Archive for March 19th, 2007

Least Informative Headline Of The Week

On the front page of today’s WaPo:

Behavior Not Unique To Humans

Hooray for Science and its many wondrous insights!!!

(The headline on the story itself is a bit more meaningful, fortunately.)

1 comment March 19th, 2007 at 09:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Great Headlines,Science

Eli’s Obsession With The Google

My old blog is the #2 search result for video world record for the most brassieres unhooked in one minute.

No, it’s not me. I probably hold some sort of record for fewest brassieres unhooked, though.

March 19th, 2007 at 08:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google

In Case You Were Wondering…

Whether the White House would allow Rove or Miers to testify:

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore declined to comment about whether Rove and Miers would testify. [WH Counsel Fred] Fielding was taking additional time to review the matter “given the importance of the issues under consideration and the presidential principles involved,” she said.

That means no.

Fielding is mustering bogus but legal-sounding arguments to explain why “executive privilege” should trump Congressional subpoenas.

Also: Let me just say, Thank God Joe Lieberman isn’t the chair of the Judiciary Committee.

March 19th, 2007 at 06:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Rove

Oh. Joy.

And I was just wondering how I would ever live without him…

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, a moderate [HA!!!] who has often clashed with the Bush administration and his fellow GOP lawmakers, said Monday he plans to seek a sixth term in 2010.

“There are a lot of important things to be done and finally after being here to acquire some seniority, I’m in a position to do that,” said Specter, 77. “I’m full of energy and my wife doesn’t want me home for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Good thinking, Arlen. As long as there’s still some Constitution left standing, your work is not complete. Look at that stupid Constitution! It’s mocking you! Mocking you, I say! You show that Constitution who’s boss!

Specter said he has fundraisers planned, including a large one April 4 in Philadelphia.

“It’s an enormous task, and that’s why I’m starting early,” said Specter, noting that he spent $23 million in his 2004 race.

Can we please get a tough, mean progressive to run against this wanker? We’ve got two years to come up with somebody, right? How about some of the new blood, like Joe Sestak or Pat Murphy?

Whoever it is, they must call Specter on his consistent pattern of speaking out against the Bush administration’s rampant criminality, and then actively facilitating it.

March 19th, 2007 at 06:17pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Pittsburgh/PA,Politics,Republicans,Specter,Wankers

The Deathwatch Continues…

Are those vultures I see?

Republican officials operating at the behest of the White House have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has collapsed, according to party sources familiar with the discussions.

Among the names floated Monday by administration officials are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House anti-terrorism coordinator Frances Townsend. Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson is a White House prospect. So is former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson, but sources were unsure whether he would want the job.

What, no John Yoo?

In a sign of Republican despair, GOP political strategists on Capitol Hill said that it is too late for Gonzales’ departure to head off a full-scale Democratic investigation into the motives and timing behind the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

“Democrats smell blood in the water, and (Gonzales’) resignation won’t stop them,” said a well-connected Republican Senate aide. “And on our side, no one’s going to defend him. All we can do is warn Democrats against overreaching.

Heh. Their concern for the Democrats is quite touching.

I think this is my favorite part:

A main reason Gonzales is finding few friends even among Republicans is that he has long been regarded with suspicion by conservatives who have questioned his ideological purity. In the past, these conservatives warned the White House against nominating him for the Supreme Court. Now they’re using the controversy over the firing of eight federal prosecutors to take out their pent-up frustrations with how he has handled his leadership at Justice and how the White House has treated Congress.

Complaints range from his handling of immigration cases to his alleged ceding of power in the department to career officials instead of movement conservatives.

Yes, you read that right: The Republicans don’t like Gonzales because he’s too liberal. Wrap your head around that and smoke it.

Oh, and Tony Snow tells us that Gonzo “Has the confidence of the president.” Kinda like Rummy and Brownie. (Mmm, rum brownie…)

(h/t TPM Muckraker, which I’m reading a lot more for some reason…)

1 comment March 19th, 2007 at 05:51pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans

Simple Answers To Simple Questions

Christy asks:

[Does] George Bush [define] “winning” as simply riding out both conflicts until he is out of office and no longer has to make the tough decisions?


2 comments March 19th, 2007 at 05:33pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Bush,Iraq,War

The Difference

charley has a very good take on the difference between right and left blogs:

The difference between a right wing blog, and a left of center blog, is the best of the left… exposes outrages. The right uses trumped up incidents to create outrages.

