Saturday, December 10, 2005

Man, this Must Chap O'Reilly's Cheeks

Crooks and Liars has the Barney cam up from the White House. It appears the Preznut and Mrs. Bush have joined the war against Christmas. This must really be gut-wrenching for O'Reilly. His own Preznut working against him.

I read the Preznut, in defense of the "Happy Holiday" cards sent out by the White House, said that it was because they were being sent to people of many faiths. This should be a big "HELLO" to Mr. O'Reilly and his fellow Christmas warriors. Stores and shopping malls are attracting buyers of many faiths and like the White House use more generic holiday greetings.

If you want to read a hilarious diary by Hunter at dailykos go here. I laughed so hard I cried. Hunter does a great job and is about to retire from his front page role. It's a great read.

Merry Christmas to my friends who celebrate the birth of Christ, Happy Holidays to my friends who don't. Oh, and Happy Yule O'Reilly, you jack-ass.

Friday, December 09, 2005

DeLay Delayed Again

So Sorry, I just can't help myself when it comes to DeLay's delays..........

The story is here.

From the story it appears that the next step will be for the state of Texas (Ronnie Earle) to decide whether to appeal the ruling the judge made to dismiss the conspiracy charge against DeLay. Now, I don't know Ronnie Earle. I don't know just how political he is. It's possible that he could decide to appeal the ruling because he feels it is a legitimate charge. If he decides to appeal and an appeals court decides that it is not a legitimate charge the DeLay camp will come out with the "I told you so" response. Earle could also chose to appeal just to delay the trial further and deal another blow to DeLay's hopes of getting back to Washington to reclaim his leadership role.

If Earle doesn't chose to appeal this ruling, the next step will be for Senior Judge Pat Priest to decide whether there was prosecutorial misconduct as the DeLay camp claims. If Priest decides there was misconduct the case will be thrown out.

While I would be tremendously disappointed to see DeLay get off easy on what looks like a classic money laundering case, I believe he will be seeing the inside of plenty of courtrooms in the coming years.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Rove, Luskin and a Smoke-filled Room

I haven't written much about Karl Rove and his attorney, Robert Luskin, because Jane and Redd, Jeralyn and Josh Marshall seem to have it covered. They do a great job with the time lines and who told what to whom and when type of stuff. Something keeps nagging me about all of this, though.

Karl Rove hired Robert Luskin to represent him. That's a fact. This isn't charity on Luskin's part. Why did Rove pick Luskin? I'm sure there are thousands of lawyers to choose from in the D.C. area. What is it about Robert Luskin that made him the perfect choice for Karl Rove?

To start, Luskin has his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. He was a Rhodes Scholar. This means he's smart. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and he was a speech writer for Geraldine Ferraro. This means he knows how to write and probably that he knows something about swaying public opinion. He is a professor and lecturer at various universities. Finally, he's a lawyer who has successfully handled several high-profile cases. I'm not sure that any of this is why Karl Rove hired Robert Luskin. I think it goes deeper than that.

At in their Law stars Hall of Fame Luskin gives this quote about the Rove case which I find very revealing.

"But this is something of a magnitude that's more intense than anything I've seen before," he said of the investigation. "Most criminal lawyers say 'No comment' or 'I'm not going to talk about it.' And I think that works well. But it does not work well in a high-profile Washington investigation, where your goals are much more ambitious and much broader than just keeping your client out of jail."

What are these ambitious and much broader goals? If he isn't just trying to keep Rove out of jail what is he trying to do? Is he helping Rove cover for someone else? Is he protecting Bush or Cheney? I don't think saving Rove's reputation would qualify as being more ambitious or broader than staying out of jail. Rove is, after all, just a puppeteer for the President. (So, maybe he's the head puppeteer.)

Luskin doesn't clarify the more ambitious and broader goals in the Law Stars article, but his actions give some big clues. One of Luskin's goals, it appears, is to obfuscate the truth. He's playing the old smoke and mirrors game. He doesn't seem to have the facts on his side, so he has to create the appearance of innocence for his client. But is it working?

The longer Fitzgerald draws this investigation out with Karl Rove hanging and dangling in the breeze the harder Luskin and Rove seem to work at tossing decoys to the press, public and special counsel. Luskin works feverishly to try and explain away deficiencies in the truth surrounding Karl Rove's actions in the outing of CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

This is where I think Luskin is making his fatal error. He is assuming that we are all too stupid to see what he is doing. The problem for Luskin is that we aren't stupid. More importantly Patrick Fitzgerald isn't stupid. With all of the Luskin/Rove bobbing and weaving we are all pretty much convinced Rove is guilty. It's just a matter of proving it.

The fact that Luskin sees his role as being much broader than keeping his client out of jail is probably one of the reasons why Rove hired Luskin. Does the fact that Rove chose Luskin mean that he is guilty? No, not at all. Innocent people hire attorneys all the time, but innocent people are usually protected by the facts. It's the guilty who look for loopholes in the law, hide evidence of their guilt or fabricate evidence to prove they are innocent.

So, is Luskin trying to prove Rove's innocence or hide Rove's guilt? It's hard to tell through all of this smoke.