Quote of the Day (and the next several months....)
With no sign of irony, Republicans demanded that Alito get a vote in the Senate - something they denied Miers.
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With no sign of irony, Republicans demanded that Alito get a vote in the Senate - something they denied Miers.
"It's significant that the indictment does not mention the outing of Valerie Plame. It appears that after two years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald does not agree with the administration's critics that her situation is what this is all about."Hmmmmmmm.
f. Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson (“Valerie Wilson”). AtAnd then it says this (page 11, graf 31):
all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.
31. In or about March 2004, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as “SCOOTER LIBBY,” defendant herein, did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice, namely proceedings before Grand Jury 03-3, by misleading and deceiving the grand jury as to when, and the manner and means by which, LIBBY acquired and subsequently disclosed to the media information concerning the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA.
Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known. He has given many years of his life to public service and has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction.Let me point out that Cheney makes no statement whatever questioning Scooter Libby's behavior. Not surprising, given that Cheney's own role in this saga is detailed in the indictment and appears to contradict his own and the WH's official statements. But let me just point out that Libby's "tireless" service should always be seen through the prism of its most "distinct"[ive] act: the leaking of classified information for partisan political purposes. A fitting end to a disreputable man's career in public life.
Politics is not just about power and money games, politics can be about the improvement of peoples lives, about lessening human suffering in our world and bringing about more peace and more justice.I hope Democratic insiders think about these words at least a bit today.
"He must know that the way he did that, relying on his own judgment and instinct, was not good," another key adviser said.Gee.
MR. RUSSERT: But if Mr. Rove--if Mr. Rove and/or Mr. Libby is indicted, should they step down?Must have been some edition of MTP: You know things are getting goofy when George Allen makes Kay Bailey Hutchison look bad.
SEN. ALLEN: That'll be--I think they will step down if they're indicted.
MR. RUSSERT: And they should?
SEN. ALLEN: Yes, I do think that's appropriate that--I don't see where--if they're in the midst of an indictment.
From: "Phil Singer"
Sent: 10/23/2005 05:00 PM
To: "Phil Singer"
Subject: HUTCHISON'S CONFUSION: IS PERJURY A BIG DEAL OR NOT??
During a five minute span on "Meet the Press" this morning, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison seemed to change her mind three times about whether or not perjury is a crime. Of course, it wasn't all that long ago that Hutchison was talking about the seriousness of perjury and obstruction of justice when voting to impeach President Clinton.
1) FIRST, HUTCHISON SUGGESTED PERJURY WASN'T THAT BAD... "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..." ["Meet the Press," 10/23/05]
Ø Hutchison Thought Perjury Was Serious Enough When She Voted to Impeach Clinton. Discussing her vote to impeach President Clinton, Hutchison said, "The reason that I voted to remove him from office is because I think the overridding issue here is that truth will remain the standard for perjury and obstruction of justice in our criminal justice system and it must not be gray. It must not be muddy." [AP, 2/12/99]
2) THEN SHE CHANGED HER MIND... "There were charges against Bill Clinton besides perjury and obstruction of justice, and I'm not saying that those are not crimes. They are." ["Meet the Press," 10/23/05]
Ø WRONG: There Were No Additional Senate Charges. By the time the Clinton impeachment debate reached the Senate for a vote, the only charges were perjury and obstruction of justice. [PBS.org, Online NewsHouse, "The Impeachment Trial"]
3) ...AND THEN SHE CHANGED IT BACK WHEN SHE DEFENDED MARTHA STEWART "...look at Martha Stewart, for instance, where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime...we are seeing grand juries and U.S. Attorneys and District Attorneys that go for technicalities..." ["Meet the Press," 10/23/05]
Ø Hutchison Has Always Had A Soft Spot For White Collar Crime. When the Senate Commerce Committee in 2002 was looking into the Enron matter, Hutchison said, "I am concerned about some of the political rhetoric that has occurred...on this issue." [Senate Commerce Committee Transcript, 2/5/02]
MY VOTES ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENTNow, as I've noted, I don't think that President Clinton's behavior---wretched though it was---involved Constitutional, and thus impeachable, offenses. I recognize, however, that someone who feels that all instances of perjury and dishonesty during legal procedings, could in principle feel differently (no, Peter, I am not changing my previous view that GOP members were effectively engaged in an attempted coup---just because someone could believe these things doesn't mean those conspirators did).
Based upon my analysis of the facts of this case and my own conclusions of law, I have concluded:
(i) The President of the United States willfully, and with intent to deceive, gave false and misleading testimony under oath with respect to material matters that were pending before the Federal grand jury on August 17, 1998, as alleged in Article I presented to the Senate. I, therefore, vote 'Guilty' on Article I of the Articles of Impeachment of the President in this Proceeding.
