For the Department of Idle Speculation: in the increasingly frequent Friday afternoon departures from the Bush administration, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace will not be renominated for the job, a change of previous plan, and therefore becomes a lame duck for the remainder of his term. In announcing the move, the Defence Secretary Robert Gates seemed suspiciuously reality-based in hinting that someone like Pace was too involved with the Iraq shambles from the start to win a Senate vote.
But ... Pace also wrote a letter on behalf of Scooter Libby before his sentencing hearing, an unusual insertion of a uniformed man into what is a political case, and which put Pace in very partisan company. Could that have been the last straw for Gates?
UPDATE: A comical critique of the Pace decision by Powerline's "Hindrocket" --
In other words, the administration needed a new nominee because the Democrats would have turned hearings on General Pace's renomination into a media circus. This highlights, I think, the distorting effect that the Democrats' control over Congress is having on Executive Branch staffing.
Note how the Democratic control of the Senate, and the requirement to get nominees confirmed by that Senate, is "distorting."