July 16, 2007
Bush Instructs Miers Not To Tell Congress About His Non-Involvement In U.S. Attorney Scandal
Keep Innocence A Secret, Says Bush
Last week, President Bush instructed his former counsel, Harriet Miers, not to comply with a House subpoena in order to conceal his role in not having anything to do with the U.S. Attorney firings. Miers, in turn, failed to testify about their complete non-communication.
Miers said that that she would be perfectly willing to tell Congress that Bush had nothing to do with the firings as long as she was not under oath, and her statements were not recorded. Asked if she spoke with the President about speaking about the firings, Miers offered to answer reporters as long as they did take notes on her statements, and if she mimed her answer behind a large black screen.
President Bush defended his decision to invoke executive privilege today. "It's very important not to brag about how aboveboard and legal this whole process was," says Bush.
Congressmen were of two minds about Miers's absence at a hearing last week. "It is outrageous that a citizen would refuse to obey the order of the American people to show up and account for herself," said Congressman Bink Stoddart.
But Congressman John Conyers was not altogether displeased with Miers' empty chair. "She sounds more credible than when she actually shows up."
Addendum: WHite House counsel Fred Fielding defended the President's assertion of executive privilege, saying, "If the President's aides were to testify about their advice to the President about the commission of crimes, the President's ability to commit crimes would be greatly chilled."
Posted by Tom Burka at 2:55 PM
Joe Wilson Supports Hillary Clinton
I'm not used to posting real news here -- but everything I post here is at least metaphorically true, so this is really no different, right?
I was just part of a conference call where Joe Wilson announced his endorsement of Hilary Clinton for President. He explained that he has known her for a decade, and that, in his mind, she has an appropriately sophisticated and comprehensively thought-out approach to Iraq that makes him think she has what it takes to resolve that mess. Listening to him, he clearly thinks that she brings more experience, intelligence and toughness to the table on foreign affairs than the other candidates. I'll post links as they become available.
By the way, I asked Ambassador Wilson if he would be interested in serving in some post in the next adminstration -- because so many have admired his stance on Iraq and his outspokenness on the issue -- and he said he was planning on staying to Santa Fe. (He also said that if called on, he would find it hard to say no.)
Updates as they become available.
Update: Some have asked me, "So what?" Short answer: This is a big endorsement in that it is designed (and is likely) to shore up support for Hillary amongst the netroots.
Other takes by Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, Taylor Marsh, and Greg Sargent at TPMCafe. Steve Clemons of the Washington Note has more to say about what the endorsement means.
Update II: More from Dave Johnson and Tom Watson.
Posted by Tom Burka at 1:57 PM
July 2, 2007
Bush to Review Excessive Sentence Claims Of Million Other Felons
In light of his commutation of what he called the "excessive sentence" of I. Lewis Libby today, President Bush has agreed to review all sentences in the United States because "that would only be fair."
"Judges and panels of judges routinely review excessive sentence claims throughout the land," said Bush, " but the Libby case has made me see that our exhaustive system of appellate review is flawed."
The judge in the Libby case followed strict federal guidelines written by Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which labored for years to write an exacting code that was designed to ensure that all felons were treated equally. "What the guidelines do not take into account," said Bush, "is that some felons are more equal than others."
"These so-called 'guidelines' do not give adequate guidance to judges in certain cases," Bush said. His voice quavered as he added, "Some people -- for instance, rich and the powerful Republicans who, through no mistake of their own, are accidentally caught breaking the law -- sometimes do not receive proper treatment." Bush was then too overcome by emotion to continue with his statement. He retired to his residence on Kennebunkport to swill beer with President Putin, who agreed with the President's actions.
"In my country when pipples lied to the State, we tortured them," the former head of the KGB said, "except when they were fellow KGB. Then we clapped them on the back and danced with vodka bottles on our heads."
Other felons praised the President's decision. George Finnerty, a real estate maven doing six years for lying the I.R.S. about his income, said that Bush had "given all liars real hope."
Douglas W. Cox, who got ten months for testifying falsely about the ownership of five vending machines [pdf], prayed for Bush's forgiveness but was pessimistic. "I didn't come close to obstructing a Federal investigation of crime at the very highest levels of government," said Cox, shaking his head. "I don't think I qualify for the Libby treatment."
For her part, Lady Justice was happy to hear about President Bush's actions. "I'm so glad I'm not completely blind," she said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:20 PM