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October 30, 2005

Prince Charles is coming over to lecture us about tolerance. Isn’t that rich? British nobility coming over to teach us former “colonials” a thing or two.

Who, exactly, is he to lecture anyone. This is a man in his late 50′s whose life is still run by his mother. And–when I say “man”, I am stretching a bit.

Remember this conversation he had with his mistress, Camilla. What kind of MAN says things like that?

I hate it when I hear about Americans going over to suck up to the the Royals in Great Britain. Like the Kennedy women during the 1930′s practicing their “curtsey” before being presented to the King. This kind of obsequiousness is what my ancestors came over here to get away from.

President Bush should greet Charles with a big old wad of Red Man in his cheek and a giant Dr. Pepper bottle spit cup. Charles would probably faint–or die and reincarnate into a feminine product.


By: Sue Bob @ 2:49 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

October 29, 2005

In the indictment of Libby, the prosecutor describes Plame’s employment as “classified”, not covert. While he insinuated in his press conference yesterday that there was some violation of a law regarding National Security, I can’t figure out what specific section of the Code was violated.

The statute protecting the identity of covert agents defines one as this:


(4) The term “covert agent” means— (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or (emphasis added)

It doesn’t seem completely honest to go on in an indictment and a press conference about Plame’s job being “classified” without addressing the question of whether her status meets all elements to be “covert”. Further, I agree with Mark Levin. All we have in the indictment is an assertion that her job was classified.


Now, as for Plame being classified, I have read the indictment several times, and other than Fitzgerald’s assertion, the fact is that we have nothing but an assertion. What exactly is her classification, and is it in fact classified? Of course the relevance of this will be explored by defense counsel, and this will be put to the test if necessary. Let me suggest that Fitzgerald didn’t bring a straightforward charge on this point because, as Andy in truth concedes, he couldn’t meet all the elements of the statute, and the statute itself is not typically used in this fashion.



I believe that one should always expect career prosecutors to push the envelope
.


By: Sue Bob @ 7:35 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

October 28, 2005

I confess that I don’t understand what the prosecutor is saying in this indictment. Is Libby being indicted for lying to reporters? Or for lying to investigators? Or for lying to the Grand Jury? I can’t figure out what the indictment is saying he did.

How do we know Tim Russert is telling the truth–or is remembering accurately.

Also, under the section about the matters material to the Grand Jury–why is not one of the matters the question regarding whether or not Valerie Plame was a covert agent?

Update:

Orin Kerr seems to understand it.

Update:

It looks like I’m not the only one confused by the indictment. I’m in good company here:

I think the indictment stinks. You have to parse it very carefully to figure out whether Libby is accused of lying to the grand jury or the FBI, or to journalists. Go look. I finally concluded that it says that Libby lied to the grand jury (and elsewhere the FBI) when he testified that he told (Cooper, Miller or Russert) things that in fact he did not tell (Cooper, Miller or Russert).

Also here is more on her “covert” status from the same link:

Then, I entirely agree with those who have said that Fitzgerald has introduced an entirely different rationale into this process. He was supposed to determine if anyone had outed a covert operative. In this indictment, and in his press conference, he just said that her identity was classified, and so he wants to prosecute people for improper use of classified information. I expect the defense will have fun with that one. Is it criminal to say that so and so works at CIA? If so, a lot of normal people and even some journalists should be prosecuted forthwith.

Update:

Here is a response to the above:

This entire claim is simply untrue. A central prong of the Indictment is that Libby lied to the Grand Jury and to the FBI not only about what he said to reporters, but also about when and how he first learned that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.
According to the Indictment, Libby told the Grand Jury that he first heard of Plame’s CIA employment during a July 10 telephone conversation with Tim Russert, and that he was “surprised” to learn of this during that conversation (see Paragraph 32(a)(ii)) (cited Indictment paragraphs are excerpted below).

That testimony is false, alleges the Indictment, because Libby had known about Plame CIA’s employment well before he ever spoke with Russert. Indeed, the Indictment lists four (4) separate occasions prior to his conversation with Russert when Libby was informed that Plame worked for the CIA ((see Paragraph 33(a)(ii)), including his early June conversation with Vice President Cheney, his June 11 conversation with a “senior CIA officer,” and his June 12 conversation with an Under Secretary of State.

(HT The Corner)


By: Sue Bob @ 11:07 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (4)

October 19, 2005

As I drove home tonight, I listened to Michael Savage. He was playing a floor speech by Congressman Curt Weldon that may have happened tonight, I couldn’t tell. I have looked all over the internet for a link to the speech, to no avail.

