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April 02, 2007


so george bush has a perfect record

he fucks up everything he touches

my father had the "Reverse Midas" touch. everything he tried to fix around the house turned to shit

george bush has the "Reverse Midas" touch much worse than my father ever had

I've heard of Surf and Turf, but Surge and Purge?

I'd like to see and hear Specter telling the various committees everything he knows about how some of these things got past him when they were being done by one or another of his staffers. The USA appointment stuff would be a good start, although I seem to recall other incidents earlier where 'a staffer' slipped stuff by him.


Between you and ReddHead at the Lake the USA story is certainly getting great blogtime. Bartlett got crap this weekend on the talk shows. Leahy slapped that down bigtime. They are a worried bunch in Rovelandia.

I was suddenly struck by how ironic it is that because we have experienced former prosecutors as Democratic representatives, we have a solid case grinding forward against the Bush Justice Department, and since they filled the department with political hacks instead of competent lawyers, they don't even know how to defend themselves.


Superb point. It was one I made when watching Sheldon Whitehouse ream Sampson the other day--that we have, and will continue to get, all the good former prosecutors (I'm counting Arlen among the "ridiculous former prosecutors"). But as you point out, they know how to build a case....


There is a lot to the John Nowacki character in this story. He has been in a lot of the dump emails.

OK, if things are proceeding as speculated, why in the name of Winn-Dixie hasn't Abu G been asked to spend more time with his family already?

My theories:
1. a new independent AG would observe -- and unlike Abu G -- investigate obvious cases of administrative wrongdoing. The bad coverage DOJ is getting is better for the White House than the just-waiting-to-be-investigated scandals Abu G is currently pretending not to see.

2. George W. Bush, being childish, was mad when he learned that names of replacements were being floated (to McClatchy news) and he single-handedly put the kibosh on adult-supervised damage control and decided that Abu G would stay. In other words, advisors were ready for Gonzales to resign, but Bush screwed everything up.

I tend to favor theory number 2. I can't think of a comparable public official -- aside from Rummy, but that was without a Dem controlled Congress -- who has managed to stick around despite so obviously being damaged goods. I am genuinely perplexed as to why the AG hasn't yet been cut loose. Even before Sampson's testimony Gonzales was toast. Can anyone think of a serious reason why Gonzales didn't resign two weeks ago? That the AG is still around is incomprehensible to me. I can only chalk it up to Bush's own stubbornness.

So, who actually is in position to prosecute such a case, should congress in one or many comittees amass enough evidence? I kinda doubt the A.G. would oblige, or disqualify himself. A LOT of fairly nasty infighting still has to take place before a criminal obstruction case could be brought, is that correct? What would the scenery have to look like to make that a possibility? A new A.G. willing to authorize an investigation to officially notice what is pretty clear? Can Torquemada Gonzales be impeached? Can (or will) congress authorize an independent investigation, and would such an action need a presidential signature?

Jim E

I do think it has to do with Bush's stubbornness. Losing Rummy was a blow to Cheney (and of course, he found a way to keep him on the payroll, at least for a while). Cheney has the emptional maturity to put survival over loyalty.

But losing Abu G would be a blow to Bush's TX mafia, which he doesn't have the emotional maturity to handle.

But I also wonder whether they seek to keep Abu G in to prvent this from going back to Miers and Rove. If AGAG remaains loyal, then he won't bust Rove. But if he doesn't, then they'll have a clear shot at Rove.

Goodling's attourney and Congressional defenders yell 'Partisan' when she's in charge of vetting party loyalty... the Rovian fog and smear machines are hard at work.

I wonder also if Bush's loyalty to Gonzales might simply be a reflection of one of the lessons of Watergate: When they start to flip on you, it is all over, and they only start to flip on you when they think they have been abandoned. (Dean, primarily, but an entire list of minor-league watergate baddies were abandoned by the admin just before they flipped.)

