

  17. 17
    VidaLoca says:

    Krista — aaaall righty then, moving right along…

  18. 18
    Brian says:

    This link will provide you with descriptions of various terms.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  19. 19
    Krista says:

    Exactly. Moving right along.

  20. 20
    Mac Buckets says:

    Gor blimey, Krista, I coulda gone all week without that link…

  21. 21
    VidaLoca says:

    and she always seemed like such a nice girl…

  22. 22
    Krista says:

    Sigh…I know, I know. Believe me, when I Googled the term, most of the other links contained photos. Be grateful.

    It could have been much, much worse.

  23. 23
    Pooh says:

    You have to do something to pass the cold, hard Canadian winters (unfortunate word choice, I know…)

  24. 24
    VidaLoca says:

    Geez, I never thought of that, Pooh. Are these things like some kind of a national passtime up there, d’ya think?

  25. 25
    Krista says:

    Don’t you start. Considering your moniker, I would have stayed far, far away from this topic, were I you.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Par R says:

    That’s a pretty nice little smear there on Goss, Tim. You could have worked very well with ole Senator McCarthy.

  28. 28
    VidaLoca says:

    Hee-hee. In real life I’m really “vida sheltered”.

    Gotta go, have fun kids.

  29. 29

    That would be interesting, if it were only true.

    Brian? What are you talking about. It’s all right here in black and white. We’ve got the Stabenow allegations from the other day, and now your attempt to downplay this.

    My prediction: You downplay the Limbaugh arrest

  30. 30
    Krista says:

    Hee-hee. In real life I’m really “vida sheltered”.

    I was actually referring to Pooh’s moniker. :)

  31. 31

    That’s a pretty nice little smear there on Goss, Tim. You could have worked very well with ole Senator McCarthy.

    In the past ten years, have you ever joined an organization, including the Communist Party?

  32. 32
    Pooh says:

    Point: Krista

  33. 33
    Pooh says:

    In the past ten years, have you ever joined an organization, including the Republican Party?

    Fixed!

    Oh sorry was channeling ppGaz for a second there…

  34. 34
    Brian says:

    Brian? What are you talking about. It’s all right here in black and white. We’ve got the Stabenow allegations from the other day, and now your attempt to downplay this.

    My prediction: You downplay the Limbaugh arrest

    When Abramoff broke wide open, every Republican who ever had contact with the guy was considered tainted. If you’re going to use that as a yardstick, why exclude Stabenow? At least be consistent in your outrage. I am.

    As for Rush, I think you’re taking a cheap shot. I don’t ridicule anyone’s drug issues.

  35. 35
    Pooh says:

    As for Rush, I think you’re taking a cheap shot. I don’t ridicule anyone’s drug issues.

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say its not the drugs (legalize em, generally speaking) it’s his hypocrisy on the issue.

  36. 36
    Par R says:

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say its not the drugs (legalize em, generally speaking) it’s his hypocrisy on the issue.

    I don’t follow Limbaugh’s program, but I have read that he hasn’t discussed or railed against drugs and drug users in at least a decade. If so, what hypocrisy are you referring to here?

  37. 37
    Brian says:

    it’s his hypocrisy on the issue.

    I cannot disagree. I have heard of Rush’s hypocrisy on drugs, but I never listen to him, so I don’t know what he said, nor do I care.

    It’s nice to see that Josh has his site appropriately named as “muckraker”, because, judging by the content there, it’s yellow journalism through-and-through.

  38. 38
    stickler says:

    Man, this “Brian” is more relentless than a Stakhanovite. Look, the new Watergate sex scandal probably includes the HEAD OF THE CIA, for pity’s sake. Do you recognize the word “blackmail?” Do you think there might — just maybe — be a problem with having a man implicated in a scandal like this, acting as head of THE FREAKING CIA? Aside from the millions in daft appropriations funneled to this corrupt company by the DukeStir.

    When Abramoff broke wide open, every Republican who ever had contact with the guy was considered tainted.

    Yeah, and with good reason. He funded them all. Abramoff was critical to the functioning of the Republican Party. He was also as corrupt as the day is long.

    One final question for this crowd: why are we assuming that the prostitutes being interviewed by the FBI are female? Imagine now what those possible photographs are going to look like.

  39. 39
    Ancient Purple says:

    Dream on, kids. Going to be kinda tough, I’ll bet, to tie any person to actually being in one of those rooms. You think they registered at the door, like a guest at a wedding?

    All it took was Heidi Fleiss to just say she had a little black book that listed names and most of Southern California went into a state of panic.

    You will only need to wave some sheets of blank paper and say you have the names of all who attended. Then, sit back, relax and watch the denials roll in before names are never revealed.

  40. 40
    Pooh says:

    Was it New Orleans where they had the saying about “dead girl, live boy?”

  41. 41
    Ancient Purple says:

    If so, what hypocrisy are you referring to here?

    Limbaugh repeated said that anyone who abused any drug for any reason deserved to be dropped into a hole in prison and never heard from again.

    So, why isn’t he in one now?

  42. 42
    tBone says:

    Geez, I never thought of that, Pooh. Are these things like some kind of a national passtime up there, d’ya think?

    I wouldn’t be surprised. The Canucks are not to be trusted.

