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More On Those Fired US Attorneys

Kim posted earlier about the recent firing of the eight US attorneys. I have not blogged about it before now because I learned back in 1993 that it was no big deal when Bill Clinton fired 93 US Attorneys when he took office, including at least one that was working on investigations into his dealings in Arkansas. Even as weary as I am of the Clintons, when I heard a few US attorneys were fired that was the first thought that came to mind.

Followed, of course, by the remembrance of the firing of the White House Travel Office by the Clintons to make room for a Clinton cousin. It is hard not to immediately think of Bill Dale when the subject of White House firings is raised. (For those too young to remember Travelgate, check out Barbara Olson's book, Hell to Pay.)

Pointing to the other side's behavior does not constitute an argument in defense of the recent firings. I don't know whether or not the recent firings were deserved, but it is the prerogative of the President to fire them if they were not performing to his satisfaction. The fact that few media reports include a reference to the Clinton firings is a much more important story, in my opinion, than the firings themselves. The breathless reporting of the (cue sinister music) firings gives the impression, to anyone who doesn't know anything about politics or similar actions by previous administrations, that some horrible crime has been committed and that this is a serious scandal. The mainstream media is actively misleading their audiences by leaving out relevant information and context by refusing to reference activities of the previous administration.

When I hear a bunch of liberals in the political arena and in the media jumping up and down all indignant about something that pales in comparison to some of the things that went on during the previous administration, I have a hard time taking them seriously. If it was not deemed wrong when Bill Clinton did it, then I certainly don't see how it can be viewed as wrong now. Sorry, but I am just not sensing any authenticity in this recent liberal/media outrage.

"Reality Check" found the following:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared on five broadcast and cable network TV morning shows to comment on the sudden media-manufactured "crisis" that the Justice Department fired eight U.S. Attorneys, political appointees of the President. None of the Gonzales interviewers - at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and FNC - ever mentioned that the Clinton administration fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in 1993. How can firing eight be a "crisis" and firing 93 be not worth a solitary mention?

Hillary Needs a Vacation looks at how ridiculously hypocritical (and bold) it is for Hillary Clinton to be critical of the firings.

Stories like this not only show the true bias of a media out to get the current President, but also show how secure those in the media and Democrats like Hillary Clinton are that their double standards and hypocrisy will not be exposed. Thanks to people like Brent Bozell and others in the new media, they are being exposed. Now the question is whether or not they will be exposed in the mainstream media or if the facts will remain hidden from the viewers of ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.

Update: Patterico has a post about the emails which provide evidence that the firings were not motivated by a desire to affect political investigations.


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Comments (122)

Barbara, oh my Barbara.<br ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Barbara, oh my Barbara.
=============

Since some people like to b... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Since some people like to bring up Sandy Berger. Wasn't he the National Security Advisor in the Executive Office of the President of the United States during Clinton and he was sworn in and testified to the 9/11 Commission.

Does this mean that there are times when White House staff do appear for testimony? Can anyone let me know if this train of thought is wrong in some way?

Nice discussion elsewhere t... (Below threshold)
kim:

Nice discussion elsewhere that demonstrated the necessity of political involvement at that level in order to prevent much further abuses of the judicial process. Who wants a judiciary not subject to recall?
========================

I regret the term 'judiciar... (Below threshold)
kim:

I regret the term 'judiciary' in my previous post. It is a sloppy use. Who want prosecutorial power not subject to recall? Furthermore, if the prosecutors are not subject to the will of the executive, how is the executive supposed to carry out his duty to see that the laws are enforced?
================

I admit that I haven't foll... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I admit that I haven't followed this story, but the little that I have seen doesn't seem to indicate anything worthy of the buzz. This may turn out to provide a good litmus test for an outlets reporting biases.

Look at the Durham travesty... (Below threshold)
Wethal:

Look at the Durham travesty where four college kids were accused of rape by a lying, dopehead, racist whore and an unscrupulous prosecutor (who's now being investigated by the state ethics board) decided to expoloit that for political gain.

And we don't need a mechanism for removing inept prosecutors?

"If competence and performa... (Below threshold)
Allen:

"If competence and performance were the reasons for the terminations, why did Justice wait almost two years to do anything about it?" I continue to think that the real story is not WHO is behind the firings, but WHY. It sounds like there was some serious criminal activity going on that the admin did not want disrupted by justice

This isn't analogous to Cli... (Below threshold)
steve sturm:

This isn't analogous to Clinton's wholesale changes... there's a difference between firing everybody at the start of a Presidency and firing a relative handful halfway through a President's second term.

Having said that, if the Bush Administration had its act together and wasn't so darned incompetent, this would have been a non-issue from day two. Even the Washington Post has acknowledged that there isn't necessarily anything wrong with the substance of what Bush did.

Bush's problems here can be attributed to the sheer incompetence of his Administration. They simply don't have their collective act together. When the right hand contradicts the left hand time and time again, when, for example, Gonzales says one thing to Congress at the very same time his then-Chief of Staff is planning something else, is it any wonder that the MSM goes after the story?

The entire 6+ years of Bush's time in office has been marked by one episode after another of Bush's inept handling of situations that come up... Plame, the Dubai ports deal, Abu Ghraib, Katrina, and Mother Cindy, to name but a few. Each of these was allowed to explode into huge problems because Bush and his team didn't have their act together and didn't respond in a way that

You'd think Bush would be smart enough to know that you just don't give ammunition to those out to get you... but, as he has shown, as his critics have long claimed, he isn't that smart.

Re: AllenDoes thin... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Re: Allen

Does thinking really require so much effort that you simply repost the same inane comment in the different posts ?

http://wizbangblog.com/2007/03/13/about-those-fired-us-attorneys.php#504839

It's also a bit disingenous... (Below threshold)
eric:

It's also a bit disingenous to say "Clinton did it" with the firing of all USAs when Bush did it himself. The eyebrow-raising part is that Miers suggested they do it AGAIN in '04 and, when shot down, proceeded with the targeted replacement program.

