Email this page to someone!!!


Last Updated: 08/28/2006 06:18 PM

The following is a transcript of the Ron Insana Radio Show from October 1, 2005.

Brad Friedman, of The BRAD BLOG debated Ann Coulter on Republican ethics (or lack thereof). Coulter left halfway through the program. For more details on that and what actually happened, see Brad's blog item on the matter here.

Brad also documented a lie that Coulter told during the program here.

The complete audio version of the hour in MP3 format is here.

RON INSANA: Hello everyone, welcome to the Ron Insana Show. Is the Republican leadership on Capital Hill on the run? House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, indicted for fraud and criminal conspiracy to launder money in Texas. Senate Majority Leader, Tom Frist, being investigated by the SEC for alleged insider trading, selling shares out of his blind trust of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a health care company started by his father, some nine days before the company warned of disappointing profits. Delay, who's close friend, Jack Abramoff, was recently arrested for alleged shady business dealings, says his indictment is nothing more than a blatant political partisanship act, perpetrated by a fanatic, engaging in the politics of personal destruction. The latter phrase, ironically, used by Bill Clinton during MonicaGate. Now Senator Frist says he sold the stock to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, since he would be helping to shape any future health care reform legislation that might affect the firm, in which he sold shares. Now, is the Republican leadership sinking under the weight of hubris and moral misconduct, or is it all just a vast, left wing conspiracy? Joining me now, in what will very likely be an explosive debate, is Ann Coulter, conservative commentator and author of, "How to Talk to a Liberal, if You Must" - and Brad Friedman, of, a liberal that Ann must talk to today. Thank you both for joining me, and Ann, let me start with you. What do you make of all this stuff? Is it it all just a sham?

ANN COULTER: Um, well, not all of it. Um, I mean, I didn't look at the charges, but it looks like Abramoff is in trouble.

RON: Yep.

ANN: It's well obvious he's not part of the Bush administration, he's not on Tom Delay's staff, um....

RON: Although Mr. Delay called him a very close personal friend.

ANN: [She laughs] Is that the level of criminality required for Republicans? We could have put.....

RON: It was during TravelGate though, wasn't it?

ANN: We could have put Clinton in prison before he was out of the crib, if that was the standard. Um, but yes, that is what the Democrats think the standard is for Republicans. Um, they've been after Tom Delay since 1993, they've had filed innumerable ethics charges against him. In fact, what was happening was outside groups were filing ethics charges against Delay. The... the... the House Rules Committee actually had to pass a rule saying, "Um, ya have to be a member of Congress to file an ethics complaint." Um, he.. he.. he.. um.. didn't.. wasn't charged with anything for those. There have been six grand juries by what I think any fair-minded person would say is a very partisan prosecutor, um, in Texas particularly. [inaudible] His witch hunt against a sitting United States Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, I think tells people all you need to know.

RON: Brad, do you agree with anything Ann said?

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Well, of course not. (Ron laughs) I don't know where she gets the idea that he is a fanatical partisan, other than it seems to be Tom Delay's defense for all of this. The fact of the matter is, Ronnie Earle has prosecuted, I believe it's, twelve Democrats and just three Republicans, prior to this whole Tom Delay mess, so....

RON: Those are my numbers as well, that I saw today, yes.

BRAD: Yeah, I mean and so.....

ANN: Can I respond to that?

RON: Uh, let me give Brad a little more time to comment, Ann, and then I'll get back to you shortly.

BRAD: I mean, what these guys do - and it's just, it's remarkable to see this Republican party right now, who used to parade around and claim that they were in favor of the rule of law - all of a sudden they don't seem to give a damn about the rule of law, and when they can't defend themselves, which seems to be quite frequently lately, what they do is try to destroy their opposition. Despite the reality, despite the facts. To call Ronnie Earle a fanatical partisan, when he's, you know, prosecuted twelve... out of the fifteen cases that he's prosecuted, twelve of them have been Democrats, it is indeed the politics of personal destruction.

RON: Alright, Ann, let me get your response to that.

