Florida

Media Only Just Notices Obama Has Thin Resume?

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Interestingly, Dan Morain of the L.A. Times had discovered back in April that Barack Obama has a pretty thin resume prior to being elevated to the presidency. Between 1993 and '96, Obama, the much-ballyhooed "Constitutional scholar," had only an unusually low 3,723 billable hours of legal work accrued over a four-year stint with his law firm employer Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard. Further, he seems to have worked on but few cases and made little impact commensurate with his reputation. Yet, just this month the Orlando Sentinel decides to re-print the Morain piece. The question I have, of course, is why is the Orlando Sentinel only NOW interested that Obama was "involved in relatively few cases before entering politics"? Where was this investigating before the election?

The Morain piece begins by recounting how Obama has so often made a big deal out of his days as a "civil-rights attorney" claiming it a key ingredient of his early, formative community development years. Yet, Morain finds that there isn't much record proving that Obama did a whole heck-of-a-lot back in those days. (bold mine)

Senior attorneys at the small firm where he worked say he was a strong writer and researcher, but was involved in relatively few cases before entering politics.

So, Obama, for all his claims of being involved in the lives of "churches and community groups" as a lawyer with the firm is... what? Blowing smoke? If the paper trail reveals he didn't work on many cases or have very many billable hours, how is it that he found this experience to be a monumental involvement in the community that shaped his career?

Morain doesn't directly ask these questions in his piece, wisely preferring to let the facts talk to the reader. But, a careful read of his L.A.Times piece cannot help but elicit the pertinent question: what the heck was Obama doing during those four years, anyway? After all, it sure doesn't look like he was doing much legal work!

Here's how Morain sums up Obama's paper trail:

30: The approximate number of legal cases Obama was involved in:

4: The number of years Obama was a full-time lawyer

70%: The amount of time Obama spent on voting rights, civil rights and employment, generally as a junior associate. (The rest of his time was spent on matters related to real-estate transactions, filing incorporation papers and defending clients against minor lawsuits.)

3,723: The number of billable hours Obama accrued while working at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard.

According to Morain, some of Obama's "big" cases were the case of a shortchanged babysitter, the case of a cold building tenant, and a lawsuit against a corporation that owned low-income housing on behalf of a guy that slipped and fell down. Additionally, Obama was involved in the enforcement of the federal Motor Voter law in Illinois -- at lest that one being a higher profile case.

So, it appears Obama has less billable hours during those four years than most young lawyers are expected to accrue (which is up to 2,000 hours a year according to some estimates), worked on but few cases, and only on one notable one. On top of that, he was rarely more than a "junior associate" the whole time.

This is the man that was praised for his extensive legal career? A slighted babysitter and a guy that fell down are the amazing legal challenges he faced as a young lawyer?

Of course, the biggest question is, why are we only now seeing this report from the L.A. Times? Where was this report two months ago or more?

Need I even ask?

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Where do Republicans Go From Here? A Grassroots Perspective.

Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey wrote in his book, Armey's Axioms, “When we act like them, we lose. When we act like us, we win.” Such words seem appropo after the 2008 general election. However, there is so much more to those words today than when they were written.

I cannot tell you how many times during the Bush Administration, political staffers at the state and federal level would seemingly say the same thing, 'I didn't sign up for this.' From the ill-executed war in Iraq to the prescription drug plan to the recent government bailout, many Republicans – both grassroots and professionals alike were caught off-guard by the brand of conservatism and, thus, the brand of Republicanism being executed at the highest levels of our government. And, worse yet, it was for the world to see. But, in his defense, President Bush didn't do it alone. He had a lot of help.

President Bush's proclamation of “compassionate conservatism” when he ran for office in 2000 was great rhetoric and a wonderful mission statement. However, Republicans failed to understand that it actually meant something. Compassionate conservatism meant spending – a lot of spending on government programs. It meant deficits and increased debt. It meant a foreign policy that focused on American exceptionalism and a Wilsonian offense spreading democracy around the world rather than a peace through strength national defense policy. In short, it was a brand of conservatism with which many Republicans were uncomfortable. It was not the brand of conservatism that built a center right America. However, he was “our guy” and they kept their lips sealed.

