Sunday, October 23, 2005

Morning copy 10.23.2005

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Mark Leibovich gets a great anecdote for his lede in the Washington Post...

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is known for his sarcastic, world-weary and at times dark sense of humor. He once quipped to an aide that he planned to stay as Vice President Cheney's top adviser until "I get indicted or something."

and develops a "frame of mind" that may help the narrative of what has happened.

Yet Libby could find himself in big trouble for saying too much. And this jibes with a lesser-known side of Libby, the audacious novelist and daredevil skier who has long been gripped with concern about exotic terrorist scenarios; who fervently argues his own viewpoints, particularly on matters of foreign policy; and who can become, friends and associates say, overly passionate in the face of opposing ones.

The New York Times has a bio/current events story on Scooter as well:

An avid skier who likes a regular shot of tequila, he has told friends that he sometimes dreams of chucking it all and moving to a cabin in the mountains.

Patrick Fitzgerald's website reveals a letter that allows him to pursue obstruction of justice charges, Washington Post. File under Tea Leaves. Perhaps even Aspen trees and clusters.

There was one reading of leaves turning and clusters in Aspen and all that. That was not the only reading one could have though. Who turned first and about what? To where?

The Leak case leads to war rationale debate, about 900 days too late (estimate) New York Times.

Harriet Miers

George F. Will hits another homerun. I do not think there is another columnist that is so disserved by the excerpt process. That having been said, an excerpt:

Such is the perfect perversity of the nomination of Harriet Miers that it discredits, and even degrades, all who toil at justifying it. Many of their justifications cannot be dignified as arguments. Of those that can be, some reveal a deficit of constitutional understanding commensurate with that which it is, unfortunately, reasonable to impute to Miers. Other arguments betray a gross misunderstanding of conservatism on the part of persons masquerading as its defenders.

The column is a must-read. The White House's problem is not-going-away (-any-time-soon). One official said Miers needs only to get a C Plus in the hearings to skate through (sad). She may have difficulty achieving even that (pathetic).

Yes. This is a pathetic nomination. A pathetic nominee. A pathetic White House.

A pathetic, failed presidency.

Borrow and Spend

The Washington Times:

Conservatives think Republicans appear to be motivated to rein in spending. They say increased federal spending in the past few years -- culminating this year with the highway and energy bills, the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and the continuing Iraq war -- has caused enough outrage in the party's base for the issue to move to the forefront of the House Republican agenda.

The House is expected to vote this week on a package of rescissions and spending cuts to this year's budget, which is being pushed by the chamber's Republican leaders.

Who suffers the cuts? GOP is in a spot on this one, if the Dems are not asleep -- they probably are.

Who was watching CSPAN?

Timothy J. Ryan and Kendrick Meek provide some needed energy to the left, in the Washington Post:

The two newcomers -- who have served a combined six years in the House -- are part of a new generation of Democrats who are working to try to topple the GOP. Their fresh ideas, modern media skills and aggressive political tactics have inspired a party that has drifted for much of the past decade -- wedded to old notions and seemingly incapable of capitalizing on White House and congressional Republican miscues.

Iraq constitution

Results reported, and it is an overwhelming No in Sunni areas -- just like it was an overwhelming Yes in Shiite areas. New York Times:

The figures, though still preliminary, indicated that in Salahuddin Province, the home region of Saddam Hussein and a Sunni Arab stronghold, 81 percent of voters in the Oct. 15 referendum rejected the constitution.

Britain's war on terror

In the Times of London:

In an indictment of Labour’s war on terror, the confidential document says that key policies designed to prevent Al-Qaeda attacks and stop terrorism taking root in Britain are “immature” and “disjointed”.

Others, it adds, are unrelated to the “real world” and show no sign of making progress.

The paper, which formed the backbone of a presentation this month to Downing Street insiders, will be seen by some as a criticism of Charles Clarke, who as home secretary has responsibility for running much of Britain’s counterterrorism effort.


Also in the Times of London:

He must either brazen out the allegations and ignore international pressure for a trial — or he must order the arrest of the man who provides his regime with its security backbone.

Regional intelligence sources have described the exposure of the Syrian plot as the greatest threat to the Assad family’s hegemony in Syria since Bashar inherited the presidency from his father, Hafez, five years ago.

Washington’s concern is that he has no obvious successor and a chaotic power struggle could serve the interests of Iraqi insurgents who have been using Syria as a base.


The Los Angeles Times covers a story that does not receive sufficient ink:

Since the 19th century, Russia has tried to tame the 650 miles of snowy peaks and fertile lowland slopes between the Caspian and Black seas. Today, the Caucasus wars seeping out of Chechnya through the surrounding, predominantly Muslim republics are increasingly being waged under a banner of militant Islam.

This creeping Islamic revolution, analysts suggest, is the latest outcome of the Kremlin's failure to adopt a coherent policy for combating religious extremism in a nation with 23 million Muslims.

Mayor Bloomberg

Endorsed by the New York Times ed page.

Condi vs. Hil

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton leads Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a hypothetical presidential matchup, according to an independent poll released Friday.


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