ANN: Um, first of all, um, okay sorry, I think I am giving facts and not throwing around charges like Brad just did..... um, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, I mentioned I believe, and in that case, days after a United States Senator was elected, Ronnie Earle raids her offices, without a warrant, um, grabs boxes of documents, and for one year, goes around publicly accusing her of being a criminal. When it came time for the trial, the prosecutor shows up and he says, "No, I'm not ready to make the case yet" and the judge said you can't just keep going around calling someone a criminal. You have to make the case, or not make the case and [inaudible] directed the acquittal of Kay Bailey Hutchinson, to put and end to this. As to the number of Democrats the prosecutor.... and in addition, the prosecutor's been showing up at Democratic fund raisers, calling Tom Delay a bully, and saying guilty one to get him. Um, he's been cooperating with documentary producers on the case against Tom Delay. But, there's no documentary movie if he doesn't indict Tom Delay.

RON: Now let me just bring up one point... Ann, if I can, let me bring one ....

ANN: Let me get to the final point... and that is [inaudible] these Democrats, that by itself, frees Ronnie Earle from the taint of politics, after everything else I've mentioned. I mean for one thing, I mean up until five minutes ago, all politicians in Texas were Democrat. If you look at the Democrats he's prosecuted, for one thing, some of them were [inaudible] Democrats, but most importantly, they had committed crimes. I mean I'm not saying that Ronnie Earle was so political that when a Democrat politician takes bribes, he will not be prosecuted. I mean these were people, who went to trial, were convicted and had to strike plea bargains. If you're a Democrat in Texas and you commit a crime, yes you'll be prosecuted, but Ronnie Earle will prosecute Republicans, whether or not they've committed a crime.

BRAD: Why is it when Democrats commit crimes, that are prosecuted by Ronnie Earle, they're crimes, but when Tom Delay does so, you have no interest in them whatsoever and it's a partisan witch hunt? I mean, you guys have so many standards for what's right, right now in this country, now that you're really just drunk with power, it seems, in every house, whether it's the Senate, whether it's the House... Bill Frist... I'm sure we'll talk about that a little bit later....

RON: Yes we will.

BRAD: ...the Whitehouse outing of a CIA agent, for the first time in American history and apologists, like Ann Coulter, come on the air and you know, try to attack the folks who are, you know, trying to hold them up to an ethical standard. It's outrageous and if you really are interested in the rule of law, you'll let this thing move forward, find out exactly what the charges are, look - there's a reason why there's so many ethics charges that have been brought against Tom Delay, in fact, by a Republican congress. You know, I mean he has abused his power, a Republican Ethics Committee and Congress has found that was the case three times last year, when Tom Delay used the Department of Homeland Security to track down airplanes that Democrats were riding on. I mean, what kind of abuse of power is this and how does Ann get off supporting this - morally, ethically, or in any other way?

RON: Now let me interrupt you for a second, Brad, because one thing I want to ask you about, is Dick Morris, who yesterday in his syndicated column, essentially turned on Tom Delay and you know, from one day to the next, you're not necessarily sure which team Dick Morris is playing for, understandably, but he said that Tom Delay you know, may or may not be guilty of this, you know, of funneling of corporate money to Texas interests. But what he said what he was guilty of, was circumventing the democratic process by using those funds to gerrymander the state of Texas, so republicans can win back the majority. Um, surprising to hear that from Dick Morris.

ANN: Um, well I don't really care about the source, one way or another, I disagree with it. I didn't read the column, but, um, what.. what.. what had happened was - because as I say, up until ten minutes ago, the only Republican in Texas was Phil Graham. That was a solid, Democratic state, because of the gerrymandering done by Democrats. Um, um, in presidential election after presidential election, the Republican would win in Texas by, you know, like 65% to 35%, every four years, 65% for the Republican. Meanwhile, it was basically the reverse in the House of Representatives. That is the result of gerrymandering, when 65% of Texans are voting for the Republican overall, but yaw have 70% of the delegation, 80% of the delegation, are Democrats, that's [inaudible], precisely so you can get the maximum possible number um, of, of Democrats in office. If Tom Delay had gerrymandered in such that Republicans were getting, you know, 100% of the seats, whereas only 70% of Texans are voting for the [inaudible], that would be gerrymandering in the reverse. But when you just get back to representing the citizens of Texas, it's not gerrymandering, it's [inaudible].

