Archive for June 13th, 2006

Starting To Feel A Little Better…

Still not happy about Rover evading the much-deserved noose, but Eschacommenter DemByDefault has managed to brighten my day considerably with this happy little tidbit from The Hotline:

As Taegan Goddard reports over at Political Wire, “key allies of Sen. Joseph Lieberman

(D-CT) are making contingency plans” for an Indie bid.

And now we learn that the CT chapter of AFT will buck the three-term Sen to back Ned Lamont.

AFT becomes the first major union to bail out on Lieberman.

We heard very recently from one of Lieberman’s closest friends that he knows he could “really lose this thing.”

If more unions defect, he’ll have good reason to think that.


Shorter CT Dems: “You had me at, ‘Someone’s running against Lieberman.’ ”

UPDATE: Also, my blog is the #3 Google search result for we hate ligers. Thanks, Three Rivers Online Guy!

UPDATE 2: What Jane says:

Things look better and better for Lamont every day, and I hope every Senator who ignored our faxes and voted for cloture on Alito gets a little shiver when they watch what is happening to Joe.

Exactly. I want Joe’s demise to send the message that we want to start getting some value for our support. Donation without representation is no longer acceptable.

1 comment June 13th, 2006 at 09:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google,Lamont,Lieberman,Politics,Wankers

Still Not Reassured

Well, the ever-dependable watertiger tried to cheer me up under my woe-is-me-Rove-is-free post by pointing me towards the shining beacon of legal insight that is firedoglake, where Christy (and Otis) have some postmortem analysis on the Rove non-indictment, basically to the effect that it looks like Rove might have cut a deal to rat out a bigger fish (can a fish be ratted out?). WT also suggested that the Wilsons might now hit Rove with a civil suit, which would distract and frustrate him during this year’s midterm campaign.

So a lot of my fellow liberals are now all excited by the prospect of Rove helping Fitz nail Cheney. It would certainly be an impressive scalp, but trading Rove for Cheney doesn’t really make my heart sing. The thing is, Rove is still a major asset to the Republicans. Nobody else is as good at throwing slime around, or at packaging fear and hate as courage and virtue – tricks the Republicans will desperately need to distract the voters from their godawful track record while In Charge Of Everything.

Conversely, as emptywheel observes (again by way of FDL), Cheney is a liability, an uncharismatic and immovable loose cannon who makes the administration look bad. Throwing him to the wolves could actually be a net positive for Bush and the Republicans, especially if it gave them an opportunity to start grooming Bush’s successor so he could run as an incumbent vice-president (or president, should the Dems retake Congress and become uncharacteristally spinal).

The other problem with a Cheney indictment is that it’s less harmful from an image perspective. Rove is unquestionably Bush’s creature, and anything he does reflects directly on his master, who is unquestionably the face of the Republican party. Cheney, on the other hand, is a separate power center unto himself, and if he gets indicted, the media and Bush’s surrogates can use that to distance his actions from the president. If Cheney notoriously does his own thing and doesn’t really report to Bush, then Bush can’t be responsible for his crimes. Yes, I know that should reflect badly on Bush The Strong Leader, but it’ll be glossed over with a what-can-you-do-about-those-headstrong-employees shake of the head (remember how no-one questioned Bill Keller letting Judy Miller run wild at the NYT?).

As for the possibility of the Wilsons filing a civil suit against Rove, it seems a poor consolation prize. First of all, I don’t know if a civil suit can gain steam fast enough to hamper Rove’s midterm machinations (Little help? Any lawyers in the house?). Second of all, I don’t think a civil suit is something that would trigger a Rovesignation. Third of all, it’s a lot easier to spin a lawsuit brought by an individual (especially a self-promoting, unhinged moonbat individual!) than a lawsuit brought by The Federal Government. A Wilson lawsuit would simply be disparaged as harassment by a sore loser who just can’t stand it that his bete noire couldn’t be taken down by “legitimate” means.

I know, I know. It’s not over yet. Fitz may still have some more shoes to drop, and maybe Rove screws up and gets indicted after all. In December.

3 comments June 13th, 2006 at 07:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Favorites,Libby/Plame,Politics,Rove,Wankers


Fitz goes soft on us:

The prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case on Monday advised Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, that he would not be charged with any wrongdoing, effectively ending the nearly three-year criminal investigation that had at times focused intensely on Mr. Rove.

