ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, October 29, 2005

All the News that's Fit to Omit

Nice blogwork by Michelle Malkin.

Nah, the Times isn't biased... from the New York Times story on Corporal Jeffrey B. Starr, a soldier killed in Iraq and his letter home./ Let's compare & contrast:

Another member of the 1/5, Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, rejected a $24,000 bonus to re-enlist. Corporal Starr believed strongly in the war, his father said, but was tired of the harsh life and nearness of death in Iraq. So he enrolled at Everett Community College near his parents' home in Snohomish, Wash., planning to study psychology after his enlistment ended in August.

But he died in a firefight in Ramadi on April 30 during his third tour in Iraq. He was 22.

Sifting through Corporal Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine's girlfriend. ''I kind of predicted this,'' Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ''A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances.''

Now, the full letter from Corporal Starr as provided by his father:
"Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

What Jeffrey said is important. Americans need to understand that most of those who are or have been there understand what's going on. It would honor Jeffrey's memory if you would publish the rest of his story.

Don't worry... The New York Times has updated their slogan:
"All the News that's Fit to Omit"

The New York Times - Slightly less biased than Pravda.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Friday, October 28, 2005

Official A

In the indictment, it refers to Admin Official A who disclosed Plame's identity to Robert Novak. This means that the original leaker is still not known to the public.

I made the call this summer that it was this guy... certainly not a "partisan gunslinger" (the description used by Novak) and he certainly has a reason to disclose that information (without malice) to Novak... ie, Novak calls him up to determine how in the heck a tool like Wilson was involved in such a high-profile mission. Well, Offical A tells him how it came about... Wilson got the job because of his wife, who works at the CIA.

Another observation from the Fitzgerald presser this afternoon... Reporters ask some of the dumbest questions I've ever heard. IQs must adjust with room temperature.

***UPDATE***
Check out Tom Macquire for some of the unanswered questions and his speculation that Official A is Ari Fleischer.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Fitzmas Letdown

Well, the DUers are not pleased.

Julius Civitatus Donating Member
Fri Oct-28-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. Fitzmas: we just got underwear; no pony, no bicycle

We were all still hoping for the price pig, Karl Rove, to get a few indictments he so rightfully deserves.

Getting Libby is fine, but I was expecting Rove. This is the equivalent of getting underwear for Fitzmas, instead of the pony you wanted.

I can't believe that there's only 1 PERSON that was indicted, given all of the bluster for the past 2 years - and the indictment isn't even over the original focus of the investigation, but over perjury and obstruction of justice.

As Victoria Toensing pointed out on Hannity yesterday, the fact that Wilson was able to blabber about his "secret mission" in the NYTimes raises serious questions about the competence (and perhaps motives) of the CIA in the run-up to the war. Why wasn't a guy dispatched on a secret mission required to sign a non-disclosure agreement?

***UPDATE 1***
And the Kossacks think the fix is in and think Cheney should go down, too (despite the fact that conversations between Cheney & Libby aren't considered a disclosure of confidential info):
Just the beginning? (none / 0)

I sure hope this is just a beginning...

My optimistic side says that Fitzgerald is one smart cookie, and he is rolling out his indictments one-by-one so that the drumbeat of evidence (and turncoats) builds, snaring more administration officials as each prosecution progresses.

My pessismistic side says that the Bush administration, with the complicity of the media, will let Libby be the fall guy and successfully insulate Bush/Cheney from the scandal.

As someone who watched the Iran-Contra hearings play out, I tend toward the pessimistic side. That was a true disgrace, and yet Reagan, North, and the rest of their cronies came out smelling like roses. Amazing.

by Hudson on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 09:58:16 AM PDT
***********

What about Cheney!? (none / 0)

Libby's going down big time, but what about Cheney? Lots of coverage on CNN this morning about Cheney and Libby being joined at the hip; libby being Cheney's Cheney, etc.

How can Libby go down without Cheney getting mussed up in the process? I know - due process and all that - the actual evidence must apparently point to Libby not Cheney, but this is something that We, the People, must keep under the spotlight.

Cheney and Libby are not severable. They are one and the same, and Cheney should not get to smell like a rose if the endangerment of national security reaches right into the nerve center of his office.

Reality addict - can't get enough of seeing it all clearly

by writeout on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 09:59:03 AM PDT

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Left talking points regarding Rove

Keep your ears out today for the following from the lefty side of the news cycle:

"Fitz is still investigating, so Rove should resign!!! He can't continue to work in this White House (with access to classified information!!!!) when he's under suspicion like this!!!! He might call Al Queda and give them all our secrets!!!! Mr. Bush you said you would fire anyone involved!!! Fire Rove!!! Rove must be fired!!!!"

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

More Fitzmas Speculation

If you were hoping for our Boss to be led away in handcuffs with a raincoat over his head (as Imus was hoping for this AM), I think you're going to be disappointed. In addition, it's unlikely that Rove will face any charges moving forward... if Fitzgerald couldn't indict today, it's unlikely that he'll be able to indict later (what's the saying about being able to indict a ham sandwich?). I just can't imagine that Rove would get a perjury charge if he came back to the grand jury and provided the information after discovering the document.

If you're interested in this topic and are looking for THE SOURCE on the interweb thing, Tom Macguire at JustOneMinute is who you should be reading.