RON: Alright, now Brad, let me ask you a couple things with respect to Ronnie Earle, the prosecutor who has indicted Tom Delay. Um, there's an interesting piece in the National Review online, talking about how Mr. Earle quotes the bible and says that the evil influence of money has to be driven from politics - and he's very biblical in his descriptions about this, as Ann said. He's had a documentary crew following him around as he developed the case against Tom Delay, although the documentarians themselves said they began this process two years ago, before they knew indictments like this were coming. But various other accounts suggest that, you know, the whole Delay process has been the thing they were most interested in filming, suggesting to some, an ulterior motive.

BRAD: Well, was the House Ethics Committee also making a documentary? Is that why they found him, you know, guilty of three various ethics charges last year, (Ann starts talking, "they didn't find him guilty of anything") including attempting to bribe a Congressman, on the floor of the U.S. House?

RON: Ann, what were you saying?

ANN: That's a lie, they didn't find him guilty of anything. I mean, at least lets talk about, argue about, what the facts actually are.

BRAD: They haven't found him, they haven't censured him for three different ethics violations, in the Ethics Committee, Ann.

ANN: Oh, he got a little tap on the wrist for one, but all of them were dismissed, every single one of them.

BRAD: That's not true. He was, he was found in violation three different times, for using the Homeland Security to track down Democrats, down in the state of Texas, for attempting to bribe a Congressman and promise him that he would not endorse his son, unless he voted for the Medicare Bill. (Ann starts talking again) I mean these are facts.

ANN: I mean he got a slap on the wrist for that.

BRAD: Fine, Ann, and your acting as if this didn't happen.

ANN: I will just recommend for the listeners, um, you know, go onto "Google" and look up how the Ethics Committee disposed of these, of these various ethic complaints.

RON: Alright, let me take a break on that note. When we come back, we're going to continue with Ann Coulter and Brad Friedman, we're going to take your calls as well. We're talking about a series of allegations against the Congressional Republican leadership. Not only the merits of these claims, but also how it will affect the Bush administration's second term agenda.


RON: Hey we're back on the Ron Insana Show and we're talking about this week's hot topic - which is, of course, the indictment of House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, forcing him to step aside temporarily from his rather powerful position in the House of Representatives, and the insider trading investigation of Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist. Joining us now to debate the merits of these allegations and what they mean to the Bush administration's second term agenda, still Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator you well know, and author of, "How to Talk to a Liberal, if You Must" and the liberal she must talk to, Brad Friedman, of, who joins us as well. We're taking your calls. Ann, let me ask you about Bill Frist. I mean, his office has maintained that he is innocent of any wrong doing, with respect to the sale of stock in the company his family started out of a blind trust. But the sale came not too long before a major earnings warning, that drove the stock down rather considerably. I mean, I imagine you can understand why people might look at this with a somewhat [inaudible] eye.

ANN: Oh right, sure, I mean people buy and sell stock all the time. When the stock goes up, that's when they sell. Um, everything is fine. If the stock goes down, yes that always raises eyebrows. Um, what I think should cause people's eyebrows to go down here, I mean you want to look at the timing of these things...and you know, when he knew what, well obviously he's going about the process of selling stocks, um, for a presidential race. Um, and he began the process of selling the stock back in April. Well, back in April, the stock was flying high, there was no inside information to come about what was going to happen, you know, six months hence. It takes awhile for, you know, the blind trust, the lawyers, to figure out. Does he need to sell it, does he sell it, um, it's just a long bureaucratic process. So, once you know that he started to sell it, um, and first made the moves for it, back in April when the stock was fine, I think eyebrows can go down now.

