Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gonzales Hearing Live Blogging (with many updates below)

Yikes. I don’t know what’s more scary, the fact that President Bush appointed this Gonzales character to lead the U.S. Department of Justice or Gonzales’ absolutely terrible testimony that has just begun as I’m home on what we’ll call a “sick day.” Yeah right. I was going to try and write about some more Vermont-oriented issues today – you know, things like Welch’s silly press parade in regards to his recent Iraq trip, more on the Shummy-snake and his continued efforts to twist and recoil, and more than a few pokes at the increasingly dopey Vermont media (bloggers, included) – but, damn it, I can’t write about it AND listen to Gonzales make a complete and total fool of himself at the same time. So, since I owe you words, let’s try some live blogging…

Opening statement review: Gonzales has no friends here. None. I guess all the good senators can smell dead meat when it sits before them because not one had a good thing to say while welcoming Gonzales. The beginning had that frantic feel similar to that of cutting raw meat in the presence of a dozen hungry dogs. They were ready to pounce. And for good reason, too. Nothing that has come out of Gonzales’ mouth in the last few months has had anything close to consistency to it. But that’s par for the D.C. political course.

Like so many policy fuck-ups by the Bush administration, Gonzales just refuses to stop spinning bullshit and come clean. Instead, he just keeps obfuscating, meandering, dodging and weaving around that essential little thing called “the truth.” This whole thing could just be over if he’d pitch the Bush team playbook of arrogantly thinking that bullshit can be piled high enough to hide the truth and say this: I was obviously involved in the removal of the federal prosecutors. We did it because we have the authority to do it. But I know it looks terrible, it interferes with real justice and further undermines the confidence in the justice system. Worse, I have been involved in numerous attempts to hide my involvement in the removal of these attorneys, thus insulting the intelligence of nearly everyone who can read a newspaper. Therefore, I suggest we end these hearings because, as of this moment, I’m resigning my position as Attorney General, mostly because I now understand what second-rate flunky I clearly am.”

Good luck with that.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Leahy who got super-snappy with Gonzales first. Nope, it was the Republican ranking member, Arlen Specter. Ouch. If this were a boxing match, it would already be called a technical knockout. Now let’s see how many more punches Gonzales is able to take before he runs from the room calling out for his mommy…

Oops, we’re getting close, as Gonzales just uttered these important words: “The moment I believe I can no longer be an effective Attorney General, I will resign this position.” Hmm, and by effective, do you mean spending months on end twisting in the winds of deceit?

Oh no, here comes Orrin Hatch, the lemon-sucking-senator, to Gonzales momentary rescue. Here’s his first question: “Mr. Attorney General, do you make decisions based on public opinion polls?” Yo Orrin, get a life.

Wait, here’s another Hatch question: “Do you spend a lot of time at the White House?”


First Update (11:20 am):
Feinstein is now questioning the shrinking Gonzales. And within three minutes I’ve counted six “I don’t recalls.” Damn. Come on noon.

I’ve got a question: Is it just White House arrogance that would even allow this fiasco to go as far as it’s gone? I mean, why didn’t they just demand Gonzales’ resignation a couple of months ago? It really makes no sense to me. On one hand you could surmise they Gonzales must be sitting on a huge pile of Bush team secrets and they don’t want to cut him loose. But on the other, you could surmise that the White House absolutely hates Gonzales and they’re getting a perverse kick out of watching him get his ass handed to him. Of course, the White House could also be thinking that it’s better for the media and the Dems to be kicking Gonzo’s ass rather than Bush’s. But, again, none of it makes sense. I’m betting on the arrogance angle.

Whew. Leahy just called for a ten-minute break. He could probably smell the piss in Gonzo’s pants.


Update Three (11:35 am):
We’re still on break. The Pacifica Radio commentators have pointed out that 40% of the audience there is wearing pink (the Code Pink folk) or orange in solidarity with the Gitmo prisoners. Many of these people also are carrying signs, the most popular being the clear and the concise: Resign. But the best news – especially in regards to our upcoming drinking game – is that there’s a man in the room with a “I Don’t Recall Counter” sign. According to the Pacifica folks, the counter stood at 29 when the break was called. Holy shit. And I’ve only got a six-pack


Update 4 (11:58):
We’re back and Gonzo’s got some dry pants on. And, oh boy, it’s Texas time! Texas Senator John Cornyn is now lobbing softies at the Texas-born Gonzo who was appointed to his AG position by the kinda-Texan Bush. Can you say: Lovefest? Bingo.

Surprise, surprise Cornyn wants to know why we’re not talking about Clinton and his administration’s handling of states attorneys. Well, Mr. Senator Dumb-Fuck, let me answer that one: Because Clinton hasn’t been president for over six years!

Whew. The weird Texas moment is over, in which Cornyn did his best to make us all believe that there is no reason for much of the nation to be outraged over a slimy Gonzo. Nice try. Now shut the fuck up.

Next questioner: Senator Russ Feingold. This should be good.

It wasn’t. Just more posturing on both sides, with neither willing to get really interesting by just resorting to name calling.

It’s almost noon! Get your drinks ready!


Update 5 (12:25): It’s Senator Schumer’s turn to play “take a poke at the liar.” And now I’m reminded of the time I had a cat that liked to catch a mouse and then bring it into the bathtub. The hapless mouse was doomed to a hideous game of slipping and sliding around the tub with no hope for escape while the big, bad cat just toyed with it. For some reason, I just keep thinking about that frantic mouse….

Senator Leahy just had to intervene to remind the crowd to refrain from their laughter during the hearing. How unfair.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s drinking time! Remember, each time Gonzo says “I don’t recall,” let it rip. It’s really your choice about how much to chug. And if you don’t want to drink alone, bring the damn dog into the room.

Schumer’s best line in regards to Gonzo’s testimony: “It defies credulity.” Oh yeah.

Oh wait, we’re getting a news alert from Fox News: The Virginia Tech shooter was believed to be crazy. No shit. But they’re going to keep telling us this all fucking day long in a desperate attempt to keep the distraction going.


Update 6 (12:52): Cool. The protesters in the crowd finally had enough. They just erupted in a “Gonzales must resign” chant. Of course, the police stepped in and all the senators – including the Dems, for course – looked angrily at the folks who had had enough with the rhetorical games. Bravo to the protesters! Finally, someone cut to the chase and said about the only thing that needs to be said.

For those keeping track at home, the man with the “I Don’t Recall” counter is now up to 52. Yep, Gonzo has uttered that evasive phrase 52 times. And for those participating in the drinking game, hide the car keys. You’re going to be in no position to drive anywhere if this continues.

The Pacifica crew has now declared the most obvious: Gonzo is only making his situation worse. Why? Well, people thought the only way Gonzo could pull the rabbit out of a hat and protect his ass was to come forward with some new information, a revived memory and the ability to put the two together. No such luck. It’s just been the same old same old. And this after hearing for weeks that Gonzo was spending all his time preparing for this hearing. Yikes.

It’s break time again. Which means Gonzo will be going on his third adult diaper of the day.


Update 7 (2:20): Well, I’m getting really, really bored. As you see from the above, I killed some time by browsing YouTube and revisiting the issue of Peter Welch. But, damn it, the hearings are still on break. Hmm, maybe it was my insistence on playing the drinking game? I’ve even had to place my nice stash of Budweiser back in the fridge to keep them cool while waiting. [Editor’s note: Please, spare me the comments on Budweiser – I’m a painter, you know?]

I’m now beginning to think that this huge delay is about more than giving the huge senators a chance to eat their huge lunches. Perhaps Gonzo is seeing the light? Hmm, perhaps a letter of resignation is being agreed upon? We can only hope.

Speaking of hope: Let’s hope that the ninnies in the Vermont legislature – especially Shummy the Snake and Simple Symington – will see how wrong they are for not allowing Vermonters to officially express our outrage over the Bush administration by moving toward impeachment.

Still on break…


Last Update (3:52): Sorry, couldn’t take it any longer. Even Snarky Boys need sunshine on a day like this. Yowza. But it doesn’t look like I missed anything: Gonzo still can’t remember much and the Dems are still trying to maintain some decorum in what is obviously one, big joke of a hearing. To get back to an earlier point, it is simply outrageous – even criminal – that the Bush team would allow this hack to come before the U.S. Senate as unprepared, unwilling and/or untruthful as he so clearly is. As a political junky, I tend to listen to these things more than the average painter and, let me tell you, I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s so bad, in fact, that I almost feel sorry for the poor bastard. But, then again, he’s just the latest Constitutional-loathing prick who’s been thrown over the side of the Bush ship so as to pretend that the higher-ups (Cheney, Rove, et al) remain pure. Yeah right.

You’re on your own from here on out. I’m heading back for some sun and fresh air.