Topic: Bush Administraiton
The senate Judiciary Committee has given Harriet Miers an "incomplete" on her job application for Supreme Court judge. White House spokesperson Dana Perino said Miers had told Spector that "She had years of files to go through," (I'm so sure.) and she might have to provide "follow-ups" to the questionnaire. Are we sure that's what she told Spector? The other day Spector thought she told him she agreed with Griswold v. Connecticut and then she said she didn't tell him that. Spector said, "I've never walked out of a room and had a disagreement on what was said." There are a number of things she left out of her questionnaire like whole cases that even the Judiciary Committee knew she worked on. Also, she's still a little shaky on her recollection of when or if she paid her dues to keep her license to practice law. All the work she has done for W. in the White House is missing, which is going to make it kind of tough for her to get nominated I would think. I mean, are these senators just going to sit back and pass her through on the president's word alone? I think not. What are they thinking inside the White House? From the word 'go' this nomination has been on the rocks and it just gets more and more farcical. She is supposedly this big time legal heavy-weight but the White House hasn't done anything to prove it.
Lindsay Graham wants to know what work she did on military prisoner questions, "Any writings that are not clearly attorney-client privilege should come before the committee," he says. I think this is more important than whether she's a good Christian or not: what did she do about the torture issue? If the Jose Pedilla case comes to the court it's pretty much a no brainer she will back the president on all matters involving the war on terror. That's the scariest thing to me: 'The president wants to round up the Nisei again? Go ahead. Chinese Americans are a threat? Round them up! Left wing bloggers are a national security risk? Throw away the key!'
To the question of whether the brains behind Bush are distracted by impending indictments and such Karen Hughes says, "It's not something that's affecting, I don't think, the daily business of the White House." Well, since they always say the opposite of what is actually the truth, I would say it is. If it really isn't then they're just complete idiots, because this Miers thing is a total political disaster. If W. digs his heels in on this and is determined to spend his political capital on getting his close friend in, no matter what, it could get a lot worse. I hope he does.
Meanwhile, congress is busy doing the business of business:
Yesterday they passed the "chessburger bill," preventing victims of the fast food industry from suing for the damage their crappy food causes. In the senate today, they passed the 'gun industry protection act' making it almost impossible for victims of gun violence to sue for damage caused by guns. You add in the Transportation Bill, the no oil man left behind act,' which passed by two votes, despite Tom DeLay's extending the vote and arm twisting, and the lack of action on helping the poor who are under constant attack by the Republicans and you have a congress that has been bought lock, stock, and barrel by corporate America. Is there anything they do in congress these days that nvolves running the country and not giving hand-outs to special interests? I can't think of any.
Rummy in the Middle Kingdom:
General Jing Zhiyuan, the commander of the Second Artillery, told Rummy that in an armed conflict, China would not use nukes first.[AP] That's reassuring, isn't it? There's no word on whether Rummy promised the same. The question is what Jing meant by "armed conflict." Taiwan might be a likely target, especially with Lee Teng-hui, who is on a "personal visit" to the US, bumbling around the US like a bull in a China shop, saying things like, Taiwan needed to acquire "some kind of long range missiles" to counter the 700 missiles aimed at Taiwan. He said, "The psychological effect is important" in deterring China from attacking the island. (Never mind that the second those missiles were loaded on to a ship Taiwan would cease to exist.) In a move to calm the cross strait dispute, the WaPo's Glen Kessler writes that Lee said, "Taiwan is already an independent country," and what was needed for the country to change its name to the Republic of Taiwan. That's a good way to get those missiles raining down on Taipei.
This sort of talk may make the neocons happy, but their track record on foreign policy is a little shaky these days. I understand their viewpoint on Taiwan, but unfortunately reality has a nasty habit of intruding on their grand plans for an independent and democratic Taiwan. I used to actually have a neocon roommate---who probably has already met with Lee---and we talked quite a bit about US China policy---that's really my strong suit---and I found myself more often than not agreeing with him. But the result of that sort of thinking is a war with China over a country most Americans have never heard of. The funny thing about this neocon, by the way, is that he's a Canadian. He's all for us using our military might, what's let of it, to democratize the world but he's not even a citizen. I say the Canadians should go fight this one out with China!
DeLay gets booked:
This has got to be another good sign for the Republicans. I wonder how long it will take to get his mugshot on the web?
AP: HOUSTON - Rep. Tom DeLay turned himself Thursday in at the Harris County sheriff's office, where he was photographed, fingerprinted and released on bond on state conspiracy and money laundering charges.
His lawyer said DeLay turned himself in because what they were trying to avoid, "Ronnie Earle having him taken down in handcuffs, and fingerprinted and photographed." That would have been to good to be true, but just the fact that he was booked is good enough for me. Next on the agenda is Karl Roved being frog-marched out of the White House!
The WaPo reports that another possible target of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's Plame investigation might be an aid to Cheney, John Hannah, who "has told friends in recent months he is worried he may be implicated by the investigation, according to two U.S. officials." How could all this stuff be going on in Cheney's office and he not know anything about it? Along with Hannah and Libby, "Fitzgerald and his investigative team interviewed Mary Matalin, a former top Cheney adviser; Catherine Martin, his former communications adviser; and Jennifer Millerwise, his former spokeswoman." It was Cheney who was still talking about Saddam's WMD long after it was proved there weren't any, but he never told anyone to do anything about Joseph Wilson, right? "Scooter" and Rove all on their own just came up with this outing plan. Hey, couldn't that be considered a conspiracy?
Along those lines the Post says, "One person in the probe said Fitzgerald showed considerable early interest in the White House Iraq Group, a task force created by Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. in August 2002 and charged with "marketing" the war in Iraq to the public. The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Its regular participants were Rove, Libby, Hadley, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, adviser Karen Hughes, Matalin, and White House director of legislative affairs Nicholas Calio." Isn't that intersting?
If the Republicans didn't run the congress this might be a good place to start an impeachment investigation. If the GOP were to lose the Senate in '06 the White House would still be in the clear because by then presumably Harriet Miers will be safely on the Supreme Court in a position to protect the president and his band of liars and thieves.
Yesterday on The World Lisa Mullins talked with Dan Murphy of the CSM who was at Saddam's trial. Murphy wasn't very impressed by the whole thing. Security was so tight he said, that reporters weren't allowed to bring in pens and paper, instead they were given pencils and legal pads after they were inside. They had to get through about 10 check points and when the proceedings actually got under way he couldn't hear anything for about 10 minutes. The "trial" wasn't anything he would consider to be up to international standards. [CSM]