This sounds just about right to me. Right-wing “outrage” always smacks of phoniness and calculation. One of the dead giveaways is when they suddenly pretend to be oh-so-concerned for women, minorities, gays, civility, or the environment – all of which they have nothing but open contempt for.

March 19th, 2007 at 11:38am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Democrats,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging

Courtesy of Pink Tentacle, a handy guide to eating sushi, Japanese-style (“A must-see for anyone who has ever wondered why Japanese feet smell like vinegar”):

1 comment March 19th, 2007 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging


Ladies & gentlemen, for your amusement, the comedy stylings of Arlen Specter:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the committee, said he had a long talk with [WH Counsel Fred] Fielding on Friday and was reserving judgment. Specter said he would like to see Rove and Miers testify openly.

“I want to see exactly what the White House response is,” Specter said. “Maybe the White House will come back and say, ‘We’ll permit them to be interviewed and we’ll give them all the records.'”


Thank you, thank you, he’ll be here until 2011. Try the veal.

2 comments March 19th, 2007 at 07:13am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Specter

Underlying Crime

Adam Cohen in today’s NYT thinks the magic words “the pleasure of the president” may not be enough:

The Bush administration has done a terrible job of explaining its decision to fire eight United States attorneys. Story after story has proved to be untrue: that the prosecutors who were fired were poor performers; that the White House was not involved in the purge. But the administration has been strangely successful in pushing its message that the scandal is at worst a political misdeed, not a criminal matter.

It is true, as the White House keeps saying, that United States attorneys serve “at the pleasure of the president,” which means he can dismiss them whenever he wants. But if the attorneys were fired to interfere with a valid prosecution, or to punish them for not misusing their offices, that may well have been illegal.


Some crimes that a special prosecutor might one day look at:

1. Misrepresentations to Congress. The relevant provision, 18 U.S.C. § 1505, is very broad. It is illegal to lie to Congress, and also to “impede” it in getting information. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty indicated to Congress that the White House’s involvement in firing the United States attorneys was minimal, something that Justice Department e-mail messages suggest to be untrue.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made his own dubious assertion to Congress: “I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney position for political reasons.”

The administration appears to be trying to place all of the blame on Mr. Gonzales’s chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, who resigned after reportedly failing to inform top Justice Department officials about the White House’s role in the firings. If Mr. Sampson withheld the information from Mr. McNulty, who then misled Congress, Mr. Sampson may have violated § 1505.

But Mr. Sampson’s lawyer now says other top Justice Department officials knew of the White House’s role. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said last week that “Kyle Sampson will not be the next Scooter Libby, the next fall guy.” Congress will be looking for evidence that Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McNulty knew that what they told Congress was false or misleading.


2. Calling the Prosecutors. As part of the Sarbanes-Oxley reforms, Congress passed an extremely broad obstruction of justice provision, 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (c), which applies to anyone who corruptly “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,” including U.S. attorney investigations.

David Iglesias, the New Mexico United States attorney, says Senator Pete Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, called him and asked whether he intended to bring indictments in a corruption case against Democrats before last November’s election. Mr. Iglesias said he “felt pressured” by the call. If members of Congress try to get a United States attorney to indict people he wasn’t certain he wanted to indict, or try to affect the timing of an indictment, they may be violating the law.

3. Witness Tampering. 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b) makes it illegal to intimidate Congressional witnesses. Michael Elston, Mr. McNulty’s chief of staff, contacted one of the fired attorneys, H. E. Cummins, and suggested, according to Mr. Cummins, that if he kept speaking out, there would be retaliation….4. Firing the Attorneys. United States attorneys can be fired whenever a president wants, but not, as § 1512 (c) puts it, to corruptly obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding.

Let’s take the case of Carol Lam, United States attorney in San Diego. The day the news broke that Ms. Lam, who had already put one Republican congressman in jail, was investigating a second one, Mr. Sampson wrote an e-mail message referring to the “real problem we have right now with Carol Lam.” He said it made him think that it was time to start looking for a replacement. Congress has also started investigating the removal of Fred Black, the United States attorney in Guam, who was replaced when he began investigating the Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Anyone involved in firing a United States attorney to obstruct or influence an official proceeding could have broken the law.

Rule of law: It can be a real bitch sometimes – especially when your team isn’t running Congress.

(Cross-posted at Mia Culpa)

1 comment March 19th, 2007 at 06:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Rove

I Love Ballard Street.


3 comments March 19th, 2007 at 12:08am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics

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