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Lindsey
October 19th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Interesting post (http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_article.php?artnum=20051016) by Andrew Sullivan asking the question: "Whatever happened to Bush's brain?"

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 19th, 2005, 12:51 AM
Even money is Libby gets indicted and Rove skates. But he'd still be somewhat distracted.

Nick Parkin
October 19th, 2005, 04:26 AM
Interesting post (http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_article.php?artnum=20051016) by Andrew Sullivan asking the question: "Whatever happened to Bush's brain?"

--Lindsey

In view of your Avatar I would have expected you to direct us to the sister article http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_article.php?artnum=20050918

I thoroughly enjoyed it, & commend it to all, & quote it's final words:

"How do I put this gently to both the social right and the p.c. left? We're not penguins. We're not chimps. We're not even those merrily promiscuous bonobo monkeys. We're humans. And even our "natural" mating habits - moderate monogamy and some homosexuality, according to all the best science - do not tell us anything about morality as such. Try going to a documentary and accept its touching depiction of the natural world for what it is. And marvel at the beautiful, confounding mystery of it all. Not everything is political. And not everything is about us."

Lindsey
October 19th, 2005, 11:19 PM
Even money is Libby gets indicted and Rove skates. But he'd still be somewhat distracted.
Larry Johnson (http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/10/a_new_tidbit_on.html) is reporting on his blog that Stephen Hadley has been telling friends he expects to be indicted. There's been some speculation that Fitzgerald has been looking at Cheney, too, but that report (in US News & World Report) has been described as "thinly sourced," and Salon.com speculates it may be no more than manipulation of expectations by the White House, so it won't look quite so bad if Rove and/or Libby are indicted.

If Rove walks, but it turns out that the stories that Bush knew about his involvment early on are true, then a good deal of damage has been done to the effectiveness of both, I think, even without an indictment. Especially if it's true that Bush was upset with him not so much because of what he did (it's not so different from any number of other similar dirty tricks operations Rove has been involved with), but because he did it badly and got caught.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 19th, 2005, 11:22 PM
In view of your Avatar I would have expected you to direct us to the sister article
LOL!! You know, I really wanted to see that movie when it came out, and I never managed to get there. I'll just have to rent the DVD.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 19th, 2005, 11:46 PM
If Rove walks, but it turns out that the stories that Bush knew about his involvment early on are true, then a good deal of damage has been done to the effectiveness of both, I think, even without an indictment. I suspect you are doing what many of us (myself included) were guilty of in 1973: you're assuming that average people outside the Beltway care about this sort of thing. I'm not sure they did then; I doubt that they do now.

Lindsey
October 20th, 2005, 10:30 PM
I suspect you are doing what many of us (myself included) were guilty of in 1973: you're assuming that average people outside the Beltway care about this sort of thing. I'm not sure they did then; I doubt that they do now.
You may be right about that; Katrina vanden Heuvel's blog piece (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut?bid=7&pid=29322) about a recent visit to Owensboro, KY, said that maybe two people she encountered during the entire weekend had any idea who Judith Miller was.

Still--eventually people outside the Beltway DID very much care about what came out of the Watergate hearings. And there's a reason the president's approval numbers continue to slide downward.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 21st, 2005, 12:09 AM
Still--eventually people outside the Beltway DID very much care about what came out of the Watergate hearings. And there's a reason the president's approval numbers continue to slide downward.And that's why I hope the newspapers continue to care (now that they've finally decided to care and not be lapdogs). Eventually things may change as the result of this sort of investigation.

Lindsey
October 21st, 2005, 08:23 PM
And that's why I hope the newspapers continue to care (now that they've finally decided to care and not be lapdogs). Eventually things may change as the result of this sort of investigation.
It will be wonderful indeed if the only result is that the papers cease to be lapdogs of the White House. (Josh Marshall had a wonderful line on that subject several weeks ago; I will have to dig it up.)

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 22nd, 2005, 12:02 AM
It turns out I misremembered what had occasioned that line of Josh Marshall's; it wasn't the newly-found courage of the White House press corps, but of Congressional Democrats:


House-Senate Katrina probe dies as Dems refuse to participate in GOP-controlled probe.

Mammalian biologists cite development as new evidence for late-stage testiculogenesis.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/006581.php

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 27th, 2005, 11:23 PM
Even money is Libby gets indicted and Rove skates. But he'd still be somewhat distracted.
Looks like that's the winning prediction, at least for the short term.

