March 27, 2007

Sidewalk scenes and black limousines

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Physichromie No 21, 1960, metal on cardboard, acrylic, and plastic

* Time for Answers. excerpt:

"The news that Monica Goodling, counsel to the attorney general and liaison to the White House, is invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination takes the United States attorney scandal to a new level. Ms. Goodling’s decision comes just days after the Justice Department released documents strongly suggesting that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has not been honest about his own role in the firing of eight federal prosecutors. Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to testify before the Senate in three weeks, but that is too long to wait. He should speak now, and explain why he continues to insist that his department did nothing wrong.

"As the liaison between the White House and the Justice Department, Ms. Goodling seems to have been squarely in the middle of what appears to have been improper directions from the White House to politicize the hiring and firing of United States attorneys. Mr. Gonzales has insisted the eight prosecutors were let go for poor performance, and that the dismissals are an “overblown personnel matter.” But Ms. Goodling’s decision to exercise her Fifth Amendment rights suggests that she, at least, believes crimes may have been committed.

"Last Friday night, the Justice Department released a calendar entry that directly contradicts Mr. Gonzales’s insistence that he was out of the loop. It shows that he attended an hourlong meeting on Nov. 27 to discuss the upcoming firings of seven of the prosecutors. Previously, he had insisted that he never 'had a discussion about where things stood.'

"The release of the calendar entry is disturbing because it suggests not only that Mr. Gonzales may have personally approved the firings — something he has denied — but that the Justice Department has been dishonest in its responses to Congress. The department had already released what it claimed was a full set of relevant documents, and it now says it simply overlooked the ones released on Friday. But the information about the Nov. 27 meeting may have been released because Mr. Gonzales’s chief of staff, who was present at it, has agreed to testify before Congress this week.

"The more information that comes out, the more disturbing the firings look. Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to make a routine appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17. But there is, as John McKay, a fired United States attorney from Washington State, put it, 'a cloud over the Justice Department' right now. Mr. Gonzales should testify this week. The serious questions that have been raised about improper, and possibly illegal, actions in the Justice Department need to be investigated and answered without delay in full public view."

* Classic baseball card: John Candelaria. [pic of card at link]

"John Canderlaria, 1991 Topps

"John Candelaria was so stoned during this picture, that he showed up to the park on this particular day ready to pitch, except it was Christmas Eve, a traditional 'off day' for Major League Baseball. And he wasn’t even on the Blue Jays. Luckily, a cameraman happened to be there to catch the moment. After the picture was shot, Candelaria asked the cameraman if he had any Skittles, and when the cameraman said no, Candelaria responded by saying, 'I’m just gonna crash here.' Two weeks later, a Blue Jays executive spotted 'the Candy Man' taking bong hits in the visitor’s bullpen. It was then the executive told Candelaria that he had been traded 'back to his house,' at which point an excited Candelaria finally left the Skydome....As a member of the baseball player’s association, John Candelaria once suggested “casual Fridays” for mascots."

* "We do not know yet if the Democrats who control Congress have the stomach to end the occupation, as the people elected them to do, and head off a war on Iran. Are they still baffled by the showman Karl Rove? He is our all-American, 21st-century P.T. Barnum. Think of Bush as Gen. Tom Thumb. Cheney is Jumbo the Elephant.

"To repair the damage done by these people you have to be clear-eyed as the goosegirl and lucky as the seventh son. You must know whom you want to stand with. Your weapons are brains and mockery. Thanks in good part to citizen journalists, scrupulous reporters, and bloggers, the facts needed are available on the Internet to readers who seek right action and the good. They face an immense job of cleaning-up. The facts, and we all, are sooty from the stench-filled cloud of incompetence and secrecy belched out by the fog-machines of the administration." - Katherine McNamara


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