I asked this question in th... (Below threshold)

I asked this question in the last thread, but never got an answer. How many US Attorneys did G. W. Bush replace when he came into office? How about Reagan? (we'll skip Bush I, since that was one Republican administration following another one). I think that the scandal here is not just that these Attorneys were fired for political reasons but that the Justice Department handled it so incompentently. They've certainly turned 7 loyal Republicans into bitter enemies with their now uncovered lies about the replacements. If there was no scandal here, why lie about it to Congress? Or is that just the standard Bush White House policy? Even Bush now says "Mistakes were made..." Why does that sound so familiar?

I'm so glad you broght up TravelGate as well. I know that I am personally a lot more troubled when White House Travel Office officials are replaced with politcial hacks then when US Attorneys are. Travel Office staffing is critical to truth, justice, and the American way. If those positions aren't filled by the best and brightest, the Secretary of State might be late to a brunch in Idaho. What do US Attorneys ever do that is of importance?

This isn't analogous to ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

This isn't analogous to Clinton's wholesale changes... there's a difference between firing everybody at the start of a Presidency and firing a relative handful halfway through a President's second term.

Clinton fired them all to mask the removal of the US Attorney from Arkansas, who interested in Clinton affairs.

And you know what?

If it was personal or political-

IT STILL DOESN'T MATTER. BUSH CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS.

This is the civics thing that liberals just seem not to be able to grasp.

The fact that few media ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The fact that few media reports include a reference to the Clinton firings is a much more important story, in my opinion, than the firings themselves.
Lorie Byrd

Shouldn't you hold yourself to the same standard and say Bush replaced all the US attornies as well upon entering office?

... but it is the prerogative of the President to fire them if they were not performing to his satisfaction.
Lorie Byrd

This is true. But if the president's perogative is to pursue non-existant voter fraud and corruption charges (2004 Washington State Governor's race/ Bob Menendez corruption story pre-election?) or to press for rushed indictments against Dems (NM), then it is the US attornies duty to resist these requests. And if the Administration ends up firing them, when their performance evaluations (for some) say they were performing well, then the Administration must be able to justify that the firings were not for political reasons and they did not interfere with an ongoing investigation (Duke Cunningham). They certainly have not met that standard, so investigation of the issue continues, as it should.

None of the Gonzales interviewers - at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and FNC - ever mentioned that the Clinton administration fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in 1993.
"Reality Check"

CNN Transcript

O'BRIEN: But this is an important personnel matter, unprecedented levels of firings of U.S. attorneys. It is a big deal, isn't it?

GONZALES: Well, you know, it's not unusual for when you have a new president to come on board to have a number of U.S. attorney removals --

O'BRIEN: Yeah, but we're talking mid-term. We're talking mid- term, deep into a -- you know, we're talking the end of the first administration, the beginning of the second go round.

Now they didn't mention Clinton explicitly, but they are certainly hinting at the notion. And again, even if you do, Bush did the same thing when he entered office, that is not unusual.

Stories like this not only show the true bias of a media out to get the current President ...
Lorie Byrd

You're right, they also show that conservatives are willing to bend over backwards to defend the current president under any and all circumstances, no matter the undoubtedly unethical behavior.

[I know...
Clinton.]

It is now clear that Albert... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

It is now clear that Alberto lied to Congress. FIrst he said politics would play no role in firing or hiring prosecutors, then the eight were fired for performance issues, and one was replaced by a political hack. Now we know (from emails) that prosecutes were ranked by "loyalty" to the President. We know that just a couple of days after Lan opened an investigation on Jerry (pretty lay-die) Lewis that she was targeted for firing.

Now Alberto is backing-off from the "performance" reason for the firing, and was not aware of what his chief of staff was doing.

According to one of the emails, it is very rare to fire your own appointed prosecutors in mid term.

SO what is it, did politics play a role or not?

IT STILL DOESN'T MATTER.... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

IT STILL DOESN'T MATTER. BUSH CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS.
drjohn

Not in a democracy he can't. That is what the 2006 elections were about: oversight.

Another REPUBLICAN speaks o... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Another REPUBLICAN speaks out on the matter.

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa said Wednesday he was "outraged" that executive branch officials recently gave a congressional hearing misleading and inaccurate testimony based on information that both the Department of Justice and the White House knew to be untrue.
"We can soft-pedal it a lot of ways, but Congress was lied to," Issa, R-Vista, said in a Wednesday phone interview from his Washington office....
He said that if Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had any role in false information being given to Congress, "he should not be able to continue in his job."

sean nyc:Not in a... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

sean nyc:
Not in a democracy he can't. .

Newsflash:
The U.S. of A is not a democracy. Never has been. Never was intended to be. Now about the need for civics lessons...

The possibility that presen... (Below threshold)
jpe:

The possibility that presents a problem isn't that attorneys were fired, but why; ie, the attorneys were fired because they prosecuted people from the GOP and not enough Dems in time for the '06 election.

That's not such a complicated argument; how'd you miss it?

These wer not inept prosecu... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

These wer not inept prosecutors, they were prosecutors who weren't operating according to the wishes of the presidents (Rove's) agenda. None had poor performance reviews.

Custom also has it that attorney's in the middle of cases are not "fired" for a preferred "political replacement". wihtout some sort of poor review.

This is George Bush politics as usual and the right wing fundies here have nothing better to do all day then to try to defend the further degredation of something we used to call a democratic republic.

These fundies are seriously undermining any real chance we have of keeping this republic a functioning state. If they really think that they will take the rest of us down without a fight they are sadly mistaken.

Mike,Inane comment... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Mike,

Inane comment? Post the same message in different places. First, it's not inane. Second you're right, and I'll probably keep doing it until you get the message.

None of us knows the real reasons for the firings. Hopefully the hearings will bring that out. If it's what the lefties are saying, and the righties are denying, oh well. However if it's the other way then, oh well.

But you can still blame Clinton, right? Neither Regan or Clinton fired USAs during their second term as this President has. So don't get your undies in a wad, let's see what the hearing brings out.

Alberto Gonzales and The Wh... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Alberto Gonzales and The White House just handed the Democrats a potent talking point --

'apparently, it's the Republicans that want "activist judges."'

Civil Behavior wrote:... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Civil Behavior wrote:
"Custom also has it that attorney's in the middle of cases are not "fired" for a preferred "political replacement". wihtout some sort of poor review."

