"Despite suffering electoral defeat at the ballot box Tuesday, several lawmakers still face the prospect that they will remain ensnared in ongoing criminal probes that could last well into their post-Congressional careers.
But one critical element of any Member’s defense disappears, that being the ability to raise money into a campaign account that can be used to pay legal bills. “That’s a real issue for some of these guys. It gets a lot bleaker,” Brand said.
Without a campaign war chest or a Congressional legal defense fund to pay mounting legal bills, Brand said, some ex-Members are forced into caving and making a plea deal with prosecutors."
* coulter on fox: now that i hear that bob gates was a part of iran-contra, i'm all for him.
* laura yesterday: "Can we expect other departures from the Pentagon? Cambone?"
* fox today:
" More senior Pentagon officials are likely to step down in the coming days in the wake of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's announced departure, Pentagon officials told FOX News on Thursday.
Among those expected to hand in resignation letters alongside Rumsfeld's is the Pentagon's top intelligence official, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steve Cambone"
"Meet the New Bush: Owning up to all sorts of unpleasant realities; Speaking well of Democrats; Vowing to act in a bipartisan fashion while acknowledging voter skepticism on that point and pledging to overcome it with deeds; Self-deprecating, rather than bullying... So is this New Bush to be taken at his word?"
"Howard Fineman writes for Newsweek: "President George W. Bush's Iraq policy is now in the political equivalent of receivership -- a bankrupt project that is about to be placed in the hands of the worldly-wise pragmatists who surrounded the president's own father. Think of them as receivers in bankruptcy, looking for ways to salvage America's military and moral assets after a post-September 11 adventure that voters (and most of the rest of the world) concluded was a waste of blood and treasure. . . .* froomkin:
"The man who is about to be isolated in the White House is not the president, but Vice President Dick Cheney -- the last neocon left. Elbowing him aside now, as Donald Rumsfeld departs the scene, are people such as former secretary of State James A. Baker III and now -- as Rumsfeld's replacement at the Department of Defense -- former CIA director Robert M. Gates. They are loyal liegemen of Bush 41, and they bring to an analysis of Iraq decades worth of diplomatic and intelligence-community experience. . . .
"[T]he pragmatists have won the battle for the president's attention. Now let's see how the president responds, and what, together with the Democrats, they can do about Iraq.""
Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian: "Overnight six years of glib European identification of 'American' with rightwing fanaticism is over. The gun-toting, pre-Darwinian Bushite, the tomahawk-wielding, Halliburton-loving, Beltway neocon calling abortion murder and torturing Arabs as 'Islamofascists' has been laid to rest, and by a decision of the American people. Another McCarthy raised its head over the western horizon and has been slapped down. It is a good day for level-headed Americans."