Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 19, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

TRUE BELIEVERS....Over at Pelosi's place, Jesse Lee blogs about yet more politicization of the Justice Department. Apparently you can't even get considered for the intern program anymore if you've demonstrated any identifiable liberal traits. This is from an anonymous letter sent to House and Senate Judiciary committees:

After choosing potential candidates to interview, the division personnel forwarded their lists to the Office of Attorney Recruitment Management for what was traditionally final approval. This is no longer a final step, however, because the list had to go higher — to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. When the list of potential interviewees was returned this year, it had been cut dramatically.

....When division personnel staff later compared the remaining interviewees with the candidates struck from the list, one common denominator appeared repeatedly: most of those struck from the list had interned for a Hill Democrat, clerked for a Democratic judge, worked for a "liberal" cause, or otherwise appeared to have "liberal" leanings. Summa cum laude graduates of both Yale and Harvard were rejected for interviews.

The full letter is here.

Kevin Drum 12:53 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Pelosi!!!

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on April 19, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Party before country.
Party before country.
Party before country.

The refrain in this administration continues to ring...

Party before country.
Party before country.
Party before country....

Posted by: Kryptik on April 19, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

People who have demonstrated the ability to think critically are not considered, yet the graduates of Regent are welcomed with open arms. And these Regent grads apparently do not even have to have passed a bar exam.

How pathetic that the DoJ attorneys hired since 2001 have no track record of winning real cases in real courts. Even more pathetic is that none of them see the irony of it, nor the horror of it.

Posted by: jcricket on April 19, 2007 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

"graduates of both Yale and Harvard were rejected"

This may be a good thing since this describes president bush.

Posted by: joeis on April 19, 2007 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Joeis: Context is all. I believe the complete quote talks about "summa cum laude" graduates of Harvard and Yale. Bush was not among those. It's not a good thing to cherry-pick and bowdlerize your quotations.

Posted by: Wendy on April 19, 2007 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Kryptik sums it up nicely.

What I was coming on to say was that these guys have so little intelligence or education they have no idea how far they are driving the government of this country -- all three branches -- down the same road, if less overtly violently, as those guys in western Europe who started WWII.

Amazing.

Yeah! Party before country.

Disgusting.

Posted by: notthere on April 19, 2007 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

These people - the Regent / Liberty / Patrick Henry educated, Limbaugh / Coulter / Savage listening, GOP lockstep marching, Left Behind reading, creationism believing, Scalia cheering people who can now be found throughout the federal government - are a fifth column.

What is it going to take to get them out and have their jobs filled with competent professionals who support the Constitution and live in the reality-based world (under a Democratic administration, of course)?

Posted by: Ciccina on April 19, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's no surprise that Chinese officals are so convinced they represent the future. Stories like this confirm the fact that, rather than China turning to capitalism, what's happening is that the US is adopting the Chinese model, i.e. a ruthless and strictly authoritarian government managing a quasi-capitalist economy, all the time making sure that all avenues to power and to prosperity are closely policed.

Posted by: billy on April 19, 2007 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oooh, billy. Maybe a better analogy. And that would be Stalinism but with the quasi-capitalist driven economy. When's the first casualty -- other than our troops?

Anyway, it's all going to change as we are forced, most likely belatedly, to handle climate change. Wait for the dislocations.

Posted by: notthere on April 19, 2007 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Well, liberals are smart. The administration is dumb. So they don't want to feel bad by hiring people smarter than them.

Simple.

Posted by: craigie on April 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

(waiting for the dislocations....)

Posted by: Disputo on April 19, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Look at this another way.

In fact, the Bush administration is doing everything it can to ensure that its ideology is carried out by the people best able to understand the program it entails. These aren't going to be Democrats, or liberals, but people who fully grasp, and are committed to, Conservative causes. From that group of people, all the evidence is that they did indeed select the most capable. For decades this group of people has been groomed by universities, think tanks, and Conservative political organizations to precisely this end. They are the very cream of the crop from the vast Conservative industrial farm.

It is of course true that those in fact selected demonstrated what is recognized by the larger world as utter incompetence at their governmental functions.

But here's the point: the incompetence is the ideology; the ideology is the incompetence. They simply could not have done a better job, and have remained true to their principles.

That is why it is simply a false distinction to say that the failure of the Bush administration is due to incompetence, not Conservativism, on the one hand, or Conservativism, not incompetence, on the other.

They are, simply, one and the same.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 19, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

franklyO,

Frightening as it is, your post encapsulates the truth of what the neo-cons have done, and continue to do. Shit.

