Monday, October 31, 2005

"Did The Mules Get Out?"

"Miners frequently complained that company mules were treated far better than their human counterparts. Years after cave-ins or mine explosions, miners' anecdotes recount the first words of the coal operators when a mine collapsed: did the mules get out?"

—Wikipedia, The Ludlow Massacre

I spent the late evening and early morning hours one weeknight not long ago talking on the telephone to a friend of MojoWire, whom we believe is either retired from one of the various American intelligence services, or retired from a service that works closely with agencies that employ non-official cover operatives. We're not sure which service, and frankly we hope we never find out.

Our friend is deeply— let me reiterate that for effect, deeply— angry about the public posturing of the Bush administration and its apologists in reaction to the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on five separate criminal charges related to the cover-up of who mishandled the classified identity of Valerie Wilson, destroyed her career as a non-official cover operative of the CIA's counter-proliferation division, and burned her front company and its entire network of contacts. The phrase I kept hearing come over the wire from our friend was pretty stark: "They're telling us that we're not even worth as much as a three-dollar crack-whore."

This is, of course, a step down— again, in our friend's view— from where they stood when Reagan was willing to trade a missile battery or a squadron of helicopters to get them back.

Now, apparently, our President and his senior officials are willing to spend them for nothing more than a bit of domestic political payback. I have to admit, if I had been in the line of work that many of Valerie Wilson's associates did— who are now either dead, in prison or living lives of quiet desperation in some suburb somewhere waiting for the man in the black turtleneck to show up with silenced pistol— the righteousness of my pissed-offness would legendary.

(To be fair, I have to admit my still considerable pissed-offness is probably not as righteous as our friend's, principally because I lack the requisite personal technical experience to comprehend fully the deepness and hardness of the extent to which Libby and whoever else was involved has screwed the people who do have it.)

I am, of course, reminded of the quote from Wikipedia that introduced this article. Deep in my cynical, obsidian, ultimately very civilian heart, my reaction to our friend's troubles is to say, "You're just now noticing that when the mine collapses, the first thing the boss wants to know is whether you got the mules out?"

That's too flip, though. Our friend is the one I blame for giving me the following axiom:
Patriotism is the delta between what you got paid and what your services were worth on the open market.

And now, I suspect there are a lot of people like our friend— people with training in some very black arts, who have been employed to do questionable things for patriotic ends— who are watching how the civilian governing elites in America are managing the Valerie Wilson affair, and they are thinking that their services are apparently not worth very much on the open market anymore.

Yes, the CPD will have to close out all its accounts with Brewster Jennings, but DID WE STOP JOE WILSON FROM MAKING TROUBLE OVER THOSE FORGERIES FROM NIGER?!???

I mean, come on fellas— what could have been the worst that could have happened if you had done the right thing and kept Valerie Wilson's classified identity protected? Do you really want to continue trying to tell us that it was necessary to disclose her identity so that Americans would get the message that Joe Wilson only went to Niger because it was a boondoggle set up by his CIA wife?

Because that is such obvious bullshit.

Here's what we all know was really on the table, and I'm going to say it because no one else will: the administration desperately needed to discredit Joe Wilson to prevent the possibility of an investigation of how the Niger forgeries were inserted into the policy making process that led to the Iraq War. Why? Because somebody— or several somebodies— were up to their necks in a conspiracy to pass those forgeries off as genuine, and if Joe Wilson wasn't discredited, then somebody would have to be held accountable for that.

Has anybody been held accountable? No. Has there been any substantial effort to investigate that matter? No. Is there any effort underway now to find out who was responsible and hold them accountable? No.

Looks like it's working so far...

Rather than allowing whoever was responsible for the pushing the Niger forgeries to be held accountable and do the time for their crime, the administration burned a CIA operative in a demented scheme to cover it up. You fsckers burned Valerie Wilson's entire network just so you wouldn't have to go to Federal prison.

Come on, guys. It's not like the Federal pen is anywhere near as hardcore as a state prison. You probably would have been able to cut a deal and stay in jail only a few years.

Oh, no— you are clearly saying— that would have been more than you could be asked to sacrifice for your country— contrasted with what you feel completely comfortable asking people like our friend on the telephone Valerie Wilson's burned network to sacrifice for your country.
Patriotism is the delta between what you got paid and what your services were worth on the open market.

