Not a pretty sight. If there's any honor here, it's with the JAGs.
Update: Read the full, sworn, statement by LTC Darrel J. Vandeveld.
New Year's wishes, candidate style, forwarded by my mother.
One positive side-effect of the crisis: real journalism in my morning paper. In today's NYT there's the long-missed taste of some straight talk.
Look at the “News Analysis” article entitled In Bailout Vote, a Leadership Breakdown . No pussyfooting here from Jackie Calmes (with assists from several others):
The leaders of both parties failed, many analysts agreed, in bringing the measure to the House floor without knowing whether it had the votes to pass — a bad move at any time, but especially so in this case given the risk of the markets and the badly weakened financial system reacting badly.
As a study in his prospective leadership, the role of Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, has done him no political good. After suspending his campaign last week and vowing to work with Republicans until a resolution was in hand, Mr. McCain was campaigning in Ohio on Monday with his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, as the House vote commenced. There he implicitly took credit for the compromise bailout that Congressional leaders had negotiated over the weekend, even as it was going down to defeat.
On his plane before takeoff to Iowa, Mr. McCain spoke by phone with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. With no credit to claim in the bill’s defeat, he flew to Iowa without making a statement to reporters on board. In Iowa, he criticized Mr. Obama, his Democratic rival, before adding, “Now is not the time to fix blame.”
Even before the vote, House Republicans had trouble pointing to any contributions from Mr. McCain to their deliberations since late last week, when he and they forced the administration officials and Congressional leaders to reopen negotiations and alter the package to impose some safeguards for taxpayers’ billions.
Today's email blast from Joe Garcia's campaign trumpets pretty good news on the polling front:
The latest poll in Florida's 25th Congressional District, conducted by nonpartisan Research 2000, shows Joe Garcia within 4 points of Republican opponent Mario Diaz-Balart. According to the poll, if the election were held today, Garcia would receive 41 percent of the vote, and Diaz-Balart would get 45 percent. Thirteen percent of voters remain undecided. More people have a favorable opinion of Joe Garcia, than they do of Mario Diaz Balart. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Being that far under 50% has to be really bad news for a long-time incumbent. This seat is definitely winnable — especially if the Obama turnout in South Florida is as large as recent polls suggest.
They really did try to roll us — that's the conclusion that flows from the transcript disclosed in Mussolini-Style Corporatism in Action: Treasury Conference Call on Bailout Bill to Analysts (Updated).
I wonder how many people in Congress voting knew about this. Some, I suspect.
They're so popular, people steal them. Or something.
The Wall St. Journal reports on a sign-monitoring scheme: An Obama yard sign is being watched by dozens of viewers on Web in an effort to stop it from being stolen.
(thanks to df)