September 10th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Dowd

September 10, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

My Fair Veep

WASILLA, Alaska

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the Arctic plain ...

I hope John McCain doesn’t throw his slippers at Sarah Palin’s head or get as acerbic as Henry Higgins did with Eliza Doolittle when she did not learn quickly enough. McCain’s Pygmalion has to be careful, because his Galatea might be armed with more than a sharp tongue.

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Chris Keeley

Gov't Officials Probed About Illicit Sex, Gifts

Gov't Officials Probed About Illicit Sex, Gifts

By DINA CAPPIELLO
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 10, 2008; 2:35 PM

 

WASHINGTON -- Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

The alleged transgressions involve 13 Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants, and having sexual relationships with _ and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from _ oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general.

The investigations reveal a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" by a small group of individuals "wholly lacking in acceptance of or adherence to government ethical standards," wrote Inspector General Earl E. Devaney.

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Chris Keeley

The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at indus

September 11, 2008
 

Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept.

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

“A culture of ethical failure” besets the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

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Chris Keeley

Zimbabwe bloggers shine a light on their troubled country

Zimbabwe bloggers shine a light on their troubled country

With most independent newspapers shut down by Mugabe's regime, activists -- and even a diplomat -- have turned to the Internet.
By Robyn Dixon
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 10, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — The blogger calls himself a "fat white man" and jokes about the right way to approach a cordon of Zimbabwean riot police: Don't wear an opposition T-shirt, or ask for the results of the recent one-man presidential runoff. Instead, greet them with a breezy "Good morning! How are you, sirs?"

"I note that there are no officers in the line, which is good as it means there's nobody to order the cops to start hitting me," he writes. "But then again if they do start hitting me there's no one to tell them to stop."

The "fat white man" is not just some cheeky cyberdissident -- he's a British diplomat named Philip Barclay. His blog is found on the official British Foreign Office website.

Barclay's exhilaratingly undiplomatic https://blogs.fco.gov.uk/roller/harare, at https://blogs.fco.gov.uk/roller/harare/, veers from humor reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves books to bleak horror. Zimbabwe, he says, is a country where "good manners and repression go hand-in-hand."

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