Thursday, March 29, 2007

Anybody Smellin' That Texas Al and Armidillo Stew That's Cookin'?

Former AG Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson's testimony appears to place a nail in Texas Al's coffin. Sampson directly contradicted Gonzales' statements regarding his non-involvement in the discussions leading up to the dismissal of 8 US Attorneys. At the White House press briefing later today, the spokeswoman notably did not take the opportunity to lend support to the embattled and incompetent gent from Texas, Alberto Gonzales.

As an aside, unlike Scooter Libby, I doubt that Texas Al has a prosperous future on the rubber chicken circuit, since he lack the conservative street cred. Nor do I expect that there will be a ton of legal work in his future. But, don't shed too many tears, the Bush mafia that bought GWB the Crawford "ranch" won't let 'em starve.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saudis Dis Bush - Condemning "Occupation" and Cancel State Dinner

In a relatively shocking blast to a President deeply wounded by the American public renunciation of his Iraq policy in polls and in the 2006 elections, he was hit with a devastating one-two combination from long-time Bush backers in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi King Abdullah first withdrew from his planned State dinner scheduled for April 17. That rebuke was stiffened by the King's harsh comments about the US "occupation" of Iraq. While it is well documented that the Saudi's (Prince Bandar, specifically) strongly cautioned Bush against its intention to invade Iraq (if for no small reason that the Iranians were likely to be the unintended beneficiaries by Bob Woodward and others, the Saudis criticism of the Bush administration has been publically muted. At least until now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The President Draws a Line in the Sand

The president's brief press conference this evening was vintage Bush. While offering support for the embattled Attorney General, the real thrust of the press conference was to appeal the the public and seek to stem the bleeding by making the current crisis as a constitutional issue. The offer from the White House is to have Karl Rove and Harriet Miers (and likely others) testify before the judiciary committee in closed door, unsworn testimony. Prominent democrats have already dismissed this offer as unsatisfactory and will almost certainly issue subpoenas. The result is may be a protracted court fight, one that is unlikely to aid an administration already seriously handicapped push forward any political agenda. The only winners might be Republican political candidates who are better positioned to benefit from a pissing contest between Congress and the White House (remember everybody gets wet in a pissing contest).

What's odd is why the White House has waited until now to get off the defense and attempt to push back against the juggernaut. Irrespective, I still think Texas Al still has to go, the political Gods will demand sacrifice.

WH Looking for Replacement For Texas Al, but Wait Tell Me it's Not So!!!

As the Al Gonzales death watch continues, reports emanate of possible replacements being floated. Without evaluating each of the potential candidates, one is certainly worthy of further discussion, the Crypt-Keeper, Michael Chertoff, current Director of Homeland Security. What Bernie Kerik isn't available? His name certainly comes to mind as one with the resume and Bush administration bona fides to be nominated, but I easily discounted him as unacceptable as a result of his almost criminal ineptitude in the response to Hurricane Katrina. Ah, but I was too hasty. Too willing to overestimate Karl Rove's political ability, too willing to underestimate the President's child-like need to play only with playmates that have already shared play dates with the Brat-in-Chief. My lord, is this the height of folly.

That said, I'm going to guess that the trial balloon related to Chertoff has already floated out into the Chesapeake Bay and sunk. Why anyone within the White House would want to nominate this chucklehead for anything me. The Democrats in the Senate would have a fiesta with him. Pummelling him like a pinata until he burst.

A Shout out to

As is frequently the case, I have no recollection of how exactly I stumbled across (although it may have been via Stumble), but thus far I'm happy I did. It's an interesting concept, essentially a Blog community. It's initial impact was to drive a bit of traffic to my blog. A welcome event. I have to confess despite some remedial efforts to drive traffic to my blog, previous efforts were disappointing. So it's nice to not feelas though I'm shouting in the desert.

Friday, March 16, 2007

See Ya Texas Al

CBS News reported as it's lead that Al is gone. The WH fired back immediately to deny the story, despite acknowledging that everyone wants Al's head. Don't forget that I predicted his departure immediately after this story broke.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hasta la Vista Alberto

It increasing appears that the Attorney General is not long for this world. John Sununu became the first Republican publically calling for Mr. Gonzales' resignation. Combine that with the tepid words of support issued by President Bush and other members of the White House and the proverbial handwriting appears to be on the wall. The fact is that Gonzales has few friends on the Hill and his support within the White House might be limited to his political godfather, the President.

Given the highly sensitive nature of the upcoming detainee trials, I think it's unlikely that the White House feels it can go forward with a damaged Attorney General. Convincing the American public that Khalid Sheik Muhammad kidnapped the Lindburgh baby and murdered Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, might be difficult.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

AG On Fire

US AG Alberto Gonzales, appearing extremely uncomfortable, put forward a limited defense to the firestorm surrounding the dismissal of 8 US Attorney's. He began with a general statement that everything that happens within the Dept of Justice is his responsibility, but then went on to say he didn't know the actions taken by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, despite the fact that the recently resigned Mr. Sampson had been charged with performance evaluations of the US Attorneys and ostensibly was vetting those evaluations through the White House. Mr. Gonzales repeatedly stated that 110,000 people work at DOJ and that as such he couldn't possibly know what each of those employees were up to. That comment might be true and acceptable in general, but it strains the bounds of credulity in the present case.

Gonzales focused narrowly on the issue of his recent Congressional testimony. He was forced to accept that his testimony was wrong, but that his misstatements of fact were the result ignorance of the actions of his Chief of Staff as well as Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. Mr. Gonzales demeanor was contrite if not terrified. My read at this point is that this may result in his resignation. His demeanor stands in stark contrast to his standard modus operandi - smug in the extreme, irrespective of the sensitivity of the underlying issue (i.e. warrantless surveillance, treatment of detainees etc.). That past behavior virtually ensures that Congressional Democrats are going to come at Gonzales with both guns blazing. The only thing Gonzales has going for him is the stubbornness of the President. The counterpoint is how much political capital is an already damaged White House willing to expend on Mr. Gonzales.