The Spectacle Blog
If you had any question about the partisanship of the American Bar Association, note that it downgraded Brett Kavanaugh's rating from "well qualified" to "qualified" once Democrats started saying he lacked courtroom experience. He was twice deemed "well qualified" for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As Quin Hillyer wrote last week, judicial nominees just don't come more qualified: clerking at the federal district and appeals court levels, as well as at the Supreme Court, Yale Law, the Solicitor General's office, and the independent counsel's office. Of course, we know it's that last job and his current post as White House staff secretary that have the Democrats apoplectic, and the ABA following suit.
It is being widely reported today that former Attorney General Ed Meese was among several top conservative outsiders who declined to attend a White House meeting on judges yesterday as a sort of silent protest against the lack of concerted effort to nominate and get confirmed enough good judges. I spoke with Meese yesterday afternoon, and he declined to comment on those reports, or even on whether a meeting had taken place. In fact, he was very circumspect overall -- very, well, judicious.
But here are some of the things he did say -- not that they are particularly ground-breaking, but at least they do show that he, too, is on the case:
All direct quotes:
There are a lot of judgeships pending, there are a number of us who are hoping for rapid action by the Senate on those judges who are already pending, either from the White House or in the committee or on the floor.
The responsibility is in the Senate for accelerated action… before it gets too late in the season.
Five years ago today, President G. W. Bush unveiled his first batch of 11 appellate court nominees, which originally was hailed for its (collective) tremendous qualifications, its diversity, and its seeming avoidance of ideological hard edges. He even included two holdover nominees from Bill CLinton, including the semi-controversial Roger Gregory, as a gesture of goodwill to the Dems. Later that month, six more appellate nominees were added to the mix. Around the same time as those six others, though, Sen. Jeffords of Vermont left the GOP, giving control of the Senate to the Dems -- and suddenly, what had seemed like a wonderful start on judges turned into partisan warfare led by liberal Dems intent on smearing any nominee they could. Of those first 11, Miguel Estrada was eventually harrassed into withdrawing, a number of them were harrassed for years before confirmation, and Priscilla Owen was positively abused by the Dems until finally confirmed as one of the few good results of the "Gang of 14" deal last year.
It appears, as Prowler said yesterday, that Stephen Kappes, former CIA deputy director of operations, may return to Langley as deputy director if Gen. Mike Hayden is confirmed as DCI. This will be an (expletive deleted) disaster.
Let us remember that Kappes is not just a symbol of CIA failure, he's been an increasingly important party to it. Kappes was with the CIA from 1981 to 2004. He rose through the CIA bureaucracy during the era of its greatest failures. On his watch, the CIA failed to predict the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the downfall of the Soviet Union, the terrorist attacks beginning in 1986 and up through 9-11. And while he was in very important positions - though we know not his involvement - the CIA created the Wilson/Plame sham scandal and leaked incessantly in the manner political to damage the president and thwart his policy. Kappes is a dedicated part of of the failed CIA bureaucracy that will resume prominence and control under Hayden.
Not sure that Zacarias Moussaoui has actually seen where he will be staying, but we imagine that if he has, that was probably was drove him to think twice about his admissions.
We would imagine that life behind a SuperMax prison's steel doors is far less appealing than the comparative comfort of, say, San Quentin or even Guantanamo Bay.
We're hearing what others are hearing: that almost certainly if Gen. Michael Hayden survives confirmation that his deputy will be former CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes.
Kappes resigned rather than deal with the Porter Goss's deputies, particularly Dusty Foggo, who resigned earlier today.
If not Kappes, then the White House will turn to other longstanding CIA hands who have left recently. You get the picture. Why is Kappes high on the list? His ties to the human intelligence networks the CIA had been building up over the past four years.
BTW: This Foggo story will not be going away any time soon, but Democrats should be very careful where they tread. This one may be the story that turns the public opinion tide on them.