  43. 43
    Par R says:

    I am relatively certain that the quote attributed to Limbaugh by Ancient Purple is either a decade old or, more likely, phony’

    There’s not much reason for you moonbats to be celebrating on the Limbaugh issue. Following summarizes the deal:

    The actions taken today are as follows:

    The State Attorney has filed a single charge of doctor shopping with the Court. The charge is being held in abeyance under the terms of an agreement between the State and Mr. Limbaugh.

    Mr. Limbaugh has filed a plea of “Not Guilty” with the Court.

    The formal agreement between Mr. Limbaugh and the State Attorney will be filed with the Court on Monday. The terms of the agreement are substantively as follows:

    Ø Mr. Limbaugh will continue in treatment with the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years.

    Ø After Mr. Limbaugh completes an additional 18 months of treatment, the State Attorney has agreed to drop the charge.

    Ø Mr. Limbaugh has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation.

  44. 44
    Richard 23 says:

    Krista, I was suprised to find so many of those terms on the subgenius page to be familiar. (Amazing how the Church of the Subgenius has always been so illuminating.) I heard several of those terms on a Southpark episode (dealing with birth control I think). I didn’t know what they were at the time….

    The missing term I recall was a “Hot Karl.” Hmmm. Do you know what that one is? Eww, now I do.

  45. 45
    Steve says:

    Step 1: get all people of the male persuasion who might have been there under oath, swearing that they were not in those rooms.

    For the record, step 1 is awfully hard to execute in practice. You don’t just “get people under oath” because you feel like it.

  46. 46
    Brian says:

    probably includes the HEAD OF THE CIA

    And possibly Ronald McDonald, too. After all, it’s been asserted, right here, by me. The assertion’s enough for you, so go with it!

    What if the list, if one exists, turns out to be all Democrats. Just hypothetically. Would you find a way to defend them? I can see the responses now, blaming Bush somehow for driving them to engage in illicit sex because of HIS ILLEGAL WAR, HIS LIES, HIS TORTURING, AND HIS SPYING ON MY GRANDMOTHER.

    Is it any coincidence that you’re ginning up a story about Goss after the McCarthy thing last week at the CIA? The Left’s little elves have been working on this story all week, I’m certain. And we know how good a track record Josh Marshall has with ginning up stories that go nowhere.

  47. 47
    Krista says:

    Yes, I remember hearing about that one too. I won’t click on the link, though. VidaLoca and Pooh now think I’m some kind of perv, so I need to redeem myself.

  48. 48
    Par R says:

    stickler says in his most hyperventilating mode:

    “Look, the new Watergate sex scandal probably includes the HEAD OF THE CIA, for pity’s sake. Do you recognize the word “blackmail?”

    And you fools accused the idiots on the Right back in the 1990s of acting irresponsibly on Clinton “scandals???” Compared with morons such as this “stickler” idiot, those earlier folks were downright reasonable!

  49. 49
    Steve says:

    Heh, speculating on blogs is now equivalent to launching Congressional investigations at the merest glimmer of an allegation. You guys are funny.

  50. 50
    Anonymouse says:

    When I think of Limbaugh, Brian and Par R [ot], I can’t help of thinking of a “Hot Karl.” Hmmmm.

  51. 51
    Pooh says:

    Rush on Rush

    yes some are older quotes. Though methinks he hasn’t had much to say on the issue in the last three years. Can’t imagine why…

    Goolge is your friend, Par.

  52. 52
    Pooh says:

    Google, also.

  53. 53
    Ancient Purple says:

    I am relatively certain that the quote attributed to Limbaugh by Ancient Purple is either a decade old or, more likely, phony’

    What difference could it possibly make if the quotes were a decade old, if he hasn’t recanted them? Oh, that’s right, it is your “wiggle room” so you can pretend you are taking the high road.

    /golfclap

    P.S. They aren’t phony. His quotes are documented all over the place.

  54. 54
    Par R says:

    Poo – Apparently you didn’t follow your own advice and actually read from some of the Google sources. The most recent quotes attributed to Limbaugh were from the mid-1990s, just as I had originally stated.

  55. 55
    stickler says:

    Par R and Brian are asserting here that I’m the one hyperventilating. And — this is brilliant spoofing — maybe the list of clients contains “all Democrats!”

    Yeah, that’s likely. Are there going to be some Democrats on that list? Probably; the scandal goes back 15 years. But was the DukeStir a Democrat? Hmmm… sadly, no. Was MZM bribing Democrats? Not so much.

    Is it unreasonable to speculate that Porter Goss is among those Congressmen implicated in this sordid mess? It would be unreasonable not to!

  56. 56
    Richard 23 says:

    So, Par R [ot], where’s Rush’s retraction about drug offenders being chucked in jail and the key being thrown away? I’d like to see it. And I’d gladly support it. The drug war is a war on people and should be ended post haste.

  57. 57
    Krista says:

    What difference could it possibly make if the quotes were a decade old, if he hasn’t recanted them?

    Particularly where I’m sure his earlier statements have been brought up to him since this whole kerfuffle started. He could have used the opportunity to have a good, teary, Jimmy Swaggert mea culpa moment on TV, which would have made any subsequent critics look churlish. Silly man. Instead, he’s studiously ignoring his previous judgmental statements regarding drug addiction, which (of course), is prompting people to want to point out these statements. The fastest way he could shut us all up would be by admitting that he said those things and that he was being unsympathetic, judgmental, and un-Christian, and that he regrets saying those things. But he won’t do that, and his previous statements are the proverbial elephant in the room, to which all of his critics are pointing and going, “Hellooooo????”