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser and deputy White House chief of staff, was informed yesterday evening that he may not be charged today but remains in legal jeopardy, according to a person briefed on the matter. Mr. Fitzgerald, who meets with jurors this morning, has zeroed in on potential wrongdoing by I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and is likely to charge Mr. Libby at least with making false statements. The testimony of reporters who have been witnesses in the case has contradicted Mr. Libby's public statements.

But the WaPo does not yet have a report on Rove's status, although they cite the NY Times report.

Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft has more on what might be happening with Rove, and speculates that Rove may have reached a secret deal with Fitzgerald. Well, her guess is at least as good as mine.

And my guess is based on Giuliani, Wigton, and Tabor and "record time" from the old days of the Wall Street scandals. My gist - once a prosecutor sends a target letter, or announces that a person is under indictments (as in the old Giuliani case), they don't normally officially announce that they have ended the investigation.

So Rove will remain in limbo, whether there is an active investigation or not.

Fitzgerald's website is here; my predictions (Rove walks, Libby and others indicted) are here.

Libby who?!?

Michelle Malkin is also covering (as always)

***UPDATE***
Looks like (some of) the Left's Fitzmas Wishes will be fulfilled at 12:00 EDT.

Interesting that there won't be ANY indictments related to the disclosure... apparently, the timeline analysis of the disclosure (showing 5+ years after Plame's most recent undercover status) is accurate.

***UPDATE 2***
Eric Blumrich predicts that people will die after the indictmens are handed down. And no, he's not referring to the messages on DU that promised suicide if certain people didn't get indicted. He's talking about the Bushies taking people out (or perhaps launching another war?).

GEEZ- I FEEL REDUNDANT...

It's now official- criticizing Bush is like throwing dirt on dirt. Rove's preoccupation with the impending indictment (I take back my previous comment- he's definitely facing charges) has left the Bush bowl casting about blindly in an ever-growing pile of their own rhetorical feces, and they just can't get anything right (as if they ever did.)

But, let's not count these bastards out- the one rule that has remained constant, since Bush's 2004 selection, is that when Bush is in trouble, people die.

Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzales will be the next supreme court nominee- watch for it.
For all of the technical abilities that Eric professes he has, he doesn't have permalinks to any of his posts or any archives... However, here's a link to his site, which is always a great place for a good laugh.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, October 27, 2005

And in Lighter News...

It looks like Patrick Fitzgerald has teased the DUers and Kossacks enough and Fitzmas will be tomorrow. All of the rumors and speculation about indictments coming down Wednesday or Thursday turned out to be a load of bunk, but that hasn't stopped everyone from continuing to speculate.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald does not plan to act in the CIA leak case on Thursday, a spokesman said, setting the stage for the prosecutor to make a last-minute announcement on indictments before the grand jury expires on Friday.

Either that or there will be no indictments, at which point the long knives of the Left will come out for their new found hero.

Woops!!! It looks like there's already concern from the DUers that "the fix is in!"
55. you're right

this is not good, the fix is in. Plus, Bush might have preemptively pardoned anyone involved and Fitz won't waste indictments.

The whole thing will be a whitewash, which explains the Friday news dump.

And you can just sense the anticipation in this post:
SugarBear Thu Oct-27-05 10:41 AM
31. I'm positively electric with anticipation.

I woke up this morning tingling from excitement over the possibility of indictments; my partner said I had been tossing and turning all night. He too is on edge.

This is too much to bear. If there aren't any indictments I will feel positively suicidal! I'll need to resurrect my post-election support group at the Y. This is gonna be a long 24 hours. Oh God!

I just hope that Fitzie indicts so this poor soul doesn't commit suicide!

And be sure not to miss these "news artices", which demonstrate just how much the Left is pinning its hopes on Patrick Fitzgerald:
Apparently Fitzgerald indicted the President, the Congress, and Tony Blair (?!?), not just for leaking Plame's name, but for the illegal war in Iraq. Hmmm, didn't remember that being part of the investigation!
Besides the Valerie Plame CIA leak case, the Fitzgerald probe is reportedly far-reaching and expanding much deeper into past White House criminal acts involving Bush-Clinton drug money laundering in Mena, Arkansas to White House involvement in 9.11; but also for sending America’s young people to their deaths or to be maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan under false pretenses.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was indicted for obstruction of justice and is reportedly consulting with members of Parliament and legal aides regarding how to avoid appearing in the U.S.A. for interrogation before Fitzgerald in Chicago.
Oh, and the indictments were already delivered... the delay is just because Bush & Gonzalez have been obstructing justice!

Other news from this source? Barbara Olson, who was killed on 9/11, is still alive. Clintons, Bush 41, 43 are implicated in JFK Jr. assassination... great source for news, DUers!


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Kossacks Seize on the Up or Down Vote Meme

Well, it seems that the Kossacks (the ueber-Kossack, actually) are going to fling the calls for an "Up or Down Vote" by conservatives back in our faces. Of course, this is a specious argument, since it's not like Miers even made it to or even out of the committee - which was the problem with the other nominees to the appelate courts. Oh, and there's still that fig leaf that Miers withdrew her nomination to spare the President the difficulty of battling over executive priviledge - yeah, right.

he 'Up or Down Vote' talking point is dead
by kos
Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 02:03:21 PM PDT

Senate Democrats have helpfully emailed around the list below of GOP passion for the "up or down vote". Too bad the Miers fiasco has taken away that talking point from their repertoire.

