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Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie

by Last Night in Little Rock

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff catches Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) in a lie about a junket, arranged by recently arrested Senior OMB Official David Safavian, also reported on Raw Story:

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff catches powerful Ohio congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) in another lie about a trip he took with recently arrested ex-White House official David Safavian. The deal? He said he made the trip to speak to Scottish parliamentarians. The trouble? There's no record of him ever giving a speech--and the parliament wasn't even in session.

RAW STORY revealed another apparent lie the congressman made about who paid for the trip earlier in the week: an email from Safavian indicates that Ney knew that fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff was footing the bill for the junket.

A golfing trip to Scotland. Doesn't everybody want to go to Scotland to play golf?

From Newsweek:

But the Feds' complaint against Safavian says it was Abramoff, not the think tank, that arranged the outing, which is referred to only as a "golf trip." And other records reviewed by NEWSWEEK raise further questions about Ney's account. An "external liaison" registry of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh shows that other members of the U.S. Congress visited that month. But there is no record of Ney's doing so. In fact, the Parliament was in recess when Ney was in Scotland, so "there is no way" he could have addressed the body, said Sally Coyne, a Parliament spokeswoman. A press officer for the House of Commons in London said the British Parliament was also in recess.

Ney's spokesman, Brian Walsh, said that the congressman "wasn't giving a formal speech." Ney "met with a number of folks over there. I don't have any names." Ney has also said that it was Abramoff who told him the trip was being sponsored by the think tank. Walsh added that Ney has offered to review the matter with the House ethics committee.

That could take a while. The panel has been deadlocked for months because of partisan sniping and hasn't taken up any of the many ethics issues surrounding Abramoff's dealings with other members, most notably DeLay. But if Safavian is any indication, the Feds, who haven't yet turned public attention on Ney or other members of Congress, may not be willing to wait much longer.

Another oxymoron: House Ethics Committee. Just stall another 13-1/2 months to see if he survives the election. If not, it is moot. If he does, the election cures the ethics violation.

Perhaps the smartest move the Republicans could do in downsizing government is to pull the teeth and sever the vocal cords of the guarddog. Not that it mattered, the guarddog was too lazy to come out of the doghouse anyway.

And so it goes....

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  • Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    String 'em up! And while we're at it, let's also string up Aaron Broussard, president of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish, for lying about people who died during Katrina and accusing people of "murder", only to cry foul when he is called out on the facts.

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    There is a joke somewhere with the guy's name, "Ney..." I'm just not clever enough to pull it out of my ass. Anyone?

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    justpaul, are you kidding? did you not listen to him on tim russert yesterday? the woman died. what's foul is idiots nitpicking the timeline as if that makes it ok. the woman died, drowned, in her nursing home. that's the truth. there was nothing to call him on. it really IS foul that people like you are stooping so low in desparation now that your emperor is seen as he is: without clothes, and without a clue.

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#4)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    Istrunk, He lied about the way she died. He lied about when she died. He lied about who was responsible for her death. He lied about her having called her son numerous times begging to be rescued. And now he's trying to change the subject (he wasn't just complaining about her having died, after all, but about how she died and why) and you are here trying to help him do that. If it any wonder people have such a low opinion of these politicians when they behave like this? Imagine if George W. Bush had done what this guy did. Would you be saying it didn't matter that he lied about it to the nation since she did, in fact, die? Or would you be screaming about his having used her death for political grandstanding? Don't bother responding; we all know that answer to that question.

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#5)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    Istrunk, You might also consider that he accused people of "murder", which makes it pretty clear he wasn't simply concerned about her having died; he was using her death to score political points. I can't help but wonder how many other NOLA stories are going to turn out to have been of this type: Not a non-event (someone did die), but a personal tragedy yruned into political theater by someone looking to gain from it. By comparison, what Ney has done is just your average garden variety political corruption. Funny how that's considered newsworthy, considering how many of them do it, while demagouging someone's unfortunate death is waved aside by those who have spents weeks now telling us how much they care about everyone.

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    And as we all know, there's nothing wrong with "average garden variety political corruption." Certainly not worth mentioning. No one needs to know or anything.
    "Funny how that's considered newsqorthy, considering how many of them do it..."
    Stats please? Backup? Evidence? justpaul's tossaway statement or well-sourced assertion?

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    (sorry, not sure why I put that "q" in that quote, the original was spelled properly) charley, I'm asking justpaul how many? Numbers, please. Evidence. That's what I'm asking of justpaul and, if you like, you or anyone who has them. How many US Representatives and Senators have allegedly engaged in the "garden variety" corruption Ney is being accused of? But again, this certainly couldn't be worth discussing, could it? Republicans or Democrats stealing money isn't really a problem or must-know information, right?

