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April 20, 2007

Comments

Even AG AG isn't that dumb. It's simple: he can be a loyal moron, or he can point the finger at Rove and Bush.

And if he had the character to stand up and point that finger, he would've left this administration back when he was White House Counsel.

Anderson beat me to it - we're all focused on the dumbass in the chair, not his boss and the boss's hatchet man.

impeach him. if he's not simply playing dumb as a stonewall tactic to protect his bosses, he's beyond incompetent. either way, impeach him.

The only thing I'll add to the comments above is this.

Bush et al are perfectly happy to feed Gonzales to the wolves. At some point, probably soon, Gonzales will resign, but as long he's not blowing the whistle, Bush won't be in a rush to push him out.

Bush is running out the clock to January of '09. If grilling Gonzales burns a month or two of that time, all the better.

Better him than them. What else are underlings for?

Thanks -

Two things.

1. I never follow the link when Ugh cites the Bizarro World version of reality, and I'm not going to now. I wonder, though, where they are, especially now that the President has expressed confidence in the AG.

2. This is probably a good time for everyone to remember that Atlantic article from lo those many years ago about AG's review of death sentences in Texas. I'll look for a link . . .

I'm not so sure he's going to be put out. The Republicans are upset but I don't think they're quite ready to vote for an impeachment. And I have trouble picturing Bush saying "Yeah, I guess we better let him go." I have no trouble picture Bush saying "Screw them....Fredo stays and that's final. I double-dog dare them to do anything about it."

(I also have little trouble picturing Bush saying "Nyah-nyah-nyah" after that)

I remember a Seinfeld episode where Jerry tried to return a piece of clothing "for spite" and was told he couldn't do that. When he tried to give a different reason, the clerk pointed out that he had already said "for spite."

I swear this might be the first time in history that most major governmental decisions are made mainly "for spite".......

Gonzales can't be prosecuted for lying to Congress if he says he doesn't remember anything.

If he can't tell the truth and he can't lie, looking stupid is the least of his problems.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200307/berlow>Lo.

I agree with russell -- on this, as so many other things (tax and budget policy, an endgame for Iraq), it seems like the Administration is just running out the clock. It's almost as if they want the next Administration to walk in to a bunch of blinking red crises, so they can't have a positive agenda -- just deal with the leftover problems.

Yesterday they were asking for recommendations for replacment AGs and came up with....John Bolton.

On the other hand, the White House spokesperson calls Gonzales our number one crime fighter.

I think this implies he spends his time putting on a costume and engaging the bad guys in hand-to-hand combat. It might explain his lack of preparation for the hearing.

OT: Shooting at NASA JSC, Houston

"..when asked a question about Hamlet, said: I was unaware that Shakespeare wrote a play by that name."

Hamlet- Act 1; Scene 2:

...foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

Heck of a job, Gonzie!

I remember writing to Sen Cantwell (first time I've ever written any of my senators) when Abu G was nominated telling her not to confirm him, from news reports she had been waivering. Thankfully she eventually caved to us left wing extremists who take issue with devising legal justifications for torture. She eventually voted no, which given what we know now looks like a pretty good move on her part.

One thing we can be sure of: "widely regarded as a likely future Supreme Court nominee" (from the Atlantic article) is no longer true.

I have no idea if Gonzales is a fool or just acting the fool, either way, he's destroying the Justice Department and making it harder and harder for any sensible Republican to continue to defend the Bush Administration.

If he can't tell the truth and he can't lie, looking stupid is the least of his problems.

Yep.

I think the real reason for Bush's support of Gonzalez is pretty simple. In addition to his stubborn "I will do the opposite of what you say, for I am the decider" approach to management, there's another little weight on the scale:

Gonzalez is a loyalist. He will protect the White House at all costs. He was sent in to replace a man already considered pretty freakin' conservative and not terribly interested in bucking the White House.

