When immovable objects collide.

Today’s Chance of a Gonzales Departure: 83 percent
(Previously: 83 percent)

Train A leaves the station moving at 120 miles per hour. It’s full of pundits, congressmen, and Washington insiders, all of whom believe that Alberto Gonzales needs to resign.

Train B leaves another station, also at 120 miles per hour. Its sole occupant? Alberto Gonzales, perhaps petting a wallet-sized photograph of his friend President Bush. Gonzales is more convinced than ever that he should stay on in his job. So, he’s pretty much quit that day job in order to prepare for his upcoming Senate testimony. Refusing to back down, even when nobody has his back, Gonzales soldiers on. He has now spent vastly more time—indeed, pored over hundreds more pages of documents—in saving his own title in the wake of the U.S. attorney firings than he ever did on evaluating which of them should be fired.

So, what’s a Gonzo-meter to do? Track the progress of Gonzales’ onrushing opponents? Or measure his own, credulity-stretching determination to face them down? Unable to name a winner, we set today’s meter at 83 percent again, to reflect the almost poetic equilibrium between the growing numbers of people who hate Alberto Gonzales and his growing confidence that he can change their minds in Senate testimony.

The other attorney-gate news hardly improves his prospects of doing that. Newsweek confirms that ousted New Mexico prosecutor David “Tom Cruise” Iglesias, sacked for his alleged absentee landlording, was, in fact, only away from his job in order to perform his duties as a captain in the Navy Reserve, a nonfiring offense. Former Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo is only the most recent to withdraw support, telling USA Today that Gonzales’ “loyalty to George Bush has got to trump George Bush’s loyalty to Alberto Gonzales,” and that misplaced Texas loyalty “is the only reason Gonzales is still around.”

Meanwhile, former adviser Monica Goodling has dug in deeper in her refusal to testify. A new round of congressional nasty-grams between Goodling’s lawyer and House judiciary committee Chairman John Conyers has only added to the questions surrounding Goodling’s fascinating decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying.

Between all the miscommunication and finger-pointing from Goodling, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, Alberto Gonzales, and his former chief of staff Kyle Sampson, someone is sure to lose an eye.

Quick question for our readers: If Gonzales is devoting his every waking moment to preparing for this showdown with the senators, should the senators spend a bit of time prepping, too? Any thoughts or ideas for plausible questions they should be asking? Lines of inquiry they should be following? Investigations they should be undertaking? Drop us a line at