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    Ace, The point I was trying to make was not that garden variety corruption is not worth talking about. That should have been clear given that this thread is about just that. My point was that what we have here is a story claiming to prove that Ney lied (I say claiming because he still denies it and, this being a defense lawyer site, we must presume him innoncent until he is proven guilty). while at the same time, a now proven lie about a person who died during Katrina (a favorite topic on this site since before the storm even hit NOLA) goes unmentioned. It seems that "liberal coverage" of crime-related and political injustice news does not include covering anything that a liberal does or says that might be considered an injustice, unless they are running for President, in which case some minor mention, below the fold as it were, will be made to retain the illusion of objectivity. As I said above, if W. or some other Republican had been caught lying about someone's death to make political points, it would be all over this page. Why is this kind of demagougery less newsworthy when it's perpetrated by a liberal? And given that it is, and that this is a standard of most liberal coverage, is it any wonder so many people see liberals as people who insist on different standards for themselves? Finally, what is the point of yoru request for numbers other than an attempt to change the subject amd help this particular liberal avoid taking his lumps?

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:23 PM EST
    My point in requesting numbers is to get you to back up your statements with sources and facts. It's not a change of subject. If Ney's alleged corruption is "garden variety," and "so many of them do it [i.e., engage in corruption]," then you might have a point in relegating this story to something to keep in the back of your head when you're in the polling booth. But... If you're wrong, however, or if the amount of money Ney allegedly misappropriated is much higher than the norm, or if only a small # of Congresspeople are allegedly (or proven) corrupt, or if many more members of the X Party engage in corruption than those of the Y Party, etc., etc., then this story is more worthy of mention. So, I'd like to see your sources and see if I agree with you on the facts upon which you've apparently concluded: (or rather claim "so many people" have) that TalkLeft/"Last Night in Little Rock" "insists on different standards for" liberals. Further, and straying off topic, you give no sources for your assertions that Broussard lied (which is a change of subject, or at best tangential, if you ask me, because we're not talking about New Orleans or Broussard or dead people). I think many liberal blogs, including this one, have shown themselves to be capable of assigning relative values to Bush's misleading statements and/or lies. Would you rather see a blogger publish an article that says "Ney looks like he lied, but then so did Clinton, so did Nagin, so did Broussard, so did Frist, so did Reagan, so did Schwarzenegger, so did JFK, etc."? What the hell? Could you at least wait until an open thread or something to mention Broussard? "Why is this newsworthy when X isn't to you?" Could it be that a blog isn't (frequently) news in itself but filtered news items and commentary of the blogger's choosing?

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:23 PM EST
    I typed, tangentially,
    we're not talking about New Orleans or Broussard or dead people
    I meant that "Last Night in Little Rock" isn't talking about those subjects. At least not in this article. TalkLeft apparently discusses "The Politics of Crime" (not that I'm capable or desirious of holding TalkLeft to discussing that area alone). So, if you think Broussard has committed a crime with what you (and possibly unsourced others) assert are his lies, then I could imagine that TalkLeft might cover that story.

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:23 PM EST
    Fair enough, Ace. I believe that ALL politicians are basically up to no good, and as such feel no need to provide you with data on any specific congressman. If you prefer to believe that the average congressman is Clark Kent in disguise, so be it; I'll concede the point. You believe congressman are honest people in general and I won't try to dissuade you of that notion. After all, it's not like this stuff doesn't turn up in the news all the time. There was no Keating Five. The House bank scandal never happened. Dozens of Congressman did not "revise" their financial disclosure statements after Abramoff got busted. The Senate Democrats were not caught red-handed taking dictation on judicial nominees from the PFAW. Just keep holding your hands over your eyes and going la-la-la-la-la-la..... As for Broussard: If I have to do your homework for you, then I really don't think you are at all interested in the truth, you're just fronting for another liberal who got caught in a lie, but the least you could do is read the other comments, whcih clearly indicate that (1) other people saw the show, and (2) TL is not covering it. But so be it. As you requested: Perhaps no footage from Hurricane Katrina was replayed more often than the "Meet the Press" clip of Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, La., telling Tim Russert that bureaucrats had "committed murder" in the storm's aftermath. He sobbed as he told about a colleague's mother drowning in her nursing home after begging her son on the phone for four days to save her from the rising waters. Talk show host Don Imus said he had never seen such gripping testimony on TV in his life. But MSNBC.com later found the story didn't hold up. Eva Rodrigue, the 92-year-old mother of Thomas Rodrique, the parish's emergency services director, did drown--but not because federal or state officials failed to rescue her. Mr. Rodrique said his mother died the day of the hurricane because the nursing home's owners ignored commands to evacuate. The owners are now under indictment for negligent homicide. Mr. Rodrique says his mother never spoke with him, and he can't explain why his boss, Mr. Broussard, got it so wrong. Mr. Broussard returned to "Meet the Press" yesterday to punch back at critics of his obviously embellished statement. "What kind of sick mind, what kind of black-hearted people want to nitpick a man's mother's death?" he roared. When Mr. Russert continued to point out the discrepancies in his account, Mr. Broussard told him "Man, get out of my face" and then said the bureaucrats and officials who failed his region "should be strung up. Those people should be burned at the stake."

