The Daily Muck

Brother of GOP Candidate Calls Her “Evil”
Ah, family. The brother of Republican K.T. McFarland, a Reagan-era Defense official who’s challenging Hillary Clinton for her New York Senate seat, called Ms. McFarland “evil” yesterday. Why? As the New York Post puts it:

Tom Troia, of Janesville, Wis., accused his sister of conjuring up [abuse] allegations [against her father] in a spiteful letter she gave to her parents in 1992 in hopes of killing her father with a heart attack while also rubbing in another brother’s face that he was dying of AIDS.

Why would she do such a thing? Tom says he doesn’t know. “Evil needs no reason.”

I guess he won’t be handing out stickers along the campaign trail anytime soon. (AP, New York Post)Bush Will Allow Court to Review N.S.A. Wiretaps
“After months of resistance, the White House agreed Thursday to allow a secret intelligence court to review the legality of the National Security Agency’s program to conduct wiretaps without warrants on Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists.” (NY Times, AP)

NSA Follies
“Let me get this straight. Specter’s bill gives Bush the “option” of submitting the NSA program to the FISA court for review, and Specter has a handshake agreement with the White House that Bush will, in fact, submit it. What’s more, it’s a one-time deal that affects no other program and no future president. What’s the point of this?” (Political Animal)

Court to Expedite DeLay’s Ballot Case

“An appeals court agreed Thursday to speed up proceedings in a dispute over whether former U.S. Rep Tom DeLay (R-TX) should remain on the November ballot. The case will be submitted to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 21, the cour ruled.” (AP)

Vice President Sued by Plame And Husband
“Plame and Wilson might be entitled to demand documents from Cheney and others, as well as to require them to sit for sworn depositions, much as President Bill Clinton had to answer questions under oath in Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit. And, because the accusations in the suit are separate from the issue Fitzgerald was looking into — whether anyone violated a federal law against disclosing CIA officers’ identities — Plame and Wilson “could go out and look into a lot of things that Fitzgerald didn’t look into,” said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. First, though, Plame and Wilson would probably have to overcome a claim by Cheney that the vice president is immune from suit. There is no clear legal rule on that point, but the Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that a fired whistle-blower could not sue the president, and Cheney would be likely to argue that the same should apply to him, legal analysts said.” (WaPo, NYT)

Bush Hopes to Work With Congress to Keep Tribunals in Place in Guantanamo
“The administration has now abandoned its four-year-old claim that members of Al Qaeda are not protected under the Geneva Conventions, acknowledging that a Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago established as a matter of law that they are. Still, administration lawyers urged Congress to pass legislation that would narrowly define the rights granted to detainees under a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as Common Article Three, which guarantees legal rights ‘recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.’ Administration lawyers have argued that the “most desirable” solution would be for Congress to pass a law approving the tribunals that the court said the president could not establish on his own, proceedings that would grant minimum rights to detainees.” (NY Times)

Former Powell Aide Blasts Cheney
“Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served General Colin Powell in various capacities as a close aide for 16 years — most recently as Powell’s Chief of Staff at the Department of States, has written a short, matter of fact assessment of the torture proclivities during the Bush administration and the Vice President’s central role in promoting a ‘pro-torture’ national security/military environment.” (Washington Note)

Money Talks: Ney Campaign Dollars Slow, While Dem Challenger Rakes It In

“Embattled GOP Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio lost the most recent fundraising battle to his Democratic challenger and continued to hemorrhage money from his campaign, yet he vowed Thursday to fight on. . . [Dem challenger Zack] Space collected about $308,000 for the quarter, compared with about $123,000 for Ney.”(WPost)

GOP Candidate Will Stay in Race Despite Gambling Revelations
Alan Schlesinger acknowledged that he had used a bogus name to obtain a card that Foxwoods Resort Casino patrons can use to win rewards. Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Republican State Chairman George Gallo asked him to reconsider running, The Hartford Courant reported. ‘I am not going to let this bother me,” Schlesinger said. “I am going to continue in the race.'” (AP)

Sweeney Ethics Issues Raised at Hearing
“A state official testified Tuesday that U.S. Rep. John Sweeney played a key role in drawing up the guest list for an annual congressional winter weekend in Lake Placid, a practice deemed inappropriate by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.” (Albany Times Union)

Democrats Pursue Phone-Jamming Case Further
“A judge gave state Democrats the go-ahead Thursday to question high-ranking Republicans in a civil suit over the jamming of Democrats’ phones on Election Day 2002.
Three former GOP officials have already been sentenced in the phone jamming scheme. In the civil suit, state Democrats want to know who knew about the plan.” (AP)

Burns, Tester in Dead Heat
“A Lake Research poll taken 6/20-6/26 for state Senate Pres. Jon Tester (D) shows him in a statistical tie with Sen. Conrad Burns (R), leading him 43%-42%, with 3% for the Libertarian and 12% undecided.” (Hotline)

Md. Judge Rejects Abramoff’s Request for Delay in Civil Suit
“A judge on Wednesday rejected a request by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff to delay a civil suit filed against him by employees of a Jewish school he founded. The lawsuit was filed two years ago by employees of Eshkol Academy, a Montgomery County school that Abramoff founded in 2001. The school closed its doors in 2004, and teachers at the school say they are owed back pay.” (AP)

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