They're going to need new material if Bush decides to try and make nice with his base by nominating a genuine winger.

But, it's instructive to note that the Lefties aren't going to simply let Miers go down and not make political hay out of it... Their main concern right now is that Bush not appoint a right-winger. Given the makeup of the Senate, I think we'll get yet another stealth nominee - one who probably is viewed by conservatives favorably (b/c he or she went to the right schools and hangs out with the right people) and has a few written records which point to an originalist framework. However, it will be insufficient for Schumer & Co to force a fillibuster.

At least, that's my hope. Because if it does come down to the fillibuster, I seriously doubt that the GOP or the President have sufficient political capital to break it.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Finally... Now What?

I have kept quiet, for the most part, about the Miers nomination out of respect for the president, the nominee and because National Review etc have been carrying the water on this situation.

Frankly, though she seems to be a capable lawyer, a lovely lady and a loyal friend of the president, she was an just awful nominee.

We can only hope that the next nominee the president sends up to the Senate is someone who more closely approximates Roberts and not Miers.

In the meantime, I can only express relief that this gracious lady has done the right thing.

***UPDATE ARC:St Wendeler***
See this post as well... While we're a conspiracy and all, we're not a monolithic conspiracy. ;-)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Toast

While I was watching an unhinged Larry Wilkerson on C-SPAN this AM, news broke that Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination.


Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination
Oct 27 8:58 AM US/Eastern
WASHINGTON

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.

While we were in the neutral camp, this information from yesterday prompted ARC:Brian to comment: "The more that I learn about her, the less I like her..."
We undeniable still have a justice system that does not provide justice for all as provided by the Pledge of Allegiance. One justice for the rich, one justice for the poor. One justice sometimes for minorities, one for whites.

Not exactly the words from your typical conservative...

And I agree with Brian. However, the judiciary hearing is where she would've been given an opportunity to explain her positions and previous comments. Now that she's off the table, let's hope that some of the other candidates under consideration reconsider about their previous reluctance to go through the nomination process. Of course, given the warm reception that Harriet received from the commentariat and the punditocracy and the trust that George W Bush enjoys from his base on judicial nominees, I'm not sure that many that turned down the offer 2 months ago are likely to jump at the chance. Unless Bush nominates Coulter, Bork, or some other conservative firebrand with a long paper-trail that can "educate the public" on the role of the judiciary during the confirmation hearings, it's unlikely that the next nominee will have a similar reception. Of course, such a nominee is unlikely to get the support of Chafee, Snowe, Collins, etc. Oh, well... at least we'll score some political points.


MichelleMalkin
is covering as well...

***UPDATE***
Two things:
  1. Remember that many on the far right were disappointed in the "stealth nominee" Roberts until he actually voiced his opinions on the Judiciary Committee.
  2. Karl kept reassuring us that the CIA Leak would be pushed off the news for a while... Looks like he came through. Oh, and the new nominee will be announced shortly, continuing to bury the news on the indictments.


***UPDATE 2***
I hope the next nominee is one of the following:
  1. Miguel Estrada
  2. Edith Clement
  3. Janice Rogers Brown

and yes, they're all "diversity" picks. I'd like Luttig or McConnell (in that order), but don't think either would work. Of the three I selected above, I think Edith Clement is the least likely to force the nuclear option which, while many on the Right are begging for, is unlikely to be successful with the current batch of GOPers in the Senate. We must remember that the Republican party is made up of more than Southern and Midwestern conservatives. So one must be careful when making the selection that it gives the more moderate GOPers enough cover to stick with the party.

If you think the Miers withdrawal is a blow to Bush's political capital, just imagine if we have to employ the nuclear option for a nominee and we fail because Chafeee & Co join the Dems.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Plame B.S.

It seems that the inaction by Fitzgerald is generating a lot more talk than if he handed down some indictments. Check out this post from DailyKos and this post from the Raw Story, which is just a great site for news - unless you like facts.

Excerpted and skewered in full:

Prosecutor in leak case seeks indictments against Rove, Libby, lawyers close to case say
Jason Leopold and John Byrne

Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

Libby’s attorney, Joseph A. Tate, did not return a call seeking comment.

First, it's a fact that Plame wasn't undercover at the time of the disclosure - nor was she undercover within the past five years prior to the disclosure (which is the statute of limitations in the 1982 law). So, it's unlikely that this charge will be levied against anyone, EXCEPT if Plame status had been covertly changed to undercover and that information hasn't been made public yet.
Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.

Hmmmm... not employees of the White House means CIA/State Dept employees or journalists. Or perhaps someone from the neighborhood McDonalds who knew that she worked at the CIA? You... Make... the... call.
The grand jury had not yet decided on whether to make indictments at the time this article was published. It appears more likely that the jury would hand down indictments of perjury and obstruction than a charge that Plame was outed illegally.
Wait, I thought you just said that there was going to be an indictment against Libby for the outing? Looks like you're contradicting yourself...
Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

Those familiar with the case said that Libby did not inform Rove that Plame was covert. As a result, Rove may not be charged with a crime in leaking Plame’s identity, even though he spoke with reporters.

