They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Goss out, apparently effective immediately. . . No successor named. . . No word on the fate of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, Goss' #3 at the agency, whose name has been repeatedly mentioned in the developing Cunningham-Wilkes-Wade hooker scandal. We've got a call in to the agency to find out.



CNN, not looking in the right places: "Taking a look at what's out on the Internet -- not much controversy involving the director himself."

From joint Oval Office announcement of Porter Goss' resignation as CIA director:

Bush: "I appreciate his integrity. I appreciate the honor he brought to the job." Goss: "It has been a very distinct honor and privilege to serve you."

breaking. . .

Update: MSNBC confirms. . .

Late Update: Here's the transcript of Bush's and Goss's remarks.

I really hope this isn't true.

In three weeks, David Safavian's trial will begin. This was supposed to be Jack Abramoff's big court debut, since Safavian's on the hook for allegedly lying about his relationship with Abramoff to ethics investigators at the General Services Administration, where Safavian was chief of staff.

This wasn't going to be the big show. But it would have provided Abramoff the opportunity to rehearse for later trials -- say, Bob Ney's or Tom DeLay's. Taking cross examination isn't easy, and he could have used the practice.

But it looks like prosecutors might try to let Abramoff's emails do the talking for him:

If the government can get the e-mails declared admissible as evidence for next month's trial, prosecutors might not have to call admitted felon Abramoff as a witness against Safavian.

The government does not want to put Abramoff on the witness stand, Safavian's lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, said of the prosecution's e-mail gambit...

Prosecutors may want to save Abramoff for bigger criminal cases down the road, for example against members of Congress.

From the AP:

Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a news conference that she had not spoken directly to [Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)] about the investigation. "But he knows what is going on, and the ethics committee should investigate what is going on."

At the same time, Pelosi sought Thursday to differentiate the Jefferson case from what Democrats have labeled the "culture of corruption" linking the Republican majority and special interests represented by disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. "The Republicans are all tied together," she said. "Mr. Jefferson is his own behavior, he is responsible for it."

Responding to a query I made yesterday to the department, Homeland Security spokesman Larry Orluskie emailed me to confirm his department did in fact present a "recognition award" to Shirlington Limo in April 2005. The company has flirted with bankruptcy, had its federal licensing revoked, and is run by a longtime felon. It is currently being investigated for allegedly transporting prostitutes and lawmakers to parties hosted by alleged Congress-briber Brent Wilkes.

"Shirlington Limousine and Transportation was recognized for their prompt and courteous service to DHS Headquarters employees in the form of shuttle service and sedan drivers," he wrote.

"Regardless of the criticisms on blogs and slanted reports, this contractor is delivering a much needed service to this department with utmost professionalism, and the contract solicitation and award was completely up-and-up in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation."

Here's a timeline of gaffes by the youngest Kennedy in Congress, courtesy of the Boston Herald.

The paper also found a woman at the Capitol Hill favorite Hawk and Dove bar who said Kennedy had been drinking, after all. Sleep-drinking, perhaps.

BONUS: The courageous Wonkette has published Kennedy's police statement from his car accident outside a CVS three weeks ago. It looks like he was sleep-writing. Damn those pills.

In addition to stopping by the Watergate Hotel yesterday, I hit up a number of other hotels to see what anyone could tell me about Shirlington Limo, which reportedly ferried hookers and congressmen to parties hosted by crooked contractor Brent Wilkes.

The trip was largely a bust. Doormen and concierges at the Hilton Washington (a.k.a. the Hinckley Hilton), the Fairmont, the Ritz-Carlton, the Watergate, the Westin Grand and the Marriott Washington all said they'd never heard of the company.

I spoke to maybe a dozen limo and shuttle drivers, also, most of whom stared blankly when I mentioned Shirlington Limo. Two drivers recognized the name, and one offered to put me in touch with friends who'd driven for the company. We'll see what pans out.

Pentagon Official Suspected of Aiding Iraq Fraudsters

Every scam needs an inside man, and federal prosecutors think they may have found at least one in the Navy.

Douglas Combs served as assistant to Navy Secretary Hansford Johnson during the Iraq invasion. From that post, it's believed he tried to steer high-dollar contracts to Custer Battles, a company recently found to have used front companies and fake paperwork to bilk the military for millions of dollars.

Combs and Johnson, now outside of government, jointly purchased the remnants of Custer Battles. The company continues to operate in Iraq. (WSJ)

Read More →

This one just rose to true comedic heights. According to the latest report, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) says he wasn't drunk driving -- he was sleep-voting. We'll let Roll Call take it from here ...

"Last Tuesday, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress treated me for Gastroenteritis," a stomach illness. According to Kennedy, the attending physician prescribed Phenergan, an anti-nausea medication, which in addition to treating gastroenteritis, "I now know [it] can cause drowsiness and sedation."

"Following the last series of votes Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount of Phenergan and Ambien, which was also prescribed by the Attending Physician some time ago and I occasionally take to fall asleep. Some time around 2:45am, I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote.

"Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication. At that time, I was involved in a one-car incident in which my car hit the security barrier at the corner of 1st and C St, SE. At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol."

AP reports:

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday he's not surprised by allegations of prostitution in the corruption case involving former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a former committee member.

Chairman Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., said he has discussed the matter with authorities and expected to raise the issue with an independent investigator he has hired to review Cunningham's committee work.

"If I'm trying to connect dots, this is not a surprising outcome," Hoekstra said in an interview with The Associated Press.


Hoekstra also said he expected his committee to wrap up its investigation into Cunningham's activities within "weeks."

LiveWire