Now, in the wake of the recent elections, both grassroots and professional Republicans are asking, “where do we go from here?” Pundits have been busy today arguing whether Republicans and conservatives should revert back to their principles and become more partisan, thus, playing the role of loyal opposition? Or, should they acquiesce and work with the increased majorities of the House, Senate and new President-Elect Obama. Oddly, the answer can be and should be - both.

For years, conservatives have tried to indicate their political leanings by expressing themselves as Paleo-conservatives and Neo-conservatives. These designations spoke to the type of conservatism they believed in. As described by Wikipedia, Neo-Conservatives were/are, “a modern form of conservatism that supports a more assertive foreign policy, aimed at supporting American business interests abroad.” Paleo-Conservatives were/ are described as, “arising in the 1980s in reaction to neoconservatism, stresses tradition, especially Christian tradition and the importance to society of the traditional family.”

But, as President-elect Obama plainly put it, “Change has come to America.” This must be with the Republican Party and conservative movement, too. We can revert back to our most fundamental traditions, principles and philosophies; be a loyal opposition when warranted and work with the new majorities in the House and Senate at the same time. How? It won't be because of re-branding an image or reinventing the wheel. It will be by returning to our roots; a center right roots of thinkers and philosophers that ushered us into a time of peace and prosperity. We need to look to the past writings of Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, Richard Weaver, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.

In these writings we will find a stark contrast with modern conservatism most recently on display. We will find a place in the very first chapter of Russell Kirk's book, The Politics of Prudence, a proclamation that conservatism is, in fact, the lack of ideology. It is not partisan but reasoned. It is not argumentative or “gotcha” but measured. It is a far cry from the conservatism contemporaries have come to know. Further, we will find a reason for a just and moral order in our society for the sake of shared interest and partnership toward a shared future – not to force dogmatic practices on an unwilling citizenry.

In other writings from Hayek and Mises we will find a proven direction to build prosperity without taking from the rich and giving to the poor. In Burke, we will find a role for regulation without over-regulating to the point where we choke a small business' or individual's opportunity to make a profit. In Weaver, we find that ideas have consequences. Every decision carries with it levels of impact. But, as Weaver notes, “All work is a bringing of the ideal from potentiality into actuality.” We work together.

As a collection, we find a place where minorities have a home through public policies that directly benefit them and a place where they are not only welcome but are relied upon. We find a proper role for government while not intruding into peoples' personal lives or asking them to give up their liberties in the name of national security. We find a place for achieving peace through strength without active nation building or misdirecting aggression; not confusing offense with defense . We find a place for a limited social safety net while still relying on the hard work and individual responsibility of every able citizen because the greater we limit the fall, conversely, the greater we must limit the success. And, we find a place where we are truly “our brother's keeper” but a keeper by choice – not by government force.

In this time, we can begin anew to read and understand and share what traditional conservatism is and what it was meant to be. We need our state and federal leaders to do the same and be able to practice and articulate it. In this, we will be able to work with a President Obama when he has it right and serve as a loyal opposition when he has it wrong. Rather than a partisan approach – we show what a reasoned, measured and prudent approach to public policy looks like. More importantly, we will show our citizens and the rest of the world what we were supposed to be; what our movement was built to be and what our Party quit trying to be. At the very least, we will most certainly find a brand of conservatism that most of America agrees with – they just haven't seen it in a quite a while.

12News, Florida: Marriage is 'Controversial' In Florida

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A short section of the run down of the winning and losing Amendments in Florida contained a perfect example of liberal slant. In this case, a Channel 12 News piece reports on the passage of Amendment Two, an assurance that marriage shall be defined as between one man and one woman only. (For a full definition of Amendment Two, see Ballotpedia.org)

As far as News 12 is concerned, Amendment Two is "the most controversial, but it sure doesn’t seem like the people of Florida agree with channel 12 -- which is a bit of a controversy in itself there.

