Bloggers bask in the irony of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's buffeting by another tough attorney general—his own. Also, good athletic news in Iraq precipitates more of the same old misery.
Eliot Shvitzer: The tough prosecutor who headed to Albany seven months ago with state ethics reform as his primary goal is now accused of unscrupulous—and possibly career-fatal—behavior himself. Aides to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, allegedly used state police to monitor the travel schedule of State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, a Republican. (The aides were looking for dirt on their boss's political rival relating to his use of state aircraft.) The real Shakespearean angle on this story, however, is that Spitzer's bulldog reputation as New York's former attorney general has now been taken up by his own top lawyer, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who's leading the investigation into just how high up this executive stink travels.
New York magazine, which ran a cover story last week on Spitzer, is all over the growing scandal at its Daily Intelligencer blog: "The main takeaway from the first days of what now promises to be a long, hard slog for the governor is how strangely unprepared the Spitzer machine seems for dealing with an internal crisis. This is, of course, ironic on several levels: As the crusading A.G., Spitzer has thrown many a Wall Street firm into the same kind of cooperation-pledging, aide-dismissing, ass-covering tizzy his administration appears to be experiencing right now."
"My gosh. If Spitzer were a Republican, people would be making comparisons to Nixon and calling for impeachment," writesconservative law professor (and longtime Spitzer antagonist) Professor Bainbridge. "(Actually, Spitzer reminds me a lot of Nixon, but that's a story for another day.)"
Libertarian Radley Balko, aka The Agitator, says the governor is a victim of self-made circumstance: "Even he didn't know, isn't this the same guy who wants corporate executives held criminally liable for the mistakes of their underlings, even if they had no knowledge of those mistakes? Isn't this the guy who wanted to make not knowing about those mistakes a crime in and of itself?"
And who is most likely to be basking in " Spitzerfreude"? At The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, Nathan Koppel makes a list: "Dick Grasso: The former New York Stock Exchange chief, whose $187.5 million pay package was challenged by then AG Spitzer in 2004. … Insurers: Spitzer launched an investigation into alleged bid-rigging between brokers and insurers. … Mutual Fund Industry: Spitzer's investigation of 'marketing timing,' in which fund companies allowed investors to buy fund shares after the market closed, netted more than $4 billion in fines, penalties and fee cuts for investors."
Greg at conservative Rhymes with Right sees the New York Times' coverage of the scandal as a transparent attempt to save the Spitzer administration. Noting that two of the governor's top aides have refused to cooperate with the attorney general's investigation, Greg writes: "I'm curious -- had Scooter Libby taken such a course, would the New York Times have found that acceptable? If the Bush Administration chose to follow such a path in any investigation, would the New York Times have let that matter pass? hardly -- but since Spitzer is a friendly Democrat, what do you expect. Biased reporting, double standards -- that's the New York Times."
Read more about the New York governor's travails.
Kicking and screaming: Iraq's soccer team won the Asian Cup semifinals Wednesday in what should have been an unpunctuated moment of joy for the besieged country. Sadly, as Iraqis took to the streets to celebrate the victory, suicide bombers attacked, killing 50 and wounding more than 100.
Shourin Roy at SoccerBlog.com notes that "[s]occer as a uniting symbol for Iraqis, as a sport that rallies nationalism, is thus antithetical to the insurgents goal of unleashing sectarian forces. The inevitability of Iraqi soccer being targeted. … No less than Ammo Baba, an Iraqi soccer icon, and the manager of the Iraqi team in its golden years of the 80s, was spared as he was assaulted and robbed at home by Iraqi insurgents."
"Something gives me a feeling that this no longer has anything to do with the 'Evil American Occupation'TM and perhaps a bit more to do with an already crippled society facing an ideology of mass murder," writes Leora at general-interest Simply Dumb. "That is unless someone can explain to me why Iraqis celebrating a soccer victory over South Korea in the Asian Cup semi-finals is 1) anti-Arab, 2) anti-Muslim, or 3) imposed by foreign infidels."
Merv at Prairie Pundit thinks the indiscriminate and gruesome nature of the bombings proves al-Qaida was behind them: "It has to be the foreign al Qaeda elements behind these bombings. Everyone else in Iraq is celebrating and coming to together over the events. Would a true Iraqi insurgent want to alienate all the people of Iraq? Would al Qaeda want to steal their joy? The answer to the last question is yes."
Read more about Iraq's compromised sports victory.