Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chertoff flak has short eyes

Whatever it takes to be a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security is something your cyberscribe does not want to catch. At the helm, an egocentric incompetent -- at least as a protector of the homeland -- reigns. We know how the administration gutted and screwed FEMA, replacing career emergency professionals with political hacks and contractors, the conditions that led up to the unnecessary loss of life wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

We've known about the budget crunch in the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that saw inspectors unable to fill the tanks of their official vehicles last summer because creditors had cut off the government's gasoline cards. And the rigging of assignments in the Transportation Security Administration and Customs & Border Protect that were designed to purge the personnel roles.

Despite your blogstress's familiarity with these and many, many more of DHS's messes, nothing prepared her for the news coming over the wire this evening that the Assistant Press Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has been nabbed in an internet child porn sting. AP has broken the story:

MIAMI - The deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said.

Brian J. Doyle, 55, of Silver Spring, Md., was arrested on seven charges of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor. The charges were issued out of Polk County, Fla.

Doyle had a sexually explicit conversation with what he believed was a 14-year-old girl whose profile he saw on the Internet on March 14, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Read complete story

Among the many inexplicable explanations to Mr. Doyle's credit is his statement that the artist previously known as Cat Stevens had been barred from the United States because of “activities that could be potentially linked to terrorism.”

Your cybertrix imagines that there is no Gitmo for middle-aged men who engage in activities that could be potentially linked to the exploitation and psychological destruction of a child. Your ecrivaine would rather take her chances with Cat Stevens than Mr. Doyle.

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The Hammer is hangin' --
with Barney Frank?

Just as he made his mug shot a happy head shot, today Tom DeLay used the occasion of his imminent resignation from the House of Representatives, on the heels of a plea deal for a former aide who has pleaded guilty to being party to running a criminal enterprise out of the majority leader's office, to take something of a surreal victory lap around the political talk shows.

Particularly strange was DeLay's turn on Hardball with Chris Matthews. After making a big fuss over DeLay's profession of faith -- even quoting a right-wing minister friend of the Hammer's who compared DeLay to the crucified Christ -- Matthews asked DeLay if he believed Republicans are morally superior to Democrats, DeLay said no. When asked to name a moral Democrat, DeLay replied, "Barney Frank," the openly gay congressman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Even despite Frank's "lifestyle?" asked Matthews. "I don't agree with homosexuality," DeLay said, "but I am commanded to love Barney Frank." (Of course this was after he laid his current woes at the feet of the Democrats, who he said had "publicly declared" that they were going to "destroy me and my character.")

Oddly enough, DeLay's remarks about Barney Frank do not appear in the transcript that MSNBC posted tonight on the Hardball site. However, as the tech-savvy doyenne of the blogosphere, your cybertrix ran a $20 tape recorder next to the speaker on her non-plasma TV and was hence enabled to bring you the banter of the blow-hard and the bug man via a somewhat quaint device known as a Dictaphone. (Special prize for anyone born after 1968 who can define just what that machine does.)

Now, back to our crucified, homosexual-loving subject: Mr. DeLay no doubt sees today as the first day of his own rehabilitation.

From tonight's edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Let me read you something. I have no idea what you’re going to say to this. These are the best questions, I have no idea what you’re going to say to Rick Scarborough. Do you know him? He’s an evangelical minister.

DELAY: He was a minister of the First Baptist Church. A very dear friend of mine. And he and I worked together to create Vision America.

MATTHEWS: He said, “I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is to take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ. God always does his best work right after a crucifixion.”

I mean, he says that you were brought down by your faith.

DELAY: No. I think I’ve been strengthened by my faith. I think that probably was taken out of context. I know Rick. I was with him Saturday, and talked to him about this decision. He’s a wonderful man, a great friend. And he understands what I’ve been through. And my faith has been strengthened. I have matured as a Christian over these attacks. When you go through these kinds of things your faith is stronger than ever and you rely on the Lord more than ever.

[... MOST OF WHAT APPEARS BELOW IS NOT IN THE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT, AT LEAST NOT AS IT WAS POSTED TONIGHT. TRANSCRIBED BY YOUR BLOGSTRESS FROM TAPE.]

MATTHEWS: You’re a Christian. Do you believe that in the general judgment, when people are all called before God, that Democrats will be found one thing and Republicans will not? Because the way you talk sounds like there’s a moral difference between Republicans and Democrats in your profession of politics. You discuss them as if they’re morally inferior to you.

DELAY: That’s not for me to judge.

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you think that Republicans you’ve met in your career are more moral than Democrats?

DELAY: No, I don’t. There are some strong moral Democrats.

MATTHEWS: Name one.

DELAY: Barney Frank. Barney Frank. I respect him greatly. He's a true liberal, and he's unashamedly a liberal, and I respect that. It's the people who try to hide who they are that I don't respect--people that are drunk with power--

MATTHEWS: --so you can look at a guy with a lifestyle like Barney Frank, and still accept him as a good person.

DELAY: Absolutely. I don't agree with homosexuality but I still--I am commanded to love Barney Frank. I'm not gonna judge him.



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Mon Dieu! L'hammer est fini!
(or, DeLay is done)

Yet another amazing day in Our Nation's Capital. It appears that we won't have Tom DeLay to kick around anymore. The bug-man is said to be ready to withdraw from his congressional race, with the Abramoff probe edging closer to his door. Though it appears the story was broken by Time, your blogstress herewith links you to The Washington Post, which has done such comprehensive work on the Abramoff scandal.

Mes amis, let's all light candles for the rescue of the good people of the State of Georgia from the clutches of Ralph Reed, who is running for lieutenant governor. You see, Mr. Reed, once the choir-boy-faced evil genius behind the Christian Coalition, is quite caught up in the Abramoff mess himself, as Max Blumenthal reminds us. And so are Dobson and Minnery. How delicious it is to see the pious leaders of the right exposed for what they truly are.

Of course, it won't make a whit of difference if no one in the opposition party stands up to say something like, "Hey, those guys aren't looking very Christian these days, now, are they?"

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