Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Believe The Term Is, “Sweat Like A Pig”?

“Hello Karl-O...”

I'm no behavioral scientist, but after we dealt with the tale of Karl Rove's uh...“people's” seeming over-reaction to “60 Minutes' airing of an interview with Don Siegelman—a.k.a. someone who is rapidly earning the moniker of “The Wrong Man To Have Fucked With”, it would appear that our favorite porcine protagonist appears to be getting a bit hotter under his wattle-spilled collar.

Via Crooks and Liars and Dan Abrams' “Verdict”:

So what happens when a journalist actually does his/her job and exposes corruption at the highest levels of our government? They get complaint letters from the criminals they exposed. Abrams detailed tonight that he received a 5-page letter from Rove complaining about the great reporting he’s been doing on the political prosecution of Don Siegelman.

“Today the House Judiciary Committee asked Rove to testify under oath about the case. But just last week, we asked Rove‘s attorney, Robert Luskin, in an E-mail whether Rove would testify if subpoenaed by congress. His attorney said, quote, 'Sure. Although it seems to me that the question is somewhat offensive. It assumes he has something to hide even though Gov. Siegelman‘s uncorroborated assertions aside, there is literally no credible evidence whatsoever to substantiate his charges.'

Now under pressure from congress, Luskin has completely backtracked, telling roll call, quote, 'Whether, when and about what a former White House official will testify is not for me or my client to decide but is part of an ongoing negotiation between the White House and congress over executive privilege issues.'

Since Rove has said he had no conversations with the White House about it, what is the executive privilege here? Rove also sent me an angry five-page letter yesterday suggesting all sorts of questions he thinks I could have and should have asked various guests in the program including the former governor himself.

But he only suggested questions, no answers.
We‘ll probably talk more about that letter later and I‘ll be responding to Mr. Rove.

Mr. Rove, this is your opportunity to answer under oath many of the questions you suggest I should have asked. Your attorney had said in no uncertain terms you would testify. We have the E-mail. And since you seemed determine to get to the truth, I would think you would embrace this opportunity to testify to congress.

We are not going to let this story die. A jury found Don Siegelman guilty. But if his prosecution was driven by partisans after him because he was a Democrat, in this case needs to be revisited, and an appellate court has ruled it will be.

Counsel Robert Luskin's letter to Abrams on behalf of Rove—a five-page jobbie(!)—absolutely reeks of the same panicky over-reaction shown in the nutty string pulling that got Siegelman's damning “60 Minutes” interview blanked in half of Alabama. Seems pretty bent out of shape over things Abrams didn't actually say in his report. Oopsie! For all the bluster about the cool and calm and confidence of Rove, one cannot help but notice a strange hypersensitivity on this particular issue. There's an over-compensation at play here and a sloppy one at that. Blackouts? Five-page letters to a program that half the “Countdown” audience tunes out of?? Hmmmm...

Why, if I didn't know better, I'd be tempted to say that in Rove's supposed “post”-political career (Yes, I put “post” in scare-quotes. I'd take note of the decidedly Rovian ad-pushes in the still crimson-necktied North Carolina and other potential swing states. It's almost as if his team is trying to get their shots in now—peculiarly early—for some reason. Maybe someone's worried that there may be more pressing fish to fry come general-election crunch-time), hastened by an oddly-timed resignation and a lame-duck administration that inspires outright derision and not a worry of retribution, there may be actual concern about the freshly emboldened people out gunning for him.

You see...when you “ratfuck” enough people for a long enough time, the odds are that at some point, the law of averages will out, and you yourself may feel the not-so-gentle-probings of rodentis phallicus. Siegelman's down for the “slam-bam” and has no interest in lube or sweet talk. It would appear that others aren't terribly concerned with the mess that is sloppy seconds either. Via Newsweek:

The trial of Chicago developer and political fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko has been closely watched for any mention of the defendant's onetime friend, Barack Obama. But last week, prosecutors threw a curveball, telling the judge that one of their witnesses is prepared to raise the name of another prominent Washington hand: Karl Rive. Former Illinois state official Ali Ata is expected to testify about a conversation he had with Rezko in which the developer alleged Rove was "working with" a top Illinois Republican to remove the Chicago U.S. attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald.