    Re: Newsweek Catches Congressman Ney in Lie (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:24 PM EST
    You believe congressman are honest people in general and I won't try to dissuade you of that notion.
    The (slightly) shorter answer, to allow readers to move to my next paragraph, is: my beliefs are irrelevant to this discussion. Facts, and logical conclusions from them, are. (The longer answer is: do you mind-read much? Because you aren't reading mine. I've never said that, nor have I implied that. I won't your mischaracterizations of my beliefs.) You may find it more politically fulfilling to work for greater transparency in government if, as you say below,
    I believe that ALL politicians are basically up to no good, and as such feel no need to provide you with data on any specific congressman.
    That's fine to believe that. It's fine not to give me any data. And therefore, I won't buy your argument, that Ney's alleged corruption is "garden variety" simply because you "believe" it to be so. All I ask is that you give me numbers, use some hyperlinks; it's easy. Nothing specific. I don't require extraordinary effort as you imply. If you want me (or others) to believe you, you might find gathering evidence useful. If you don't feel a need, that's fine. But the Web makes it easy to find data, so I'm happy about that. I'm also happy that the Web makes it tough to hide inaccuracies. For example (and now off-topic), to quote from your given source (and I thank you for it, as no one had previously linked to it) (And please, it's not my "homework", it's yours; why should supporting your argument with evidence be my job?), John Fund of the Opinion Journal (part of the Wall Street Journal) wrote:
    Mr. Broussard returned to "Meet the Press" yesterday to punch back at critics of his obviously embellished statement. "What kind of sick mind, what kind of black-hearted people want to nitpick a man's mother's death?" he roared. When Mr. Russert continued to point out the discrepancies in his account, Mr. Broussard told him "Man, get out of my face" and then said the bureaucrats and officials who failed his region "should be strung up. Those people should be burned at the stake."
    How lovely of John Fund to cherry-pick quotes by implying falsely that Broussard was talking specifically or rudely to Russert, to "get out of my face," and had essentially ended the interview there. Fortunately, though, for those inclined to conclude that John Fund is, at best, misreading the Russert-Broussard interview, MSNBC.com has the actual transcript online. (Link to "Meet the Press" transcript) I will assume that readers can conclude for themselves, but I give my view below. Would that MSNBC, Tim Russert and you parse President Bush's statements as finely as many have parsed Broussard's. Broussard continued with the interview. He provided the excuse (believe it if you will, I conclude that even if false, it wouldn't indict him further) that he was given much of the misleading information by his staffers. Further, he said he is glad the nursing home managers are being indicted, and, earlier, said that he hopes Congress does its job, too, that it investigates all the failures that occurred on the local, state, federal level. But readers can determine whether I am misparaphrasing Broussard. I don't think I am. While I was at it, I parsed Broussard's first offending statement, as finely as McClellan might with Bush's statements. Broussard NEVER specifically blamed the Federal government for Eva Rodrigue's death. Never once. He clearly stated he wanted accountability for all responsible. I invite anyone to detail how one could logically conclude Broussard specifically or solely blamed the Federal government for Eva Rodrigue's death. Mind you, I'm not talking about what Russert said or asked. Here's the link to the MSNBC.com transcript 9/4. Of all people on this planet, I'd think Thomas Rodrigue would be the one who should be most outraged at Broussard's lies/distortions/mistakes regarding Eva Rodrigue's death from the nursing home managers' alleged gross neglect. Thomas Rodrigue, however, said, in the 9/25 MSNBC article Russert cited:
    I canít tell you what he said that day, why he was confused, Iím assuming he was under a tremendous amount of pressure.
    and
    [Broussard] was emotional, absolutely and he was from the time that he found out that, you know, that my mother had died and I was here doing what Iím required to do for the citizens for Jefferson Parish.
    I'll give Broussard the same amount of outrage and blame that Thomas Rodrigue has given him, and no more.