If he resigns, a replacement must pass Congressional muster. I think that after 4 years of a Republican Congress and a feeling of a permanent Republican majority, the very last thing the White House wants is to install an Attorney General with even a shred of integrity or professionalism.

Such an AG might feel compelled to enforce Congressional subpoenas, push actual investigations into political wrongdoing, and dig into things like the misuse of executive power.

The real reason Gonzalez hasn't resigned is because his replacement won't be a complete tool of the White House. And that is not something the White House wants to risk.

The whole thing makes more sense when you realize that virtually every appointment Bush has made has been for 100% personal reasons. People in this country have become so fearful, and at the same time so complacent, that we can't face up to the fact that much of what we consider "government" no longer exists.

Abu isn't our Attorney General - we don't *have* an AG. There *isn't one*.

Cleek:

Shooting at NASA JSC, Houston

A few tidbits: First, it's a lie that all employees have been told to go home for the day. All employees who work in building 44, maybe. I work in a completely different building on-site, and I'm still at my desk.

Secondly, he's contained in an empty building and surrounded by police. I don't think anyone's been hurt. Sounds like a disgruntled employee, by all acounts.

I think the police are waiting it out.

Thirdly -- security isn't that tight. It's difficult to get in if you don't work here, but getting a gun in if you do is pretty freakin' easy. Searching every car is an impossible task given the number of employees who work here. I am, however, resigning myself to getting my car searched more often now.

Everyone is always careful about the barn door after the horses have gotten out.

Charleycarp:

Erick Erickson at Redstate, after writing a couple of posts accusing unnamed Democrats at Justice of somehow mesmerizing ("look into my eyes, I command you," while holding up the palms of his hands with eyes drawn on them) all of the leadership into firing the prosecutors, finally called for Gonzalez to step down after watching the proceedings yesterday.

The unnamed Democrats were never named so they could be apologized to because Erick preferred that they remain unnamed, the better to keep them under wraps so they can be trotted out again unnamed at DOD and accused of undermiming (undermining, but "undermiming" seems apt) the war effort by contradicting the President's claims that money will run out soon if unnamed Democrats don't send him carte blanche funding.


he's contained in an empty building and surrounded by police. I don't think anyone's been hurt.

good to hear.

thanks for the info. better to hear it from someone who knows WTF he's talking about than from a five-sentence news report.

Guest- Its worse than you think. There is someone using the powers of that office for organized crime.

Shorter AG:

“I made the decision, but have no idea why I made the decision. People who worked for me told me to make this decision, and in my supervisory capacity, I always do what I’m told.”

(h/t Firedoglake)

Incidentally, I especially loved Gonzalez' umbrage at criticism by Senators of career employees at Justice.

Career civil servants across the government, especially scientists and civil rights attorneys, and in particular the faceless ones and let's not forget the unnamed ones, are swooning at the Administration's newly-discovered respect for them.

Gonzalez' testimony reminded me of when my 11-year-old sister came to the dinner table one night with no eyebrows, having plucked them for the first time and failing at making them even. She withstood three older brothers' and a sister's and my mother's barely controlled guffawing during cross-examination but denied for hours that anything was amiss.

She even got up from the table and looked in the mirrow and protested, "I don't see anything!", barely maintaining composure.

"Yeah," we said. "That's the problem!"

thanks for the info. better to hear it from someone who knows WTF he's talking about than from a five-sentence news report.

I've started to hear reports he may have two hostages but -- it seems speculation, though. Police generally are closed-mouthed about that. Rumor is that he's not a civil servant, but a private contractor.

JSC has lifted their site-wide lockdown, and let people know what gates to use since one of the main avenues is closed off by the cops. Best I understand, whether he's alone or has two people with him, he's stuck in an office and police have sealed the floor.

It's a bid odd to have this happen where I work (the JSC site is like a huge college campus in layout -- in fact, if it ever closes, I believe Rice University acquires the property for another campus).