New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/28/politics/28leak.html?hp&ex=1130472000&en=f4b9e5edc0a35fdf&ei=5094&partner=homepage): Aide to Cheney Appears Likely to be Indicted; Rove Under Scrutiny

But if Rove is still under investigation, it looks like the grand jury's term will be extended.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 28th, 2005, 10:22 AM
Looks like that's the winning prediction, at least for the short term. New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/28/politics/28leak.html?hp&ex=1130472000&en=f4b9e5edc0a35fdf&ei=5094&partner=homepage): Aide to Cheney Appears Likely to be Indicted; Rove Under Scrutiny But if Rove is still under investigation, it looks like the grand jury's term will be extended.yA prosecutor can, if he chooses, present all of the evidence from Grand Jury #1 to Grand Jury #2, so although it's likely the term will be extended, it isn't essential.

ndebord
October 28th, 2005, 10:59 AM
I suspect you are doing what many of us (myself included) were guilty of in 1973: you're assuming that average people outside the Beltway care about this sort of thing. I'm not sure they did then; I doubt that they do now.

Judy,

As I read elsewhere, an argument can be made that our Constitutional system of checks and balances never thought that our politics would be dominated by 2 political parties and so, when one party is in complete control, no matter the scandal, there are no real consequences, outside of poll results.

RayB (France)
October 28th, 2005, 11:59 AM
I suspect you are doing what many of us (myself included) were guilty of in 1973: you're assuming that average people outside the Beltway care about this sort of thing. I'm not sure they did then; I doubt that they do now.

My read on it is that the media continues to beat all stories to the point of ad nauseum. By the time it is over, NOBODY cares except a small number of zealots who are just as bad as the media . . . and NOBODY cares about them either. I don't.

Addendum - Ad Nauseum

The news is a guy was indicted on five counts of alleged wrong doing today.

Media reaction -

CNN has a 'SITUATION ROOM' with 6 guys at a table and 6 monitors going. Sensory Saturation? Is life, as we know it in the civilized world, coming to an end?

Judy G. Russell
October 28th, 2005, 05:04 PM
It's a sad day when we have more reporters from a single media outlet working on a story than there are counts in the indictment!

Judy G. Russell
October 28th, 2005, 05:05 PM
Well, when the issue is political at its heart, then poll results (as in election poll results as opposed to opinion poll results) are all that matters, no?

ndebord
October 28th, 2005, 10:48 PM
Well, when the issue is political at its heart, then poll results (as in election poll results as opposed to opinion poll results) are all that matters, no?

Judy,

Yes and no. Yes, when it is election time! No...in-between elections, when a single party state does not allow scandals to be pursued.

(Of course, the recourse of elections assumes the basics....that the election polls are honest or reasonably so...)

Lindsey
October 28th, 2005, 10:50 PM
A prosecutor can, if he chooses, present all of the evidence from Grand Jury #1 to Grand Jury #2, so although it's likely the term will be extended, it isn't essential.
As it turns out, this was not a special grand jury, and the term has already been extended once, so it can't be extended again. But apparently Fitzgerald intends to call a new one and keep it at the ready.

The commentators on "News Hour" tonight seem to think that while Rove remains technically under investigation, the chances have become more remote that he will actually be indicted. No matter, as far as I am concerned; it at least appears that someone will be held accountable for revealing Mrs. Wilson's undercover status, and perhaps in the course of the trial a number of issues will be aired regarding how it was we ended up going to war in Iraq.

Have you seen the indictment? There's a copy of it here (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf) if you haven't. I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 28th, 2005, 10:57 PM
The news is a guy was indicted on five counts of alleged wrong doing today.
"A guy"? That "guy" was the top assistant to the "most powerful Vice-President in the history of the US," and an assistant to the president in addition. He himself has been called the most powerful VP assistant in history.

So he's not just "a guy." He's a guy who is in the very top echelons of the US government. And these are not parking violations he has been charged with. These are charges that touch on issues of national security, and if he's found guilty on all counts, he could spend 30 years in prison and be fined $1 million. That's not a small thing.

--Lindsey

ndebord
October 29th, 2005, 01:19 AM
"A guy"? That "guy" was the top assistant to the "most powerful Vice-President in the history of the US," and an assistant to the president in addition. He himself has been called the most powerful VP assistant in history.

So he's not just "a guy." He's a guy who is in the very top echelons of the US government. And these are not parking violations he has been charged with. These are charges that touch on issues of national security, and if he's found guilty on all counts, he could spend 30 years in prison and be fined $1 million. That's not a small thing.

--Lindsey

Lindsey,

As Michael Kinsley on Charlie Rose said tonight. This goes to the top. The question still to be answered on this whole Nigerian yellowcake fiasco and the outing of Valiere Plame will how much did did Bush and Cheney know about the outing and when and did they have a part in Libby's revenge campaign?