Clearly CB has absolutely no idea what the work of a U. S. Attorney is, so a hint is in order. Think - administration, management. These people don't step into a court room unless it's something like , say, a big, attention grabbing drug case.

But don't let that stop you from voicing your opinion CB.

Newsflash: The U.... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Newsflash:
The U.S. of A is not a democracy. Never has been. Never was intended to be. Now about the need for civics lessons...

_Mike_

Semantics - democracy/representative republic, does it change the point of my statement?

By the way, it should be U.S. of A., not U.S. of A (no period). And your following two sentences do not have subjects. I can play that (pointless) game too.

So did Clinton firing the U... (Below threshold)
kim:

So did Clinton firing the US Attorney limit the probe into Rostenkowski?
===============

Semantics - democracy/re... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Semantics - democracy/representative republic, does it change the point of my statement?

The difference between tyranny and a freedom is hardly a semantic argument, but thanks for proving my point that you fail to understand the difference.

It doesn't change the point. You're equally wrong either way. The attorney's are political appointees. Their appointment is a political power that belongs to the Executive branch.


By the way, it should be U.S. of A., not U.S. of A (no period). And your following two sentences do not have subjects. I can play that (pointless) game too.

Yes. Congratulations. You discovered a typo. Of course, starting a sentence with a conjunction, of which you're very fond, is consider poor grammar.

Also, the following is a run-on sentence (comma splice:
You're right, they also show

So, if we're done with elementary school grammar...


Every prosecutor appointed ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Every prosecutor appointed by Clinton was nominated and approved.

Bush is using the Patriot Act to appoint prosecutors, without confirmation review, based on their political ideology.

The Patriot Act is for the protection of Americans against foreign treats, and was not intended as a political tool.

First the abuses at the FBI and now this. Shame on you Mr. bush!

The difference between t... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The difference between tyranny and a freedom is hardly a semantic argument, but thanks for proving my point that you fail to understand the difference.

It doesn't change the point. You're equally wrong either way. The attorney's are political appointees. Their appointment is a political power that belongs to the Executive branch.
_Mike_

So democracy=tyranny in your world? No wonder Iraq is having such trouble.

Also, what about all the talk by the Administration to "spread democracy" and "democracy taking root in the Middle East" or whatever rhetoric it is they throw around? In your world, since democracy=tyranny, our whole exercise in Iraq is pointless since tyranny is what already existed.

And my point, which apparently you missed, is not about whether the president should be the branch to appoint USAs. The Executive should have that authority. But this story is not about appointing new USAs, it's about why were the old USAs fired. Congress has the responsibility to investigate a situation where there may have been political motivation to replace them. Again, the administration has not sufficiently shown there was not and that the firings did not interfere with an ongoing investigation.

If you don't recognize the need for Congressional oversight, maybe you should be the one to go back to civics class.

The Rostenkowski probe was ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

The Rostenkowski probe was continued by the "new" attorney and he was prosectuted.

All of Richard Mellon Scaife's millions failed to turn up any significant wrongdoing in Arkansas, or anywhere else for that matter, by Clinton so the claim that his '93 mass firing of USAs was to "mask" something is just another baseless claim rocketing around the right wing echo chamber.

This is about one thing and... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This is about one thing and one thing only. This is about a group of people who lost their jobs. The reasons they lost their jos is quite immaterial. The Left can scream and yell about whether it is fair or not, and it doesn't matter. The Presidnet has the power to remove the US Attorneys if he chooses. He can remove them if he doesn't like their haircuts. He can remove them on the first day or the last day. It does't matter; it's in his power.

The reason that this is a brouhaha is that these people have learned that, if you don't like a decision, the first thing you should do is run to the media. You run to the media and start screaming about how you were abused. The media won't care about the truth. They'll only care about what will make headlines. The attorneys knew that and took advantage of it.

As for Republicans coming out condemning the firings, I put no faith in any of their statements. They are looking for political cover. They know that the President is somewhat unpopular, so they feel the smart play is to be on the opposite side from him. You can see where that gets you. Rght now, on the Democratic side, the Presidential candidates are scrambling to disavow their votes on the Iraq War. When they cast the votes, it was politically expedient. Now, it is a liability. Some of the contortions the candidates have gone through is downright hilarious.

So if Rostenkowski was guil... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

So if Rostenkowski was guilty, why no lib outrage when he got pardoned?

How many from Whitewater were convicted, does any lib remember?

FYI:3-2.120 Appoin... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

FYI:

3-2.120 Appointment United States Attorneys are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate for a four-year term. See 28 U.S.C. Sec. 541. Upon expiration of this term, the United States Attorney continues to perform the duties of the office until a successor is confirmed. United States Attorneys are subject to removal at the will of the President. See Parsons v. United States, 167 U.S. 314 (1897).

Sean nyc:So democ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Sean nyc:
So democracy=tyranny in your world?

Democracy = tyranny of the majority. The Founding Fathers understood this even though you, apparently, don't. (yes, this is a pet peeve of mine)

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. - Thomas Jefferson


And my point, which apparently you missed, is not about whether the president should be the branch to appoint USAs. The Executive should have that authority. But this story is not about appointing new USAs, it's about why were the old USAs fired. Congress has the responsibility to investigate a situation where there may have been political motivation to replace them. Again, the administration has not sufficiently shown there was not and that the firings did not interfere with an ongoing investigation.

You're arguing that political appointments, for which the Executive branch requires no Congressional approval for either appointment or dismissal, hasn't proven that the Executive hasn't not done something wrong (double negative intentional) ? (i.e. guilty until proven innocent). You've summarized the manufactured scandal quite succinctly.

"The Presidnet has the powe... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"The Presidnet has the power to remove the US Attorneys if he chooses. He can remove them if he doesn't like their haircuts. He can remove them on the first day or the last day. It does't matter; it's in his power." Steve

There are at least three problems with this statement:
-IF true, then just fire the attorneys without reason and move on. Don't say it was because of performance.

-There is still a moral compass to follow, is it OK to fire a female Attorney because she refused to fuck the President, or because the Prez found out an Attorney was black?

-The President did not fire anyone, Gonzo did. According to the President, he knew of problems and passed those concerns to Gonzo but did not provide any names or any orders to fire any one.