  58. 58
    Brian says:

    Is it unreasonable to speculate that Porter Goss is among those Congressmen implicated in this sordid mess? It would be unreasonable not to!

    Yes, and irresponsible, too. Speculate away, my moonbat friend. Don’t let anything like due diligence get in the way of leaping to a conclusion.

  59. 59
    VidaLoca says:

    Steve,

    For the record, step 1 is awfully hard to execute in practice. You don’t just “get people under oath” because you feel like it.

    The article from yesterday’s WSJ begins like this:

    Federal prosecutors are investigating whether two contractors implicated in the bribery of former Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham supplied him with prostitutes and free use of a limousine and hotel suites, pursuing evidence that could broaden their long-running inquiry.

    Besides scrutinizing the prostitution scheme for evidence that might implicate contractor Brent Wilkes, investigators are focusing on whether any other members of Congress, or their staffs, may also have used the same free services, though it isn’t clear whether investigators have turned up anything to implicate others.

    In recent weeks, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have fanned out across Washington, interviewing women from escort services, potential witnesses and others who may have been involved in the arrangement.

    Am I mistaken, given that there are federal prosecutors and FBI involved, that anyone under investigation could be complelled to answer questions under oath if the investigators chose to go that route?

  60. 60
    Al Maviva says:

    One final question for this crowd: why are we assuming that the prostitutes being interviewed by the FBI are female? Imagine now what those possible photographs are going to look like.

    What’s wrong with you Bush fellaters that you constantly interpret every set of facts in his (and the Republicans’) favor? What makes you presume that the sex acts in question involved humans? Or even living domesticated animals? C’mon, as long as we’re going to make spectacular leaps, we should make them spectacular, not this pedestrian “congressional aid banged a hooker” type of thing.

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    Am I mistaken, given that there are federal prosecutors and FBI involved, that anyone under investigation could be complelled to answer questions under oath if the investigators chose to go that route?

    Well, that would be a Fifth Amendment issue, among other things. Clinton’s case was really a special deal because he was stuck giving a deposition in a civil action, so he couldn’t escape being under oath, plus what he was being asked about wasn’t criminal conduct. The pieces rarely come together so neatly.

  62. 62
    stickler says:

    Don’t let anything like due diligence get in the way of leaping to a conclusion.

    Yeah, I’ll let that “due diligence” stuff to the FBI. I hear they’re pretty good at it.

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    You can play this all night

    Right click on the pic and choose “play” as often as desired.

    Enjoy.

  64. 64
    Richard 23 says:

    What makes you presume that the sex acts in question involved humans?

    Yeah, right. Thanks for playing coldfurry!

  65. 65
    Steve says:

    Yes, and irresponsible, too. Speculate away, my moonbat friend. Don’t let anything like due diligence get in the way of leaping to a conclusion.

    COMPLETELY irresponsible. It would be like saying Debbie Stabenow was implicated in the Abramoff case. Utterly, unbelievably irresponsible! Take it from the expert.

  66. 66
    Par R says:

    Well, let’s see here. I have read elsewhere that Harry Reid is under investigation for having had carnal knowledge of an unnamed Virginia farm animal. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but as a few commenters have suggested with respect to the Goss smear by Tim and others, it MIGHT be true so it’s fair game. The Reid report didn’t include the specifics of which kind of farm animal was involved in the affair, so let’s speculate….was it a horse, a goat, or possibly a donkey in recognition of his party affiliation?

  67. 67
    VidaLoca says:

    Steve,

    Well OK, point taken.

    Although, to be a Congress critter that took the Fifth when asked a question like that — and then have to go home and have to give a statement to one’s spouse — not a position I’d want to be in, for sure. And even under IOKIYAR guidelines, the “family values” voters might take a dim view of it.

  68. 68
    Richard 23 says:

    What, no links, ParR[ot]?

  69. 69
    VidaLoca says:

    What makes you presume that the sex acts in question involved humans?

    You mean… manimals?

  70. 70
    VidaLoca says:

    In case any of you feel like you have not gotten your minimum daily requirement of snark on this topic (and I know I sure haven’t) you might want to check the poorman out. Don’t ignore the comments…

  71. 71
    Steve says:

    Although, to be a Congress critter that took the Fifth when asked a question like that—and then have to go home and have to give a statement to one’s spouse—not a position I’d want to be in, for sure. And even under IOKIYAR guidelines, the “family values” voters might take a dim view of it.

    Right-o, but the thing is, there’s not going to be some embarassing televised congressional proceeding like with the steroid hearings. In fact, I’m not even sure they can make these people come down to the police station and answer questions if they don’t feel like it.

  72. 72
    demimondian says:

    What makes you presume that the sex acts in question involved humans?

    They probably don’t — as least if you’re an abortion opponent from Georgia

  73. 73

    Brian Says:

    Another fart in a tornado.

    Can you folks make up your minds as to whether sex is personal business or not? If it is, then leave it between the men (or women) and their spouses.

    Does that mean you’ve forgiven Bill Clinton for his dalliances with Monica?

  74. 74

    Krista Says:

    Several of Wilkes’ former employees and business associates say he used the hospitality suites over the past 15 years to curry favor with lawmakers as well as officials with the CIA,

    That’s why it’s not just their personal business, Brian. The laws that affect you, an American, may have been put in place not because they were in your best interests, but because a lawmaker was bribed with a Dirty Sanchez.

    Just as long as it wasn’t a Cleveland Steamer. Damn, when I first heard about those… I mean… who GOES for that sort of thing?

