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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Matthew Saroff: "Assuming the Best of Dick Cheney"

Why, you!

Thanks to Matthew Saroff for this fine analysis - THANKS MATTHEW!

For the sake of argument, let's look at the US Attorney purge under the
assumption that Dick Cheney is a decent and honorable human being. (While
we're at it let's assume that Santa Claus exists, pro-wrestling is real,
and that the Bush crime family are dedicated public servants).

Let us further assume that when Mitchell Wade, President of MZM and briber

of Randall "Duke" Cunningham, got a $140,000.00 contract for furniture and
computers in the Vice President's
office(, that
this was not a direct byproduct of corruption. (Other services brought up
the total to over $600,000.00)

Even though MZM was clearly bribing the Dukester, let us assume that an

informal conversation between Cunningham and then House Appropriations
chair Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) that resulted in a DEFENSE AND
INTELLIGENCE firm being recommended to the White House was simply legal,
but unethical pay-back to a political supporter.

Let us further assume that neither Mr. Lewis nor Mr. Cheney had any idea

that MZM was a corrupt organization.

We are well past Easter Bunny territory now. In fact, I believe that we

are well past where Rod Serling would have crumpled the "Twilight Zone"
script and thrown it into the garbage because it exceeded the audience's
capacity for suspension of disbelief.

In fact, we may have exceeded limits of a Max Bialystock production


But lets give these folks the benefit of the doubt.

So, when it's discovered that Duke Cunningham is dirty, they are shock,

shocked I tell you, that MZM might not be above board.

So when US Carol Lam expands her investigation, looking at ties to corrupt

CIA Agent Dusty Foggo, and opening up Lewis to scrutiny, they are
disturbed that completely above board contracts for furniture and other
services will doubtlessly be reviewed, and the ties between the office of
the Vice President with the largest corruption case in the history of the
US Congress would cripple both Cheney, and the whole Bush administration.

It would prevent their pursuing their policies, and tie up excessive

resources for the remainder of the term.

So Dick Cheney picks up the phone, or more likely sends an underling, to

Gonzalez, and explains how this investigation is bad news for both the
Administration and the country.

He has not-so-subtly demanded that the investigation be shut down.

That is obstruction of justice, even if the firings are legal, despite the

fact that the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, and it
is an impeachable offense, and this is when one casts Dick Cheney in the
best possible light.

- posted by Matthew Saroff