Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 15, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

This week's column is more proof that Jack Kelly's an active part of the right wing noise machine polluting our nation's political discourse.

I'll start, not with the column but with this article from the AP:

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.

Do I even need to point out what Jack does this week?

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.


Anonymous said...

I try to look at the bright side regarding Jack Kelly . . . every column he writes soaks up space that might have been devoted to a persuasive Republican.

This fellow doesn't persuade anyone. Blindered conservatives love him. Blindered liberals hate him. No thoughtful reader pays any attention to him.

Ol' Froth said...

Did Jack-o write any columns on McCain's lobbyist buddies having to leave his campaign because of their ties to opressive regimes??

Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Darn those conservatives. Just who gave them access to free speech anyway? Get Rep. Waxman to run an investigation on this Jack Kelly guy and see if we can't get him shut down.

Anonymous said...

John K. also says: And see if we can't get impeachment charges against someone. Or at least an indictment or two. Why is Karl Rove still free?

Anonymous said...

Why is Karl Rove still free?

Because he gave Major Andre a terrorist fist bump.

Anonymous said...

If I had more time, I'd create a wiki for trolls commenting on Pittsburgh blogs. There'd be an entry for John K, of course. Perhaps there'd even be a way for bloggers and fellow commenters to rate trolls on how annoying or offensive they are. Anyone want to run with this idea?

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you can call John a troll. Sincerely. John is the best argument for progressivism I've seen in the blogosphere, and one of the best arguments for the idiocy of the right.

I often wonder if John is not actually one of us, deliberately looking stupid to help us make our case.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: I own this blog. You left wingers never refute anything I say. You just attack the poster. "...that Jack Kelly's an active aprt of the right wing noise machine polluting our nation's political discourse." LOL LOL LMAO. Yep it is as I said, the greatest threat to a liberal is a conservative with access to a pen and paper or a microphone. LMAO I own this blog.

Anonymous said...

Quoth the Bard, John K. in the 3 days or so before he complained about not being taken seriously:

--- I am still on the floor that this blog is so weak.

--- If you flick a booger on a liberal they might just eat it

--- Terrorist fist jab LOL LOL.

--- how loony the left is.

--- LMAO what a miserable existence.

--- Yah buddy, I want Pelosi and Waters regulating the oil market.

--- you liberals are so full of hate when Bush wakes up in the morning you complain.

It's kind of hard to refute "facts" like these, John.

Why do I bother? Ain't no cure for stupid.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: When did I complain about not being taken seriously? You still haven't given me the phone number to Angelo Mozilo so that I can take advantage of those low interest rates he gave all those Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Poor John. Frustrated rage must be a tough condition to cope with.

Anonymous said...

Schmuck your post @ 2:17 made John's point. You must be obsessed to keep/look up those quotes. If John K. really didn't matter you wouldn't spend so much time trying to discredit him.
I thought you were smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

Obsessed? Maybe.

Of course John K. means a lot to me. He represents the illogical, brainless, juvenile, faith-based thinking of about a quarter of this country. You can't just ignore a force like that.

Now the real reason: This is just so much fun!

And you're right, I am plenty smart. Honorable, too.

Anonymous said...

Schmuck, don't paint everyone who has faith (including me) with the same broad brush used on John K. He'd be a jackass as an atheist, too. Leave faith out of this.

Anonymous said...

Schmuck, don't paint everyone who has faith (including me) with the same broad brush used on John K.

Eric, we can discuss religion separately, but I couldn't agree more that most people of faith are otherwise quite reasonable.

My point in using the expression "faith-based" is that when our government makes policy and decisions based on faith and best-case scenarios rather than fact and analysis we get...well, we get the current administration.

BTW, I would be a jackass as a believer, too.