Yes, it's highly unlikely that Rove would get an indictment for violating the 1982 statute... it's also highly unlikely that Rove would get convicted of a perjury charge, given that he's repeatedly appeared before the grand jury to correct the record. (Unless he appeared before the Grand Jury and, instead of correcting the record, did something like arguing over the meaning of the word "is" a "sex."
A Wall Street Journal report Wednesday suggests Fitzgerald's primary focus is Cheney's office. An L.A. Times story last week indicated that Libby mounted an "aggressive campaign" against Joseph Wilson, the husband of the outed CIA agent, who questioned the Administration's claims that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from Niger.

Richard Sale, a former UPI intelligence reporter, wrote on a blog Wednesday that two White House officials were likely to be indicted, citing federal law enforcement and senior intelligence officials. Sale was the first to finger Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin in the Israel-AIPAC espionage case.

Rove’s charges appear to stem from allegations that he lied to FBI investigators in 2003, the sources said. Perjury and obstruction charges leveled against Libby center around conflicting testimony to the grand jury, they added.

So, again.. you've got conflicting stories on whether it's perjury or disclosure.... make up your mind, please.
The lawyers said Fitzgerald needed more evidence to convince the grand jury that Plame was in fact an undercover agent. On Monday, he sent FBI agents to her residential neighborhood to obtain testimony from neighbors that they were unaware of Plame’s employment prior to her outing.

Evidence collected in these inquiries was aimed at convincing the jury that she was covert, the lawyers said. A Reuters story indicated that Plame’s neighbors were not aware that she was working at the agency.

This part had me rolling... I don't know about you, but many of my neighbors couldn't tell you where I work... nor my wife. And just because your neighbors don't know you work for the CIA does not give you undercover status. Heck, even if you worked for the CIA and weren't undercover, would you tell all your neighbors that you worked there? If this is true, then Fitzgerald is truly reaching...
Any indictments are expected to be handed down today or Thursday. It is unclear how much information Fitzgerald will make public when they are announced.

Good guess... only way you can be wrong is if they're handed down on Friday. Thanks for the information!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Self-Determination

H/T Powerline

This article in the Washington Post about a speech that Miers gave back in 1993 has many conservatives withdrawing from their neutrality or even support of the nomination. Here is the text which is causing so much concern:

In Speeches From 1990s, Clues About Miers Views
Nominee Defended Social Activism

By Jo Becker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 26, 2005; A01

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers said in a speech more than a decade ago that "self-determination" should guide decisions about abortion and school prayer and that in cases where scientific facts are disputed and religious beliefs vary, "government should not act."

In a 1993 speech to a Dallas women's group, Miers talked about abortion, the separation of church and state, and how the issues play out in the legal system. "The underlying theme in most of these cases is the insistence of more self-determination," she said. "And the more I think about these issues, the more self-determination makes sense."

In that speech and others in the early 1990s when she was president of the Texas Bar Association, Miers also defended judges who order lawmakers to address social concerns. While judicial activism is derided by many conservatives, Miers said that sometimes "officials would rather abandon to the courts the hard questions so they can respond to constituents: I did not want to do that -- the court is making me."

Now, I'm certainly not a Constitutional Scholar. However, I am part of the Rovian Cabal and do get my daily dosage of the Kool-Aid and I think this statement can be read in two ways. First, one could argue that Miers is basically saying that the legislature should be making many of these decisions, but the courts are over-stepping their bounds. What does self-determination mean? Well, it could be framed in this way: What would happen if Roe vs. Wade were overturned today? Would abortion suddenly become an illegal practice? No - each state would suddenly have to decide (via the legislative process) whether abortion would be legal in their state or not. This is essentially self-determination - the elected representatives of the people of the state deciding how to handle such an issue.

What was the argument presented in Griswold to defend the statute restricting birth control in Connecticut? That the legislature has the ability to pass stupid laws - and face the consequences from the voters at the next election. This could be called self-determination... And she points out that in the past, the legislatures have been too chicken to tackle such tough issues and face the ire of the voters, leaving the matters up to the course. She does not see this as a good thing.

The other way that the term could be construed would be that people should be able to do whatever they want, and that the courts are basing their various decisions on the desire for people to decide for themselves - without regard to the impact of those actions on the rest of society. If this is what she meant, I for one would be move from the neutral camp to side with the opponents, since self-determination could be extended to decriminalization of drugs, assisted suicide, polygamy, you name it... All of a sudden, the oft quoted phrase of "Who am I to judge?" would become a Constitutional doctrine.

At least the guys at Powerline are asking Miers to explain the meaning of this speech and are not immediately calling for her withdrawal. It seems that many critics of the Miers nomination are using any and every piece of information to support their position, regardless of whether it actually does or not.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Other Clemon's bombshells....

As another example of how good Clemon's sourcing is, just look at a previous post:

This just in from a close friend who worked inside the pinnacle of Republican power in the Senate a few years ago, so while this is rumor -- it's Republican rumor, which makes it interesting:

Steve, just heard from trusted friend that McCain was approached about serving as VP if Cheney has "health problems" or otherwise steps down.

Beyond that, speculation that Miers will step down to be replaced by a Bork-like sub (even better, Bork himself...). In other words, Cheney takes a bullet, a titanic battle over SCOTUS ensued to change the subject. You didn't hear this from me, but feel free to pass on such unsubstantiated rumors.