Basically, Weldon was lambasting the DIA for its retaliation against Col. Tony Shaeffer. He hi-lighted the ridiculousness of some of the charges brought agains Shaeffer. Curt Weldon is one brave guy.

Here is an article about an interview of Rep. Weldon that apparently took place prior to the floor speech:

Weldon told UPI he had written to the Department of Defense inspector general to ask for “an immediate formal inquiry, with people testifying under oath,” into what he called “a clear witch-hunt” against Shaffer, who has been on administrative leave while minor allegations about some expenses are investigated.

Weldon’s move comes after Shaffer said that boxes of his personal effects, returned to him by the DIA earlier this month, contained both government property and classified documents.

“Sending classified material through the mail is a felony, and much more serious than any of these minor, trumped up charges against (Shaffer),” he said, adding that “I want the appropriate persons held accountable.”

Weldon said that the DIA had now taken steps to fire Shaffer. “It’s outrageous and scandalous,” he said.

A DIA spokesman had no immediate comment.

The part of the speech that floored me was Rep. Weldon’s statement that he has another witness who was a leader of Able Danger–who corroborates Col. Shaeffer and who adds other information. It is Rep. Weldon’s contention that the evidence will show that Able Danger warned the DOD not to send the U.S.S. Cole into the port in Yemen two weeks before the attack.

I have to figure out how to find speeches given on the floor of Congress on the internet. Anyone have a clue?

Update: Michelle Malkin was listening on Cspan and caught Rep. Weldon lambasting the DOD for its witchunt.

She says nothing about the USS Cole. Until I read the speech, I guess it is possible that I am incorrect about what I thought I heard.


By: Sue Bob @ 6:59 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

October 15, 2005

Beldar the Great performs a masterful fisking of the NRO’Â’s anti-Miers column, Start Over. He, very effectively, blows away the half-truths and ““straw-man” reasoning of the NRO’Â’ers. I love this part: (Beldar’Â’s fisking is in blue)

When President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, we called it a missed opportunity. The ensuing debate has confirmed that judgment. One would, of course, have to venture outside the confines of NRO to find both sides of such a debate, and neither can one find much inside NRO to suggest that its editors’ and most of its contributors’ minds were ever receptive to contrary evidence or argument. For all its fury, a consensus was reached early on that point. Indeed, inside NRO, a furious consensus was reached within approximately thirty minutes after the pick was announced, by which time NRO had already begun spreading vicious misinformation about Ms. Miers’ law school and career records and her law firm’s reputation (for which they’ve since properly apologized; but first impressions are what they are.) Leaving aside the president and his employees, even Miers’s fiercest defenders allow that she was not their top pick — or even their tenth. Leave aside too that the Constitution gives the privilege and duty of the pick to the President, and that not even Ms. Miers’ fiercest defenders have his decade-long first-hand experience as her client.

In the comments section to Beldar’Â’s post, I found a link to an interesting post at The Strata-Sphere. The post discusses an editorial by Matthew Cully who worked with David Frum at the White House. It appears to me that Frum is leading the NRO charge against Miers. It also appears that he may have left the White House for reasons other than a planned career move. Considering appearances, how can we not question Frum’Â’s motives in leading this charge against Harriet Miers? It certainly raises questions in my mind.

Further, looking at Frum’s bio raises my suspicions that he may not have given Harriet Miers a chance when he was working with her in the White House. His background is extremely different from the Texas background of Harriet Miers.

I am, in part, projecting. I have personally experienced condescension from those who believe that being raised in Texas makes one some sort of cultural barbarian.

Frum is a Canadian by birth and it doesn’t appear that he’s lived south of Washington D.C.. I’m guessing that Frum didn’Â’t know what to make of this woman who speaks with a distinct drawl; and who sported at the time, a good old Texas poodle cut and too much eyeliner. (Dallas women do like their makeup)

Was it distressing to Frum that this unfashionable woman, fifteen years his senior, had final say over whether his writing made it into the President’s speech? Was he appalled that a graduate of SMU was judging his work? The work of a graduate from Yale and Harvard Law School? After all, had she taken the slings and arrows aimed at the heart of Conservative Intellectual thought? How could she? Before 2001, she had not resided in the epicenter of the great battle. She was not part of the “in-crowd”.

As noted by AJ at the Strata-Sphere, Frum, according to his own book, didn’t think much of the White House staffers.