Once we take back our government, ripping these weeds out of the justice garden is going to be a bitch. Rewarding, but a backbreaking bitch just the same.

Posted by: jcricket on April 19, 2007 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Just to make my point a little more concrete, consider the case of the upper level adminstrators who, infamously, lacked scientific credentials, but "corrected" the reports of scientists who worked for them.

I ask, how could it be otherwise in a consistently Conservative government? Conservative ideology holds that global warming isn't really being caused by human beings. How many scientists could the Bush administration hire who would support that belief? Why, just about none, of course -- indeed, maybe none at all. So the most qualified person for the job who ALSO supports the Conservative ideology must, of necessity, be a non-scientist. And if they carry through their job consistently with Conservative belief, they will have to correct the scientists.

Again, the ideology here IS the incompetence, and the incompetence IS the ideology. When an ideology simply takes its leave from reality, that is, inevitably, how things must turn out.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 19, 2007 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Wendy, we got rid of most of the trolls and now we have you as the quote police and hall monitor?
My snippet does not alter the meaning of the letter where it is stated bottom half graduates of Harvard are preferable to second tier school graduates. It is not bowlderization as I did not remove something objectionable or vulgar.
What's the matter, can't stand it that Bush is a product of Yale and Harvard?

Posted by: joeis on April 19, 2007 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

franklyO - There is much truth to what you state, which leads to the unsettling conclusion that the Bush Administration is, indeed, extremely competent. Thing is, this is really a semantical argument as opposed to empirical, and leaves those of us who oppose this ideology, which I believe includes both you and me, with awkward phrases to convey our thoughts. From a logical progression you are quite correct however.

Posted by: bmaz on April 19, 2007 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

"summa cum laudae" not vulgar or objectionable? You forget what cute comments our dear leader made about necessary qualification for the position of preznit.

Posted by: notthere on April 19, 2007 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

It seems that it's not just the Defense Department that needs renaming...

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 19, 2007 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

Purity of thought is one of the hallmarks of totalitarian, fascist regimes. Wouldn't want anyone around who thinks differently than the brainwashed conservative legions...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 19, 2007 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not confuse Conservative with neo-conservative. I'm not a fan of either, but Conservative is about "slowing down change" while neo-cons are about accelerating change to an evangelical world.

Anyway, I worked for the US Forest Service. They also practiced "going along" over technical competance. Fortunately, I was able to leave on my own terms.

Posted by: Chief on April 19, 2007 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

My stepmom retired from DoJ over 3 years ago, and even then she was saying that all hiring at justice had become political under W.

Great job of oversight, congress and MSM. Pat yourselves on the backs again.

Posted by: jussumbody on April 19, 2007 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hiring new, ignorant, untested, inexperienced, unquestioning and even incompetent people are all ways of ensuring maximum top-down leadership. This is all part of the centralization of power into the White House. How else can you guarantee that the DOJ will stand silent during the attacks on the constitution?

Posted by: Neal on April 19, 2007 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

The lily-livered Sen. Leahy.

This from Congressional Quarterly

Frist of all, I'll like to say that there is a great WRONGNESS with using the Attorney General's Office for partisan politics, unlike Keith Perine of the CQ Staff seems to think. Repugs have been insisting there is NOTHING wrong with paritisan practices and picking their own people. The evidence this Bush is using partisan politics within the attorney generals office is plain to see.

BUT Dems are playing the victim again and again. It is NOT okay for the loyal Bushies to white-out email and Leahy is not being aggressive enough with the subpoenas and thus it may well cost the Dems everything. If the Dems ever learn anything it's don't mess with Bush, don't play his stupid games. Bush isn't looking to be fair, Bush only every gets as nasty as knows how to be.

Gonzales Faces Critics Who Lack Knockout Punch
By Keith Perine, CQ Staff
Alberto R. Gonzales will have two important things going for him when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and tries to mend his damaged credibility on Capitol Hill.

Democrats still don’t have any damning evidence that eight fired U.S. attorneys were dismissed for blatantly partisan reasons. And they still don’t know much about the extent of White House involvement in the affair.

Without those things, Democrats go into Thursday’s hearing — which was postponed from April 17 because of the shootings at Virginia Tech — searching for an effective way to get at the embattled attorney general.

I glad Dems didn't fold on the issue of troop withdraw, it's time to stop running for the Bushies. AND What the HELL does Reid think that Bush is doing right now. He's already praticing nasty tricks against Dems. Saying every nasty thing he knows how to say. That's why you hit Bush with every legal defense you got and you NEVER, EVER let up. With Bush and Cheney, Dems have to stop letting Bush's nasty spin go unchallenged. Dish it back to Bush as nasty Bush has been dishing out to Dems. Stop playing the victim for once and all.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 19, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

As Colbert pointed out, at Regent, you only need study one book. All their graduates are summa as God is reckoned by this administration.

