* ew vblogging from the court
"Bottom line: Cheney's at the center of this thing. I feel certain that Cheney had Libby reveal Valerie's identity, and that the administration wants Libby to fall on his sword.
When Cheney testifies, he will lie under oath. We know this. He will lie despite the advice not to lie which his lawyers will surely give. He will lie despite all the prompting and preparation he will receive before his appearance. He will lie despite the widespread expectation that he will lie.
He will lie for the same reason that Jack Nicholson's character told the truth in A Few Good Men: He is what he is. Power has made him arrogant, and he will say and do what he damn well pleases. And Cheney has made it clear that he prefers to spew the same old horseshit, even if other Republicans scoff.
So the question becomes: What will Fitzgerald do when Cheney lies?"
"South Dakota Lawmakers Re-introduce Abortion Ban
And finally, lawmakers in South Dakota have introduced a new attempt to ban abortion. The “Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act” would permit abortion only to prevent the death of a woman. Victims of rape or incest would be allowed abortion under several restrictions. They would have to report the rape within fifty days, submit blood samples to law enforcement, obtain records for physicians, and provide the name and address of the alleged rapist. The new measure comes three months after South Dakota voters rejected an abortion ban on the mid-term ballot."
"The perjury trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, is surely a pitiful substitute for the legal fantasies of White House foes such as House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who ominously said at last week’s anti-war protest that Congress “can fire” the president.
But at a minimum, independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is doing what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described this morning to radio host Don Imus as “putting the pieces together” to showcase “the tremendous power the vice president had” in outing a CIA agent.
Indeed, the Libby trial seems destined to serve as an unofficial impeachment of Cheney’s integrity. And count on Democrats like Reid and Conyers to keep a close watch on what the prosecutor proves.
After all, Democrats in the midterm election campaign promised not to impeach the president — but they did not close that door for the vice president."
"That's the bind that Dems are in when dealing with AIPAC and I'm sympathetic. This is a strong constituency which has been very supportive in the past. But AIPAC's position is delusional and wrong and Democrats have got to extricate themselves from this thinking and repudiate the Bush doctrine if they are going to undo this horrible tangle in the middle east. It's going to be nearly impossible to do even if Bush doesn't attack Iran. If he does, it's probably impossible.
From a political standpoint, there is no margin in Democrats backing this in any way shape or form. It is not enough to leave a little out that says "we would have exhausted all possibilities." It's the failure to repudiate the Bush Doctrine that binds them to Bush's actions.
I think they are foolishly counting on Bush not following through which is a shameful miscalculation if not political malpractice --- you simply have to assume after observing him all these years that he will. He and Cheney are desperately unpopular and they have come to believe that their legacy will be redeemed by history, so parochial concerns about popular support or public will in their own time are irrelevant. Indeed, I think they probably believe they have to do this in order that history will clearly see how they bucked the tide of popular opinion and expert advice to remake the middle east. It's all they have.
Democrats cannot abet this, not even rhetorically, to satisfy a powerful lobbying group that may be as mad as the neocons and the Bush administration. This time, they will not be let off the hook. Bush is out in two years and if any of them are on record talking trash about Iran at this delicate moment, they will be held accountable for what follows."