Uh.. Yeah. Right.... McCain supposedly hates Bush, why would he accept a VP slot? Besides he could have been VP already if he had signed on with Kerry, and he turned him down flat. McCain doesn't want to be VP, he wants to be President.

And Bork? For a Miers replacement? Bork is ooooollllllddddddd.... and he was already rejected by the (albeit different) Senate. That dog just don't hunt.

Bork like? Sure I could see that after the trouncing that Miers got from the "elites" itching for a fight, but Bork himself? He wouldn't even accept it if it was offered to him. Well he might, just to have fun during his confirmation hearings before they kicked him to the curb again.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

All I want for Fitzmas....

The left is abuzz with Steve Clemon's latest at the Washington Note detailing indictments:

Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today

An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN (since confirmed by another independent source):

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.

More soon.

Unless his "uber-insider" is Patrick Fitzgerald I would take this all with a grain of salt. That being said, the comments go out into la-la land. They assume that the 5 include Libby, Rove, Cheney, Bolton, and possibly the President himself, despite the Constituational issues that obviously brings up.

Here then comes my predictions:
  • Rove? No indictment.
  • Libby? 50/50, but only if there's something Fitz knows that we haven't seen yet.
  • Fleischer? Possible, but doubtful.
  • Tenet? Not likely
  • Cheney? Bush? LOL not in a million years.
  • Hadley (NSA advisor)? 50/50
  • Harlow (CIA press spokesman)? Not likely
  • Colin Powell? Wouldnt that be interesting? Probably not though.
  • Bolton? No... If Bolton were liable to be indicted he never would have been fought so hard for UN amabassador.
Now how about the press?
  • Russert (NBC)? No
  • Miller (NYT)? No
  • Pincus (WaPo)? No
  • Corn (The Nation)? 10% just to keep things interesting
CIA cabal? If the left can guess at the President, I can guess at Wilson, et. al.
  • Wilson? 50/50 What did Fitz call him for on the 29th?
  • Plame? 25% Maybe less
*** Update ***
Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute is the expert on this bar none. His latest post is his predictions . I have to say I pretty much agree with him. Libby could be indicted. Tradesports is running 80% for a Libby indictment.

If you've got several hundred hours, just keep scrolling through Tom's archives in the comments. You'll see more analysis (and more neutral at that! -ed) than you'll ever see in the New York Times, or the Washington Post.

**************

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Franken and the Hatred of the Left

Similar to Jon Stewart's defense that his show shouldn't be taken seriously because it follows a show with puppets, Franken always hides behind his profession as a comedian - although that's been a questionable assertion for several decades.

Here are just two examples of how funny Franken is in his hatred. From NewsBusters:

Al Franken's Rerun Rove and Libby Execution Remark Draws Laughter From Lauer
Posted by Geoffrey Dickens on October 25, 2005 - 11:45.

On Today, at 8:52am Al Franken was on to promote his new book The Truth and repeated his twisted joke from Friday's Letterman in which he predicted that Rove and Libby will be executed for treason. Franken's "joke," drew laughter from Matt Lauer and the rest of the Today show studio. The following is just a portion of this morning's interview:

Matt Lauer: "All right, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby what’s their future? What’s your prediction in terms of indictments? Yes or no?"

Franken: "Oh they, they’ll be indicted. I, I am absolutely sure and this is about, of course, the war in Iraq really. It’s about the justification for the war and smearing Joe Wilson by outing his wife who’s a CIA agent. George H.W. Bush, the President’s father, said, as, when he was head of the CIA, that outing a CIA agent is treason. I, I agree. So I think that Rove and Libby will be executed." Lauer laughed along with those in the studio.
It's great that such comments generate laughs from the crew in NYC. It's a shame that Lauer didn't take the opportunity to ask Franken about Franken stealing money from the Girls & Boys Club in New York. Or, perhaps they could've framed it in a "humorous" way: "Why haven't you been executed for your involvement in stealing money from poor children?" Oh, that's right... it's unlikely Matt Lauer is even aware of the story since it hasn't been covered sufficiently by the NYTimes.

And in this video clip, he shows how tolerant the Left is of criticism. Of course, because he's a "comedian" all of this is just laughed off...

Of course, Rush Limbaugh's "humor" is often used as examples of how much of an extremist he is (feminazis, caller abortions, etc). Perhaps Rush, Glenn Beck, or even O'Reilly should produce a similar clip for their next literary submission.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Next Instance of the Chewbacca Defense

On my ride to the airport this AM (4.30 am EDT to be precise), heard Georgie Galloway talking on the NYC public radio... Seems that some poppenjays have been doing some investigation into Galloway and have found that there was some Saddamite cash which found its way to Galloway's pockets.

H/T Ace of Spades

GEORGE GALLOWAY faces possible criminal charges after a US Senate investigation tracked $150,000 (£85,000) in Iraqi oil money to his wife’s bank account in Jordan. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will refer the Respect Party MP for possible prosecution after concluding that he gave “false and misleading” testimony at his appearance before the panel in May.

The sub-committee claimed that, through intermediaries, Mr Galloway and the Mariam Appeal were granted eight allocations of Iraqi crude oil totalling 23 million barrels from 1999 to 2003.