The decision by the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, announced in a letter to Mr. Rove’s lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, lifted a pall that had hung over Mr. Rove who testified on five occasions to a federal grand jury about his involvement in the disclosure of an intelligence officer’s identity.

In a statement, Mr. Luskin said, “On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.”

Based on everything I’ve read about Fitz, the only conceivable (and non-tinfoil) explanation is that he didn’t think he could prove wrongdoing. Rove is one slippery sumbitch.

I think it’s time for Jason Leopold to burn his sources (if indeed he ever had any) and go away forever.

UPDATE: The big problem with this is not just the obvious fact that Rove will have a free hand to orchestrate yet another campaign of smears, dirty tricks, and faux-patriotism/Christianity (it is my fondest hope that this is the year that the voters see through it and decisively reject it, but I won’t hold my breath). The other big problem is that now, unless Bush and/or Cheney are indicted (not likely) the administration can deploy the One Bad Apple spin to dismiss Libby as just an overzealous rogue operator.

“Certainly we directed Scooter to counter Mr. Wilson’s outrageous slander, but my goodness, we never expected him to resort to anything improper or illegal. That’s simply not how we do things in this administration .” And yes, they really would be able to say this with a straight face.

UPDATE 2: As I think about Leopold’s “Sealed Vs. Sealed” piece, I have to wonder whether Leopold was really reporting, or just covering his own sloppy ass. It certainly is convenient for Leopold if he can say he was totally right that Fitz was just about to indict Rove, but then AG^2 stepped in, and No-One Will Ever Know because it’s a Secret.

Also, welcome to Daou Report readers! I’m not entirely sure what I did to merit a link, so I’m assuming it’s random. But I’m still happy to have it. Um, if you’re serious political wonks, please don’t read the Mosquitophone or Bollywood Superhero posts. Thank you.

UPDATE 3: Arrgh. I must apologize for conflating Leopold’s “Sealed Vs. Sealed” article with some of the speculation surrounding it. Leopold himself makes no claim that it has anything to do with an attempt to suppress Fitz. He just points out its existence and irregularity, although I would not be surprised if the aforementioned speculation was exactly what he was hoping for. I think he’s clean on this, but he’s still hopelessly discredited, fit only to work for the Republicans. Has anyone, ahem, filled Jeff Gannon’s slot in the WH press corps?

18 comments June 13th, 2006 at 07:33am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Libby/Plame,Media,Politics,Rove,Wankers

And Later On, Monkeys Might Fly Out Of My Butt.

NYT is so cute when they expect good government from the Bush administration…

Dirk Kempthorne’s chief task as the new secretary of the interior is to resurrect his department’s long tradition of responsible stewardship of the public lands. [Even Master Yoda could not suspend my disbelief.] That guiding philosophy has been seriously breached only twice, during the dismal Reagan years and again during the tenure of Gale Norton, the person Mr. Kempthorne succeeds.

With Vice President Dick Cheney cheering from the sidelines, Ms. Norton replaced the department’s conservation ethic with policies that favored commercial exploitation of the vast publicly owned resources the department manages, which amount to one-fifth of the nation’s land. Redressing the balance will not only bring praise from the usual suspects in the environmental community, it will also win the admiration of many of Mr. Kempthorne’s fellow Republicans.


In addition to chronic financial shortfalls, which have affected everything from policing the parks to interpreting them for visitors, the administration embarked on a disastrous effort to rewrite the management policies that govern the parks. Despite moderating changes, the rewrite still tilts in favor of recreation and commercial use over preservation. The new secretary would do everyone a favor – and give the National Park Service a huge morale boost – by setting it aside.

There’s one more balance issue. As she was going out the door, Ms. Norton resolved a long and complicated dispute over who controls thousands of miles of ancient cowpaths and other trails throughout the West in favor of state and local interests. Many of these trails run through national parks, wildlife refuges and monuments, and as things stand now, there is little to prevent the states from paving them and using them to promote commerce. Mr. Kempthorne should revisit this decision. If he does not, Congress should revisit it for him.

I do so wish that I lived in the same world as the NYT editorial staff, where the skies will someday be clear, the water clean, and the forests healthy.

June 13th, 2006 at 12:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Wankers

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