I mean, I'm aware of the security procedures here -- badge verification on entry, random car searches, and the fact that my office is in one of a number of buildings surrounded by metal pylons designed to prevent car bombs from getting close enough to harm the building -- but in the end, this seems your basic unstable employee with a gun sort of thing.

Maybe he didn't get the raise he wanted, or the promotion, or he's depressed, or had a psychotic break, or what. I hope it ends with no one harmed.

If he resigns, a replacement must pass Congressional muster.
Not if Bush makes a recess appointment, and he hasn't been reluctant to do that in the past. Yes, it would anger Congress further, but that's irrelevant to Bush's thinking (or maybe he views it as a good thing).

So, if Gonzales simply continues to claim he doesn't remember a thing and he didn't make any decisions, what's the next step for Congress?

So, if Gonzales simply continues to claim he doesn't remember a thing and he didn't make any decisions, what's the next step for Congress?

I think we might need to institute competency hearings for members of the Bush admin - like they do with crazy criminal defendants.

Not if Bush makes a recess appointment, and he hasn't been reluctant to do that in the past. Yes, it would anger Congress further, but that's irrelevant to Bush's thinking (or maybe he views it as a good thing).

True. I think I'd avoid recessing until I had a chance to do something about that.

Which begs the question: When is Congress' next schedule recess? Gonzalez will resign right before that, if he does at all.

Morat20, I wouldn't put it past Bush to do a recess appointment over a weekend. Apparently Teddy Roosevelt made a recess appointment during a one-day recess.

i don't know if this is old news or not, but here's a good layman's summary of the whole "Purgegate " fiasco

One of the (great many) things that bothers me about this crew is their stark lack of any sense that they are there to serve the people of the United States. This manifests itself in many ways.

It manifests itself in their treatment of Congress, both the current Democratic congress and even the Republican congress before them (see, e.g., the recess appointments, the refusal of oversight, their disregard for duly enacted statutes, etc. etc. etc.).

It manifests itself in their press conferences, which they treat (especially under Snow) as an opportunity to hide as much as they can and belittle the media. As if no question asked could be of any interest to the people.

It manifests itself in Bush's speeches and appearances across the nation, where any attempt to dissent from the "George Bush is t3h awusummest" line is squelched.

It manifests itself in their governance, where all decisions are made based on what is best for GWB and his merry band of republican MBFs.

The BTKWB 25% will cheer this to the end, but the rest of us are f*cked.

At NASA Johnson, one hostage is dead, the other escaped, the gunman killed himself. Expletives deleted.

I eagerly await J-Derb's missive on the cowardice of NASA employees.

One of the (great many) things that bothers me about this crew is their stark lack of any sense that they are there to serve the people of the United States.

i think John Bolton made that explicit when he was on the Daily Show a few weeks back. he told Stewart that the president was elected to serve the people who voted for him. and he meant it. everyone else can go suck it.

to do that, they have to assume they know what the people who voted for him want. and their assumption could be quite different from what the actual voters want. and it's probably 180deg different from what the people who voted for Kerry want.

so, we're at the mercy of people who are serving their ideal constituency, exclusively.

I don’t see anyone on the right carrying water for AG. If anything, the calls for him to resign are as many as on the left. I would say there is bilateral condemnation and scoffing at this performance.

I’ll agree with others, in that the only way to explain this would be “taking one for the team”.

Or, he is a complete and total idiot given the job solely through cronyism.

Your choice – I certainly won’t mount an argument either way…

out of the park, hilz.

i'm coming to feel that gonzo is of a breed with bush -- given a lot through entitlement, not so much via skill. seems like the white house is mostly filled with people who got their positions either as a gift or out of sheer brutality.

elitist notions like "aptitude" aren't really part of the equation.

Oh, and, OCSteve:

Don't you think that being willing to take one for the team is one of the defining qualities for a good crony? The whole point is that the person gets the job as a result of their loyalty rather than their qualifications.

As a crony, when you go down, you go down in flames, and as a reward you get a nice job the next time they get doled out.