It will also forward the new information to British authorities, saying it raised questions about Mr Galloway’s financial disclosure and the payment of illegal kickbacks to Iraq. “We have what we would call the smoking gun,” said Senator Norm Coleman, the sub-committee’s Republican chairman.

The sub-committee’s report, released today, was provoked by Mr Galloway’s clash with the senators — which he turned into a book entitled Mr Galloway goes to Washington. In that encounter, the anti-war MP vehemently denied receiving oil allocations from Iraq.

But the report provides bank account details tracking payments from an oil company through a Jordanian middleman to Mr Galloway’s now estranged wife, Amineh Abu- Zayyad, and his Mariam Appeal fund.

Now, Galloway's best bud was found to have received cash from Saddam and Galloway swept it aside. Now, his wife is caught with black gold on her hands. There are two defense strategies that Galloway will employ (the following written with a Scottish accent):
  1. Well, the oil contracts weren't with ME, you bahstard. It was just my wife... Why, she's got plenty of dealings and experience in the oil industry - just a coincidence
  2. Once that fails, this strategy is sure to follow:
    But ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: Ladies and gentlemen this [pointing to a picture of Chewbacca] is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! (Background: Damnit! What? He's using the Chewbacca defense!) Why would a Wookiee—an eight foot tall Wookiee—want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

ScrappleFace on Chimpy McBushitler's Transformation of the Middle East

Visit ScrappleFace often...

Iraq Constitution Approval Another Setback for Bush
by Scott Ott

(2005-10-25) -- In yet another setback for the Bush administration, Iraqi electoral officials announced today that voters have approved the new Iraqi Constitution by a margin of 78-to-21 percent.

This new bit of bad news will likely drive President George Bush's popularity ratings into the single digits, according to an unnamed expert from a non-partisan, progressive political think-tank.

"The Bush foreign policy continues to be fatally-wounded by clarity of purpose, dogged persistence and a pathetic failure to capitulate in the face of opposition," the source said. "At a time when a real leader would be paralyzed with self-doubt over the meaningless deaths of 2,000 American troops, Bush continues to act as if freeing 25 million Iraqis from decades of oppression, torture and death is somehow worth the price paid by those who volunteered to fight."

"It's sad to watch our international credibility crumble like this," the anonymous policy expert said. "In 2008, I'm afraid you're going to see voters leaving the Republican party in droves, desperate to find a leader who provides a stronger sense of nuance and ambiguity."

Fortunately, the Dems have "leaders" that fit that description in abundance.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

So Long to Andrea Mitchell's Husband

Well, Alan Greenspan's long run as Fed Chairman is over. It appears that Bernanke will be a little more straight-forward regarding the Federal Reserve policies, at least in the short-term (until his words have severe consequences).

Here are some interesting points from this WSJ article which I find important:


Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and member of the committee that will weigh the nomination, yesterday said he had told Mr. Bernanke by phone that the next Fed chairman should be "a cheerleader or jawboner to prevent our deficit from getting any worse." The senator said Mr. Bernanke replied that "at the Fed he would not comment on non-monetary matters," a stance that some inside the Fed would welcome.
[...]
Indeed, Mr. Bernanke, while at Princeton, co-authored an influential study that he presented at the Fed's Jackson Hole, Wyo., retreat in 1999 -- at the height of the technology-stock bubble -- arguing that the Fed shouldn't set interest-rate targets with a mind to influencing prices of stocks or other assets.
[...]
Until he joined the Council of Economic Advisers, Mr. Bernanke had little contact with Mr. Bush, and indeed in many ways is the antithesis of the power-suited business executives that Mr. Bush has preferred for top economic policy posts. But he appears to have earned Mr. Bush's trust. Earlier this year, Mr. Bush gently chided Mr. Bernanke for showing up at an Oval Office meeting wearing a dark suit with tan socks, according to several people familiar with the incident.

A few days later, Mr. Bernanke showed up early for another meeting with Mr. Bush and distributed tan socks to the meeting's other participants. When Mr. Bush arrived, all, including Vice President Dick Cheney, were wearing tan socks. Mr. Bush laughed.

1 - He's not taking Schumer's bait. (Greenspan was known to comment on the growing deficit, but not just from a tax policy side - he continued to chide the government that it was spending beyond its means. Something that Schumer probably ignored...)
2 - He's got a sense of humor and is sure of himself.

In addition, it looks like Larry Kudlow may get his wish and have a Fed Chairman that is steering the economy while looking through the windshield, instead of the rearview mirror.
In another subtle difference between Mr. Greenspan and his designated successor, Mr. Greenspan long has questioned the usefulness of complex statistical models for forecasting the economy. Mr. Bernanke has done pioneering work developing them. Mr. Bernanke probably will have a closer relationship with staff economists at the Fed because he shares their academic tool kit.

I'm not sure an explicit inflation target (mentioned in the article) is a good thing... while Greenspan certainly was operating with an implicit target, having an official target may prove counterproductive.

Only time will tell... Larry Kudlow has more here and here.

