Intrade: Alito at 46.0. The next closest is Luttig at 19.9, then Brown and Williams are in a tie for distant third. Intrade has a very impressive record of predicting these things, but it did not have Roberts. The market had Clement, due to the Bushies’ deliberate leaks.

Update: a late night surge for Luttig. +15

Reading The Indictment…

Reading the indictment, it’s clear to me, at least, what Libby’s purpose was in making such stupid lies. Delay.

Ignoring the issue for just a moment as to whether he actually committed the underlying crime, there’s no reason to increase your jeopardy and get hit with charges like this. All you have to do is keep your story straight. Especially since some of those who were on the other side of the story were outside the administration and therefore unlikely to lie to protect him, there’s not much reason to do it… except, to stall. Just imagine folks, if this had come out a year ago. Then things might have really been different.

Circumstantial facts make it clear that he knew Plame was covert, but that charge isn’t in there. Poor Scooter. You think they’re going to stick by you?

NHL Coach Deathwatch

(1) Ed Olcyzk – Seems to have Mario’s support, but this team has too much talent not to win some games.
(2) Craig MacTavish – I don’t think the Oilers are underperforming, personally. But people around the NHL who overhyped them sure did.
(3) Randy Carlisle – I can’t figure out what the 05-06 Ducks have in common with so many of their teams in the past–Selanne and Salei?–but they just seem to have a loser spirit. It took a strong-willed coach like Mike Babcock to fix that, and now he’s gone.
(4) Mike Kitchen – I had to look this guy up, because I forgot who was coaching there. The Blues shouldn’t be that bad.
(5) Trent Yawney – Another case of expectations being higher than maybe they should have, but this team was supposed to be, well, like the White Sox.

Bonus pick – Wayne Gretzky – Maybe he’s a great coach, I don’t know. But his players have been reported to be intimidated to play for him, and he’s not getting the job done. Of course, because Wayne walks on water to 90% of the league, he’ll have to choose to quit himself.

Ditto: Torpedo Miers.

There is a compelling reason in my mind why the Miers nomination should be allowed to die a tortured death (these people don’t believe in euthanasia, after all). The reason is, it is time for America to pick sides. It’s time for the truth of what the two parties stand for to be put in stark relief. Showing the rotting, corrupt carcas of the conservative movement in all its glory has been achieved, but the failure of the conservative movement to cure what ails America is the only thing that might prevent a resurrection of the corpse.

To that end, it’s time for the armageddon over judges. It’s time for complacent Americans with liberal leanings but no inclination to defend those leanings to stand up and to take responsibility for what their toddlerish fear of brown-skinned bogeyman and basic greed has allowed.

Let Bush appoint Janice Rogers Brown. It’s the honest thing to do. First, it’s the kind of judge Bush promised his supporters. Second, it’s a true reflection of the ideology driving the Repbulican base.

It’s time for people to realize that when they circle the bubble next to the (R), they aren’t getting a nice man who will cut their taxes, keep porn away from their kids, and keep minorities in jail a little longer. Even if that’s the soccer-mom friendly face that’s been put up, in practice the result is a stunning array of un-American radical policies. Any vote for even the most moderate of Republicans furthers that party’s ambitions of eliminating access to the courts for individuals, eliminating all pretense of civil liberties in favor of the military estate, pilfering the natural resources and money that belong to our children to live fat on the land and the government today, and forcing a narrow interpretation of evangelical Christianity on a nation of people largely descended from milquetoast protestant denominations, whose abandonment of their churches has left only the radical in the pews.

Bloggers and pundits have played the role of Cassandra for long enough. We told you about Iraq, about social security, about judges, and about the corrupt agents of Bush, but no one listened; there were no cracks in the Republican edifice in 2004. Only now, with no clear heir apparent, have the fissures appeared. Only now, with Bush’s approval ratings in the tank has it become safe for mainstream pundits to talk this way. Only now, when it’s too late.

Torpedo Miers

Democrats have wisely kept their mouths shut and let the Conservatrons solely attacks Miers. Still, most likely, the votes will have to be cast and each Senator will take definitive action on Miers. When that time comes Democrats must defiantly vote “no.”

Some have argued that an incompetent crony like Miers is the best that Democrats could hope for from Generalissimo Bush. The whining from right wing theocrats notwithstanding, however, Miers hardly seems like one who will take a nuanced view on abortion or even an intelligent view on any case in law. When Bush leaves office eventually the records from the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations will be released. Do you really want his hand picked crony to have any part in the law suits that will certainly arise around the release of his records?

Miers personifies the Republican Party: she is a retrograde, a crony and incompetent for the position that she is bieng appointed to. A one hundred percenter Conservatron nominee might reunite the right wing. So what? They were never going to vote for a democrat anyway. Forcing Bush into nomionating such a person, however, would force coded issues like abortion out into the open where majorities disagree with the Conservatron stance. A solid filibuster against the far right nominee of a rapidly sinking lame duck “president” is a fight that Democrats should be more than happy to take on. All they need do is say they demand competency in a Supreme court nominee, Roberts was conservative but able, Miers is a crony and undeserving of the job.

After Brownie handed the competency angle to Democrats they can’t give it back to non-Bush Republicans by supporting Miers.

Is Cheney Going Down? Is Miers?

Intrade has Miers confirmation at only 38%. Slate says 75%. Intrade seems to think she has 50 votes, but nevertheless will not be confirmed. Interesting. I don’t think she will be confirmed, either.

As for Cheney. Intrade says there is a 78% likelihood that Libby will be indicted for that minor, technical violation that led to Clinton’s impeachment. The NYT reported that Libby heard it from Cheney. Now, putting aside the question of whether Libby’s indictment would cause Cheney to resign (I doubt it) and assuming that Congress won’t impeach Cheney (they won’t), under what set of facts will Cheney himself be indicted?

We know that he told Libby, but not why. It seems hard to credit that he just happened to know about Plame. Chances are, he started doing plumber work on Joe Wilson and discovered the fact about his wife, and then began looking for ways to ruin him. The question is whether he reasonable should have known that telling Libby would have led to the disclosure–or, worse–if the intended it to. It’s a key piece of circumstantial evidence that there is no other indication that Libby leaked this kind of information. On the one hand, it means Cheney, everything else being equal, could have relied on his discretion; on the other hand, it means that someone had a plan. The question is whether it was just Libby, or if it went up to Cheney.

Nothing the Bush administration has done even comes close to pissing me off as much as the fact that they are now sending out their minions to argue that perjury is a technical violation. These people impeached a president over lying about sex, and now they want to minimize lying about a national security breach? It’s sickening, and, of course, they will get away with it.

What’s worse is, there will be some jackass Democrat who will decline to participate in the fiesta because he wants to appear consistent with the Clinton defense rhetoric of the 90s. Only attacking seems to work in politics. There are no points for the high road, sadly.

I’m sure 1,000 other people have thought of this, but I haven’t read it elsewhere: having Cheney, who apparently is not running in 2008, step aside, gives the heir apparent a chance to get a head start. (I wanted Clinton to resign to give Gore a chance myself. Would it have given him a few hundred more votes? Who knows. It turned out that he won anyway (; )

But who is that person? I think John McCain is the early favorite, but I doubt he’ll get the nod unless Bush is really desperate. Frist is mired in his own scandal. The other candidates are too far to the right to be taken seriously by the Repbulican machine. Interesting times…