James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway

In 1965, James Ridgeway helped launch the modern muckraking era by revealing that General Motors had hired private eyes to spy on an obscure consumer advocate named Ralph Nader. He worked for many years at the Village Voice, has written 16 books, and has codirected Blood in the Face, a film about the far right. In 2012, he was named a Soros Justice Media Fellow.

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JoeMotion

| Tue Oct. 17, 2006 1:43 PM PDT

Charlie Cook's staff on CSPAN Sunday were predicting Senate control will ride on one vote. Could go either way. Whatever happens that's going to give tremendous leverage to Joe Lieberman,who is running 8-10 points ahead of Ned Lamont. Lieberman confirmed to us this morning he will organize with the Democrats. But, he can always change his mind.Whatever happens he is in a position to exercise considerable leverage—in terms of committee assignments and pork.Lieberman could end up with more power in Connecticut than fellow senator and Democrat Christopher Dodd , not to mention greater influence than the Bush family before it fled into exile in Texas.

As for Vermont's Bernie Sanders, running far ahead of Richard Tarrant (64-32) in the Vermont senate race, his office said Sanders will organize with the Democrats.

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Jeb: "I Wasn't Hiding in the Closet"

| Fri Oct. 13, 2006 10:42 AM PDT

NewMax.com,the up to the minute conservative site has the latest in the Jeb Bush saga:

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has disputed media accounts that said he hid in a closet to avoid anti-Republican protesters during a visit to Pittsburgh last week.

Bush encountered protesters Oct. 6 while on his way to a fund-raising event for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum at Pittsburgh's exclusive Duquesne Club.

Curiously, those media accounts seemed to focus more on the "closet" aspect of the story than on the behavior of the unruly, obscenity-shouting mob. The stories mentioned prominently that Bush sought "refuge in a subway station supply closet."

Bush said it was actually a boiler room.

Bush said he had to seek safety in the boiler room when he came across the protesters, but also said he was never concerned for his safety because he was taller and "more burly" than most of the protesters who chased him.

House Ethics Committee Takes Up Foley Scandal

| Thu Oct. 5, 2006 8:58 AM PDT

The Foley scandal lurches into the dormant House Ethics Committee Thursday morning. This committee is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and hasn't been able to get up the nerve to investigate anything for the last year-and-a-half. The Jack Abramoff scandal was decided in the courts, and the congress was barely able to scrape together a tepid lobby reform in its aftermath. With Bush supporting Hastert, John McCain, an all but declared presidential nominee for 2008, has jumped in to push the ethics committee on and show the Christian Right he is morally correct. Mind you these are the people who smeared McCain in 2000. But in recent months McCain has made every effort to make up with them.

If the Ethics committee actually wants to get anywhere, that is, to conduct an investigation along the lines of congressional inquiries into former Speakers Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich, it will need to hire an independent counsel. That might well be the kiss of death for Hastert, if he hangs on that long, since his own top aide is being accused of helping to cover up the scandal. To make matters worse, one of his supporters had proposed he handle the mess by temporarily shutting down the House page program, leading to yet more outcry.

Yesterday, the Republican leadership was dumping on Hastert and blaming the Democrats. George Will this morning scathingly attacks Hastert, quoting his feeble defense of himself on Rush Limbaugh: "We have a story to tell, and the Democrats have — in my view have — put this thing forward to try to block us from telling the story. They're trying to put us on the defense." This line isn't going to work. There's a good chance the ethics committee, egged on by the Hastert defenders, will stop attacking Democrats and launch an attack on gays. "Investigators for the House Ethics Committee want to know if gays in the House conspired to protect Foley," Capitol Hill Blue reports today. "We're talking
tip of the iceberg here," one House Ethics Committee staffer tells the website. "This thing will just keep getting worse."

UPDATE: The House Ethics Committee, which convened this morning, just announced that it will handle the inquiry into the page program. Republican Doc Hastings and Democrat Howard Berman have been selected to lead the investigation, which Berman said will be concluded in a matter of "weeks, not months." The AP is also reporting that in addition to the Ethics Committee investigation Hastert will also ask former FBI director Louis Freeh to "examine the page system and make recommendations on how to improve the program."

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