The Pile On
A.G. A.G. is almost out the door. When his former aide Monica Goodling was called to testify before Congress, she pleaded the fifth, saying that she could incriminate herself. Her lawyer called testifying a perjury trap, which, to my ears, sounded like he was promising that Goodling would lie on the stand. In reality, of course, Goodling's ploy was just an effort to cover up for her boss. But yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 32-6 to grant Goodling immunity, cutting her legs out from under her. This metaphorical chop block means that Goodling can (and will) be subpoenaed to testify before Congress.
The new Monica
The six "nay" votes were all Republicans, led by ranking member James Sensenbrenner, the notorious Bush apologist who introduced the Patriot Act, authored the Real ID Act, and abruptly ended the Judiciary committee's meeting on renewing the Patriot Act when Democrats brought up the potential for human rights abuses. Since the 2006 election, he's done little else but vent steam from his ears. No doubt that steam is coming even faster since most of the 17 Republicans on his committee voted with the Democrats, plunging a dagger deep into Sensenbrenner's back.
Former Judiciary Committee chairman Sensenbrenner, champion of human rights
So, ere long, we can expect to see Goodling spilling her guts before the committee. And she's not the only one.
The committee will also subpoena Secretary of State Rice over the lies that led up to the Iraq War. Madame Secretary has said she will not heed the subpoena. That should be cute.
In other congressional news, the House voted last night, 218-208 to approve the Iraq War Funding Bill, which includes measures to bring our troops home. The Senate will vote for it today, and then they can ship it over to the president, so he can veto it. And then the Congress can give him another, somewhat similar bill. He can veto that one too, or he can actually allow the troops to get the funds they need. Either way, the Dems win.
In stupid news, check out this letter to the editor. Apparently, daylight savings time actually increases the amount of sunlight that hits the Earth. I had no idea.
While we're talking about stupid, Bob Norman over at The Daily Pulp posted an e-mail forward that he got second hand from Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim "Marie Antoinette" Naugle. I offered a commentary on it that, while completely off the cuff, sums up Antoinette's degenerate greed nicely. If, as the Pulp claims, Antoinette believes that this parable is "powerful enough to spur converts to the Republican Party," then the Democrats are on Easy Street, in downtown Fat City. The fact that Antoinette himself is a registered Democrat isn't really even worth talking about anymore, is it?
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle
Speaking of Democrats in Fat City, the first presidential debate happens tonight at 7 on MSNBC. It seems early, I know, but consider that the first debate of the 2004 primary season took place the first week of May, and we're really not that far ahead. Eight candidates will duke it out: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and .... hey, who'm I missing? Pardon me while I look back at some former blog entries ....
Oh yeah! Mike Gravel. Totally forgot about him. But then, he's easy to forget. Anyway, here's my predictions.
Tonight's loser: Hillary Clinton. The only reason she's so high in the polls is name recognition. She's a pretty poor orator, relatively speaking, and so when people hear her tonight, it's not going to help her cause, unless she can overcome that canned, overly slick style.
Tonight's winner: Bill Richardson. Folksy, fun, tons of experience that he can highlight tonight that people may not be aware of.
Done after tonight: Chris Dodd and Joe Biden. Candidates in tonight's debate get no opening statement, no closing statement, and have only 60 seconds to answer questions. These two are going to talk over everybody else while somehow managing to say nothing. They're going to look like cheap bullies with no ideas.
Tonight's winner by default: Barack Obama. If he plays it cool and keeps to the positive message, he's set. Hillary goes down, Richardson goes up but not enough to be a challenge, and this becomes Obama's world. Everyone else is just living in it.