Leave it to Glenn Beck to turn Rep. Michele Bachmann's ethics investigation for improper use of her PAC donations into a conspiracy theory that the U.S. government has secretly been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
As Beck sees it, Bachmann has been a target of the Brotherhood for a long time because she has been "uber clear" about the threat posed by the organization and so, in retaliation, the State Department has been relocating hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees into her congressional district. And for daring to ask why this was happening, says Beck, "now she's under investigation":
[Editor's note: Somalis have been settling in the U.S. since the 1920s. The Twin Cities is home to the largest Somali community in America, and it's been that way long before Michelle Bachmann started her wacko conspiracy theories. Nice try, Beckster.]
On the campaign trail, Republican candidate Mitt Romney often touts his stewardship of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Utah, which he took over following a massive bribery scandal. In a series of new articles, longtime investigative reporter Wayne Barrett reveals Romney may have violated the new ethics rules he put in place. Today, Romney continues to accept campaign contributions from many key figures tied to the bribery scandal. Barrett, a Newsweek/Daily Beast contributor and a fellow at The Nation Institute, joins us to discuss his findings. [...]
AMY GOODMAN: Great to have you with us. So, tell us, who are Mitt Romney’s friends, and how do they relate to the Olympics, which is one of the few things on his résumé that he is really touting as his—to show why he would be qualified to be president?
WAYNE BARRETT: When your producer called me yesterday, I said, "Well, with all the gaffes, I think he’s going to give up even this part of his résumé." There are three pillars. He’s given up Massachusetts. Bain has been taken away from him. So the last thing on the résumé is the Salt Lake Olympics. And I thought he embarrassed himself. He got a gold for gaffes in London, and he embarrassed himself so badly, I didn’t think he’d be stressing this. And voilà, a few hours after I talked with your producer, they put up this ad. So, he’s got—he’s got a very weakened résumé.
And let’s give him full credit for what happened in Salt Lake. I think he was a managerial success. I think he overstates what he achieved there, but I think he was a managerial success. The problem is that he was brought in because of the worst Olympic scandal in history, and he befriended and awarded contracts to people deeply involved in the scandal that caused him to be recruited to this rescue operation. And he’s still collecting money from them.
I just have to ask, now that it looks like there's going to be a criminal investigation against John Ensign after the Senate ethics committee released their findings this week: When is that same panel going to investigate Tom Coburn further and take some action against him and his part in covering up the crimes committed by John Ensign?
Here's the entire segment from Maddow's show where she laid out the entire scandal better than I've seen anyone else in our corporate media do with all of the ugly details explained fully. If you've got almost twenty minutes to spare and want to know what our press has largely been ignoring for the last couple of years that should have had Ensign thrown out of the Senate some time ago IMO, Rachel did a great job of explaining it here.
Sen. Tom Coburn played a more active role than previously known in the negotiations between ex-Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and his former aide, Doug Hampton. The extent of the Oklahoma Republican's involvement is made clear in a report released Thursday by the Senate Ethics Committee that accuses the former senator of serious criminal violations. [...]
Coburn, a friend of Ensign’s who confronted him about the adultery, became involved as an intermediary in negotiations between Ensign and Doug Hampton. The former aide sought money from Ensign in spring 2009. Coburn negotiated the payment to Doug Hampton down from $8 million to about $2.8 million, according to the report.
The Oklahoma Republican's involvement in the cover-up of the affair could lead to uncomfortable questions for the senator and his party going forward. While Ensign left the Senate hastily last week, Coburn remains an active figure. [...]
Coburn denied that he served as a negotiator when he testified for the report, but acknowledged he spoke to Hampton’s attorney, Albregts, in May 2009. The Oklahoma Republican told the Ethics Committee that he was simply planning to pass along information to Ensign.
I'm sure he just thought it was the "good Christian thing to do" for his friend. Nothing to see here folks, so just move along now. This hypocrite needs to be investigated just like his buddy Ensign was, but given it took them almost two years to even go after Ensign and the Senate ethics committee's track record, I don't hold out much hope they'll hold Coburn accountable. And don't even get me started on the DOJ that was going to give Ensign a pass before this happened and the ethics panel referred the case back to them. Apparently the rule of law in this country only applies if you're a working-class stiff who's not politically connected.
Looks like Scott Walker's prank phone call may end up getting him in some trouble with their Government Accountability Board and his remarks about bringing in agent provocateurs to cause trouble at the rallies isn't sitting too well with the voters. Ed Schultz discussed Governor Walker's conversation with the fake Koch brother with The Nation's John Nichols who filled Ed in on some of the latest developments in Wisconsin.
NICHOLS: The governor’s not walking a fine line Ed. He tripped off the cliff. The fact of the matter is that Wisconsin has the toughest ethics laws in the nation. We pride ourselves on that. That goes back more than a hundred years to the progressive era with Bob La Follette. Those ethics laws require that an elected official keep faith with the people of Wisconsin. Those statements raise deep concerns here in Madison and around the state.
The former Attorney General of Wisconsin, Peg Lautenschlager told me tonight that she is in the reviewing this, of the transcript of this conversation, for several hours found what she determined to be multiple ethics, election law and labor law violations. And she will tomorrow morning suggest that the state Government Accountability Board begin to review those ethics violations.
Ed Schultz asked Nichols if the Republicans running the state would allow the investigation to go forward.
NICHOLS: The Government Accountability Board is an independent, non-partisan board, staffed by former judges who are elected in a non-partisan manner without any Republican or Democratic control.
Nichols wasn’t sure where the investigation would end up going and pointed out to Schultz that the residents of Wisconsin aren’t too happy with some of the other statements he made during the call as well.
NICHOLS: But second, there’s a moral component to this. People around Wisconsin are talking tonight about the fact that they brought their children to peaceful, very attractive and popular rallies in Madison and other communities and now they find out that their governor says that he considered sending agent provocateurs into those rallies to screw things up and cause trouble, perhaps to begin violence and he only decided not to do it, not because he’s worried for the people of his state, but because he was worried that it might not play well politically. That’s a very troubling thing to have a governor of an American state talking about.
It looks like the tactics being used by these Koch brother teabaggers are finally coming back to bit them.
Embattled Republican Sen. John Ensign told CNN Tuesday he did not break Senate ethics rules by helping to secure a lobbying job for the husband of the woman he had an affair with.
"I think it's pretty clear. I said in the past, I recommended him for jobs just like I've recommended a lot of people," Ensign told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash and congressional producer Ted Barrett. "But we absolutely did nothing except for comply exactly with what the ethics laws and the ethics rules of the Senate state. We were very careful in everything that we did. You can see our statements on that."
The comments come four days after The New York Times reported the husband of the woman Ensign had a affair with, Doug Hampton, has since lobbied the Nevada senator on behalf of his clients. The New York Times also reported evidence that suggests Ensign played an active role in getting Hampton the lobbying position. Hampton, a former senior aide to Ensign, is barred by congressional ethics rules from lobbying his old boss for one year after leaving his post in the Senate.