SO, it was not the Presidents purgative, it was the AG's

"I continue to think tha... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"I continue to think that the real story is not WHO is behind the firings, but WHY."

Bingo, baby!

WHY these eight?

WHAT cases were they were working on?

WHO was under investigation?

WHY did Harriet Meirs abruptly resign?

There is a lot more to this story, and the whole "Clinton fired them all" is just a red herring.

Atten: all kos kiddie rejec... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Atten: all kos kiddie rejects (left wing wackos). Ain't nothing going to change so stop your whinnie ass crying. You sound like bleating goats. 8 gone-8 will stay gone. AG in charge-will stay in charge. Now cry somemore because thats all your side can do now that you are in "charge". What has changed since your side got in "charge"? NOTHING. Oh wait I will take that back-we now get to watch the circus each day. Did you see the Obey-Pee-looser whose on 1st act the other day? Hilarious! Tryed to drain the swamp but can't because the ditch keeps getting stopped up with clowns.LOL. Can't even get a note passed in senate. How about alerting everyone when someone in "charge" now is going to speak so we can watch the comedy.

This is funny:<a h... (Below threshold)
groucho:

This is funny:

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/03/14/rove-fitzgerald/

Once again the little turdblossom rears his ugly head! Subpoenas will be going out an maybe this time the machinations of this evil little creep will be fully exposed and we will be rid of him for good, although I'm sure he'll keep an office, probably right next to vonRumsfeld.

The reasons they l... (Below threshold)
jpe:
The reasons they lost their jos is quite immaterial.

Actually, it's the only important thing. There's been enough coverage of this that you really shouldn't have missed that, assuming you're of reasonable intelligence, keep up on news, etc.

Well I see old "pucker puss... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Well I see old "pucker puss" (lee lee) (RTP) (RM) just hit his "ditto" key. Uh p'p' how about a blue herring-it flies.
(pssst-who was under the looking glass in Ark. when billie fired his--hmmmm)
HYPOCRITE

CRY ME A RIVER!!!!!... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

CRY ME A RIVER!!!!!

Whoa, Groucho, about Rosten... (Below threshold)
kim:

Whoa, Groucho, about Rostenkowski. Are you sure the probe was continued by the new prosecutor, or did you just throw that out?
===================================

Speaking of US Attorneys wh... (Below threshold)
kim:

Speaking of US Attorneys who need firing, Fitzgerald just declined to comment to the Congressional committee asking questions tomorrow about the Plame case. There is an article in the American Thinker by Rick Ballard posing some excellent questions for the committee to consider, and York has some good questions in yesterdays NRO.

Some joker named Paul is deleting my comments about this on the preceding thread. Does he work for NBC?
=======================

So let me get this straight... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

So let me get this straight.

The Democrats believe that underperforming bureaucrats need to be protected from being fired. But cleaning out the offices completely because there's a new sheriff in town is ok.

So we're suppose to get behind entrenching politically generated bureaucracies.

I'll pass. Next.

I can always tell when I've... (Below threshold)
kim:

I can always tell when I've written my best stuff; it gets deleted. What was so offensive it needed deleting and destroying your thread, Paul?
============================

Boy, I can tell larwyn is n... (Below threshold)
kim:

Boy, I can tell larwyn is not on Paul's email list.
=============================

kim,I'm having a h... (Below threshold)
groucho:

kim,

I'm having a hard time finding out exactly when the investigation on Rostenkowski began, but it seemed to really hit the news in 94 and he was sentenced in 96, so if the Repub appointed USA that Clinton fired didn't start it, the new one certainly finished the job. Damn facts.

Democracy = tyranny of t... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Democracy = tyranny of the majority. The Founding Fathers understood this even though you, apparently, don't. (yes, this is a pet peeve of mine)
_Mike_

Fair enough, that certainly is what we're seeing take hold in Iraq. So again, why is Bush going on about "spreading democracy"? Does he peeve you every time he says that or states that our foreign policy approach is "democracy promotion"?

Also, American democracy (republic, whatever you want to call it) is about minority and individual rights, not majority (or presidential) rule. That is what I meant by my original statement of:
Not in a democracy he can't. That is what the 2006 elections were about: oversight.

You're arguing that political appointments, for which the Executive branch requires no Congressional approval for either appointment or dismissal, hasn't proven that the Executive hasn't not done something wrong
_Mike_

3-2.120 Appointment United States Attorneys are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate for a four-year term. See 28 U.S.C. Sec. 541. Upon expiration of this term, the United States Attorney continues to perform the duties of the office until a successor is confirmed. United States Attorneys are subject to removal at the will of the President. See Parsons v. United States, 167 U.S. 314 (1897).
Gianni

There's an obvious contradiction here. Historically, there was Congressional approval in the appointment of USAs and only recently did a provision in the Patriot Act alter that practice. This story is now the first attempt at utilizing this authority and clearly there is something fishy about it. So shouldn't Congress look into whether it has been abused to see if this provision should remain on the books? Isn't that why Congress exists? Maybe not the recent Republican Congress which simply served as a rubber-stamp, but a Congress actually doing its job should investigate this to determine how best to change the law so it is not abused again.

Heh, the attorney fired sta... (Below threshold)
kim:

Heh, the attorney fired stayed on and finished the job.
========================

The Democrats believe th... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The Democrats believe that underperforming bureaucrats need to be protected from being fired. But cleaning out the offices completely because there's a new sheriff in town is ok.
jpm100

By whose standards? That they weren't "loyal" enough to the president? That they didn't pursue frivilous charges or rush indictments? That they were prosecuting Republicans too harshly and digging too deep in their investigations?

If that's why "underperforming" USAs are being fired, then yes they should be protected, especially if such an action is unprecedented and exploits a completely new law.

On the other hand, if a new sheriff comes to town, and the historic practice is that the new sheriff always gets to hire his own cops, then yes it is completely OK, as hard as that might be for you to accept.

Disclaim expertise on Roste... (Below threshold)
kim:

Disclaim expertise on Rostenkowski and any US Attorney but Fitz. I was just checking your bona fides with the one bit of trivia I know. You pass, groucho.
=============

Kick it, Mac. I wonder if ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Kick it, Mac. I wonder if Hillary's crew is privy to Obama'a apostasy, yet.
==============================

Hey Paul, Jay Rosen can't s... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey Paul, Jay Rosen can't stand to hear me yap about media bias either. I've been deleted from PressThink, so you are in biased company.
==========================

There is still a moral c... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

There is still a moral compass to follow, is it OK to fire a female Attorney because she refused to fuck the President, or because the Prez found out an Attorney was black?