I'm not saying that as a partisan point -- just that it seems sort of implicit to me.

About that Houston thing:

Filed at 6:49 p.m. ET

HOUSTON (AP) -- A NASA contract worker took a handgun inside an office building Friday at the Johnson Space Center and fatally shot a hostage before killing himself, police said. A second hostage escaped with minor injuries. The gunman shot himself once in the head more than three hours after barricading himself on the second floor of Building 44, which houses a laboratory.

The slain hostage was probably killed ''in the early minutes of the whole ordeal,'' Houston Police Capt. Dwayne Ready said.

None of those involved were immediately identified.

The man was believed to be an employee of Jacobs Engineering, which has a technical support contract with NASA.

There's more.

"i'm coming to feel that gonzo is of a breed with bush -- given a lot through entitlement, not so much via skill."

"Loyalty," sure; "entitlement" -- not as the word is used in English.

adam: No disagreement. I will not attempt the feeblest support here, I give up. Crony = take one for the team = bad for the country = should not have happened = fiasco.

Gary,
I always enjoy your comments, and even usually agree with them. I like to think I could comment as cogently if only I had what seems to be you encyclopedic knowledge of everything.
In this case I think you are wrong because I can easily see how someone like AG, having signed up for the Bush feudal system, might after many years of blindly loyal service feel entitled to a plum position like Attorny General.

Houston: oh dear God.

OCSteve: no, I don't see anyone on the right sticking up for him. If anything, I sense a certain amount of anger at Bush for putting them in the position where they might even seem to have to defend him.

OTOH, it would have been a good idea not to have voted to confirm in the first place. I don't think his lack of qualifications was any great mystery when he was nominated.

Your words are very kind, Baskaborr.

But when one gets jobs in return for loyalty, one is getting the jobs in return for something.

People who get something out of entitlement need do nothing to get it. That's what "entitlement" means.

George W., and George H. W. Bush, grew up entitled to the use of Walker's Point, and all that entails.

Alberto Gonzales, for all his obvious and inobvious faults, grew up entitled to nothing.

Gonzales was only given all his jobs by George W. Bush because he first gave utter loyalty to G. W. Bush. Regardless of what we think of this criterion, there's no doubt that Bush felt that Gonzales earned the jobs out of that loyalty. Bush did not give the jobs to Gonzales because of who Gonzales' parents were, or randomly, nor because Gonzales was in any way "entitled" to the jobs, as the word is used in English.

As adam said: "The whole point is that the person gets the job as a result of their loyalty"

You can't both get something "as a result of [...] loyalty," and simultaneously get it only because you're entitled to it: that's contradictory; being entitled to something is, by definition, getting something out of entitlement, which means you did nothing to earn the job. You can't simultaneously earn something and not earn it.

An extremely small point, to be sure, but, hey, I get hung up on the meanings of words, and usage, and stuff far more trivial.

Hilzoy: I sense a certain amount of anger at Bush for putting them in the position where they might even seem to have to defend him

Exactly. If you watch 5 minutes of that you are like HUH?!?


Gary: Your words are very kind, Baskaborr.

Leave it there dude. Forget about “An extremely small point”. IMO, YMMV.

I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. I don't often see disagreements with Gary end well for the challenger but here I go. When I look up entitlement I find things like "state of being entitled", when I look up entitled I find things like "having been granted title, claim or right to something". Not a word about having done nothing to earn that grant. I was using the American Heritage dictionary. That fits with the way I find the word commonly used, to mean that someone has earned a claim to something, so that no further action is required to earn that thing.

Speaking of going down in flames, the notion that the 7th Circuit's ruling in the Georgia Thompson case might have been political can't stand up to any reading of Judge Easterbook's http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=rss_sho&shofile=06-3676_015.pdf>opinion (pdf).

Exactly. If you watch 5 minutes of that you are like HUH?!?

If you listen to people who voted for this clown show in 2000, much less 2004, finding to their surprise that the Administration isn't a serious adult enterprise, you are definitely like HUH?!?

