Scoobie Scoops

Scoobie listens to those I can’t handle

Come on. Do you think this bunch [the supposed Clinton cabal] is actually getting behind him [Clark] to promote him for the sake of making him a winner? Hardly, my good–If Wesley Clark doesn’t look out, I mean, his family is going to be looking for him in Fort Marcy Park before it’s too long. You don’t sit out there and paint the Cliinton adminstration as clueless on world affairs and have these people become your best friends.

This is a reference to Vince Foster’s suicide.

Pseudonymous Blogging

It seems like only a couple days ago that I explained to Eric Zorn why I blog pseudonymously. That’s because it was only a couple days ago. I often wonder if I’m a bit too paranoid, but given I post a lot on local issues in St. Louis and some of those posts are somewhat controversial it allows me to avoid uncomfortable situations. I wasn’t quite sure what might happen, but one of the issues was harassing calls or behavior. And I’m not convinced that being uncomfortable is enough of an excuse. Declaring what you believe might often be uncomfortable. I have a family and while I am certainly willing to accept accountability for what I write, the nuiscance of being known could be a problem. I believe the post on being cursed makes the point.

I’m not sure if I’ll remain pseudonymous for a lot of the initial reasons why I did aren’t really relevant anymore. On the other hand, Rochell Moore has asked her supporters to protect her with weapons.

I actually agree with Eric Zorn’s assesment today on pseudonymous writing,

A one-name newspaper byline, "Garbo," on a Tempo commentary "Will `Lesbian Eye’ be next? It’s unlikely anytime soon."

A one-name byline is automatically pseudonymous in our culture–a handful of celebrities excepted–though one-name and pseudonymous (and anonymous) writings go way back and include "Publius," the name under which Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers.

The practice has been rare in American letters and journalism over the last century or so, but I wonder if the internet culture isn’t giving it a big boost.

My 13-year-old son and his friends all IM each other using elaborate names for themselves even though in some cases they could use their own names or simple versions thereof; I’d guess that about half of the web logs and 80 percent of the message board postings I’ve looked at are written anonymously or pseudonymously, the ethic being that it doesn’t matter who you are, but what you say.

My feeling, as one whose name is always attached to his words, is that accountability is an important promoter of responsibility and accuracy. And who you are does matter to the reader. On the other hand, it would be nice to have a dashing nickname for an alter ego:

But at least for the near future, I’m going to remain pseudonymous. I always hope to make up for the disadvantage of being pseudonymous by trying hard to be honest and get the facts straight–especially when I am reporting. And I always try and make factual corrections obvious. In fact, I’ll dispute Rochell Moore’s claim that I got the story wrong–she did assert that Amy Hilgemann put cocaine in her coffee at the Board Meeting. Maybe Moore meant that Hilgemann helped plan it, but that is what I heard Moore say. I’m not sure that either claim makes Moore’s conspiracy theory any more reasonable. Actually, I am sure, it doesn’t make her conspiracy theory reasonable.

Then again, the way the curse situation could play out, I could be outed soon anyway. Many in St. Louis have already guessed my identity so it wouldn’t be a huge change, just an inconvenience in some instances.

Obama’s E-mail

I may need to check my spam folder, Glenn Brown passes on Obama’s letter to supporters. And don’t forget Howard Dean is shooting for $15,000,000 total tonight by midnight EST

Dear Friend,

Thank you so much for being so generous with your support to my
campaign, I am truly thankful. But we still need your help.

The hits from the Bush Administration just keep on coming ? 22 straight
months of job losses, health care costs soaring with no answer from the
White House, $87 BILLION to reconstruct Iraq while Bush cuts funding
for affordable housing, Head Start and student loans right here in

It is time for Democrats to stand up and be counted.

I am proud to be the only candidate for U.S. Senate to speak out at
rallies last fall against the War in Iraq. I was proud to pass an
expansion of KidCare that will mean health care for 20,000 additional Illinois
children. And I was proud to lead the fight for laws to ban racial
profiling and require video taped confessions in death penalty cases.

But what humbles me is the outpouring of support I have received from
thousands of people like you who have given their time, their energy,
their ideas and their money to this campaign.

TODAY we must keep rolling.

The FEC reporting deadline is TODAY. Right now is the critical time.
The FEC reports will tell everyone which campaigns are moving forward
and which are treading water. The media will pore over our campaign?s
report and those of the other candidates. Our strong fundraising results
at the end of this month will pay huge dividends in the fall and

Your donation of $50, $125, $250 or whatever you can spare is the sure
antidote to the failed Bush Administration.