  75. 75

    Brian Says:

    Dream on, kids. Going to be kinda tough, I’ll bet, to tie any person to actually being in one of those rooms. You think they registered at the door, like a guest at a wedding? And, yes, it’ll be tough for both parties if the story gets legs, but it has about as much chance of getting legs as a story about a CIA agent leaking info to a major newspaper.

    They’ve got photos.

    They’ve got receipts. Call girls (and their pimps) like to get paid, dontcha know. And they do have to report income for tax purposes (albiet without disclosing the actual source), and if they don’t they’re in bigger trouble as we speak with the IRS as well as the FBI sniffing about.

    They’ve got testimony from two sources already, and more to follow.

    They’ve got the media attention now. Care to guess how many Top 10 jokes Letterman’s gonna squeeze out of this one?

    By the way, how many *other* scandals have you figured would fade away and disappear by now? Because at last count this is now, what, the seventh ongoing scandal nipping at the GOP’s heels?

  76. 76
    VidaLoca says:

    Steve,

    In fact, I’m not even sure they can make these people come down to the police station and answer questions if they don’t feel like it.

    Yet they apparently got Cunningham. Now granted he was head snd shoulders greedier than anyone else — but it doesn’t seem possible that it’s a purely quantitative issue.

  77. 77
    Brian says:

    COMPLETELY irresponsible. It would be like saying Debbie Stabenow was implicated in the Abramoff case. Utterly, unbelievably irresponsible! Take it from the expert.

    Read it for yourself. If this can all be tossed up to simple mistakes, then apply the same flexibility to Republicans supposedly tied to Abramoff. You can’t have it both ways.

    Hell of a lot more diligence paid to Stabenow than to your fantasy hookergate. You folks aren’t even a challenge.

  78. 78
    Steve says:

    I’m not saying it will be hard to get the guilty ones, at least not necessarily hard. All I’m saying is that you can’t just put them all under oath and play the perjury game.

  79. 79

    PAR T never answered by question, so I repeat it again

    In the past ten years, have you ever joined an organization, including the Communist Party?

    That’s a real question off the US Immigration forms.

  80. 80
    VidaLoca says:

    OK, thanks Steve. I think I see the distinction you’re trying to make.

    G’night folks.

  81. 81
    stickler says:

    Spoof, spoof, spoof. I’m beginning to see why Mr. PpGaz gets all exercised here. Could literate citizens really be so stupid or wilfully ignorant as “Brian?” Or as relentlessly, pointlessly, partisan as ParR?

    Your average human observation would suggest “no.” But on this site, we have more or less definitive proof that somebody is trying very very hard.

    The really interesting question is, are ParR and “Brian” on the guvmint payroll? The rank incompetence would suggest, on its face, a direct connection to Don Rumsfeld. Plus, we know the Pentagon has paid good, hard, taxpayer cash out for “good news” in the Mideast, and God knows where else.

  82. 82
    Steve says:

    If this can all be tossed up to simple mistakes, then apply the same flexibility to Republicans supposedly tied to Abramoff. You can’t have it both ways.

    I think what you just said is that it’s the same because you can’t be bothered to figure out the difference. Fair enough.

  83. 83
    Ancient Purple says:

    Just as long as it wasn’t a Cleveland Steamer. Damn, when I first heard about those… I mean… who GOES for that sort of thing?

    When I was attending Arizona State, there was a raid on a local liquor store that had a small porn palace in the back. One of the magazines that was used against the shop in the court proceedings was “Pregnant Dildo Bondage.”

    Is there really a demographic for that? Enough of one to actually make a magazine?

    /boggle

  84. 84
    RonB says:

    By the way, how many other scandals have you figured would fade away and disappear by now? Because at last count this is now, what, the seventh ongoing scandal nipping at the GOP’s heels?

    This was exactly the thing that woke me up.

  85. 85
    Par R says:

    Apparently some of the morons that regularly comment here haven’t kept up with the breaking and ever expanding scandal involving the recently resigned Democratic co chair of the House Ethics Committee, Mr. Mollohan. The magnitude of his apparent grab for money makes convicted felon, Duke Cunningham, look like a rank amateur.

    While I don’t quite have enough information to judge their language comprehension skills, I can evaluate “stickler” and “Richard 23” on the old fashioned jackass scale, on which they both scores off the charts.

  86. 86
    JoeTX says:

    Par R Says:

    Apparently some of the morons that regularly comment here haven’t kept up with the breaking and ever expanding scandal involving the recently resigned Democratic co chair of the House Ethics Committee, Mr. Mollohan. The magnitude of his apparent grab for money makes convicted felon, Duke Cunningham, look like a rank amateur.

    Give me a freakin’ break! At least he had the class and dignity to step down from his committee during the investigation. Instead of the Delay/Republican approach of blaming a “partisan liberal commie witch-hunt” and staying in race just long enough to grift a couple extra $400,000 from voters who gave to his campaign, then he quits the race and intends to use the money for his legal defense.

    If Mollohan is guilty, then he needs to go, period, end of story. If Mollohan was one of yours, then you would blindly defend him and tell us again why Clinton was somehow responsible…

    Most of the left leaning blogs HAVE covered Mollohan, and the ones I follow, haven’t defended him, or given excuses for his wrong doing….