On that note, I will resign the floor. I had no intention of thread-jacking.

Hilzoy's excellent post deserves discussion on it's merits not digression into unrelated matters.

To paraphrase what was said about PROFESSOR IRWlN COREY:

"In the words of internationally known critic Kenneth Tynan, [Alberto Gonzales] is 'a cultural clown, a parody of literacy, a travesty of all that our civilization holds dear and one of the funniest grotesques in America. He is Chaplin's clown with a college education.'"

OCSteve: If Bad People, on whichever side, find out your secret identity, mi guest room es su guest room. It would be a bit of a commute, but it would be more convenient to the Eastern Shore than, say, staying with Seb in San Diego. No conversion to Left-wing America-Despising Troop-Undermining Bush-Hatred required.

CharleyCarp :If you listen to people who voted for this clown show in 2000, much less 2004, finding to their surprise that the Administration isn't a serious adult enterprise, you are definitely like HUH?!?

Well, I fit into the definition of “people who voted for this clown show in 2000, much less 2004” plus it was addressed to me…

All I can say in my defense – my lesson learned is, don’t be a one issue voter. Mostly because that one issue could turn out to be ineptly handled and then where are you? Not that I ever would have voted for AG or JK, but I could have abstained or something. Hindsight is a bummer. At best I could have sat home and then said now, “Well, I didn’t vote for him…” – but what would be different?

I voted for him, twice. Short of admitting that what would you have me do?

"I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. I don't often see disagreements with Gary end well for the challenger but here I go."

No, no, I've made my point, and I feel no need to repeat myself. You're entitled to go on being wrong as long as you like: it's part of the freedom that is America!

(Note: that's not a right you've earned in this conversation; it's an entitlement -- like Social Security.)

;-)

Hil: No conversion to Left-wing America-Despising Troop-Undermining Bush-Hatred required

(wrong thread?)

I appreciate that. And I wouldn’t try to convert you to a Fred Phelps or KKK follower either – my promise.

CharleyCarp: I will mention that I can not vote in the Democratic primary. So it is up to you and all Democrats at this point to elect a candidate I can be persuaded to vote for, even holding my nose. If the far left wing of your party prevails, it enables me to keep voting for a Republican (or just staying home if the Republican is that bad.)

I should mention – the last time I had a choice between a Republican I didn’t like and a Democrat I didn’t like I voted for Ross Perot :)

"And I wouldn’t try to convert you to a Fred Phelps or KKK follower either – my promise."

Imagine my relief ;)

I should mention – the last time I had a choice between a Republican I didn’t like and a Democrat I didn’t like I voted for Ross Perot :)

Me, too. I'm still not sure, though, that taking any of the other two options would have been a much better decision.

Imagine my relief

You would have to restrain me from confronting Phelps, and my Grand Wizard pointy hat has been out of style since the Coneheads went off the air :)

I think I shall be scarce on these intertubes tomorrow. (I know, you’ll miss me.)

First 70 degree day in April (this April has sucked!), a friend way down the peninsula in VA, a grill, massive quantities of beef and beer, some green leafy stuff as a fop to the health Nazis, followed up by good cigars and bourbon.

It has been a crappy bad bad week. Get away from the computer and live life a little.

And OCSteve, if it gets really too hot for you on the Eastern Seaboard, Chicago has a place for you to stay, maybe a couple if DaveC or Katherine are willing.

I'd put him up here in sunny Florida, where it's currently a very pleasant 62 degrees, but I think I scare him.

Which is as it should be.

john miller: Haven’t been to Chicago in years. Provided that the pizza is still good that could work :)

Slarti: but I think I scare him

I don’t think you are too scary. Mostly, I rarely disagree with you – so I don’t tend to interact with you. Maybe I need to rethink that – I spend most of my online time with people I disagree with…

OCSteve, out of curiosity, who among the current crop of Democratic candidates do you view as "far left"? I don't think you'll be seeing any of them hanging out with Hugo Chavez.