As for Rowe. A 2nd grand jury will annoit him as Administration Official A, who predates Libby's loose lips sink ships revelation.

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 04:08 AM
**That's not a small thing.**

It is very simple, Lindsey. A man has been indicted. He will have a trial. If convicted he should be punished according to the law. Until then, he is to be presumed innocent. End of news item.

The ranting and raving and jumping up and down changes nothing . . . . unless, of course, you have already convicted him.

My thoughts are that the prosecutor hit the wall on the outing thing and, in his fervor, looked for something, anything, else he could go for. So what the jury has to look forward to is 'Who do we believe the most/least . . . . Republican official (Shudder!) or the highly regarded and adored American Press (What?). (Bring in calliope music)

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 10:54 AM
No...in-between elections, when a single party state does not allow scandals to be pursued.Fortunately, we're not quite there yet. (If we were, there would have been no Patrick Fitzgerald... and no indictment... and no continuing investigation...)

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 10:56 AM
My thoughts are that the prosecutor hit the wall on the outing thing and, in his fervor, looked for something, anything, else he could go for.That is about 100% against everything I have ever heard about Patrick Fitzgerald... his reputation among defense attorneys is that he is absolutely tough and absolutely fair.

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Have you seen the indictment? There's a copy of it here (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf) if you haven't. I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.If Fitzgerald can prove what he alleges (and his reputation is tough but fair), Libby is a dead duck... and there are some others who are going to be mightily embarrassed.

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 11:23 AM
That is about 100% against everything I have ever heard about Patrick Fitzgerald... his reputation among defense attorneys is that he is absolutely tough and absolutely fair.

Dertainly you are more knowledgeable about that than I would be. Thanks.

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 11:28 AM
If Fitzgerald can prove what he alleges (and his reputation is tough but fair), Libby is a dead duck... and there are some others who are going to be mightily embarrassed.

If that is what happens, so be it. That's what the law is for. Brits, in particular, love to use the word 'embarrassed' in politics. I honestly don't know what that means in this context and what it's ramifications are or how that would manifest itself. Help me to understand.

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 12:54 PM
What I mean by "embarrassed" in this context is that, while it may not turn out that the proofs can show that people in the White House or in Cheney's office set out to "out" a CIA agent, the evidence may well prove that there was a deliberate effort to ruin Wilson and anybody associated with Wilson as retribution for his disagreement over Iraq. The Democrats could then use that political fodder ("it's another GOP 'Enemies' list!"). Then again given how hapless the Dems have been in taking advantage of Republican stumbles, it may not prove embarrassing at all!

ndebord
October 29th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Fortunately, we're not quite there yet. (If we were, there would have been no Patrick Fitzgerald... and no indictment... and no continuing investigation...)
Judy,

Agreed. Rowe's ties to Ascroft were fortuitous in that he recused himself and let his deputy Comey appoint Fitzgerald. Nobody figured that this guy would do the right thing. The Administration thought they were free and clear and that it would all blow over. One of the penalties of ruling from a small, closed circle without contrarians to say the Emperior has no clothes before the shit hits the fan!

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 03:31 PM
Fitzgerald is truly a professional. He has a sterling reputation among defense counsel who have opposed him: he's tough but he's fair.

ndebord
October 29th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Fitzgerald is truly a professional. He has a sterling reputation among defense counsel who have opposed him: he's tough but he's fair.

Judy,

Yes...should have said Nobody (in the Administraton) figured he would do the right thing, but then who can read the tea leaves in a closed shop?

<g>

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 04:03 PM
What I mean by "embarrassed" in this context is that, while it may not turn out that the proofs can show that people in the White House or in Cheney's office set out to "out" a CIA agent, the evidence may well prove that there was a deliberate effort to ruin Wilson and anybody associated with Wilson as retribution for his disagreement over Iraq. The Democrats could then use that political fodder ("it's another GOP 'Enemies' list!"). Then again given how hapless the Dems have been in taking advantage of Republican stumbles, it may not prove embarrassing at all!

I just looked the word up and it is defined two ways. The first is 'becoming self-conscious' which is the way I think of it. The other is 'ill at ease' which is slightly different and I can see how that would apply in ths context. Thanks.

Dan in Saint Louis
October 29th, 2005, 04:24 PM
I just looked the word up and it is defined two ways.Ray, one might say that for gWb to land in a jet fighter on a aircraft carrier to declare that the war in Iraq was over was LEGAL, but EMBARRASSING.

