George Will's Sunday column on the Miers nomination -- hyped as a disapproval of Miers in the manner that Sitting Bull disapproved of Custer -- is, of course, out a day early. Though Will scores a number of points, the column won't damage Miers as much as it will damage the debate on her. Though his points are compelling, they are stated before conclusions that are, in turn, petulant, condescending and threatening. And the solution Will proposes -- though theoretically sound -- is stated in terms that can be used by the Dems to destroy one of the most important limits on the confirmation process.
The Spectacle Blog
As president of the State Bar of Texas, Harriet Miers wrote that "our legal community must reflect our population as a whole," and under her leadership the organization embraced racial and gender set-asides and set numerical targets to achieve that goal...
Miers was a believer in mentoring programs, but during her tenure she and the board of directors went further, passing a resolution urging Texas law firms to set a goal of hiring one qualified minority lawyer for every 10 new associates. The directors also reiterated support for a policy of setting aside a specific number of seats on the board for women and minorities.
Although Miers was not the author of either policy, she never objected to them, according to tapes of the meetings, and numerous board members who served with her said she fully supported both efforts.
Word late Friday is that Paul McNulty, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, is going to be President Bush's new nominee for Deputy Attorney General.
This isn't necessarily bad news for conservatives...but it isn't good news, either. The White House apparently passed up a good opportunity to place a solid, professional woman in the slot, Karen Tandy, who heads the DEA and is considered a capable and reliable prosecutor and administrator. Instead, they went with someone cut from the same political cloth as former DAG James Comey.
McNulty is believed to be political, but in a bad way, looking for the spotlight, but with little interest in taking one for the team, whether it is conservatives or Republicans. He has been a tough prosecutor, but also a huge self-promoter, and DOJ insiders predict this will be trouble for the current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales.
Earlier in the week, the Ibero-American summit in Spain adopted a resolution criticizing the U.S. embargo, or "blockade," on Cuba. Prime Minister Zapatero did his best to explain it away as no big deal, but Cuba has painted it as support for the regime. And World Markets Research Center reports that Hugo Chavez didn't do so badly either, especially now that Jacques Chirac has embraced him with an effort to identify "areas of transnational collaboration."
Coming up today on the Hugh Hewitt show -- starting at 6 pm EDT on the Salem Radio Network-- we'll be all over the Plame/Name/Blame/Game, the Miers nom, and most importantly, a good solid half hour on....(wait for it)...cigars. And, don't forget, at about 7 pm we'll have The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke. Should be a rockin' show. See ya on the radio.
Jon Klein and Jim Walton, the two uber news/corporate suits now directing CNN, held a "State of CNN" earlier this week, and, it being a room full of reporter types, of course the gossip is flowing, and much of it is hilarious.
Apparently both Klein and Walton were claiming that while it was true that CNN continues to lag behind Fox News in the ratings, it didn't really matter, because CNN's fewer viewers were actually more intelligent than Fox's many more viewers. See? It all balances out!
But perhaps more telling about CNN's mindset on news and its viewers, was that when asked which news show on another network either man would want to bring to CNN, Klein said, "60 Minutes," and Walton said, "The Daily Show."
Klein is a former "60 Minutes" producer, and was one of the show's biggest on-air defenders during the "Rathergate" scandal last year. When it was pointed out to Walton that "The Daily Show" wasn't really a news show, Walton strongly disagreed. Somewhere, Larry King was smiling.
Who in the Department of Justice had the bright idea to create this on the official Department website?
Press reports make it sound as though it was Fitzgerald's idea, but someone at DOJ headquarters had to authorize it and sign off, as it's a link created off the main DOJ site. So much for trusting politicial appointees!
The New York Times article this morning that lays out Harriet Miers' "murder board" prep sessions for her upcoming confirmation grillings, er, hearings, could not be an accurate portrayal of what is taking place.
If it is, then things are so much worse than we thought. Miers requires much more preparation than Roberts did, particularly on the "big picture" Constitutional issues.
And it isn't just Miers who is receiving bad press up on Capitol Hill, by the way. Sen. Dan Coats is not earning any points for his performance as Miers's mentor on the Hill. While confidences will not be broken, Coats earlier this week met with a select group of social conservatives on the Senate side and did little to help the Miers nomination.
It looks like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did good by getting Sen. Arlen Specter to back off his demands for a fast vote on stem cell legislation. Specter had been threatening an attempt to tack his embryonic stem cell bill onto the Labor-HHS appropriations bill that is hitting the Senate floor shortly.
Always interested in what the other half thinks, we often go to the here for a big heaping helping of what goes on in the fevered brain of a Left Coast, Blue Stater.
Jeffrey Wells has issues with Republicans, but he's got a fine sense of film and the vagaries of Hollywood. His lead item this morning about the delay of Sean Penn's remake of All the King's Men is interesting. Wells says it's all about production delays, but given Penn's and Hollywood's political aspirations, couldn't there be a far more sinister reason to delay this movie about political graft and the evils of power? Could it only be coincidental that they are now talking about a release date leading into the mid-term elections? We think not. Hollywood types are far too intelligent to pass up such an obvious ploy.
How else to explain the remake of The Dukes of Hazzard?