Archive for April, 2011

Crisis averted.

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T-minus 2 hours and 30 minutes to shutdown

Live Performance

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Music
Tags: , ,

Sleepercar – “Wednesday Nights”

Here’s a good guide from CNN on what will/won’t be affected by the government shutdown.

Update: Also see this guide from the Washington Post about how government agencies will be affected. Their shutdown countdown clock at T-minus 4 hours and counting…

From Mike Allen’s Playbook earlier this week, a look at who’s who in the Obama re-election campaign:

Jim Messina, Campaign Manager

Jen O’Malley-Dillon, Deputy Campaign Manager

Julianna Smoot, Deputy Campaign Manager

Rufus Gifford, Director of Finance

Liz Lowery, Deputy Finance Director

Ben LaBolt, Press Secretary

Katie Hogan, Deputy Press Secretary

Mitch Stewart, Battleground States Director

Jeremy Bird, National Field Director

Marlon Marshall, Deputy National Field Director: Marshall will leave his post as National field director for the DCCC to join the re-election campaign in Chicago. He served as field director in Nevada, Ohio and Indiana for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008 before joining the Obama campaign as the General Election Director in Missouri. Marlon is a native of St. Louis and attended the University of Kansas.

Somebody’s been doing some oppo research on the Donald

Donald Trump sent Nancy Pelosi warm wishes when she was sworn in as House Speaker in January 2007, praising her as “the best” in a personal note.

Trump, who’s now mulling a Republican run for president, penned the note on a copy of a New York Times article that chronicled Pelosi’s swearing-in, and wrote, “Nancy — you’re the best. Congrats. Donald,” according to sources familiar with the missive.

Trump, now a registered Republican, is a former independent and former registered Democrat. And the Pelosi note is a reminder that he has a past political history of supporting both sides of the aisle.

Trump confirmed to POLITICO he wrote the note, but said it was “because I want her to do great, and I want this country to be great, and I [didn’t] want her to fail as Speaker. And I like her.”

His past campaign contributions run the spectrum of American politics, including prominent Democrats and Republicans. However, two in particular from the recent past jump out at me. First, this $50,000 donation to American Crossroads, the conservative 527 group, made on October 6, 2010 (screengrab from FEC electronic records):

The second is this $50,000 donation to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in Chicago, made just before Christmas of last year, but after the big Republican wins in the 2010 midterms (screengrab from Illinois State Board of Elections electronic records):

You’ll recall Emanuel’s previous job was as chief of staff to President Obama – the man Trump would be running against if he commits to the 2012 presidential race. If Trump decides to jump into the 2012 Republican sweepstakes, I assume this is an issue that will come up from other campaigns.

If you only read one story today, it should be this report from the Center for Public Integrity (via the Daily Beast):

Some journalists develop a delicate relationship with law-enforcement officials as they try to obtain sensitive information without getting too close to the government.

But a once-classified FBI memo reveals that the bureau treated a senior ABC News journalist as a potential confidential informant in the 1990s, pumping the reporter to ascertain the source of a sensational but uncorroborated tip that the network had obtained during its early coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The journalist, whose name is not disclosed in the document labeled “secret,” not only cooperated but provided the identity of a confidential source, according to the FBI memo—a likely breach of journalistic ethics if he or she did not have the source’s permission.

The ABC employee was even assigned a number in the FBI’s informant database, indicating he or she was still being vetted for suitability as a snitch after providing “highly accurate and reliable information in the past” and then revealing information the network had obtained in the hours just after the terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh.

The journalist “advised that a source within the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service advised that the Oklahoma City bombing was sponsored by the Iraqi Special Services who contracted seven (7) former Afghani Freedom Fighters out of Pakistan,” an April 17, 1996 FBI memo states, recounting the then-ABC journalist’s interview with FBI agents a year earlier on the evening of the April 19, 1995 bombing. (The Iraqi connection, of course, never materialized.)

This story has profound ethical questions for journalists and ABC News in particular. Journalists are supposed to get information from government sources, not the other way around. Obviously, until we know more about the identity of the reporter, it would not be useful or productive to speculate on his or her motives. But this revelation puts reporters, particularly investigative reporters who cover law enforcement, intelligence, or military beats, on the defensive. Don’t be surprised if at least one reporter, if not several, comes out publicly and says he or she has never been a government informant.

Update: Gawker is identifying the mole as current CBS News Washington Bureau Chief Christopher Isham.

Isham declined to comment when reached by Gawker. A CBS spokeswoman responded, “This is a matter for ABC News.”

Update II: Isham has released a statement denying he was the mole.

The suggestion that I was an informant for the FBI is outrageous and untrue. Like every investigative reporter, my job for 25 years has been to check out information and tips from sources. In the heat of the Oklahoma City bombing, it would not be unusual for me or any journalist to run information by a source within the FBI for confirmation or to notify authorities about a pending terrorist attack. This is consistent with the policies at every news organization. But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else. Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague – a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received.