“One seldom heard an unexpected thought in the Bush White House or met someone who possessed unusual knowledge. Aside from the witty and ingenious Mitch Daniels at the Office of Management and Budget and, of course, Karl Rove, who played the unusual dual role of political guru and leading intellectual, conspicuous intelligence seemed actively unwelcome in the Bush White House,” he writes.

As a workplace, the Bush White House is formal–strictly blue and gray suits for men, few bright colors for women. Language is clean–even a mild “damn” is frowned on.

Frum, a self-described “not especially observant Jew,” found himself working in “the culture of modern Evangelicalism” that prevails.

Is that condescending enough for you? Sounds like the sort of person I’d like to have working for me. Hah!

I evaluate Frum’s protestations that Miers is a mediocrity as I would similar claims made by any employee who was apparently hustled out the door by his employer. That is, with a huge grain of salt and the realization that any competent non-Harvard-degree-holding lawyer, given the opportunity to cross-examine Frum, could tear his credibility on this issue into microscopic shreds.


By: Sue Bob @ 1:40 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

October 10, 2005

Mychal Massie has, once again, invited me to guest host his weekly show, Straight Talk on Right Talk Radio. The show airs live on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 at 1 pm et. Tomorrow, I will have the honor of interviewing James H. Webb, Jr. the author of one of my favorite books, Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

James H. Webb, Jr, one of the most highly decorated Marines of the Vietnam war, has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and as Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan Administration. He is the author of six bestselling novels including Fields of Fire.. His first work of nonfiction is the riveting, revelatory epic assertively titled BORN FIGHTING: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America published by Broadway Books. The book was initially published in October 2004 and is in its10th printing. On Tuesday, October 11, 2005 , Born Fighting is being released in paperback.

National Review said the following about this book: “Without really intending to do so, James Webb may have written the most important political book of 2004…A tour de force.” We will be discussing Born Fighting, and the enduring impact of the Scots-Irish on America. You may find out more about James H. Webb, Jr. at http://www.jameswebb.com/.

If you go to his website, you will see that Mr. Webb has a different take on Iraq than most conservatives. That issue might come up during the show tomorrow and his opinions will surely be interesting. He’s neither a Cindy Sheehan nor a Wesley Clarke–so I think that his insights are valuable.


By: Sue Bob @ 2:14 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

October 7, 2005

Here and Here.

Gosh! My stomach hurts.

Be sure and read the comments section on the second post.


By: Sue Bob @ 6:48 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (3)

Will Ronnie Earle’s latest indictment against Tom Delay swirl down the toilet like his first? Tom Delay’s attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment based on prosecutorial misconduct because of Earle’s Grand Jury shopping this week and his concealment of the no bill by the first Grand Jury that considered the money laundering charge.


DeLay’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, alleged in a court motion that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle unlawfully participated in grand jury deliberations when he went to a second grand jury last week to seek a second indictment against the congressman.

DeGuerin also alleged that Earle “attempted to browbeat and coerce” the second grand jury to change its decision not to indict DeLay so there would be no public record of a rejection.

For more on the browbeating and coercion charge, go here.

Update:

Also, about the foreman of the first Grand Jury that I wrote about here and here, look at his prior connections detailed in this article.


William Gibson, the foreman of the grand jury that returned the first indictment against DeLay, said in an interview with Austin radio station KLBJ on Wednesday that he was friends with a Democratic candidate who had been defeated by the corporately funded ad campaign run by the Texas Association of Business in 2002.

James Sylvester, one of the losing Democratic candidates who has sued the business group, worked at the Travis County sheriff’s office. Gibson is retired from that same office.

Aren’t Grand Juries supposed to be objective and without conflict of interest? From the jury oath:

You shall present noperson from envy, hatred or malice; 



 


  

By: Sue Bob @ 3:13 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

October 6, 2005

Lars at Cheat Seeking Missiles agrees with me about the reaction of the “Beltway” types to Harriet Miers. And–he’s a..a.. a CALIFORNIAN!


By: Sue Bob @ 2:21 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)

Now y’all are reduced to proving to everyone that you are just regular guys who went to regular colleges in order to offset the impression you’ve given that you are a bunch of Eastern elite snobs?

It ain’t working with me. You have no idea how bad you have looked to Texans (and I am sure, other Southerners) the past few days. When I heard about the nomination, I was surprised. But, when I read your stuff and heard Ann Coulter’s pronouncements in that god-awful snooty accent of hers, all I wanted to do was fight YOU.

