Visit the Group News Blog operated by friends of Steve:

Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


LowerManhattanite: "From Comedy Of Errors To Horror Show In One Reel"

And when you're done bringing that head, we've got some other people's body parts we want brought to us...

Another fantastic post (and photoshop!) by the incomparable LowerManhattanite - THANKS LM!

Ever watch a "classic" Three Stooges short? And by "classic" I mean the ones featuring the peach-fuzzed Curly Howard from between 1933 to 1945 or so. The one by-law of every one of those "pre-multiple-choice-half-*ssed-Curlies" (and one too-old Shemp) period films was this:

Every scene in which The Stooges appear where they can f*ck up whatever they touch and look like idiots somehow, The Stooges will f*ck up whatever they touch and look like an idiots.

Folks...every day's news about this White House is like those old after-school days of yore--when you hurried home, day after day, and turned on the TV, to find those Goddamned Stooge movies, full of colossal f*ck-ups, pipes to the head, and brutal falls down flights of steps.

Dig into your post-school/pre-dinner bowl of Cocoa Krispies, kiddies--in today's Stooge-fest, the boys f*ck up royally:



"Moe! Larry! The lawyers!"

Credit must be given where credit is due--even though I sometimes (f*ck it...often) disagree with him for an annoying tendency to hug up on mealy-mouthed centrists, Josh Marshall's been the firstest with the mostest on this story from the jump, digging at it tirelessly. And it's a story with roots going way beyond the top soil just getting turned over in recent days. Questions and concerns about the Justice Department's..shall we say, selective personnel handling go back a couple of years--to the beginning of things starting to smell in the CIA Leak Case.

Yeah. There was a sh*tload of talk and worry about Alberto Gonzales' personnel priorities even then. Folks were worried about him firing Patrick Fitzgerald over his taking a spade to the bottom of PlameGate. People laughed those concerns off. How stupid would the AG have to be to obviously ditch prosecutors over the tack of their investigations?

Oh...I dunno. Maybe John Mitchell stupid?

A trail. A slimy, lie-speckled trail of viscous, partisan skullduggery leading from Senator Domenici and Rep. Wilson, to Karl Rove, to Harriet ("I dot my i's-with hearts") Miers, to the president and his Tom Hagen-esque Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. A truly Stoog-ian f*ck-up. Traceable as all hell. And now, as the lifeboat goes all leaky, somebody's gotta go over the side.

"Hey Alberto. Look in the water there--closer...closer. Here pal, lemme help you get a closer look. 'Splash!' "

From The Three Stooges to Bring Me The Head Of Alberto Gonzales. Comedy to blood-soaked horror show in less than one reel.

What's this scandal all about? (have to emphasize "this"--what with the multitude of bed-sh*ts the last two years)

Pretty simple really. In the heat of an impending electoral Tsunami last year, GOP elected officials twisted arms of prosecutors to push hard on investigations against Democratic office-holders in an attempt to swing focus from GOP wrong-doing (which was quite rampant--from Bob Ney, to Duke Cunningham to Tom DeLay to putting Dems under prosecutorial fire. For what reason? To swing an election here or there in an election season where every seat lost was another circle of power-deprived hell descended to. When those investigations either fizzled or were found to be baseless, the GOP retaliated, through the White House, Rove, and Bush's Consigliere Gonzales, by spitefully firing the eight prosecutors who did not play ball in the desired, partisan manner. The issue at hand? The justice department's being used as a partisan tool of punishment of the administration.

Remember basic civics, kids? The Executive Branch, The Judicial Branch, and the Legislative Branch? Allegedly separate entities? Checks and balances and all that. stuff? When you get a situation like the one described above, you have what's called A Constitutional Crisis, where those hard lines set by the Constitution's very words are smeared by the sweaty, criminal hands of those who would seek to exploit that un-clarity.

Now, you'll hear justification of this craven bullsh*t from the right--"Hey! The Clintons did it! Janet Reno dismissed ALL of the attorneys when they came in! It's the same thing! MOONBAT! MOONBAT! MOONBAT!" Well...they're almost right. Reno did indeed dismiss ALL the prosecutors, because as they will also tell you, "they serve at the president's pleasure". But the difference is a stark one. The Clinton dismissals were borne of cleaning house entirely upon taking office. An understandable and generally accepted perk of an incoming administration.

This situation with Rove, Gonzales, Miers, Bush and apparently all manner of pissy GOP'er is quite different. There is a clear trail of political pressure on these prosecutors to go after political opponents of the president and his party. And when they did not do that bidding, then they got the axe. Why would one figure that? Couldn't they just have been fired on G.P.? One would think, yes.

But if that were the case, why, oh why would the Justice Department lie about the reasons for it.

"Gonzales characterized the changes as routine personnel decisions based on evaluations of each prosecutor's performance, calling it 'an overblown personnel matter' ."

Er. Damn near all of the prosecutors had just come off good performance reviews.

Why would we get obfuscation over who prompted Rove and Gonzales about these prosecutors?

"I have no idea what he's talking about"--Sen. Pete Domenici R-NM on prosecutor David Iglesias claims of Domenici's direct intervention in his firing.

Um...which he later recanted upon closer investigation, stating "I regret making that call (complaining about him to Rove) and I apologize".

"White House officials including the President did not direct DOJ to take any specific action with regards to any specific U.S. attorney."--White House Spokeswoman Perino...

"Gonzales characterized the changes as routine personnel decisions based on evaluations of each prosecutor's performance."--NYT it turns out, e-mails and various other documents indicate White House officials had consulted with the Justice Department in preparing the list of United States attorneys who would be removed.

Simple question--right here and now. Why would an administration, its Attorney General, and involved partisan elected officials repeatedly lie about their involvement in something that they claim to be LEGAL AND ABOVE BOARD?

People lie for one of two reasons.

1.) To cover up a misdeed--an illegal or unethical act.


2.) Because they are compulsive untruth-tellers who prevaricate about pretty much everything for little or no reason.

Neither of these reasons serves this administration well. The latter one indicates that they can be trusted on nothing, and the former one--the supremely prevalent one in general practice indicates serious, and damning illegality. They lied. Before Congress. Under oath. About circumventing the Constitution of the United States. Slaving the judicial branch--law enforcement, to the whims of the political needs of the executive branch. Somewhere in hell--probbly the boiler room, Pinochet, Marcos and Nixon are all smiling sweaty, proud "attaboy" smiles at this justice-poisoning news.

You see, f*cking around with federal prosecutors is a political third rail. It's happened before, and burned administrations used-match crispy. I've mentioned the infamous "Watergate Summer" here many a time, and how this administration seems to be dead set on providing us with another one.

Anyone remember "The Saturday Night Massacre?"

It was one of the most damning, and craven events of the criminally-sodden Nixon administration, and highlighted the "Roy Hobbs hit ball-like" unraveling of the Nixon White House. It was...a Constitutional pig-f*ck, par excellence. And it's turning out that the recent events are almost equal in levels of Constitutional pork-porking. You f*ck with the lawyers at your own peril.

So now, we have the specter (not Arlen, the pretender--but a real-live one) of Gonzales before the press today, skittish as a turkey in the third week of November, eyes blinking, head twitching, and words tumbling out of his mouth with the smoothness of clotted, sour milk as he tried to explain away the murders of prosecutors' careers--while he, Rove, Bush and others stand over the bodies with bloody clubs, hatchets, knives and red, red hands. Bush dares not (mis)speak on this. Rove, still treading on eggshells over the fallout of PlameGate would rather eat salted glass, than pass a public utterance past his jiggling wattle. And the fellow thrown under the bus--after Harriet Miers was fed directly into the fan blades of the engine today, is Alberto Gonzales. And...he's someone we'll gladly take, as he's helmed a disgusting, ignoble tenure at Justice. But beyond getting "him", the reprehensible person and dirt-dealing public official he is--he's another piece, perhaps even a key piece in that game of Jenga we spoke about recently.

So all means, BRING US THE HEAD OF ALBERTO GONZALES! 'Cause bringing us his head, may well drag along, and down the body parts of an administration whose collapse...would in the end, would only be a good thing.

Clear your throats. And say it with me now, "Jenga! JENGA! JENGA!" :)

- posted by LowerManhattanite

Labels: ,