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July 30, 2007

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Cheney is supposed to be on Larry King's show this week too. Is doing a book tour for Stephen Hayes or getting ready to run for President?

"but Cheney said the attorney general has the support of the only man who really counts."

Uhhhh, we are now a country of one? Which "man" was he talking about? Is the Big Dick now speaking of himself in the third person?

Oh wait, I got it, the key is the most important man IN THE COUNTRY; that's got to be junior. If he said "the most important man in THE WORLD", he would have been talking about himself.

EW, you are totally hilarious! Mwaaahhhh! love it!

Inslee is from Washington state? Would this have any nexus to the firing of AUSA McKay and Toobin's New Yorker piece about the dead Washington AUSA? Because nobody else has stepped up to the plate to launch an impeachment investigation.

CBS "correspondent" Mark Knoller must have failed Journalism 101. You're supposed to ask follow up questions. You're supposed to have prepared them in advance. You're supposed to have some sense of what the Vice President will probably say in response to a given question. You're supposed to be ready with a more probing question that helps us to get to, you know, the truth.

Mark Knoller is just another in a long line of pussies posing as journalists who get all giddy in the presence of the Royal Court.

Wow. They couldn't strong-arm anyone into defending Gonzo, so Cheney himself had to do it. You know you're radioactive when nobody wants to go on Fox News to defend you, and now this. It's only Monday, and Gonzo's already having a bad week.

Slothrop: It almost goes without saying that anyone who interviews him will not be a very good journalist. The Dark Lord does not tolerate hard questions.

Slothrop, I suspect that before Dick agreed to be interviewed that Knoller had to submit questions in writing. In other words, it became a scripted interview even though Dick was the one who wanted it. I don't know how good Knoller is, although I hear him periodically on CBS Radio. The fact that Cheney became hesitant when Fitzgerald came up says to me that Knoller pushed things a little bit.

The trouble is, in a situation like that, Cheney's staff somehow pursued and got an interview arranged. About all Knoller could do was go with the flow. In other words, Cheney controlled the interview, which is somewhat akin to the Town Hall Meetings that Bush's people staged several years ago. They only allowed in those people whom they could trust to ask the 'right' questions. It was a farce!

When I first rerad this, I was somewhat non plussed and was going to make a somewhat tart comment about the simplistic and vague wording. Something interrupted me and in the meantime I had a chance to think it over a little, and now I actually think this is good. If and when such a resolution is passed and the parameters being drawn, however, it must be made clear that, because of AGAG's comprehensive involvement in the goings on of the administration, both in his role as WH Counsel and AG, that the scope will be broad and the investigation allowed to proceed wherever it leads within the executive branch. The GOP will balk and scream holy murder, but there is nothing per se wrong with this and it MUST be done. For those who think I am getting ahead of myself here, keep in mind that framing the plan is everything and we must have that in mind from the outset, lest the other side plays us into a narrow corner and all our time and effort is wasted on Gonzales alone while they blithely run out the clock. I see a real problem coming here in this regard, even if we are fortunate enough to get the AG impeachment process off the ground in the first place. Nobody should lose sight of this thought.

Agreed bmaz, lets get the investigation rolling, but the investigation should be as broad as possible. Perhaps we could collectively draw up some pointers here to share with Rep. Inslee to make sure we get the right framing.

"I'm a big fan of Alberto Gonzales. He follows instructions really well, and he is quite willing to look like a fool or a liar or both for my sake...er, I mean...er, the sake of the President. Not many men have so little personal pride. He's one in a million. Irreplaceable, in fact."

I'm a bit put out by the language Inslee used "... for high crimes and
misdemeanors."

I think that sets too narrow a road. Gonzo could easily be impeached for gross incompetance or even abdication of office. We don't need high crimes, in fact in the public view gross incompetance is already broadly accepted. Why use such narrow language?

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Dismayed - I understand exactly what you are saying, but that, believe it or not is no problem here. The historical definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" within the ambit of impeachment includes literally about anything that is determined to be pertinent. Although it seems counterintuitive, what you suggested would actually be narrowing the scope at this point.

Cheney is also going on Larry King Live--speaking of softball interviewers. I think the Cheney charm offensive is to test the waters for a possible presidential run. I can't imagine he thinks much of the current field. Also, of course, to defend Gonzo.

