Sunday, December 11, 2005
Does Rove's Lawyer Have A Secret? Is Frist Really Going "All In" On Alito?
Did Rove's Attorney Know About His Bosses Crimes?
That is the question that pops up in the following Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - Months before Karl Rove corrected his statements in the Valerie Plame investigation, his lawyer was told that the president's top political adviser might have disclosed Plame's name and CIA status to a Time magazine reporter.
Rove says he had forgotten the conversation he had on July 11, 2003, with Time's Matt Cooper. But the magazine reported Sunday that in the first half of 2004, as President Bush's re-election campaign was heating up, Rove's lawyer got the word about a possible Rove-Cooper conversation from a second Time reporter, Viveca Novak.
Novak described her conversation with the lawyer, Robert Luskin, in a first-person account released Sunday on Time's Web site.
Luskin declined comment. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove's legal team, said the deputy White House chief of staff has cooperated fully with prosecutors.
"The integrity of the investigation requires that we not discuss the substance of any communications with the special counsel," Corallo said in a statement. "Out of respect for the investigative process, we have abided by that rule and will continue to withhold comment on our interactions with the special counsel."
Six weeks ago, in a so-far successful effort to avert Rove's indictment, Luskin disclosed his conversation with Novak to the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald. Rove remains under investigation.
In her first-person account, Novak wrote that Luskin clearly thought disclosing their discussion "was going to help Rove, perhaps by explaining why Rove hadn't told Fitzgerald or the grand jury of his conversation with my colleague Matt Cooper."
Fitzgerald questioned Novak under oath Thursday, the day after the prosecutor began presenting evidence to a new grand jury considering evidence in the leak investigation.
The prosecutor is investigating the Bush administration's leaking of Plame's CIA status to the news media in 2003, as Plame's husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of manipulating prewar intelligence on Iraq.
This story makes the following points are abundantly clear:
1. Karl Rove either has the same memory problems Ronald Reagan exhibited when questioned about his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, or he is a lying sack of shit. I'll place my bets on the latter option.
2. Viveka Novak is just another Bush administration water carrying media whore. Think of her a sort of a Judith Miller Lite.
3. It appears that the weasels are coming out in droves to make themselves look less like the criminal scum they are, and that Special Counsel Fitzgerald has a lot more on his plate with which to deal than it appeared when the Libby indictment was announced.
Watching the fallout would be a lot of fun if not for the fact that these machinations have led to such chaos in Iraq.
Frist Claims He Can Stop Alito Filibuster
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Hypocrite) says he will, if he has to, stop the Democrats from filibustering Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday he is prepared to strip Democrats of their ability to filibuster if they try to stall Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.
"The answer is yes," Frist said when asked if he would act to change Senate procedures to restrict a Democratic filibuster. "Supreme Court justice nominees deserve an up-or-down vote, and it would be absolutely wrong to deny him that."
Democrats immediately called Frist's words unhelpful and potentially incendiary. They said Senate Democrats are waiting for the Judiciary Committee to act on Alito's nomination before they decide what they may do.
"Sen. Frist has thrown down the gauntlet at a time when the country least needs it," said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee. "The American people know that checks and balances are an integral part of our government."
In recent weeks, Senate Democrats have questioned whether Alito, a federal appeals court judge, has the proper judicial temperament and ideology to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Some have said that Alito's views on issues such as voting rights and abortion could provoke a filibuster unless he allays their concerns about his commitment to civil rights. Alito's confirmation hearings begin Jan. 9 before the committee.
The filibuster is a parliamentary tactic whereby senators use their right to virtually unlimited debate to block measures, legislation or nominations. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster.
Passing a bill or confirming a nominee requires a simple majority — 51 senators if all 100 senators are present. The vice president can break 50-50 ties.
Under Frist's scenario, the GOP would seek a parliamentary ruling that declares filibusters are not permitted against judicial nominees. That ruling ultimately would go before the full Senate for a vote, with a simple majority required to prevail. Republicans hold 55 seats.
If that plays out, it then would take a majority of senators present to vote to approve a nominee such as Alito.
Such a move carries great risk. Democrats have threatened to retaliate with a fight that could snarl Senate business for months. Also, it could backfire on Republicans if they were to lose majority control of the chamber.
Alito has already proven to be a liar about his position on Roe v. Wade. We already know he is a punishment freak by allowing ten-year-old girls to be strip searched at airports. Oh, and that bullshit about his father being an Italian immigrant? I wasn't aware that New Jersey was a part of Italy.
But let's forget that for a moment. Frist is running scared. Schumer, Minority Leader Reid and the rest of the Democrats are in the interesting position of having made Frist go "all in" on Alito before the goddamned Judiciary Committee has even met. Maybe the fact that Frist's stock swindle case might end up in front of a Supreme Court with rookie justice Alito presiding has something to do with Mr. Bill's accelerated sense of urgency.
And let's not forget that Republicans, especially those with close ties to Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy, are losing the confidence of all but their most insane constituents, and despite what many of them claim, they DO read their favorability rating numbers, so I'm not certain that Frist has the groundswell of support within his own party that he claims to have. But, even if he does, in 2006, if (and I hope when) the midterm elections restore the Democrats to Congressional control, Frist and his trolls are going to pay a steep price for their insolent contempt for the American people.