Petty, pathetic pandering from partisan political pukes

Sometimes, in a moment of weakness, I actually start to believe people out there really care about this country and can put partisan political differences aside.

Silly me.

Case in point: John Solomon and Kathleen Hennessey from the Associated Press, in an excellent example of investigative journalism, Wednesday detailed a shady land deal that netted Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid a tidy $1.1 million windfall. To make matters worse, Reid failed to report the deal as required by law under financial disclosure rules.

A few days earlier, two other AP reporters caught Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen playing fast and loose with the rules on his stock options and also detailed how the Senator paid for those stock options by pushing for legislation and government contracts for the companies involved.

The story on Sen. Allen brought a number of favorable comments from readers who applauded another political crook getting caught with his hands in the till. Allen’s campaign staff, however, claimed it was much ado about nothing.

That was then. This is now. Many of those same readers who praised the AP for the Allen story are now bitching and moaning at both the AP and this web site over the Reid article, saying it is “much ado about nothing.” They singled out Solomon, who had caught Reid in another shady deal earlier this year, as a “patsy for the Republicans.”

“I’ll never visit your web site again if you’re going to run baseless attacks against Democrats,” said an email from someone who identified himself only as “a loyal Democrat.”

Just a few days ago, someone who called themselves “GOPMan” said in an email: “It is obvious that you and the Associated Press are just lackeys for the Democrats and are attempting to smear Sen. Allen. Consider me an ex-reader.”

In reality, the only difference between the two stories was that one centered on the illegal and unethical activities of a Republican and the other examined the illegal and unethical activities of a Democrat.

George Allen is both a racist and a crook. I’ve heard him use racial slurs and I’ve examined the documents that show he exchanged political favors for stock options. The law calls that taking a bribe.

Harry Reid is also a crook. I investigated his background while considering whether or not to give him money when I ran a political action committee. I’ve researched him as a journalist. He’s dirty and the two things exposed by the AP this year are only part of the man’s shady way of doing things.

Unlike the partisan political pukes who decry corruption by opponents while ignoring it by one of their own, we don’t play favorites here. A crook is a crook and I don’t give a damn what political flag he or she flies over the front door.

I’ve known AP reporter John Solomon for years. He’s an honest, hard-working, ethical reporter who has written many good stories about many bad politicians – Democratic and Republican. Good reporters don’t let political affiliations get in the way and John is a good reporter. But applying to same standards to both sides of the political fence is unacceptable to partisans. They jump up and cheer when one side gets caught but squeal like stuck pigs when someone points out the crooks in their own woodpile.

Swiftboating Solomon for doing his job isn’t the answer. Democrats should thank him for exposing a crook in their midst and throw Harry Reid out with the trash.

They won’t. Partisans, for the most part, are brain-dead lemmings whose gray matter turned to mush a long time ago from the endless propaganda of the party leaders. They are too damn dumb and stupid to see two sides to an issue because doing so exposes the corruption within their own party.

Republicans have Tom DeLay, Mark Foley and Bob Ney. Democrats have William Jefferson, Allen Mollohan and Corrine Brown. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert didn’t do anything about DeLay until his back was against the law. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi protected Jefferson until members of her own party forced her to take action.

Will Pelosi make a better Speaker of the House than Hastert if the Dems take over in the November mid-terms? I doubt it. Like Hastert, she’s an old-school politico who believes in back-room deals, ignoring corruption in her own party and protecting the system that puts partisanship over patriotism.

Partisans protect their own and care more about their political party than their country. They are pathetic, petty, puny pukes whose pathetic political pandering destroys any hope for the future of America.


  1. Dennis Hawley

    Yep, a crook is a crook, regardless of what political stripe they wear. Now, Reid’s office has issued a statement saying he violated no law, that it was a “normal business transaction at market prices” and that the one lot sold to Reid in 1998 was done before the developer “before he even met Reid.” If Reid or anyone else has violated any law or engaged in any impropiety, let him pay the price. But make sure there is at least a spark within the smoke before passing judgment. As far as the scum-sucking, hypocritical GOP (Gang of Perverts) is concerned, they have a rich and well-documented track record of sleaze, dishonesty, illegal behavior and hypocrisy. They are the true masters of graft, corruption, lying and sleaze.

