Below the Fold for July 14

Let's check out some political stories we found this week Below the Fold:

Big Money & the Dems

Shortly after blasting President Bush for his coziness with big business, 16 Senate Democrats headed Friday to Nantucket to meet with big bucks contributors to the party.  Most of the senators took corporate jets supplied by AFLAC, BellSouth, FedEx and Eli Lilly.  The attendees included Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and Senators Patty Murray, Bill Nelson, Daniel Akaka, Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jon Corzine, Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden.

Detained by State

Eight State Department guards showed up after a Friday press conference to detain National Review reporter Joel Mowbray, whose reporting on a Saudi visa program has embarrassed and annoyed State Department officials.  The program just ended let Saudi citizens get visas not through our embassy but through travel agencies.  Three September 11 murderers got into our country through the program. 

The guards wanted Mowbray to rat out the source of a classified cable regarding the program, a cable whose contents have been reported by Mowbray and The Washington Post.  They finally let him go after he called his lawyer and refused to answer questions. 

A White House spokesman said that, quote, "Mr. Mowbray implied in a public forum he had a classified document in his possession.  The State Department would have been remiss if it did not follow up."

National Review wrote of the incident, "For at least a few minutes, Mowbray had a tougher time leaving the State Department than many Saudis had entering the country."

From Hack to Watchdog 

Larry Klayman, the litigious leader of Judicial Watch, was scorned by the establishment press when he was suing Bill Clinton. But now that he has filed suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, Klayman finds himself the recipient of strange new respect.Take a look at some before and after characterizations of the gadfly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Lawyers for the conservative group Judicial Watch today questioned Clinton adviser Paul Begala about the FBI files flap.

The watchdog group said that it was suing Vice President Dick Cheney. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer who filed the lawsuit...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A legal activist group called Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit today against the vice president. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The news media and at least one conservative advocacy group have restarted the recount. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A watchdog group that tormented the Clinton administration filed suit against Vice President Cheney. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

From hack to watchdog just like that!