RON: Brad, do you accept that explanation, or is it too close to the earnings warning for that to ring true?

BRAD: Oh yeah, [small chuckle], I mean yeah, of course, I'm just sorta sitting here just a-s-t-o-u-n-d-e-d at the apologists, like Ann Coulter, who just seem to excuse every sort of... uh... everything - and with these sort of Clintonian [inaudible] of facts and figures, to suit their argument. I mean, it was clear that Bill Frist, who lied about not knowing what was in this blind trust, he absolutely knew what was in the blind trust. He received notices all the time about what was in the blind trust and you know, what ...

ANN: That's what I said. It has nothing to do with anything.  That's what I said. That has nothing to do with anything. Yes, he knew what was in the blind trust. But the point is....

RON: But you can't know what's in the blind trust.

BRAD: [inaudible] was a coincidence that he happened to sell it. I mean it's....

ANN: How do you explain April? That's my point.

BRAD: I'm sorry?

ANN: How do you explain that he tried to sell it in April, when the stock was fine? The earnings report came out, hell, a month ago.

RON: Well, you do want to sell it higher than lower, don't you? [chuckles]

BRAD: That kept him from, uh, selling his stock? That's what you're actually suggesting?

ANN: That he was selling it when the comp...  well... uh... the idea is, he had... the accusation is he had insider information that a stock that is doing well, is about to collapse. That would be true if he only decides to sell, um, you know, days before he actually did sell.

RON: Why is that true, Ann? Why is that true?

ANN: Well, we know that he tried to sell it ba.... I mean, you're allowed to sell......

RON: No, but I understand that, but look - having covered the stock market for twenty-one years, you can know six months in advance that a company's going to be heading southward, and not have those numbers come out, for six months. I mean, there are ways to massage earnings reports...

ANN: Okay, but now all of the evidence suggests that the insiders themselves didn't know what was going to be out there six months later.

BRAD: Where is that evidence you're talking about, Ann? You... you seem, once again, to just sorta be pulling things out of thin air, the way...

ANN: I know you understand this in the case of Arab terrorists, but you do have to produce the evidence of guilt. You don't just make an accusation and say okay group, [inaudible]. The evidence is.. is overwhelming that if he went to move to sell it, long before the company was in trouble, he's.. a.. and for another reason, because he was obviously running for President, um, you're allowed to sell stock. You're the ones that have to prove that at that point, they knew eight months out - six months out - that the stock was going to tank, you know, at the end of the year.

RON: Yeah, I mean, Brad, you do have to have material inside information before you can be prosecuted for insider trading.

BRAD: Well, exactly, and they're looking at that and we'll see what the evidence is, and, but to apologize and say that we, you know, shouldn't move forward.... and you know, after Ann has clearly convicted all kinds of folks, before any evidence has ever been put forward. She's called Bill Clinton a felon and a rapist and everything else. I mean, look, let the facts move forward. We'll see what it is, there's nothing to worry about if it's just a complete coincidence, then we'll find that out. If it's just a complete coincidence that Bill Frist's family hospital settled in the largest Medicare fraud case in the history of the country, two days before he became, uh, a Senate leader, as reported over at, I guess that's just another coincidence. There was a hundred and twenty months they'd been investigating that case, the largest Medicare, uh, fraud case in the history of the nation, and two days before he was to become Senate leader, that occurred.

RON: Okay, let me jump in here for one second here, if you can. (crosstalk) Okay, hold on one second here, Brad, I just want to jump in and I am loathed to do this, because I know the fire storm a question like this could potentially create, but you know, Bill Clinton was investigated for Whitewater, which turned out to be a land deal in which he lost money. Along the way there are allegations that he somehow, or associates had somehow, ran a cocaine operation out of the Mena Airport, in Georgia. All of these other things that were thrown out in there, that no one ever proved, and yet - he was never given the benefit of the doubt as that prosecution went on. Ultimately, it was sexual misconduct and lying, that forced him to be impeached.