"High crimes and misdemeanors" doesn't literally mean crimes. Madison specifically mentioned abuse of the pardon power in the quote that has been widely discussed. The Prez can pardon whomever he wants and it isn't a crime under the criminal law, but it can be a crime against the body politic in Madison's thinking if it is an abuse of power, such as pardoning one who commits a crime for the benefit of the Prez or VP.

Just get started on Gonzales already, and build the record. It will put more GOPers on the spot while providing a means to get at the truth about the politicization of the DOJ.

FWIW, mighty mouse and others...

Inslee has a reputation as a workhorse who hires good staff. He is from a suburban/swing district in Washington State that includes the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, biotech startups, cell phone companies, and naval and aerospace production facilities. (FWIW, The Gates Foundation and a Genome Project hub are just south of Inslee's CD. Inslee's staff keeps abreast of biotech issues. ) It's a very swing district, so to smear Inslee as a 'lefty' or 'San Franscisco Democrat' is pretty laughable.

Bu$hCo shot itself in the foot when they smeared someone as highly respected as John McKay; he was a strong advocate for obtaining better databases for federal law enforcement -- ironic, in view of Bu$hCo's illegal datamining. But McKay appears to be in the tradition of Washington State's 'good government' moderate Republicans, of whom Judge Wm Dwyer is sometimes highlighted as an exemplar.

It's too bad that Cheney hasn't read Judge Dwyer's book "In the Hands of the People: The Trial Jury's Origins, Triumphs, Troubles, and Future in American Democracy". Had he done so, perhaps Mr Cheney would feel better about a verdict rendered by concientious citiezens doing their utmost to be fair and detailed. Judge Wm Dwyer was Federal Judge (Ninth Circuit), and IIRC, back in the Reagan era, Dwyer's judicial appointment was promoted by Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington state. Gorton -- a conservative Republican -- was once the Washington State Atty Gen, and has since served on the 9/11 Commission; hardly a loony lefty. So it's safe to assume that Gorton wouldn't nominate anyone with radical ideas, and it's also safe to assume that Dwyer's observations of watching juries work very hard to come to 'judicious' verdicts is something that a lot of Washington State Republicans do understand -- even if the subtleties escape Big Dick.

Some of the same people who formerly voted for Gorton (including Yours Truly), have also voted for Inslee. And, not to make too fine a point of matters, I've also voted for current Wa State Atty Gen Rob McKenna - a conservative Republican. So anyone who claims that Inslee's suburban voters are just a bunch of lefty loons is either ignorant, or willfully dumb.

Perhaps Mr Cheney could use a gift copy of Dwyer's book on why the jury process is critical to citizenship, and why the justice system needs to better support juries. (And FWIW, Dwyer states many reasons for putting more resources into having jury trials, but one reason he cites is that it reduces the chances of tyranny that would occur by means of packing judgeships, as Rove and Miers have obviously done.)

Dwyer's newer book, Ipse Dixit, also argues persuasively that juries take their responsibilities very seriously, and that the experience of serving on a jury has both personal and social benefits. Dwyer taught a generation of lawyers about the transformative potential 'justice' has to alter individuals and society, when justice is thoughtfully executed. John McKay is almost certainly among the generation of attorneys for whom Dwyer's eloquence, fairness, and thoughtfulness remain an inspiration.

Inslee is acting in the traditional, 'bi-partisan' independent spirit that characterized a lot of Democrats, as well as a lot of Republicans, in a region where 'getting things done' trumped partisanship.

On an odd extra note, IIRC, someone once told me that Dwyer was a former law partner of Murray Guterson, whose son, IIRC, is the author of "Snow Falling on Cedars". Small world.

Thanks, BMAZ.

I'm glad to see this happening. And I've found most interesting the arguments that interferance in justice is grounds enough for removing a president.

No longer is removal of Bush, Cheney, or Gonzo a matter of grounds, it's a matter of will and long term strategy executed for the good of our democracy.

This news is encouraging. Eager as always to see criminals get their due, but hopefully the cooler heads will prevail at the end game we all hope for.

Final note: Ipse Dixit was published postumously. Originally intended for his grandchildren, it is a collection of his speeches through the years. His friends insisted that it deserved a wider audience, and it is newly published (July 2007).