Let?s send a Democrat to the U.S. Senate who has deep progressive
values, not just deep pockets. Let?s send a Senator to Washington who has
already won many tough battles in the State Senate for Illinois? working

Click on right now and use your credit
card to send a message that Illinois? U.S. Senate seat belongs to the

If you have any questions about how to contribute, or about
contribution limits, please call (312) 427-6400. Thank you again for your

Remember, act before tonight?s Midnight deadline!

Barack Obama
Candidate for US Senate

Is It the End of the Reporting Quarter or Something?

Give to your favorite Democratic Senate Candidate–Dan Hynes information is below. (no this isn’t favoritism, he sent it out, Barack didn’t and Hull doesn’t need to).

TO: Friends and Supporters
FR: Hynes for US Senate
RE: Twelve hours to help make America work again.

As our next United States Senator from Illinois, Dan Hynes is determined to change Washington’s misguided priorities and make America work once again.

And you can help. RIGHT NOW.

As one of Dan’s closest friends and supporters, today is the last day you can make a contribution before our campaign must file its official third-quarter campaign finance report.

Until midnight tonight, you can make a huge difference in Dan’s campaign — and a bold statement about the new course America must take to realize her incredible promise and potential.

President Bush and the Republicans just keep on doing it wrong. Huge tax breaks for the super-rich. Bad trade deals that export American jobs and hopes overseas. Turning the other cheek as America’s biggest corporate special interests violate their workers’ pensions and cook their own books.

As our next US Senator, Dan Hynes is ready to stand up to the Bush agenda. Dan’s ready to fight for tax policies that respect hard-working Americans and protect the middle class. Trade deals that put American assembly lines ahead of the corporate bottom line. And real corporate responsibility to end Washington’s practice of corporate capitulation.

Help Dan get it done.

Please consider making a contribution to Dan?s campaign today by going to our website at, calling our Chicago office at 312-337-2004 or by mailing a contribution, made out to ?Hynes for Senate,? to our headquarters at: 1525 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60610.

With your help, Dan can win the Democratic primary and help win back the U.S. Senate. Together, we can get America – and Americans – working again.

Thank you for your past and future support!

Hynes for Senate

Pursuant to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and the regulations of the Federal Elections Commission, based on filings made by an opposing candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Illinois, the Hynes Exploratory Committee may accept up to $12,000 from an individual. To contribute an individual must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of 18 years or older. Contributions from the treasuries of corporations, incorporated corporations, and labor organizations are prohibited. Contributions from Illinois Comptroller employees are not accepted by the Hynes for Senate Campaign. Contributions to Hynes for Senate are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.

I’ve Been Cursed, I Think

While most of you who read the Illinois and General side of the blog don’t get exposed to my writing on the Saint Louis Public Schools at Blog Saint Louis, it is a significant portion of my blogging.

One post in particular has drawn the attention of Rochell Moore, a Saint Louis Public School Board Member. A post on Political State Report reported on efforts to reform the Saint Louis public Schools. That post included very critical remarks about Ms. Moore. It appears that she has reponded in comments

This article is most slanderous and malicious in it’s intent. You are not a medical doctor nor are you licensed to give an opinion on someone’s health. It was Charlene Jones who placed cocaine in my coffee on October 21, 2003. She came to the hospital and told them I was paranoid and delusional. I have the records to prove it.

If you are going to tell the story, tell it correctly. Please refrain from referring to me as mentally ill. Because of your writings and tone, you too can be added to the letter sent to Francis Slay

An electronic version of the letter is available at the Arch City Chronicle.

"The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto Francis Slay and anyone who helps him, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it," she writes, modifying a passage found in Deuteronomy 28:21. "The Lord shall smite Francis Slay and anyone who helps him with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword and with blasting and with mildew; and the angel of the Lord shall pursue Francis Slay until he perishes."

So I’m on mildew watch.

How to Attract Quality Teachers to Urban Environments

Via Haas, Via Bill Purdy, comes Matt Miller’s Atlantic Monthly piece, A New Deal For Teachers . Miller proposes a plan to improve teacher pay in poor districts,

If the quality of urban schools is to be improved, teaching poor children must become the career of choice for talented young Americans who want to make a difference with their lives and earn a good living too. To achieve that the federal government should raise the salary of every teacher in a poor school by at least 50 percent. But this increase would be contingent on two fundamental reforms: teachers’ unions would have to abandon the lockstep pay schedules, so that the top-performing half of the teacher corps could be paid significantly more; and the dismissal process for poor-performing teachers would have to be condensed to four to six months.