(ii) The President of the United States engaged in a pattern of conduct, performed acts of willful deception, and told and disseminated massive falsehoods, including lies told directly to the American people, that were designed and corruptly calculated to impede, obstruct, and prevent the plaintiff in the Arkansas Federal sexual harassment case from seeking and obtaining justice in the Federal court system of the United States, and to further prevent the Federal grand jury from performing its functions and responsibilities under law, I, therefore, vote 'Guilty' on Article II of the Articles of Impeachment of the President in this proceeding.
An indictment of any kind is not a guilty verdict, and I do think we have in this country the right to go to court and have due process and be innocent until proven guilty. And secondly, 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 and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. So they go to something that trips someone up because they said something in the first grand jury and then maybe they found new information or they forgot something and they tried to correct that in a second grand jury.Gee. I wonder why people think that the GOP members who voted in favor of impeachment were dissembling?
I think we should be very careful here, especially as we are dealing with something very public and people's lives in the public arena. I do not think we should prejudge. I think it is unfair to drag people through the newspapers week after week after week, and let's just see what the charges are. Let's tone down the rhetoric and let's make sure that if there are indictments that we don't prejudge.
is plenary and includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses...This letter was a clarification of the letter from December 30, 2003 that initially delegated to Fitzgerald
all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity.Note that this language refers to "the alleged unauthorized disclosure", not to any particular statute that declares this disclosure unlawful. That is, the language empowering Fitzgerald specifically provides him the power to investigate and prosecute those responsbile for anact (or acts). It does not limit Fitzgerald's authority to any particular law that governs such an act (or acts).
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas court on Wednesday issued a warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's arrest, and set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and state money laundering charges.
Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County, Texas, jail for booking, where he'd likely be fingerprinted and photographed. DeLay's lawyers had hoped to avoid such a spectacle.
THE F LIST: Who's Testified? Who's Given Interviews? Who's Just Been Mentioned?
Here's a list of folks who have either testified or have been interviewed by Patrick Fitzgerald (or by FBI agents) in connection with the Plame probe. Please send us omissions and additions and expansions. Anonymity is guaranteed. To repeat: the list below is of those who have been interviewed by officials in connection with the case. Inclusion does not necessarily indicate that the listed person has testified under oath (Hotline reporting, 10/18).
On the witness list at one point but never called to tesify:
- Bush: Early Summer, 2004 (did not testify under oath)
- Cheney: Early summer, 2004 (did not testify under oath)
- Ex-Dep. Sec/State Richard Armitage
- WH Assist. To. Pres. Dan Bartlett
- Ex-WH press aide Claire Buchan: Feb. 6, 2004
- WH COS Andy Card
- Time's Matt Cooper: July 13, 2005
- Ex-WH press. sec. Ari Fleischer (at least twice)
- A.G. Alberto Gonzales: June 18, 2004
- Ex-DOS BIR dir. Carl Ford
- NSA Stephen Hadley
- Ex-CIA comm. dir. Bill Harlow
- Assis. Sec. of Commerce/Ex-Rove assist. Izzy Hernandez
- Assist. Sec. of State Karen Hughes
- Ex-Sec/State counterproliferation offic. Bob Joseph
- Washington Post's Glenn Kessler
- Ex junior WH press aide Adam Levine: Feb. 6, 2004
- Cheney CoS Irving L. "Scooter" Libby (twice)
- Ex-Cheney adviser Mary Matalin: Late January, 2004
- Current WH Press Sec. Scott McClellan: Feb, 6, 2004
- Ex-CIA dep. dir. John McLaughlin
- Cheney aide Cathie Martin
- New York Times ' Judy Miller (twice)
- CIA comm. dir. Jennifer Millerwise (did not go before grand jury)
- Columnist Bob Novak
- Ex-Sec/State Colin Powell: July 16, 2004
- Ex-Abramoff assist./Rove assist. Susan Ralston
- WH DCoS Karl Rove (4 times)
- NBC News' Tim Russert
- Stranger who stopped Novak in the street
- Ex-CIA dir. George Tenet
- Sen. Adviser to Sec/State Jim Wilkinson (has said he did not testify)
- Ex-Amb. Joseph Wilson
"Cooperated" with Fitzgerald:
- New York Times' Nick Kristoff
Others believed to have testified:
- Sec/State Condoleezza Rice
Other journalists mentioned in press acounts as having initially sparked Fitzgerald's interest:
- John Hannah, David Wurmser (senior members of Cheney's staff) (Hotline sources)
- Time's Massimo Calabresi
- Time's Mike Duffy
- Time's James Carney
- NBC's Andrea Mitchell
- NYTer David Sanger
- Newsday's Timothy M. Phelps
- Newsday's Knut Royce
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas
- Ex-Postie Mike Allen
- NBC's Campbell Brown
- WSJ ed. page. editor Paul Gigot / reporter Greg Hitt
- Ex-celeb. James Guckert/Jeff Gannon
My wife-the-insider and I were just discussing the Jones case over the weekend. What prompted our discussion was this statement by uber-hypocrite William Kristol on Bill O'Reilly's show:
In an interview yesterday, Wilson said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.