"Did the mules get out?"

Tactical Nuclear Syntax

The Rude Pundit arises and roars mightily on the subject of Bush administration appointments and judicial nominees.

As Atrios noted, His Rudeness is bringing to our attention that Samuel Alito wants employers to be able to fire people solely for contracting HIV, because he thinks it's appropriate to recognize their right to take steps in reaction to their fear of contagion— whether that fear is reasonable or not.

However, I wanted to bring this post to your attention because of its final paragraph. It is an exercise in rudeness that turned even my stomach. I will not quote it. It is probably the most "not safe for work" thing I have seen written in English all year. Don't skip ahead to the last paragraph. Read the whole article.

He's righteously pissed-off, and his rage burns like the radiance of a hundred thousand class O stars. I can't condemn him for deploying tactical nuclear syntax.

Friday, October 28, 2005

One down, many more to go:

Scooter gets bitchslapped with a 5 count indictment. One count of obstruction, 2 counts of false statements, and 2 counts perjury. The indictment looks solid and Libby is going to be hard pressed to resist accomodating the prosecutor in some way. He may force a trial and risk doing 30 at Leavenworth. If he forces these people to go all the way, I suspect he will not be sipping herbal tea at Club Fed. He will be making a shank out of his own femur in hard time lockup. He might do it and hope for a pardon or simply lean into the strike zone for the movement. These guys really are that whacked.

This isn't over. More deep hurting from Fitzilla will be delivered in coming weeks to deserving scumbags. What a fine, fine, sunny day.

Avedon Carol Goes On The 12-Step Program

"We're the United States of America, and we're helpless."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

No Fitzmas? Have Some Art Instead!

An appropriate image for our times from our good friend, the mad genius Tom Payne at Eyeball Press.

This piece is entitled Greed.

Pretty wild, eh? You haven't seen anything. Buy art from this man now, before he is so famous that you can't even afford to buy blank sheets of paper from him.

Miers Throws Herself Under the Bus

CNN reporting this morning that Harriet Miers was jettisoned, even as more and weirder stories about AmericaCo.'s CEO twitchy behavior are starting to surface.

Check out Miers withdrawal letter at the Post and the Maximum Leader's statement on accepting her political Seppuku. Draw your own conclusions.

Check out Paul Begala's post over at TPM Cafe this morning about how the White House is whinging these days.

I can hardly wait to see what radical wingnut, or quiet loner next gets prodded out into the forum at the tip of spear... This should be hooorrrrrible...

mojo sends

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Now This Is Better...

Richard Sale, intelligence correspondent for the Moonie UPI says Patrick Fitzgerald has requested the impaneling of a new grand jury. What special prosecutors ask for they usually get— and it looks like Fitz wants to know more about how this clusterfsck got off the ground.

To that end, eRiposte at The Left Coaster brings the hardcore noize on the subject that has all the mystery fans glued to their browsers, the origin of the infamous "sixteen words" claim in the State of the Union Address. (Yes, the British are full of shit— they never had anything beyond the forged Niger memos. Go see for yourself.)

Is there a pulse?

Congressional Democrats fight and win a battle in the House for the right cause and the right reasons. George Miller, Democrat from California led the fight to restore the prevailing wage in the Gulf Disaster Zone as dictated by the Davis-Bacon Act. In the face of possible legislative defeat, the Administration rescinded their previous waiver.

This exactly the kind of battle Democrats should be picking with the Republican leadership. They squandered the opportunity to battle over the genuinely evil bankruptcy bill, well, sold out really. A small start, but a start nevertheless....

Nice job Dems, keep it up.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks Has Died

A moment of silence, please, while her perisprit assumes its rightful place in the firmament.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Survey Says!

I thinks it pretty clear now that Scooter Libby is going to be indicted. Also, if you buy into the stories about Hannah and Wormser, they will probably plead out to a lesser charge and probably not serve any time, although that's not a given in a federal prosecution of this scope. Karl Rove has a better chance of slipping the noose, since he's been granted numerous oppoturnities to "correct" his grand jury testimony. However, if he is caught on perjury, Fitz has a wide range of testimony to work with.

