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March 13, 2007

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My take: Gonzales makes me look wistfully at the Ed Meese era.

i just can't feature gonzales voluntarily resigning... as one of the charter members of bush's true inner circle, his departure would be way too close to home for bush's comfort... bush could pull it off with rummy... it was just after the election, and, well, a change needed to be made, dontcha know... but gonzo has been one of the solid bricks in the wall around george, karl, and dick... if he goes, their vulnerability increases dramatically... the blood in the water will attract the piranhas from all quarters, not that that would seriously distress me, i might add...

http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

Good lord, look at this from the very end of that Andrew Cohen posting.

About this series: This is the first in a four-part series on Alberto R. Gonzales and his role as Attorney General of the United States. Part I looks at the role of the Attorney General in American history, about current perceptions about that role, and Gonzales' view of it. Part II looks at Gonzales' record before he assumed office in 2005. Part III looks at Gonzales' record as Attorney General and the final part in the series focuses upon the candidates for his successor.

The conversation has already moved to who will replace him? I find it hard to believe that he'll step down, for more or less the reasons profmarcus outlined, but damn if it doesn't look like I'm wrong.

He's going to resign, because he will be forced to resign. This goes directly to the office of the president, and it may indeed bring the president down.

This Alberto fellow, he's a good guy, right? Such a nice, warm and friendly guy. His life story, so inspiring. Everyone likes him. What's all this noise about?

Sounds like the criminalization of politics again. There the Democrats go again, trying to bring down a good man. Did I mention how nice Alberto is?

;-)

I don't think Gonzo can take the heat. My money is on him resigning

The Times said it's "unlikely" that Karl Rove will appear before any Congressional hearing on this latest example of Republic Party criminal misconduct. The WaPo said that the White House has "signaled" that it would "resist" Turdblossoms's appearance. Why doesn't that trigger some Congressional outrage? Why aren't the subpoenas being drawn up? Why not immediately bring him in, and the moment he lies, nail him with purjury, obstruction of justice, contempt of Congress? Come on, Congressmen. You can do it! Really!

Abu is more loyal to Bush than to the government, the country, the constitution... and thus he was the perfect man for the job.

That loyalty is also the chief criteria for the attorneys under him. If they'll help Bush's whims become law, they get to stay. If they try to do their sworn job of following the rule of law and established procedure, they are ousted.

I would have nailed Gonzales (hauled him by the ear before Congress) for legalizing torture and negating treaties this country signed. However, lying under oath will have to do.

His replacement? Harriet Miers is available. And Loyal.

Given the timing [post Libby verdict, Waxman's hearings pending, Leahy's loading up for AlG on the FBI intercepts], I feel more strongly about the power of this story to bring a long ugly chapter to a short sharp end. I see a beat up overloaded camel and one more very large pitchforkfull of straw.

I realize I’m biased and it's way too simplistic - but I see the Plame outing/Libby trial as emptywheel’s story with Fitz as leading man. Now I can’t help but see the author of the story of the Gonzales Eight as Josh Marshall [with John Conyers in the lead?].

Everyone probably already has this bookmarked for speed punch purposes, but here it is anyway. Marshall has so, so many posts of interest to this story and all its angles, crawling all the way back to 2002.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com

I take no credit for the following list, because it mostly derives comes from Marshall’s posts. But I think it’s worthwhile getting this out before these daily hot events speed the Bush administration off the island.

1 Bush took Domenici’s complaint about Iglesias & passed it to AlG with directions to take out Igliesias. One more drip towards impeachment.

2 Domenici will never win anything again.

3 AlG’s CoS already has taken a Scooter [Given how every scandal after Watergate is something-gate, I can't help but hope that Libby has made a vital addition to the lexicon of government corruption. We'll all have to learn to conjugate "Scooter".]. But AlG himself is gonzo - and very soono - because the stench of this all goes thru him.

Bonus points: AlG obviously will have to bid adieu to that dream/promise of Bush sticking it to us by putting him on SCOTUS; and given these circumstances AlG can kiss goodbye any judicial appointment from Bush, or anyone. He’s certainly going to need a new career, but it’s more than possible he might have to pack for a little vacation downstream - for some combination of lying to congress & conspiracy to lie to congress & racketeering with Rove & Meiers & Jennings & Sampson at least.

4 Stick a fork in him - Rove is done.

I felt so sure the honor of taking him out would be Waxman’s. Now Henry’s in a race with Conyers. As I’ve said since the Libby verdict, the question with Rove is whether he’s gone before or after April Fool’s day.

5 It’s one thing to be laughed out of a nomination by your own president’s base but quite another to have all your prospects for judicial appointment gone. There will be no Judge Harriet Meiers. I also doubt there is a neocon parachute in her size either - given how that bunch treated her nomination. Ah well, maybe she might actually have a chance to see if she actually knows any 'real life' law.

