Thursday, May 18, 2006


Rove Update

Truthout stands by its story of an imminent Rove indictment On the other hand, the 24 business hours passed as of Wednesday night. If Rove isn't in trouble, Jason Leopold sure is. Afterthought: Selling off Rove. In an AOL column on equities, Peter Cohan lists a varieties of reasons for the market selloff, most of which trip the BS meter: 1. Inflation 2. Weak dollar/capital flight [Probable BS: much of it is an old story] 3. Government and consumer debt [BS: old story] 4. Weakening of housing market due to interest rates. 5. Political uncertainty due to Iran, Republican rout in November, and Bernanke [BS: all old stories.] Inflation...interest rates...housing Well, sure. Maybe. But knowing how Washington works, if Rove were facing indictment, it would likely trigger a market selloff. That selloff would probably be concentrated in companies who have relied on Bush for their profits, notably oil and defense. It's a testable hypothesis. The market sell-off began on the 11th, while the Truthout story was published on the 13th, so that more or less meshes. Halliburton is down 10%, while GE is essentially unchanged. Exxon Mobil is down roughly 5%, but that parallels the drop in BP. So, the hypothesis that the selloff is Rove-related is not refuted. It would take a lot more work to confirm it (or refute it), but put it in the "maybe" bin. Jason Leopold is either a genius or likely to be looking for a new career.
Mr. Leopold has not discredited himself entirely by reporting on the indictment prematurely, IMHO. He is not the first reporter to have released an inaccurate article and most certainly will not be the last.

I'd prefer to hear the 'news' of Mr. Rove's indictment, if it is ever announced, from Mr. Fitzgerald. Only he can provide the relevant details.

To his credit, I read that Mr. Fitzgerald is a very cautious man. If the indictment can not be upheld in court, it should not be handed down. He should take all the time he needs to make his assessment.

Mr. Rove's move, from policy to upcoming campaign, was very revealing, IMHO. The WH seems to want to distance itself from any possible fallout from an indictment, though success in doing so is unlikely. Mr. Libby's trial is scheduled to take place after the November elections; a Rove indictment, issued at any time between now and 2008, will simply serve to boost the Democrat's chances for regaining seats in both the House and Senate as well as in the upcoming Presidential election.

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