I seriously doubt anyone higher than Rove or Libby would be labled an unindicted co-conspirator. But I suspect that PR flunkies like Mary Matalin better reach out for quality legal representation.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I've Got A Premonition

Fitzgerald indicts only a handful of low-level players and names no "un-indicted co-conspirators". Media respond with collective, "Is that all there is?" Everyone goes back to sleep.

It's just a premonition.

Update 1.0: Now, Billmon is suggesting I've been visited by the ghost of White House scandals past, in the form of John Dean, who says:
It is difficult to envision Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuting anyone, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, who believed they were acting for reasons of national security. While hindsight may find their judgment was wrong, and there is no question their tactics were very heavy-handed and dangerous, I am not certain that they were acting from other than what they believed to be reasons of national security. They were selling a war they felt needed to be undertaken.

In short, I cannot imagine any of them being indicted, unless they were acting for reasons other than national security. Because national security is such a gray area of the law, come next week, I can see this entire investigation coming to a remarkable anti-climax, as Fitzgerald closes down his Washington office and returns to Chicago.

Night of the Long Knives...

Yeah... who didn't see this one comin':

Karl rove trying to space Scooter Libby out the airlock.

Just priceless... I wonder who else is planning on bilging their comrades...

mojo sends

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round...

Amey Stone, one of the rotating columnists in Hot Property at BusinessWeek Online is concerned about the spectre of mortgage abuse. She digs out from the comments in some thread somewhere the following anecdote:
I am a lawyer and I represent illegal aliens in deportation. In all but one of 35 cases I currently have on docket the illegal owns a home. But it is the loan terms that fascinate me. One lady finished school at second grade, speaks no English, and works for a recycling company binding cardboard boxes. She makes about $30K per year and is a single mom with three children. She has a $430K interest only loan that she used last year to buy a $430K condo - 100% financing - she paid $3,000 in closing costs. I tried to explain that her monthly payments will rise substantially in four years. She does not believe me, did not understand what I said and told me the loan and real estate agents specialize in real estate and would have told her if her payments could go up. If 34 of my clients with risky loans and no school past at best eighth grade are surprised by rising loan payments, we should be afraid. This is the last group desperate lenders pander to, meaning we're near the end.

Think about the credibility of the source of this information before you get too cranked about it, but the problem I want to highlight is that this story seems pretty damned plausible. It shouldn't be.

If this story turns out to be true, and anywhere near representative of how bad the mortgage abuse problem has become, then we are looking at a blockbuster of an economic horror show opening soon in a theater of operations near you. I have a very bad feeling about what may happen when millions of Americans find out all about how the Enron decade isn't over yet.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Miss Run Amok

Laura Rozen points us to a note from a former New York Times UN Bureau Chief that puts little Miss Run-Amok in an interesting light.

via Romensko,
From BARBARA CROSSETTE, New York Times UN bureau chief, 1994-2001: Obscured behind the large issues of weapons of mass destruction and Joseph Wilson's links with the CIA is another story. Over the last year or so, Judith Miller also wrote a series of damaging reports on the "oil for food" scandal at the United Nations -- in particular, personally damaging to Secretary General Kofi Annan because the reports were frequently based on half-truths or hearsay peddled on Capitol Hill by people determined to force Annan out of office. At the UN, this was interpreted as payback for the UN's refusal to back the US war in Iraq. As a former NYT UN bureau chief [now retired] I have been asked repeatedly by diplomats, former US government officials, journalists still reporting from the organization and others why Times editors did not step in to question some of this reporting -- a lot of it proved wrong by the recent report by Paul Volcker -- or why the paper seemed to be on a vendetta against the UN. The Times answered that question Sunday in its page one report on the Miller affair. Ms. Run Amok had at least one very highly placed friend at the paper, and many Timespeople were afraid to tangle with her because of that. Note also, that Ambassador John Bolton, a severe critic of the UN and a figure so controversial he could not face a confirmation hearing in the Senate, was one of the administration officials who took time to visit Miller in jail. [Permalink

Gives a lot more credence to the notion that John Bolton was more heavily involved in this farce. And apparently, a Bolton staffer worked for the CIA, in WinPac, where as luck would have it, Valerie Plame worked. DOH!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Are We Back From Yom Kippur Yet?

Good. You may want to remember this now.

Oh, that's right. Good Christians don't observe Yom Kippur. What was I thinking?

