So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Oh, what a long, strange trip it’s been. Finally, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (gonzo), has resigned.

He was called “dead man walking,” and his imminent resignation has been foreshadowed and predicted for months–frequent reports of his demise rivaled those of Mark Twain and Paul McCartney.

And now, another of the most divisive characters from the Administration is packing his bags, and leaving D.C. I have been looking for him to get the message since March.

He might be a good man–the Prez thinks so–but he sure was a lousy attorney general. Beleaguered or embattled, he was the lightening rod that replaced Rumsfeld and then Rove. Unknown is who will be the next whipping boy for this group. They have another 18-months, and it seems prudent to have a target rod in place. To protect the Executive.

Not to be mean, Mr. Gonzales, but, “buh-bye!”

Sir, Yes Sir

Prince Humperdinck from the Princess Bride. He is an arrogant man, not used to being trifled withOccasionally, my job duties include trying to save my organization from itself. Bad decisions or worse implementations. Times when people who are extremely well-qualified to practice law decide that they are therefore well-qualified to do everyone else’s job, too. Like, they made it through Harvard Law, so how hard could it be to to engineer the space shuttle?

This afternoon, I had a first-time visit from a “senior counselor” to the big cheese. It had to do with recommendations I made for a project. Turns out that he didn’t think my recommendations would fly. Not that they were bad, but that they flew in the face of what the Man wanted. I proceeded to restate my case for the good of the organization.

“Wow,” he said. “This is really refreshing.”

I didn’t know where this was going.

“Really refreshing. Usually, people just say ‘yessir!’,” and he shook his head. He wasn’t mad, just bemused.

The 15-year-old thinks that the guy went home and said to his wife, “I think that is the first time that someone disagreed with me.”

Somehow I don’t think that I will be rewarded for being the first.

Friends Like These

Boy, I was surprised today when I heard that our good friend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, said,

In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war. (Article)

One of our biggest allies calls U.S. presence in Iraq “illegitimate,” in his remarks to his fellow Arab leaders at a summit. Pre-summit talk was that King A has been establishing a greater leadership role in the Middle East. Bet that the Administration was hoping for more supportive remarks. There was a pretty quick response from the White House. It seems, though, that the fissure with our friends in the mid-East grows.

Speaking of trusted friends turning on you, did you see Kyle Sampson–former chief of staff to troubled AG Gonzales? In discussing his old boss

I don’t think the attorney general’s statement that he was not involved in any discussions about U.S. attorney removals is accurate. (More on PBS NewsHour)

WOW! We have one taking the fifth, and this one flat-out contradicting his boss. What price loyalty?

Then there was President Bush at last night’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Annual Dinner, joking among his “friends” in the media.

Well, where should I start? A year ago, my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn, and my Vice President had shot someone. (pause….) Ahhh, those were the good old days. (Complete transcript)

Yes, what a difference a year makes.

Parsing Words

Here’s what got to me today.

Scolinos (Communications Director for Justice) also said there is no evidence that meeting participants reviewed a draft memo on the firing plan…….According to Scolinos and her deputy, Brian Roehrkasse, there is also no evidence that individual U.S. attorneys were discussed at the meeting. (Wash Post, 3/24/07)

There is no evidence that has been produced by the source under investigation–AKA the Department of Justice. Are they saying that there are no written records from that meeting? People at the meeting don’t know what they said? There is evidence, but it has not been forthcoming.

Enter the White House, unwilling to provide testimony, under oath, with a transcript which provides a record of “evidence.” Just have a little discussion in a room, off the record, no note-taking to clear up any misunderstanding.

Here is where we are. (1) There is no evidence, and (2) The Administration is not willing to provide evidence.

Doesn’t seem right to me.

This administration, as previous and future administrations, needs to be accountable for its decisions. Between “no evidence” and people not being able to recall what went on at a meeting, who knows? Who knows how decisions are made in our government?

Doesn’t seem right to me.