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November 14, 2007

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Even Bush is smart enough to know Gonzales is an embarrassment; why would you bring him around? It does look like they are firing up the ole Greyhound and heading down Gonzo Boulevard though doesn't it? It will be interesting to see if Albertoad's memory is suddenly coming back to him. Gonzales is weak; if they dump on him too much, he is going to roll. Although the welfare is starting to kick in to some extent, because there is no justifiable reason for anyone to pay him $40,000 for a speech, as the University of Florida agreed to.

bmaz, that sounds like a 'GOP welfare payment'.

Unless DiFi, Reid or Schumer is paying it; that is quite correct! Heh heh.

Now that the gonzalez has disgraced himself and the administration, his "latino immigration corrupt wiretapping outsider" or in other words, "I never knew Alberto Abramoff" status may not look good on stage with preznit. It is rare he appears with anyone of color, and understandable due to how many suffer by his stance on lynching.

FWIW at least six of the current members of the University of Florida Board of Trustees were appointed by Jeb Bush.

Just sayin'.

Gonzo can't have his old job back on the Texas Supreme Court so he'll have to find some way to, as his former boss said, "fill up the ole' coffers." I have no objection to making a living but it sure seems that a poor record of performance in high government office helps in getting speaking enagments rather than hurts. You can bet Gonzo is not speaking at the invitation of the
U of F Levin College of Law.

oldtree

We in MI are trying to follow up on promises AGAG made to MI tribes for additional funding for policing. Per the Denver Post series I keep linking to, there were promises of increased funding made nationally that somehow didn't make it into Bush's budget request.

So AGAG appears to have updated that class, white men lying to Native Americans.

About the applause for the former AGs, I recall hearing on the radio that Justice Department staff were in attendance (the swearing-in was at the Justice Department.) So the applause could have been a subtle poke in the eye to Bush, applauding previous competent leadership in contrast to AGAG.

Thanks Redshift--that might explain it.

Well, of course he disappears. He's Fredo.

Well, here's the transcript of Bush's remarks, and while Gonzales' absence is certainly notable and intriguing, Bush does express high praise and support for him in his absence:

Our new Attorney General -- as our new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey follows in the footsteps of a fine man and a fine American -- Al Gonzales. I have known Al since our days working together in the State of Texas. As White House Counsel and as Attorney General in my administration, Al Gonzales worked tirelessly to make this country safer and to ensure that all Americans received equal justice before the law. Over many years, I have witnessed his integrity, his decency, and his deep dedication to the cause of justice. I am grateful for his friendship. I thank him for his service to our nation. And Laura and I wish him, and his wife Becky, and their children, Jared, Graham, and Gabe, all the very best. (Applause.)

Jeff - That is a good point; but those are words, I sure get the feeling that the uber-Bushies are moving towards scapegoating Gonzales if necessary. I will fully admit that is more of a feeling than an empirically supported fact. If I recall correctly, there was some question asked of Gonzales recently in relation to some aspect of the USA Purgegate (am getting old, can't remember the specifics; sorry) matter, and AG responded to the effect "that was Bush's decision, not mine". If true that kind of indicates AG is getting his hackles up a little as well. We know this much: Bush never admits to anything himself. If things crack open on any/all of the DOJ issues, I can't see how they don't pimp Gonzales; that is just the lifelong record of Bush....

Dick Cheney is not a cabinet member, per se. He is the dictator in residence and, as he has indicated, that's not in the executive branch. It's above it.

Reshift

You appear to be right:

When Bush praised Gonzales as a man of integrity and decency, Justice Department employees responded with sustained applause. It got even louder moments later after Mukasey took the oath, formally ending the Gonzales chapter in the agency's history.

Also note, in the article linked in the previous comment, Bush says he's going to have nominees for many of the vacant top positions at DOJ. It could get interesting...

If AGAG is being investigated, even just a "report already written, let's just wait a decent interval to file it" OPR investiation, then it would have been incredibly inappropriate for him to be invited to attend Mukasey's swearing in while Mukasey is investigating him.

For that matter, I think that as the Abramoff investigations are leading to Ring and thereby to Ashcroft, and with the potential for Ashcroft torture investigations etc., it was pretty inappropriate for him to be there, but I guess he's not named in an active DOJ investigation. I do recall that there were admonitions over his "DOJ Pizza Party and Sleepover and Maybe Larry will bring the Pepsis" but I guess now he is risen and whatever deals were cut left him off the hook, even the "for appearances sake" hook.

I thought it was pretty clear that Ashcroft had been brought back in the fold when he penned the recent op-ed supporting Bush, er telco, amnesty.

Shorter Junya: "Ah miss mah ol' Fredo. Barney don't heel as well." as the crocodile tears flowed freely.

"When Bush praised Gonzales as a man of integrity and decency, Justice Department employees responded with sustained applause. It got even louder moments later after Mukasey took the oath, formally ending the Gonzales chapter in the agency's history."

End of day obtuseness, perhaps but my parsing of EW's parsing of Redshift's parsing of the AP article seems to mean that they applauded Bush's praise for Gonzales knowing that they would be given the opportunity to applaud Mukasey even harder as a sign of their relief that Gonzo is Gonzo. Given that this was a ritual, and the essence of ritual is to be predictable because it repeats earlier ritual, it makes sense that they knew what was coming next. But in the end they still affirmed that praise with sustained applause. IMHO, to make that argument stick, they would have needed to sit on their hands. Hard to do with the big bosses watching, admittedly. But still I have a nagging doubt. Anyone want to put it to rest?

A bit O/T, but I wonder why I havent seen a headline like this yet today: Buzzie Throws Cookie Under The Bus

...Bushie threw Colon Powel under the bus....and when I heard the name Albert Gonzalez was nominated, I thought oh...another scapegoat...hmmm also of color...wonder when Condi plays the next stooge...just an observation....

bmaz, I think what you couldn't remember is AGAG saying that the decision not to grant security clearances to the OPR investigators was Bush's decision, not his.

rxbusa - Yep! That was it. Thanks! I may be totally in left field here, but that seemingly innocuous comment spoke volumes to me.

That is a good point; but those are words, I sure get the feeling that the uber-Bushies are moving towards scapegoating Gonzales if necessary.

Posted by: bmaz | November 14, 2007 at 15:36

You mean for example when Gonzalez is indicted? Here's the thing, if Bush refuses to discuss the ongoing criminal proceeding, he can commute his jail sentence or pardon him outright on January 8, 2009. Membership has its privileges. Scapegoating is prescribed for those who opt out.

Neil, I agree with that possibility. I certainly am not saying that I expect to see Gonzo in the stocks or behind bars, just that I see some clear signs that he may be the designated whipping boy flogged for public consumption as a diversion play from the real malefactors until they run out the clock and ride out of town with Gonzo in figurative tow, whether by a rigged non-result in the investigation/prosecution or a pardon. This was almost pre-ordained in some regards when AGAG resigned.

I see your point, bmaz. Fredo is an effective shiny object. Fredo did it (especially if he didn't)!! I don't think Bush or Fielding would ask for his consent however. George Bush assumes consent from his posse. Digby has a good piece up yesterday on consent.

Yeah, I think that is about right. AGAG isn't Rove, Libby or Cheney though; he may spook out on his own. Remember the discussion EW led back when we discovered Gonzales had lawyered up? It may be time to revisit who is handling him and what their story is. I remember saying back then that I would get somebody totally independent of the Gooper village if I was Gonzo. But I don't think he did; so it should be interesting how this plays out.

My initial guess - that the White House didn't want Gonzales there because should he eventually face real legal trouble, it would be a very bad visual image to have Gonzales, Bush and the new AG all in the same picture frame at Mukasey's swearing-in, especially if Mukasey has to decide on whether to prosecute Gonzales - can accommodate Bush's strong verbal backing of Gonzales in his remarks today, and gets a little bit of support from this new WaPo story indicating Gonzales really is gearing up for a major criminal-legal fight.

As a side note, I wonder why this story is published just now, when Eggen indicates that the fundraising letter that is the story's hook went out last month.

The exchange between rxbusa & bmaz suggests a scenario under which King George Bush & his Badmin could first part & later bury this issue.

[1] I stand to be corrected but my understanding is that AlG did not so much as Rxbusa implies "say" KGB ruled against clearances - as that is what the written response of the DOJ was to a question from Congress which AlG ducked by having to "get back to you on that".

[2] The full quote from the DOJ spokes takes the OPR mandate right out of the narrowest reading of the "book": essentially [1] Did the DOJOs involved properly serve the "client" & [2] Did any of them lie to a sitting judge?

The latter seems relatively straightforward: Mary understates the reality of 'how' the AG & DOJ typically appear before the FISC: There is a specific office within DOJ which takes care of such things & it would spark a lot more than curiosity in any judge in the FISC if someone OTHER than a lawyer with that office shows up all of a sudden: which is what could well have happened to open up the can of earwigs to the attention of the FISC judges. But AlG doing it himself? Well ... the hubris has backed up so deep on this government I hestitate to suggest that's 'impossible' - but not alone & it certainly wouldn't help with that cantakerous bunch on the FISC benches.

But to return to the first 'issue': Who exactly would AlG regard as the "client" in this scenario? I mean: in my day we always thought the client was that blind lady with the scales or her & the "People" - but I have a hard time envisioning AlG giving that answer - not just owing to his apparent exclusive long term contract to serve his Padrone but because I cannot see Bushmaster Cheney & his Igor Addington failing to ensure hegemony of the Unitary Executive. That is - AlG would say the "client" was the government - being the government of KGB - & as far as it goes KGB ain't complainin'.

[3] But the thing of it is - Mukasey would know & feel constrained to remind KGB that there's some folks out there in "Reality" particularly on the Democrat side of Congress who not be inclined to let it go even if they are prepared to accept that AlG in fact took that view - because no one who knows anything about this affair really thinks otherwise - this being in an election cycle & all.

[4] So what if they use AlG's "enthusiasm" for Addington view of the Constitution to excuse his advising the Pretzelnit that the OPR was out of line investigating here unless he KGB as "client" had a grievance because he AlG had never been before a judge on the subject matter of this inquiry & certainly had no plans to do so - wouldn't we expect KGB to accept that?

Because "that's what them lawyers do - all us ordinary workin' folks just like me 'cept they live in Wichita & Boise & Dothan & work for Boeing or Armorworks or GE & we never went to law school & never got our lawyering tickets so when we talk with them lawyers well we just do whatever it is they tell us is legal to do".

[5] But now it appears worth it to throw Schumer a bone to keep him off the BADmin's ass for a while so KGB is gonna let the OPR investigate the jeehosefats outta that conundrum & they'll do up a fine little report & if it comes up with the right answer or a good enough answer then we'll release it but if not then it'll have a decent post-classification burial assuming it even sees the light of day before GB yodels off back to Crawford.

Being IMO a reliable blueprint for how Mukasey will treat the all the leftover sins of AlG in the DOJ - "New Broom Sweeps All Under Rug".

Anyone seriously think that if the BAdmin sees that Schumer even thinks he might have gamed them they won't bring in the Dickwad to tell him precisely where he can go with his grievance? Because under what circumstances would you expect to see Schumer of all people telling the press he got gamed when 70% of the country & 95% of the WaPo reader comments were saying "Chuck's getting gamed!"?

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