6 & 7

The issue with Tweedledee McNulty is the same as with Tweedledumb Moschella: Are we looking at resignation in disgrace with agreement to testify against AlG or are we looking at lying to congress?

My guess is the former - whoever gets to prosecute this basket of snakes is going to need some insiders to serve as live body witnesses. These two would seem, to borrow from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, to have somewhat less shit on them.

8 & 9

I can’t choose between the use of ‘voter fraud as a stalking horse for voter suppression’ and conspiring to use a comatose Republican congress to get through Rove’s ‘government in perpetuity’ legislation as the bigger deal.

The first requires a major, comprehensive strengthening of voter entitlement laws. The second requires a major, comprehensive review of everything the GOP-led compliant congress passed since 9/11 to facilitate the hegemony of executive branch power. Lots of work for idealist young progressive lawyers - - to undo the work of lots of cynical young neoconartist lawyers.

Together these two things mean at least 4 other things:

(1) hopefully, a fatal blow to the theory of the unitary executive,

(2) zero chance of a GOP president in 2008,

(3) reduced chances for the GOP winning either Congress or the Senate in 2008 [altho the Democratic leaders are trying the public's patience with the putzky-ing around with getting out of Iraq], and

(4) easing an earlier exit from Iraq to give the civil war there its breathing space - certainly a most horrible vision but tragically inevitable.

10 Inherent in the theory of the unitary executive is that everyone who ISN’T the president acts as the president's kevlar. If Big Time is a true believer in the theory then he’ll be offering his carcass to Bush very shortly – and well before the Aspens start to bud.

Nice to see a post from you Dem. It would convenient for the WH to throw Gonzalez under the bus: they'll pin the blame on him and save Rove.

The LA Times has two op-eds this morning bashing Gonzales. That's not a good sign, for him.

I guess I have at this point a built-in (and well-founded) skepticism that the Bush administration will make the slightest bow to reality -- as someone suggested at Kos this morning, they're holding a pair of 3's, but keep raising the pot limit. This leads me to doubt Alberto will hand in his clearly merited resignation. But maybe some things have changed since the election: the Dems, a huge disappointment on foreign policy, seem more determined on the corruption front, and they're at last getting support from at least significant portions of the press. (Who put the starch in McClatchy? They're smokin' on this story) If the attitude in DC becomes not Should Gonzales go? but When will he go?, pure centrifugal force might pull him overboard.

It also seems to me that, at some point, those GOP Congress-folk in competitive districts/states will have to either force BushCo to change course on matters like this, or come out in direct opposition -- the GOP brand (as that CBS/Times poll documented) is becoming irredeemably besmirched, and 1932 awaits the party in '08 if the trend doesn't change soon.

Speaking of 1932, I know I've been annoyingly persistent in pointing to the economy, but, given the portents of recent weeks, I think that house of cards may be ready to fall. And if you add economic woes to what's already on the table, you see not just the possibility but the probability of a once-a-generation realignment.

Labdancer: Great comment. The aspen leaves are shaking.

demtom: re, realignment. Where's our FDR?

a once-a-generation realignment

If that happens, I would really like to see a reform movement grow that is independent of the Democratic Party apparatus. While I am not one of those who believes the Dems are acting cowardly right now, I still worry that if they had a monopoly on the Executive and Legislative branches they might shy away from making the needed structural changes. They would undo what Bush has done, but would they also implement the lobby, electoral and media reforms that could correct the underlying factors that got Bush elected in the first place?

Let's hope that the congruent hearings will help brand the Republican Party for what it is.

Coral, it's worth noting FDR wasn't FDR until he became president -- the commonly voiced feeling about him prior was, he was a man who wanted very much to be president without much idea of why. My opinion -- which has precisely the same value as anyone else's -- is that both John Edwards and Barack Obama have potential, if elected, to truly change the calculus. (Or Al Gore, should he actually get in) This will be especially true if the margin is startling. Reagan would never have been able to pull off all he did had he not racked up his surprising "landslide" in 1980. (I put the word in quotes because I don't think c. 51% represents a landslide -- but the one-sided electoral result was emphasized by the press, and gave the illusion of mandate, which Reagan seized)

Mark C, I get what you're saying, about the need for Dems to push well past the kind of halfway measures their terminally timid consultants will suggest. Again, it will depend on the margin, and the candidate -- Edwards and Gore, in particular, seem to have seriously rejected the poll-tested pap of recent years, and seem to me anxious to push the envelope. I know it's hard to imagine the Steny Hoyers of the world following suit, but, as I've read the history of the Hoover/Roosevelt changeover, there were many Dems as late as 1930 pushing imitation-GOP tax cuts as panacea -- the shock of the FDR landslide changed a lot of world-views. I'm hoping for the same after '08.