Posted by: TJM on April 19, 2007 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

You all have to understand. They have to make room for Regent University graduates. They can't give their jobs to lawyers from Harvard or Yale.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 19, 2007 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Boo hoo. You mean young liberals might have to go out and get a real job in the private sector? I can see why democrats wouldn't like it. Real-life experience might turn young liberals into conservatives.

Posted by: Al on April 19, 2007 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Back in late December of 1998, as the then-majority congressional Republicans recklessly prepared to pursue strictly along party lines several articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton -- despite the voters' clear message to the contrary in the just-concluded '98 midterm elections -- Democratic Rep. John Conyers most pointedly and presciently warned his power-drunk GOP colleagues to "beware the wrath of the American people."

Sadly, it's readily apparent that they have resolutely failed to ever seriously consider the serious long-term consequences of their mindless political militancy.

While we might not yet be on the actual road to major civil unrest and political upheaval, as long as these partisan clowns in the White House are left to their own devices, we're most certainly approaching the off-ramp at an accelerating speed.

The now-minority but still defiantly militant Republicans better start asking themselves in very short order if that is really the direction they want to go.

Because if they arrogantly continue to provoke not only America's proverbial silent majority but the rest of the world as well, the inevitable and richly deserved pushback will be such that the GOP itself may not survive intact that potentially violent confrontation.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 19, 2007 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Real-life experience might turn young liberals into conservatives. Posted by: Al

Or in your case, know-nothing blowhards.

Posted by: DJ on April 19, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's title "True Believers" is an appropriate title for this post. You are shown an anonymous letter. There's no confirmation of its accuracy. But, it reflects badly on the Bush Administration, so you believe it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

And I'm sure when the truth of this is confirmed (as it will be, since it merely substantiates what's been quite clear for a long time),"ex-liberal" will be back to apologize for this inane comment. Right.

Kevin really needs to recruit a better class of troll. The current ones are so boringly lame and predictable.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 19, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Boo hoo. You mean young liberals might have to go out and get a real job in the private sector? I can see why democrats wouldn't like it. Real-life experience might turn young liberals into conservatives.

So....your great counterpoint to all off this is that it's not of concern becaus it's 'not a real job'?

And ex-liberal (a laughable name as it were; from what I've seen, I can't imagine you ever were a liberal just from the amount of kool kid, kool-aid thought you spew on a regular basis), this letter seems to be credible enough that the Judiciary Committee is looking into it, not to mention it fits well with other questionable things that have been going on in the Justice Dept. as of late.

Posted by: Kryptik on April 19, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Why waste money for an Office of Deputy Attorney General?

They could save by outsourcing this vetting to Jay Sekelow and his American Center for Law and Justice - He can even argue any of their cases, such as abortion, before the Supreme Court - As Jay is gloating in helping with that hideous decision regarding partial births, he would be more than happy in placing Pat Robertson's Stamp of Approval on the foreheads of the truly committed and the mark of Cain on any moderate or liberal.

Jay is presently attempting to have the Senate only allow "Say Hall-a-loo" type Chaplains in the military. Any other faith need not apply.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 19, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

It strikes me as just extending the K Street project to the Justice Department.

Posted by: anandine on April 19, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Al: You mean young liberals might have to go out and get a real job in the private sector?

You mean these young 'shrink the size of the government small enough to drown it in the bathtub' conservatives want to work for the government? You'd think that working in the private sector would be a conservative applicant's dream...

You are shown an anonymous letter. There's no confirmation of its accuracy.

ex-libby: True...But as the letter suggests, the matter is worth investigation, after which the accuracy of the letter will be established.

But y'all have to admit that it looks pretty bad; another example of the intentional politicization of government functions to benefit one party instead of the nation as a whole.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 19, 2007 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

grape-crush: But y'all have to admit that it looks pretty bad; another example of the intentional politicization of government functions to benefit one party instead of the nation as a whole.