  87. 87
    Par R says:

    JoeTX, another nitwit heard from. He must think we’re all blind to what’s happening in Washington and on the national scene. The absence of discussion about Mollohan on the “left leaning blogs” has been deafening. And, C-Span has had any number of quotes from Mollohan and other Dems accusing the conservatives of leading a witchhunt over Mollohan’s problems….and he was no saintly patriot…up until the day before he resigned from the Ethics Committee he had been telling one and all that he had no intention of resigning. Only when the House Dem leadership saw some of the details of the ongoing investigation did they FORCE him to resign.

  88. 88

    Is there really a demographic for that? Enough of one to actually make a magazine?

    Their may not be many repeat customers. But surely there are curious people who will buy it to see what it’s about.

  89. 89
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Par R,

    Yes, it appears Mollohan was forced to resign – or more accurately, temporarily step down pending resolution. Now besides Tom Delay, how many currently serving Republican congressmen have stepped down from positions of authority? IIRC, the answer is zero.

    That said, to say there was zero discussion of Mollohan’s situation is clear proof that either you don’t read left blogs or you don’t recall anything they say. While one would be enough to disprove, let’s provide two – and note they’re not exactly nobody sites. Daily Kos has http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....192621/278 . Then there’s MyDD – http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/4/21/174948/744 .

    There were others. In fact for Kos there were multiple diaries on the subject. So much for “never”.

  90. 90

    Tim F, my guess is that Guckert’s unexplained visits to the White House was about being gay, not about being a hack flack.

  91. 91
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    The absence of discussion about Mollohan on the “left leaning blogs” has been deafening.

    Apparently now it’s illegal to make investments.

    Just like you moonbats, to rail against Capitalism.

  92. 92
    Zifnab says:

    I’ll admit, left leaning sites haven’t harped on the scandal, but that’s because Mollohan hasn’t fought it kicking and screaming. There’s been no DeLay-style attack ads against his prosecutors, no rabid defense of his actions by NPR, and when the charges were first brought on Mollohan no one on the left was saying “That’s ok, so long as Republicans are doing it to.”

    There was no attempt at changing parlimentary procedure in his favor or squelching the investigation by removing investigators from committee or blackmailing them with threats of witholding campaign contribution or launching smear campaigns.

    Perhaps the reason Mollohan isn’t front page news twenty-four seven is because he dealt with his scandal like a man.

  93. 93
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I suspect that of all the scandals out there, this is the one that’ll do the worst damage to the Republicans this cycle. For what it’s worth, I think it’s not the most threatening to the nation. I am angry at officials taking bribes, and I’m concerned about the potential blackmail issue in national security positions, but other than that it’s not as dangerous as the NSA or the outing of the CIA agent who appears to have been responsible for intel about middle eastern (to include Iran) nuclear capabilities or the decision that torture’s ok or the ability to ignore habeus corpus or all the other things that can be wrapped up in “the unitary executive” position.

    All that said, again I think it’s the most devastating. And the reason is that sex sells. Ask most people in the US what the main point of Clinton’s impeachment was about and they’ll talk about the illicit sex – it was about Monica. (Oh, yes, it was about lying – lying about Monica and the illicit sex.)

    Every congresscritter who has been in that hospitality suite over the last 15 years – of both parties – is going be tarred with this brush. So too will any administration official or appointee who’s been through those doors. “I was only there for the poker, then I left early,” will be true of some but heard from many. And legally many will get away with it. Politically, however, it’s going to make the case for the Democrats. “Republicans, the party of corruption” is the battle cry. And corruption can be accepted if the party’s competent, but we’ve got Iraq and Katrina and the slow recovery and a host of other things that say things just aren’t doing so well.

    No, this is the one that’s going to make the public take notice – it’ll be the seed crystal that makes the whole batch come together against the GOP this year. Yes, some Democrats are going to be in the mix, but the Dems aren’t in power and the Dems aren’t the ones who’ve displayed (or at least appeared to display) arrogance and incompetence. The GOP defenders will name a name – a Mollohan – desparately trying to claim that one balances a host of others – a Ney and a Cunningham and a Delay and …

    Last week I thought the Dems still could fail to take either much less both houses of Congress. Now, I think the GOP will have their work cut out to keep either house. And it’s all because this lesser scandal includes sex.

    And sex sells.

  94. 94

    Hmmm. Prostitution, gambling. When I was young that was mob territory. Now it’s the GOP’s domain. Granted, the CIA controls the drugs, but they’ve got an interlocking directorate.

  95. 95
    ppGaz says:

    This thread is a loser. Hookergate is all rumors and speculation right now. Your government does not have time for this kind of high school girls restroom gossip.

    Meanwhile, your president is out there Leading The Country:

    “I aim to be a competitive nation.”—San Jose, Calif., April 21, 2006

    “I strongly believe what we’re doing is the right thing. If I didn’t believe it—I’m going to repeat what I said before—I’d pull the troops out, nor if I believed we could win, I would pull the troops out.”—Charlotte, N.C., April 6, 2006

    “I think it’s really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to—the beauty of playing baseball.”—Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006

    Is he drinking again? You tell me.

  96. 96
    Otto Man says:

    Brian, are you saying that paying for prostitutes isn’t a big deal? What happened to all that foot-stamping Republicans did over Clinton’s consensual affair? You people kept crying “rule of law! rule of law!” back then. Prostitution is against the law, remember?

  97. 97
    Zifnab says:

    I never liked baseball. Bush can suck it.

