The Values Party

Another rising star plummets back to earth:

Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona was once seen as a rising star in state Republican politics and had been mentioned as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor.

But the head of the nation’s fifth largest sheriff’s department has been indicted on federal corruption charges and is now fighting to save his career and stay out of prison.

Carona was expected to turn himself over to authorities Wednesday at the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana ahead of an afternoon arraignment, U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek said. The three-term sheriff faces seven counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering, according to a sweeping indictment unsealed a day earlier.

Also charged were Carona’s wife of 27 years, Deborah, and attorney Debra Victoria Hoffman, identified in court papers as his “longtime mistress.”


Two former assistant sheriffs, Donald Haidl and George Jaramillo, previously pleaded guilty to related charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. Jaramillo, who is currently serving a 12-month term on state charges, cooperated with federal investigators to bring the case against Carona, his attorney said.

If convicted on all counts, Carona could face a maximum sentence of 105 years in prison, plus thousands of dollars in fines.

105 years? I might be ready to vote for Republicans again by then. The rot runs deep and wide in the current GOP, and I am, quite frankly, astonished that Carona has not been tapped for a Bush administration Justice Department position. This is the kind of talent they seem to really appreciate.

Outreach? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Outreach!

More Republican scheduling conflicts:

In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidates have found time in their busy schedules to speak or debate before the Republican Jewish Coalition, “Value Voters,” conservative Floridians, even Wyoming Republicans, who hold virtually no sway in the primary race. They’ve also agreed to appear at the CNN/YouTube debate they at one point shunned.

But it appears that some GOP frontrunners are once again letting an opportunity to appear before African-American voters lapse, just as they decided to sit out a black voter forum hosted last month by Tavis Smiley.

2007-10-30-debate.jpgThe Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced in September that it had scheduled a debate for November 4 on Fox News for Republican presidential candidates. But a spokeswoman for the group confirmed to the Huffington Post that it has now been postponed, with no new date set.

“The debate will not take place on November 4, and we’re still considering the debate schedule,” said CBC Institute spokesperson Georgella Muirhead.

Republican candidates have cited scheduling conflicts in resisting new proposed dates, Muirhead said.

In all fairness, the GOP may not need the African-American vote now that we are learning the truly massive size and scope of the closeted not-gay Republican wetsuit lobby.

Via the Carpetbagger by way of the Washington Monthly.

Another Terrorist Captured

Fox news, during the California wildfires last week:

Questionable 4-year-old FBI memo presented as new to stoke terror fears

Did al Qaeda start the California wildfires?

As more than a million people escaped the flames, Fox News anchors couldn’t help speculating about a terrorism link to the blazes ravaging southern California.

“I’ve heard some people talk about this a little bit to me, but have you heard anybody suggest that this could be some form of terrorism,” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked Wednesday morning.

Correspondent Adam Housley said he’s received “hundreds of comments” from readers of his Fox News blog speculating about a link to terrorism.

Rest easy, Fox news viewers, and come out of your bunkers. One of the terrorists has been apprehended:

Officials blamed a wildfire that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week on a boy playing with matches, and said they would ask a prosecutor to consider the case.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, admitted to sparking the fire on Oct. 21, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht said Tuesday. Ferocious winds helped it quickly spread.

“He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire,” Hecht said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney’s office, Hecht said. It was not clear if he had been arrested or cited by detectives.

It really is hard to imagine something more irresponsible than the terrorism/wildfire link Fox News was trying to spread last week.

Ron Paul

I see that Andrew already has the Youtube of Ron Paul’s visit to Leno last night, which I saw live. Andrew quips: “Freedom: I wonder if today’s GOP leaders have heard of the idea?”

There really is one thing I do not understand about Ron Paul- why do some unseemly types seem to be attracted to him? Every day we read about some nutter or another who has contributed to him (which the GOP party apparatchiks, terrified of a Paul candidacy, quickly promote), but I have gone through his position on the issues, and the only thing I can see that would even remotely be attractive to the less seemly crowd is his position on immigration:

No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.

No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.

End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.

Surely Paul can not be the only Republican candidate who has that position on immigration, so why does it seem like the Stormfront crowds like Paul, and that a small minority of his supporters (the most vocal ones, if you are to believe Red State) are from less savory parts of the political sphere? Am I missing some dog whistles?

