Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gonzales Finds a Scapegoat (With a TV Schedule Update at the End)

Unintelligent people always look for a scapegoat.
- British Labour statesman Ernest Bevin (1881-1951)

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty has been nominated to join the ranks of Scooter Libby and Mrs. O'Leary's cow as famous scapegoats in history.

Only 18 mere hours after McNulty announced his intention to leave his post as the number two official at the Justice Department, Gonzales, the man who found a way to say some variation of "I don't remember" more than 70 times (I'm not exaggerating, CNN reported it) when testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys, has now fingered McNulty as the main guy behind the firings, according to a Yahoo!/AP article.

If Sherlock Holmes was investigating this case, he could figure out Gonzales's motives before his morning coffee and still have time left over to solve a murder or two before lunch.

"You have to remember, at the end of the day, the recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general. He signed off on the names," Gonzales told reporters, according to the Yahoo!/AP article. Whatever Gonzales took to improve his memory, he should market it on the Home Shopping Channel. He'd make a fortune.

Is anyone not going to see through this? How obvious is the chain of events? It amazes me that when stuff like this happens, the news outlets don't stand on their heads and scream about another Bush administration proclamation that has a Pacific Ocean-size hole in it.

At least the Yahoo!/AP article acknowledges that Gonzales's story, on its face, does not hold water, saying, "But documents released by the Justice Department show he [McNulty] was not closely involved in picking all the U.S. attorneys who were put on the list — a job mostly driven by two Gonzales staffers with little prosecutorial experience."

Throw in all the missing documents that have not been turned over to Congress, and you are left with a situation where it is a disgrace that Gonzales is still in office. My April 24 entry, "Rain Bush," lays out, pretty succinctly, why the U.S. Attorney firings constitute a true scandal. But for those few holdouts (and by that, we mean the clueless Republicans in the House who gave him a pass last week (Yahoo! Finance Article), even though their Senate colleagues were far more harsh -- and honest -- in their assessments), this latest move to push the blame onto a departing underling has to be the final straw, doesn't it?

Clearly, the Democrats in Congress have to keep their eye on the ball on the central issue important to voters: Iraq. But, hopefully they can find time to keep the pressure on the White House and their clueless Attorney General. With Republicans controlling Congress, the administration was able to throw Scooter Libby under the bus. Now that the Democrats hold the majority in both chambers, it is up to them to make sure that McNulty isn't the scapegoat du jour.

NBC announced it's fall schedule at its upfront presentation yesterday, and three shows examined in my May 3 article learned their fate. There were no real surprises. "Scrubs" will return for its seventh and, presumably, final season, although the network only committed to an 18-episode order (a full season would be at least 22 episodes). "30 Rock" was also on the schedule, so it seems as though Alec Baldwin's retirement plans will have to be put on a hold for a little while. And, as expected, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" will not be returning, but a very small consolation is that at least one more episode from this season is scheduled to air on Thursday May 24.

With the earlier announcement that "Gilmore Girls" will have its series finale tonight, the only remaining show on my list is "Veronica Mars." The CW announces its schedule on Thursday. As I wrote on May 3, unfortunately, don't expect to see Veronica on it.