ANN: What do you mean? Of course he was given the benefit of the doubt. By the way, I think [inaudible] from Clinton, that's what I ......

RON: Well, I'm just throwing parallels, I'm not......

ANN: [inaudible] that point, that Clinton was innocent, but saying, "I'm making Clintonian excuses" - I think I'm just citing facts and getting a lot of hysteria from the other side.....

RON: Alright, I have to stop you both there, we have to come back and do more of this. More on the ethics investigations of the GOP, when the Ron Insana Show continues after this.


RON: And welcome back to the Ron Insana Show, this week's hot topic of course, the ethics and investigations - the ethical investigations, I should say, of the Republican leadership in Congress - whether it's the Majority Leader, Tom Delay, or Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist. Got a couple of key Republican Congressmen in hot water, something that may very well threaten the second term agenda of President Bush. Now we are talking to Brad Friedman, of, he is a liberal, who in the last half hour went up against Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator and author of "How to Talk to a Liberal, if You Must" - Ann had some other obligations this half hour, but Brad has agreed to stay with us. We're taking your calls to find out what you think about these charges against the two top Republican leaders in Congress. Brad, just before we go to our phones right now, I just want to point out that we did, as Ann suggested, uh do a little search here on what happened with respect to the House ethics investigation of Tom Delay, back in 2004, and NPR's Andrea Seabrook, in her writings, pointed out that Ed Bethune, a former Arkansas Congressman, who was Tom Delay's attorney in the case, pointed out at the time, that the committee issued no censure, levied no fine, or other sanction, that meant that the charges were in essence - and we're quoting here - "dismissed". The public admonishments, according to Mr. Delay's lawyers, were only slaps on the wrist, necessitated by the politicized environment in which the committee worked. The other complaint, which now has turned into this indictment out of Texas, the Ethics Committee on that, chose to defer, Ann was essentially right, that there was no formal censure of Tom Delay.....

BRAD: Well, he was admonished three times. He's the Republican Majority Leader and he was admonished three times, by the Republican-run Ethics Committee, in the House. That's just a fact. That other charge you're talking about was deferred because of the criminal prosecution that was moving forward on the case......

RON: For which he's now been indicted, yes, I understand that. But I mean, words do matter. I mean, is there a difference, a legitimate difference, between admonishment and censure, in the House?

BRAD: Well, you know, I'm sorry that Ann decided not to stay with us.

RON: Well, it was always planned that she would be a half hour. I should point out.

BRAD: Okay, well, because I understand that she is, or used to be, a constitutional attorney and perhaps she could point that out to us, the difference between the two, but in fact, you know, he was admonished and as thanks for that, Tom Delay went ahead and replaced just about everyone on that ethics committee, with his cronies. And when I say cronies, I mean folks that have given him - thousand and thousands of dollars, to defend his legal positions and therefore, the Ethics Committee hasn't moved forward at all in this second term, because they're at a complete standstill, as if there are no ethics problems in Washington. You know, the fact of the matter is, Tom Delay and Bill Frist's stuff is really just the tip of the iceberg, for not just this administration, but this entire party. I'm sure you know, you may have heard that the federal auditors yesterday said that the Bush administration violated law by purchasing news coverage.

RON: It's in the papers this morning, yes.

BRAD: Yeah and I mean disseminating quote "Hoover propaganda". That's the Bush administration and even that is just the tip of the iceberg.

RON: Alright, I want to come back to that point in a second - let me just go to the phones real quick, because we've got Jeff on the line, from Chelsea, Mass., who's listening to us on 96.9 FM Talk WTKK. Jeff, what's on your mind today?

JEFF: Hi, yes, now as far as this Tom Delay case is concerned, what about Hillary Clinton and Cattlegate? There's a book out called "Unlimited Access", by Gary Aldridge, that shows the kind of people that Clinton let into the Whitehouse. Now I'm not trying to be partisan here, I'm just saying that if you're going to indict people, indict across the board. The left wing media gives Democrats a break, while Republicans and Independents, as free thinkers, are left out to dry if they blow their nose the wrong way.