I'm sorry - but I don't see a more facilitous home for this:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjQ1NjNkZGM5Mjc1OTgyYjdhZGFlZGFiNDJiOTEyNjY=

The above shows Wm F Buckley Jr. readily conceding Libby's guilt - and then pardoning Libby based on - as best I can follow - Libby's betrayal by Fitzgerald in ripping from him the comfort blanket of his assumption that others would bear the penalty for his lies being sound.

Bad as it is - it reeks as bad or worse than any other argument except the most self-serving ones involving the illusion that it might keep the rot from rising up the root - I think one has to admire Wm F for finding a way to keep those neocon bucks coming in and retain self-esteem. I'm starting to think the secret to growing old gracefully is to allow the noisemakers from the company you keep to blur the disinctions in the language you choose to die with.

And let me quickly amplify: when I say "margin", I don't mean simply the vote margin in the presidential contest, but the margins by which Dems control Congress. If they push their House majority by another 10-20, and pick up a strong 4-6 Senate seats -- both completely possible, given Bush's current dire status -- the more progressive parts of the caucus would gain strength psychologically (being able to point to growing philosophical dominance throughout the country) and simply numerically (the dithering of 10-15 Blue dogs would mean far less in a House with 250 Dems).

Josh Marshall has a post highlighting the key to all this--getting rid of Carol Lam, the San Diego prosecutor who went after Duke Cunningham and was uncovering the whole CIA-intel-defense contractors-GOP campaign contributions scam. Remember, this, along with Abramoff's shakedowns, was fueling much of the "permanent GOP majority."

Before she went after Cunningham (sparked by articles in the San Diego Union Tribune) Carol Lam prosecuted Titan Corp under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, per a commenter at Muckraker. She was always interested in white collar crime.

Rove must have anticipated in 2005 that corruption had the potential to be the achilles heel of the GOP (as it was in some ways), either as an issue in itself or because they needed the money provided by defense contractors especially. Even if she wasn't already nosing around Duke Cunningham (to say nothing of Jerry Lewis or Duncan Hunter) at that point, the potential was certainly there, and she clearly wasn't a "team player." It was probably this, rather than her lack of zeal for immigration cases that made her dangerous. Remember Bush was trying to have it both ways on immigration, and Mehlman if not Rove realized the importance of not alienating Hispanics. The San Diego area Congressmen were very safe as long as nothing came out. It was not jeopardizing the money machine and keeping the law's noses out of the Appropriations Committee rather than any fear of their vulnerability that was most important.

The only way wwe are going to get realignment is if someone (Edwards, Obama or someone else) is willing to stick their neck out and push for faster action on Iraq.

The conservatives in the Dem Leadership have screwed up the Iraq issue so badly that they would be will advised to scrap the current abomination (Supplemental) and start over. They have to be willing to stand up and say that the Iraq War is a failure (as Nancy Pelosi was willing to say to AIPAC) and that it is unwinnable. Facing the reality that the majority of Americans can see now.

The main thing that the non-Bushbot voters are looking for is no more BS from politiicians. That is Hillary's biggest vulnerability. Someone has to be willing to articulate a position without a ton of qualifiers or we aren't going to have a realignment. I know the rest of the country isn't Berkeley, but tyhe polling shows the public is way ahead of the Dem Party on Iraq.

And I do think Gonzales will be forced to resign. He has botched this too badly and left too many fingerprints all over. Repubs are going to begin deserting him. This screws Bush, because the Senate will never confirm an AG who is what Bush wants (another crony). Bush has to be forced to appoint someone who is acceptable to the Senate. The talent pool at Justice is such that they can't just acting-appoint or interim-appoint someone down the line. McNulty is too tainted and so is the next one down. And the US Attorney pool isn't exactly talent deep any more either.

Mimikatz - Do you think Marshall is right on where the incision should be made? Through Lam to get to Lewis? Is it possible the name "Jerry Lewis" will end up being identified with somethings different from The Nutty Professor and fund-raising telethons?

Dem,

I just saw on CNN that the U of Iowa is doing a futures market for bird flu, and the RWJ foundation is staking 100 public health experts $100 to participate. Sounds like the idiotic DARPA plan of a terrorist future market all over again. Though it might be a good way to survey the public health apparatus.

Mind you, I think a simple survey would be more than adequate. In any case, would you participate in this futures exercise?

Bush says he's unhappy about the USA firings. Someone should ask him if that's because of the firings, or because the background for the firings has been revealed - and the man behind the curtain is his brain.