I can’t argue with the proposal, but there is another problem no one wants to address which is how urban districts hire teachers. (free registration required)

Urban school districts are losing out on the best teachers because they are mired in layers of policy and practice that postpone hiring until after most of the best applicants have accepted jobs in suburban systems, a report released here last week contends.

The study by the New Teacher Project challenges the perception that city school systems are strapped for teachers because too few people want to teach in high-poverty schools. On the contrary, the authors found that with good recruiting strategies, urban districts can draw five or more applicants for every opening.

You have to have a functioning human resources department that puts a premium on hiring high quality teachers.

Don’t Blame the Reporters, Blame the Administration

Normally, I agree with Joe Conason on many issues, but today I think he is shifting the blame to the wrong group concerning the leadk of Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA operative.

Now that we know the CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate the "outing" of Valerie Plame — aka Mrs. Wilson — as an agency operative, this scandal has broken onto the front pages. Sooner or later, John Ashcroft may be forced to appoint a special counsel, as both Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and John Kerry, D-Mass., have demanded. (One reason to name a special counsel, or independent counsel, is that a key suspect named Karl Rove used to work as a political consultant for Ashcroft — and played a part in his appointment as attorney general.)

While the president’s press secretary insists that Rove was not involved in this outrage, I can’t help wondering how reporters, editors and bureau chiefs in the capital justify their silence. Tim Russert of NBC and Robin Sproul of ABC both said they wouldn’t discuss any matter involving sources. That’s an ironclad rule of journalism, up to a point. But what should a journalist do when a source commits a serious crime in his or her presence? What if that crime not only threatens to jeopardize human lives, but also harms U.S. national security in the most profound way?

The real question is why isn’t the President at a podium pounding on a lectern calling for someone’s head?

I question Novak’s judgement, but his sources are his sources.

This is a despicable act by a despicable person. We don’t know who did it yet, but when it comes out, and it will, one can only hope the President accepts some responsibility for this. If the person acted without his knowledge, and I’m guessing the leakers did, he damn well better have a major mea culpa. If the leaker acted with the President’s knowledge—well, let’s hope that something that ugly didn’t happen.

For continuing excellent coverage on the issue see,
Dan Drezner
Mark Kleinman
and of course, Josh Marshall

Sauget Corruption

Noticeably absent from the news were tales of St. Clair County corruption, but today, Sauget comes through for those of us titilated by the Metro East mess.

SAUGET — Lingerie. Home appliances. Weight loss products. Dinner parties at St. Louis steakhouses.

Those are just some of the scores of purchases Mayor Paul Sauget has charged to village taxpayers on village credit cards, according to a Belleville News-Democrat review of credit card statements.

Between December 2001 and August 2003, Sauget racked up $38,407 in expenses, according to billing statement copies obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

The statements for the village-issued American Express and Citi Platinum cards show that Sauget’s expenses have spanned a wide gamut.

They include: $57 for a People magazine subscription in December 2001; $5,010 for medical services at the Midwest Head and Neck Center in St. Louis in May 2002; $25 for mail order vitamins in October 2002; and $35 for coins from the Franklin Mint in New York, the receipts show.

Also included were scores of items bought from vendors catering to a female clientele.

They include: $117 for cosmetics from a Bloomingdales catalog in December 2001; $165 for women’s clothing from Victoria’s Secret in February 2002; $228 for women’s underwear from Dillard’s department store in Fairview Heights in October 2002; $275 for the L.A. Weight Loss Center in O’Fallon; and $45 for a trip to USA Nails in Cahokia in August 2002, the receipts show.

Sauget, 78, has served as mayor of the village — population 249 — that bears his family name for more than three decades.

If the village is known for anything, it’s for the hulking chemical plants and popular bars and strip clubs planted along Illinois 3. The internal workings of village government usually keep a low profile.

Sauget was incorporated to avoid East St. Louis incorporating the area and imposing controls on Monsanto’s chemical plants. East St. Louis is now rewarded with heavy metals in their soil killing off the old trees.

It along with Brooklyn and Washington Park are essentially dens of corruption that the rest of Illinois has treated like law free zones.