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Monday, April 09, 2007
April Fool's Day +16

Congress was out of town last week for Easter and whatnot, but some people in the government were hard at work. That makes me feel good, as a citizen and a taxpayer. Even better, the workaholic I speak of is the highest-ranking law official in these United States, the head of the Department of Justice. More justice? I'm all for it.

But doesn't the Attorney General need a break, too? There are a lot of reasons to think so, naturally. But Alberto Gonzales, in fact, does not need a vacation, at least based on his statements regarding the firings of federal prosecutors last year. He claimed that he didn't know about them, didn't get into all the day-to-day workings at Justice, and after all, how could he? He's only the top guy there. The good news is, he is well-rested, and needs no time off.

But what could he possibly have to do in Washington last week, while most of the city was at half-speed? I'm sure he could have put extra effort in to the War On Drugs, which makes the War On Terror look like a runaway success. No time, as it turns out. The Attorney General spent his vacation rehearsing testimony for his scheduled testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17th. And all he got was this lousy t-shirt.

I don't know why the thought Alberto Gonzales cramming to get his story straight makes me laugh, but it does. Gonzales has appeared before the Senate in the past, and every time, this seemingly very sharp lawyer gets his ass handed to him. I suppose it amuses me because I know that all of these people are liars, but with Alberto, it's just so damned obvious. The best part is, he appears to believe (like his boss) that no one will bother to check up on him, and compare what he says to the facts. Again and again, he says one thing, and is contradicted by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Now, I'm not saying he's a liar, but I do have this photo of him with his pants on fire.

That being said, Gonzales is hard at work, preparing to give testimony which will clear up all of the shenanigans going on at Justice. The bad news is that his chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, has already testified to the effect that Alberto may have, in previous statements, and forgive the legalese here, lied through his teeth.

We are left with two competing visions of Alberto Gonzales:

1) He's a petty political hack who is more interested in serving George W. Bush and the Republican party than in doing his job, which is to oversee the law in the United States.

2) He's a great guy, just horribly incompetent.

I suppose it could be both, but I'd like to give him more credit than that.

Currently, he is now practicing, rehearsing his lines, so that this time, unlike past appearances, he will know the facts, be prepared and polished, and come off like a regular pillar of virtue. What's fun though, is that from what I hear, it's not going well. Gonzales can't seem to keep track of the timeline, and he contradicts himself.

One lesson I've learned in life is that as much fun as it is to lie, there is the inconvenient problem of needing to keep track of the lies. It's a pain in the ass, and unless you're some sort of pathological genius, it's just too much work. Score one for the truth, the last refuge for the lazy.

Alberto is not lazy. He is working long days to get ready for his appearance, and you may read into that what you will. He is in large measure working alone. One reason is due to the fact that so many of his aides will be called as witnesses, and he is not allowed to discuss these matters with them. The other reason is that the people that the White House sent over to advise him have gotten so exasperated with the AG, that they have all but thrown up their hands in futility.

Gonzales is also clearly being cut loose by the GOP, with the exception of Bush, who never fires anyone until years after it becomes obvious that they are doing a terrible job. No one is interested in defending yet another corrupt Bush Administration cabinet official, and I can't blame them. It's quite gratifying to watch this White House, which managed to keep a lid for so long on rampant incompetence through blind loyalty and a feckless Congress, suddenly become utterly unable to manage anything without leaving a sense of criminality, or the stench of a complete absence of ethics.

Set your DVR, there's blood in the water.

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posted at 10:20 AM

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