  98. 98
    Brian says:

    JoeTX,
    Go stick a donkey dick in your mouth, or whatever you illiterates do on your lunchbreaks down there in Texas. That would be putting your hands and mouth to better use than typing here.

    Otto Man,
    yes, it’s a big deal if it can be proven to the extent that it was with Duke Cunningham, or with Mollohan. But, the exchange wasn’t a house or a yacht, it was pussy. I don’t think this’ll register, unless there are killer photos to leverage the story with. (Who took the photos by the way? Were the participants posing?: “Hey there! Just gettin’ a glazed donut for dessert”, “Cheese! Watch as I dip my wick and pull out a Hershey’s kiss”.) The public, in my estimation, is corruption-weary, and will tune it out. It’s going to only get worse on both sides before November.

    Not all Republicans got excited about Clinton/Lewinsky. I didn’t, although I wish Clinton hadn’t gone to such lengths to lie to everyone about it. It’s obvious he and Hillary have a business marriage. They’re sexually incompatible at first blush. She has zero sex appeal, and doesn’t care, either. If he got some poon on the side, or played with some flavored cigars, I say “good for him”. That’s between Bill and Hillary anyway.

  99. 99
    Par R says:

    ppGaz said:

    “This thread is a loser. Hookergate is all rumors and speculation right now. Your government does not have time for this kind of high school girls restroom gossip.”

    I am scared. I find myself in agreement with ppGaz for perhaps the first time….I’ve never seen him make sense before.

  100. 100
    ppGaz says:

    Homeland Security spokesman Larry Orluskie said the department does not routinely conduct background checks on its contractors. Instead, it relies on a list the government keeps of vendors who have had serious problems with federal contracts, he said.

    In Shirlington Limousine’s case, only the drivers were subject to criminal background checks, he said.

    So, Homeland Security does not thoroughly vet its contractors, even if they are given the highly sensitive task of driving around high-level members of our government. And it doesn’t thoroughly vet its contractors before it awards them millions of dollars in contracts. This incompetence at DHS should be a scandal in and of itself.

    –DKos

    Of course, DHS should be given full props for keeping the Terror Alert Warning at a constant and reassuring “YELLOW” year in and year out. That’s steady leadership, leadership with resolve.

    Thoughts?

  101. 101
    Zifnab says:

    The public, in my estimation, is corruption-weary, and will tune it out. It’s going to only get worse on both sides before November.

    Yeah, keep your fingers crossed on that one. I’m sure after ten years of tough talk on wasteful spending and law-breaking public officals, this whole massive wave of scandals will wash right over the masses and we’ll be back to Terri Shavio Rememberance Day before you know what hit you.

  102. 102
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, golly, sorry, my previous blockquoted blurb left out this preamble about the limousine company hired by DHS:

    Today, we learn more about Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., the limo company that Mitchell Wade says was in on the scheme to pick up prostitutes and Cunningham and drive them to “hospitality suites” at the Watergate and Westin Grand in D.C.. It is a company plagued by financial problems and mismanagement. And apparently, Homeland Security did not conduct a background check on its CEO, Christopher D. Baker (who has a rap sheet 62-pages long):

  103. 103
    ppGaz says:

    Like I said, the whole thing is just rumor and speculation.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  104. 104
    Brian says:

    Continuing my Hillary meme, this is why she’s unelectable. The last thing we need is another Clinton (or another Bush) in the WH.

  105. 105
    Kazinski says:

    I doubt Porter Goss was involved in the hooker scandal, the FBI would have known something about it when Goss was being vetted. That being said, I think any Republicans or Democrats involved should be held accountable either to the law or their constituents. I think there is no place in politics for scum like Mollohan or Cunningham.

    On the other hand Rush Limbaugh was not arrested, The AP report was false. The prosecutor agreed to drop the charges. The fact that they are being filed and they won’t be dropped for 18 months can’t obscure the fact that it is a huge win for Rush. The charges are going away, and the only plea Rush is making is “Not Guilty”.

  106. 106
    ppGaz says:

    Continuing my Hillary meme

    Fucking worthless spoof. Do you imagine that there’s support for HRC here? Why don’t you check it out?

    Idiot.

  107. 107
    VidaLoca says:

    Kirk,

    Last week I thought the Dems still could fail to take either much less both houses of Congress. Now, I think the GOP will have their work cut out to keep either house. And it’s all because this lesser scandal includes sex.

    I’d like to agree with this, and I certainly agree with your “seed crystal” metaphor: if this scandal takes off, it could be a seed crystal. Overall I’m a little less sanguine than you, though.

    1. I’ve seen estimates that, thanks to the degree to which the House is gerrymandered, there are only about 30 seats out of the 435 that are really in play in the sense of being likely to change from one party to the other. Of these 30, the Democrats would have to win 16 to control the House. And 16 is a big number of seats to win, for a party that punches way below its weight. Now I realize that it’s also theoretical in the sense that declining support for the GOP makes them vulnerable in districts where they might have thought they were safe; that “30 seats” number is very elastic. But I’d like to know more — district by district — about the number of districts where Dems are thought to have a chance of winning. And it would also be nice if they had candidates running there too of course.

    2. A somewhat similar point can be made about the states vis-a-vis the Senate. I seem to remember that more Democratic Senate seats are up for election than Republican ones, and of course the Dems would have to hold all these and take some GOP seats back before they’d control that house.

    3. Then, let’s not discount the fact that the Dems are highly skilled at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. With some isolated exceptions like Feingold their pushback against most of Bush’s policies has been negligible; this doesn’t bode well in my opinion.

