Monday, December 10, 2007

Scooter Libby Is No Longer Appealing

Sorry for that cheap imitation of the trite "loses his appeal" joke.

"We remain firmly convinced of Mr. Libby's innocence," Libby attorney attorney Theodore Wells said. "However, the realities were, that after five years of government service by Mr. Libby and several years of defending against this case, the burden on Mr. Libby and his young family of continuing to pursue his complete vindication are too great to ask them to bear."

Wells cites that inevitability of a re-trial if Libby were to win -- a re-trial would likely be ordered by an appellate court, but the decision to proceed would be the prosecutor's. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has said the leak investigation is closed.

It does make one one wonder: why pay for something that is a cheap imitation of pardon?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Political Staccato, or It's Nice to Come Up for Air

Some short clips since I’ve been away for so long, hunkered down on a project. With the WGA writer’s strike these ought to be salad days for people who think they’re funny, but, as the writers would concur, making money is job one:

So glad Mitt Romney accepts Jesus and that the unchristian Christians from one end of a tiny spectrum may be appeased by the unchristian Christians from the other. Still waiting for the day that an atheist can run for anything or for a single candidate to have the courage to say faith informs no life decisions except whether to sleep in on Sunday.

Disgusted by Romney's declaration: “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom." Actually, freedom only teaches us to tolerate religion so that our private behaviors may be tolerated in turn, as we should other private behaviors we may personally disapprove of, like a gay lifestyle, abortion ... oh.

There is nothing to the argument that only religious people possess the values to govern themselves, that the elegant beauty of democracy can spring only from minds which accept on faith the existence of a deity. This is an idiotic and offensive position. It is exhibit “A” on why religion has no place in governance. When will politicians who pander values be punished for their sins in this world? Will Romney's failure to even win the Republican nomination be attributed to beliefs like this or will it be spun by his acolytes as evidence of religious bigotry?

Will the dirty little secret that lets the air out of Mike Huckabee’s balloon be that he isn’t quite the straight-shooting nice guy Chuck Norris will “convince” you he is if you don’t? How else can Huckabee palm off not knowing anything about the new Iran NIE by being too busy campaigning to be commander-in-chief to keep up with commander-in-chief news.

While we’re at it, nice try by Joe Scarborough to nail Huckabee down on why he can’t accept Romney is a Christian by asking the candidate if he is equally equivocal about Billy Graham. But Morning Joe missed the follow-up, which would have been to circle back to the threshold question: “OK, you don’t know what's in anybody’s heart, so you give Romney the benefit of the doubt you give Graham. Both could consider themselves Christians, or not, and that is not for you to say -- we get it. But no matter what’s in Romney’s heart, do you believe he even be a Christian if he is also a Mormon?”

Are Rudy & Romney listing because of the latest opposition research both are unleashing on each other to prove each hates Mexicans more (stole that line from somebody I can’t recall to credit right now)? Or, has the resonance of the illegal immigration issue waned? Unless Lou Dobbs gets nominated by acclamation I’m in the corner that believes the issue is more theoretically disturbing than actually by people likely to vote in large numbers next November.

Sadly, no real surprise that the Bush White House finds affirmation for its Armageddon view in the news that Iran is nowhere near being able to start WW III as the president warned no long ago (and hasn’t for at least, er, four years).

While the right attacks the messenger – hysterical they are now using as proof of intelligence unreliability the “evidence” that got us into their war in Iraq – the important question seems to be fading away: Did the president (again?) knowingly suppress evidence that does not support his strategic objectives, or does he really just have contempt for a fact-based approach to – anything?

This was meant to be funnier. I’m praying for Jon Stewart’s return as well.