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I’m just kidding with that headline–if it had been true–if, say, one of Barack Obama’s senior advisors had sought help for a failed brothel owner and convicted felon, you would have heard about it. However–one of Senator John McCain’s top campaign strategists is embroiled in precisely such a situation. Which raises the question: why isn’t it front-page news?
From yesterday’s Huffington Post:
In 2005, Charlie Black, currently a chief strategist to Senator John McCain, wrote a pair of letters to federal officials aggressively defending Wayne Drizin, a convicted felon, disbarred lawyer, and failed brothel owner with substantial business ties to the controversial Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi. The letters, obtained by The Huffington Post, were sent to a U.S. district court judge and the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general’s office. They are scrupulously detailed and, at times, personal notes, praising Drizin and alleging that a conspiracy of zealous federal investigators was to blame for his legal woes. At the time, Black was a consultant for e-Smart Technologies, a biometric security technology company that Drizin helped start. Drizin was mired in legal battles over his past convictions. The Republican insider and lobbying powerhouse went to bat on the founder’s behalf.
(Note that Aram Roston wrote about the Black-Drizin connection in The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi.)
For the record, I don’t think the media is in the tank for the GOP, but I do think reporters are generally fond of McCain, and that his ties to lobbyists have thus far received far less attention than they should have. Obama did not get seriously scrutinized until recently, and the scrutiny now taking place is for the most part moronic: Is he a closet radical Black Muslim and America-hater who won’t even wear a flag lapel? And no one likes Hillary Clinton–if Charlie Black were working for her campaign, the major networks would already be working on documentaries about his checkered past. But McCain gets a pass.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”