My letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA):
I would like to thank the Senator profusely for his clandestine amendment to the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization which permits the president to replace US Attorneys without Congressional approval. You might have read about it in the news lately.
It could seem strange that a Democrat like myself would appreciate such a heinous abortion of justice, so let me explain. The boxer Cassius Clay, nee Muhammad Ali often won with a strategy he called rope-a-dope. He’d fake weakness, encouraging his opponent to get confident and overextend himself. Then Ali would lay him flat.
As near as I can tell the Senator must have had something similar in mind. We all know that the president takes full advantage of every legal loophole that the GOP Congress handed him. He even uses loopholes that don’t exist. So it’s a dead certainty that if Senator Specter handed Bush a power, especially in secret like he did that particular provision, the president would abuse it.
And how! Judging by this week’s headlines the president jumped through this loophole with both feet. Thanks to the Senator’s secret provision, George Bush overextended himself and Congress is about to lay him flat. It’s too bad that the Senator has no reelection campaign to which I can contribute, but if and when he’s in Pittsburgh I would be glad to buy him a beer. Properly disclosed, of course.
Read more from Josh Marshall, who has pushed this story more than any other blogger.
As an addendum, I really hate centipedes. Spiders are cool, but there’s something about centipedes that drives me up the wall. So when those long-legged house centipedes show up in my bathroom I don’t want to get close enough to squash them. Instead I hit it with the Tilex spray (active ingredient: bleach). Sensing that it’s fucked, the centipede runs around like mad for a short while, occasionally jettisoning a twitching leg. I guess the idea is that whatever attacked it will get distracted by the leg long enough to find some kind of shelter. Lizards do this with their tails, but centipedes make a better example because they can dump a decent number of legs in the course of a chase.
In related news Kyle Sampson, the Gonzales subordinate whose fingerprints are all over the US Attorney scandal, resigned last night.
Jeebus. The same staffer who inserted the clandestine PATRIOT Act provision was given one of the US Attorney jobs.
You cannot be cynical enough for these guys. They always do you one better.