Gonzales and Rove Called Before Senate
So the Senate called Alberto Gonzales down to answer questions about controversial attorney firings at the Justice Department. He was vague and seemed to be developing Alzheimers, and the Senators from both parties were far from satisfied with his answers.
Now they apparently enjoyed his visit so much want him to come back and clarify contradictions between his recollections and information they were given by FBI DIrector Mueller and other sources. If he doesn’t cooperate, several prominent Democrats have promised to indict him for perjury. Even more exciting, the Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Karl Rove and one of his aides to come down and give their testimony on the attorney firings as well. Chairman Patrick Leahy has even suggested that a special prosecutor may be needed.
This all makes for great media fodder, especially getting Rove to testify, but one has to wonder if the Democrats could be doing something better with their time. It seems uniquely pointless to continue to pursue this issue when even the worst Gonzales is being accused of doesn’t violate any laws. Cries that this is a witch hunt are becoming more widespread on the right, because no matter how feckless and moronic Gonzales appears to be, it’s quite clear that nothing the Senate comes up with will ever be able to trump the simple fact that attorneys in the Justice Department are hired and fired at will, and they can legally be fired for any reason, including the most blatantly political. He may be a bit of an embarassment in office, but perjury may be the only grounds they’re going to be able to indict Gonzales on. But for now we can expect the bread and circuses to continue indefinitely.
Victory in Iraq!
I bet you thought there’s never any good news from Iraq. Well, this week Iraq showed that it does have at least one thing going for it by winning the Asian Cup with a low-scoring victory over Saudi Arabia.
Celebrations broke out all over the country suggesting that Iraqis of every stripe may at least hold a love of football in common. The celebrations were only marred by a few more or less accidental deaths from the traditional celebratory gunfire, unlike the celebration for their semi-final victory which attracted two suicide bombers. Al Qaeda apparently figured out that bombing football celebrations could easily be interpreted as a pro-Saudi political statement. Prime Minister Maliki has promised $10,000 to each team member, which is a fraction of what the Saudi players would have gotten had they won, but still a nice incentive bonus. Now if only the Iraqi people could do to the Saudi-based al Qaeda terrorists what their football team did to the Saudi team, some progress might be made in Iraq.
For more see reports at IraqSlogger.
Giant Badgers in Basra
I wouldn’t normally pick up on a story I saw on The Daily Show but this one was so bizarre I had to do some followup. It seems that the city of Basra is under attack by giant, man-eating badgers.
Hysterical reports suggest attacks by something rather like the Chupacabra, but eyewitness video demonstrates that the creatures roaming the streets of Basra at night are apparently the rare Iraqi Honey Badger, one of the largest and most aggressive members of the badger family, with five-inch long, razor sharp claws and as big as a medium-sized dog.
Spurious claims about the badgers abound, including that they feed on human corpses (unlikely since Basra is one of the more peaceful areas in Iraq with no corpses in the streets), were imported as some sort of bioweapon by the British, have killed and eaten cows (they’re not THAT big) and have attacked humans (never previously documented). What seems more likely is that something has driven them out of their normal feeding grounds, and like a lot of other predators they can probably find good sustenance picking through human garbage. Given all that they’ve had to suffer through, a plague of giant badgers does seem like one more problem Iraqis really don’t deserve.