If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed -- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath -- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then-President Bill Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time.
I am worried about what happens to the administration if Rove is indicted. I think it’s the criminalization of politics that’s really gotten totally out of hand.(I got this quotation from ThinkProgress; I can't seem to find online transcripts of the O'Reilly show).
I'm against a return to normal business--until we render a verdict on Bill Clinton's behavior. I think he deserves to be impeached.I found that quote of Kristol's without trying very hard. What a delightful bunch of lying hypocrites he and his ilk are: they were so exercised about Clinton's (alleged) perjury that they were willing to remove---indeed insisted on removing---the duly elected President for his sins (I say alleged because my understanding is that the technical---i.e. legal---definition of perjury is quite a bit more stringent than simply lying or misleading, etc---the lies have to be legally important; that said, nothing about my argument hinges on that point, so I'd happily drop it for argument's sake).
So far, the Court's lack of concern regarding "a large volume of politically motivated harassing and frivolous litigation" has been vindicated. Really, there's only been that one little case. Which led to the impeachment of the President in what was essentially an attempted coup. One might say the Court got it wrong because it focused on the likelihood of "frivolous and vexatious litigation" rather than on the possibility that litigation able to clear minimal standards might be used as a sort of lever that would allow them to set a perjury trap---the possibility of which exists only because of the political constraints uniquely relevant to politicians (of course, if Clinton hadn't been such a lout of a person, the issue would never have arisen, but that fact is irrelevant if we want to develop legal policies that allow for the possibility that Presidents might not be the most upstanding citizens in town).
We add a final comment on two matters that are discussed at length in the briefs: the risk that our decision will generate a large volume of politically motivated harassing and frivolous litigation, and the danger that national security concerns might prevent the President from explaining a legitimate need for a continuance.We are not persuaded that either of these risks is serious. Most frivolous and vexatious litigation is terminated at the pleading stage or on summary judgment, with little if any personal involvement by the defendant. See Fed. Rules Civ. Proc. 12, 56. Moreover, the availability of sanctions provides a significant deterrent to litigation directed at the President in his unofficial capacity for purposes of political gain or harassment.
The original Whitewater special prosecutor was Robert B. Fiske Jr., a moderate Republican selected in January 1994 by Attorney General Janet Reno, who had the authority to make the appointment because the independent counsel law had expired.
In August 1994, with the law renewed and Fiske under fire from conservatives for being insufficiently aggressive in pursuit of the president, the three-judge panel in charge of appointing independent counsels abruptly replaced him with a conservative activist named Kenneth W. Starr.
Moreover, the substance of Clinton's transgressions pales by comparison to those alleged of the various WH folks who appear to be in trouble (Rove and Libby for starters). After all, if there is anything seriously troubling about what Clinton did, it's that he committed perjury (if he did) and (again, I don't know if it's actually true) obstructed justice in proceedings whose obvious ends were to damage him and his administration politically. I do think the process issues are serious: obeying the law matters. Which is why I find so silly the recent discussions of how bad it will be if Fitz indicts only on supposedly not "real" grounds like perjury and obstruction (mostly the hand-wringers have been GOP types, though mushily liberal Richard Cohen made one of his classic cameos the other day).
It is hard to understate the idiocy of May's contention here. The part about the name Plame (or Wilson) is quite irrelevant, as I pointed out way back when. The part about mentioning her covert status is also quite a non-sequitur, a point that Kleiman makes with some vim:
The bottom line, as I see it: Judy Miller testified that Scooter Libby “did not refer to Plame by name or mention her covert status.” (I’m quoting from Howie Kurtz’ piece in the Wash Post).
Indeed, Miller says in her piece that based on her conversation with Libby she assumed Plame “worked as an analyst not an undercover operative.”
Well, that would mean Libby did not expose a covert intelligence agent, the crime charged by Wilson and his supporters.
If I know a secret about someone, and tell that secret to someone else, I've revealed that secret, even if I don't mention that it was supposed to be a secret in the first place.
Let's say, for example, that John is married to Jane but is secretly sleeping with Judy. If I say "John is sleeping with Judy," it's not a secret anymore. Whether I say "John is secretly sleeping with Judy" couldn't matter less. It wasn't the secrecy that was a secret, it was the sex.