You have a point, grape_crush. I wonder whether this is anything new. Did the Clinton Justice Department appoint people with conservative backgrounds?

krytik, I had a faultless liberal background, including:

-- attending a March on Washington to hear Martin Luther King speak
-- long time member of ACLU
-- long time member of NAACP
-- regular donor to National Committee for an Effective Congress (a fund-raising group for liberal Congressmen and Senators)
-- campaign worker for Eugene McCarthy
-- anti war protestor at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement
-- participated in anti war march led by Pete Segar.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

I had a faultless liberal background

Posted by: rea on April 19, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Try that again:

I had a faultless liberal background

those freaks was right when they
said you was you was dead
the one mistake you made was
in your head
how do you sleep?
ah how do you sleep at night?
you live with straights who tell
you you was king
jum when your mamma tell
you anything
the only thing you done was
yesterday
and since you've gone it's just
another day
how do you sleep?

Posted by: rea on April 19, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Sorry if I remain doubtful. I've heard and seen no end of concern trolling from people who claimed, as you put it, 'faultless liberal background(s)', only to go off on screeds that read like talking points from The O'Reilly Factor. Some of them come off as well meaning. Some of them come off as bitter 'ex-liberals'. You know, kind of like you.

And I distrust their liberal credentials just as much as I distrust yours, simply because if you had as faultless of a liberal background as you claim...I have a difficult time wondering what could have caused you to become such an unabashed, liberal-bashing Bushite.

Posted by: Kryptik on April 19, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Then presumably ex-lib could spell Pete Seeger's name correctly. From his/her timeline, ex-liberal was last a "liberal" almost 40 years ago. The stupidity of this is that when ex-liberal was a liberal, David Horowitz was a wild-eyed left-wing revolutionary.

Posted by: Tom S on April 19, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

>"But here's the point: the incompetence is the ideology; the ideology is the incompetence. They simply could not have done a better job, and have remained true to their principles."

Tip of the hat... a very insightful post from FranklyO.

One must remember that for many of these people a world in smoking ruins is a 'successful' outcome.

Posted by: Buford on April 19, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Aphorism:

To build a third world country you first need a third world judiciary.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 19, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Tom S. From his/her timeline, ex-liberal was last a "liberal" almost 40 years ago. The stupidity of this is that when ex-liberal was a liberal, David Horowitz was a wild-eyed left-wing revolutionary.

Pretty close. As I recall, I first voted for a Republican President in 1972 or 1976.

Kryptik: I have a difficult time wondering what could have caused you to become such an unabashed, liberal-bashing Bushite.

A tenet of 1950's liberalism was that capitalism and Communism were both flawed systems, with the best system being somewhere in between. I visited East Berlin and West Berlin in 1963, and discovered just much better capitalism was than Communism. West Berlin was prosperous and active. It was like Manhattan. East Berlin was downtrodden. There was still WW2 damage on the buildings. And, the fact that the government shot people who were trying to leave affected me. I remember walking through East Berlin carefully holding on to my American passport, knowing that I could leave whenever I felt like, while the people around me were trapped.

Reading editorials in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The WSJ had by far the better of those debates. Even when I agreed with the Times, their position was usually not argued well.

I recall being shocked by a particular decision of the California Supreme, Lie v. Yellow Cab in around 1974 or 1975. The decision carefully explained why the law was all on one side. Then, it said: We're the SC, so we can do as we please, and it came down on the other side.

Ronald Reagan's success in fixing the economy and winning the Cold War helped solidify my new beliefs.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

What is surprising here? The corruption of the Honors Program by Ashcroft is fairly well-known; that the media has only picked up on it now is the real scandal (well, maybe not the real scandal, but you get my point...)

Posted by: dclaw on April 19, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "Real-life experience might turn young liberals into conservatives."

Although outright fantasy has worked just as well for you!

Posted by: Kenji on April 19, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal": I had a faultless liberal background

From G.B. Shaw's Man and Superman:

RAMSDEN: [touched on his most sensitive point] I deny that. I will not allow you or any man to treat me as if I were a mere member of the British public. I detest its prejudices; I scorn its narrowness; I demand the right to think for myself. You pose as an advanced man. Let me tell you that I was an advanced man before you were born.

TANNER: I knew it was a long time ago.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on April 19, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Joeis: "What's the matter, can't stand it that Bush is a product of Yale and Harvard?"

Uh, no. He is a graduate. Speaking as a long time college prof, let me tell you a product is something different. His profs remember him as the same smirking cheat we all know now.

Posted by: Bob M on April 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

The irony being that it's the Right always carrying about "politcal correctness" while, behind the curtain, they raise it to to the level of a fine art.

Sweaty, drunken senator to frightened intern:Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Democrat Party?