Strawman.

Those types of firings would be illegal uner other laws. They have nothing to do with the facts at hand.

Actually, it's the only important thing. There's been enough coverage of this that you really shouldn't have missed that, assuming you're of reasonable intelligence, keep up on news, etc.

Just because you tink it is important doesn't make it so. That's the beauty of a manufactured "crisis." It can be about whatever the people manufacturing it want it to be about. Suppose no reason was given. Would all of this OUTRAGE be non-existent? It would still be an issue. As I stated, this became an issue because the attorneys decided to enlist the media to save their jobs.

Serves 'at the will of the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Serves 'at the will of the President'. It doesn't mention anyone else's will, at all. What? Are you leftists trying to destroy the Constitution?
===================================

Suppose no reason was given... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Suppose no reason was given. Would all of this OUTRAGE be non-existent?

No; the problem isn't the reason given, but the actual reason, which is that the fired attorneys failed to prosecute democrats in time for the 2007 elections.

Besides, as I've mentioned ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Besides, as I've mentioned earlier, they must serve at the will of the President, else how could he enforce the laws? And also, we do not want prosecution not subject to removal by political will. How else would you get rid of bad eggs? Like Fitzgerald?
=============================

Is it alleged jpe, that the... (Below threshold)
kim:

Is it alleged jpe, that these attorneys were thwarting the will of the Executive? Why, the Constitution practically demands their removal, then. Else how would the Executive carry out his sworn duty to enforce the laws.

Justice delayed is justice denied, or some such thing.
=========================

No; the problem isn't th... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

No; the problem isn't the reason given, but the actual reason, which is that the fired attorneys failed to prosecute democrats in time for the 2007 elections.

Please cite one authoratative reference proving this. Note that the key word in the previous sentence is AUTHORATATIVE. This excludes any and all leftist fantasy web sites.

Subpoenas were approved thi... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Subpoenas were approved this morning, so the story should develop faster.

Kim: no one's saying the administration broke the law in removing the attorneys (although the AG lying to Congress may be a different story). What critics right and left are saying is that prosecutors ought to be insulated from partisan politics. A US attorney should not use his/her discretion to investigate because doing so will help the party win votes.

If you really don't understand this argument (which seems to be the case, Poliblog lays it out pretty clearly.

Fair enough, that certai... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Fair enough, that certainly is what we're seeing take hold in Iraq. So again, why is Bush going on about "spreading democracy"? Does he peeve you every time he says that or states that our foreign policy approach is "democracy promotion"?

Yes, it annoys me. I believe that the distinction is a important one. Although some will understand that we don't have a democracy and why democracy is just another form of tyranny, many won't. If people are convinced that we actually have a democracy, it makes it that much easier for us to devolve into one.

You'll never hear me argue that Bush is articulate. Although, the word's been popularly misused for the last century so it wasn't started with Bush.

There's an obvious contradiction here. Historically, there was Congressional approval in the appointment of USAs and only recently did a provision in the Patriot Act alter that practice. This story is now the first attempt at utilizing this authority and clearly there is something fishy about it. So shouldn't Congress look into whether it has been abused to see if this provision should remain on the books?

You are correct in that the appointment has had Congressional approval in the past. However, the manufactured controversy is over the dismissal which has not required Congressional approval in the past.

[quote]No; the problem isn'... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

[quote]No; the problem isn't the reason given, but the actual reason, which is that the fired attorneys failed to prosecute democrats in time for the 2007 elections.[/quote]
Actually only 1 of the 8 was fired for a stalled corruption investigation.

I take it you want corruption investigations against Democrats then?

Personally I'd rather not see stalled corruption investigations no matter who it was.

jpe: there is a mechanism s... (Below threshold)
kim:

jpe: there is a mechanism set up to prevent abuse of the system. The assistant US Attorney is not subject to recall. If, however, the US Attorney is not subject to recall, where can the political process impact? It is a liberal argument that the Executive, in furtherance of his duty and mandate, be able to recall US Attorneys, at will.

There is a process to impact the Executive. You are using it.
===============================

Lorie says:"I don'... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Lorie says:

"I don't know whether or not the recent firings were deserved"

Umm...aren't you paid to write about these kinds of things? What are you waiting for?

IMO: These guys lied to Congress and used the war on terror to interfere with the DOJ and consume more power. Throw the book at them.

However, the manufacture... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

However, the manufactured controversy is over the dismissal which has not required Congressional approval in the past.
_Mike_

True, but the Administration would not have been so foolhardy with this authority if the new provision to appoint USAs w/o Senate confirmation did not exist. The two issues are not separate, they are intimately associated with one another. The Administration thought they could play fast and loose, but that doesn't fly with a Congress controlled by the opposition party.

C'mon, there's nothing to s... (Below threshold)
groucho:

C'mon, there's nothing to see here. Time for all good Americans to just move along. Presidents and deciders do this kind of thing all the time. Everybody just mosey along now, git! go on!

But hey! Look here everybody! Ol' Khalid Sheik Mohammed has confessed to killing JFK, stealing the ozone layer, performing Ann Coulter's sex change operation and fathering Anna Nicole's baby. Tune in to Fox News tonight for more details. Remember, that's FOX NEWS. TONIGHT!! You're getting sleepy...verrry sleeepy.....

"I don't know whether or no... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"I don't know whether or not the recent firings were deserved"

In terms of their work "no" -- in terms of their politics "yes."

Oh, c'mon, groucho, how ale... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oh, c'mon, groucho, how alert can you be. I gave you a big boost and all you can do is get hyperbolic about press bias.
===============================

83% believe the media is b... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

83% believe the media is biased one way or the other 65% Liberal Biased.

85% of felons vote democrat.

The last group of people on the face of the earth worth paying attention to are the Criminal Democrat Frauds. Not to worry though , True Americans will still bleed and die for your right to delude yourself to your hearts content.