I will mention that I can not vote in the Democratic primary. So it is up to you and all Democrats at this point to elect a candidate I can be persuaded to vote for, even holding my nose. If the far left wing of your party prevails, it enables me to keep voting for a Republican (or just staying home if the Republican is that bad.)

That reminds me of Marshall Wittman, always angry that Democrats aren't Reagan-style conservatives.

To which I always respond: You had a party. It got taken over. Go take it back -- you don't get to have ours. Especially if you are under the hilarious delusion that anyone who has won the Democratic Presidential primary in the last 30+ years was in anyway representative of "the far left wing".

The Democrats are not the new Republicans. It is not our job to move rightward enough to make Republicans happy. If you party lurched so far to the right that you're now off the left end of the reservation -- go take it up with them.

"OCSteve, out of curiosity, who among the current crop of Democratic candidates do you view as 'far left'?"

And what do they make of actual Trotskyites and Maoists? I mean, I have friends who are these things -- actual "far leftists" -- and they're really of rather different political belief than anyone who would join the Democratic Party, let alone be a Presidential candidate.

They don't actually believe in voting, you know; to them, Dennis Kucinich is a bougeouis enemy.

If John Edwards, say, is a "far leftist," what term is left for actual leftists?

(We could travel back in time and likewise compare, say, Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy as "far leftists" compared to, say, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, and David Dellinger, let alone an Angela Davis.)

It's perfectly possible to object to, and disagree with, mere liberal Democrats, on the other hand, if that's one's opinion.

But back on the first hand, an Edwards, a Kerry, a Gore, or even a Kucinich, a Barney Frank, a Bernie Sanders, a Barbara Lee, ain't even a Eugene Debs.

Fine. I'll write in Ross Perot. 'night all.

Allowing up front for the fact that I like and respect OCSteve a lot, I have to agree with Morat20. From my point of view, about half the current Democratic mainstream is about where I'd expect to find moderate Republicans, and the rest is what I think of as middle-of-the-road to moderately liberal. Nobody's proposing to restore the tax order of the 1950s-60s, and the very most radical proposals with regard to health care from anyone with the slightest chance of winning would bring us up to the European status quo as of about 1890-1935. You couldn't build a campaign now around anything as committed to social engineering as Nixon's domestic policies.

This is ridiculous.

It really isn't the Democratic Party's job to be everything the Republican Party should be but gave up on. It's not that I think pushing back the theocrats and kleptocrats in the Republicans is going to be easy or fun, but seriously, somebody's got to do it. The Democratic job is to be clearly distinct from the Republicans, committed not just to competent and lawful government - which should be a universal goal - but to a different set of principles and practices about what exactly the government should be doing in its competent and lawful way.

"Fine. I'll write in Ross Perot."

With due respect to Morat20, that person doesn't speak, you know, for the Democratic Party, or any of its candidates, any more than I do, or any person or persons here do.

So it's entirely possible that voting for or against someone because of something said here wouldn't be infinitely and indisputably sensible. (Likewise, with the greatest respect to you, I wouldn't advise anyone to vote for or against a Republican because they disagree with something you say.)

Enjoy the beef 'n beer 'n sun. Keep in mind the wisdom of this piece of hard sf:

Dr. Melik: [puzzling over list of items sold at Miles' old health-food store] ... wheat germ, organic honey and... tiger's milk.
Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible!
Words to learn from.

Hilzoy,

J Thomas answers your stupefication regarding why Gonzales was SO BAD, the best, I think. I'l repeat what he says:


Gonzales can't be prosecuted for lying to Congress if he says he doesn't remember anything.

If he can't tell the truth and he can't lie, looking stupid is the least of his problems.

If you combine that with Anderson's suggestion - protecting the President at all costs, this explains the behavior:

a. The buck stops with Gonzales, thus protecting Bush and co.
b. Gonzales's lack of memory, and saying vague, non-answers (but also not lies) such as "the justice senior leadership", as responsible for everything. Thus he's not criminally liable.

