Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Karl Rove raises money for Republicans all over the country. I think he was just in New Jersey raising money for Doug Forrester. Any Republican who's had Karl in town to raise money for them should get asked the question: Are they with Karl or against him when he calls all members of the opposition party traitors?

Yes or no.

And will they be giving back the money ...

Just right: Rove should apologize or resign.

And that's only the start. For Rove, the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan have always been nothing more than tools of domestic politics. He speaks for the president and the president speaks for him. So all of that applies to the president too unless and until we hear from him.

The A-list press folks, especially on TV, are too well trained to call Rove out of bounds. So Dems will have to do it all themselves.

The president and his partner are more concerned with going to war with half the country than they are with war against the country's enemies abroad. Until the president thinks differently on that key point there's simply no point in dealing with him on anything.

I guess we needed more evidence that Karl Rove is the most despicable man on the American political scene today.

I remember talking last year to a guy who'd been on shows a few times with Rove. And he told me how when you talk to the guy, there's nothing in his eyes, no soul. Just a machine, an animal.

Read this piece in today's Times, absorb it, give yourself 90 seconds for outrage, then rededicate yourself to wresting a great country from his hands.

Two examples: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers ... Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Don't forget that these statements are meant to outrage you. You're a targeted audience They're meant to perpetuate a state of maximal polarization in this country -- the state of affairs most suited for vampires like Mr. Rove to suck the nation dry.

A few days ago, a TPM Reader, who was doing some of her own sleuthing, wrote in to tell me that there might be an interesting backstory to the House Duke Cunningham bought as well as the one he sold.

I feel bad because I wasn't able to work quickly enough in this case with the information she was kind enough to send my way.

But now Tony Perry of the LA Times has confirmed what my reader was telling me.

This from Perry's article in today's Times ...

A month after selling their Del Mar Heights home, Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, paid $2.5 million for an 8,000-square-foot home in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe owned by Douglas and Karen Powanda.

Douglas Powanda is a former executive vice president at Peregrine Systems, a San Diego-based business-software company.

Peregrine was Cunningham's third-largest corporate contributor in 2004, giving $14,000 in individual and corporate donations. In late 2004, Powanda was among eight former Peregrine executives indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged multibillion-dollar securities fraud; he awaits trial.

Coincidences just won't leave <$Ad$> our man Duke alone when he gets into the real estate game, will they?

Oddly, these three grafs are just dropped down into the center of the article with no other mention or elaboration of the potential significance of this little piece of data.

(Here actually, is what appears to be the grant deed of the sale. And here's an October 2004 article about the Peregrine swindlers.)

But how does this strike you?

According to this page over at Opensecrets.org, Peregrine was Duke's #3 corporate contributor last cycle followed by Mitchell Wade's MZM, Inc. at #4. He unloads the old house on contributor #4 for twice its value and then uses the money to buy a new house from an exec from contributor #3.

And both transactions are handled by a 'real estate agent' (Elizabeth Todd) who'd never sold a home before and who, along with her family (as we first reported) is one of Cunningham's biggest financial contributors.

Small world, ain't it?

So a question: what was the real market price for the second house?

Coming Soon: Next Wednesday MovingIdeas.org is hosting an online discussion entitled: PRIVATIZING SOCIAL SECURITY: HARMFUL TO WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR. Click here for more on who's participating.

Birds of a feather ... (from Reuters)

Spain's previous center-right government "manipulated and twisted" the Madrid train bombings of March 2004 in a bid to salvage general elections three days later, a parliamentary commission found on Wednesday.

Atrios has more here.

And if you're wondering just how lucky President Bush and most of his appointees were to get reelected last November, think this one over.

Mums the word for Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham on what he did for defense contractor Mitchell Wade in exchange for Wade's setting him up with cush housing back home and in DC. So says the hometown paper, the North County Times.

Apparently it was nothing to be too proud of, seeing as Wade resigned as the CEO and president of his company (MZM, Inc.)

But when it comes to the flag-burning amendment Duke's sponsoring in the House, you just can't get him to shut up.

In response to critics of his legislation, Duke said today: "Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center. Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment."

Coming next, on the ever-evolving <$NoAd$> story of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the best kept man in Congress: more about those Arabic language interpreters MZM supplied for ole' Uncle Sam ...

Very interesting.

In our last post below, we asked just what defense and national security-related services Mitchell Wade's MZM, Inc. was providing the US government and whether the fact that Wade had to get Duke Cunningham a house and a boat to secure the contracts tells us anything about the quality of the services Wade's company provides.

Well, tonight in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Marcus Stern -- who broke the story ten days ago -- follows up with some very telling details.

One of the contracts Wade seems to have bought his way into is this one ...

Counter Intelligence Field Activity, a highly secretive program created in 2002 by a Pentagon directive that focuses on gathering intelligence to avert attacks like the ones on Sept. 11, 2001.

I certainly feel better knowing that MZM's got that one covered.

And then there's this (emphasis added) ...

Cunningham is on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the defense appropriations subcommittee, which puts him in position to influence the awarding of defense intelligence contracts.

MZM had 56 such contracts totaling $68,645,909 in fiscal year 2004, according to Keith Ashdown, an analyst with Taxpayers for Common Sense. One of those contracts is to provide interpreters in Iraq. For the most part, the contracts were awarded to MZM without competition through a process known as "blanket purchase agreements."

Just gets better and better, doesn't it?