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Personally, I like the "ex-liberal" moniker especially given his comments. It helps remind me, whenever I start to backslide, that the years I spent supporting Republicans were wasted everytime I look at or hear GwB.
My conservative Republican credentials were tarnished a little by the fact that I never voted for a Bush because neither was a Republican, but leaving that aside the theories of smaller, competent government to let people live as they choose are important to me.

Bush pere was bad enough but the GwB and his henchmen fly in the face of Republican values on such a regular basis it is stunning that 30% still believe in him and/or his mission (I suspect it is more the latter).

GwB is a Crusader in the medieval sense. The choices he has made, especially with regard to Iraq, have been founded on his religious beliefs, not on his weighing of evidence and the application of some reasoned judgment.
He has never wanted to reason, only to pursue policy goals with what I believe is a religious fervor. The salting of the DoJ as well as the other departments with true believers bodes badly for the future. GwB will be gone in less than 2 years, but this legacy will live on for decades.

Exactly as planned.

Posted by: TJM on April 19, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 9:08 AM:

I wonder whether this is anything new.

Nope:

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation, which sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the reconstruction effort.
"We didn't tap -- and it should have started from the White House on down -- just didn't tap the right people to do this job," said Frederick Smith, who served as the deputy director of the CPA's Washington office. "It was a tough, tough job. Instead we got people who went out there because of their political leanings."

Did the Clinton Justice Department appoint people with conservative backgrounds?

IIRC, when Clinton replaced 93(?) US District Attorneys, it was a mix of mostly Dems and some Independents and Republicans...this philosophy was reflected in other areas of the administration as well; Alan Greenspan had 'impeccable conservative credentials' according to the Washington Times and was a holdover from the Reagan and Bush 1 era...similarly, Colin Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bill Clinton.

So, no, The Clinton Analogy doesn't really apply here. But I think you know that already.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 19, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

They've been promising to run the country like a business (in this case a failing business hollowed out to the point of bankruptcy) - look around at corporate boardrooms - see any liberals?

Hell, see anything but the most hard-core Reagan/Bush?

Iron Rule of Oligarchy.

'Those who had a mind of their own, those who thought for themselves, those with a sense of honesty and fairness and decency, had a difficult time surviving the past half century of social degeneration. In other words, capitalism has actively selected for those who do not have a mind of their own, those who do not think for themselves, those open to cultural psychosis, as part and parcel of incompetence.' - Dr. Gerry Lower

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 19, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-Lib,
You're being used by evil men with bad ideas.

The letter is futher in a long list of proofs that the Republican party no longer believes in the values and practices that make Democracy possible. Their behavior is like that of Indonesia, El Salvador, or Nigeria. Corruption abetted by intimidation and group loyalty above public service or loyalty to the Constitution.

Posted by: Northern Observer on April 19, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Stupid smart kids- what they know anyway? Think they are so high and mighty. You tell'em AL!

Just because they are intelligint, no wait-- intillgent-- no, smart, they think they know so much. We'll sho them!

They're just like climitoloigists-- weather guys, thinking they know about science & global warming.

Posted by: cboas on April 19, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib:
Ronald Reagan's success in fixing the economy and winning the Cold War helped solidify my new beliefs. And, the dollar bill I found under my pillow helped solidify my belief in the tooth fairy!

But seriously: Why is it that the prosperous economy (pay no attention to all those new residents of the alley behind your building -- they choose to live there!) of the 80's is thanks to the Wisdom of Regan, and yet the prosperity of the Clinton years (which was also hollow in a number of ways) was the normal business cycle?

And how long are we going to have to listen to this myth that Reagan won the Cold War? No -- he didn't win it. What we do have to give him credit for is that, when the Soviet Union began to collapse under its own weight, he was prepared to talk to them. I'm not a Reagan fan but I do thank God it was someone like him, and not the current fake-macho occupant of the White House, that was on watch when that opportunity arose.

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

What is it going to take to get them out and have their jobs filled with competent professionals who support the Constitution and live in the reality-based world (under a Democratic administration, of course)?

Easy. These attorneys all serve at the pleasure of the President. When the next Dem Prez is elected, the first order of business should be to fire ALL unqualified AGs: all "graduates" of Regent "University". The second order of business is to go over the qualifications and reasons for the hiring of the rest under the Bush Junta: any obvious hires for political reasons (conservative, anti-Constitution, ie, anti-church/state separation). Half of the AGs should go so that a balance can be reacquired such that there are liberal/progressive/Dem-serving attorneys appointed to make up for the litmus test of BushCo.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 19, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Another option:

Next Dem Prez in 2008 should fire ALL AGs hired by BushCo. Then go back and only re-hire those who are truly competent and ethical as well as filling in many slots with proper, thinking, educated Dems and Independent AGs. Finally, appoint Patrick Fitzgerald as THE US AG.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 19, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"While I am grateful for the public service of these seven U.S. attorneys, they simply lost my confidence."
- Alberto Gonzales, March 6th, USA Today Op-Ed

"During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign."
- Alberto Gonzales, April 15, Washington Post Op-Ed

For more on the lies and contradictions of Alberto Gonzales, see:
"Gonzales' Dueling Op-Eds."