Worst Attorney General ever? John Mitchell set the bar quite high. Gonzalez will have to go to jail if he wants to be in the running for the title.

Labdancer: Yes.
The Appropriations Comm is key. But it would astonish me if some Dems didn't have there hand in, or want to have their hand in, that cookie jar. David Obey is Chair, but Jerry Lewis is Ranking Member. Murtha is chair of the Defense Subcommittee. I don't know who is going to do this investigation. Waxman?

I've got to give props to the Evangelicals who today passed a very well worded resolution against torture and policies supporting torture. This on the same day the dems backed down on Gitmo. The Dems need to get their heads out of their asses, and start acting. A bill fully endorsing the Geneva convention, and shutting down the administrations illegal prisons would be very well timed at this moment. Republicans would have to support it, or alienate a huge chunk of their base. Nancy - can you execute quickly and effectively on even this safe and simple task?

I hate to say it but Nancy pretty much put the last nail in her coffin with me when she said some thing very close to, "I think we can trust the president to provide us truthful reports on progress toward benchmarks in Iraq." Can anyone explain to me why Russ Feingold isn't speaker of the house? So far, Nancy sucks.

Dismayed,

Feingold is a Senator.

Mind you, I think a simple survey would be more than adequate. In any case, would you participate in this futures exercise?

Nope. I don't bet on disasters nor do I make money off of them. And I think the futures presidential market is overblown and overhyped.

PS the commenters here are wonderful. Thanks!

Ha, Ha, Ha - That he is! Well then, I doubt he much wants to be speaker of the house, but that answers my rhetorical question quite adequately. Now, who do we get do Nancy's job?

Nancy Pelosi isn't the problem. the problem is the more conservative members of the caucus. Take them on.

All,

The NY House Reps that lend toward Israel have jumped ship. The House Bill against Iraq and Iran is dead in the water.

See the New York Sun for more.

(Just thought I would look in and check on my old friends. :) Kinda quiet around here until this.)

'Clinton said a "scaled-down American military force" would stay in Iraq but off the streets of Baghdad. The force would also not get involved in sectarian violence "even if it descended into ethnic cleansing," writes Michael Gordon and Patrick Healy.' "For a long time" was attached to this comment.

Quote from Hillary - Right answer? Not for me. So let me get this straight - We woulnd't step in to stop ethnic clensing. Not going to police anything, not going to be on the streets, but we'd be there to stop terrorist activity and Iranian influence. What a crock of shit - We'd be there to enforce strong armed treaties supporting our corporate interest. That's the translation I get. You've got to wonder who got to her. Taking money from Halliburton, these days, Hill?

Wouldn't stop ethnic clensing? Way to show the world our compassion.

All who can hear, hear me - vote against Hillary in all polls. Open a spot for someone who SHOULD be president and IS electable, like Al Gore. Cause money to be redirected to candidates with charisma. Why are we going to let her cause this to be the most expensive Democratic Primary in History? A lot of that money could be used in the general, once we have a likable candidate. Just say no to the ego that is Hillary Clinton.

You know, Mimi you are correct, and the blue dogs have put us in the position of having too slim a majority. But when Nancy backs things that we all know are bullshit, she makes the party look bad, and turns us into weenies instead of making the republicans into bush operatives. It hurts us in the next election. And when she says things like "we can trust the president to *blank* it just makes her look dumb.

I know the wheels of justice and government turn slowly, but I just don't see much torque being applied to the wheel.

Everyone in the country knows George, dick, and co. done wrong. We shouldn't be so timid about calling vermin vermin and going after them.

I gave my share of $$$ to get these guys elected, and still am. And I don't have much money! So far I'm not so pleased with what I'm getting for my investment.

Someone please pursuade me otherwise. Lay the plan out for me..... Anyone?

tokyo jodi the wormtongue didn't stay gone very long, did she ???

I knew that troll would be back

is anybody surprised ???

Jodi, see harold meyerson in the WaPo for bottom line situation (Messy Business). One of two things happen with D efforts to begin to draw down the war. Either they attract R votes and succeed now, or they elect D replacements in 2008 and succeed then.

The war has already ruined McCain's Presidential run.

I thought 'ol Jodi was gone for good. I know you missed her, free. Gotta admit I'm kind of glad to see her - keeps me from being the dumbest one on the board!

TokJode speak with wormtongue. Translation:
"Isn't it great we're on the verge of world war III and I'm still too stupid to know it! hee, hee, ain't life grand! I know you all hate me, but I still love you! hee, hee :) :) :) :)"

smack

smack - nice touch, laughed out loud!

tokyo jodi the wormtongue ain't honest

you shouldn't believe anything she says

I knew she'd be back soon

her absence made to many people happy

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