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Archive for February 29th, 2012

David Dreier’s Special Dispensation, Allowed Only To Republicans: Re-Closeting

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 29, 2012

This news item caught my attention:

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Rules announced he will not run for reelection February 29, 2012.

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Dreier was redistricted out of his seat, and he had no stomach for running where he wasn't an incumbent. But here's the interesting part. Pay close attention:

Dreier was first elected to Congress in 1980. Now in his 16th term, he was considered a top choice in 2005 to take the Majority Leader position, which was instead given to Roy Blunt reportedly because of Dreier’s more moderate views. Dreier has been chairman of the House Rules Committee — which regulates House floor proceedings, debates and votes — since 1999.

“Moderate” my ass. Dreier had one of the most conservative voting records in Congress at the time, and still rates as a very conservative congresscritter. No, Dreier was bounced because too many of his fellow Republicans thought he was gay, just because he was a bachelor who lived with his Chief of Staff, Brad Smith, widely believed (and reported by various publications) to be his live-in lover.

In the spring and summer of 2004, two elected officials were accused of having same-sex lovers on the public payroll.

One of them, Jim McGreevey, was the center of a GOP/Media shitstorm that kept his face on the evening TV news — the national evening TV news, mind you — nearly every day, and in the most unfavorable way, for months on end, even after he’d announced that he wasn’t running for another term as governor of New Jersey. He loses everything: His job, his career, his wife, his family, the works. His life’s in ruins at the end of it all.

The other, David Dreier, got comparatively bupkis in terms in ill effects; only a few gay publications, blogs, and alternative weeklies bothered to mention the accusations, and they never made the evening TV news once, much less for months on end. In fact, the only real harm to come to Dreier manifested a year later, when the extremely conservative Dreier was denied the chance to succeed his friend Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader because of his alleged “moderate” tendencies. (Openly gay congressman Barney Frank quipped that in this case, the House Republicans meant “Yes, in the sense that I [Frank] marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar.”)

Don’t be surprised if this blog is the only place you see this news today.

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James Murdoch steps down from press wing of News

Posted by Charles II on February 29, 2012

And evidently it’s great news, because the stock is up by over 1%, continuing a long run that has included some of the most damning revelations.

Amy Thompson, Bloomberg:

Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch stepped down as executive chairman of News International almost eight months after the U.K. publishing unit was rocked by a phone-hacking scandal.

Murdoch, who has moved to News Corp.’s headquarters in New York, will assume a variety of “essential corporate leadership mandates” focusing on pay television businesses and international operations, News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said in a statement today.

James Murdoch was named News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer in March 2011. He handed News International’s CEO position to Tom Mockridge in July,

The money in NewsCorp is in electronic media. The print stuff is Rupert’s sandbox, a beloved but generally money-losing venture that NewsCorp shareholders would probably like to shut down [*]. And this step simply completes the process by which James attempts to divorce his complicity in the phone hacking/bribery scandal. We’ll see how that goes. But getting the Murdochs out of the day-to-day operations of the British press might allow that press to recover some minimal standards of behavior.

Here’s wishing that effort well.
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* FT’s Lex says that the entire print business contributed 11% of operating profits before the costs of the hacking scandal. So “money-losing” is not quite right. But “marginal” is.

Added: Here’s substantiation for my claim that the shareholders are delighted that the newspapers are in trouble, Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian:

Speaking the language of Wall Street, not Fleet Street, [electronics wing boss Chase] Carey said on Tuesday that “there certainly is an awareness” that News Corporation would trade at a higher multiple to earnings if the media group did not own newspapers.

However, shareholder activists will take another run at ousting James.

Posted in Media machine, Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off

Martyred Jewish Journalist Daniel Pearl “Re-Baptized” By Mormons Nine Years After His Death

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 29, 2012

Wonder if Dana Loesch, currently having backarching ragegasms over Joan Walsh’s tweaking of Romney and the LDS over the Mormon policy of posthumously baptizing Jews, will dare address this:

Members of the Mormon Church last year posthumously baptized Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to records uncovered by a researcher in Utah.

Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon who combs through the church’s archives, said that records indicate Pearl, who was Jewish, was baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011 at a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Mormons baptize deceased Jews and members of other religions as part of a rite intended to give them access to salvation.

But the practice has stirred outrage among some Jewish leaders. In 1995, the church, after meeting with Jewish leaders, agreed to stop baptizing Holocaust victims. Current church policy encourages church members to baptize their ancestors, but does not explicitly forbid the baptism of deceased Jews and people of other faiths.”

For those who weren’t around or don’t remember it, Daniel Pearl was kidnapped, tortured and killed specifically for being Jewish.

Betcha Dana doesn’t say a word.

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