Saturday, October 15, 2005

A scandalog in pictures (actually, I'm too lazy to post the pictures here, so it's more like a scandalog in links). See if you can guess who's who!

1. "I did not have telephonic relations with that woman."
2. "I did not have insider relations with that stock."
3. "I did not have improper relations with that money."
4. "I did not have fiscal relations with that man."
5. "I did not have any relations with that writing talent."*
6. "I do not have any problem with cronyism."
And, for good measure:
7. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

* - Blame Brooks, not me.

Jerry Corsi, author of Unfit for Command and "an architect of the swift boat campaign," has preliminarily declared his intention to seek a very public political humiliation:

In an interview yesterday, Corsi said Kerry was not fit to be senator. He said he was "testing the waters to see if there's enough interest to support me to make the run feasible."
Short answer, Jerry: there isn't.

The CIA, alert as ever, appoints a man known only as "Jose" to be head of clandestine operations.

How has the Clintons' marriage survived? Hillary sets the bar low:

"He's the kind of person you really want to be married to for 30 years because he washes dishes," she said.
"Oh, yeah, and he was president for eight years."

Bill Richardson: Not Just a Governor Anymore.

Friday, October 14, 2005

David Brooks on Miers:

I don't know if by mere quotation I can fully convey the relentless march of vapid abstractions that mark Miers's prose. Nearly every idea is vague and depersonalized. Nearly every debatable point is elided. It's not that Miers didn't attempt to tackle interesting subjects. She wrote about unequal access to the justice system, about the underrepresentation of minorities in the law and about whether pro bono work should be mandatory. But she presents no arguments or ideas, except the repetition of the bromide that bad things can be eliminated if people of good will come together to eliminate bad things.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Finally, I read something about Miers that I like:

In 2001, Bush's first year in office, Miers rejected the text of the White House Christmas card and ordered a new version because, the White House said, she did not think it was written well enough.
"It's not a Christmas card... it's a Christmas message." (That's a Sam Seaborn reference, in case it's not clear.)

Can't say I understand this one:

BusinessWeek has learned that [John] Edwards has signed up to work for the New York-based private investment concern Fortress Investment Group as a part-time senior advisor.
If you're John Edwards, and you know that you've got people like me just lined up waiting for you to run in '08, why take this job? One of the toughest knocks against Edwards right now is the fact that he's a trial lawyer; does he really want to add "financial analyst" to that?

Kwame Kilpatrick decides to shed his earring for good... and that's not even the weirdest part of the story:

Kilpatrick said Wednesday he decided to drop the stud last month while he was on a six-day fast to help him focus his energy on the current campaign.
Six-day fast? Who is he, Gandhi?

Maureen Dowd uncovers ("makes up") five years' worth of Miers-Bush correspondence:

April 2002: "I was worried that it could go unstated in the rush of business around here, but I just wanted to pause and say how amazing it is that, after doing so much for the American people already, you keep showing up for work most days. We have to come, but you choose to. You're the hardest-working president ever!!"

It's really starting to seem very unlikely that Miers is ever going to see a vote on the Senate floor, isn't it?

As the White House seeks to rally senators behind the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers, lawyers for the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee are expressing dissatisfaction with the choice and pushing back against her, aides to 6 of the 10 Republican committee members said yesterday.

"Everybody is hoping that something will happen on Miers, either that the president would withdraw her or she would realize she is not up to it and pull out while she has some dignity intact," a lawyer to a Republican committee member said.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I love this quote:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asserted Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers would bring "a unique brand of experience" to the high court and that critics will feel comfortable when they get to know her.
Unique, indeed. And Michael Jordan brought a unique brand of experience to the game of baseball.

Also from the Houston Chronicle today (like the last post): this essay by Garrison Keillor, declaring his support for Tom DeLay.

But politics is treacherous. Those Republicans who kiss your ring at prayer breakfasts and wave the flies away from your plate — if they should sense that you are a wounded elephant, they will throw you out the window without blinking. Count on it, Mr. Leader. Behind those bland faces are neural synapses making intricate calculations. Don't worry about the Democrats, they are harmless, shaking their pointy heads and waving their small, plump hands. It's your friends who will do you in. Look at Julius Caesar. Look at Richard Nixon.
Yes, you've done certain things that don't look good to grand juries and Unitarian schoolmarms and amateur birdwatchers, but so have your Fellow Republicans. They have shoved old ladies down the stairs and feathered their own nests, and you know it, and they know that you know it, and now you need to demonstrate that you will not bend one iota, no mea culpas and don't weep for me Argentina. You did not have sex with that woman, and you intend to go on Hammering, and if they let you down, you will sing like a canary and take those clowns with you.

Indict me and I'll indict you back:

Lawyers for U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay want to question Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle about his contact with members of three grand juries in an effort to show he acted improperly in seeking indictments against DeLay.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Jerry Kilgore tries to capitalize on the sense of trustworthiness and honesty flowing out of Karl Rove's office these days:

[Kilgore] also readied to share a stage in Fairfax County this weekend with President Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, a central figure in the White House media-leak investigation.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.): Proud to drive under the influence:

"No one is above the law," Brady said in a statement today. "I take full responsibility for my actions, and I am glad law enforcement is doing their job."
Maybe if he sobered up a bit, he'd change that statement to something more grammatically appropriate ("law enforcement is doing its job").

It sure is fun to see Rick Santorum lose at... well, at anything, really:

Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican, raised more than $1.7 million for the period, while Pennsylvania Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. raised more than $2 million, their respective campaign spokesmen said Monday.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A nice essay on judicial activism by the director of the Juvenile Law Center, who happens to be a former minor league umpire.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Roy Moore: Even Crazier Than Crazy Rick Santorum?

My guess is yes. Atlantic Monthly publishes a lengthy profile, and Slate posts the text of poem Moore wrote lamenting the sorry state of the country. The first stanza:

Babies piled in Dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.

Over/Under on "Louisville Slugger" headlines around Texas tomorrow: 1,000,000,000.

Antonin Scalia's dream come true:

A Brazilian court will consider a psychic's claim that the U.S. government owes him a $25 million reward for information he says he provided on the hiding place of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
In case the court upholds the claim, it will be sent via diplomatic channels to the U.S. State Department.

Ron Silver's Republicanny punditry finally pays off with a nomination to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace (which is chartered, I oddly happen to know, at 22 USC §56). Score!

I wouldn't be willing to bet on it, but this sure sounds like it could be the very early beginnings of a shame-faced mea culpa resignation strategy:

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove personally assured President Bush in the early fall of 2003 that he had not disclosed to anyone in the press that Valerie Plame, the wife of an administration critic, was a CIA employee, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the accounts that both Rove and Bush independently provided to federal prosecutors.
Again, I'm not putting any money down, but any time there's a story wherein someone lies to the President, it's safe to assume that the immediate future is not going to be particularly bright for that person.

I know West Wing needs all the help it can get these days, but honestly, this isn't the answer. (And seriously: like they don't have enough gimmickry already. The only way this could get worse is if Leo has a second heart attack while watching the debate from the wings.)

NBC will air a live episode of "The West Wing" featuring a debate between presidential candidates Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick on Nov. 6.