October 28, 2005
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr. -- someone I never heard of until the CIA leak case -- was indicted by a federal grand jury today for perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice.
How Libby managed to dodge an indictment for having a ludicrous nickname, I don't know. If your full name is "I. Lewis Libby, Jr." the last thing you need is an extra name -- let alone a dopey name. And what does the "I" stand for? Can you think of a male first name which begins with that letter? Iggy, perhaps? Iggy Libby??? No wonder he only uses the initial.
Anyway ... shortly after the indictments Libby resigned as Cheney's chief of staff, which was the right thing to do.
The irony is that today's indictments are the culmination of a nearly two-year-old grand jury investigation to determine if someone illegally disclosed the identity of a CIA agent -- something for which Libby was not indicted. It's odd that after two years, the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has apparently failed to find evidence that someone committed a crime in disclosing that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.
Granted, Fitzgerald's investigation may be ongoing. But at this point it seems that Libby is about to be prosecuted for lying to the FBI and the grand jury over a press leak which wasn't illegal.
October 27, 2005
Janet and Harriet
This is been a bad week for childless women.
Yesterday, Janet Jackson strongly denied rumors that she gave birth to a child in secret. I believe her; otherwise, she would've popped the kid out while performing at a Super Bowl halftime show.
And today, White House Counsel Harriet Miers withdrew from consideration for the Supreme Court.
Regarding Janet Jackson, who really gives a shit?
As for Harriet Miers, the nomination never made any sense -- politically or judicially. Her sole qualification was that she is a friend of the president. Well, whoop-dee-do. Is there any doubt that had Miers been the chief counsel of, say, Health and Human Services and unknown to the president that she never would have been nominated?
What's confounding about this fiasco is that George W. Bush has demonstrated potent political prowess and a talent for choosing exceptional judicial nominees. Why, then, did he expend so much political capital on such an obviously lame choice for the Supreme Court? Can this possibly be the same president who nominated John Roberts for chief justice? The mind boggles.
The White House's effort to sell the Miers nomination was clumsy at best. The only way it could've gotten worse is if during the confirmation hearings, Harriet had a costume malfunction.
So, thankfully, the president concluded it was time to Kevorkian the nomination.
Now W has a chance to get it right. And if he is determined to replace Justice O'Connor with a woman, then there are plenty of highly-qualified candidates. Janice Rogers Brown, for example.
Here's a rule-of-thumb: if the nominee makes Democrats squeal like stuck pigs, then she's a great choice.
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