The allegation, which Rove denies, quickly reverberated in Washington. Democrats in Congress now want to question Ata. They believe he can help buttress their theory that Rove played a key role in discussions that led to the firings of U.S. attorneys at the Justice Department in 2006. The House Judiciary Committee "intends to investigate the facts and circumstances alleged in this testimony," panel chairman Rep. John Conyers of Michigan said in a statement to NEWSWEEK.

Investigators are intrigued by the timing of the alleged conversation about Fitzgerald. According to the Rezko prosecutors, it took place in November 2004—weeks after Fitzgerald had subpoenaed Rove to testify for the third time in another matter he was aggressively investigating, the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. A source familiar with Ata's testimony (who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters) said that Ata was meeting regularly with Rezko that fall. The two men shared a concern about Fitzgerald's ongoing probe of Illinois public officials. In one of those conversations, the developer allegedly told Ata that Bob Kjellander, a prominent GOP state lobbyist, was talking to Rove about getting rid of Fitzgerald. The reason: to "get a new U.S. attorney" who would not pursue the Illinois corruption probe, the source said. Ata, who has pleaded guilty to corruption-related charges and is now cooperating with the Feds, has no evidence that the conversation took place other than what Rezko allegedly told him, the source says.

Intrigung...to say the least. But Rove according to the article denies the allegation whole-heartedly. Until that is, his all-over-the-place ass-coverer lawyer Luskin decided that statement should be...well, qualified just a bit. The categorical denial shifted to that old standby of soap-opera amnesia victims and pressured White House hacks “I don't recall” when it came down to GOP bigwig Kjellander's pressing him on Fitzgerald's removal.

And then, Luskin tried to hop into the DeLorean yet again, to go back in time and “fix” things...

I (Paul Kiel of TPM—ed. note) spoke to Luskin just now, and he said that his statement ought to be qualified a bit: his statement on Kgellander stands as is, he said, but during the independent counsel investigation, he said, Rove was "frequently" approached about canning Fitzgerald: "a number of people approached Karl and suggested that Fitzgerald be removed because of the alleged politicization of the investigation, but he never took any follow-up steps except to say that I can't talk about that. He didn't want to do anything seen as compromising Fitzgerald's independence." Those approaches, Luskin said, came during fundraisers or other political events "in an unsolicited way.... Karl simply never responded and did not take any action."

That is an awful lot of frantic ass-covering isn't it? Like a butt-nekkid Charles Barkley trying to stitch a pair of bermudas from a single square of Charmin. It's interesting to note that this was supposed to be Rove's freeing “cool-out” time where he could lay back without having to deal with the day-to-days of shtupping two other government branches in the pooper and instead freelance as an as-needed, Ratfucker Emeritus—doing the neccessary odd bit of craven evil to minimize Democratic gains this election cycle and to steal votes at the presidential-level wherever possible. Having to deal with pesky, subpoena-level shit like this was not part of the game plan. And it resurrects all sorts of ugliness, like the U/S. Attorneys scandal, and the specter of GOP criminality as we enter the stretch run of election season.

It's a perfect storm of distraction for the GOP's one-time ace (remember “The Math?”) message master and vote rainmaker. And from the looks of his clunky and ham-fisted responses to these things, they may wind up as more than just “distractions”. Yes, Luskin will do his lawyerly best to stall, dodge and clog up the works to try and keep Rove's incendiary hands off any Bibles between now and January 20th 2009, but I think people tend to get a liitle bolder when they feel a bully can't hurt 'em any more.

I think you'll hear Rove's name come up in a few more stories in ways that'll put him even more on the defensive as the months trundle on. Whether there'll be enough dimes dropped to maka a dollar remains to be seen. But a simple law of science is that oil and water do not mix—and a once-greasy,impossible to catch pig is now starting to sweat a little. Sweat's mostly water last time I checked.

Catch a piggie by the toe...if he hollers, don't let him go...