Saturday, October 29, 2005

Scooter Libby: Competent Enough to be Chief of Staff . . . Yet Forgetful? 

This goes to show how much trouble Libby is in:
Libby Lawyer Outlines Defense in Leak Case - Yahoo! News: "The lawyer for Vice President
Dick Cheney's former top aide is outlining a possible criminal defense that is a time-honored tradition in Washington scandals: A busy official immersed in important duties cannot reasonably be expected to remember details of long-ago conversations."

There are many terms that could be used to describe Scooter Libby, but "forgetful" is not one of them. Does he really believe he can convince a jury that he was smart enough to be the Vice President's Chief of Staff, smart enough to be intimately involved in planning a war, yet too stupid to remember key steps he took to help sell the watr to the American people?

It's simply not plausible to think a guy like Scooter Libby could somehow forget the steps he took to scare the crap out of all of us on trumped up threats on an imminent nuclear attack.

Keep in mind that some of this "forgotten" coversations were with Judith Miller, and were done specifically to try to discredit the person - Joseph Wilson - who was throwing a wrench into their fear-mongering by pointing out that it was built on a pack of lies.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter Libby Resigns: why resigned rather than fired? 

I can't believe Lewis "Scooter" Libby managed to resign before he was fired. What would it take for the Bush administration to actually fire someone? Is there any leadership at all in the White House?

Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment - Yahoo! News: "Vice President
Dick Cheney's chief of staff resigned Friday after he was indicted on charges of obstructing a grand jury investigation and lying about his actions that blew the CIA cover of an Iraq war critic's wife."

Of course, the current administration isn't the only group showing a severe lack of leadership in the face of incompetence and/or criminality among their staff: The New York Times still hasn't fired Judith Miller.

Why a Voice Vote Honoring Rosa Parks? 

I heard that the Senate approved a resolution to honor Rosa Parks via a voice vote. Were members of the senate afraid to go on record to honor this wonderful woman?

Considering the recent vote on anti- lynching initiatives, I'm theorizing that it's still not politically wise to be pro-civil rights in some states and districts.

O'Reilly's "coward" list. Hilarious. 

I wouldn't believe it if I didn't hear it. This sounds like something coming from the right-wing equivalent of Wayne's World. Is Bill O'Reilly broadcasting from his parent's basement? Hell, Wayne & Garth didn't have to call people cowards to get guests on their show. They managed to get Aerosmith and Madonna to come to their set.

Seriously, are the people on his "cowards" list truly cowards, or are they simply not interested in engaging this hot-head in a debate where he controls the microphone? For example, did George Clooney agree to go on Charlie Rose with Bill O'Reilly so they could have a moderated debate at a neutral studio? Why hasn't O'Reilly taken Clooney up on that generous offer? Is Clooney's challenge to O'Reilly the reason Clooney didn't make O'Reilley's "coward" list?

O'Reilly's "coward" list ... [Media Matters]: "All right? Even if it is [President] Bush or Cheney or the big shots. You have a moral obligation to do that. If you don't, you're a coward. You're a coward. Because if you're going to attack somebody, no matter how you do it, then you have to be man or woman enough to stand up and defend the attack. Otherwise, you're a weasel. You know weasels run out of their little holes, and they run around, and they bite chickens or whatever they're doing, and they run back in their hole."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Power Line's John Hinderaker on Miers Withdrawing 

A quote from Hinderaker on Miers withdrawing her nomination:

Power Line: MIers Withdraws: "I feel sorry for Miers; she was caught in a crossfire, and never really had a chance to speak for herself. But what we've seen so far may be only a tune-up for what awaits the next nominee."

1. She could have declined the nomination.

2. The didn't HAVE to resign, and she clearly could have gotten in front of a any microphone in the country to speak for herself.

Get real, Hinderaker. How can you possibly feel sorry for someone who had as many good options as she did in this situation?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Power Line's Inconsistency on Up or Down Votes for Judicial Nominees 

Is Paul Mirengoff suggesting that Harriet Meirs doesn't deserve an up or down vote by the Senate? Doesn't that go against the long history of PRO-UP-OR-DOWN VOTE rhetoric spewed on Powerline Blog?

Americans for Better Justice: "At the same time, those who believe that Miers is not highly qualified and not demonstrably conservative (or orignialist, or non-activist, or whatever) are well within their rights in calling for the president to withdraw the nomination and substitute someone better."

If she truly isn't qualified, doesn't the majority of the Senate (that's the GOP) have enough intellectual honesty to simply vote her down based on merit?

How strange to hear Powerline Blog stating that a nominee doesn't deserve an up or down vote. Let's look at a few posts from their past:

July 12, 2005 Pro Up or Down : John Hinderaker says McCain is right when he says all nominees deserve an up or down vote.

July 09, 2005 Pro Up or Down : John Hinderaker says Dems "should not deny any nominee an up-or-down vote."

June 14, 2005 Anti Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff criticizes John Kerry's request for an up or down vote on anti-lynching legislation. Why are up or down votes important for judges (until today) but not important when it comes to bigotry?

June 13, 2005 Anti Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff flip-flops on up-or-down votes: "Personally, I believe that there is some slight value to retaining that right. That way, corrupt or clearly unqualified judges who somehow would win on an up-or-down vote despite their corruption or incompetence can be blocked."

June 3, 2005 Pro Up or Down : John Hinderaker flip-flops back to demanding an up or down vote for all nominees: "The principle we've now agreed on is that every judicial nominee should receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor--which is exactly the compromise that Bill Frist proposed."

May 25, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff claims that any senator who denies nominees an up or down vote by cutting a deal with Dems (to avoid a filibuster) will eliminate their chances of being president. [ed. Frist managed to find a much more effective way to do that.]

