Late Night Drifts

Snowdrifts in a shopping center parking lot South of Boston

I thought I put up a little news for your late night reading pleasure.

I hope all you East Coast folks have finished shoveling your driveways and sidewalks. The drifts in my driveway are almost as high as my car roof, and my sidewalk is just a narrow strip cutting through waist-high snow. When will it end?

You’ve probably heard by now that President Obama has announced his choice for Press Secretary. Jay Carney, formerly of Time Magazine and for the past two years Joe Biden’s communications director, got the nod to replace Robert Gibbs. Frankly, I always thought Carney was a Republican. Oh wait–that makes him perfect for Obama. Also, Carney is married to ABC news correspondent Claire Shipman–isn’t that a bit of a conflict?

Jay Carney and Claire Shipman

Anyway, a few bloggers have been dishing about Carney’s past history.

At FDL, David Dayen reminisced about a Yearly Kos panel that Carney was on in 2007, and also linked to this anecdote by Jay Rosen

Jay Carney is Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief. Andrew Golis interviewed him too, on the sidewalk outside the party that Time threw on Friday night to promote its political blog, Swampland. (I read Swampland and I was there: good party.) “The blogosphere’s critique of the mainstream media has been overwhelmingly healthy and it’s made the mainstream media pay a lot of attention to details it should have been paying attention to,” he said, echoing Scherer and Fournier.

He then added something unintentionally revealing of how political journalists got themselves into the very trouble that’s forcing at least some of them to look inward. “Karen Tumulty and I— we’re not advocates, we’re not columnists.” (Tumulty, a contributor to Swampland, is Time’s national political correspondent.) “It’s our responsibility not to be labeled left or right.”

Is it now?

“That is just so wrong,” said a commenter (Lee) at Swampland, who had watched the interview. “Your job is to tell the truth.” (Regardless of how it gets you categorized.)

He sounds perfect for our post-partisan POTUS.

Dayen also linked to this piece by Rich Perlstein, written after Carney was chosen as Biden’s communications director.

Here’s what The New York Times had to say about the Carney appointment:

In choosing Mr. Carney to succeed Mr. Gibbs, the president is tapping someone who has not been part of his inner circle. Mr. Carney’s relationship with Mr. Obama is certain to be different from that of Mr. Gibbs, who has worked for the president for years and who performed many of the functions of a White House senior adviser for the last two years.


Mr. Carney is relatively new to the role of press secretary, but is known for having longstanding relationships with many in the Washington press corps. As Mr. Biden’s chief spokesman, Mr. Carney has been involved in many of the administration’s public relations efforts.

Among the challenges facing Mr. Carney when he takes over the podium in the West Wing briefing room will be keeping disciplined control of the message as the 2012 presidential cycle begins in earnest. And he will have to earn the trust of a press corps that fought frequently with Mr. Gibbs but also was aware that his relationship with the president was a close one. Reporters rarely doubted that Mr. Gibbs had the ear of the president and the authority to speak for him.

A senior White House official said Mr. Carney would be “a more traditional press secretary” but insisted that he would get into any meeting he wanted to and “have all the access he needs to do his job.”

We’ll see. Obama seems to be pretty picky about who he lets into his inner circle, as we’ve learned from Larry Summers and Christina Romer.

In other news, Mark Halperin let the cat out of the bag about the new political novel, “O.” It turns out the author is Mark Salter, a longtime adviser to John McCain. At Salon, Alex Pareene calls Salter an “embittered McCain aide with ‘writer’s block.'”

Mark Salter, the man who invented the myth of John McCain, wrote the book “O,” according to people who care about who wrote the book “O.”

“O” is an anonymous political novel about Barack Obama running for reelection in 2012. The book is a dramatic, insider’s account of how the people who run presidential campaigns find Arianna Huffington annoying.

Speaking of annoying, this “news” was sort of broken by Mark Halperin, though Salter has not confirmed it. (And why would he? The book has not been well-reviewed.)

There were some clues. Mark Salter fancies himself a literary type. He ghost-wrote John McCain’s various books. “O’s” opponent in the book is an honorable military type with no glaring and obvious personal flaws. (It is sort of McCain plus Romney, I guess. I have only skimmed it.) A Democrat might’ve written a book more critical of the way the Republican Party runs campaigns.

Rahm Emanuel is already back on the ballot in Chicago, thanks to the Illinois Supreme Court. The New York Times has an article about the complex political ties of the justices who made the decision. It’s “the Chicago way.”

The FBI has announced “mass raids” of people involved in “Operation Payback,” the anonymous group hackers’ group that has been using cyber-attacks to support Wikileaks.

Following the arrest of five people in Britain in connection with the “Operation Payback” cyber-attacks in support of WikiLeaks, the FBI announced mass raids across the United States in connection with the case.

“FBI agents today executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations,” a bureau press release states.

Though the bureau did not say if any individuals were arrested during the raids, it did confirm a link between the US raids and the arrests in Britain. The bureau said suspects, if charged, could face up to 10 years in prison.

Busy busy busy. The FBI never sleeps.

What’s going on with you?

12 Comments on “Late Night Drifts”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    A heartbreaking story:

    A well-known Ugandan gay rights activist, whose photograph was published by an anti-gay publication, next to the words “Hang them!” was found beaten to death in his home near the capital, cops said Thursday.

    Police insisted that David Kato’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with the grisly murder and that one “robber” had been taken into custody while another suspect is being hunted.

    But friends and activists suspect his homosexuality could be the motive for Kato’s death.

    Kato was found with injuries to his head caused by an attack with a hammer late Wednesday in Kampala. He died on the way to the hospital.

    • bostonboomer says:

      More from the NYT:

      “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009,” Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups, said in a statement. “The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.”

      Ms. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals, who held rallies and workshops in Uganda discussing how to turn gay people straight, how gay men sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” intended to “defeat the marriage-based society.”

      The Americans involved said they had no intention of stoking a violent reaction. But the antigay bill was drafted shortly thereafter. Some of the Ugandan politicians and preachers who wrote it had attended those sessions and said that they had discussed the legislation with the Americans.

  2. Jadzia says:

    Tiny nit of the day: RicK Perlstein. (I knows him.)