Dwyers' In the Hands of the People is probably more timely today than when it was published in 2002.

RE: mighty mouse: Seattle area's two top congressmen are Islee and Jim McDermott, who is co-sponsoring the Cheney impeachment resolution. They are close. The Tom Wales murder case might warrant watching. Truthout has the New Yorker Toobin piece about it at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/073007S.shtml

Mimikatz -- Do you seriously think Cheney is testing the Presidential waters? The man is an evil calculating immoral power-hungry s.o.b., but I didn't think he was flat out delusional. With his poll numbers the only way he could win is if the Rethugs have hacked every voting machine in the country. Of course now that I think of it, that might be a pretty straightforward test of whether Rove has passed his math test yet...

Cheney's heart trouble would surely be brought up, frequently, if he was crazy enough to try running. It would influence a lot of people - the odds on him dying in office would likely make it a solid bet in Las Vegas.

One can only hope...

If the resolution doesn't have the Speaker's approval, it will sink like a stone. So far, she is silent on it, but I'm sure we'll know more by tomorrow.

Today, btw, is votefraud/illegal immigrant Arnold Schwarztika's birthday.

Vomit in the direction of Sacramento if you wish to 'celebrate.'

Maybe Mr. Freeze put his hand on Chief Arbiter Robert's brain.

Mimikatz: bwah ha ha ha, Big Time run for prez? That would be deeee-lish. Gay daughter, drunk driving convictions, illegal stock ownership, and he SHOT A GUY IN THE FACE.

And never mind his actual positions on any of the issues.

Plus, by this time next year, he'll be in prison in The Hague, awaiting his war crimes trial. That will be an AWESOME campaign strategy- think of all the earned media exposure!

What's needed now is a deluge of requests to Congresscritters asking them to sign on to Islee's resolution that makes it look a little like the Saturday Night Massacre response. In that case they had about 125 co-signers or authors of similar resolutions in the hopper in the House by midweek in October, 1974. That is what will move Pelosi to allow the study to go forward.

The thing about a study -- Conyers does not have to assign it to the full committee, he can create a special committee, or he can use an existing sub-committee, such as Nadler's Constitution Sub-Committee. It is a matter of once over the record, perhaps witnesses and some preliminary hearings, and then a recommendation to the full committee to go forward, or not. At that point, the full house would vote on whether to progress -- and Rules would provide the rule, and Pelosi would have to offer up resources for staff and research, etc. If Conyers wanted to be really sly, he could ask Pelosi to keep pro-forma sessions going during the break in the House, so if any question about the study emerged, they could take the question to the floor. He could keep the focus on the study during the whole recess.

Anyhow -- use the net resources and get those messages to members about getting on Islee's resolution, PRONTO.

In the meantime, my Rep is in Iraq, he is in Al Anbar Province holding town meetings in the Mosques. He took a delegation of Republican and Democratic Congress Critters with him, along with some good cell phones, and yesterday and today we were treated to a Mosque by Mosque tour, sit down's over rice, Tea and dates, intense discussion, proper prayer at prayer time, much of which apparently involved how to lessen bin Laden's hold on the minds of youth in the region. In otherwords, Keith Ellison finally made it to Iraq and is doing his thing. One of the Republicans in the delegation was just gushing about having learned so much in just a few hours. I am surprised nothing was made of it on National News.

And yes, another tidbit. On NPR's ATC today, Dan Schoor had a piece on the NYTimes story this weekend, re: Data Mining. Dan said, when something like this story emerges you first ask, Who does it help? -- he went on to say it likely helps Gonzales avoid perjury as data mining can be argued as a different program from phone and E-Mail tapping, so He thinks the story was unloaded as a favor to Gonzales.

If so, I rather reminds me of another instance when a high security breach was put on offer as a political tactic. Can't rightly remember that case off-hand, something about a Blond Spy and a Husband who liked taking off the beaten path trips to Africa.


This is slightly off subject, but too funny to pass by. Cannon fire, talking about the AG scandals, "do visit emptywheel; she's all over this like stink on DOJ poop."

What are the charges against Gonzales?

Oh, I see. They are going to look and see if they can find some.

I say that this is a total INVERSION OF OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM.

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