  2. sherry

    Doug, you are right. It’s past time to clean house. It is time to take back our country. I don’t care who is dirty, let’s get rid of them. Loyalty for the team is fine if it’s football. As for politics, its time to be on the side of what is best for the nation.
    Harry needs to go.

  3. Darold Smith

    Doug keep up the good work. As you say a crook is a crook no matter his political affilation

  4. TruePatriotWarrior

    Boy Doug you sure are into leveling. So lets level journalists, too. They are all corrupt. You can’t trust anything they write about. Lots of assertions but the evidence is either lacking or without warrant. Solomon is just another puke like Paul Kiel or Kos—in fact the entire press should be sent to Iraq to be beheaded.

  5. TruePatriotWarrior writes:

    Boy Doug you sure are into leveling. So lets level journalists, too. They are all corrupt. You can’t trust anything they write about. Lots of assertions but the evidence is either lacking or without warrant. Solomon is just another puke like Paul Kiel or Kos—in fact the entire press should be sent to Iraq to be beheaded.

    Paul Kiel is a blogger who once interned for Harpers and worked for “L” magazine, which is a real estate and entertainment guide for New York City. Kos is a Democratic activist who runs a blog. Hardly what I’d call sterling journalistic credentials. Few bloggers have any real journalism background and considering a blog a credible source for news is as stupid as getting news from a partisan site like NewsMax.

    I didn’t say all politicians are corrupt (although most I’ve dealt with are). I said both parties have corrupt politicians in the their midst.

    Next time, try understanding what you read before taking issue with it.


  6. Wedjat

    This is right! A crook is a crook, is a crook…no matter which (what ever) party they belong to.

    People need to be glad about the exposure of ANY person flaunting the rules.

    Keep up the true work Doug.

  7. Bruce Macdonald

    That’s the way to go Doug. I love to read your comments in the form of rants, not only for the excellent style of writing, but also for your insistence that no dirty politician should get away with dirty tricks. Let’s keep the cookie jar clean.

  8. G.S.

    A short quote by Mark Twain says it all:

    “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

  9. ADB

    A very long time ago when I was a young reporter I had the chance to interview representatives of the Atomic Energy Commission and Greenpeace prior to the government’s nuclear weapons test in the Aleutian Islands — Project Cannikin. I did a good job, only to be reviled by my friends on the left AND right. (I’m a liberal!) Don’t be so thin skinned. You’re getting the kind of reaction you ought to. That bespeaks quality journalism.

  10. Dave Jelliff

    Sad, isn’t it? we live in a country where the middle class and poor are being wiped off the face of this country. Health care costs have spiraled out of control where more and more Americans are having to forgo: saving, groceries or their own health care.

    Yet those who have the ability to change this are off lining their own pockets. I am a Democratic Loyalist but both parties need to clean up their act or we are all in trouble; both Republicans and Democratic middle Americans. Lossing it all doesn’t go after one party or another.

  11. bryan mcclellan

    In reporting on politics there are grains of truth in a story .Reporters attempt to plant these little grains to see if they grow to produce facts.By injecting bias the facts are skewed and the story becomes a lie no matter the facts.Watch fox news,then have someone kick you in the ass,if you buy 99% of what you read or see in todays news market you will begin to think it feels good,because they said so.I see nothing but wanna-be political hacks in every newsroom and in most opinion pages I read, with few exceptions.Our only recourse is to become as informed as possible and then sort out the real from the imagined.If it feels like a kick in the ass,it probably was.If it sounds like a half truth ,then it definately is.Keep after them Doug,you Olberman and Dobbs are our lsat hope for the truth, and it always matters.

  12. Donna Erickson

    Amen,Amen..couldn’t agree more. Very disappointed in Harry Reid. He gives the impression of being a forthright person…guess we all have two faces. There should be 12-step rehab programs for greed. Keep up the good work, Doug, you are a hero.

  13. Lou Raskin

    Over the past 5+ years the Fourth Estate (mainstream media), for the most part, has failed to do its job in overseeing and reporting the actions of government and elected officials. Its good to see the AP waking up–accept the information and let the system flush out its correctness.

