One, Two, Three, Fo'....FIF!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I heard this report on NPR on the way home last night, and immediately thought of the whole skit referenced in the title and picture. Too funny for words, and SO poignant. "I pleeeead the fif...(SLAM)...I pleeeead the fif....(slam)"

Then I read this report on WaPo today. Again, chuckles and chortles. Because of Bugs Bunny, Monty Python and Dave Chappelle, there is not much that I can possibly take seriously any more.

From the NPR story:

Monica Goodling, who serves as the Justice Department's liaison to the White House and counselor to the attorney general, notified the committee Monday that she will not be testifying about the scandal.

Justice Department documents show that Goodling helped determine which prosecutors should be fired . The documents also showed that she worked closely with White House political operative Karl Rove to remove the United States attorney in Arkansas so that one of Rove's aides could take the job.

As White House liaison for the Justice Department, she'd be able to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee whether top Justice Department officials knew they were giving false testimony when they said that the White House was minimally involved in the removal of the U.S. attorneys.
Her contention to the committee is that she had "become aware that a senior justice department official had blamed her for his false testimony." And as yet another indication that Gonzo is all alone, along with Rove and Bush, is
Goodling's invocation of the Fifth Amendment rattled Republicans on Capitol Hill. Adam Putnam, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, and a staunch Bush supporter, had this to say about Gonzales: "I believe that this tornado that he's in the center of is largely of his own making, and I believe [it] does undermine his ability to continue to serve the president in the way that you would expect."
I would also like to point out that Republicans joined Dems in the House to repeal the sneaky little section in the Patriot Act that allows the AG to appoint US Attorneys. Bush has apparently said he will not veto the measure, which while smart, is also not surprising and doens't help one way or the other. Geese are cooked.

It makes me wonder:
In the House yesterday, a provision stripping the attorney general of the power to appoint interim U.S. attorneys indefinitely without Senate confirmation passed overwhelmingly, following a 94 to 2 vote in the Senate last week.
Exactly who are the two who voted against it?? What misguided bumblefucks actually see the good in this provision so as to have voted against the blatant political maneuver with no benefit to justice being served? And even in the House, by passing "overwhelmingly," there must still be a few who think this is fine. Click here for the House vote (329 - 78). Got one of the Fighting 78 in your district as your Rep? Write them and tell them they're out of touch. I am proud to say that Mike Rogers (R - MI), my Rep, actually voted no, thouch the 78 nay votes all came from the Republicans.

For the Senate vote, click here. The 2 no votes were Bond (R - Hopeless) and Hagel (R - Outtatouch).



Thrillhous 7:29 PM  

I love how reps on both sides of the aisle say, about once every few months, "I had no idea that X was in the Patriot Act." Didn't you freakin' read it?

And how exactly do you plead the fif without actually being under oath first? Don't you have to show up and wait for them to ask you something?

Smitty 8:26 PM  

Yeah TH, this invocation of the Fif seems to fall under the "thou doth protest too much" category.

steves 2:05 PM  

I doubt this will go anywhere. To most people, this seems like a partisan witch hunt. They understand that the US Attorneys serve "at the pleasure of the president," and he can fire them whenever he wants. I have this image of Bush sitting on a big throne in front of the attorneys. "You no longer please me...take them away."

Apparently, Jimmy Carter fired an attorney that was investigating some other prominent democrat. I don't know if their was an uproar, but their should have been. No matter what the result of the current incident, I think it is a bad precedent to have US Attorneys serving a political party, rather than the USA.

I wonder how the Bush defenders will feel when President Hillary sicks the Justice Department on them.

B Mac,  2:13 PM  

Fun fact of the day: Most Congressmen didn't really get a chance to read the Patriot Act before the vote.

There were originally two versions of the bill; the House version (which was more extreme), and the Senate version (which was more reasonable). On the day of the vote, Congress was shown the Patiot Act in its final form, which was different (and far worse) than both original versions. They had about an hour to process a huge and far-reaching bill. And voting against something called the Patriot Act is like voting against apple pie and puppies, so everyone plugged their noses and pushed the green button.

I don't blame this staffer for pleading the fif... After the way Scooter Libby took the fall for his boss, there's no way in hell I would stand between Gonzales and the Human Ground-Squirrel (aka Waxman).

Smitty 7:47 AM  

Glad to see you connected with my other little spot in the blogosphere, Steves. And your avatar has single-handedly taken my blog from a cogent, rational, family-friendly discussion of high-brow intellect to a low-brow pit of wobbly boobs. Which is where it ought to be.

What matters here are the lies, not the firings. Firings mid-term are weird. Firings mid-term of USAs not investigating who the Admin thought they should is weirder (and illegal). That Gonzo lied and covered-up? Priceless. And illegal.

steves 10:07 AM  

I've thought of changing my avatar, but just can't. It is hypnotic.

Lying is not illegal (under most circumstances). AG may have broken the law if he fired them without presidential approval. I am sure Bush probably knew, but they'll set it up for some other patsy to take the fall (a la Scooter).

Assuming that no illegal acts were done, Congress is still doing their Constitutional duty in terms of checks and balances. Like I said before, do we really want US A's to be tools of the party in power? OTOH, I'd like to know if what the fired people are saying is true, or just sour grapes.

steves 10:11 AM  

Thanks for the welcome. I thought I'd be the voice of reason in this lefty love-fest ; )

Smitty 4:19 PM  

Lying is not illegal (under most circumstances).

When it's perjury, it's illegal.

steves 4:35 PM  

Perjury is the act of making a verifiably false statement under oath in a court of law. There are some ways to do this outside of court, but there must be a specific law to that circumstance that says under penalty of perjury.

I don't know if it applies in this situation.

Bob 9:29 AM  

Firing AG's is not illegal and lying may or may not be, but firing people because they are prosecuting or not prosecuting based on party...there's got to be a law against that somewhere. If not, it at least violates ethics standards and may be grounds for removal.

B Mac,  12:48 PM  

Gonzales has come out and declared that it was his former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, who carried out the entire house-cleaning, and that he (Gonzales) was just a bystander. I'm honestly not sure which is worse:

a) The Attorney General of the United States has politicized the Justice Department to the point where loyalty has taken priority over rule of law, or

b) some guy named KYLE SAMPSON was singlehandedly setting the course of the Justice Department, and the President and the AG were cool with that.

steves 4:12 PM  

Only the president has the authority to appoint and fire US A's. I believe that he can designate someone to do this for him, but I have yet to hear him say that he did.

I don't believe there is a law that says the president can't fire them for political reasons. If there were, I doubt it would be constitutional. Despite that, the more I hear about this, the worse it looks. Maybe Bush is sitting there thinking, "well my approval rating probably can't drop any more, let's do some real crazy shit." This could explain MC Rove's performance.

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