You know, Clinton kept the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

You know, Clinton kept the prosecutor on, and Rostenkowski fried. Well, before Clinton pardoned him, he fried. Pardoning, by the way, is the coward's way of bending the prosecutor to your will.
====================

This just in:100% ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

This just in:

100% of convicted felons cannot vote.

Too much smog, Rob?

Well I see old "pucker p... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Well I see old "pucker puss" (lee lee) (RTP) (RM) just hit his "ditto" key. Uh p'p' how about a blue herring-it flies.
(pssst-who was under the looking glass in Ark. when billie fired his--hmmmm)

Huh?

One word, jhow -- ce-le-ry.

And Rob,

89% of your posting is fraud
11% is right wing nuttiness.

Whoops. I can provide no links to the accuracy of those statistics. How about links to yours?

The fired lawyer thing is s... (Below threshold)
Rance:

The fired lawyer thing is so last week.
Get over it.
New questions to answer:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002771.php

groucho:This just... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

groucho:
This just in:
100% of convicted felons cannot vote.

That's 100% inaccurate. It varies by state.


To wit,


Under current Rhode Island law, convicted felons can't vote until they have completed parole and probation, a date 30 years away for Idarraga. So he is speaking out to support a state ballot initiative in November that would allow felons to vote after they leave prison.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-05-31-felons-voting-rights_x.htm

IIRC, Hillary was reportedly pushing for this in NY at some point last year.

By the way, Patterico has t... (Below threshold)
kim:

By the way, Patterico has the skinny on the performance issues that led to the firings.
========================

Clinton left office in Janu... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Clinton left office in January 2000..ah get over it..
Those that believe this is not a big deal are the same that believe our preemptive invasion of Iraq to disarm Saddam of WMD's after it is now clear they did not exist is no big deal..The abuse by this administration of the Patriot Act(as exemplified last week by the FBI admitting serious errors)is no big deal...The failure of FEMA with Katrina..no big deal..Established Global Warming? ..no big Deal..record profits by Exxon-Mobil while we pay more for gas? ...no big deal
The voice of the American voters in 2006..no big deal. See..the only big deal in your lives is Bill Clinton..that's ok..see most of the nation is concerned about now..you all live in the past..to us..it's no big deal..
...by the way why does the lefty Republican Senator John S.of Rhode Island join that other moonbat Republican Senator Arlen S. think it's a big deal...
see..to some of us...ah the majority in this Nation..all of the above(except Bill Clinton)is a big deal...

re:hansel2I have n... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

re:hansel2

I have no clue as to the statistics, but there's a high degree of correlation between the demographics of felons and the demographics of Democrat voters... which is the reason the Democrats were the ones pushing to give felons the right to vote (quo bono).

I dunno if it's 85%, but I wouldn't take the under on that bet.

another view of the firings... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

another view of the firings..Warning:may be considered Moonbat propaganda..but check out how crazy they are..
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

That's 100% inaccurate. It ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

That's 100% inaccurate. It varies by state.

Thanks for schooling the punks.

"I dunno if it's 85%, but I wouldn't take the under on that bet."

Both Fraud Kerry and Hilary Rotten were crying if felons were allowed to vote Kerry could have won. They screamed for about a week that 85% of felons vote Democrat then they suddenly shut up. I wonder why?

mea culpa I was thinking o... (Below threshold)
groucho:

mea culpa I was thinking only of my state. I'm with Hansel though, I'd like to see data backing up Rob's claim. We never will because they don't exist.

Nogo, actually Clinton left... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Nogo, actually Clinton left office in January of 2001, but you've never been known to have your facts straight. We're use to it.

"The voice of the Ame... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"The voice of the American voters in 2006..no big deal"

75% polled after the election didn't enen know who the hell Nancy Pelosi is. They may for the most part be just plain ignorant , raving moonbats are down right criminal and stupid.

Those that believe this is ... (Below threshold)
DSkinner:

Those that believe this is not a big deal are the same that believe our re-emptive invasion of Iraq to disarm Saddam of WMD's after it is now clear they did not exist is no big deal.

I fixed it for you nogo.

"I'd like to see data back... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"I'd like to see data backing up Rob's claim."

My claim? It's Rotten Clinton and Fraud Kerry's claim. No wonder it's so easy for the Rats to take power , people can't remember shit. Or is it selective memory?

It is now clear th... (Below threshold)
It is now clear that Alberto lied to Congress.

About as clear as mud Barney. You've made the classic blunder of conflating "lying" with "breaking a promise". Political appointees and politicians break promises all the time. This is a fact of life. We don't have to like it but calling such behavior "lying" is a lie in and of itself so *plonk* to you Barn.


...are the same that believe our preemptive invasion of Iraq to disarm Saddam of WMD's after it is now clear they did not exist
.

This is an outright falsehood nogo. Your credibility goes to zero if you complain about a Bush "lie" and your own assertion has been proven to be an outright bald-faced lie a hundred times over.

Saddam used WMDs before, had a WMD program, and WMDs were found by coalition forces during the war. When you lie so blatantly to us in this thread then you don't deserve to have any attention paid to anything else you say.

Now, if your claim is that we did not find the level of WMDs there that we expected, then that is a different matter. I think everyone, including Bush, was surprised we didn't find as much as we expected.

However that is a completely different line of debate. I hold Bush responsible for not going into Iraq sooner in order to capture the WMDs before they got carried off to neighboring countries. That's the risk he took in waiting around for the UN to act.

Nogo, what you should be complaining about is that Bush did not invade sooner so that we could have prevented terrorists from gaining access to Saddam's WMD arsenals.


Is the media implyi... (Below threshold)
doubled:


Is the media implying that politicians will sometimes do things that are NOT political?

They will never be able to convince me to believe that one iota.

jpe, check your 1:53 link t... (Below threshold)
kim:

jpe, check your 1:53 link to poliblog and Dr. Taylor's discussion. There has been further elucidation in the comments. Particularly read A. S.
=================================

Hey Waxman's committee has ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey Waxman's committee has a chance tomorrow to question Val Plame about Iraq and WMD. Rick Ballard has some questions for her in his article today at the American Thinker.
====================================

d, the Democrats let the me... (Below threshold)
kim:

d, the Democrats let the media imply that every move of Bush's is criminalizing politics.