RON: Well I mean [small chuckle] being a member of the media and not being left wing, not being right wing, but actually being pretty much down the middle, I mean the remaining hair that I have on my head, stands up with comments like that because you know, if you look at the coverage of Bill Clinton during his presidency, it's not like he got a pass. But Brad, with respect to Cattlegate. I mean there are open questions about that trade that some people allege was just nothing more than what they call an allocated trade, that gave Hillary Clinton the profits of a hundred thousand dollars, on a one-thousand dollar investment and switched the losses to somebody else. Those were the charges at the time and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange never released the records, so no one ever knew what happened.

BRAD: Well, yeah, first off, let me say I'm still waiting to figure out who that left wing media is that he's talking about, because I haven't found them out there. But that said, uh, look, I'm interested in giving no one a break. If something was done wrong, if Hillary Clinton did something wrong, I've got news for your caller - for five years, the Department of Justice has been run by the Bush administration and Republicans, and if she did something wrong, indict, prosecute. You know, it's about the rule of law. And unlike Ann, and I hate to mention it since she's not here, but you know these are facts that are about right and wrong. They're not about left and right. And you move forward with prosecution, you hold these guys accountable, no matter who they are. I don't care which party they are. Apparently a lot of Republicans seem only interested in the rule of law when they're coming down on Democrats.....

RON: That's true both ways, thought, isn't it? And I hate to resort to an argument like this, but Good God, I mean this is all we've seen now for years, where it's just - it's just about getting the other guy. It's not about policy anymore.

BRAD: Well, I think it's horrible, I think what's happened to this country is horrible, I think folks like Ann Coulter, in no small part are responsible for that - that the vision is right and left nonsense, this red and blue nonsense, this is not good for the country. I'm not in favor of that, I mean......

RON: Paul Krugman does the same thing in the New York Times, though. I mean there's never been a good economic environment.......

BRAD: Well, I'll let Paul Krugman defend himself, but it's not good when anybody does it. It's not a partisan case, you know, I'll be more than happy to beat up on Democrats, I do all the time, and you know I'm not in there defending any particular party. I'm in favor of America - and for Republicans who, you know, run around with their stickers on the back of their SUVs, saying "United We Stand" - to you know, put divisiveness and dividing the country above all, and put party above all, above truth and above the rule of law, I think it's atrocious.

RON: Alright, let me go to Ben, out in Texas. Hi Ben, what's on your mind.

BEN:  Hello, good afternoon.

RON: Afternoon.

BEN: I just wanted to say that uh, as far as like whether or not this is going to hurt the Republican agenda - I think it will slow it down, if you've ever cooked spaghetti, I know this is kind of a bad analogy, but...

RON: Well, you're talking to a Sicilian here, so I think I'll get it...

BEN: Okay, if you cook spaghetti, you know a lot of times you take the spaghetti out of the pot and throw it against the wall. If it sticks, then you're ready to go. If it doesn't stick, you put it back on simmer and everybody has to wait to eat.

RON: You know, I'll tell you something. We never did that in my house. I mean, I know Felix Unger did it in the Odd Couple, uh, but that was out of anger, not out of testing the temperature. What do you think about that, Brad? I mean, is that the way this is going to work, we'll still see the Bush administration - now that his approval ratings are actually starting to go back up - make some head-way on this second portion of his domestic agenda?

BRAD: Well, we'll see about those approval ratings going back up, I think you might be a little bit early to say that.

RON: Well, they're back to where they were pre-Katrina, that 45% approval, as of today.

BRAD: Yeah, well I mean, as I mentioned in the previous segment, this stuff with Frist and Delay is just the tip of the iceberg. I mean the thing that really, I gotta tell you really irks me, having spoken with so many Iraqi vets, and so many folks in the CIA and so forth, uh that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby now clearly outed a CIA agent, a covert CIA agent, you know, putting national security at risk, with something that even George W. Bush's father called, you know, the most insidious of traders who would do that. For a Whitehouse to do that, it's the first time in history - and somebody mind you, who was working on WMD - I gotta tell you, that is just so atrocious, so appalling and that's the sort of thing that jumps out at me. When you hear these guys running around talking about national security and how much they care about it..... to out a covert CIA agent, our own assets, uh, unprecedented - and that's going to be coming forward soon. We'll see what Fitzgerald releases, I think this week, we may see more indictments.