The most controversial-- the Florida marriage protection amendment. Voters in Florida decided to identify marriage as the union between a man and a woman, nothing else-- banning gay marriage and extra benefits for domestic partnerships. Florida will now be one of approximately 30 states with a definition of marriage in its constitution.

It's "controversial," TV 12? Apparently, however, it isn't so controversial to the citizens of The Sunshine State because Amendment Two passed with about 62% of the vote. So, as we can see, a strong majority passed Amendment Two in Florida.

Now, it may be seen as controversial by those that oppose a law that states that marriage shall be only between one man and one woman, but that group stands decidedly in the minority. And, since it is a minority that finds it controversial and not a majority that finds it so... it really isn't controversial much at all. After all, for something to be controversial in the sense that TV 12 is using the term, there has to be far more argument than 38% annoyed with the theme.

Certainly "controversy" can be applied to any idea that finds more than one stated opinion. If I say the sky is blue and you say it is whitish-blue, we have a controversy in the strictest sense of the word. But when applied to a societal issue, something ceases to be much of a controversy once numbers overwhelmingly favor a single idea. If 62% of the people in Florida agreed with me, for instance, that the sky is blue, your claim that it is whitish-blue is suddenly less of a controversy than it was when it was a 50/50 split between just the two of us.

This is the case in Florida where a mere 38% disagreed with Amendment Two. This makes it not much of a controversy at all in the electoral sense. Yet, TV 12 had to make it a point to call this Amendment "the most controversial" one on the ballot.

And Florida isn’t alone in seeing this issue as pretty uncontroversial. 30 states now have passed similar bills and Amendments to constitutions all across the land. Even nationally, this issue isn’t so controversial since the largest number of Americans stand against gay marriage and against the alteration of traditional marriage.

The truth of the matter is, Amendment Two might seem controversial to the media, but it didn't to the voting public of the State of Florida.

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Why I Prefer to Be a Bad Sport for Now


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On November 5 John Kasich wrote: “We must figure out how to reorganize and restructure ourselves so that we can once again command the confidence and respect of not only the members of our own party, but voters of all stripes.”  I certainly agree that conservatism must be redefined, and I will offer my suggestions in a moment.  But I submit that none of us is ready for the task just yet.

 

In her 1969 groundbreaker On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., introduced a model known as the Five Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  While not every process entails all five stages, the good doctor stated categorically that everyone experiences at least two.  But it appears that virtually every conservative commentator has tossed the model out and substituted his own single-phase paradigm: Submission.  No sooner had Senator McCain delivered his concession speech than some of my favorite radio talk show hosts – who had been breathing fire just hours earlier – blandly appealed to my optimism as though the proponents of capitalism and self-determination had merely lost a preseason football game.  Perhaps they don’t want to appear sore losers.  Perhaps they want to come across as “high-roaders.”  But in whose eyes?  I guarantee you the liberals are so drunk with victory that they don’t care whether we lost sportingly or otherwise.  Besides, it is a bit late for conservatives to worry about image.  We have been drubbed.  We have been bulldozed, hoodwinked, ground into the muck.  We fought fair while they pulled every dirty trick in the playbook, and they clobbered us silly.