Harriet Miers is every bit as qualified as John Roberts in my opinion. It’s just that her qualifications were developed here in Texas–not within the Beltway or on the East Coast. In fact, I didn’t particularly like John Roberts BECAUSE he spent all his career in D.C. and I was afraid that he would be a snoot. The snobbery I have noted and perceived at NRO the past few days is exactly what I feared about John Roberts. You can protest all you want that regional and scholastic bigotry has nothing to do with your position–but that doesn’t matter now. You convinced many of us by your delivery that this is exactly where you are coming from.

Had you presented only evidence that Harriet supported liberal causes, instead of snarkery about her school credentials and her Texas resume (which is considered stellar here in Texas), I might have been pre-disposed to listen to you.

You might want to take some time to understand born and bred Texans and Southerners (other than those old family types from Cavalier roots). When you insult us–we don’t care if you are right. You are wrong to us.

If some of us Texan/Southern types are up there with you, then they have forgotten their roots. They probably spent too much time at NR cocktail parties with the rest of you as you blew smoke up each other’s skirts.

By: Sue Bob @ 11:54 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

October 5, 2005

Ronnie Earle is back in the news. The American Statesman (where the editorial staff loves him) is reporting that when Earle realized that he messed up by indicting Delay under a statute that didn’t even exist in 2002, he rushed to a Grand Jury (a different one as the first had been discharged) and they NO BILLED the case last Friday. Earle, apparently hid that fact, and, on Monday, rushed to a third–and newly empannelled Grand Jury and got an indictment after that Grand Jury had been in existence for only four hours. (HT World Views)

How did Earle do that? Well, apparently prosecutors did a telephone poll of the Grand Jurors on the first Grand Jury over the weekend after the No Bill. Earle is claiming that the third Grand Juror indicted because he received new evidence over the weekend. What was this evidence? The results of the phone poll of the first Grand Jury whose foreman appears to have broken his Grand Juror Oath? Was that the “new evidence” discovered after three years of investigation.

This is outrageous. I have a feeling that Earle is going to get squashed like a bug.

Somebody needs to interview all of those Grand Jurors who were polled about the conversations on the telephone. They had been discharged and those conversations are fair game in my opinion.

Update:

The Foreman of the first Grand Jury, William Gibson, appeared on Talk Radio this morning here in Austin. He admitted that he made up his mind before he was empanelled because he was angry about some Texas Association of Business Ads that “told people how to vote.” He indicted Delay on the basis of that–not the evidence. Rush has part of the transcript.

Remember the Jury Oath I posted here.

I’d say that Mr. Gibson had a bit of malice. It’s a bit disconcerting that he was an investigator at the State Board of Insurance. I bet that he was a really fair one. Hm Hmmm. Real fair.


By: Sue Bob @ 10:30 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (2)

October 4, 2005

Today I drove to Houston to meet with a client. I always drive when I have appointments in Houston because it doesn’t take any longer to get there by driving than it does to be herded around the airport and onto Southwest Airlines.

I listened to Laura Ingraham as I drove. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like and respect Laura and listen to her daily. But, today as I drove, I found myself getting angrier and angrier.

Laura lives in the Washington area and, in my opinion, is caught up in that Beltway garbage more than she cares to admit. She made two points that just got my goat.

In answer to the concern that Harriet Miers has no prior experience as a jurist, Laura acknowledged that Rehnquist had no such experience either. But, Laura was quick to point out that Rehnquist went to Staaaanford. Well big hoopdydoo.

When I was in college, I went to a meeting of the National Student Association in Washington D.C.. Besides a bad case of indigestion from the food at Pedro’s Taco Stand–which was the only place I could afford to eat–I also got some exposure to the students from the Ivy League level colleges on the East and West Coasts like Stanford, Berkeley and Harvard. Do you want to know what those guy were worried about in 1975? They were concerned that the Board of Directors of the NSA have a Black seat, a Hispanic Seat, a Women’s seat etc. etc. etc. I was reeeaaal impressed–I have to tell ya. (Someday I’ll tell you the story about how I had to be physically dragged away from the greasy haired Radcliffe hippie chick who started in on the quality of Texas schools while a guest at a Texas A&M function up there.)

The smartest guy in the room in every meeting that I attended was one of the guys that I went to the conference with who was also from Texas A&M. He grew up in the little town of New Braunfels and he always had a snoot full of snuff and a spit cup in hand. He was a math genius who conceived and published an equation called the “four-color problem” or something like that. He later did go to Harvard Law School, where he helped found a conservative Law Journal to counter the leftist Harvard Law Review. The hippy-dippy guys from the Stanfords, etc. couldn’t hold a candle to him at the NSA meeting.