RON: Yeah, with Judith Miller, of the New York Times, just testified. So, let me take a break on that note. We're going to come back and talk more about investigations into top Congressional Republicans. What does it mean and what do you think the people indicting and investigating are up to?


RON: We're back with the Ron Insana Show, we're talking about the ethics investigations into some of the top Republicans in Congress. House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, temporarily out of a job as he is indicted by a Texas district attorney, for allegedly funneling corporate funds to the Texas state legislators, in order to get them into Congress, something that clearly violates Texas statutes - and also an insider trader investigation of Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist. Did he sell shares of his family's company stock before the stock plunged and did he know the stock was going to take a dive, because the company was going to miss an earnings target for the latest quarter? We're talking about this now with Brad Friedman, of Blad You could make this a little easier to say for some of us in the media you know, but you haven't [Brad laughs], I'm going to hold that against you for the remainder of the show.

BRAD: You can.

RON: We'll be taking everybody's calls. You've been using the expression, "tip of the iceberg" here, and you started talking about some other things that you think are a big deal. What do you think is going on, that you're most worried about? You mentioned the alleged outing of a CIA agent, that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove are being looked at for. What do you think Judith Miller, of the New York Times, who's just gotten out of prison after four months, is telling investigators in this?

BRAD: Well, it seems from reports, and frankly I try not to speculate, but the reports that I've seen have said she's, you know, now testifying, that in fact Scooter Libby, uh, out of Dick Cheney's office, was the one who told her that Joe Wilson's wife was a covert CIA agent. It's so troubling, because these guys seem willing to do anything and everything uh to retain their frankly tenuous hold on power right now.....

RON: Now why would Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, finally give Judith Miller permission to testify, if things were as bad as people think?

BRAD: Well, I don't know, it's hard to say. Again, I would have to speculate and I really do try to avoid speculating.

RON: As do I. Unless it's in the commodity markets....

BRAD: You know, but again, that is even itself, the tip of the iceberg. I mean you see s-o m-u-c-h corruption going on in the Republican party right now. It seems to me to be unprecedented, and it seems that folks, you know, partisans, like Ann Coulter and so forth, are just look, a good American Republican ought to be calling right now for indictments, for folks to step down, because this is not good for the Republican party. For years you've had a president, that has not been good for conservatives, frankly. He runs around calling himself a conservative, but he is anything but conservative, and you know, that's not good for the conservative movement, the true conservative movement, and what's going on right now - is not good for the Republican party.

RON: Let me ask you something about the corruption being unprecedented. I mean, one, I never use that word because there have been Democratic administrations that have been, uh, equally corrupt if someone wants to make that comparison, and I'm not saying that the Bush administration is, I'm just saying that, you know, there is no such thing as unprecedented amounts of corruption in the history of either American or world politics.

BRAD: Well, you know what? I gotta tell ya, I think there is. I mean, in many ways, it's the amount of corruption and the number of scandals that's really keeping these guys afloat right now, because of folks like me out there in the blogosphere trying to keep up with all of this. We can't stick on any one topic for any length of time, because a new one comes up and it is a fact that it is unprecedented what this Whitehouse has done, outing one of their own CIA agents.

RON: Oh, you're talking about that - okay let me go to Brian, out in Worcester, Mass. Hi Brian. Brian, you there?

BRIAN: Good afternoon.

RON: Alright, go ahead.

BRIAN: Ron, you know, I guess you would expect Brad, and other guests to be partisan and of course there is a lot of partisanship that goes on right now, but you know when we hear so many times the liberal media - and it certainly is - and I think anybody that suggests that it's not, really is not looking at it in an objective fashion. And I'll give you one example. You're talking about the Bill Frist trading situation.

