TPMtv 2nd Annual Golden Duke Awards scandal corruption sleazy campaign ad election fib chutzpah local sex carnality general interest dole palin blagojevich edwards kilpatrick president george bush award dukes judges nominees category kiel ackerman

The muck has been raked. The nominations are in. The judges have made their final decisions. Tonight, New Year’s Eve, in our year ending episode of TPMtv, we bring you the winner’s of this year’s Golden Duke Awards …

Full-size video at

To read about who won, how each judge voted and their exclusive Golden Dukes commentary and insights, see the results page here.

Top Pentagon Official: Obama Team Still “The Opposition”
New career in public relations not a good option for Alberto Gonzales either

New career in public relations not a good option for Alberto Gonzales.

No Churchill After All?

From the AP

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that as a new president, Bush was like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee whom critics said lacked knowledge about foreign affairs. When Bush first came into office, he was surrounded by experienced advisers like Vice President Dick Cheney and Powell, who Wilkerson said ended up playing damage control for the president.

“It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president — because, let’s face it, that’s what he was — was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire,” Wilkerson said, adding that he considered Cheney probably the “most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur” he’d ever met.

“He became vice president well before George Bush picked him,” Wilkerson said of Cheney. “And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum.”

Norm Coleman Gets Desperate in Attempt to Hold Senate Seat

Norm Coleman’s chances of winning the Minnesota senate race are approaching nil. But he does have a plan to keep Al Franken from getting sworn in for weeks or months.

Gross Profits: PIMCO Hired To Manage Bailout That Benefited It
Will Blagojevich Destroy the Dems

Can the Democratic party really withstand the shame, ignominy, distraction and general horror of Rod Blagojevich’s nonsense? Or should they just hand things back to the Republicans now and get it over with?

Hentoff Let Go from the Voice

I don’t have much of a sense of the internal developments at the Village Voice. And a lot of Hentoff’s recent writing hasn’t been my taste. But it’s a landmark development regardless. And his writing about Dylan keeps him among the elect regardless.

Fitzgerald Asks For Extension On Blago Indictment
The Feds New Plan To Buy Toxic Assets

A short while back the Fed announced a new program to buy up to $600 billion worth of mortgage backed securities. Remember, this was what the TARP was originally supposed to do. But then Paulson decided to invest money directly into the banks to recapitalize them. And then the Fed decided on its own to do basically the same thing on its own. They’ve already bought up $100 billion worth and they’ve now hired BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO and Wellington Management Company to purchase and manage $500 billion more worth of the stuff.

Why did these four companies get the contract? That’s none of your business. The Fed just decided. Says the Fed, “The selection criteria were based on the institution’s operational capacity, size, overall experience in the MBS (mortgage-backed securities) market and a competitive fee structure.” In other words, these guys are the ones who know how to do it. But no public process, criteria or anything else.

Their purported knowledge, which I’m sure is true in a sense of technical experience, is somewhat belied by the fact that these were the firms that helped build up the mess in the first place.

And, think you get a decent commission for managing half a trillion dollars of assets? Yeah. Me too.

Congress To Hear From SEC IG, Whistleblower, On Madoff
The Daily Muck
Gonzo: I’m A Casualty Of The War On Terror
Heady Moments

I’m remembering that moment when Alberto Gonzales was humming ‘I Shall Be Released‘ while reviewing the torture memo with John Yoo.

Bobby Rush: We Have Three Hispanic Senators, Two Asians, 11 Women, But No African-Americans

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) went on Larry King last night and reiterated that the fate of African-Americans and race relations in America is dependent on the appointment of the heretofore unknown Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate. That and the day’s other political news in the TPM Election Central Morning Roundup.

Late Update: A snippet of Rush:

Alberto Gonzales Defends Himself Against Critics on Terror and Torture

Alberto Gonzales: “I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.”

Late Update: Read the whole piece. Gonzales has built a mental monument to himself that is just as narcissistic as Roland Burris’ more tangible marble edifice.

Blagojevich’s Roland Burris Built Cemetery Monument for Himself

Senator-designate Roland Burris already has a lavish — and expensive! — cemetery plot/temple constructed for him and his wife under the seal of the state of Illinois listing his many marvelous accomplishments.

Mountebank in Winter

To think how close we came to hitching our wagon to this charlatan … The Times takes a look at Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, who isn’t so popular even at home these days.

TPMtv: The TPM Transition Unfolds

It’s going to be a new political world starting next month. And TPM is hiring two new reporter-bloggers to report on location, everyday from Washington, DC to bring you the whole story. We’re going to bring to the task all the innovation, integrity and creativity we’ve become known for in our other projects. And in today’s episode of TPMtv we give you an overview of what we have in store and ask for your advice, pointers, suggestions and more on how to best do the job ..

Full-size video at

Rubber Necking

Roland Burris is on MSNBC. I thought Blagojevich was going to be the winner today on cringe-osity. But I think Burris may be lapping Blago.

Whatever other quid pro quos may have been made, I think it’s clear Blagojevich received a commitment from Burris that if Blago appointed him he would leave his dignity at the door.

Late Update: Here’s the vid:

TPMtv: The Day in 100 Seconds

Burris Under Obama’s Saddle

Obama calls Blago’s decision to go ahead and appoint his successor “extremely disappointing.”

Where Are They Now?

Financial meltdown CEO roadkill still living large.

“Not One Iota Of Taint!”

The tour de force Blago, Burris, Rush presser in its entirety:

Deep Thought

Who called Tom Wolfe in to do a rewrite of this scandal?

For Some Culprits In Financial Meltdown, Life Is Still Pretty Good
Seems Like Old Times

Radical Iranian students storm and briefly occupy British Embassy residential compound in Tehran.

Rosenkranz and the Other Guy

I’m starting to think that Blagojevich is the comedic side character Shakespeare created for occasional diversions in the five act play we’re currently living in.

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