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Rove’s indictment: part of The Plan?

Will he be indicted? Won’t he be indicted? That is not the question. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.

1) Forget, for the moment, all the legal minutiae. If these guys, right up to the Shrub himself, are not all guilty as sin of outing a CIA agent for political purposes, I’m a blue hippo.

2) That being the case, their only ultimate certainty to stay out of jail is presidential pardon power.

3) Nobody can afford to piss off (or on) the Shrub.

4) The Shrub is a petulant frat boy who holds grudges forever.

5) So, up at Rove’s and Cheney’s level, they have to hang together, or they’ll hang separately. (Lower down, at Scooter’s level, where the Shrub has probably already forgotten his name, handing evidence to Fitzgerald would make sense.)

6) Okay. Now switch gears. The Republicans are in massive trouble with the voters. It would be handy to have a scapegoat for their anger.

7) Cheney can’t run for Prez. Nobody else is going to ask him to be Vice. He’s already wildly unpopular. Perfect scapegoat.

8 ) After much struggle, Fitzgerald uncovers that Cheney was the ringleader. Shrub was the “nice” guy who was out of it. Note that in this scenario when Rove rats out Cheney, it serves multiple purposes. Rove’s schemes generally work that way.

9) With much fanfare, around August, September, or October, Cheney resigns out of the goodness of that thing that keeps his blood moving. This is purely to spare Dear Leader all the dreadful partisan distractions. (Or for his health, of course.)

10) A new Vice is appointed, one whom (some) voters love, possibly one who could be heir apparent in 2008. Shrub’s popularity gains 5% or 10%. Republicans everywhere who are running for Congress talk about how decisive this Administration is and how well they’ve cleaned house. You never saw the Democrats doing that kind of thing, now, did you?

(Parenthetically: 11) Would that appointee be Condi? Not impossible. The drive-by media would love it. It would certainly work as a distraction and a boost this November, but I can’t see the bigoted Rethugs voting for a black female for President, no matter what. And I can’t see any progressives voting for a war-enabling Bush-licker, either.)

12) After the November elections, Shrub pardons Cheney. He pardons Rove, if events make it necessary. Congress may go tut-tut, but of course nobody would want to do anything as partisan as impeach a President for shredding the Constitution, so the Shrub retires peacefully to Crawford, and builds a presidential library bigger than his dad’s. It has a large central display area full of trophy blocks of wood from his brush-clearing activities.

Conclusion: wild-eyed conspiracy theory? Yes. Horribly plausible? Also yes.

Update, June 23, 2006: Good as my imagination may be, it’s obviously not good enough for reality. I never thought Rove would simply walk. Unbelievable. So much for the courts being the one branch of government that still retains some independence from this Administration.

Now all Bu$hCo needs to do is bring enough thousands of troops home to generate happy TV coverage, have a gradual crescendo of terrorist news (which seems to be starting right on cue), keep the stock market from crashing, stop gas prices from rising, and make sure voting machines don’t have paper audit trails.

Truthout (quoted below, since Truthout’s servers seem to be suffering the equivalent of a denial of service attack. Will be removed once the bitstorm has passed.)Update, May 31, 2006, link now working, copy removed.Talkleft (current news on the indictment, plus all the history)

Technorati tags: Rove, indictment, Fitzgerald investigation, Truthout, midterm elections, 2006 elections, Valerie Plame Leak, Luskin, Corallo, Jason Leopold

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The world as we don’t know it

Not spaceships. Not aliens.

Models of biological molecules at the Chimera Image Gallery.

Powers of Ten looks at Everything, including Life and the Universe. An astonishing animation in barely forty frames.

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The death penalty is lethal

With the Moussaoui verdict, talk of the death penalty is again contributing to global warming. I can’t resist adding my two cents’ worth.

There are two reasons to apply capital punishment: the hope that it will stop others from committing similar crimes, and the desire to get the slimeballs.

The death penalty has been around since humans formed societies. Studies of its effect have been around since the scientific method was invented a few centuries ago. There is no support for the hope that it prevents any crimes. People keep trying, because it seems like it ought to, but it doesn’t. It just plain doesn’t. I think there’s a very simple reason for that. People who commit crimes aren’t planning on being caught. It takes a rather law-abiding citizen to get hung up on “what might happen.”

So, how about revenge? Does it at least work for that?

Well, yes. You have revenge. Then there’s this flat feeling. The pain that caused the hatred hasn’t gone away, and the intelligent person realizes that revenge is not all it’s cracked up to be. The less intelligent starts screaming for more revenge, and better, faster, and cheaper revenge. That’s about as effective as you might expect of something that didn’t work the first few hundred times it was tried. So capital punishment gives revenge, but that doesn’t actually do you any good. On this level, it’s a colossal waste of resources to scratch an itch.

There is, however, another level that I don’t see discussed often enough. The issue is not how well the death penalty is applied, the guilt or innocence of the accused, bias in sentencing, or the gruesomeness of the procedure. All of those are important issues, but arguing about them implies that capital punishment would be useful in a perfect judicial system.

Let’s say that we have a perfect system. In that case, what does it say when a criminal is killed by the authority of the State? It says that the most powerful entity in our world thinks that killing bad people solves something.

Think about that. The highest authority has said that killing is a solution. Admittedly, there are footnotes about which crimes deserve it, due process, and so on. But the essence of a criminal is that they’re a law unto themselves. They’re not reading the footnotes. They’re just absorbing the part of the message they want to hear, which is that it’s morally acceptable to kill your enemies. The biggest guns in the world say so.

The other important point is that people take their tone from those in power. If the CEO steals, the office boy doesn’t take too long to catch on. If the State can kill, then killing is okay.

That is the real problem with the death penalty. By defining killing as morally acceptable, it helps create the climate for the very crimes it is supposed to stop.

Technorati tags: death penalty, capital punishment, Moussaoui, moral authority

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Thank you, Stephen Colbert

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Transcript here. And a web site to add your thanks for his wonderful blast of fresh air here.

Watch the whole thing:
update, May 5: can take a lo-ong time to load. I think everyone is watching it. Also: scuttlebutt via Boingboing that YouTube no longer has the clip due to some copyright nonsense. Last I looked, it was still displaying. If not, Google video is supposed to have it.

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