 

Where is the outrage, ladies and gentlemen?  Do liberals hold a patent on passion?  Did someone outlaw indignation while I wasn’t looking?  The liberals seem to wield it freely enough.  History instructs that we can not move forward until we fully appreciate where we are.  Permit me to remind all of those blasé “we’ll-gettum-next-timers” a few facts I can recall off the top of my head about the man who just gave conservatism a bloody nose.  Barack Hussein Obama: (1) exhibited blatant sexism during the primaries, then thumbed his nose at feminism by snubbing Senator Clinton in favor of “Conehead” Biden; (2) showed the “common man” his true elitist colors when he rejected public campaign financing and outspent Senator McCain by a factor of 7 to 1; (3) would turn our courts into tools for “redistributive justice”; (4) used government computers and databases to find dirt that would discredit Joe the Plumber; (5) has bragged about the fact that he wants to increase the tax burden on the producers of this country so that he can guarantee a better living for the 30-40% who are freeloaders; (6) was endorsed by both Hugo Chavez and Iran’s parliament; and (7) has little patience for the notion of individual rights.

 

And another thing.  Let us not forget that, despite his silken demeanor, the man is an empty suit when it comes to concrete solutions.  I know attorneys because I am one.  The first lesson they teach in law school is how to use as many of the biggest words available to say as little as possible.  Our new chief executive took that lesson to heart.  People are weeping and screaming and dancing in the streets because “we” made history on November 4 by electing the first African American in U.S. history.  Unfortunately, a majority of the voters got so caught up in making history that they forgot to ask what kind of person lay beneath the fashionable skin they were about to vote for.  Let’s face it.  Obama didn’t have to make sense.  He needed no substance.  And he didn’t need to curry favor with moderates.  All he needed was to be a good looking, well-spoken black man who hung out with “cool” people like Madonna and Bruce Springsteen.  And he knew it from day one.  When I was a boy I was taught that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s would someday stamp out racism.  I’m sorry to report that racism is still with us; it has merely switched sides.

 

This is the America our complacency has nurtured.  So spare me the silver-lining pablum.  I want to hear some emotionally healthy yelling and desk-pounding out there.  I’m not talking about rioting or bullying.  Those of you with an established forum in the media know exactly what to do.  I only hope you’ll find the motivation to do it.  As for the rest of you, try this as an example.  When I moved to a college town some years back, I confess that I allowed my vitriolic liberal brother-in-law to temper my philosophies.  Whenever he would rant about the evils he perceived Bush to have perpetrated, I was quick to remind him that the common enemy wasn’t Bush – it was career politicians and elitists in general.  When he simmered down I patted myself on the back for "remaining above the fray."  But one evening my 9-year-old nephew bragged to me that he had browbeaten a schoolmate of his into “voting” for a liberal in an important race.  With the glassy-eyed exuberance of a Hitler youth, he recited the mantra he had heard night after night from his father.  I decided I had placated the brother-in-law for the last time.  Though I don’t hang out as much with my sister’s family as a result, I can rest assured that my nephew now knows his father’s way of thinking is not the only way.

 

So conservatism as we know it has been pulverized.  It lies dead in the gutter.  How do we resurrect it?  The first thing we do is reintroduce ourselves to some fundamental principles many of us have forgotten: lower taxes; limited government intervention; disciplined government spending; individualism.  All variations of the concepts of tradition and convention must be eliminated from our lexicon.  Who do we attract?  On the count of three, let’s all scratch our heads.  One … two … three … and there is our answer: Real People.  But just what is a real person?  As a rule of thumb, real people don’t toe the party line or wear the homogenous blue blazer.  Take me, for instance.  I’m into The Who, Pearl Jam and the Black Keys, but I refuse to buy a suit that is anything but double-breasted.  I have tattoos, but I believe shoelaces should be tied, belt loops should be belted and undershorts should be covered in public.  I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and I will not hesitate to go for the kill shot if someone breaks into my home.  On the other hand, I have never understood, and will never understand, the attraction of game hunting.  I am an agnostic.  I detest abortion, but I think an outright ban ignores reality.  Though I am a heterosexual, I don’t understand how letting gays get married diminishes the institution for straights.  By the same token, I don’t understand why gays feel the need to impose an archaic religious ritual on an otherwise fulfilling relationship.  I don’t indulge in illegal recreational drugs; just the same, I don’t see the harm in legalizing marijuana or cocaine – people bent on destroying themselves will do it one way or another, so there’s no reason to spoil the party for responsible users.  Blah, blah, enough about me.