    I do think the Republicans are desperate. If they lose either house, the Democrats will be able (assuming they’re willing) to start investigations that will bring the GOP project down. They need a crisis that Bush can “lead” and force the country to fall behind him, and that crisis could be manufactured out of Iran. The consequences of that could be truly catastrophic. If the Hookergate scandal can prevent or stall them from moving that plan forward, it will serve a good end.

  108. 108
    Otto Man says:

    The public, in my estimation, is corruption-weary, and will tune it out. It’s going to only get worse on both sides before November.

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that. I’m sure the public has no interest in a congressional prostitution ring. None at all.

    And if they get so overloaded with scandals by the time of the election, I’m sure they’ll just rush to the polls to keep the Republicans in power.

  109. 109
    ppGaz says:

    And if they get so overloaded with scandals by the time of the election, I’m sure they’ll just rush to the polls to keep the Republicans in power.

    Exactly. “We’re tired of these scandal-mongering Bush haters. We are going to reelect as many of those nice, competant Republicans as possible!”

    You can almost see the waves of people heading to the polls.

  110. 110
    Kirk Spencer says:

    VidaLoca,

    I’ve seen similar estimates. However, almost all those estimates make a couple of assumptions that may be inappropriate – indeed, with this crystallization I am certain are inappropriate.

    Generally, it’s assumed that a district will shift no more than 5 points from how it split in the last 2-4 years, and the more “partisan” the district the less likely the shift. Generally, an incumbent’s advantage is worth about 5 points – yes, that tends to neutralize the potential split if any. Consequently, the ‘common wisdom’ estimates suggest that the only places the Dems have a serious chance of pickup are places where either the margin was already close and/or there is no incumbent, with a slight bonus for opponents specifically entangled in scandal (Ney and Santorum for two examples).

    However, a party-wide scandal negates the incumbent advantage for that party which changes which seats are in play and which borderline secure – it makes those 16 or so seats favor Dems. If you also assume a generic party-wide scandal is worth 5 points against the party, the shift potential increases by 20 seats. And if it’s worth ten (the most I personally am willing to grant) then it puts another 20 to 30 (beyond the previous 20) in play, with the original 30 ‘competitive’ seats highly favoring the Democrats. As you already said, a similar position can be made in the Senate, though the margins are much smalle

    Indeed, the primary barrier still remaining is your point 3, and I’m coming to believe many of the perceived cases of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory may in reality be good PR on the part of the GOP. I may be mistaken – which would not be the first time by any means – but I am at this point estimating a 70% chance that at least one of the houses of Congress will have a Democrat majority on January 20, 2007.

  111. 111
    VidaLoca says:

    The public, in my estimation, is corruption-weary, and will tune it out.

    You may be partly right about this if you mean the fraction of the public that still supports Bush and the GOP in Congress.
    That fraction is declining however. The fraction that never supported Bush (which amounts to just under –or just over — half of the population) plus the fraction that used to support him before they wised up — they’re sick of being put down, pushed around, cheated on and lied to. They’re mad.

    Don’t believe me? Well of course not. How about Fox News; if you can’t trust them who can you trust?

  112. 112
    Punchy says:

    J. Cole–
    Your site badly needs a “open comments” section on the weekends. You may have the funniest, witty, and cynical group of posters of any blog. We all need a chance to bark about weekend news, too, aside from this post about Pols and prosties, Senators and sluts, CEOs and see-my-hoes…Balloon Juice and balloon knots, etc….

  113. 113
    VidaLoca says:

    Kirk,

    It seems like your argument is based heavily on trends in past elections and while that’s relevant it would be nice to see it supported by current data. I realize the latter may not be available however.

    Anyhow I hope you’re right because if you’re wrong we are all well & truly phucked.

  114. 114
    ppGaz says:

    if you’re wrong we are all well & truly phucked.

    That’s pher shure.

  115. 115
    ppGaz says:

    Hookergate? Fuggedaboutit.

    The Cardinals have drafted Matt Leinart!

    I am stunned. I am sitting down and fanning myself with a cat. 37-2 with USC. I have no idea what to say. Or think.

    The Cardinals. Leinart. OMFG.

    Water. Water!

  116. 116
    Otto Man says:

    The Cardinals. Leinart. OMFG.

    Once again, Denny Green has a great pick fall right into his lap. Congrats.

  117. 117
    ppGaz says:

    Denny Green has a great pick fall right into his lap.

    I know. I just hope he doesn’t completely blow this opportunity.* With James and Leinart we have the material to build a team around. I mean, around which to build a team.

    *I’m not a big Green fan at the present time.

  118. 118
    KCinDC says:

    Some random observations:

    1. Martha Stewart demonstrated that it’s not necessary to be under oath to be sent to prison for lying.

    2. I haven’t noticed any liberals declaring that Mollohan is being persecuted because of his religion and comparing him to Jesus.

    3. Members of both parties were involved in the House bank scandal — a “scandal” that involved what many ordinary people get on their checking accounts under the name “overdraft protection”. Neither the bipartisan nature of the scandal nor its triviality prevented Republicans from using it effectively as a campaign issue.

    4. “The FBI would have known something about it when Goss was being vetted.” If the FBI is so on the ball, shouldn’t they have known about the scandal, say, 10 years ago?

    5. Hillary!? Has anyone here ever mentioned Hillary positively, Brian? I imagine the vast majority of us agree with your call for a moratorium on Bushes and Clintons in the White House.

