Friday, October 21, 2005


DeLay, in First Court Appearance, Seeks a New Judge

There is a bit of flavor in this article. Me like flavor. Note the reference to Earle as DeLay's "arch enemy." Note the inclusion of the wry comments by the judge.

But in reading the whole article, there seems to be a theme of "DeLay sure is a rascal." As opposed to, "DeLay sure is a self-serving, sleazy, sack of shit." That bothers me.

Also, not that anyone needs the opinion of a not-lawyer and not-academic, but I'm thinking that DeLay and his lawyer do not care at all whether or not he gets a new judge. They are just establishing the theme of a political witch hunt.

Darn that criminalization of politics!

Beltway speak

A Palpable Silence at the White House
Few Ready to Face Effects of Leak Case

From an article discussing who would take over if Rove has to step down:

Mehlman, who was White House political director before becoming chairman of the Republican National Committee, has been a key adviser, although some colleagues worry that bringing in the party chief might send too political a message.


First, who would be concerned by that, and second, who would be surprised by a political move here? Every move by the Bubble Boy administration is political.

Yes, I'm nitpicking. Just struck me as odd.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Take the not-so-good with the good

From today's Daily Howler:

That someone so smart could say something so odd helps define the strange state we’re now in.

Funny, that's pretty much how I would describe Somerby and his work each time he writes about the Plame case.

Helpful Plame case link, via The Editors at the Poor Man All-Pony-All-the-Time Institute, who by the way are infuriatingly good.

Outside looking in

Times Does Duty, And So Does Judy–But It’s A Hash

(Via Kurtz).

“I didn’t know what the story was,” Ms. Miller told The Observer. “I knew there was information [that] needed to be pursued. Maybe we had a White House smear here, or an incompetent trip to Africa that needed to cover itself. I had another story to do [on the military’s search for Iraqi W.M.D.], and that is what I wrote then.”

" incompetent trip to Africa that needed to cover itself."

Who outside of the leakers and Miller would believe that? That outing a covert agent was a crucial part of the story of a fact-finding mission, and the greater good was served by exposing that agent?

I can't even begin to understand that, it is so illogical.

Maybe this can make sense if you are so far inside the system that rules and laws seem optional. But from here on the outside?

Give me a fucking break.

There are some fascinating (but probably inconsequential) tidbits in this article.

Joseph Lelyveld was interim executive editor between Mr. Raines and Mr. Keller, from June 5 through July 30, 2003. That covered the entire span of time in which Ms. Miller had her three conversations with Mr. Libby. But, befitting the invisibility of editors in Ms. Miller’s world, the name of Mr. Lelyveld—who is, in a Kremlinological Times wrinkle, the companion of the reporter Ms. Scott [one of the reporters on the Oct. 16 mega-article]—appeared nowhere in the entire package.


In fact, Mr. Keller and Ms. Abramson had sharply rebuked Ms. Miller for that drifting. Though the Times account didn’t mention it, the two called Ms. Miller into Mr. Keller’s office this past winter and told her that she could no longer cover national security in any form for the paper.

“The implication was that she would resign,” said a person with knowledge of the meeting. Though Ms. Miller “blew up,” as the source put it, she took a two-week vacation, with Mr. Keller saying he expected to hear on her return whether she accepted the reassignment. When she came back, she agreed to the arrangement.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The waiting is, apparently, the hardest part

No Final Report Seen in Inquiry on C.I.A. Leak

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is not expected to take any action in the case this week, government officials said. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.

Great. Now what will I do with myself.

I guess I can always gripe about stuff like this, from the same article.

It is not clear whether Mr. Fitzgerald has learned who first identified the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak in July 2003.

After all this time and angst, this is how the NYT presents this? "...first in July 2003."

Did we not just learn that Judy Miller talked to Libby in June? Are we now back to the notion that it all started with Novak and everything followed from there?


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Meanwhile, over in bizarro world

Criminalizing Conservatives

Fall of 2005 will be remembered as a time when it became clear that a strategy of criminalization had been implemented to inflict defeat on conservatives.

Close, but I think that here in the real world, that sentence should read: Fall of 2005 will be remembered as a time when it became clear that a strategy of criminal behavior had been implemented by conservatives.

Why are conservative Republicans, who control the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time in living memory, so vulnerable to the phenomenon of criminalization? Is it simple payback for the impeachment of Bill Clinton? Or is it a reflection of some deep malady at the heart of American politics? If criminalization is seen to loom ahead for every conservative who begins successfully to act out his or her beliefs in government or politics, is the project of conservative reform sustainable?

Or, is it because, dare I say it: THEY BROKE THE FUCKING LAW.

Oh my. I hope I haven't given anyone the vapors.

Via E.J. Dionne, who is a lot more polite about it.

Daily specials: Scandal and corruption

The Washington Post today reads like a menu of corrupt Republican stories. Sample them all!

Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case

DeLay Had Rejected Deal for Guilty Plea to Misdemeanor

In addition, lead attorney Dick DeGuerin and his two co-counsels filed separate motions seeking to quash both counts of the Oct. 3 money-laundering indictment against DeLay. They cited multiple reasons that the transactions at the heart of the alleged offense were not a violation of Texas law. The lawyers said, for example, that the law covered the "money laundering of funds" such as coins or currency, and that the money transfers cited in the indictment involved "checks" that were not "funds."

I'm just a layman, but that seems like some crackerjack lawyering to me. Or wait, crackerjack? Or crackpot? One of those.

Lawmaker's Abramoff Ties Investigated
Ohio's Ney Has Disavowed Lobbyist

Ney approved a 2002 license for an Israeli telecommunications company to install antennas for the House. The company later paid Abramoff $280,000 for lobbying. It also donated $50,000 to a charity that Abramoff sometimes used to secretly pay for some of his lobbying activities.

This alone would be scandal enough for one Congress. But given everything else that's happening, this will not even register with the press and the public.

Shallow Howie

The Judy War

I've been trying to figure out why the Judy Miller saga has become so all-consuming for so many people.


Then it hit me. It's the war, of course. We're re-fighting the war through this case.

Ah, Howie. I still read your column everyday, because it is a way for a lazy (and Lame) reader to get a sampling of coverage and opinion. I am frequently frustrated about how you balance that coverage, and how you fail to recognize the depth of some issues.

Like the passage above.

I mean, of course this is about the war. Where have you been?

It's also about a dishonest, above-the-law, unaccountable Executive office and Republican party. Or is that being too partisan?


He was a ball of energy, pumping out stories at a pace that would exhaust any two other reporters. He did everything fast—walking, talking, writing, interviewing, and reporting. “Howie already had a reputation for being a tenacious and hard-working investigative reporter,” recalls Kaufman, who followed Kurtz from the Record to the Star.

Slow down, Howie, and give things a little more thought.

Monday, October 17, 2005

In the Bubble, things are simple. Real simple.

Bush Is in No Hurry on Katrina Recovery

"I recognize there's an attitude in Washington that says, 'We know better than the local people.' That's just not the attitude I have," Bush told NBC's "Today" show.

Well, at least the president recognizes that he is less intelligent than mayors, NO businesspeople, state pols, and Louisiana Congresspeople. Perhaps that recognition is an important step for him.

Seems like there are two possibilities. One is, Bubble Boy doesn't know what to do, so he is doing nothing. The second is, Bubble Boy doesn't care what happens there and wants to avoid getting in the way of the gentrification of the city and looting of US tax dollars by lobbyists and cronies.

What's that? Maybe he sincerely believes that...nah, let's just stop there.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Notey the Notebook

Not that anyone needs the links, but here they are.

The Miller Case: A Notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal

My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room

Boy, thank god for Miller's notebook. That useful little guy remembers so much more than Miller herself does. And the fella seems to have even written things down on his own. "Valerie Flame!" Miller is mystified where this came from, not realizing that the notebook itself jotted it down! And he was wise enough to write it down separately from Miller's other notes - can't make it seem like that one note came from the same place as her other notes! No, that might cause a person to think that there was only one source for the Valerie/Victoria Wilson/Plame/Flame information.

And that sure would have been awkward.

Just in: the Society of Professional Journalists have decided to give the award to the intrepid notebook himself! Hooray, notebook!

Oh, those principled conservatives

How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck
Abramoff Used DeLay Aide, Attacks On Allies to Defeat Anti-Gambling Bill

Abramoff quietly arranged for eLottery to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign, including Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.


In the following months, Abramoff directed the company to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to various organizations, faxes, e-mails and court records show. The groups included [Grover] Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform; Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition; companies affiliated with Reed; and a Seattle Orthodox Jewish foundation, Toward Tradition.


The eLottery money went first to Norquist's foundation, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and then through a second group in Virginia Beach called the Faith and Family Alliance, before it reached Reed's company, Century Strategies. Norquist's group retained a share of the money as it passed through.