Friday, October 14, 2005

And The Hits Just Keep Coming...

The National Park Service is now requiring candidates for mid-level management positions and above to be filled only with the approval a political appointee. Here's an excerpt from the press release from an outfit called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Washington, DC — The National Park Service has started using a political loyalty test for picking all its top civil service positions, according to an agency directive released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under the new order, all mid-level managers and above must also be approved by a Bush administration political appointee.

The October 11, 2005 order issued by NPS Director Fran Mainella requires that the selection criteria for all civil service management slots (Government Service grades or GS-13, 14 and 15) include the “ability to lead employees in achieving the …Secretary’s 4Cs and the President’s Management Agenda.” In addition, candidates must be screened by Park Service headquarters and “the Assistant Secretary [of Interior] for Fish, and Wildlife, and Parks,” the number three political appointee in the agency.

Ah yes— the “ability to lead employees in achieving... the President’s Management Agenda.”

That should give all those tree-hugging, dirt-worshipping hippies some newfound respect for their betters. When we tell you the Intelligent Designer carved the Grand Canyon with His divine chisel, you will better well not argue with us. WE PAY YOUR SALARIES, YOU PATHETIC MEWLING SCRUBS!

The Iraqification Of New Orleans

My radical tree-hugging dirt-worshipping hippie comrades in the Green Party are sounding the alarm about the "Iraqification" of disaster areas.

This excerpt from their press release lists the specific bits of concern:

  • Incursion by Blackwater and other private security forces, which already have contracts to provide security in Iraq; such firms are not held to the same standards of accountability as service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • The cruel neglect of prisoners in Louisiana, documented by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU , during the hurricane and its aftermath, with inmates locked in cells as floodwaters rose, deaths, and inmates still missing -- recalling official toleration and encouragement of prisoner abuses in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan.

  • No-bid rebuilding contracts for companies like Halliburton/KBR, which have already profiteered to the tune of billions off the Iraq invasion and occupation, with similar no-bid contracts; award of federal contracts to favored white-owned firms and disregard by FEMA for requirements that contracts go to some minority businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal on September 23, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson said that "his staff has been unable to locate any federal contracts for Mississippi that went to minority firms".... "During a recent New Orleans City Council hearing... a half-dozen minority business owners said they were being left out of the rebuilding effort, and Council President Oliver Thomas told Mayor Ray Nagin that he was living in 'Neverland' for thinking black businessmen would receive a significant number of government contracts."

  • President Bush's appointment of White House advisor Karl Rove -- an administration 'crony' with no known expertise in urban policy or engineering (and who has been implicated in the Valerie Plame scandal) -- to supervise the rebuilding of New Orleans.

  • Cuts proposed by Republicans, eliminating as much as $40 billion from Medicare and other social spending to pay for clean-up -- just as they diverted funding from social programs for the military venture in Iraq. "Elderly people who lost their homes and health care providers as a result of the hurricane will bear the brunt of the Medicare cuts," said Leenie Halbert, acting co-chair of the Green Party of Louisiana. "The failure to protect and care for people whose lives have been devastated by the hurricane the repeats to failure to protect and care for soldiers and their families most affected by the war "

  • Proposed suspension of environmental protections, with a waiver of EPA rules, in areas hit by Katrina, comparable to the disregard of the environment in war zones.

  • Click through and read the whole press release. Feel free to get on the horn and chew out your representatives.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Where Does Miers Stand On The Dred Scott Decision?

    I think America really wants to know whether Harriet Miers believes any of the rulings in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case should have been overturned, and— if so— which ones.

    Somebody should make sure she gets a question about that during her confirmation hearings.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Why Not Just Start Requiring Loyalty Oaths at the Airport?

    This is excellent!

    Now airlines are kicking people off flights for having anti-Bush sentiments on their t-shirts... Outstanding! Why not just start having people sign loyalty oaths in order to finalize an airline ticket transaction?

    Is it me, or have things just gotten unspeakably weird in this country in the past couple of weeks?

    mojo sends

    Gospel According to William: There was no slavery!

    Via Media Matters, Fresh from the midden heap that Bill O'Reilly keeps locked in his cranium because brains are cost prohibitive, the *truth" about the history of African Americans in America.

