The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Merry New Year!

So, when last we left things, I was commenting on Paul Feiner's race to be Greenburgh Town Supervisor once again - specifically, the typos in his campaign literature. Mr. Feiner's been back in the news recently, and I'm going to dedicate a specific post to that (the fact that Greenburgh has the 3rd highest property tax rates in the nation is worthy of comment by itself. Mr. Feiner's response to the problem of retirees with huge tax bills makes it an imperative.)

But I thought it was important to give a brief update. I was at a wedding this weekend, and was taken to task by a number of friends who have been disappointed with me for not updating my blog more regularly. I explained why, but promised to do what I can to be more regular about it.

In any case, before I start talking about what's going on, I want to wish all my readers the Happiest of New Years, the Merriest of Christmases, The most hallowed of Hannukkahs, the Koolest of Kwanzaas, and the fabulousest of Festivuses.

And now, the update:

1) I was up on the Hill again, submitting testimony. I can't go into direct details, but more can be found here:

The testimony itself can be found here:

And here's a pic....
In other news... well, well let another picture speak first:
Many of you know that I've been on board with Mayor Giuliani's campaign for quite sometime (nearly 18 months). As a native New Yorker, it seemed like a natural fit, and I've been a fan of the Mayor's since he spoke at Fieldston many years ago. I think he represents the best chance of victory for the GOP in November of 2008, as he's one of very few candidates who can cut across party lines and make the GOP race for the White House a national one again. He makes the Democrats fight in places they haven't had to fight for in just sometime.

I've been advising the campaign, raising money, wrangling bodies. It's been a tremendous amount of fun, and I've been eager for the primary season to really kick into high gear.

More on all that as it develops.

I'm also working with my good friend, State Sen. EJ Pipkin, with his primary race in Maryland's 1st CD. His information can be found here:

Well, my plane's about to leave, so I'll stop here.

I want to wish all of you a wonderful 2008!

- Andrew Langer


Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

a question, the same one I posed to cajun tiger- do you have any issues with Rudy's ethical difficulties?

January 11, 2008 10:46 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Well, I suppose that would depend on just what you were referring to as "ethical difficulties".

Do I think that Rudy is perfect? No. Just as there are no perfect people, there are no perfect candidates - either politically or personally. In the end, we're given a group of people to choose from.

But by the same token, Andrew, do you have any trouble with Hillary or Obama's ethical difficulties?

I'm not saying that the ends justify the means here - far from it, in fact. But I am saying is that if we want our politicians to be marble paragons, then we're apt to be on a quixotic quest akin to that of Dioegenes.

January 11, 2008 2:54 PM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

I love it when you quote Dioegenes...

and I support Edwards!

No, politicians are not perfect. But considering what this nation went through when President Clinton got his knob polished, someone who is a confessed adulterer does not seem like the best choice for the office.

January 11, 2008 4:11 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

As I said, it really all depends on what you mean by "ethical difficulties".

I consider the impact of Rudy's past adultery about on par with John Edwards' setting up a 501C(4) whose sole purpose, it seems, was to maintain the political image of John Edwards in the public's eye.

Did Rudy's adultery damage his ability to effectively discharge his duties? Probably. Just as Bill Clinton's did - actually, to a lesser extent than Clintons, as Clinton's sub rosa behavior had far-reaching national security implications, as well as legal implications (carrying on a sexual relationship with a subordinate).

Sure, Rudy could have been blackmailed as a result of his relationship - but there's a big difference in the stakes between the mayor of New York and the President of the United States. And in the end, Giuliani and Nathan weren't in the same professional relationship as Clinton and Lewinsky.

And I don't think I "quoted" Diogenes, per se. Just referenced him.

January 11, 2008 4:53 PM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

If Rudy cannot win FLA, is he done?

January 25, 2008 11:06 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Is that a rhetorical question? ;-D

Seriously, though, if Rudy doesn't win FL, two things can happen, realistically:

a) he's out; or
b) he places high enough so that he still does reasonably well on Super Tuesday and beyond, and this throws the GOP nomination to a brokered convention.

Question for you: how does an Obama win in SC affect the D primary in FL?

January 25, 2008 11:13 AM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

I still see Clinton winning Fla, with southern FL delivering her the state. Super Tuesday should be fun!

January 28, 2008 10:44 AM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

now who? I predict you will support Romney.

January 31, 2008 4:47 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Good heavens, no. I'll reserve my comments regarding Governor Romney and his team for another time.

Right now I'm going to sit back and spectate. I've got plenty to occupy my time.

And you? Have you affiliated yourself with the Junior Senator from Illinois, or the Junior Senator formerly from Illinois?

January 31, 2008 9:58 PM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...