If you look through those two priorities, Gonzales's actions make perfect sense. That also answers your "email" question, as it's hard to disprove "memory loss", on an email. He was just continuing with his two strategies, regarding any SPECIFICS.

It just blew me away, that everyone agrees just how bad this is, but, really, what is the recourse for Congress, for the nation, in this case?

The Bush administration is giving a giant F.U. to the notion of justice, to the notion of rule of law, it's absolutely clear, but, the Republicans will not impeach Bush or Cheney.

And that is the only recourse, unless the courts force Bush to turn over information, which there is a good probability they will stay out of.

I hadn't thought about the possibility of Gonzales resigning on the 1st day of a Congressional recess, and then the 2nd day of that recess, Bush appointing someone else.

Then what would Congress do? Again, without impeachment, they can't do anything. When the media, en masse, starts to ask for that, for a consequence for Bush breaking the law, then perhaps something will happen. But until then, very few options, right?

(I would like to be wrong - if anyone here can show me I am, you would make me very relieved)

As has been pointed out before, Congress is perfectly free to impeach Gonzales, if they deem him to have possibly committed high crimes or misdeameanors.

Cabinet members are susceptible to being impeached. William Worth Belknap, the 31st United States Secretary of War (October 25, 1869 – March 2, 1876) was impeached by the United States House of Representatives, and then acquitted by the Senate.

Mind, I won't hold my breath waiting for the House to hold an impeachment trial of Gonzales, but it's theoretically possible.

I didn't really catch a soundbite from the discussion that would play on endless loops on cable TV. Were there none? I didn't see any of it, but it sounds like it was a painful thing to watch. How has it played on the news (no tv here either)?

Without knowledge of the actual event, but based on the post and the comments, Gonzales may have got off light if he provided no sound bite that will actually impact his survivability on the evening news.

Explanation and analysis from policy wonks have little impact on anyone but intertube posters.

JC: It just blew me away, that everyone agrees just how bad this is, but, really, what is the recourse for Congress, for the nation, in this case?

Pure speculation, but:

Surely "I don't remember" can be overused to the point where it's clear that the claiming-to-be-forgetful-person is actually lying? If Gonzales really doesn't remember to this extent, then he is quite literally mentally incompetent. If he is not to be prosecuted for lying, presumably he can be removed from the job for being medically unfit for it?

OCS, if you couldn't vote for AG, you're essentially hopeless. It doesn't matter, of course, because our state is going to be reliably blue for the next several cycles, anyway. You can write in Ross Perot, Chuck Hagel, or GHWB and it will be the same result. You should feel completely liberated to vote your conscience, then, in a way that many many people in other situations will envy.

Like 97,488 Floridians who misunderstood the stakes in 2000, for example.

I voted for him, twice. Short of admitting that what would you have me do?

Hey, I'm not asking anyone to do anything about the past, or admit anything. No one owes me anything. I can imagine, though, that some people might want to have a look at the settings on their meters. It's not like the nature of GWB and his crew was in any way a mystery in either election cycle.

Jes, impeaching AG is such a terrible idea, there's no reason to do it even if it would work. On the substance, there's no reason to think anyone the President would put in would be better on any of the important policies. On the politics, it's way better to have the President clinging to a guy that even his most steadfast supporters can see is manifestly unqualified. It calls all of the President's judgments into question: the main role of the MBA President, aka The Decider, is to pick senior people (to whom he can then defer on all important questions of policy).

Did you notice how much the AG's deference to the consensus of the senior leadership of the DOJ sounds like the President's deference to the senior military commanders? Now in an objective sense, this is kind of fake, because in both cases, they've picked people to fill the roles that are going to tell them what they want to hear (rather than bring independent policy expertise to bear, and propose a course in the neational interest). The AG's continued service serves to discredit this model -- which should be discredited -- and undermines the rest of this lame lame duck presidency.