 

The point is that today’s conservative is not as easy to peg as was the little twerp Michael J. Fox played on prime time television in the 1980s.  That is why there were so many so-called Independents out there for Obama and his string-pullers to swoop up this time around.  The key to redefining conservatism is to refrain from overdefining it.  Agree on a very limited number of core principles, leave the rest of the slate clean and welcome the deluge of fresh new faces with bold ideas who will inevitably flock to your doorstep.

 

-R. Thomas Risk

 

 

Advice for Obama Press Corps: Keep Your 'Chute Handy

As confirmed by Politico.com's Ben Smith in his corroboration of the story that broke on the Drudge Report last night, the Obama campaign did indeed bump three major newspapers from the press group traveling aboard the candidate's plane.  Although press accounts are not specific, it is assumed that their removal was conducted while the plane was still on the ground.

The Obama campaign indicated that they will try to find seats on campaign buses for the disenfranchised Dallas Morning News, Washington Times and New York Post staff, and that they are encouraging them to travel with Joe Biden. 

(Two major right-leaning newspapers, who now have an axe to grind, riding along with the king of the gaffes?  One would think that Team Obama would be better served in the final days of the election by giving them daily interview sessions with Barack than by placing them within earshot of gaffemaster Joe.)

While it is true that in a similar move, Senator McCain barred Maureen Dowd and Joe Klein from his campaign plane, there is a subtle but important distinction between that punishment and the kind of retribution Obama is meting out. 

Dowd and Klein are columnists.  They write commentary and analysis in their own voice and the result is mainly the opinion of the writer as an individual.  When a columnist gleefully pounds away at a politician, it doesn't seem at all out of bounds for the politician to shut down that one person's access.  Even if the lex talionis - eye for an eye - mode of justice may be harsh, at least it observes some semblance of symmetry.

A newspaper's endorsement of a candidate is a decision more often made by the ownership of the paper, in consultation with the editorial staff, but it is never made by reporters.  The reporting done thus far by the ejected journalists has not been harmful to Obama.  On the contrary, most campaign trail reporting tips toward positive coverage of a candidate as reporters develop a relationship with the candidate they are covering.  Label it human nature or the Helsinki Syndrome, depending on your perspective.

There is no balance in Obama's retaliatory strike and it could say something larger about how he will apply power to other problems that arise.  In international terms, we assign a particular label to people and causes that consider innocents as appropriate tools for conveying political messages.  In domestic terms it is political thuggery and the penchant the Obama camp has for silencing dissent should at least give us a reason to retain skepticism, whether you color yourself red, blue or purple.

The Chicago-style politics of making war on anyone a politician classifies as 'enemies' by hitting their proxies is something that we, as a nation, have been trying to extinguish for more than one hundred years, but the Obama machine is reviving those tactics of naked power and proving that they still work.  He is giving us a sample, a sneak peak of his wilder side.

With the prospect of single-party rule of the federal government, and intimidation of media who are perceived as 'unfriendly' to an Obama administration, more than ever it seems clear that a vote for Obama is a vote for change.  When we realize what the word 'change' really means in Obamaspeak, I only hope that we will be able to change back.

The Obama-Frank defense cuts create an opening

My friend and colleague, Patrick Ottenhoff, had an interesting analysis of Virginia back in June that could be on the money:

Major federal contractors set up shop in Northern Virginia and, in turn, subcontracted work to technology firms that hired accountants and lawyers. The young professionals who work at those firms in Tysons Corner, Reston and Ashburn are part of Obama’s core constituency. But the ideology and lifeblood of many of these firms is rooted in continued defense spending — one part of the Bush legacy that McCain would be sure to continue. In an election in which Republicans’ Iraq policy will hurt McCain in almost every state, his bullish foreign policy could actually help him in some quarters of Virginia.

