23 July 2005

Periodic roundup (BR)

Today's New York Observer offers a profile of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's lawyer, Bob Luskin. Luskin identifies himself as "a liberal Democrat," and has an impressive progressive resume, along with a penchant for wearing an earring. My God, how countercultural and edgy. Luskin also defended a couple of Clinton administration higher-ups who got in some hot water over Filegate and Whitewater.

Do Luskin's non-partisan credentials boost the idea that Rove is actually blameless, the target of a vicious Democrat witchhunt? Eh, no. He's an attorney; attorneys go where the money is, and tell the lies necessary to keep money happy. Buried in the tail end of the Observer article is this telling nugget:

[I]t was revealed that Mr. Luskin had accepted payments in gold bars (emphasis added) from a client who was a convicted drug-money launderer, Stephen Saccoccia. In 1998, he reportedly agreed to repay $245,000 of the approximately $700,000 he'd been paid for representing Mr. Saccoccia[.]

"In hindsight," [Luskin] said, "what a stupid thing for me to have done."


Damn straight it was stupid, but it's fitting that a crook like Rove would reach across the aisle to get a crook to represent him. All the earrings and Cherokee lounge garb can't obscure the world-class prick status of Luskin or his client.

And for Plamegate, a story so riddled with suspense and intrigue that the entire country can barely give a fuck, I'd like to know where "douchebag of Liberty" (props to Jon Stewart) Robert Novak is in all this. So far we've seen the jailing of one reporter who didn't write an article naming Joe Wilson's CIA spook wife, and Time magazine selling out its entire reportorial staff, but Novak, the dude who patriotically outed a covert agent who dared prove his dear President a bald-faced liar, has gotten minimal face time, which, though a blessing for the sighted community, reeks of suspicion as far as the Rove investigation goes.

This writer would be less than surprised if, after sabotaging a political foe, Novak found no qualms about handing over his friends to the fuzz to save his ass. Has CNN cancelled Crossfire yet?

I won't pretend I knew who John Roberts was before President Bush put him up for the Supreme Court, but I can guarantee that we will not see a landmark reversal of Roe v. Wade during Bush's term in office. Bush only pays lip-service to the nutty right, and, more than anything, is conscious about his legacy. We invaded Iraq when support for war was between 70-80%, once that public favor began to flag, gay marriage became the issue of the day. If W exits office with a consistent 5% unemployment rate, home ownership on the rise, troops out of Iraq, no further terrorist attacks on American soil, and nothing divisive like criminalization of abortion on his record, he can retire to Crawford with the knowledge that America had a pretty OK eight years without his having to do much of anything.

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