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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

What did NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds know and when did he know it? His former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, isn't saying. And Fordham's lawyer declined to tell our Election Central.

The Navy lawyer whose successful defense of Osama bin Laden's driver led to the Supreme Court's landmark Hamdan decision has been passed over for promotion.

Under the Navy's "up or out" promotion system, the decision forces Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift into early retirement. He learned of the decision about two weeks after this summer's ruling in Hamdan, which was a historic rebuke to the Bush Administration, and not long after the National Law Journal named Swift one of the top 100 lawyers in America.

Military promotion practices are notoriously byzantine and take into account many factors, but I think it's safe to say that this is a disgrace and a black-eye for the Navy.

In sign of Foley fallout, new poll shows Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) in serious re-election trouble.

Justin has your Sunday morning Foley roundup . . . plus a former page tells the LA Times he had sex with Foley. And every scandal needs a theme song.

Latest Newsweek poll: For the first time since 2001, more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror.

Late Update: The Newsweek story describing the poll results also contains this head-scratcher: "Americans are equally divided over whether or not Speaker Hastert should resign over mishandling the situation (43 percent say he should, but 36 percent say he shouldn’t)." Equally?

From the WSJ "Washington Wire":

State Department will award more than 20 grants of as much as $1.5 million for Iran-related democracy and human-rights work, most of it outside Iran. Since U.S. fears Iranian meddling, “don’t expect a lot of transparency” on who gets awards, a State official says.


Yes, but for those meddling Iranians we would have the otherwise high level of transparency from this Administration that we have come to know and love.

ABC has its own congressional staff source confirming what the Post reported in today's edition: that Hastert Chief of Staff Scott Palmer did meet with Mark Foley about his conduct with pages months before the "overfriendly" emails emerged last fall.

ABC reports that its source first became aware last fall of the earlier Foley-Palmer meeting, around the time Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), head of the House Page Board, and then-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl confronted Foley about those emails.

Reporting the news always safer than predicting it. From the AP, last Saturday:

This time there were no tortured explanations, no heels dug in, no long, slow drip of revelation or fight for redemption. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., just up and quit after his e-mails expressing undue interest in a 16-year-old male page were exposed to the nation. Less than six weeks from a tough election for Republicans who control an already ethically tainted Congress, the more common stick-it-out approach to scandal was cast aside.

"Resigning leaves your attackers nowhere to go," said Eric Dezenhall, a crisis-management consultant. "If this had dragged on, it could have sucked Republicans into the vortex of scandal."


Hmmm, is that a giant sucking sound I hear?

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