Judy G. Russell
October 29th, 2005, 05:34 PM
I just looked the word up and it is defined two ways. The first is 'becoming self-conscious' which is the way I think of it. The other is 'ill at ease' which is slightly different and I can see how that would apply in ths context. Thanks.Aha! Yes, it certainly does have two meanings, but self-conscious... no. Not this group. Ill at ease, maybe. Conscious (as in "of wrongdoing"), I doubt.

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Aha! Yes, it certainly does have two meanings, but self-conscious... no. Not this group. Ill at ease, maybe. Conscious (as in "of wrongdoing"), I doubt.

Agreed.

RayB (France)
October 29th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Ray, one might say that for gWb to land in a jet fighter on a aircraft carrier to declare that the war in Iraq was over was LEGAL, but EMBARRASSING.

To some, maybe many, I suppose. To me it was a bit of show-biz. Not sure what you mean by 'legal'. I interpreted 'the war being over' was the end of the Saddam regime and not that terrorism was ended. Moot point, I suppose.

rlohmann
October 29th, 2005, 08:31 PM
I had the same perception.

Lindsey
October 30th, 2005, 01:40 AM
As for Rowe. A 2nd grand jury will annoit him as Administration Official A, who predates Libby's loose lips sink ships revelation.
From the information that has come to light from Fitzgerald's investigation so far, I'm inclined to think that it was Libby, not Rove, who was the instigator, and unless Rove was talking to people before Libby's first conversation with Judith Miller in June (which I rather doubt at this point), it looks like for once Rove was playing a supporting role.

It may strike some as odd for me to say this, but in this particular caper, I'm thinking at the moment that the president himself was out of the loop at the time it was going on, and that his initial denials that anyone on his staff was involved were sincere. I think this was something being run entirely out of Cheney's office, and I think they consciously kept the president out of it, if for no other reason than to give him some protection from potential fallout.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 30th, 2005, 01:56 AM
If convicted he should be punished according to the law. Until then, he is to be presumed innocent. End of news item.
That's the end of it as far as the law is concerned. It does not have to be the end of it so far as the general public is concerned. It would be entirely appropriate, for example, for the Congress to decide that there were many quesitons worth investigating that were not brought out in the course of that one man's trial, and to decide to launch a broader and more public investigation on their own--as was done with Watergate, for example.


My thoughts are that the prosecutor hit the wall on the outing thing and, in his fervor, looked for something, anything, else he could go for.
That's not my impression of Patrick Fitzgerald at all. On the contrary, I think he has shown great restraint, making charges only on those things that he feels he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court, and being careful to limit his public remarks to what is, in his words, within the four corners of the indictment. That's a marked contrast to Ken Starr's leaky, gossipy, and interminable operation.

So what the jury has to look forward to is 'Who do we believe the most/least . . . . Republican official (Shudder!) or the highly regarded and adored American Press (What?).
What Fitzgerald has, in part, is the independent testimony of three separate reporters against the story of the accused, which is belied by his own notes as well as notes of at least one of the reporters in question. Unless Libby is going to plead senility, I'm not sure he has much of a case.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 30th, 2005, 01:04 AM
If Fitzgerald can prove what he alleges (and his reputation is tough but fair), Libby is a dead duck... and there are some others who are going to be mightily embarrassed.
That was my take, too--that the allegations add up to a pretty strong case, and that Libby's defense team has its work cut out for it.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 30th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Yes...should have said Nobody (in the Administraton) figured he would do the right thing, but then who can read the tea leaves in a closed shop?
I'm not so sure they thought that about Fitzgerald. It's quite possible they figured that Ashcroft would not investigate too diligently, and certainly would not go to the lengths of sending reporters to jail to make them talk, and thus felt they could lie to investigators with little chance of being held to account for it. But then once Fitzgerald was brought in, they were stuck with their original stories (though I suspect that Rove may have been doing quite a bit of amending and clarifying over the last few weeks).

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 30th, 2005, 01:16 AM
Then again given how hapless the Dems have been in taking advantage of Republican stumbles, it may not prove embarrassing at all!
Not to mention that the current crop of Republicans seems to have a rather hight embarrassment threshold!

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
October 30th, 2005, 09:50 AM
Not to mention that the current crop of Republicans seems to have a rather hight embarrassment threshold!It's more a matter of what the current crop of voters will hold people accountable for.

Judy G. Russell
October 30th, 2005, 09:51 AM
The lawyer has already suggested what the defense will be: Libby was such a busy man he can't hardly be expected to remember who said what and when.