It's a sad day, especially for the old media.
==========================

85% percent of felons vo... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

85% percent of felons vote democrat.

Well, that's not a justifiable statistic. That is, there is no statistical survey that clarifies this. Here is where the thread comes from

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/5/3/92921.shtml

You've got the NewsMax staff claiming this:

A recent study by Jeff Manza and Marcus Britton of Northwestern University and Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota found that 30 percent of felons would vote if Hillary's law was passed. That's 1.4 million new voters.


With 85 percent of felon voters statistically likely to vote Democrat, that could add up to 1.2 million votes to presidential candidate Clinton's tally in 2008.

Now, the study they mention above:

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:mbDCr57CVw8J:www.northwestern.edu/ipr/publications/papers/manza.pdf+Jeff+manza+marcus+britton&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

only claims this:

"Because felons are drawn disproportionately from the ranks of racial minorities and the poor, disfranchisement laws tend to take votes from Democratic candidates."

So NewsMax assessment is merely conjecture and not fact. But there are alot, as _Mike_ suggests.

Point in fact is, Rob, there's always finesse to statistics unless you can provide a link to prove it otherwise.

It is a sad comment on Bush... (Below threshold)

It is a sad comment on Bush's popularity - or lack thereof - that he even catches hell for firing LAWYERS, for crying out loud!

75% polled after the ele... (Below threshold)
Brian:

75% polled after the election didn't enen know who the hell Nancy Pelosi is.

Are you claiming that more people knew who Dennis Hastert was?

Saddam used WMDs before,... (Below threshold)
Iggy:

Saddam used WMDs before, had a WMD program, and WMDs were found by coalition forces during the war. When you lie so blatantly to us in this thread then you don't deserve to have any attention paid to anything else you say.

Is that your only proof? Ricky Santorums pathetic attention seeking press conference, only reported by cns news?

Thoroughly debunked by the ISG and the DOD. Here's a sample with the kicker...

"While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad's desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered."

You guys are so pathetic sometimes, but what else should I expect from true believers?

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/isg-final-report_vol3_cw_key-findings.htm

Strawman.Those ty... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Strawman.
Those types of firings would be illegal uner other laws. They have nothing to do with the facts at hand.

Not totally true. First of all, firing an attorney who won't investigate bogus charges and replacing him with one who will might fall under obstruction of justice (although admittedly a bit backwards).

Secondly, I can think of many reasons for firing someone that wouldn't be illegal, but would still likely violate one's moral compass. Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who won't give a job to Jenna? Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who won't donate to Jeb's next campaign? Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who is starting a criminal investigation into daddy Bush's dealings?

Iggy, the fact that they ex... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Iggy, the fact that they exist at all is in violation of UN sanctions. And if Saddam was so afraid of retaliation, why did he have missiles that were illegally altered to surpass the allowed distance? Or banned unmanned drones?

Also, if Iraq destroyed it's WMD's in 1991, what was the justification for the '98 air strikes?

In addition to ousting the ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

In addition to ousting the fired attorneys because they didn't sit up and bark when the Republican congressmen tried to jerk their chains, Bushco was sending a clear message to the remaining attorneys to toe the Republican Party line or lose your job.

That's not justice, ladies and gentlemen...

It's pathetic, and now the voters are beginning to learn what was going on, and will be learning more as the Democrats apply subpoenas to bring out the truth.

Bush will ultimately dump Gonzales, is my guess, but he will wait until the full boatload of shit hits the fan so that his dumping of Gonzales is at the conclusion rather than the middle of the brouhaha.

Iggy, is that the reason CL... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Iggy, is that the reason CLinton fired over 100 tomahawk cruise missles into Iraq? Because Saddam had unilaterally destroyed them. If you, you idiot, why did Saddam purchase 1 (one) million doses of atropine? Do you consider 700 plus gas shells a few? How many beyone none is 700? Hint, none is the absense of any, 700 is enough to kill everyone in NYC.

Iggy, you need to read Duel... (Below threshold)
kim:

Iggy, you need to read Duelfer for Saddam's intentions, and Rossett for his means. Saddam needed dumping; mission accomplished.

Lee and Brian, read Patterico about the performance issues that led to these firings. And, I might add, it is an extremely illiberal idea of yours that prosecutors can only be fired for issues about performance. How is public policy to impact their decisions if they are not subject to overview and recall by a political figure?
==============================

The dems and the lefties he... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The dems and the lefties here have nothing. NOTHING. They wait for something no matter how small and then pounce and find out there is really nothing there. Again, pathetic. ww

The scandal intensifies:</p... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:
For a variety of reasons, ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

For a variety of reasons, the Busheviks didn't like the fired attorneys. One got in the way of one of Rove's good buddies from becoming a new U.S. Attorney, another wouldn't go after a particular Democrat just at election time without solid evidence, a third lacked legitimate proof of any voter fraud, etc. But the main U.S. Attorney they wanted to get rid of was Carol Lam.

She had already nailed one corrupt Republican politician, Duke Cunningham. She had issued indictments against Brent Wilkes and the third-in-command guy at the CIA, Dusty Foggo. Abu "Torquemada" Gonzales' underling, Kyle Sampson, didn't like what was going on here (and said so through an email). Perhaps another Republican Congressman, Jerry Lewis, was soon to be ensnared. So she had to go.

If all this sounds familiar, well, perhaps you're thinking of that prosecutor on Guam who got fired a few years back when he started investigations which were headed in the direction of a particular Republican fundraiser. You know the guy, a fellow by the name of Abramoff. Once the prosecutor was gone, no more investigation.

The people living back when that Republican president known as Nixon was in power may have thought they knew what a thoroughly corrupt presidential administration was like, but ultimately, they really hadn't seen anything yet.

Apples and oranges, AB. Fi... (Below threshold)
kim:

Apples and oranges, AB. Firing all 93 was Clinton's idea originally. Firing a few for performance issues is not the same thing as firing all 93 at the onset of an administration.
=======================

Herman, go read Patterico a... (Below threshold)
kim:

Herman, go read Patterico about this. You are welcome to your filtered version of the facts, but at least read some real emails.
========================

Jo...you are absolutely rig... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Jo...you are absolutely right..Clinton did not leave office until 2001...can i assume you agree with my my other points?