Posted by: AngryOne on April 19, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"They've been promising to run the country like a business (in this case a failing business hollowed out to the point of bankruptcy)"

Very true, their business model appears to be Enron. I'm currently reading "Conspiracy of Fools" by Kurt Eichenwald, and the similarities between Enron and the Bush administration are astonishing. In both cases, sound advice is always ignored, even if it comes from James Baker. True believers indeed.

Posted by: fostert on April 19, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

- participated in anti war march led by Pete Segar.

Sir, you are a fraud. The hippie Pete Seeger is a different proposition from that of Bob Seger, and I think you have confused the two.

Let the real conservatives do the speaking, won't you? When these liberals expose your many frauds, you bring discredit to a cause I truly care about.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Ronald Reagan's success in fixing the economy and winning the Cold War helped solidify my new beliefs.

I always knew your beliefs were based on fantasy and lies.

Thanks for confirming it.

You are shown an anonymous letter. There's no confirmation of its accuracy. But, it reflects badly on the Bush Administration, so you believe it.

ex-liberal is shown anonymous reports of "good news" from Iraq. There's no confirmation of accuracy. But it reflects well on the "surge," so ex-liberal believes it.

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Norman, sorry for confusing the spelling of the two singers, but what I said was true. Pete Seeger and the Weavers were heros to me as a teen-ager. I was devastated to learn later that Seeger was secretly a member of the Communist Party.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Quotes for the day:

Rational apprehension of dangers is necessary; fear is not. - Bertrand Russell

Aldous Huxley that "facts do not cease to exist because they're ignored".

"Keep company with those who are seeking truth, but RUN from those who have found it." -- Vaclav Havel

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 19, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "I had a faultless liberal background"

You are a liar. You have again and again proved yourself to be a deliberate and utterly conscienceless liar. Every reader of these pages who is familiar with your writing knows very well that you are a deliberate liar.

Even Norman Rogers recognizes that you are a deliberate liar: "When these liberals expose your many frauds, you bring discredit to a cause I truly care about."

There is no reason to believe that your list of "liberal" activities is anything other than another one of your deliberate lies, indeed a whole list of deliberate lies.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Even Norman Rogers recognizes that you are a deliberate liar:

Yes, and I'm a parody!

[not!]

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 19, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK
Let's not confuse Conservative with neo-conservative. I'm not a fan of either, but Conservative is about "slowing down change" while neo-cons are about accelerating change to an evangelical world.

This is wrong, in both the description of conservatism and the description of neoconservatism.

Conservatism is, and has been since it arose as the resistance to classical liberalism, the political ideology that seeks, as much as possible, to maintain and entrench the power of the existing privileged class, and to keep that privileged class as narrow as possible. Conservative rhetoric is often centered around slowing changing, moderating change, maintaining tradition, preserving religion, etc., but its highly selective in which changes it wants to slow, which elements of tradition and religion it wants to protect and which it wants to ignore, etc. It is all about keeping power concentrated in a narrow elite.

Neoconservatism is simply a form of conservatism whose rhetoric has been shaped (oddly enough) both by Bolshevism (from which it gets the image of its narrow elite as the vanguard of a revolutionary transformation in global society) and classical liberalism (from which it has, with great selectivity, adapted its economic rhetoric.)

Neoconservatism is not particularly attached, either in terms of rhetoric or substantive ideology, to evangelical or fundamentalist Christianity, though the present Administration is strongly influenced by both the Christian Right and the Neoconservative factions within the Republican Party, and many of the administrations policies and statements blend the interests and rhetoric of those factions, which may make it appear that the two factions are more fundamentally linked than they actually are.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 19, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK
Next Dem Prez in 2008 should fire ALL AGs hired by BushCo.

There is only one AG ("Attorney-General"). If you mean US Attorneys, well, like most political appointees, they tend to be replaced with new administrations with maybe a handful out of the nearly 100 carried over, anyway. None of what you are suggesting is any different from what normally happens with a change of administration.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 19, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK
Uh, no. He is a graduate. Speaking as a long time college prof, let me tell you a product is something different. His profs remember him as the same smirking cheat we all know now.

