Before we get too carried away with glee (as did the New York Times) about Scooter Libby's reported testimony that he was authorized by the president to leak classified information, let's remember one non-trivial fact: the executive branch is the part of our government that has the authority to classify -- or declassify -- information. So, as we've talked about before, the whole Libby case should fail. For any number of reasons. Not the least of which, as Libby's lawyers arued last week, Fitzgerald's appointment, by which he was delegated all the powers of the Attorney General, is improper. And a violation of the Constitutional advice and consent provision. Can't delegate the AG's powers to someone who hasn't gone through that wonderful Senate confirmation process.
The Spectacle Blog
Rep. Cynthia McKinney's apology for her actions related to her alleged assualt of a Capitol Hill police officer was based on a draft apology prepared in the office of Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to Democrats we spoke to on Thursday. The draft was passed along to members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday, and versions of the draft were bounced around after several conversations with McKinney herself.
"She did not want to say 'I apologize for x or y or z,' which is why the statement is worded the way it is," says a Democrat aide. "The Black Caucus put a lot of pressure on her to to make the statement. We were joking that they were surrounding her during the statement not to show solidarity, but to make sure she didn't run away."
Larry, I was out of town overnight, so just now saw your post with the link too your earlier column on The Masters. Great stuff!!! I loved it. Meanwhile, my choices Leonard and Love got off to rough starts, Love double-bogeying the first hole and Leonard opening bogey, TRIPLE-bogey (and that, on a par 5!). Ugh. Love has recovered and is now even par through 8, with Justin at +2 through 16. Mr. Jaidee, I regret to tell you, shot a 78. Maybe we both should have picked Ben Curtis, right now at -2!
It's blacks voting Republican, of course, and Michael Steele has them sweating:
An internal document prepared by a top Democratic strategist warns that a majority of African American voters in Maryland are open to supporting Republican Senate candidate Michael S. Steele and advises the party not to wait to "knock Steele down."
The 37-page report says a sizable segment of likely black voters -- as much as 44 percent -- would readily abandon their historic Democratic allegiances "after hearing Steele's messaging."
"Governor Ehrlich and [Lt. Gov.] Michael Steele have a clear ability to break through the Democratic stronghold among African American voters in Maryland," says the March 27 report by Cornell Belcher, polling consultant for the Democratic National Committee, which bases its findings on a survey of 489 black voters in Maryland conducted last month.
Jed: I've already had more fun with Katie Couric than I can stand. One look and I knew she was the second coming of Angela Lansbury in the original Manchurian Candidate. Matt Lauer is one lucky, liberated man.
Ross Douthat thoughtfully explores (sub. req'd) the accomplishments and failures of religious conservatism and its place within the larger movement today. No longer is it the alienating fire-and-brimstone version of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They want to change culture at a deeper, yet subtler level:
Tony DiP, Ned and Roger: guys, c'mon. We can have soooo much fun with this. The only thing better would have been replacing Dan with MoDo. And I didn't watch CBS with Dan, except for times when I'd expected him to be melting down with bias. I won't be watching Katie any more often. At least when Brit has the panel on.
In other late night shenanigans, the House passed a 527 regulation bill that capped the individual donation amount to a political 527 at $5000 and to a partisan voter registration group at $25,000. The bill enjoyed wide Republican support because they expect it to limit most Democratic groups. So, as the Post points out, the parties switched arguments on campaign finance and the Democrats argued that it would hamper free speech. In this case, the Democrats are right: it does, just as campaign finance legislation usually does.
It's certainly an improvement on the McCain bill, but it looks like the Senate decided to get tough on just a sliver of the illegal immigrants and exonerate the rest. And that sliver of one million (out of 11) who would have to go home and then apply for temporary guest worker status? I doubt the federal government will lift a finger to send them back.