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March 12, 2007


perhaps he's just really stupid?

I dare not hope that Karl Rove's days are numbered. Every time it looks like he'll be frog marched out of the White House, he slips away with that truly nauseating porcine grin. And sits down with the Chimp for some quail wings.

But then wait. I feared that Scooter would be found not guilty on all counts. I was wrong. HOORAY!


It's a very different environment than it was just a year ago. I can't promise Rove will go down. But it's possible.

I'd be happy to start with Abu Gonzales though. We stand a much better chance of frog-marching Rove if he's gone. After all, we don't have James Comey around to appoint someone independent anymore.

> The other possibility is that someone has decided to cleanse
> the Republican party of Karl Rove and gave Weh the go-ahead
> to blab his mouth. I still doubt this--the costs of this are
> too high,

The clearly has to be an endgame after the 2008 election involving several factions: Rove; Cheney's men; George HW Bush's men; Wall Street's men; and perhaps a few others. This seems a little too convoluted to be an early shot at Rove, but IMHO it is not a given that Rove will continue to run things behind the scenes after 11/08 unless he wins the faction fight. So at some point between now and then one of these shots _will_ be aimed straight at TB. Question is how to figure out which one(s).



Well, given how badly ROve's "The numbers" didn't add up in November, there may be a number of Republicans who would like him to leave well before 11/08. Thing is, how much damage are they willing to take before that happens?

Then again, maybe Harriet Grant just has better connections with the NM GOP than Rove. She's out to fuck someone, whether it be we lefties, Pat Fitzgerald, or those who purportedly threw Libby under the bus.

I think there is an alternative explanation that doesn't involve ew's explanations or stupidity, per se. Look at another quote from Weh:

"There's nothing we've done that's wrong," he said. "It wasn't that Iglesias wasn't looking out for Republicans. He just wasn't doing his job, period."

The explanation is simple. Weh didn't think he was ratting out Rove. He thought he was complimenting him. Weh can try all he wants to walk back the quotes, but the evidence against the Administration and its lackeys is damning. In their worldview, failure to manipulate the justice system for partisan purposes is incompetence. In that sense, the Justice Department was being unintentionally honest when it claimed that the US attorneys were fired for "performance-related" reasons. Failure to perform partisan hit jobs, failure to quash embarrassing corruption investigations of Republicans, and, of course, failure to be Rove's toady are all "performance-related" for the organized criminal endeavor we call the Bush White House.

I like Option Three, especially in light of the Kurtz update: some NM GOP faction wants to cleanse itself of the Rove stench (good luck), so Weh feels free to talk openly. Within seconds of the Weh quotes appearing, the Rove slime machine faction deposits one (or more) severed horse head(s) in key NM GOP bedrooms, so Weh backs off.

Also, I don't think Option Three precludes a heavy dose of Option One. McClatchy is pretty damn good.

P.S. A quick plug for my (easy) topical crossword of yesterday, "Don't get too war far out on Wilson." If you're the word type of nerd, you should be able to make quick work of it, ew.

to OldCoastie, I'd say he may just like to hear his own voice...

sent to Iraq for nine months and back, presenting a non question question to a panel...
(use your search to go way down in the transcript to find WEY)

Maybe I am naive but could it be that the Libby trial has had an effect on the comfortability of lying when it appears there may be a congressional investigation??? I mean, after seeing Libby convicted by the grand jury maybe folks are just a tad leery of lying if it looks like they might be forced to testify to their story at some point. If that were true it would make me feel a little bit better. I do think one consequence of the Libby trial is that "risk free lying" is not what it used to be.

So, maybe people are getting tired of protecting this administration and also fear being thrown under the bus. Clearly, this administration has shown that they will protect themselves at the risk of those lower on the ladder. I think the convictions of the abu graib gang with no consequences at the top was the first example. Then Libby. (there are probably others that have not come to mind this a.m) Everyone might expect an administration to do this, but this one has proven it...there's no question, that they will do illegal things and expect other people who follow their plans and their orders to take the fall. That starts to ask alot of people.

This is what happens with authoritarian governments and families. Eventually factions of people will begin to buck the system...they will do it in underhanded ways, but it will happen. It won't be out front because that is too dangerous. It will happen under cover. But I think that this administrations behavior is reaching a critical mass in terms of consequences...they are coming down the pike...and there is nothing that can be done to stop it...the critical question for all of us, is whether or not we will be swept into the consequences and how each of us can protect ourselves in the process?

It is about how much power and control the Bush administration is willing to use to keep the people under thumb. Wow, I can't believe we are having this conversation in america...but I think that is what it comes down to. And my fear is that they are not at the end of their comfort level when it comes to using power and control...We have already witness torture and death...the sooner the population forces them to the next level the better...because the solution is in the numbers...and accepting that there will be consequences for cornering this gang...at least at first. I don't see any way around it.

