They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Both MSNBC and the AP agree that Karl Rove has appeared today to discuss why he failed early on in the investigation to tell prosecutors about a conversation he had with Time reporter Matt Cooper.

Apparently another Time reporter, Viveca Novak, was aware of the conversation between the two men and mentioned it to Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin. But it wasn't for several months later that Rove himself fessed up to prosecutors.

So the question would be: why the lag time?

Novak told prosecutors that she'd told Luskin about the Cooper conversation, and since then they've been anxious to hear from Rove why they got the information second-hand -- and several months late.

This, then, would be the "loose end" Rove supporters are talking about.

Trying to wrap your head around the events behind the New Hampshire phone jamming?

Whose idea was it? Which national political operative called which consultant when? When were those calls to the White House?

This should help: the TPM New Hampshire Phone Jamming Timeline. Check it out - and as always, we welcome reader feedback on corrections or additions.

The trial of the White House advisor who confessed to shoplifting charges has been postponed indefinitely. Claude Allen had been slated to appear in court tomorrow; the Maryland Attorney General's office said the judge agreed to a motion to delay the trial. A new date hasn't been set, but conventional wisdom puts it in June sometime.

Just saw John King on CNN a few minutes ago, relating the significance of today's testimony. According to those in Karl Rove's camp, who apparently have King's ear, today's appearance, Rove's 5th before Fitzpatrick's grand jury, really is good news - since Rove is being provided the opportunity to "tie up a few loose ends."

Transcript below.

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It was winter 2003: the lightning raid on MZM headquarters by federal agents was a year and a half away. Then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) was out of jail, still had his boat and antiques, and ate fancy meals with his favorite briber, MZM chief Mitchell Wade, at the Capitol Grille. In short, it was a happier time.

We got our hands on what appears to be an internal company newsletter from that time. Ah, 12 pages of golden memories:

- Mitch and his wife dancing at the MZM holiday party; - Senior company exec Jim King accepting National Security Medal from then-CIA Director George "Slam Dunk" Tenet; - Wade, chumming with Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and former VA Gov. Mark Warner (D); and - Timeless advice on Mad Cow Disease, Hep A and SARS.

Sepcial Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is meeting with the grand jury in his Plame leak investigation, the AP reports. It's not yet clear what the purpose is, but it's fueling speculation that we may soon learn Karl Rove's fate.

Update: Rove to meet with grand jury this afternoon.

I wish we could all get away with stuff like this.

The Homeland Security Department announced yesterday it would conduct background checks on U.S. port workers to make sure they aren't illegal. "We will not tolerate the employment of illegal workers at our ports," DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said announcing the initiative.

Well, that's a crock. We've been tolerating the employment of illegal workers at our ports for years. Since 9/11, the main reason we've been putting up with it is because DHS couldn't get its act together to issue tamper-proof ID cards and a background-check system to make sure only legal, non-terrorizing people help load and unload our ships.

In fact, just last month ten House Republicans lambasted Chertoff publicly for being so behind-schedule on the worker ID effort.

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