Having covered the two chief officers, we now move on to the members, and if you think the pattern is going to change, think again.
Member: WARREN BELL (Appointed by Bush)
Bell is a Burbanker, having spent most of his life in television. Until recently – when the show was canceled – he was executive producer of According to Jim, a successful ABC sit-com that was in the running for least funny network comedy series along with George Lopez, and writer/producer of shows like Ellen and Coach, which were much better.
But none of that is why he’s on the CPB Board. This is:
Additionally, in 2005, Mr. Bell began writing humorous columns for National Review Online, as well as contributing to NRO’s daily group blog, “The Corner.”
And this – especially this:
Mr. Bell has been involved with many civic organizations, including the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Jewish Federation, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Well, what d’ya know? The FDD again, this time allied with AIPAC, the single most powerful hardline, hard-right, pro-Israel lobbying organization in the country. Amanda at Think Progress was under no illusions at the time of his appointment as to what it was all about.
Apparently Georgia wants to be Texas when it grows up. The sequence of events in the Genarlow Wilson travesty gets more nonsensical by the day.
- A Douglas County Superior Court judge throws out Wilson’s sentence and orders him released.
- The State AG, falsely claiming that he has no choice, holds up the release and files an appeal.
- In a transparent bid to lower the level of anger that is aimed at him for this action, he asks for the hearing process to be expedited so it can be held at the earliest possible date. That request is denied.
- A different Douglas County Superior Court judge then cancels the bond hearing altogether because, he says, Georgia law doesn’t allow child molesters out on bail.
Dr. Francys Johnson, the NAACP’s Southeast Regional Director, put it in a nutshell: “The NAACP is convinced that justice has taken a summer vacation in Georgia.”
I told you it gets worse. You can’t say you weren’t warned.
Second-in-command and presumably waiting her turn for the Chair is a woman whose resume makes Halpern’s look soft as a melted marshmallow.
Vice Chair: GAY HART GAINES (A recess appointment by Bush)
Where to start? How about here:
She is currently a member of the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Madison Council of the Library of Congress. She has served as a board member of the Hudson Institute, the Best Friends Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, where she was also president of the Palm Beach Chapter for three years. She was a charter member of GOPAC, which she chaired from 1993-1997, and chairman of the National Review Institute from 1991-1993.
AEI, HF, and HI are the three most powerful, richest, and most virulent neoconservative think-tanks in the country. They’re where the likes of Newt, Dick Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, et al, make their home. They’re also the source of a good deal of conservative pundit welfare, paying large salaries and/or stratospheric speaking fees to – in addition to those named above – Ann Coulter, Norman Podhoretz, Charlie Krauthammer, and Mark Steyn, among many others. Gaines is a member of two and on the board of the third.
But that’s just for starters.
Digby isn’t happy about PBS hiring Frank Luntz. Well, who is?
There must be something in the air. First, Matthews feels the need to give Ann Coulter a full hour to spew genocidal vomit and now I find that PBS has hired the notorious fraud Frank Luntz to analyze “public feedback” on the Democratic debate. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. He is one of the architects of the Republican Revolution and along with Newt Gingrich is the man most responsible for the distorted, propagandistic political discourse we spend our lives on the blogs trying to unravel. He has no business “interpreting” Democratic voters’ reaction to Democratic candidates based upon his political affiliation alone. But the fact that he has been completely discredited as a pollster and analyst by his own profession should make him radioactive for any respectable news organization. I can’t imagine what is wrong with PBS that they don’t know about this man.
But that’s not all.
Something odd is going on at PBS lately. They also invited that Coulter wannabe Melanie Morgan on Lehrer recently, apparently under the misapprehension that she was a sane spokeswoman of the right, and she proved to be a complete disaster. Now they have hired straight up right wing political operative Luntz to “interpret” the impressions of Democratic voters. Are they getting their bookers from the Heritage Foundation web site too?
It isn’t “lately”, Digs. It’s been going on for years. I’ve been writing about it for years.
It bubbled to the surface two years ago when Ken Tomlinson, the neocon camp-follower Bush named to the CPB Board, was discovered to have been deliberately politicizing PBS programming, accusing it of “liberal bias” and hiring conservative “consultants” (read: Hatchetmen) and lobbyists with CPB money but without bothering to tell his own Board what he was doing.
An ad hoc group of eleven NYC businessmen is offering to put up as much as a million dollars to get Wilson out of jail on bond.
A New York City investment fund manager and 10 other businesspeople are offering to put up $1 million in bond money to release Genarlow Wilson from prison pending the appeal in his child molestation case, Wilson’s attorney announced this afternoon.
Whitney Tilson, the founder of T2 Partners and the Tilson Mutual Funds, and the 10 other unnamed contributors are ready to wire the money on Wilson’s behalf on 24 hours notice, said Wilson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein.
“The goal of this bond is to help a young man in Georgia get his life back,” Tilson, also a founding member of Teach for America, said in a prepared statement Bernstein’s office distributed today.
Basically, Tilson and his group are giving Georgia yet another chance to do the right thing and not be stoopid and/or contemptibly mean assholes. This case has already gone far beyond where it should have – and would have if Wilson was white.
Back in the dim, dark days of 2000 when Dick Cheney chose himself to be Bush’s running mate out of a field of thousands, you may remember that there was some relief expressed in both the press and the blogosphere that the inexperienced lout would have a Vice President with experience and “gravitas” (remember that word?). Those of us aware of Cheney’s past and Halliburton’s present were appalled. Our counter was – “Who are we electing, exactly? Who’s going to run the show, Bush or Cheney?” We suspected that the inept Texas Gov would get run over top of by the hard-right machine of a man who’d cut his teeth in the Nixon White House and learned where the ropes-and-pulleys of power were under Reagan.
We sort of forgot that question over the next few years as Bush became the public face of every decision and Cheney hid out in his bunker, emerging only occasionally to make the rounds of the propaganda networks, Fox and CNN, to insist, in that flat, gray, voice that brooked no questions let alone dissension or argument, on the certainty of WMD’s in Iraq before retreating behind a wall of secrecy and rumors of ill health that bubbled into the public sphere through layers of leaks in a process eerily reminiscent of the last few Soviet Premiers before Gorbachev.
It seems we were right to be concerned and wrong to let Cheney escape the spotlight for so long. More than that, we underestimated the extent to which an inexperienced, not very bright president who, like a lazy middle manager in a branch bank, saw his role primarily as one of delegating responsibility to other people, was willing to turn power over to others with stronger presences and less malleable opinions.
As a result, we wound up, it seems, not with one president but with three co-presidents: Bush, Cheney, and Karl Rove.
You read right. Where dies he think it is, Constitutionally speaking? He doesn’t say.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s office refused to cooperate with an agency that oversees classified documents, then tried to abolish the office when it challenged the actions, House oversight committee Chairman Henry Waxman said.
The National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office is charged by presidential order with ensuring that classified information and documents are properly handled by executive branch agencies.
According to a letter from William Leonard, director of the oversight office, Cheney’s office argued it did not meet the definition of an executive branch agency and therefore was exempt.
When Leonard unsurprisingly refused to accept this absurd interpretation, Cheney threatened to abolish the ISOO altogether, claiming there’s a “presidential order under consideration” right now that would do just that.
It’s all about making sure nobody can see – ever – Bush Administration documents that Cheney wants only loyal Bushies who can be trusted to a) keep their mouths shut, or b) twist whatever they find in the presidential papers to reflect the party line. In the background is the Bush Library to be built at SMU.