He is a product of the legacy systems there, both formal and informal, which is no less a fundamental aspect of those institutions than the quality instruction they provide for those interested and able to learn.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 19, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

He is a product of the legacy systems there which of course is nothing like that nasty affirmative action.

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I was devastated to learn later that Seeger was secretly a member of the Communist Party.

I was devasted to learn that ex-liberal was once a liberal.

Thank God the left got rid of that blight.

Yes, Seeger's choice to support America's workers against abuse and exploitation by corporate America was a horrific immorality.

BTW, Seeger left the Communist Party in 1950, as did a lot of other communists after Stalin's atrocities were revealed.

On the other hand, ex-liberal continues to support the GOP and Bush, even after their atrocities have been revealed.

How, well, revealing.

Pete Seeger had more integrity in his pinkie (yuk-yuk) than ex-liberal has in 'his' entire being.

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, my mom visited East Berlin in the 1970s, too, and she's still as liberal as ever. Why? She has more to live for than just following whichever politician was willing to whip up anti-Communist (or, in this case, anti-Muslim) paranoia the loudest... the very basis of conservatism these days has rested on nothing more than creating an enemy to be against. My mom is a much more complex thinker.

That and she could see that Republicans were corrupt and served the interests of the rich, rather than the rest of the country, appealed to racism and are completely incompetent.

For someone who claims to have liberal bona-fides, all of your screeds read as nothing more than a set of faxed talking points from the RNC. You lack the capacity for independent thought, and you serve as a mindless, repititious apologist for the Bush administration. You've spent the last 6 years failing every single moral test placed in front of you. That's pretty much pissing away anything good in your life.

Posted by: Tyro on April 19, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

He is a product of the legacy systems there, both formal and informal, which is no less a fundamental aspect of those institutions than the quality instruction they provide for those interested and able to learn.

The legacy system has awarded prestigious diplomas to smirking morons. It has also resulted in huge endowments by which elite schools provide a free ride to students from low income families.

Another one of those two-sided coins.

Posted by: paypal on April 19, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK
...these guys have so little intelligence or education they have no idea... notthere at 1:31 AM
They know exactly what they are doing and they have been working diligently toward their goal.
....There's no confirmation of its accuracy...ex-lax at 8:33 AM
The confirmation is in the deeds, not the words, of the Bush regime.
Did the Clinton Justice Department appoint people with conservative backgrounds....ex-lax at 9:08 AM
Actually, partisanship was not a criteria for previous administrations.
....Ronald Reagan's success in fixing the economy and winning the Cold War... ex-lax at 9:52 AM
The worst recession since the Great Depression, the largest tax increase in history, and the largest deficits in history up to that day certainly were impressive achievements.
.... this myth that Reagan won the Cold War...thersites at 10:34 AM
It's their desperation for a Republican hero. All they have are crooks and scoundrels like Grant, Harding, Hoover, Nixon, and, to judge by the number of administration indictments , Reagan. Posted by: Mike on April 19, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Part of me is outraged by the DoJ's performance in this situation, but part of me is pleased that folks from law schools other than Harvard and Yale are being considered for DoJ positions.

I rub shoulders with lots of lawyers every day, including a partner who graduated from Havard and my associate who is a Michigan graduate (one of the traditional top 5 schools), and in day to day practice it is hard to perceive a significant difference between them and the graduates of any of the other top 100 schools. I guess there is but it is like telling the difference between a 290 hitter and a 310 hitter. One might make the hall of fame, but both will make your team. The smartest lawyer I ever encountered graduated from Columbia Law. He moved to my hometown from a big New York firm because he wanted to raise his daughters in a town with grass lawns. Some of the most successful lawyers I know graduated from a school that seems to bounce in and out of the top 100 depending on state funding.

In addition I think it is good that movement conservatives, who generally lack any real understanding of the world outside their insulated little community, are being given a chance to encounter people of diverse backgrounds.

The problem of course is that Harvard and Yale graduates are often in need of the cold slap in the face that comes from deciding who is a real criminal in need of vigorous prosecution and who is a poor dumb schmoe in need of a second chance.

Oh well, this administration will only last a couple of more years.

I do disapprove of excluding anyone with a "liberal" background or giving religious people any preference.

I guess what I am trying to say is the experience opportunities for young lawyers needs to be broadened, not deepened.

Damn, I don't sound much like an elitist liberal anymore. Maybe I am just a populist liberal.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 19, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ron: In addition I think it is good that movement conservatives, who generally lack any real understanding of the world outside their insulated little community, are being given a chance to encounter people of diverse backgrounds.

