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

Paul Kiel has more on the NRCC's efforts to help Mark Foley with damage control after ABC approached Foley about the overfriendly emails to pages.

One of the first female soldiers to die in Iraq committed suicide, after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners (via War and Piece).

A Colorado TV station reported last night that Rev. Ted Haggard, a major figure in the evangelical movement who has not hesitated to cross over into the arena of secular politics, allegedly had an ongoing sexual relationship with a gay former male escort.

Haggard denies it.

Haggard, the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, is one of the country's most prominent evangelical religious leaders, in part because of the very active role he has taken in national politics. Haggard is not as recognizable as James Dobson, who is also based in Colorado Springs, but Haggard is arguably just as influential within evangelical and conservative political circles, talking to President Bush or his advisers every Monday.

Last year Harper's ran a lengthy article featuring Haggard, and the magazine has helpfully posted the piece on its website today.

First Mark Foley, now Ted Haggard? It's hard to conjure up anything else that could further depress the turnout of conservative evangelicals.

Late Update: No mention of the Haggard story on Drudge. I thought sex and politics was Drudge's lifeblood. Maybe he's pretending not to notice this one. After all, you wouldn't want to demoralize the true believers at this late stage of the campaign.

Later update: I'm not the only one to notice a studied silence from our conservative brethren.

Election Central screens the latest political ads. Ned Lamont as Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a little spooky.

NRCC drops another $6 million nationwide, and some of it went to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), despite reports that the national GOP had given up on that race.

Josh posted a couple of weeks ago about the modus operandi of the AP's John Solomon: "His rep is as an easy mark for oppo researchers peddling their wares -- and from both sides."

So I was almost amused when I saw Solomon's hit piece today on John Kerry. In a story that purports to follow up on Kerry's botched Iraq joke (the headline is "Kerry's '72 Army comments mirror latest"), Solomon reports:

During a Vietnam-era run for Congress three decades ago, John Kerry said he opposed a volunteer Army because it would be dominated by the underprivileged, be less accountable and be more prone to "the perpetuation of war crimes."

Phrased that way, it appears that Kerry was linking being underprivileged to the commission of war crimes. But once you read the rest of Solomon's piece it becomes pretty clear that Kerry thought that a professional army would be more likely to commit war crimes (which may be arguable but is not implausible) and also thought that an all-volunteer force would be comprised disproportionately (and unfairly) of the underprivileged. Solomon commits the causal fallacy of concluding that Kerry therefore said that the underprivileged are more likely to commit war crimes.

Now back to the Solomon MO. His sources for the story were "a former law enforcement official who monitored 1970s anti-war activities" and "someone who gathered" the document in which the comments appear"from archives during Kerry's unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign." The first source gave Solomon the tip. The second source, apparently an opposition researcher, provided the document.

Like I said, almost funny. Then I considered what a treasure trove the current national security apparatus must be yielding even as we speak for some oppo researcher to exploit against a yet unknown Iraq War veteran 34 years from now.