I do know one thing, though, about Paul. Of all the candidates on both sides of the aisle, Ron Paul is the one that my largely apolitical friends keep talking about. I was talking to a co-worker yesterday on the walk to a workshop, and he had seen Paul on C-Span. Now granted, this co-worker is to the left politically of the Democratic party, and is truly one of the folks out there who thinks the Democrats are just as corporatist (and here is Jay Rockefeller shilling for Telecom amnesty, if you needed more evidence) as the GOP, and as such, is largely disillusioned with the entire political process. However, he had glowing things to say about Paul. He doesn’t agree with him on everything, but stated that many of his proposals and positions made sense and resonated.

Like I said, he is not the only one.

Rats, Ship, Etc.

Karen Hughes edition:

Karen Hughes, who led efforts to improve the U.S. image abroad and was one of President Bush’s last remaining advisers from the close circle of Texas aides, will leave the government at the end of the year.

Hughes told The Associated Press that she plans to quit her job as undersecretary of state and return to Texas, although improving the world’s view of the United States is a “long-term challenge” that will outlast her.

“This will take a number of years,” Hughes said in an interview Tuesday.

Announcing Hughes’ decision to leave the department in mid-December, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had accepted the resignation “with a great deal of sadness but also a great deal of happiness for what she has achieved” and with the understanding that she would continue to work on several projects.

Can anyone tell me exactly what she has achieved? And that is only partially sarcastic. What exactly did she do? Isn’t our image abroad WORSE than when she started (not that it can be blamed on her, as it might have been far worse without her)?

Chris Dodd on Dope

Chris Dodd, in the debate last night discussing marijuana, medical or otherwise:

“We’re locking up too many people in our system here today. We’ve got mandatory minimum sentences, they are filling our jails with people that don’t belong there. My idea is to decriminalize this, reduce that problem here. We’ve gone from 800,000 to 2 million people in our penal institutions in this country. We’ve got to get a lot smarter about this issue than we are. And as president, I’d try and achieve that.”

I really don’t understand how this is not the default position of everyone running for President. This is such a tremendous waste of resources. Watching Dodd during the debates last night, it became clear that there are bunch of people running for President as Democrats, whereas Dodd is running to lead this country.

Obligatory troll protection:

No. I don’t smoke marijuana.

*** Update ***

In what is surely a sign of the coming apocalypse, I provide you with this link to Atrios’s Actblue donation to Chris Dodd.

Things You Have to See to Believe

1.) There is a Klan rally in Alabama, to protest the Klan:

Apparently not all Klans are created equal.

Days after the Cullman City Council approved a permit request by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to assemble in front of the courthouse, members of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan announced their group’s intent to be there as well.

The Times received an email from Ken Mier, who identified himself as an investigator for the Alabama Klan and the national office of the Ku Klux Klan LLC. Mier said his group is different from the Church of the National Knights and is against that organization’s protest tactics.

“There are many differences between our organizations that can obviously be noticed,” he said in his correspondence. “We are the real Klan and descendants of the original non-violent Klans-people.”

The Klan is just so misunderstood.

2.) Another “not-gay” Republican with an anti-gay voting record caught in, surprise, a gay-sex scandal:

State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, admitted to having sex with a man he met at an adult video store in Spokane last week, according to a police report released Tuesday afternoon.

The police report offers a damning and far different version of events from the brief account Curtis gave to The Columbian Monday, one that seems likely to threaten Curtis’ political future.

The report is filled with graphic details of an encounter that began at a porn store on a Spokane Valley strip and concluded miles away in Curtis’ room at the city’s poshest hotel.

The police report contains an account of how Curtis allegedly donned women’s clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing.

Take it away, Tbogg:

As someone noted before, the Conservative Kink bar has been set so high, that if you aren’t found dangling from a ceiling beam wearing a minimum of two wetsuits with a dildo shoved up your butt, you’re considered kind of vanilla.

3.) You are going to just love the name of the Republican running to fill DeLay’s seat:

Pasadena Mayor John Manlove resigned his post of six years Monday to join a crowded field seeking the Republican nomination for the congressional seat once held by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Manlove, 54, who owns his own marketing and advertising firm, said he had been encouraged for months by supporters to seek the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson.

Apparently, the GOP was unsuccessful convincing Tom Iraqwarfailures and Jim Fiscalmess to run, so they had to settle for Manlove.

From the comments, a possible slogan which may play well with the values party: “Hi! My name is John Manlove, and I am interested in Nick Lampson’s seat.”

Consider this a “wide” and open thread.