    My people came from County Cavan in Ireland. All right? And the British Crown marched in there with their henchman, Oliver Cromwell, and they seized all of my ancestors' lands, everything. And they threw them into slavery, pretty much indentured servitude on the land. And then the land collapsed, all right? And everybody was starving in Ireland. They had to leave the country, just as Africans had to leave -- African-Americans had to leave Africa and come over on a boat and try to make in the New World with nothing. Nothing. And succeeded, succeeded. As did Italians, as did -- and I'll submit to you, African-Americans are succeeding as well. So all of these things can be overcome I think, [caller]. Go ahead.

    Ummm...WTF is going on in the right? I mean, I know these people have stripped away the veneer of Liberal Democracy to expose their creamy facist center, but now we're going to pretend Slavery never happened? There is virtually nothing analogous to the diaspora from Ireland as a result of the Irish Potato famine and the systematic kidnapping and forced servitude inflicted on the peoples of West Africa by the American Slave Trade.

    For Christ's Sake! Racial Genocide fantasies? Claiming Slavery never happened? And don't even Freakin start me on recent blogposts supporting the Bell Curve. These people really are starting to come unglued...

    My Brain Hurts

    This morning, just before I arrived in the office, I tuned into The Glenn Beck Program on one of my local FiveMinuteHate™ radio stations. I couldn't believe what I heard.

    Glenn Beck, while babbling about the new torture legislation, interviewed someone purporting to be a military intelligence officer who claimed to have been a specialist in extracting information using techniques he openly called torture. The guest gave his name as Mitch, but averred that this was a pseudonym. He claimed to have used, or having been involved in the use of, a variety of torture techniques under orders from the U.S. government, and he gave the following techniques as examples: 1) using 1200 psi pressurized air hose to blow out a prisoner's eardrums; and 2) using a drill to open up live, healthy teeth.

    Now, I don't believe for a minute that Mitch was telling the truth. He was trying to sound convincing, and he wasn't at all successful with me, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more stupid listeners in Glenn Beck's audience were completely taken in by his act. That Glenn Beck would put this guy on the air and let him put on an act like this came as no surprise to me.

    Here's what nearly made me turn around and go back to the City for my wife and a jump kit to head for the Canadian border: Glenn Beck himself appeared to take the guy completely seriously and proceeded to shower him on the air with admiration, to praise him for his heroism, and to thank him explicitly for torturing people in all our names.

    I sincerely hope Media Matters caught this act at the end of his show today. If they did, I will link to whatever they put up about it later today. I don't understand why Americans don't punish anybody who sponsors this bastard's radio program with a crushing boycott. This makes no sense to me.

    Update 1.0: Okay, this is unacceptable. I've been banging on Media Matters all day trying to get somebody there to tell me I'm not crazy, that I really did hear Glenn Beck do this. No response. This is completely unacceptable. Yeah, I understand that people are going ballistic over William O's latest nonsense. Getting them to focus on the problem of continuing escalation in the overt political support for using torture as a matter of official policy might be a little too much to ask. My point is that it shouldn't be. My god. We're talking about torture for fsck's sake! TORTURE! The man is selling TORTURE as a positive ideal! I'm serious here. This is life and death stuff, people— I cannot remain at peace with a people who condone this. Do NOT test the limits of my pseudo-pacifism, you bastards. I have a breaking point, and you really don't want to find out what I'm capable of doing when I decide that I'm going to be an asshole.

    Update 2.0: In my grief, I was expecting way too much from the nice people at Media Matters. Mojo just called me on the telephone to inform me that they have indeed found the transcript and done a very nice job documenting it. I am only slightly crazy, but I really did hear him say those terrible things.

    WTF is up with blogspot?

    WTF is up with blogspot?

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Whatever Happened To The Snowdens Of Yesteryear?

    Go read the latest polemic from Albert Gore, Jr. on TPMCafe. Here's my favorite paragraph, but you're welcome to find your own.
    Campaign finance reform, however well it is drafted, often misses the main point: so long as the only means of engaging in political dialogue is through purchasing expensive television advertising, money will continue by one means or another to dominate American politics. And ideas will no longer mediate between wealth and power.

    I wish Gore had been this good when he was the candidate in 2000.