RON: uh huh.

BRIAN: You would have to dig awfully hard to come up with anything that the media reported on Hillary Clinton's trade of the pharmaceuticals, uh, in terms of her shorting pharmaceutical stocks.....

RON: Alright, now where did that come up and where did you get the information on that. Real quick, cause I'm going to have to take a break.

BRIAN: Well, I mean again, you would have to dig pretty hard, but that.....

RON: I mean, I've been in the financial news business for twenty years and I was following this stuff then and I don't recall that allegation.

BRIAN: Ron, I believe that she traded, uh, shorted some pharmaceutical stocks. That was before she gave her speech saying that there should be drug price controls.

RON: Alright, I've gotta take a break. We're going to come back and talk about that with Brad Friedman. We've got your calls on the line, if you're there, stay with us. We'll come back with that allegation and allegations of misdeeds by top Republicans, right after this.


RON: Hey, we're wrapping up this hour of the Ron Insana Show, talking about the ethics investigations of top Congressional Republicans and also talking about some investigations that may have been missed, of Democrats. We're still with Brad Friedman, of, and Brad - before we took a break here, and rather quickly we had a caller come in and make an allegation that Hillary Clinton was selling short stocks of pharmaceutical companies, prior to her speech on health care, calling for price caps on drugs. I don't recall that allegation myself, having been in financial news at the time, I don't know if you do, uh, but you know, if something like that did happen, it would require an investigation as well. Although the statute of limitations is gone on that one, but...

BRAD: Well, yeah, of course it would, but you know for five years the Bush department has run both the SEC and the Department of Justice, and you'd think if there was something there, they would move forward and if there was something there..... guess what? I would be in favor of moving forward, so you know again, not a matter of right or left, a matter of right and wrong.

RON: Right, as any objective person would be, yeah.

BRAD: Yeah, his you know, argument that you know, about this liberal media. I mean, you know, the media was ferocious in their coverage of Bill Clinton and Al Gore and George W. Bush has largely gotten a pass from these guys.

RON: Well, I wouldn't go along with that either, but I mean, you know, I don't think anybody really gets a pass, if an opportunity presents itself to the news media to go whole hog on a story. Let me just sneak in one more call......

BRAD: I disagree, I can come back sometime and talk about specifics, because I hate to level charges unless I can back them up, I would be happy to back them up another time.

RON: We will do it another time. Marvin, let me hear what you have to say today.

MARVIN: Okay, I was listening earlier in the show and couldn't help but, uh, be concerned a little bit about Congressman Delay, or [inaudible] all of these ethics charges....

RON: And you live in his state, right?

MARVIN: Yes, in fact he's been admonished several times by the House Ethics Committee. I bet not another member of Congress has been admonished more than once.

RON: Alright, let me stop you there... okay, go ahead real quick, because I'm running out of the time.

Marvin: Okay, one other thing and that is the fact that he tried to change the rules... [inaudible]

RON: Alright, we're losing him a little bit. Brad, let me just get your final thought, as we've got about 45 seconds left.

BRAD: Uh, yeah, he did try to change the rules in the Ethics Committee, so that they wouldn't come back to bite him and though he had to reverse some of the changes he tried to make, he had changed the staff of the Ethics Committee to the point where they're completely crippled and they can't move forward with any of this stuff. Uh, you know, it's just a culture of corruption. It really is, and it's not just in Washington for these Republicans right now - Ohio is a snake pit, if you pay attention, uh, states all around the country and it's really going to harm the Republican party, which by the way, does not help America in any way, so I'm not happy to see it at all, despite folks who might label me a partisan Democrat - I am not - and I haven't voted Democrat for President for I don't know how long.

RON: Alright Brad, we're gonna leave it there. We'll catch up with you again soon, hopefully match you with Ann Coulter again for some more fun.

 For more information on interviews or this trant, please contact Brad Friedman via email at

Email this page to someone!!!



All Content & Design Copyright Brad Friedman unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.