Lindsey
October 31st, 2005, 12:35 AM
The lawyer has already suggested what the defense will be: Libby was such a busy man he can't hardly be expected to remember who said what and when.
Well, he's certainly free to put forth any defense he chooses, but that one sure doesn't cut any ice with me. He just "forgot" that he has something like seven separate conversations about the Wilsons, most of them at very high levels? He "forgot" a conference with Cheney and others on AF1 to decide how to respond to reporters questions about Wilson's op-ed? He doesn't remember any of the four different sources he had within the White House about Valerie Wilson's employment with the CIA, but he "remembers" being given that information by reporters who say that they never knew anything about it before hearing it either from Libby himself or from Novak's article?

And am I supposed to believe that a top White House aide testifies before a grand jury without reviewing his own notes on the subject of the inquiry to refresh his memory?

Nope, I don't buy it.

--Lindsey

RayB (France)
October 31st, 2005, 05:48 AM
Well, he's certainly free to put forth any defense he chooses, but that one sure doesn't cut any ice with me. He just "forgot" that he has something like seven separate conversations about the Wilsons, most of them at very high levels? He "forgot" a conference with Cheney and others on AF1 to decide how to respond to reporters questions about Wilson's op-ed? He doesn't remember any of the four different sources he had within the White House about Valerie Wilson's employment with the CIA, but he "remembers" being given that information by reporters who say that they never knew anything about it before hearing it either from Libby himself or from Novak's article?

And am I supposed to believe that a top White House aide testifies before a grand jury without reviewing his own notes on the subject of the inquiry to refresh his memory?

Nope, I don't buy it.

--Lindsey

I was going to respond strongly to your comments but can't remember what I was going to say. Hmmm? I think it had to do with 'surprise'.

Judy G. Russell
October 31st, 2005, 09:46 AM
Nope, I don't buy it."I didn't remember" usually doesn't work well with juries either.

Lindsey
October 31st, 2005, 11:30 PM
"I didn't remember" usually doesn't work well with juries either.
Quote of the day from Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show": "It's too bad lies don't leave semen stains."

--Lindsey

RayB (France)
November 1st, 2005, 08:11 AM
Quote of the day from Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show": "It's too bad lies don't leave semen stains."

--Lindsey

He probably meant 'in this alleged case', at least. Clinton wasn't as lucky.

Judy G. Russell
November 1st, 2005, 10:38 AM
Quote of the day from Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show": "It's too bad lies don't leave semen stains."ROFL!!! A good line!

Lindsey
November 1st, 2005, 06:51 PM
ROFL!!! A good line!
Jon Stewart had me howling with laughter last night.

BTW, I found out I could get the video clips on The Daily Show's web page to play if I was using IE. Obnoxious, but worth the trouble. Check out the "As You Leak It" video that's on the main page right now.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
November 1st, 2005, 07:04 PM
One other note on the Daily Show video: I found that in order to prevent "stuttering," even on a T1 connection, I had to change the setting for network buffering in Windows Media Player from the "use default" to a set amount. (I set it at 15 seconds to try it, and that worked fine, so I didn't try anything else.)

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
November 1st, 2005, 08:21 PM
Every so often I will break down and (gasp) use IE if there's something I want to see (like an illusion!) and my Firefox settings won't allow it.

MollyM/CA
November 2nd, 2005, 08:42 AM
Even money is Libby gets indicted and Rove skates. But he'd still be somewhat distracted.

The Seeress of Section Seven strikes again. What's your prognosis if Rove manages to delay on up into serious electioneering time?

Dumb question: what happens with Libby next and how long does it take? Any chance he'll actually be sentenced?

Judy G. Russell
November 2nd, 2005, 10:17 AM
The Seeress of Section Seven strikes again. What's your prognosis if Rove manages to delay on up into serious electioneering time?I suspect that Rove will end up being one of the unindicted co-conspirators of the Libby case. That lessens his effectiveness somewhat as a front man for the GOP (he's not as likely to be sent out as a speaker), but not as a theoretician for GOP strategy.

Dumb question: what happens with Libby next and how long does it take? Any chance he'll actually be sentenced?He's due to be arraigned (a very simple procedural step to ensure that a defendant has due notice of the charges and a schedule set) tomorrow, and trial won't be until sometime in 2006. I suspect that, if the indictment reflects the facts Fitzgerald can actually prove at trial, Libby will indeed someday be sentenced.

My Machiavellian brain keeps thinking that it would be such a good thing for the GOP if Libby never came to trial (because of what it might expose of the way the White House reacts to criticism etc.)... so if his wife suddenly got a very high-paying (mostly no-show) job with some company, maybe he'd end up pleading guilty so ...