I believe this is part of the problem with the democrats. Everyone is afraid of the back lash and they should be. Bush/co WILL fight dirty and they will hurt you. This is how they attained their power. Not by vote or popularity...but by fear (and cheating). When this is true, it means that we have to be willing to face the consequences of confronting and I think some of the folks caught in the middle understand that they will pay consequences either way.

Bush/co will continue to escalate to the end. Unlike Nixon, he has nothing to lose because he has committed so many crimes, that he will have to take it all the way to protect his family secrets as well as himself in regard to the law. I think that as the consequences rise for protecting Bushco so will the number of people who choose the consequences of confrontation over those that Bushco will render.


Love the crossword, but it was a little too easy.

There are people Bush is willing to sacrifice and people he's not willing to sacrifice. I would put Rove and Karen Hughes in the not sacrifice category. They know way too much, going back to the destruction of Bush's National Guard records.

The Jeffs beat Keene State then RIC!

The Next Harrah?

They're going to the final four in the men's d3 hoop tournament in Salem VA next Friday and Saturday. I believe Amherst has two team sport national championships, women's lacrosse and women's squash. Could the men of Amherst finally accomplish what the women have twice?

Of all the team photos adorning the walls in Alumni Gym, not one is a photo of the ruggers. That's just wrong. link

With Weh's backtracking, it seems emptywheel got it right the first time, in option number 1, McClatchy is just that good.

US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, and it is by tradition not law, rule or regulation they serve four year terms. The priciple that must be protected here is the independence of the prosecutor. Especially if the clause of unknown origin in the renewed Patriot Act was specifically included to avoid scrutiny of the replacement candidates.

While the administration has since agreed to an advice and consent review of the candidates by the Senate, the muck trail that got this language into Patriot Act, if it was inseted for the purpose of facilitating these replacements appointments, may have left an oderous slime trail at the time the law was being drafted. Maybe McClatchy will make a few calls there too. Hello, may I please speak with Arlen Specter?


One of the reasons for the no rugger photos, I think, is the distinction between club and varsity sports.

And WRT the national championships--for a time, Amherst refused to compete in anything beyond NESCAC, so as to maintain a certain relationship between athletics and academics. When I was there, the woman's golf team almost certainly would have won nationals, had they been allowed to compete. And there are many other sports that probably could have, had they had the opportunity.

Wm. Ockham --

Thank you for taking the time to click through and for the reply. I've been making those puzzles for a long time "for the drawer," for friends, and for family--only releasing a few to the public. Inexperienced, it's tough to know how the punters will react. Thanks for your comment.

But... I could tell that one was going to be way too easy for most educated people--such as Plameologists. My playtester scolded me after I posted cw1 (fair warning: cw1 was a test--only a test--of my uploading abilities, using a slap-dash crossword that I'd never really liked in the first place... even the pattern is terrible). She pointed out that with only two regular readers at my weblog, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to post crosswords that make them both feel stupid. "Don't get too war far out on Wilson" was an overreaction in the wrong direction--now my two readers will think I'm underestimating them by dumbing things down too far. Alas, I live and learn.

I hope the next puzzle, which I'll pimp here in an open thread (unless somebody tells me to knock it off), will be more appropriately challenging. I'll shoot for somewhere in the neighborhood of "Friday evening, maybe early Saturday morning" (on the well-known scale of NYT-Monday-to-NYT-Sunday). It will have nothing to do with Plame or Libby (unless it does), but it will definitely be topical and bloggy.

P.S. I have an earlier draft of "Wilson" that uses ANATOMYOFDECEIT as a full-length answer right down the middle. Good call giving your book a 15-letter title, emptywheel.

I like William Ockham's explanation, maybe with a dash of "just couldn't help himself."

Put more snarkily, maybe Weh thought that he was talking under DC journalism rules. You know -- the rule about interviews being off the record unless the interviewee says otherwise. ;-)

I almost fell out of my seat Friday reading your post about Fitzgerald, rugby and Amherst. Fitz's Amherst affiliation was well known... yours not so much. I've been reading your posts for years on Plamegate, and your book, and still your post Friday took me by suprise. I was delighted.

I thought Ockham's explanation made sense, plus that McClatchy had the sense to track down the right person to interview. These people operate by different rules than the rest of us.

I think William Ockham has it close to right. When I read Weh's comments I was left with the distinct impression that he saw nothing wrong with what he had done or with the Justice Department's replacing Iglesias.

Classic case of hubris.

My guess is that it's a political calculation on Weh's part, supported and advised by his legal counsel. Sometimes honesty is actually a benefit to political aspirations and career, especially in the case where one might believe a certain person (Rove) is more your enemy than your friend, even though you both belong to the same political machine. For Weh, Rove could mean political damage, and Weh's confession is pre-emptive damage control.