Let's forgive Pat for missing the economic crisis and improvement in Iraq and focus on the basic economic point for a moment. When Barney Frank said that he would cut defense spending by 25%, both resonating with an image of Barack Obama and particular statements, an opportunity was created.

State Jobs Money
Florida 723,000 $52b
Virginia 245,000 $56b
 North Carolina 416,000 $23b
Pennsylvania  60,000  $8b
Missouri 159,000  

Significant defense cuts have the opportunity to creat massive economic dislocations for people and communities. And they know it. Just look at the terror in Northern Virginia over BRAC. John McCain's campaign figured this out. This is basic paycheck issue for a lot of hard-working people. Suddenly, Barack Obama's "radicalism" means something to real people. Let's look at some numbers.

The key thing to realize hereis that you can cut ads in these states and people will get it. Imagine scripts like these:

Barack Obama doesn't just endanger our national security wtih his untested ideas, he  endangers [state]'s economic security.  In [state], that means [jobs] jobs. And it just starts there. When you remove those jobs from [state] everyone suffers from even lower house prices to the damage done to small businesses.

These can be supplemented with statements by local politians who, inevitably, fell over themselves to talk about BRAC and the damage that removing even one office at one military base, or even civilian office, would do to the community.

This is an issue that, when tied with Joe the Plumber and whatever crazy ACORN or whatever else stuff pops over the weekend can resonate with John McCain's underlying message. These are real issues. Barack Obama is talking about "change", while John McCain is talking about what's in your pocket-book. That's something that people understand and that we need to nail the last 5 days of the campaign.

 

 

Meet the New Congressman from FL-16

Republican Tom Rooney:

And here's why:

The Tarrance Group for the NRCC (10/15-16, likely voters, 10/9 in parens):

Tim Mahoney (D-inc): 29 (56)
Tom Rooney (R): 55 (31)
(MoE: ±5.8%)

The Democrats are toast in this district if Mahoney stays in. And I seem to remember something about the incumbent's name staying on the ballot if he does withdraw.

 

Orlando Sentinel Invents New Anti-Gun Attack: 'Disposable AK-47s'

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It isn't every day that gun grabbers can invent a whole new catch phrase to use against our Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment, but the Orlando Sentinel is giving it the old college try just the same. Sentinel staff writer Henry Pierson Curtis extrapolates "an alarming trend" that he is calling "disposable AK-47s" out of the words of a Florida police officer. So, now we have a new worry that the gun grabbers can use to scare people into accepting the destruction of our Constitutional rights.

Using an incident in Orlando to drum up their newest gun grabbing meme, the Sentinel tells the tale of some criminals that perpetrated a double killing and then ran from the scene abandoning two AK-47s, two handguns and a shotgun behind them. The Sentinel warps a quote from an Orlando Detective into the new catch phrase.

"They just disposed of them like disposable cigarette lighters, I guess, because they're so easy to get," sheriff's homicide Detective Dave Clark said Friday. "I mean, it's really unusual for people to leave stuff like this behind."

So, from the casually exclaimed term "disposable cigarette lighters" the Sentinel gets the new fear of "disposable AK-47s." One pair of murderous scumbags leaving behind their arsenal as they flee from the scene and suddenly we have "disposable AK-47s." Amazing leap, isn't it?

In fact, there isn't a thing in the rest of the story that supports this disposable AK-47s conclusion that the Sentinel is pushing. The police never say that they are finding these guns strewn about at crime scenes, nor do they even hint at the concept of a disposable AK-47. It is a complete fabrication based on an off-handed comment by a policeman.

One wonders how Detective Clark likes the fact that his comments have been used to create a brand new -- yet fake -- criminal modus operandi?

Be sure and Visit my Home blog Publius' Forum. It's what's happening NOW!

