I'll start, not with the column but with this article from the AP:
Do I even need to point out what Jack does this week?
The Republican National Committee was quick and relentless in jumping on an article published Saturday in The Wall Street Journal, which questioned favorable mortgage loans obtained by Jim Johnson. A former chairman of mortgage lender Fannie Mae, Johnson was leading Obama's effort to select a running mate.
Obama largely ignored the criticism on Monday and Tuesday. But on Wednesday, Johnson stepped down.
When he did, the RNC increased its criticisms of another member of Obama's vice presidential vetting team, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. Using e-mails, conference calls and other outlets, the committee challenged Holder's role in a pardon given to fugitive financier Marc Rich in the final days of Bill Clinton's presidency.
Point one: Jim Johnson's mortgage baggage - check:
The Wall Street Journal reported Mr. Johnson received $1.9 million in loans at below market rates from Countrywide Financial, thanks to his friendship with Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. This was embarrassing for Sen. Obama, because he has laid much of the blame for the subprime mortgage crisis on Countrywide.And Jack really has to work on his clarity Far be it from me, a lowly blogger scribe, to give him a lesson in his writing skils but in some places he's just not clear enough. He writes:
In 2004, it was learned that Fannie Mae executives had concealed $10.6 billion in losses through questionable accounting practices. This was about 19 times the size of Enron's losses, but attracted much less media attention, perhaps because, as Slate's Daniel Gross put it in a 2004 article, Fannie Mae "has become something of a holding pen for key Democrats."What this has to do with Johnson's Citywide mortgate, I have no idea. And you may think that Jack is quoting Gross that the reason Fannie Mae has attracted much less media attention is that it's "something of a holding pen" for Democrats. Well my friends, here's the Gross article. And here's the paragraph Jack quotes from:
Fannie Mae is taking a beating on the Hill and in the marketplace of public opinion. The stock is down, and the stock of CEO Raines is down even more. (One of the undiscussed subtexts here is that Fannie Mae, an equal opportunity political donor, has become something of a holding pen for key Democrats.) But while there may be calls to privatize the company or revoke some of its privileges, the smart money is betting no significant changes are in the offing.So while Jack is quoting Gross in a sentence that says that Fannie Mae hasn't been getting much media attention, what he's quoting from states up front that "Fannie Mae is taking a beating on the Hill and in the marketplace of public opinion."
In any event, if you look very closely you'll see that Jack doesn't at all say what part Johnson had in the Fannie Mae scandal of 2004. And yet he included the it anyway.
Clarity, Jack. It'll help your argument if you clarify your positions. And if you can possibly avoid misrepresenting what you're quoting then that would go a long way as well.
Now back to Johnson. He's gone. He should have been checked out better. But I'm not finished with Jack.
Following the Republican talking points outlined by the AP, Jack jumps on Eric Holder:
We may see this pattern repeated soon. The more problematic appointment to his vice presidential search committee may be Eric Holder, deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. Mr. Holder was a key figure in the last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife, Denise, was a major contributor to Clinton campaigns and to the Clinton library fund.Left out of that was of course the name of Marc Rich's attorney, Scooter Libby who, presumably was also a "key figure" in the pardon. In fact according to CNN Libby said:
Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff testified Thursday he believes prosecutors of billionaire financier Marc Rich "misconstrued the facts and the law" when they went after Rich on tax evasion charges.We can go back and forth on the Rich pardon.
I'd like to take a look, though, at Senator McCain's Veep vetter. His name is Arthur Culvahouse and by Jack's own criteria of who's acceptable as Veep-vetter, he's got some issues.
He was Ronald Reagan's White House Counsel from 1987 to the end of the gipper's second administration. He advised Reagan on things like the Iran-Contra scandal (remember that one? the Reagan administration, in defiance of the law, sold arms to Iran in exchange for hostages and then diverted the profits to the Contras? Remember?).
That's the guy working for McCain on his Veep choice.