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This is rich. From Digby:

David Gregory says that he had been under the impression all day that the president was going to handle this press conference by saying that he knew mistakes had been made but that he was hopeful that the Democrats would work with the white house in good faith, blah, blah blah.

Apparently, however, the Republicans had a meeting today that showed a split in the GOP with half the members saying that Bush should dump Abu G, while others, notably the Box Turtle Cornyn (and Tom Delay on TV this morning) told Bush there was no margin in being accommodating and that Bush should "fight" which I'm sure sounded like music to his puerile little ears. It makes him feel like a man.

Scarecrow and Kagro X have noted that the White House may be anxious to have a showdown over the firing of the US attorneys because they know there's going to be a battle over something and there are other matters they are even less anxious to have probed by Congress.  I may disagree.  The Carol Lam firing has the potential to be an endless rabbit hole that could lead to both Cornyn and DeLay, and it's no surprise that both are openly encouraging the petulant Boy King to be obstreperous, obstructionist and bellicose when it comes to dealing with Congressional subpoenas.  The GOP might be able to skate on the other firings, but Lam's investigations threatened the very heart of their six year scheme to bust out the US Treasury.

Remember this

In the Nov. 30, 2001, e-mail, Reed told Abramoff that 50 pastors led by Ed Young of Second Baptist Church in Houston would meet with Cornyn to urge him to shut down the Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s casino near Livingston. He said Young would back up the request in writing. “We have also choreographed Cornyn’s response. The AG will state that the law is clear, talk about how much he wants to avoid repetition of El Paso and pledge to take swift action to enforce the law,” Reed wrote. “He will also personally hand Ed Young a letter that commits him to take action in Livingston.” 

Ah memories.  And who has enough column inches to devote to the coziness between Hot Tub Tom and Casino Jack?  Lam already had Duke Cunningham, Jerry Lewis, Dusty Foggo and Mitchell Wade in her sights.  And things were spreading quickly.  Wade, who pled guilty to giving $1 million in bribes to Duke Cunningham, received his first federal contract for $140,000 to provide office furniture and computers to Dick Cheney:

Two weeks later, on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a yacht for $140,000 for Duke Cunningham. The boat’s name was later changed to the “Duke-Stir.” Said one party to the sale: “I knew then that somebody was going to go to jail for that…Duke looked at the boat, and Wade bought it — all in one day. Then they got on the boat and floated away.”

According to Cunningham’s sentencing memorandum, the purchase price of the boat had been negotiated through a third-party earlier that summer, around the same time the White House contract was signed.

I frankly don't think they fear anything more than this, and it's probably why we've seen so much of the Bugman and his bid to become the omnipresent Jeffrey Skilling of the story (well, aside from the fact that that guy just looooves a camera).    

Stuff like this is going to continue to make them extremely nervous.