Today's Blogs

Justice Is Blonde

Bloggers analyze Monica Goodling’s testimony and express relief that Jordin Sparks won American Idol. They also can’t wait to try out a new iPod-themed sex toy.

Justice is blonde: Former Gonzales aide Monica Goodling testified before the House judiciary committee Wednesday, saying she had “crossed the line” by taking political leanings into account when making hiring decisions. Bloggers mostly agree that’s an understatement.

Christy Hardin Smith at liberal Firedoglake doesn’t buy what she calls Goodling’s “if I broke the law, I didn’t mean to” routine: “[H]ow can someone who worked in a building full of experienced prosecutors possibly think that is remotely credible? My ignorance of the law made me politicize the hiring of multiple career justice employees? Puh-leese.”

Philosophy professor Hilzoy at politically moderate Obsidian Wings thinks Goodling came off as smart and capable, but still “has not said anything to clear up the central question: who put the US Attorneys on the firing list, and why? What she has said just confirms the sense that there was nothing that remotely resembled a good decision-making process.” At the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal, Kevin Drum marvels at the still-deepening mystery: “Goodling is now the latest high-ranking DOJ official to say that, really, she has no idea why those U.S. Attorneys were fired last year, or who made the choices. The list appeared, somehow, but apparently not from any human hand. It’s a miracle!”

During her testimony, Goodling recalled an “uncomfortable” conversation with Gonzales, in which the attorney general may have improperly tried to coordinate their stories. Paul Mirengoff at conservative Power Line isn’t convinced that the AG was trying to influence Goodling: “[P]erhaps Gonzales was trying comfort Goodling by indicating that he didn’t think she had done anything wrong. Alternatively, perhaps Gonzales was trying to make sure his recollection of the process was correct. In any case, Goodling didn’t think he was trying to influence how she would testify.” Liberal Don Q. Blogger at Vaguely Logical is pretty sure Gonzales was tampering: “Or else why would he turn a meeting with her into a session where he describes HIS recollection of the Great US Attorney Massacre in some detail and then asks how she remembers it?”

“Maru the Crank Pot” at WTF Is It Now? admires Goodling’s ability to play the naif: She’s “very good at pretending she has no idea what the hell everyone is so angry about. It’s the old “punch someone in the back of the head and look around the room dumbly and say ‘who? me?’” trick.” At group law blog Balkinization, Marty Lederman parses Goodling’s statement that she was “not aware, however, of anyone within the Department ever suggesting the replacement of these attorneys in order to interfere with a particular case … for political advantage.” Lederman calls the last three words “suspicious”: “One might conclude that Goodling would only add that phrase if she were aware of people (even in the Department) suggesting the removal of the attorneys in order to interfere with a particular case – but if she did not presonally know whether the interference was designed ‘for political advantage.’ “

At the New Republic’s The Plank, Michael Crowley serves up a new rendition of a classic tune, “I Crossed the Line”: “I kept a close watch on this staff of mine/I kept my eyes wide open all the time/I kept the Dems out for their sorry minds/It was a crime, I crossed the line.”

Read more about Goodling’s testimony. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick writes that Goodling came across “more honest than Gonzales” and calls the Democrats “overmatched.”

Jordin rules: Teenager  Jordin Sparks beat out Blake Lewis to become the youngest American Idol winner Wednesday. Bloggers are nearly unanimous in their lack of surprise.

“I’ve had Jordin pegged for many weeks as a possible winner,” writes Reed Dunn at Watching American Idol, “though I thought it was going to be Melinda Doolittle from the moment I saw her. When it came down to Jordin and Blake, though, it seemed like a no-brainer.” Entertainment blog BuzzSugar is happy: “Normally, I’d be worried about someone so young taking on all the pressures of winning ‘Idol’ … but she’s grown up with fame, and she seems grounded enough to handle all the attention that’s going to come her way now.”

“Cell Geek” at The Cell Freak thinks the final song was an unfair choice: “Blake Lewis actually started out strong on ‘This Is My Now’ but once the chorus kicked in you could see he was embarrassed to be singing this and rightly so. No one would expect Eminem to tackle Barbra Streisand, why did they make Blake sing this?” Idolator s Maura Johnston *, liveblogging the finale, shares her feelings about the “craptastic” finishing song. Lisa Timmons at A Socialite’s Life predicts Blake will be just fine: “[T]hese days, losing on American Idol doesn’t seem to have hurt the career of anyone who’s managed to stick it out long enough to be get some irons in the fire.”

Read more about the American Idol finale. Watch Jordin Sparks’ show-winning performance. Slate’s Jody Rosen and Katherine Meizel discuss the finale.

Good vibrations: Apple sent a cease and desist letter to Ann Summers, a British sex shop chain, after the store began offering an “iGasm“—a product that hooks up to your iPod and vibrates along with the music. Apple complains that the iGasm ads, which show a curvy silhouette with a white cord running into her undies, violate their intellectual-property rights. Bloggers examine what’s rubbing Apple the wrong way.

Brooklyn-based Free Williamsburg doesn’t understand Apple’s beef: “Seems to us, a product like this could actually HELP Apple sales, but as usual the company is absurdly cagey about their branding.”

Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold responded cheekily to Apple’s threats: “Perhaps I can send them an iGasm to put a smile back on their faces!” Hadji at Ernie Schenk Calls This Advertising? reflects: “[C]ome to think of it, I talked with some  pretty high level execs from Apple the other day and they did seem, well, happy.” Meanwhile, Patrick at PhillyBurbs asks a pressing question: “[I]s it compatible with my eight-track player?”

Read more about the iGasm.

Correction, May 29, 2007: The article originally misidentified the Idolator blogger. It was Maura Johnston, not Brian Raftery. (Return to the corrected sentence.)