Bush

What is free speech today?

Most of the criticism of any kind of campaign finance reform is that is somehow clamps down on free speech. In our current federal system of pay-to-play elections, incumbents can outraise challengers and easily outspend them in gerrymandered districts, and money speaks louder than people. Speech is not free as much as its bought.

 

Two Places At Once: PA and IN Get Visits From Bush Today

A few more stories on the Bush White House’s cross country fundraising efforts on behalf of congressional candidates in tight races.

 

GOP Candidates Have Hand In Bush's Pocket

GOP candidates are publicly disagreeing with President Bush and his policies because of his low poll numbers but apparently have no qualms about using him or the vice president as a means to raise campaign cash. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, this how the White House is faring on behalf of GOP candidates:

 

Make of this what you will...

At least someone has limits on what they'd do for cash.

 

Movie star and pop singer Jessica Simpson, recently of Dukes of Hazard fame, refused to appear at a Republican fundraising event to meet with Bush. It's not clear why the fundraising event is the only time on Bush's schedule.

 

Hotline Running Snippets of Vanity Fair Interview With Abramoff

Courtesy of the DailyKos, the Hotline Blog is posting snippets of an interview with Jack Abramoff that will be printed in Vanity Fair. From the blog:

"According to the Vanity Fair article, Pres. Bush once teased Abramoff about his muscular build. 'What are you benching, buff guy?'"

Circle The Wagons: DeLay and Lampson Will Vie For Seat

DeLay was able to secure the GOP nod in TX-22 (he received 62% of the vote) but not by the margin expected from a sitting incumbent in a Republican leaning district. DeLay remains as vulnerable as people have been saying he is. Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said:

"DeLay will have to capture two-thirds of the vote in order to claim he's out of trouble."

Texas redistricting

Lu Dubose, co-author with Jan Reid of The Hammer Comes Down: The Nasty, Brutish and Shortened Political Life of Tom DeLay, has a good piece over at TomPaine.com summarizing the DeLay

It depends on what the definition of a "friend" is

Tom DeLay just sent a nine-page letter to his GOP constituents, claiming that it is "absolutely untrue" that he was a "close personal friend" of Jack Abramoff's. Hmmm...all those trips, all those gifts (remember the Three Tenors concert)? We suppose it's all in the definition of what Tom DeLay considers a friend...

The Enron E-Mails

Back in 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released some 1.5 million email messages that it collected as part of its investigation of Enron's price-gouging of California consumers. The press pounced on some of the choicer bits, but this is truly the gift that keeps giving.

Don't forget the SOTU-DeLay...