Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bits and Pieces for $100, Alex

Montgomery Advertiser Finally Sees a Ray of Light on Siegelman Case
Is it possible the scales are beginning to fall from the eyes of the leaders at one of Alabama's major newspapers?

The Montgomery Advertiser, in the wake of this week's report about the removal of nine U.S. attorneys around the nation, has decided that partisan decision making might really be a problem in the Bush Justice Department.

Heck, the Advertiser has decided, maybe former Governor Don Siegelman has a point about political prosecutions carried out by "loyal Bushies" at Justice:

It is unlikely that the Justice Department report will have any direct impact on Siegelman's appeal of his conviction, which is scheduled to be heard by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in early December.

But as evidence of political meddling in the operations of the Justice Department by the Bush White House mount, Siegelman's claims of being targeted for political reasons start to sound more plausible.

Until now, folks at the Advertiser apparently thought:

* 60 Minutes produced a major investigative piece on the Siegelman case just for grins;

* Scott Horton, legal affairs contributor at Harper's magazine and law professor at Columbia University, wrote numerous posts and longer pieces about the Siegelman case because he had nothing better to do;

* Craig Unger is working on a major Siegelman piece for Vanity Fair because . . . gosh, they needed something to fill up pages; and

* Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson came forward with revelations about GOP plans to railroad Siegelman because she just knew it would help her law practice in north Alabama.

Pro-Palin Witness Reverses Course
Jason Leopold, of The Public Record and Consortium News, continues to be a go-to source on the Sarah Palin story.

Leopold's latest piece says a key Troopergate witness has backed off an earlier defense of Palin and now says the governor's associates applied pressure to deny worker's compensation benefits to her ex-brother-in-law.

Murlene Wilkes, owner of Harbor Adjustment Service in Anchorage, says she received multiple phone calls and personal visits from the Palin inner circle in an effort to deny benefits for trooper Mike Wooten.

Palin Might Give Biden All He Can Handle
Many observers seem to be assuming that Joe Biden will mop the floor with Sarah Palin in tomorrow night's vice presidential debate. But someone who knows firsthand what it is like to debate Palin says we might be in for a surprise.

Andrew Halcro, who ran for governor in Alaska as an independent in 2006, has debated Palin some two dozen times. He says she can be a formidable foe, not because she is knowledgeable--she isn't--but because she is a master of "the fine art of the nonanswer."

This can throw a smart, prepared opponent, such as Biden, off his game. Halcro's advice? Biden should speak as if Palin isn't there, treating it as a conversation between himself, the moderator, and the audience.

Voter Purges Are In Full Swing
CBS News is slated to report this evening that voter purges are under way in 19 states, and they appear to be designed to hurt the chances of Democratic candidates.

The story is based on a new report from the bipartisan Brennan Center for Justice. It shows 21,000 voters purged in Louisiana and 10,000 in Mississippi.

And--surprise, surprise--Alabama is among the 19 states where purges reportedly are taking place.

Going After Gonzo
Our friends at the Grievance Project have launched an effort to question whether former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is fit to practice law.

The folks at GP have sent correspondence to Gonzalez' attorney and the media contact for the Web site, asking for responses to specific allegations of wrongdoing by the former AG.

GP also has prepared complaints regarding the professional misconduct of Kyle Sampson, Monica Goodling and other luminaries in the Bush Justice Department.

Will be interesting to see how "loyal Bushies" respond when confronted with facts. Probably not well--or not at all.

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