  119. 119
    ppGaz says:

    I imagine the vast majority of us agree with your call for a moratorium on Bushes and Clintons in the White House.

    It was a guest commentator, I think … or maybe not … in Eric Alterman’s blog over at MSNBC who said ….

    If the history of presidents for this time someday reads BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTON then something is wrong with our system. Surely we can do better than just swapping presidents between two feuding families in this country.

    (paraphrased slightly, since I am too lazy to look it up).

    As for me, I would NEVER vote for HRC in a primary, and would vote for her in a general election only if the GOP candidate were unacceptable to me. She is one of the very few things that would get me to vote for a Republican presidential candidate. A Republican congress is another. I will not vote for one-party rule in this country, ever. Not Dem and not GOP.

  120. 120
    ppGaz says:

    I imagine the vast majority of us agree with your call for a moratorium on Bushes and Clintons in the White House.

    It was a guest commentator, I think … or maybe not … in Eric Alterman’s blog over at MSNBC who said ….

    If the history of presidents for this time someday reads BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTON then something is wrong with our system. Surely we can do better than just swapping presidents between two feuding families in this country.

    (paraphrased slightly, since I am too lazy to look it up).

    As for me, I would NEVER vote for HRC in a primary, and would vote for her in a general election only if the GOP candidate were unacceptable to me. She is one of the very few things that would get me to vote for a Republican presidential candidate. A Republican congress is another. I will not vote for one-party rule in this country, ever. Not Dem and not GOP.

  121. 121
    ppGaz says:

    I have no idea why that double-posted. Sorry.

  122. 122

    ppGaz Says:

    I have no idea why that double-posted. Sorry.

    You were being repetitive much in the way the Bushies and the Clintons were repetitive.

    Next, Hilary. After her, Jeb. Then, Chelsea will prolly be old enough. Then… um, which of the Bush twins is the more sober? Okay, that’s the one that WON’T clean up and run as a born-again, so pick the boozehound instead. And then… we’ll have stem cell cloning in place so we’ll elect a clone of Slick Willy, and then we’ll have developed warp drive technology and we’ll all flee to Alpha Centauri to avoid this mess forever and ever.

    Wait, what was the original thread? Oh, right. Hookers. Bring ’em to Alpha Centauri for the Fare-Thee-Well Party. ;)

  123. 123
  124. 124
    VidaLoca says:

    2. I haven’t noticed any liberals declaring that Mollohan is being persecuted because of his religion and comparing him to Jesus.

    Shit! You’re right — who dropped the ball on this one? We’ll get someone on it right away…

    4. “The FBI would have known something about it when Goss was being vetted.” If the FBI is so on the ball, shouldn’t they have known about the scandal, say, 10 years ago?

    Weren’t they busy screwing up the Wen Ho Lee scandal 10 years ago?

  125. 125
    Brian says:

    Do you imagine that there’s support for HRC here?

    If she makes it to Nov. ’08 for a vote against a Republican, yes, I believe you will be supporting her (along with others here) to the death.

    Asshole.

  126. 126
    Zifnab says:

    Fiengold/Clark in ’08 all the way.
    Barring that, I’d love to see someone take up Edwards. If ever there was “two Americas” now is it.

  127. 127
    KCinDC says:

    Brian, probably so, if that happens. Are you asking us to believe you’ll be voting for a Democrat if the Republicans nominate Jeb Bush?

  128. 128
    VidaLoca says:

    Brian,

    Let me try to reframe the question. The only way I could see myself voting for a Republican for Pres. in 2008 would be if said Republican were willing to break the control of the theocrats, which would basically mean dumping the whole organized base of the party, and if the Dems were in control of the House and Senate.
    Because the idea of checks-and-balances, division-of-powers, two-party government seems kind of inviting right now.

    However, since Eisenhower is dead and John Cole isn’t running, the chances of this are about as good as having winged monk…

    OK, sorry.

    Hillary? Feh. Part of the problem, not part of the solution, IMO.

  129. 129
    Faux News says:

    JoeTX,
    Go stick a donkey dick in your mouth, or whatever you illiterates do on your lunchbreaks down there in Texas. That would be putting your hands and mouth to better use than typing here.

    Thank you Brian for that well reasoned discourse. Again you are a jejune Troll who has us all pine for the days of scs.

    As you once stated “I’m not here to amuse anyone”. Well, except for yourself I won’t dispute that statement.

    Have you ever considered actually getting a life?

  130. 130

    […] Tim F. at Balloon-Juice has a good summary of hookergate.   […]

  131. 131
    JoeTx says:

    Brian Says:

    JoeTX,
    Go stick a donkey dick in your mouth, or whatever you illiterates do on your lunchbreaks down there in Texas. That would be putting your hands and mouth to better use than typing here.

    I guess I made some valid points to illicit that kind of 4th grade schoolyard response.

    “The FBI would have known something about it when Goss was being vetted.”

    Kinda like how they vetted Jeff Gannon? You give this administration way too much credit… I honestly think you could put a 5th grade civics class in charge and they’d do a better job than the current administration.

  132. 132
    Brian says:

    Have you ever considered actually getting a life?

    That’s creative. A cliche dating back to the late ’80s.

  133. 133
    Faux News says:

    That’s creative. A cliche dating back to the late ‘80s

    Your posts of telling people to “suck donkey dick” clearly indicate you have no life. Try getting one, you might actually even learn to like yourself.

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