    And no, don't try to hand me any crap about how if it wasn't for Nader, then Gore would have won Florida and Bush would have never been installed in the White House. While that's a true statement, it's irrelevant. The Albert Gore you see today is not the Albert Gore that we would have gotten if he had won that election. So all you pinheads who still can't forgive the Greens for the Y2K Presidential election, you can blow me.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    It's the End of the World as We Know It...

    Okay s9... the die might apparently really be cast...

    Remember a couple of weeks ago on the wire, I was absolutely thrilled with the President calling for the end to the Posee Commitatus Act?

    Well, today, apparently, the President openly called for using the U.S. Military including federalizing the National Guard for quarantining sections of the country in the event of an outbreak of avian flu...

    Here's yer money graf:
    One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? When -- it's one thing to shut down airplanes; it's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine? One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move.

    And so that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have. I noticed the other day, evidently, some governors didn't like it. I understand that. I was the commander-in-chief of the National Guard, and proudly so, and, frankly, I didn't want the President telling me how to be the commander-in-chief of the Texas Guard. But Congress needs to take a look at circumstances that may need to vest the capacity of the President to move beyond that debate.

    Well, that's the ballgame, isn't it? I mean, if they are planning this, like they planned the search for "weapons of mass destruction" then I am definitely getting that sinking fnordy feeling...

    Dude this is insane! They cannot honestly be thinking this!

    And this is why you put a Harriet Miers on the court. Someone who will make sure that no court in the land interferes with W's coup d'etat!

    Makes it all lawfulized and shiny... get yer sandbags today and avoid the rush...

    mojo sends

    Did You Get That Thing I Sent You?

    Freeperville has gotten the memo this morning. [No link, because I don't link to them anymore.]

    Miers is an anti-abortion extremist. Extremist. As in, a big believer in the Texas Republican Party platform plank about abortion. What does that platform say?
    The Party affirms its support for a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse making clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children.
    These people want to turn every miscarriage into probable cause for a murder investigation— and the word is going out among the conservatarians today that Harriet Miers is secretly on their team in ways that nobody with any real qualifications for the court could possibly be.

    Remember: you heard it here on MojoWire first.

    Update 1.0: I see that Billmon has noticed as well.

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    The Hammered (Redux)

    CNN is reporting this afternoon that Ronnie Earle has struck again, this time bringing the real heat to DeLay with a grand jury indictment on money laundering charges.

    Yeah... the schadenfreude is running a little thick around here this afternoon...

    DeLay's legal pimp is saying "he hopes for a trial by the end of the year..."


    mojo sends

    Update 1.0: If you want, Comrade Joshua has a pretty good take on this second indictment. Money shot: It looks like there might be a technicality surrounding the effective date of the conspiracy statute, so this might be a bit bet hedging, according to the Austin Statesman. But the Houston Chronicle piece reports it a little different in an interview with a UT law prof who seems to think the timing on the statute is not the "get-out-of-jail-free" card that the thug's law pimps seem to think...

    October Surprise?

    I have been going over much of the coverage from the MSM as well as in the various alternate realities of the Blogiverse about the nomination of Harriet Miers to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's size 15 fetish pumps on the Supreme Court.

    And while some in and around blogovia have been thinking that this is all a plot on the part of the Rovians to put up as straw man who will get batted out of the park, somehow making way for a real extremist like a Janice Rogers Brown, I just don't know.

    I think, myself, that this really is the nomination that administration wants, and is now openly displaying contempt even for their own base. Read through Free Republic, or Southern Appeal, or Junk Yard Blog...

    These people are gripping and gripping hard... they are (literally) losing their collective religion over this.

    Quite frankly, I am enjoying their discomfiture to an unseemly extent.

    Anyway, the point is, that the Bush Administration feels no need to bring someone to the Senate with the proper ideology. In fact, the Bush administration prefers their nominees to be certified ideology free. The only ideology a Bush judge needs is supplied to them by the Rovians and only when they have need of it.

    That is why Roberts had problems answering ideological questions and why Miers will have similar problems. They're not hiding their ideology... they have no ideology, other than getting over and serving their master.

    Other than that, a high functioning brain and moral compass just isn't that necessary for a Bush judicial nominee. The only character trait a Bush nominee needs to bring the table is an unwavering desire and fuctionally demonstrated ability to do the President's bidding when ordered, no questions asked.

    That's what Miers brings to the table. She is nothing more than another sycophantic hand puppet.