But what do I know?


I assume you're also a JEff? I graduated in '90.

I'm in Ockham's camp on this. Weh's quotes sounded to me like a guy who didn't think he was speaking out of order at all, that this was the natural way of things.

I'd also bet that the McClatchy reporter did the interviews in the right order--having those two nameless party officials already in the bag before speaking with Weh would be a strong lever to pry open a tongue not used to being quiet. That's good reporting.

One thing that's never addressed in news stories is whether the 8 attorneys are likely to be reinstated as a result of all this.

Yes I am. '82 to start and '83 after a year off in the middle. I really love the place. I was away for a few decades after graduation but I've been able to get back quite a bit in the last few years. Did you know Heidi O '91? She wasn't a rugger, she was a coxswain on the lightweight boat and an English major.

I will propose an optimistic explanation. Even some Republic demagogues must need a verbal enema after so many years of "stuff" piling up so they relieve themselves by telling the truth. Then it's back to stifling it.

I see the first Weh comments as putting up a firewall around the NM Republican Party. He knows that Rove is trouble, and the best way to keep him from infecting the state party would be something like this -- a sort of standing up for some sense of Honesty. The fired NM US Attorney is, afterall, a State Republican, young, perhaps the kind of person you'd like to see run for office at some point -- perhaps get appointed a state judge under some future Republican Governor. Comes a time when you protect your party investment.

Would it be possible for the congress to fire, impeach or anything else, to get Gonzales out. And after they do, would it be possible for THEM to appoint the new attorney general, say one Patrick Fitzgerald???????????????????

I'm not a lawyer, so I'd like to know from anyone who is.

It's more fun to think of these guys as devious villains, but the weight of the evidence seems to support plain old stupid. My reaction to the firing of the Cunningham prosecutor was "wait - you can't possibly get away with that, can you?" and then "well, there's no way they'd do it if they couldn't get away with it" and then "hmmmm ... they don't seem to be getting away with it". I mean ... why do they keep doing such stupid things? Why out a CIA agent? Why imagine that anyone would change their minds about Wilson's findings based on a nepotism charge? If you know there are no WMD and you know that rival factions will go berserk the minute you depose Saddam, why invade with such a small army and no plan? If you're gonna fire Rumsfeld, why not before the election instead of afterwards? Why try to sell the port security contract to a Middle Eastern country? Why risk your career and a jail term for a free dinner at Signatures or a good seat to a basketball game? Why go out of your way to withhold body armor and screw over wounded veterans when it's so easy to get called out for it?


i asked myself that same question recently

and myself answered

"karl's got enemies."

wey knew what rove's response would be. he could not have been surprised by it.

every republican politician remembers dejulio's "mayberry machiavellis" description of rove

and the absolution its author was called to engage in after a chat with rove.

you only do this to karl if you - and a bunch of other republican ops - have got it in for the little fucker.

my sense is karl's weak now.

after all, he's the architect of the destruction of everything reagan and company tried to build from 1980 to 2000.


I was not surprised to read that you and Fitz shared a history of unruly behavior. There is something about rugby at American colleges that seems to attract more than its share of passionate idealists. Odd. And I am not sure why. Maybe rugby is a safety valve for people who take their studies, and the world, seriously.

Anyway, enough about that.

What I was most interested in was the Fitz admission that he was a second row without speed.

Now, I have never known a second row that had any speed. But I have also never known a second row that didn't think that he/she had speed, and wasn't constantly calling for the ball.

So maybe Fitz truly the unusual person he seems to be.

Sorry, to stay stuck on the rugby Ms. Wheeler, but...

I posted late on your message about your brief chat with Mr. Fitzpatrick. I was curious to know If Fitz told where he played post-law school? Did he play at all after Law School? Did he by chance play in the Chicago area with any of the club sides?



I too am a former rugger/former prosecutor.

The comments about the Neocons not providing enough armor to our soldiers (before and during the Iraq War) and the recent publicity of the deplorable conditions our wounded soldiers now endure in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center has me thinking about an article I once read about the health care costs of treating patients surviving motorcycle injuries.

If I am remembering correctly, once the state passed a mandatory helmut law, health care costs INCREASED, because helmuted bikers started surviving (when wearing helmuts) what were once deadly crashes. Could this economic correlation have factored into the Neocon war profit calculation and tipped the Neocons into withholding body armor and tank armor? Are the soldiers in Walter Reed now overrepresented by the injured from armored vehicles as compared to nonarmored vehicles?

I am still looking for a method to the Neocon madness.


I manage to spell at least one word wrong with every comment.

yo p daly:

that's how we know is't you, and not some imposter

I haven't brought up Tom DeFrank for a while. Keeping in mind my old theory that Cheney is his main source:


He played in NYC after law school. He didn't make it to Chicago until 2001.

I'm having EW withdrawals!

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