I wonder how Paul Krugman is reacting to the story (given that Bernanke is the guy that hired him into Princeton)? Unfortunately, the wall of TimesSelect prevents me from knowing. Somehow, I think this is probably a good thing.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, October 24, 2005

A weak attempt at a "Lileksian" Post from St Wendeler

Some Lileksian (?) moments that I had with my son over the weekend... (I know that "Lileksian" isn't a word, but damnit it should be... and I'm not referring to his screedblog or posts where he's totally political, but the popcorn stuff about his daughter, Gnat... you know, where you actually FEEL like you're sitting there scrolling through the iPod with him, making the trip to the grocery store with him, etc... There's probably only enough room in this blogosphere for one such story teller and I'll definitely cede that territory to him, but here's a stab at it.)

Had a great weekend with the family... Fun stuff... did some work done around the house, took the kids to get a flu shot. You know, stuff that's just a blast!

Being Cooool and Brave
My son is 3 1/2 years old and I've posted a pic or two of him on this blog. Well, before we left to go to the doctors, he decided he had to comb his hair so it'd look cool. After he came out with his hair looking like a bird's nest, I did a quick fix with the comb and we got ready to go... He immediately breaks into tears:

"But I want to be cool. I not cool... my hair not cool. "

Am I in trouble or what? What 3 year old knows what "cool" is? Being the good Dad that I am, I immediately break out the digital videocam and start filming his breakdown - you know, so I could play it back to him when he's 15... I'm sure his therapist will find it very amusing, too.

Load the kids in the car and we head out to the doctors... Since my daughter is only 6 months, no need to explain to her where we're going. We've told my son that we're going to the doctors, but not the minor detail that it's for a shot. My wife and I have been delaying this until we had him strapped in the car, so he couldn't try and stall.

Son: "Why we going this way? Dr. Teesha isn't this way..." (What 3 year old knows the way to their doctors office?)

Me: "Oh, we're going to a different doctor today..."

Son: "Why?"

Wife: "Well, we're taking you and your baby sister to get a shot today... so you don't get sick this winter."

Son: "A shot? I LIKE SHOTS!!!"

Both of our jaws drop as we look at each other. We had thought of toys and special treats that we could use to keep his mind off of the shot, but he seemed to be okay with the concept.

"OK, that's great!"

We arrive at the doctors clinic and head into the room. Son sits on my lap and I roll up his sleeve. Well, as they get out the needle, a look of terror suddenly appears on his face. I realize that his only knowledge of shots thus far is probably from the toy doctor's kit that he has at Grammy & Granddads. And when he plays with that, he always gets a pill after giving (or receiving a shot). And the "pills" at Grammy & Granddads are peanut M&Ms.

As the nurse plunges the needle into his arm, I could see that he was surprised by the pain. But he didn't cry or anything... I think it was over before he realized what had happened. But I know I winced as she gave him the shot. As the nurse put the circus band-aid on him, he tells the nurse "I like shots..." but this time, not sounding as sure as he was in the car.

He then jumped up onto the examining table with his baby sister so he could sing to here and help her through the shot. Like nothing had happened.

As we leave the room and go to sit down in the waiting room, my nieces come into the office for their shots... He runs up to both of them and shows them his bandaid and proclaims, "I'm brave... I like shots!"

I tell him, "You sure were brave... and you know what made me proudest? When you helped your baby sister with her shots. You're such a good big brother."

Pancakes
Another moment, from breakfast on Saturday. I normally make breakfast with the help of my son on one day of the weekend. It's usually pancakes - he loves to stir the ingredients...
Son: "Let's eat our pancakes outside!!! "
Me: " It's kind of cold to eat them outside." [about 45 degrees or so...and foggy]
Son: "I know... I got great idea! we can wrap up in a blanket to stay warm!"
Me: "That's a good idea... but I think you'll still be cold. Why don't you open the door and let the dog in and see how cold it is."
Son: "Maybe we should just eat them inside, huh?"

And finally, our new favorite game.
For my birthday, my son got me a set of flashlights. He loves flashlights and all of the ones that I've had were cheap ones that broke within 30 minutes of use. Well, as I'm watching this trainwreck, my son comes running over...
Son: "Daddy, I've got great idea... Let's play flashlight tag!! You get the big flashlight and I'll use the little one. "

Me: "Ok, what are the rules? "

He explains... it's essentially hide & go seek in the dark w/ flashlights.

Me: "Ok, who hides first?"

Son: "I'll hide first. I know!!! I'll hide in here" (pointing to his favorite spot to hide.)

Me: "Don't tell me! You've got to hide so it's tough for me to find you... I'll go count and you hide."

I run to the designated counting spot and count to 10 real loud...All of the lights are off in the house and I start searching for him. Sure enough, I see his little flashlight glowing from his favorite hiding spot and hear him giggling. I smile and pretend not to hear him as I search through the entire house... as his giggling gets louder. After searching everywhere but his spot, I come running over and yell "THERE YOU ARE!!!"

Son: "You found me!!! I love playing this game with you, Daddy... it's fun!"

We continue to play the new game... 45 minutes later, I've completely forgotten about the dreadful Cardinals game and am laughing with my son.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Update to an Update....

In my addition to the good Saint's post below, the Saint and I both stated that we are consistent on perjury and were somewhat troubled by Sen Hutchison's statement on MTP this past weekend floating a trial baloon about "technicalities" not being real crimes.