It never occurred to me that Bush and Co. would have to worry about Gonzales turning on Rove. This administration has been remarkably effective in getting people to keep their mouths shut, and take the blame. I find this one difficult to believe, particularly since Gonzales is generally sticking to his story, even in the face of damning evidence. Gonzales has repeatedly shown a willingness to remain a punching bag, so it seems the administration could safely cut him loose without worrying about him changing his tune. (Er, sorry about the mixed metaphor. A tuneful punching bag that can be cut loose?)

Also, loyalty only seems to work one-way in this administration, so I'm not sure I buy Bush's personal concern over Gonzales. I see his stubbornness on this point as directed at his meddlesome aides who were already working on the resignation without his consent, not his loyalty to Gonzales. But who knows.

With that said, I'm not so upset that Gonzales is sticking around. As long as he's still in place, it'll always be an ongoing scandal, not ancient history (contrary to Time mag's dreams). So I'm pleased that Bush got all pissy and decided to ignore sane advice.

Stick by Gonzales, Mr President! You're own credibility (what's left of it, anyway) is riding on the AG you keep supportin'. Great decision, Decider!

But a former prosecutor who did not get a U.S. Attorney post was left with a sour feeling after his interview in 2006. "Monica was in charge, in essence, of the interview," recalls the former supervisory assistant U.S. Attorney. "I walked out of that room and thought, 'Wow, I've just run into a buzz saw.'"

Now, doesn't that just paint a picture for ya? The little pretend lawyer from Jesus Saves University trying to do a real interview of a real criminal attorney? See, that just proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don't give a shit about competence, they just want the kind of loyalty that even the military doesn't expect from its troops. Total frakkin' obedience. It seems more like the RC church than any government after Louis XV I've ever studied. Well, except maybe Pol Pot's, where they took away glasses from folks who could read.

lizard said, " ...and they only start to flip on you when they think they have been abandoned."

This could be it. Gonzales goes back pretty far with Bush and may know about buried dirt we haven't even heard of yet.

A commenter over at TPM Muckraker found Goodling's graduate school web site. It's interesting for insight into her personality. It includes a sad little graduate school paper which shows a serious lack of original thought, excessive use of quotes, and broad generalizations lacking citation of evidence. A C would be generous.



I think the WH is beginning to realize it may lose Gonzalez but it truly cannot afford to lose Gonzalez. Gonzalez knows where all the bodies are kept. I'm not alleging murders; I'm alleging the DOJ has been involved in the criminal politicization of its own function. Bush and the Republicans cannot survive this as a full-blown scandal.

Gonzalez testimony in front of Congress under oath, on more than one occasion and on more than one topic, has been contradictory to his own testimony to Congress under oath on other occasions.

BushCo's skillful tactics of changing their cover story to fit the known facts without blowing the cover of the story has caught up with them. They did not recognize that shifting explanations (which have served them so well in avoiding accountability and responsibility) would be found to be unacceptable by Congress and the American people in their Attorney General. Justice, it seems, is our sacred cow. Lie all you want on the bully pulpit. Lie about the WMD, the war in Iraq and social security but do not lie about the politicization of the Department of Justice.

If Gonzalez goes, he is just the fall guy. The President's chief domestic policy advisor is the man with the plan.

I hop they ask AbuG about emails and the Plame case, both 'off-site' emails and the disappeared/recovered WH emails.

I'm sticking with my theory that Monica is not seeking immunity. She's delaying everything she can, as long as she can. She's shaping up to be a true believer. She may be one of those you could burn at the stake and she'd curse you all the way.

"She may be one of those you could burn at the stake and she'd curse you all the way."

She's far from the only one -- it accounts in part for the amazing "message discipline" that has been a hallmark of this Administration.

Abu Gonzales will not flip -- he is no "fall guy", he is the Attorney General of the United States, and was working hand-in-glove with his former White House colleagues on the purge. His pathetically ludicrous and shifting explanations of his behavior are entirely due to his zeal to protect his long-time boss, George Bush.

Any normal politician would have cut Gonzales loose by now in order to take the steam out of the scandal. But Bush is the reincarnation of Winston Churchill, so he is not subject to normal rules. And the MSM still does not subject Bush to normal rules, so Gonzales totters on. I'm sure old pros like Waxman, Conyers and Leahy cannot believe their good fortune.