February 01, 2008 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice Dept. Eyes U.S. Firm’s Payments to Foreign Officials
The Justice Department is probing the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a small investigative firm that helped American officials make a headline-grabbing arrest of an Afghan warlord.
Under scrutiny are several payments that the firm, Rosetta Research and Consulting LLC, may have made to foreign government officials, including an Afghan diplomat in London, court documents suggest.
Little is publicly known about the now-defunct Rosetta, which was founded in 2003 by a former Treasury Department researcher, Michael Patrick Jost. The firm’s goal was to “develop highly sensitive information regarding the funding of terrorist activities worldwide and to make commercial use of this information,” according to a description of the firm offered in court papers.
“Rosetta sought and obtained millions of dollars of investments,” according to the court filing “and developed relationships with high levels of officials in the FBI” and Department of Defense. The firm played a central role in helping law enforcement officials develop contact with an Afghan warlord, Bashir Noorzai, whom the government is now prosecuting in New York for heroin distribution, Mr. Noorzai’s lawyer claims in court documents filed yesterday.
Details about Rosetta are emerging in Mr. Noorzai’s case because his attorney, Ivan Fisher, is alleging that Rosetta violated the law in its pursuit of Mr. Noorzai on behalf of the government.
In a twist to the case, Mr. Jost yesterday filed a sworn affidavit on behalf of Mr. Noorzai describing an investigation into Rosetta that was conducted by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General. The investigation centers on the FBI’s relationship to Rosetta. Despite a sale’s pitch by Rosetta delivered to senior FBI officials, the FBI never signed a contract for the firm’s services, according to Mr. Jost’s account, which was confirmed by a former federal official. “They came to the FBI proposing to rent us their extensive database about people in the Middle East,” the former official said.
Mr. Jost’s account raises questions about whether individual FBI employees improperly shared information with Rosetta and whether Rosetta bribed foreign officials with the knowledge of some FBI employees.
In 2006, Mr. Jost told the Justice Department investigators that an FBI employee “had been looking up information in FBI databases and forwarding it to Rosetta,” according to his testimony. The FBI employee, who is not identified in Mr. Jost’s account, was considering taking a job with Rosetta, according to Mr. Jost.
The investigators reviewed Rosetta’s financial records, Mr. Jost said, adding that he identified some payments as going to “an Afghan diplomat serving in London.” Other money, potentially millions of dollars, Mr. Jost said, “went to government officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” A spokeswoman for the inspector general, Cynthia Schnedar, declined to comment. During its short existence, Rosetta’s main enterprise was to develop a relationship with Mr. Noorzai, the Afghan’s lawyer, Ivan Fisher, claims in court papers he filed yesterday. Rosetta had obtained from a source in the Office of the Secretary of Defense a list of individuals whom “our government believed could provide strategic assistance in interfering with” terrorism, Mr. Fisher claims in court papers.
Mr. Noorzai, who was the head of a million-man-strong tribe in Southern Afghanistan was on that list, Mr. Fisher’s letter to the court claims. Mr. Noorzai may have been an attractive figure to American foreign policy officials because of his extensive track record with the Central Intelligence Agency over the years.
He had helped recover unused Stinger missiles dating back to the war with the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and returned them to American officials, according to news accounts.
Rosetta employees offered to deliver Mr. Noorzai to the FBI.
“They were proposing that they could bring him to us with a grant of immunity and he would tell us about bin Laden and where he hides out,” the former official said. “The FBI did not go for it. When private business comes to you like that, wanting to make money off of the flesh trade so to speak, it’s kind of unsavory.”
Rosetta, according to Mr. Fisher, did get access to Mr. Noorzai, by bribing foreign officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates.
One recipient of the payment, an Afghani diplomat stationed in London, put Rosetta in touch with a former Pakistani intelligence official, who also received payment from Rosetta, to arrange for an introduction with Mr. Noorzai, according to Mr. Fisher’s court filing. Mr. Fisher’s account does not provide exact figures for the alleged payments. Nor does the account make clear exactly on the behalf of which government agency, if any, Rosetta was pursuing Mr. Noorzai.
Mr. Noorzai made several trips to Dubai to meet with Rosetta employees he believed were representatives of the American government, according to transcripts of those conversations that have been reviewed by The New York Sun. Mr. Noorzai knew these two contacts as “Mike” and “Brian.” Mr. Noorzai has said he had only seen Osama bin Laden once in passing.
Mr. Noorzai was under the impression that American officials would help install him in the new Afghanistan government, according to his court filings.
In April of 2005, under the pretense of working out such a deal, Mr. Noorzai flew to New York and spent two weeks in a hotel at the Embassy Suites in Lower Manhattan talking with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was arrested and spent the last three years awaiting trial on drug charges.
Before Mr. Noorzai arrived, there was at least one meeting in Washington with DEA agents, a federal prosecutor, and Mr. Jost, according to Mr. Fisher. According to Mr. Fisher, a disagreement ensued over whether to arrest Mr. Noorzai when he arrived or not. Rosetta’s position was to provide safe passage to Mr. Noorzai, Mr. Fisher said. Only then did the law enforcement officials inform Mr. Jost that Mr. Noorzai had already been indicted on the heroin charges, according to Mr. Fisher’s account.
In court papers, Mr. Fisher argues that the safe passage Rosetta employees promised to Mr. Noorzai is binding on the federal government, and he urged a federal judge to release Mr. Noorzai.

February 13, 2008 7:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In keeping with the New York theme of this blog, how about this?

The prosecutor on the Noozai case was one Boyd Johnson.

When Noorzai attorney Ivan Fisher blew the whistle on Johnson's participation in illegal activities by Rosetta Research, Johnson was removed from the prosecution team.

Most people thought Johnson was finished.

But no. Now Johnson reappears as the lead prosecutor on the Sptizer call girl case.

I guess that's good, I'd rather look at Ashley Dupre than Haji Noorzai.

March 15, 2008 12:31 PM


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