    The Fourth Estate’s void gave birth to the internet news and opinion sites such as Capital Hill Blue.

    Doug, keep you informed and insightful views flowing!

  14. I have no problem with bloggers. The AP hasn’t investigated much of anything until the G.O.P. scandals emerged.

    I like partizan politics because it generates the heat to make politics real. I just wish we had some strong third parties to serve as watchdogs on the crook parties.

    We Americans are always suckers for moral lapses and questions, when we should be more worried about our right-to-steal institutions.

  15. Nigel

    Mega dittos Doug.
    We really need the web, the electronic equivalent of Gutenberg’s printing press. I am keeping my old modems and BBS equipment dry in case we need to go back to the pre-web days.
    Yes, AP may have repressed stories on both sides but that is because most US readers want pablum stories. Remember the Rolling Stone article over 10 years ago on the CIA flying drugs into rural Arkansas airstrips? Read the Guardian or the Economist, on the web or in print. Look at in 33 languages.
    Doug needs real readers not bubble gum readers. (In a bubble gum machine, you put money in and something drops.)

  16. Fred

    I appologize to both John and Kathleen if my comment on the Reid story were taken as criticsm of the story. I actually think that it’s an important story, and that it may develop into evidence of substantive wrongdoing. My only question is why the editor chose to make it the headliner, as opposed to, say: “Army admits troops will stay in Iraq for four more years” which I’d think would be of more interest to a larger percentage of your readers. Unless your readers are a very biased sample, the majority think that most politicians are unethical. (See and The later one is particuarly interesting, since it shows that over several years, roughly 70% think that there isn’t a large difference in corruption or ethics between the two major political parties.

  17. Fred Goepfert

    Thank you Doug for this article. It is very true that if it behaves like a crook, it is a crook no matter what political disguise it is wearing.
    Greed and lust are both Liberal and Conservative, Republican and Democrat.
    Nobody, it seems, wants to practice reasonable ethics and values.

    Greed and lust damage those around you. You don’t need a religion to figure that out.

  18. Nojo

    Thanks Doug–for being honest enough to print the truth about all these greedy, self-serving bums we have in office today! Remember, we can all take care of them in NOVEMBER, citizens of a once great REPUBLIC!!!!!

  19. just rant on when you’re right..the mushheads are’nt gonna its up to open minds that want to throw all the crooks out to take our country back


    They must go! All of them, Dems., Repubs., all of those who lie, cheat, steal or take advantage of situations where their power gives them an inside edge. I am tired of sleezy politics and I have a BIG BROOM to clean house.
    Thanks for the honest and non partisan reporting, it is much appreciated.

  21. anthny

    Since this is a two party dictatorship, and both parties are good bad and ugly, partisan politics just does not work anymore.
    My dear old dad told me many times that most politicans are crooks, not all but most.
    The day of the lobby is here and these are the biggest of all crooks, they need to be ejected from Washington.
    When Silverstine pulled building 7 of the world trade centre complex, one reason given was all the information about Worldcom, and Enron and a couple of other high profile cases were being stored there. Plus this is where the so called conspircy really goes crazy. This is the building where they were running the show, you know what I mean…

  22. Dave Ellis

    There’s a REASON this country is in a huge mess: lowlife scum called REPUBLICANS. And there’s a reason why this filth has all the power: sleazeballs called DEMOCRATS. We gave power to these assholes, let’s take it back. I hope it’s not too late.

  23. Dble T

    It’s now a LLC. What the heck is wrong with that?

    The latest Reid hit piece
    by kos
    Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 02:58:29 PM PDT
    The AP’s John Solomon, the go-to guy at the Associated Press for any anti-Democratic efforts, and this piece is absolute crap. The crux of the claim:

    Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn’t personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

    Actually, he did own that land. It just so happened that three years ago, he transfered the property from his own personal name to that of an LLC.

    It’d be kind of like me selling Daily Kos, and someone claiming I reaped a windfall from it because I “sold it three years ago”. I didn’t. Daily Kos became an LLC. As did Reid’s piece of land.