Using "AG" to mean both "Alberto Gonzales" and "attorney general" is understandable, but can we avoid using it to mean "Al Gore" in the same thread? It's as bad as the old arguments about whether Sebastian Holsclaw had WMDs. OCSteve would be well advised not to vote for Alberto Gonzales for president.

I should mention – the last time I had a choice between a Republican I didn’t like and a Democrat I didn’t like I voted for Ross Perot :)

I can top that. I voted for Barry Commoner, on the Citizen's Party ticket, in '80.

The few, the proud, the eco-socialists!! Good times.

Nowadays a rich, nice-guy, "maybe we'll go to war with Iran" personal injury lawyer like John Edwards is a radical lefty.

I'm getting old.

Thanks -

KC -- Fair point.

It's as bad as the old arguments about whether Sebastian Holsclaw had WMDs

well, he hasn't yet proved otherwise. and i've heard rumors...

OT: WMD! Conspiracy!

OT: WMD! Conspiracy!

That funny thing, this is all recycled material from last year.

If at first you don't succeed.....

Well, I for one firmly believe that Sebastian wanted us to think he had WMDs, but that in fact he did not. Just to be sure however, I propose that he invite us all over for inspections (and breakfast).

Another OT: I certainly hope this article on Haditha and apparent systemic tolerance of civilian casualties in the Marine Corps does not get overlooked.

"Just to be sure however, I propose that he invite us all over for inspections (and breakfast)."

Will there be beans? I worry that Sebastian still retains the capability of manufacturing chemical weapons, possibly including methane, with beans; chatter also suggests that he retains a biological delivery system for the chemical weapons.

If he eats enough beans.

It's not just methane, it's ricin, just like Al Queda!!! Why has the latte drinking, birkenstock wearing, new age listening commentariat contingent ignored this. Because we hate America, that's why.

They are talking about an apparent conflict between the following claims: (a) Gonzales met with Sen. Pryor (R-AR) on Dec. 15 and promised that he would seek Senate confirmation for Tim Griffin, who was going to be appointed US Attorney in Pryor's home state; and (b) on Dec. 19, Kyle Sampson, Gonzales' chief of staff, sent out an email announcing his intention to do just the opposite, and setting out a list of stalling tactics to use on Pryor.

Say there, Senator Pryor, still think it was a good idea to vote to confirm Gonzo?

Someone really really needs to ask Senator Pryor that question. And while they're at it, they can ask the same question of Senators Landrieu, Nelson, Nelson, and Salazar. (I assume Senator Lieberman still thinks it was a good idea.)

CharleyCarp: Is there any hope that Gonzales might spill the beans if he's impeached? That would be the single most outstanding reason to try it IMO.

"One thing we can be sure of: "widely regarded as a likely future Supreme Court nominee" (from the Atlantic article) is no longer true."

Wouldn't that assume Jeb never gets the Presidency and we don't wind up with another one party government?

Jim Satterfield has a fair point. I well recall when people declared that at least the outcome of Iran-Contra was that Elliot Abrams and John Poindexter could never be in government again.

(It's as though I claimed to have prepared for ages to give a lecture on Shakespeare, and when asked a question about Hamlet, said: I was unaware that Shakespeare wrote a play by that name.)

My favorite bit!

Posted by: Gary Farber | April 22, 2007 at 01:31 AM

Depressing! Yes, the Bushies are the Nixon and Iran-Contra crews all over again.

There's an old joke about a CEO looking for a new accountant. He asked each candidate one question: 'how much is 2 plus 2?'.

The candidates gave many answers; the one who got the job was the one who said 'How much do you want it to be, sir?'.

That's Alberto.

Somebody pointed out something which indicates how dishonest, incompetant and/or arrogant he is - the firings were done *after* the Democrats took Congress, when oversight was going to happen. Even when he knew that the cops were back on the beat, he couldn't resist the crime.

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