June 3, 2009

I meant to get to this yesterday, but time flew by. Anyway, Chris Matthews had on Manuel Miranda, disgraced right-wing hack and former hired hand of Bill First, to discuss his provocative letter that attacked the GOP over Sonia Sotomayor. Matthews tried to appear to be very tough on Miranda, but never brought up his criminal background or his over-the-top comments about Mitch McConnell.

Greg Sargent:

The New York Times reports that a coalition of heavyweight conservative groups has signed a letter pressuring Senate Republicans to filibuster Sonia Sotomayor. The organizer of the pressure campaign — which has angered Senate GOP leaders — is identified as one Manuel Miranda, whom the paper only describes as a “former adviser on judicial issues to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.”

There’s a bit more to Manuel Miranda than that, however. Miranda, as longtime Congressional insiders will recall, was the GOP Senate staffer who was nailed in 2004 for hacking into the computers of Senate Dems and downloading thousands of documents relating to the strategies of Dem Senators on judicial nominations.

Miranda’s scheme — widely referred to as “Memogate” — was a big deal. A Senate probe found that many of the swiped files had been systematically downloaded “from folders belonging to Democratic staff,” with some leaked to friendly reporters. Miranda resigned, and a Washington Post editorial denounced his “political spying operation” that indicated “how low the nominations process has sunk.”

Miranda called Mitch McConnell "limp-wristed":

A group of conservative Republicans questioned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's handling of President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee on Tuesday, with one suggesting Kentucky's senior senator should resign if he is unable to aggressively challenge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination.

Manuel Miranda, a former aide to McConnell's predecessor Sen. Bill Frist, orchestrated a letter signed by 145 GOP conservatives urging lawmakers to scrutinize Sotomayor. Miranda resigned his position in Frist's office in the wake of a probe into alleged hacking of Democratic computer files.

In an interview with Politico, a Washington based publication, Miranda said McConnell should "consider resigning" as Senate minority leader if he can't take a harder line on President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee.

Miranda accused McConnell of being "limp-wristed" and "a little bit tone deaf'" when it comes to judicial nominees.

Asked by McClatchy Newspapers to explain those statements, Miranda said the Senate as an institution hasn't properly vetted previous court nominees and "should do more."

He specifically criticized how McConnell "holds the gun" to judicial nominees. "He doesn't hold it very firmly. He doesn't hold it very well."

Hmmmmm. I wonder why he used the term limp-wristed against Mitch ...

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