The great Michelle Malkin has weighed in on the Senator's comments and I can only concur wholeheartedly:

Perjury and obstruction of justice are serious crimes, whether committed by D's, R's, or otherwise. Period.
Ditto.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Encounter With A Moonbat

I was at Yosemite Saturday to get some sunset/dusk pictures. I encountered another photographer on our perch high above the Yosemite Valley looking out toward El Capitan and Half Dome. He had a beautiful new high-end Canon digital.

We talked for awhile about such things as color, composition and light. He knew his stuff. He seemed normal enough.

Then we were joined by a German tourist couple. They seemed like nice folks. My companion then started to tell them some things: Bush is just like Hitler, the US is just like Germany in the 1930s, people are being "disappeared" here in the US, people are being tortured etc. Holy smokes!

I stood behind the guy and to one side so the tourists could see me. I tapped my temple with my right index finger and shook my head. I hoped the sign was universally understood. They smiled.

There really ARE people like this. Before this encounter I thought it was kind of overstated all in the spirit of fun, you know, Moonbats and the like. Well, they are out there, and they really think like that.

How many of these folks are there?

Well, I got one heck of a nice picture.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Sunday, October 23, 2005

In Defense of "Hypocrisy"

The Kossacks are calling out Kay Bailey Hutchinson over her appearance Meet the Left Meet the Press. Kay essentially argued that it's silly to prosecute someone for perjury if there's no underlying crime.

The Kossacks make this point:

On Meet the Press, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson picks up where [Bill Kristol] left off:
I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation were not a waste of time and dollars.
Russert reminded her that Republicans didn't always feel that way. Maybe lying about sex is more important than lying about releasing classified information. Hell, the Media seems to think so.

Now, I agree that perjury is a serious crime and should be prosecuted. In that, I am consistent.

However, it has been demonstrated that Plame was not a "covered" agent and had not been for quite some time - so long that mentioning that she worked for the CIA was not a violation of the law. (At least, this is what we know today from publicly available information - which may be countered by confidential information that is only known to Fitzgerald). So, I will change my position and argue against prosecution for perjury for "the architect" if the following criteria are met:
  1. Fitzgerald confirms that Plame was not a covered agent and the "statute of limitations" of her previous covered status meant that disclosure of her as a CIA employee is not in violation of the law
  2. Rove's repeated testimonies are truthful in the most objective sense, without legalistic maneuverings
If Rove actually found additional notes/emails/etc that he then used to improve his testimony and actively sought to correct the record, then it's unwise to prosecute.

I know the answer to #1 (assuming current facts do not change). I can't imagine that Rove sat in a grand jury and argued over the meaning of the word "is" and "disclosure." If he did, then it's time for a full court to hear the situation.

Unfortunately for the Left, they have no basis for arguing for a perjury charge when they so successfully characterized perjury as a mere misdemeanor. And that will give me the opportunity to use the ultimate slur (at least to them) against the Left: Hypocrisy!!!!

*** Update from ARC: Brian ***

Thought I'd throw my position in here instead of my own post. Perjury is perjury. If Rove, or Libby, or anybody else went into a GJ and lied (about a material fact) then they should be indicted and prosecuted. I've been clear on that from the beginning, as have you Saint. The key is the material fact. So far in the press the one thing that people seem to be pointing to Rove about is the discrepency between Cooper and Rove on their conversation. The only discrepency was that Rove said the purpose of the call was welfare reform and Cooper disagreed. That isn't a material fact to the underlying issue and as such shouldn't be prosecutable under perjury.

So the only thing that looks to be pointing to Rove as to perjury would be that he didn't recall the conversation at all, until the email was found, at which point he testified. Sorry, that doesn't seem like perjury to me, especially, since it was his lawyer that essentially found the new document.

We'll just have to wait and see what the GJ returns with regards to indictments though. I think the trial baloons of defenses that Kay is throwing seem premature if you ask me.

ARC: Brian
**********************************

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Blogging From an Undisclosed Location

Seems to be a recurring theme, eh? Here's a picture from my hotel room.



Figure this would be better than some picture of an airport terminal.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Aggressively promoting our Neutral Position on Harriet Miers

H/T Protein Wisdom

Well N.Z. Bear has some code crawling the blogosphere looking for the exact positions of each blog on the Harriet Miers nomination. As readers of this blog know, we're waiting for the nominee to actually open her mouth and provide us with her opinions on her judicial philosophy before making a judgement.

Here are the results that N.Z. Bear has found.

We have serious concerns, such as the potential "Gonzales" problem (where she is forced to recuse herself from matters before the court that involve issues surrounding the PATRIOT Act and the War On Terror in general. (This is my biggest misgiving.) I'm also concerned about her apparent promotion of the amicus brief filed in the Univ of Michigan Law Scool racial quota case. Not just that the status quo was championed, but because it resulted in some of the most twisted logic out of O'Connor in decades: I've never seen a constitutional right that had a temporal quality.

However, I know that this President can be trusted when it comes to judges. I just hope that he wasn't looking solely at the results of her potential positions on the Court, but that she was truly a strict constructionist - because there will be plenty of issues where having a Strict Constructionist is more important than having a Pro-Life Justice. Sure, Bush may "know" how she'll rule on abortion, but how would she have ruled on Kelo? Strict Constructionism is more than just a ruling on Roe... it's an overarching philosophy that will make sure future and similarly idiotic rulings never occur in the first place.

For these reasons, I am neutral on the Miers nomination.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler