Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ko$sola or JeromeGate?

* UPDATE 4 p.m. 6/21 *
The Blogfather makes the Moonbat Mafiosi an offer they can't refuse, and says he's "exploring legal options against some of the wingnut bloggers" who won't shut up.

Talk about priceless publicity! If I got a cease-and-desist letter from Markos' consigliere, I'd immediately e-mail Drudge before faxing the letter to The Smoking Gun.

Will AllahPundit sleep with the fishes?

Other "wingnut bloggers" daring to defy La Blogga Nostra's code of omerta on Ko$ola/JeromeGate:
Little Green Footballs, Ace of Spades, Josh Trevino (Red State), Iowa Voice
, Instapundit , BOPNews , Captain Ed, Outside the Beltway , Vodkapundit, PowerLine, National Review, BizzyBlog, Wizbang, Althouse, Dr. Flap, Another Rovian Conspiracy ...

* * * * *
Contemplating Dan Riehl's big scoop, Allah Pundit wonders if maybe "Ko$ola" is the wrong term:
So far everything’s flowing in to Political Technologies LLC, which is Armstrong’s outfit. So maybe we should be calling it … Arm$trong-ola? Just doesn’t have the same ring.
OK, whatever. Call it "JeromeGate."

However, it's not illegal or unethical for a political consultant to be selling his services to clients, even clients as sleazy as SEIU. The relevant question is why it seems these money trails to Armstrong tend to be reflected in favorable treatment at DailyKos. The most glaring example of this is the Hackett-Brown flipflop in October '05 that ex-Kossack "BuckeyeState" has chronicled.

The pattern seems clear: Jerome gets paid, the client gets laid, and it's Markos wearing the fishnet stockings and 4-inch heels.

Since I left my tinfoil hat at home, I will allow for the possibility that this is mere coincidence. It just coincidentally happened -- kismet! fate! destiny! -- that Kos slams Sherrod Brown, then Jerome gets paid by Brown, the Kos starts providing Lewinsky service to Brown.

While I don't go for conspiracy theories -- even when the two alleged conspirators are (former) business partners -- the Kossacks do. In August 2005, two months before the Hackett-Brown caper, a certain "JodyD" wrote this LiveJournal entry:
I dislike Markos (aka Kos). ... This is no secret. I dislike him mainly because he's sold out. And for what? Money? Influence?

I suspect it's a combo of both. ...

My suspectful mindset began with Howard Dean. He was a whore to the Dean campaign, but not of the good kind. The campaign, in the end, got very little out that relationship while Markos clearly gained, substantially. His handling of the situation was self motivated and just not very smart. If you don't know the details, google is your friend. ...

The funny thing to me is the site isn't even Markos anymore. ....
He's too busy setting up Kos Media LLC ... and sitting on the boards of new think tanks.
A man I once shared a vision with - the internet, specifically blogs, would transform politics - has not only left that vision but crumbled many people along his way. He's a shady character.
The question is: how long until he falls? My answer: not very.
Democrat blogger Chris Baker suggested the revelations about blogola/Ko$ola/JeromeGate were a right-wing hit job. Yet between "BuckeyeState" and "JodyD," it is clear that many on the Left have suspected for months that Markos Moulitsas Zuniga was "sold out," a "whore." As "BuckeyeState" put it:
It became obvious to me some time ago ... that [DailyKos] was a scam, perpetrated on people desperate for change and leadership.
Dan Riehl continues researching, and I am 100% certain that as more of Political Technologies LLC's client list is discovered, more parallels with the DailyKos message will also be discovered. It may be weeks before FEC records of Democratic primary campaigns are fully available online, but it is reasonable to expect to see further confirmation of this pattern of Armstrong/Kos coordination that for months has been prompting suspicions on the part of some smart Democrat activists.

* * * * *
Iowa Voice sez:
I'd like to think that Kos' and Armstrong's readers would begin to realize the massive fraud being played out on them...but I doubt they have that kind of intelligence, really. ... They probably don't much care that they're being fleeced by con-artists turned political activists.
"Con-artists turned political activists": A short, simple description of the pattern documented in Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party.

* * * * *
Pho in Akron:
The new info is that Kos has sent out a confidential memo to his inner circle urging them to refrain from blogging on the issue so as to "starve it of oxygen." He also tries to minimize Armstrong's culpability -- "He didn't do it but he settled it because . . ." If I had a dime for every time I heard that as a prosecutor.
Yeah. It's right up there with, "I don't know how those roaches got in my ashtray!" and "But she told me she was 19!"

* * * * *
Some conservatives will recall early 2005, when the MSM started paying a lot of attention to the Abramoff scandal. At that time, there were a lot of voices on the Right saying, "Oh, this is just the Dems trying to do a hit job on DeLay. It's a smear. No story here. Ignore it."

Bad advice. The Abramoff scandal was serious, but it wasn't until late November 2005, when the Weekly Standard published Matt Continetti's story, that most conservatives really understood the true seriousness of the problem.

Once they knew the scope of the problem, Republicans did the Republican thing. Whether or not he is ever found guilty of any crime, Tom DeLay was smart to resign, rather than take the GOP down with him. Ralph Reed hasn't taken the hint, and neither has Bob "I'm Too Stupid to Be Corrupt" Ney, but once the scope of Abramoff's scam was exposed, conservatives in general took it seriously.

But check out this latest reaction to Ko$ola/JeromeGate from Democrat blogger Chris Baker:
The right will try to turn this into a blanket attack. Learn from Karl Rove. Don’t get sidetracked. You have them on defense… keep attacking. Sure, you can devote huge amounts of resources and time to attacking the Daily Kos and their crew, but in the end it will just make you look stupid as we hammer away on jobs, the economy, the occupation of Iraq, etc etc etc list the hundreds of other real world issues that Republicans don’t know how to deal with.
On the one hand, Baker's right. On the other hand, he's drinking the Kool-Aid of paranoia.

If Jerome and/or Markos are selling out the Kossacks, this is an internal problem for Democrats. Daily Kos absolutely dominates the Moonbat-o-sphere in a way that no single site dominates on the Right. Because Armstrong and Moulitsas have turned their operation into a Democratic Party one-stop for campaign cash, PR, communication, volunteers, GOTV, strategy, etc., a problem for Daily Kos is a problem for the entire party.

Baker urges Democrats to ignore the problem -- fearing that it is a distraction from the "issues," or that it will be "red meat" for the GOP. That's like saying, "Oh, Mom, it's just a lump in your breast. Don't worry about it. You're only 57. And a two-pack-a-day smoker. It's probably nothing."

Election Day is Nov. 7. If the Armstrong-Moulitsas axis is getting "blogola" to steer Democrats in a losing direction, Democrats have barely over four months before they pay the price. Mr. Baker, if you wake up a loser on Nov. 8, don't say you weren't warned.

6/20: Kosola: The story so far

6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral

6/19: Will blog for $$$

6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam

6/12: Tin foil: The new fur

6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas