News Roundup for 7/20/10

Oh, that whacky Mike Steele's got himself into another predicament

-Headline of the day-
"RNC failed to report over $7 million in debt."

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele continues to find inventive new ways to screw everything up as reports come in that the party has failed to report $7.1 million in debt to the Federal Elections Commission. This is kind of bad. Kind of really bad. According to the report, "Campaign-finance analysts said that simply misreporting fundraising numbers to the FEC can lead to millions of dollars in fines and that criminal charges can be levied if the actions are suspected to be intentional."

Intentional. Whew! There's a load off everyone's mind. Mike would never do anything like that intentionally, would he? I mean, he's just hopelessly incompetent, not criminal.

Wait, though: "RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen on Tuesday accused Chairman Michael S. Steele and his chief of staff, Michael Leavitt, of trying to conceal the information from him by ordering staff not to communicate with the treasurer," the report also states.

OK, so that sounds kind of intentional. Of course, Mike and Mike deny everything, but the RNC has hired an outside lawyer -- Michael Toner (why are all these guys named "Michael?") -- to deal with any legal unpleasantness, which isn't the best sign.

"The RNC normally uses its own inside counsel to deal with the FEC," says one observer, "but if I had a really serious problem with the FEC, Michael Toner is one of the first guys I would turn to help me out."

Sounds like Mike, Mike, and Mike have their hands full. (Think Progress)

-Democracy is destroying democracy!-
Remember Byron Williams? The anti-government nutjob who got into a shootout with police in Oakland because he'd overdosed on talk radio bullshit?

Yeah, that guy.

Anyway, it turns out he told police "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU." I'm guessing that info probably came after he was waterboarded, since we all know that terr'ists only talk when you waterboard them. It's some kind of rule, like crosses and vampires.

So what are these threats to democracy that Williams had to bring down? Well, the ACLU works to safeguard constitutionally protected liberties and the Tides Foundation partners with nonprofits "dedicated to lasting progressive social change." Sounds awful!

"I'm struck anew by how right-wing extremists view democratic institutions as the biggest threat to democracy," writes David Kurtz.

Yeah, that is weird. You wonder where people get these screwy ideas? (Talking Points Memo)

-Bonus HotD-
"Boehner: I'm ready to lead House."

This statement was made right before he got his foot stuck in a spitoon, lost his balance, wheeled backward onto a buffet table, which acted like a catapult and showered the audience with banana cream pies. Then Mitch McConnell shook his fist at him and said, "Boeh-ner!" All in all, it was zany.

It was something like that anyway. I'm going with Breitbart-level fact-checking on this one. (Politico)

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