Well, America, you got played

I have to link to Gateway Pundit on this one. While the post is specifically about the Tim Mahoney scandal, I have a more global point to make

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/10/dem-leaders-knew-mahoney-sex-scandal.html

Check out Mahoney's TV ad; the one where he proclaims that he is "keeping Congress clean"

Folks, Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel played us for a bunch of rubes in the last election.

Now, did we deserve our shellacking?, sure we did . But let's look at the facts.

The Democrats ran against the fiscal imprudence of the Bush administration and the lack of ethics in Washington. And what did they do-----spend money even faster and become even more ethically obtuse than the last crowd running Capitol Hill.  John Doolittle using lobbyist money to pay spouse; meet Speaker Pelosi.

Worst of it, they knew that's what they were going to do and simply scammed the angry voters into blaming it all on the Republicans.   They were going to pass a law or too they'd promptly ignore and start looting Washington themselves.

And ethics? Hey they think that's just a lever to get those faith based voters bitter at the Republicans long enough to vote for Democrats who will enact a secular agenda. 

Rahm Emanuel recruited Mahoney to run in this district and had an opportunity to knew Tim Mahoney's character or lack thereof. My guess is he knew he was a sleaze from the word go and fell on the floor laughing he had scammed the voters of Florida.  

So, what about this year?

America sees Barack Obama promising to "cut taxes for 95% of America".  It's a seductive promise, but one no more grounded in reality than Mahoney's ethics agenda.  

Neither are the claims by congressional Democrat challengers that they will "fix Washington". More support for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is going to fix what, exactly? 

Tim Mahoney is a window into the soul of the Democratic Party---a party that will say anything to gain power and then once it has it, use it to the detriment of the voters whom they scammed into gaining the power.

I hope Americans hear the theme song from CSI when they vote November 4.   

Are Rahm Emanuel and Tim Mahoney covering up a bribe?

Promoted - an insider speculates about today's news that Tim Mahoney paid off his mistress.

Today’s breaking news about Florida Congressman Tim Mahoney paying off his mistress for $121,000 begs a very important question: What did Rahm Emanuel know and when did he know it?

According to ABC News, which broke the story online earlier today, Congressman Rahm Emanuel knew (or had heard) about Mahoney’s affair last year and confronted Mahoney about it.

Senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the matter from hurting his re-election campaign, the Mahoney staffers said.

A spokesperson for Emanuel, said he confronted Mahoney "upon hearing a rumor" about an affair in 2007 and "told him he was in public life and had a responsibility to act accordingly." Emanuel's spokesperson said he had not had any further contacts with Mahoney on the subject and did not know the woman involved worked on Mahoney's Congressional staff until informed by ABC News.

So what…so Rahm had a conversation more than a year ago.  Big deal.

Ya, except that we know one thing about Rahm from his vociferous denials two years ago about his involvement in leaking the Mark Foley emails: Rahm is a habitual liar.

RealClearPolitics.com flashback:

For those keeping score, Emanuel denied knowledge of the [Foley] e-mails six times, and twice declared the source of the leaks was a Republican. As it turned out, the answer to Stephanopoulos’ first question concerning whether this was a Democrat dirty trick should actually have been ‘Yes.’

It stands to reason that Rahm Emanuel wanted to protect his investment in Florida’s 16th Congressional District and wasn’t about to let Mahoney’s tryst undo all the damage Emanuel was able to do to Republicans in 2006. 

The question to Rahm is “What did you know and when did you know it?”  Only this time, tell the truth. 

The theory is that Mahoney could have laundered the $121,000 payoff through his media vendor back in March. (For those still keeping score, that’s a major violation of the law.)  Mahoney made a $150,000 campaign expenditure to his media consultant back in March.  According to the FEC, the money was reported for a “Media Time Buy.”  Except, no media time was ever purchased.  That’s a whole lotta money for nothing in return.  (Other than the silence of a woman scorned.)

UPDATE

Mahoney's media vendor has put out a press release.  You need to read this.  Below the fold.

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