Banana Pudding

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emptywheel
The NYT has a funny article out about the involvement of bigtime Republican lawyer Roderick Hills in directing Chiquita to continue bribing a Colombian right wing militia even after the State Department listed the organization as a terrorist organization. I say funny, most of all, because Neil Lewis bills the competing narratives surrounding Hills' actions as a "Rashomon-like set of narratives," but Lewis really provides only one of those narratives--Hills'.

Gillespie Squared

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emptywheel
Rove's bed is not even cold and already Ed Gillespie is crawling into it. Now, with the departure of Karl Rove, the president's closest adviser, Gillespie, 46, a former lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman, has once again been asked to help fill the void. White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Boltenhas said that he plans to divide Rove's broad political andpolicymaking duties -- and the 60 or so White House staffers
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"It's entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false"

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emptywheel
cboldt linked to Wired's liveblog from the warrantless wiretap Appeals hearing that took place today in San Francisco. Go read it. It may make you cry. Repeatedly, the government lawyers appeal to arguments outside all human cognition to defend their wiretap program. "Was a warrant obtained in this case?" Judge Pregerson asks.

About that May FISC Ruling

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emptywheel
In light of the weekend's news that there were actually two FISC rulings against the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretap program, I'd like to return to this James Risen article from May 2. Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday thatthey could not pledge that the administration would continue to seekwarrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as itagreed to do in January.Rather, they argued that the president had
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It's Going to Be One Heckova Political Year in Football

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emptywheel
Just a few weeks away, too! I can't wait to turn the satellite back on. It's going to be an interesting year in football. Not only have the Patriots loaded up on targets for Tom Brady. But the following issues have arisen since the end of last season:Keith Olbermann will be returning to sportscasting in NBC's Sunday night prime time slot.

TSP Timing, Again

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emptywheel
Josh and Spencer are just now catching up to something I pointed out three weeks ago: Tom DeLay got briefed on the TSP program on March 11, 2004, the day after the Hospital Meeting. Of course, that's not particularly surprising since one of the things that went down at the briefing of the Gang of Eight on March 10 is that the Administration floated passing legislation to fix the problems in
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Behavior Detection

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emptywheel
There are two things that "always" happen to me when I fly to DC. I "always" (often, rather) sit next to MI's Republican Congressmen in First Class. And I "always" (almost always, probably) get pulled into secondary when I'm flying out of Reagan National Airport. I know why the latter occurs:

Interesting Timing

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emptywheel
I'm not so much surprised that Scottish Haggis Specter has urged Pat Leahy to ask for a meeting with the White House to negotiate testimony of White House officials. For the last several months, I have been seeking the voluntary cooperation of the White House with the efforts of the Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of the scandal surrounding the firing of so many of the United States Attorneys
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Ghost Writing

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emptywheel
I think it ought to be mandatory for everyone who reads this LAT article to also watch Bill Kristol on TDS. It's bad enough, after all, to learn that the Petraeus report we've all been waiting for might as well be called the Dick Cheney report. Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S.

Pearlstine's Off the Record

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emptywheel
I've been wavering about how much attention to give this book. In it, Norm Pearlstine, who was the editor in chief of Time Inc. when it fought Fitzgerald's subpoena of Matt Cooper, describes the whole process of fighting the leak. Most interestingly, Pearlstine describes how he came to believe that Time had to turn over Cooper's notes, not least because Time had no business defying an order of SCOTUS. I'll just make
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Privacy versus the Press

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emptywheel
Judge Reggie is back in the news today, granting, in part, Steven Hatfill's pursuit of journalists' sources for information that he was the main subject of the FBI's anthrax investigation. Walton required the journalists themselves to give up their sources, but not the media companies. Based on the foregoing analysis, the plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Testimony from Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, Allan Lengel, Toni Locy, and James Stewart [D.E.

Novak Mourns His BFF

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emptywheel
Jeebus. Yesterday's departure press conference was unnecessarily weepy. But this is embarrassing. The most useless speculation today in Washington is whom White House chief of staff Josh Bolten might choose to replace Karl Rove. He is genuinely irreplaceable. The whole column is steeped in deep resentment, resentment of those Republicans who have suggested that getting rid of Rove will help the Administration. Rove was a principal target of congressional Democrats even beforeFebruary 2005, when

Beached Whale

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emptywheel
Funny. In the entire Peter Baker article entitled, "Rove: Departure Unrelated to Investigations," Peter Baker never once quotes Rove as saying, "my departure is unrelated to the multiple investigations in my conduct." Or anything similar. Sure, Rove talks a lot about Ahab and Moby Dick. "I realize that some of the Democrats are Captain Ahab and I'm thegreat white whale," he said.

A Thousand Words

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emptywheel
Remember this photo? This particular version is from Stephen Crowley of the New York Times--it's part of a slideshow they've got up to commemorate the demise of Turdblossom. Go look through the slideshow and tell me whether you think they're emphasizing the centrality of scandal to Rove's tenure (there's a hot picture of Rove and Luskin in there, for example, walking out of Prettyman).

Category Two Documents

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emptywheel
Good thing Rove resigned and finally distracted me from my FISA focus, huh? And in the process of looking up something relating to Rove, I noticed these two letters between Conyers and the RNC (and the RNC's lawyer) regarding documents it won't turn over. Most of these documents fall into "category one;" that is, documents the White House has asserted privilege over.

"At 56 years old says he is done with political consulting"

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emptywheel
I've laid out some possible reasons for Rove's resignation here. But I'd like to do a close reading of the WSJ story associated with the announcement, partly because I think it so fascinating that Rove would feel the need to pitch his own successes and failures on his way out the door. The Investigations Far and away the most interesting comment in the article, though, is this self-assessment from Rove: His biggest error, Mr.

My Guesses on Why Rove Resigned

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emptywheel
By now you've heard the news: Rove is stepping down. So here's my treatment of possible reasons why he's leaving, in reverse order of their likelihood: Time with the Family As he said to the WSJ, he wants to spend more time with this family. Of course, this is a load of horse puckey--if he had wanted to spend time with his family, he surely would have done it before his son went

TSP and FISA

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emptywheel
Yup, still mono-focused on FISA, but mr. emptywheel is clamoring for dinner, so maybe once I step away from the computer, I'll remember all the other things I've been meaning to write on. I want to object to the way Kevin Drum is referring to the new details of FISA: Originally, FISA allowed warrantless wiretapping of anycommunication between two foreigners.

Feingold's Questions

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emptywheel
I'm still working through AGAG's answers to a bunch of questions the Senate Judiciary Committee asked him last year (he only answered early this year). There's an exchange involving Russ Feingold that is, I think, very instructive for understanding the recent FISA amendment. You indicated at the hearing that the Administration has agreed to “submit” the program to the FISA court to rule on it if Congress passes the bill the Administration

Warrantless Wiretapping and the IG Loophole

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emptywheel
I'm working on a massive post on how the Administration has gamed the system to sustain their wireless wiretapping program. For the moment, though, I'd like to make a discrete point about the aborted Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) inevstigation into the program. When Senator Spector asked Alberto Gonzales last year why BushCo refused to give OPR the clearance to investigate the wireless wiretapping program because OPR included many career employees,
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