(One of these days someone will have to explain to me why Bush is compared to Winston Churchill, given that the former is a stranger to the English language and the latter was not only one of the last great orators, he actually supported his family's rather extravagant lifestyle on his earnings as an accomplished professional writer).

Filling the DOJ with dolts loyal to Bush resonates with how Bremer's CPA was staffed. I would expect to see the same pattern across most governmental agencies and departments.

Bush will hang on to Gonzoles primarily because he fears the process of replacing him. Leahy will not proceed to confirmation with another Bushie Nominee, and he will probably have considerable Republican Support in that. Democrats will demand a replacement AG who though Republican, has little connection to Bush Circles. I noted that when the name of Danforth began to be raised as a possibility, that was when Bush started his "Stand up for Gonzoles" act. Remember Danforth quit the UN after a short term, (opening the way for the Bolton appointment) and then wrote a book against the Religious Right's influence in the Bush Administration. It might not be Danforth, but naming someone with some ethics, and his own earned political reputation was what forced Bush's stubborn act to surface.

I've pointed this out before -- but during Watergate we had a number of AG's due to Nixon's efforts to keep political control of DOJ -- and the Senate Judicary Committee used its confirmation power to fight that. The first time they tried was when Elliot Richardson was appointed, and they extracted a gentleman's handshake agreement regarding the appointment of Archie Cox as Special Prosecutor. As we know, Richardson resigned rather than violate his word with the Senate -- the Saturday Night Massacre. The Judiciary committee did it again with the next AG, but this time they did it in writing, resulting in Jaworski as Special Prosecutor.

I think this is good precedent, and I hope Leahy has found the memo used in the second round back in 1973, has dusted it off, and is ready when Bush is forced to make another AG nomination. Getting agreement on a Special Prosecutor as part of the confirmation package would put all this stuff where it belongs, in the criminal courts. A Special Prosecutor could call a Grand Jury, which would have no problem getting Rove, Meirs, Goodling and all the rest hauled in under oath, (and we know how much Rove just loves meeting with Grand Juries) -- and if there is criminality here, indictments would follow. Then a new AG could clean house at DOJ, move out the USA's who are unqualified and overly political operative types, and stand up something that would be acceptable as a relatively depoliticized DOJ.

DeWitt Grey | April 02, 2007 at 19:17

You make a strong case. I buy it.

if bush wants to replace abu gonzo, now would be the time for him top go

can you say "Recess Appointment" ???

I'd bet gonzo is gone by friday

and to DeWitt Grey, in re Churchill:

the bushistas learned their lesson from dan quayle, never compare george to anybody who worked with somebody still living

there ain't a well known living person who could say "I knew Winston Churchill, and you're no Churchill

Remember Dowd's (the political operator) comment about being "in love" with Bush? Rove's comments upon first sighting Bush? Tweety's rapture over Commander Codpiece's "package"?

Oil isn't the only thing which gushes.

True love what what they were looking for when staffing these positions, not simple loyalty or even fealty. Love will accept torments, criticism, and martyrdom, because the endurance of suffering proves the strength and sincerity of the love.

Combine this with the messianic religious beliefs (150 graduates of Robertson's schools alone spread throughout government?), and their loyalty to a person rather than a document (such as the Constitution) becomes even more troublesome a matter to those who believe that no man is above the law.

Getting a staffer to flip is going to be as difficult as getting someone to betray their love... and a self-immolating martyr will set an example of stubborness for rallying the others.

However, people do fall out of love eventually, as the object of affection proves his unworthiness.

Hero worship only continues when there is a hero underneath all of the adulation.

the cult of bush?

I wish that I could honestly offer a pun on Bushido, however, he has no discipline, moral code, or finer feelings... and is a coward, besides!

Yet staffers worship him. Some of that may be due to the bubble. If you spend 100-hour weeks with colleagues who also love him, you never get a slap of cold rain on the grey cells.

Bushido! Perfect!

I'm glad the Dems are taking this tact, its about time they showed some real political strategy. With any luck they will have some real ammunition for AG and Rove!


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