    And btw, this was all disclosed to the ethics committee. The place were things got sloppy is that Reid continued to disclose ownership of the land as a personal asset rather than ownership in the LLC which owned the land. But that’s it. Fact is, the LLC had no other assets other than this piece of land, and Reid disclosed ownership of the piece of land.

    Solomon is either being dishonest or an idiot. But watch the wingers and GOP try to gain traction off this story to divert from their coddling of a sexual predator.

    Update: Note that there is no charge or evidence or anything that would suggest that Reid used his position of authority to boost the value of the land. That would be troublesome. As it is in NC-11 where Rep. Charles Taylor (R) used earmarks to line his pockets

  24. LawstSoul

    You are way of the mark here Doug. I first read the AP article yesterday and felt there was something questionable about the analysis. After reading your piece today, I wondered what I may have missed. I’ve reread the article twice, trying to parse out the facts alleged from the conclusions drawn and suggested by the reporters. IMO, the allegations, taken as accurate, simply do not support the reporters’ conclusions, or yours for that matter. I knew very little about Harry Reid before reading this article. Not much has changed since.

  25. Janice

    I lean democratic, but feel it’s time to clean house no matter what the party is. The corruption is too deep, and is part of the culture in Washington. Throw all the bumbs out! Elect new people, and if they fail to change the culture of corruption in Washington, throw them out, too. I’m giving it this one more election, but if the votes do not add up to the polls, then it’s time to take to the streets. They are only in power because we, as a society, allow them to be. There is power in the masses.

  26. Brian

    The reporter and his editor deserve criticism for the misleading and inflammatory first sentence. They know many readers will not read beyond the implication that Reid earned money on property he did not own, and not get to the explanation that it was owned by an LLC in which he was a partner. None of the facts raise questions about the money. The only problem is failure to fully disclose the LLC transactions. That is certainly much less than what the lede implies.

  27. Deceived and disgraced by the RNC & DNC

    Place yourself in the Congressional Halls and probabilities are 99.999% that you too would commit the same disgusting acts of corruption.

    Huh Doug???

  28. Nathan

    Of course Mr. Reid is corrupt; few hold office with the intent of being powerless and poor. There are three things I look at when evaluating corrupt acts. First was it “Honest Graft”; within the Tammany Hall/Plunkett definition? Second, was there damage done to the Republic as a result? Third, was the grafter greedy, or did he spread the wealth and take a modest portion befitting he office?

    If we evaluate Mr. Allen’s actions, he sold his vote directly to those who benefitted, and obtained contracts they were not qualified to have. This is not honest graft, harmed the Republic, and was a large sum purely for Mr. Allen. Mr. Reid took advantage of his inside knowledge and position to engage in a land deal to his and his friends benefit. This is the classic definition of honest graft. The Republic was not harmed, and he spread the wealth.

    I would also say that Ms. Pelosi, while certainly no more ethical than Mr. Hastert is about twice as smart, and three times as mean. I think she would do far better at the job; and perhaps we will soon find if I have that right.

  29. Windy in wv

    One of the things I fear is that once Democrats take over the legislature, they will forget their noble mission, ignore the importance of campaign funding reform and ethics investigations, and, being the party in power and subject to increased donations from corporations,soon become the party of corruption. We have to be willing and able to sift the chaff from the wheat, regardless of party.

  30. South Point Man

    Terrific grafic for the rant. Both the elephant and donkey are completely transfixed by the golden dollar sign. Nothing else matters to them.

    They are ready and willing to do anything, no matter how evil and destructive, to gain its blessings.

  31. Even as kids we knew that our congressmen were crooks. So what? They were our crooks and for us! More importantly, they were- for the most part- American. Even a kid had enough brains to realize that if some politician left for DC in a Chevy and returned a Cadillac that business was good.

    That was then, but this is now. If you know an honest cop with a brain (most likely someone over 40 and retired), ask him if we’re a police state? If he’s honest, he’ll answer, “yes.” When the President signs the Military Commissions Act of 2006, we become a dictatorship. Uncool. What had been just “crooks” became traitors. These traitors are selling you, your children, and grandchildren into slavery. I don’t care how partisan you are, if you’re American and if our votes still count, then vote anyone who voted for this piece of legislation out of office. “Crooks” is too good a word for traitors.

  32. Rice Farmer

    A political system under the golden spell of the almight dollar. Each day we are treated to more proof of the rot at the core of the whole Republicrat system.

  33. Rice Farmer,

    Amen! Get a third party candidate into the presidential “debates” so that we can get real issue of concern to Americans on the table.

  34. JIm

    As long as we are on the subject of government failures, I assume that the vast majority of the people who contribute comments are high school graduates yet, almost without exception, there is a spelling and/or grammatical error in every posting. What a sad comment on the public school system and social promotion!

  35. keith


    You are absolutely correct.

    And for the life of me, I cannot fathom how otherwise intelligent and informed people can continue blindly supporting EITHER mainstream political party when the evidence is so absolutely compelling that BOTH sets of candidates they want us to support are hopelessly corrupt and more then worthy of jail time.

    In my travels, I hear a variety of reasons for not supporting someone else besides a Republican or a Democrat. Most revolve around the need to “prevent ______ (fill in the blank) from gaining power” or an overriding fear of “throwing my vote away” on someone (or some party) that currently doesn’t have a hope of winning.

    Boy, do the “Republicrats” ever have us by the short hairs, or what?

    The truth is that the overwhelmingly powerful political duopoly we now see in US politics is a relatively recent phenomenon. At the turn of the 20th Century, there were some 10 recognized and highly popular political parties in the United States.

    And those who blindly align themselves with one or the other of the current mainstream political parties might also be surprised to learn that a number of our country’s most honored statesmen were neither Republican NOR Democrat. For example, Alexander Hamilton was a member of the Federalist Party, Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams were Whigs and Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Progressive Party (otherwise known as the Bull Moose Party).

    Even today, there are some 60 or so “Third Parties” in American politics, although we seldom (if ever) hear about any of them in the mainstream media. Of these, the most popular (in terms of actual votes cast in previous elections) are the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.

    Now, I can certainly understand why someone would be hesitant to “waste” his or her vote on a candidate who doesn’t have a chance of winning. On the other hand, I firmly believe that continuing to blindly vote for one or the other of the corrupt “Republicrats” simply underwrites their systemic corruption and enables them to continue their horrifically ruinous political duopoly at the expense of our once proud (and free) nation.

    What’s more, unlike a “Republicrat” vote that will be forever lost among the millions and millions of others, a vote for a third party candidate gives that up-and-coming group a far greater proportionate share of the vote…votes which, in turn, may eventually lead to federal funding in a future election. And that funding might be just enough to finally break the absolute lock the hopelessly corrupt “Republicrats” now have on election coverage in our mainstream media.

    As I’ve said, the longest journey always begins with the first few steps. These changes absolutely won’ t happen overnight. But we have to start somewhere. Simply exchanging one set of pimps, perverts and crooks for another in the upcoming election will solve nothing as it will only perpetuate the problems Doug so ably mentions.

    Throughout our long history as a nation we’ve had a multitude of successful political parties besides the hopelessly corrupt “Republicrats”. I firmly believe our political system CAN be changed so that each of us can once again have a REAL choice come Election Day besides choosing between two sets of hopelessly crooked politicians.

    How are we going to accomplish this seemingly impossible task you ask? I believe the answer is quite simple. We’ll do it one vote at a time.

  36. pondering it all

    When I read the original article, I too was struck by the lack of substance behind the sensational headline. Anybody who invested in real estate over that time period in a growing market like Las Vegas would have the same results. (I have had about the same results.) Even the author stated that zoning changes that increased the land value were quite common at that time. Was there something I missed?

    Reid and his wife bought the land, held it for some years, and then later made some money on their investment. The fact that they formed an LLC with an old friend to develop and promote the land just doesn’t strike me as an ethical issue. Yes, he should have reported the ownership of the land and the LLC correctly, but I just don’t see any evidence that the misreporting was done with the intent to hide anything or reap any ill-gotten gain.

    The story is fluff filed under a misleading headline. The only thing “shady” in the story was the use of the word “shady” in the headline. And this has nothing to do with his political affiliation. If he was a Republican, a Green, or a Member of the Communist Party, it would still be fluff.

    I wonder if the reporter actually wrote the headline? Without the inflammatory “Shady” in the headline, the story is just about a fellow who was smart enough to make a wise investment and did well as a result. The only people who might have a problem with that would be those that see private ownership of property as immoral. But who cares what the Communists think about it?

  37. Kent Shaw

    Doug wrote…

    “In reality, the only difference between the two stories was that one centered on the illegal and unethical activities of a Republican and the other examined the illegal and unethical activities of a Democrat.”


    “George Allen is both a racist and a crook.”


    “Harry Reid is also a crook.”

    Agreed. Nowhere in the constitution is “our two party system” mentioned. Stubborn allegiance to any political party is extremely dangerous, whether it is the Baath party, the Communist party, the Labour Party, or the Republicans or Democrats. Our political system is broken beyond repair.

    One place to begin the repair is by voting out ALL incumbents, yes, even the “good” ones. We’ll still wind up with thte lesser of two evils but it would send a message and it might be a good start.

    Also, the public owns the airwaves, theoretically at least, not the money grubbing corporations who have been granted license to use them for fun and profit. Somehow we need to require free access for national and state political campaigns. This would make it possible for good people who are unable to raise the corporate hundreds of millions of dollars currently needed in order to run for office to obtain access to the public forum. This would level the playing field for candidates who wish to respond to the citizens rather than the corporate special interests.

    I haven’t decided about term limits yet, but I think I would be amenable to limiting senators to one six year term and senators to two two year terms. We need to make our government responsible to the people as a whole, not to segregated special interests.

    Well I’ve always been told I’m a dreamer. I guess nothing changes.

  38. Doubtom

    On the theory that you don’t get far in politics without bending a number of rules, why not investigate Nancy Pelosi’s background for any shady deals. Spread the wealth around a bit. Then go after Frist and Boehner (who insists his name is pronounced Bayner, for obvious reasons.) How many deals has Hastert been involved in? Hang em all! None of them are doing the job they’re getting paid to do and the lousy bastards have just raised their pay one more time!

  39. David Allan

    Bravo, Mr. Thompson. I have been reading your column for 4+ years and have finally been moved enough to respond. You are bang on with your read on the partisans. Partisanism is the new racism. Or maybe just the new “ism”. The system is compromised. The people have lost control because they don’t care enough. The question that is important to ask is how do we take our representative government back? Elect new representatives who have no funding. No corporate funding period. The internet can make that happen.
    Thanks for your commentary, Doug. You convey a necessary message.

  40. rw

    What would “swiftboating” the verb mean? To bring to light behavior that is questionable from the distant past? To confront the powerful with their own actions? I think it’s a not very useful word.

  41. David Rosenberg

    There are Bad Apples in each basket, problem is knowing before they are elected. Who is to blame, we, the American voter. The greatest example, look no further then the man who sits in the White House.
    If the voters actually looked just below the surface, it was easy to tell he was not the person to vote for.
    He had not one reason to be the president. Being Governor of a State does not make one qualified to be president of a Country. He could not reach the Congress, defeated by people in his home state. Was not a Businessman, failed to keep a company alive. had no experience dealing with Foreign affairs. He was great at Partying, Drinking, and Sleeping around. His Military record showed no leadership skills, just average at being a Pilot. How did he come from no where to become the Republican candidate for President? He was the son of a former president, his family was super rich and well connected to other rich families. He was told what to say, how to act and avoid questions he could not answer.
    It was at a time that the sitting president was in the middle of a sex scandel. He was being impeached for receiving sex from other then his wife. The impeachment failed. Any candidate from the sitting party was doomed. It would be impossible to win the election since the voters of this country were blinded by scandal and ignored who was best qualified to be the president. It was the clearest case of voting for the lesser evil, in the voters mind. Every American that is qualified to vote, must accept that responsibility with more responsibility. Voting by the seat of your pants, deserves to get the seat of your pants kicked. Voting shouldn’t make you say, “I’m Sorry”

  42. JerryG

    The difference between the Reid land deal and the Allen stock options is – NOTHING! Progressives such as myself carry a big broomstick with the anticipation of sweeping as much corruption as we can out of DC at every possible opportunity!