Similarly, if Valerie Plame Wilson is an undercover CIA officer and someone publishes the fact that she works for the CIA, she's been burned, whether the publication mentions her undercover status or not. There's no second secret fact that she was undercover; her being undercover meant, precisely, that no one was supposed to know she worked for the CIA.
By the way, lest you think that idiocy on these matters is somehow a requirement to write for The Corner, evidently that thought is incorrect, as Andy McCarthy, who evidently is capable of both literacy and logical thought, demonstrates.
America's forests are a source of pride, and they provide crucial products and materials for our citizens and communities. As we celebrate National Forest Products Week, we recognize the importance of our forests to our economy and way of life, and we reaffirm our commitment to protecting them through wise stewardship and sensible land management. (WH release; 10-14)
If ... you got to add one thing [to a list of things to improve America], what would it be? It has to be something you can deliver on that is measurable, e.g., equal pay or more affordable housing. You only get one.Here's what I sent:
Here's my one idea: Expand health care coverage to all children under Medicare (NOT Medicaid). Arguments in favor are simple:I'm sure my fiscally conservative econ peeps will thrash me (mentally, if not in the comments---though i bet strategery4 comes out of his self-imposed silence to blast me on this one). But in the long run this idea might well actually cost less than the status quo, and it has the advantage of expanding health coverage in a politically advantageous and sustainable way.
- Medicaid coverage generosity and eligibility rules are set by the states, so children in poor and rightwing states get very poor coverage. Medicare coverage rules are set nationally. You have one political fight to win on coverage and eligibility, and then everyone covered gets same coverage.
As things stand now, Medicare's costs are skyrocketing---which as I understand it is due mostly to the fact that health care costs for adults are skyrocketing. Thus Medicare will be in serious political trouble in the near term if nothing is done: the GOP will argue that it is just too expensive, and its denizens will seek to undermine it piece by piece (a la the asymmetric rules for drug-price bargaining for private plans compared to traditional FFS Medicare that were tucked into Bush's prescription drug plan [note: one of the ironies of the GOP attack on entitlements is the costly--and likely inefficient--expansion of Medicare via prescription drugs; nonetheless, I think the endgame there is still clearly to kill FFS Medicare]).
As an accounting matter, adding children will almost surely diminish the rate of growth of Medicare spending: I'm pretty sure that the rate of growth of children's health care is substantially below that of seniors'. Thus this reform would tend to make the numbers look better (even without changing the underlying facts).
More importantly, adding children to Medicare would vastly enlarge the political constituency for Medicare preservation. Children have parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents under the age of 65; moreover, children will remember that they received coverage when they become adults. If you want to diminish the possibility of generational warfare over the remaining welfare state pillars, this is by far the best way to do it.
- There would be inevitable pressure to expand coverage up the age ladder (from 18 to 21, say, and then 25, and so on), as well as down the ladder from 65 (the Clinton Administration considered a buy-in version of this idea for those aged 55 and up if I remember). Thus this policy would provide a clear way to harness children's coverage to the incrementalism wagon, with an eye to ultimately providing universal coverage.
Consolidating coverage under Medicare likely would reduce fixed administrative costs that get paid many times by private insurers and state Medicaid programs. Thus this policy would tend to increase the efficiency of offering a given insurance policy [note: see Does Contracting Out Increase the Efficiency of Government Programs?Evidence from Medicaid HMOs by my colleague at UMD, Mark Duggan, for evidence that private insurers are in fact more expensive, at least compared to California's Medicaid program]. It would also allow employers to reduce their health insurance costs greatly (much of these savings would necessarily be offset by the higher taxes needed to fund expanded Medicare coverage, but given efficiency gains there would still be net savings; also, this is another place where the politics would be good because the reduced business costs would *look* business-friendly).
I'm sure I could think of more reasons. But personally I think this policy would have greater positive impact and also be more feasible (both technically and politically) then lots of other usual liberal wishlist items.
Just my one cent.
When in doubt, this President has turned to trusted aides and associates, and promoted them. The Miers nomination is yet another example. The advantage of this strategy is predictability (for the President, as opposed to the public as a whole); the disadvantage is the danger of cronyism. Although we don't know much about Miers, it's likely that, like John Roberts, she was picked with a view toward protecting executive power.Over the weekend, my wife and I joked about how one might expect Bush to nominate Michael Brown---after all, he's just as qualified to sit on the Court as he was to run FEMA. The jury is out concerning Miers's qualifications, but when he faces trouble, Bush either resorts to cronyism---as Balkin notes---or picks a known pit-bull to stir up support from the base.