The other thing that Laura Ingraham dwelled on is her fear that somehow being invited to cocktail parties is going to turn Harriet’s head and she’s going to turn into liberal mush as a result. Yeah, right. The little gal from Texas is going to be sooo impressed and awed by the snoots in the suits who hold the keys to the cocktail parties at which are served the best little quiches.

I don’t think so.

I was much more concerned about the Roberts nomination, than Harriet’s, because he spent his entire career immersed in the Beltway fishbowl. I bet he regularly goes to those cocktail parties. That’s the only way that I could explain his participation in that gay pro bono case that people were up in arms about.

Beldar, in fact, has a great post up comparing Roberts and Miers. Miers comes out as good, if not better. In my book, she’s better because she didn’t spend her entire career in Washington D.C..

I predict that when Harriet starts doing a really good job that the heartland folks whom the NRO and Laura Ingraham are stirring up are going to eventually recognize this for what it is: regional, elitist snootery.

I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Note this from Marvin Olasky:

Ed Kinkeade, a federal district court judge who has known Harriet Miers for over 25 years, calls her “a superstar here in Dallas before George Bush ever entered the picture.” His explanation for why she’s getting dissed: “that she’s not from the east or west coasts — she’s from flyover country — rankles some people. Those people from the east or west who see nothing happening out here: they’re just wrong… She’s not in the Academy. Didn’t go to an Ivy League law school. They don’t like that. Tough.”

I agree. Tough.


By: Sue Bob @ 5:45 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (1)

I think that all the hoopla over at NRO against Harriet Miers is a big bunch of East Coast snobbery against Texas. I am with Beldar on this one.

I thought that Republicans were supposed to represent the Heartland. Instead, it seems that a lot of them think. that to be qualified, a candidate has to have a lot of “Beltway” sanctioned experience. That’s a crock as far as I am concerned.

Go see Beldar’s post that I linked above about how eminently qualified she is. Then go read his other posts here, here and here.

I, for one, am not going to let these East Coast elites yank my chain over this. I practice in Texas. I know how qualified Harriet Miers is.


By: Sue Bob @ 5:43 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (3)

October 3, 2005

I think that the people who are upset that Harriet Miers voted for Democrats in the 1980′s don’t understand Texas history or politics. I doubt there are many Texans Harriet’s age who haven’t voted for Democrats–including me.

Texans, in general, didn’t like Republicans up until Ronald Reagan. Of course, many split with the Democratic Party because of McGovern as well. You have to remember that Texas went through the Reconstruction. Southerners took the view during and after Reconstruction that Yankee Republicans economically “colonized” the South–to the economic detriment of all Southerners.

The fact that up until the 1990′s, most Texas voted for Democrats does not mean that Texans were liberals. In fact, I would venture that most Texas Democrats were more conservative than many of the North Eastern Republicans during those years.

When I was a student at Texas A&M, two conservative Democrats had a huge impact on me. One was Tiger Teague, the second most decorated veteran of WWII. He was the Congressman for the district. He was, most decidely, not a liberal.

The other was a State Senator, Bill “Bull of the Brazos” Moore. I was involved in Student Government at Texas A&M. In my role as one of the Student Body Vice Presidents, I wrote Senator Moore a letter requesting that he support the funding of some student perk. He wrote a very tongue-in-cheek letter back to me that I have never forgotten (I could kick myself for not keeping the letter in my scrapbook). He wrote that he would “ensure that the students of Texas A&M” could continue to “feed at the public trough.” I got the point. He was not liberal.

During and after law school, I worked for the Lubbock District Attorney, John Montford. He later went on to become a State Senator. He was tough on crime, and certainly did not have a record in the State Senate as a liberal. He was considered a conservative Democrat in the mold of Zell Miller. There were and probably still are such Democrats in Texas.

I’d vote for them before I’d vote for an Arlen Specter any day of the week.


By: Sue Bob @ 8:24 pm in: Uncategorized | Discussion (5)

Robert Novak says it all about Ronnie Earle’s probable motives, and about his past prosecutions of high-level Democrats:

That most of Earle’s prosecutorial targets have been Democrats does not mean he is a straight shooter. A majority consisted of routine cases, but the big ones were tainted by politics. Earle lost a 1985 case against State Attorney General Jim Mattox, a political rival who accused the DA of using the case as a “stepping stone.” His 1992 prosecution that drove Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis out of public life was viewed in political circles as a hit job influenced by Gov. Ann Richards. Earle investigated but never brought an indictment against Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who once called the prosecutor “a little boy playing with matches.”

(HT Neal Boortz)


By: Sue Bob @ 6:19 am in: Uncategorized | Discussion (0)