May 23, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff bashes Sen. Graham for compromising on a few judicial nominees, thus denying them a right to an up or down vote: "Senator Graham and his friends have likely given away one of the president's most important powers -- the power to nominate Supreme Court Justices of his choosing and get an up-or-down vote on them. I hope they enjoy the praise they are about to get from the Washington Post and the New York Times."

May 17, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Powerline states that reporters, "were exhibiting the same kind of anti-administration partisanship that got Newsweek into trouble" by asking McClellan to explain where in the constitution it says jusicial nominees deserve an up or down vote.

May 10, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Byron York and John Hinderaker both post in favor of an up or down vote on judicial nominees.

May 8, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Powerline's Scott Johnson pens a column for The Weekly Standard called "They Were Against It, Before They Were For It" that explains the changing positions of Dems on filibusters. Quite similar to how Powerline used to be for up or down votes but would now believe nominees don't deserve up or down votes (only 5 months later).

April 30, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Powerline says Frist's proposal to guarantee up or down votes on judicial nominees. Says it seems like a good idea to him [pocket rocket].

April 15, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff states that Dems are being dishonest by wanting to filibuster certain judicial nominees: "This transcript from Brit Hume's Wednesday night interview with law professor Jonathan Turley confirm how dishonest the Democrats are being when it comes to explaining their efforts to deny an up-or-down vote on ten of the president's judicial nominees."

April 12, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff describes up or down votes as "fair-minded" only 6 months ago: "The Republicans should have the upper hand because all they will be asking for is an up-or-down vote. This will strike the public as fair-minded, as indeed it is."

April 07, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Miringoff claims we need to end, "the Democrats' abusive efforts to deny the president's nominees an up-or-down vote."

March 15, 2005 Pro Up or Down : Paul Mirengoff looked forward to up or down votes in March: "It is pleasant to contemplate hearing the Democrats remind the country, as they bring the Senate's business to a halt rather than grant an up-or-down vote to the judicial nominees of a president who received more than 50% of the vote, that they, the Democrats, gained 48 percent of the vote during the past three senatorial election cycles."

November 6, 2003 Pro Up or Down : John Hinderaker states about Janice Rogers Brown: "I don't agree with some of her background. But she should get an up-or-down vote."

August 1, 2003 Pro Up or Down : Scott Johnson compares to denial of up or down judicial nominee votes to Nazi behavior.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hinderaker's Folly 

Larry Johnson takes a shot at John Hinderaker's misunderstanding of the facts in the Valerie Plame case:

Hinderaker's Folly: "If ignorance is bliss, then John Hinderaker is one happy fellow when it comes to talking about Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. According to Hinderaker, who was appearing on Howard Kurtz's CNN show about the media, he trots out once again the big lie of Republican talking points by claiming that Joe Wilson lied in his July 2003 op-ed. Hinderaker says that Wilson, 'reported to the CIA that what he found out was that Saddam Hussein in fact had tried to buy uranium from Niger in the late 1990s. He then wrote an op-ed in which he lied about his own report.'"

It's one thing to rant and rave from the relative obscurity of your own blog (like I do) but when you decide to try to mainstream factually incorrect statements, you're going to get beaten down. One way to avoid this is to turn comments on, Hindrocket. People will voluntarily keep you in check. It's really a nice feature.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson's Strange Comments on Meet the Press 

Here's a short snippet of Hutchinson's comments on Meet The Press this morning:
I also think we are seeing grand juries and US attornies and district attornies that go for technicalities: sort of a gotcha mentality in this country, and I think we have to weigh both sides of this issue very carefully, and not just jump to conclusions because someone is in the public arena, that they are guilty without being able to put their case forward.

A few thoughts:

1. Technicalities.
To suggest Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to bring someone down on a technicality is ludicrous. However, if someone isn't forthcoming in their testimony, thus has to make multiple trips as they "remember" additional facts (egs. Judith Miller's "finding" notes from previous meetings with Libby, Karl Rove's FOUR trips to the grand jury) there could be convictions due to technicalities created by people who obstructed justice. If they'd just tell the truth, they would only have one mess to deal with.

2. What does Hutchinson mean by, "...without being able to put their case forward." Is there something preventing Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, "Scooter" Libby, George W. Bush, Judith Miller, Tim Russert, Steven Hadley, Robert Novak, etc., etc., etc., from calling ANY news organization so they could tell their story? What news organization wouldn't let them tell their story? It's been a LONG time coming, and none of them have been forthcoming with what they knew and when they knew it. To suggest - as Kay Bailey Hutchinson has - that they haven't been able to put their case forward, is absolutely idiotic.

3. Weighing both sides of the issue:
See #2. If they assused would simply tell us the truth about what happened and when, we could weigh both sides of the issue.

4. Jumping to conclusions. Here are a few observations:

1. The White House used to boldly deny any involvement in the Plame case, then they quit talking once it because clear that both Libby and Rove were involved, and maybe many others.

2. Rove has been less visible in recent weeks. Why is the White House separating him from the president?

3. It has been reported that Bush rebuked Rove for his involvement in the Plame case. Depending on when that took place effects how long the president witheld information he knew about this case from the public.

4. As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out at least a month ago on the Huffington Post, there would be no grand jury if it wasn't first shown that Valerie Plame Wilson was indeed an undercover CIA agent. Had that not been shown, the case would have stopped a LONG time ago.

5. Judith Miller still hasn't revealed who her second source was in the case. Did she "remember" who this was in her second trip to the grand jury? It's amazing what someone manages to remember once they're possibly facing obstruction charges.

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