If they are weeding out people who don't conform to a very narrow and rigid subset of the already narrow and rigid GOP ideology, then exactly how are these folks getting exposed to diversity?

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

So, Gonzales, after seeing that his lies about the DOJ informing Lam about so-called immigration problems aren't going to fool anyone starts claiming she knew because members of Congress told her.

So, who is running the DOJ, Gonzales or members of Congress?

And if it is the latter, then why can't members of Congress rehire the fired USAs?

And why should Gonzales keep his job if he isn't doing it, but letting members of Congress do it?

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

If they are weeding out people who don't conform to a very narrow and rigid subset of the already narrow and rigid GOP ideology, then exactly how are these folks getting exposed to diversity?
Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007

Good point.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 19, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a good question:

"General Gonzales, you earlier stated that Carol Lam was told by members of Congress that she wasn't performing well on immigration. Now, where I come from, the employee's boss evaluates the employee and informs the employee of any problems with that performance. Were GOP members of Congress Carol Lam's boss or were you? Why did you allow someone else not even associated with the DOJ do your job?

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

AP: At one point, according to officials familiar with the meeting, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Democrats had no intention of leaving the troops without funds and noted that gives Bush enormous leverage to bend Congress to his will. He said he hoped some sort of accommodation could be worked out and gave the president an op-ed article making the case for requiring the Iraqi government to make political reforms.

Bush responded by saying he had invented so-called benchmarks for political reforms, one official said.

Dictionary:

bench·mark(bnchmärk)
n.
1. A standard by which something can be measured or judged.

Princess Bush:

bench·mark(bnchmärk)
n.
1. A standard for the Iraqi government by which something could be measured or judged, but by which nothing will ever be measured or judged as long as I am president.

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain gave an intriguing campaign promise at a VFW hall in South Carolina, the Associated Press reports: To be more transparent about Iraq by holding biweekly public briefings. "I would tell them exactly what the battlefield scenario is," McCain said, in an obvious contrast with the opacity of the Bush Administration's approach these past few years.

Oooooh, I'm tingly all over.

McCain is going to regularly lie about the situation in Iraq, rather than follow the Princess Bush pattern of irregularly lying about the situation in Iraq.

Ooooooh, goose bumps.

McCain: "transparent" means "multiple layers and frequent construction of lies that mask the true situation."

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

MsNThrope: Aldous Huxley that "facts do not cease to exist because they're ignored".

If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

Four, because calling a tail a leg don't make it one.

(Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and who knows? It might be his.)

Posted by: anandine on April 19, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: BTW, Seeger left the Communist Party in 1950, as did a lot of other communists after Stalin's atrocities were revealed.

I'm fairly sure you're wrong, but haven't got time to look it up right now. I believe he was a member until the late 1950's at least.

Also, I'm quite positive that he hadn't made his membership (present or past) known to the public until much, much later.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 19, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'm fairly sure you're wrong, but haven't got time to look it up right now. I believe he was a member until the late 1950's at least. Also, I'm quite positive that he hadn't made his membership (present or past) known to the public until much, much later.

Well, as usual you have your facts completely wrong, which should come as no surprise to you or anyone else here. From wiki:

Seeger left the Communist Party in 1950, five years before Nikita Khrushchev's Secret speech revealed Stalin's crimes and led to a mass exodus from the Party. "I realized I could sing the same songs I sang whether I belonged to the Communist Party or not, and I never liked the idea anyway of belonging to a secret organization."[10] He became an anti-Stalinist but remained a Socialist.

Seeger was hauled before the House Committee on un-American activities in 1955 for having been a Communist, so his former political affiliation was no secret to anyone but you.

Posted by: ex-whig on April 19, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal," you're a proven liar, so what you assert or claim to believe isn't worth a bucket of piss.

Nice bullshit narrative you've constructed for yourself. But all we need to know about you is what you demonstrate with every post: You're a dishonest neocon toad.

Posted by: Gregory on April 19, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Seeger left the Communist Party in 1950 ... Seeger was hauled before the House Committee on un-American activities in 1955 for having been a Communist, so his former political affiliation was no secret to anyone but you.

ex-liberal, I believe the expression that all the kids are using these days is "pwned."

Posted by: Tyro on April 19, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure there were perfectly good reasons to eliminate a bunch of ivy-league educated candidates from consideration aside from their apparent links to "liberal" causes or politicians. And I bet listening to those reasons would be hilarious to listen to.

Posted by: The Political Gamer on April 19, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly