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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


Pachacutec: "To The Bunker!"

This is about where Steve usually brings in an historical reference to Hitler’s bunker fantasies of a phantom division to crush the invading Allied horde.

Thanks to Firedoglake's Pachacutec for this timely and on-the-mark post - THANKS PACH!

Nuh guh huppen:

White House Voices Support for Gonzales


WASHINGTON, March 20 — The White House reaffirmed President Bush’s support for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today as the Senate prepared to vote on whether to revoke the authority it granted the administration last year to name federal prosecutors.

“The president spoke to the attorney general around 7:15 a.m. from the Oval Office,” said Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman. “They had a good conversation about the status of the United States attorney issue. The president also reaffirmed his strong backing and support for the attorney general.”

Mr. Bush’s call to Mr. Gonzales, an old friend from Texas, could dampen speculation that the attorney general’s job is at stake, at least in the immediate future.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, were moving to overturn a formerly obscure provision of the USA Patriot Act that allowed the attorney general to appoint federal prosecutors for an indefinite period without Senate confirmation. A vote is expected early this afternoon.

President Bush has said he has confidence in Mr. Gonzales, but as recently as Monday the White House seemed to offer only tepid support for him.

“Nobody is prophetic enough to know what the next 21 months hold,” the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, said when asked if Mr. Gonzales would remain until the end of Mr. Bush’s term. Mr. Bush has said Mr. Gonzales needs to repair his relations with Capitol Hill; asked if the attorney general had done so, Mr. Snow said, “I don’t know.”

At the Justice Department, neither Mr. Gonzales nor his staff have engaged in a major effort to reverse the erosion of his support among Republicans in Congress, associates said. Mr. Gonzales read budget briefing books over the weekend and on Monday he phoned one or two lawmakers, said one aide, who declined to identify them.

Mr. Gonzales, who publicly apologized last week for his department’s handling of the dismissals of eight United States attorneys, also acknowledged mistakes in a conference call with United States attorneys over the weekend.

Despite the attorney general’s apologies, Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, joined a chorus of lawmakers who are calling for Mr. Gonzales to leave the administration.

“I believe we need a new attorney general,” Ms. Pelosi told the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune.

The new chief counsel to President Bush, Fred F. Fielding, spent Monday preparing a response for Democrats who are demanding testimony from Karl Rove and other top aides to Mr. Bush, including the former counsel, Harriet E. Miers.

Of course, it’s near impossible to imagine Gonzo lasting until this time next week, in a rational world, but the Bush world has not been a rational world in a long, long time, if ever.

Bush dumped Rumsfeld on his own terms with maximum figleaf coverage after the election, and he thinks he can wait this one out a bit longer, too. But this is different. The GOP is not willing to follow Bush down to the sewers of political irrelevancy, at least, not all of them.

Steve has often predicted Bush would not last his full term, and I’ve never really agreed with him, but this is where I think he’d bring that point up again.

Whaddya think?

- posted by Firedoglake's Pachacutec

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