From the story linked by Ad... (Below threshold)
Lee:

From the story linked by Adrian above:

The e-mail exchange is dated early January 2005, more than a month before the White House acknowledged it was considering firing all the U.S. attorneys. On its face, the plan is not improper, inappropriate or even unusual: The president has the right to fire U.S. attorneys at any time, and presidents have done so when they took office.

What has made the issue a political firestorm is the White House's insistence that the idea came from Miers and was swiftly rejected.

White House press secretary Tony Snow told reporters Tuesday that Miers had suggested firing all 93, and that it was "her idea only." Snow said Miers' idea was quickly rejected by the Department of Justice.

The latest e-mails show that Gonzales and Rove were both involved in the discussion, and neither rejected it out of hand.

According to the e-mails, Rove raised the issue with then-deputy White House Counsel David Leitch, prompting Leitch to e-mail Kyle Sampson, then a lawyer for the Justice Department. Sampson moved over to the Justice Department after working with Gonzales at the White House.

Now what the hell was Rove doing getting involved in this business?

And why did the White House lie and say it was Miers idea?

And why did Miers resign abruptly?

Liberals are so daft it's a... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Liberals are so daft it's astonishing.

Someone please explain to them what is meant by "Serves at the pleasure of the President."

The LAT had an article in which the reasons for the firings were explained.Bush was thinking of changing them all.

Then again, it still doesn't matter. Bush can release them at any time.

Bush has handled this poorly (I know, I know, it's nothing new). He ought to have come right out and told Leahy to shove it- or better yet had Cheney deliver another message to Leahy. Cheney knows how to handle Leahy.

Lee, why shouldn't Rove hav... (Below threshold)
kim:

Lee, why shouldn't Rove have been involved in 2005? It was a good idea in 1993. Maybe this latest round was Miers' idea. Maybe she thought she did it in clumsy fashion.
========================================

You tell us all knowing "pu... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

You tell us all knowing "pucker puss" (lee lee) (RTP) (RM). You have the "ditto" key.

To hansel2: 2 words--sock puppet. Heard that little didie before. How about carrots instead? (ps good to see you back under another name-wink wink)

The Whitewater case didn't ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The Whitewater case didn't save the first President Bush, although it was later revived as a costly pseudo-scandal. More pertinent today is what happened to Banks and Lewis--and the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock.
The honest Banks forfeited his promised judgeship and returned to private practice with his political career ended. The incompetent Lewis appeared before the Senate Whitewater Committee, where she lied repeatedly before "fainting" under examination by the Democratic counsel. She then disappeared from public view until 2003, when the White House rewarded her with an important federal job. Those who had observed Lewis in action were astonished when she was named chief of staff to the Pentagon inspector general, at a salary of $118,000 a year.

Bush will ultimate... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Bush will ultimately dump Gonzales, is my guess, but he will wait until the full boatload of shit hits the fan so that his dumping of Gonzales is at the conclusion rather than the middle of the brouhaha.

I think he'll ditch Gonzalez before it hits the fan, eg, next week before the DoJ staffers have a chance to testify.

To: kimRe: Paul's de... (Below threshold)

To: kim
Re: Paul's deletion of comments

Don't take it personally with Paul. He's just a strange control freak. However, it should be noted that comments only serve at the pleasure of the article's poster. If they do not please him or meet his standards for any reason, they may be deleted as per wizbang posting policy.

"Point in fact is, Rob, the... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Point in fact is, Rob, there's always finesse to statistics unless you can provide a link to prove it otherwise."

Take that up with your fearless leaders Hilary Rotten and Fraud Kerry, I was merely regergitating their talking points.

Haven't read all the commen... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Haven't read all the comments, but have to ask about this one ...

Not totally true. First of all, firing an attorney who won't investigate bogus charges and replacing him with one who will might fall under obstruction of justice (although admittedly a bit backwards).

How do you know a charge is is "bogus" before investigating it?

For example, *not* investigating the 2004 Washington state's governor's race would be considered a cover-up - not investigating it. Anytime the third recount changes the outcome of the first two, an investigation would be prudent even if it did nothing more than allay people suspicions that something was done incorrectly.

Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who won't give a job to Jenna? Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who won't donate to Jeb's next campaign? Do you think it's OK for him to fire an attorney who is starting a criminal investigation into daddy Bush's dealings?

Historically, the answer to that question has been "yes" on the part of past presidents and their supporters.

Recall the case of the woman who Monica Lewinsky spilled her guts to and who went public with the information? (Sorry, I can never remember that person's name.) She was fired on the last day of the Clinton administration. You can't seriously tell me that Clinton didn't enjoy that.

Why did she get fired? Because she refused to resign. She was part a huge class of federal workers who are expected to voluntary resign at the end of the term of the current president. Those who didn't weren't fired, of course, but they still were out of a job none-the-less. "Serve at the pleasure of the president" covers far more than just these attorneys being discussed.

That's why this comment is silly:

In addition to ousting the fired attorneys because they didn't sit up and bark when the Republican congressmen tried to jerk their chains, Bushco was sending a clear message to the remaining attorneys to toe the Republican Party line or lose your job.

How scared can a group of lawyers, who already know they will be out of a job in less than two years, be about what Bush could do to them?

For example, *not* inves... (Below threshold)

For example, *not* investigating the 2004 Washington state's governor's race would be considered a cover-up - not investigating it. Anytime the third recount changes the outcome of the first two, an investigation would be prudent even if it did nothing more than allay people suspicions that something was done incorrectly.
So, if someone called up the US attorney to suggest that you should be investigated for multiple homicide, they should start an investigation? I think they only start investigating when presented with actual evidence of a crime. No evidence = no investigation. In Washington, the Republicans were upset that they didn't win the recount, so they wanted to go fishing for voter fraud. Of course, they did file a case of their own and went to court over the decision:

Judge Bridges' ruling was seen as a comprehensive defeat for Rossi. The judge admitted nearly every piece of evidence the Republican Party offered and then wrote a thorough, tough opinion rejecting the Republicans' claims (while criticizing the administration of the election, particularly in King County); Rossi was left with very little legal ground for a successful appeal. After receiving such a negative verdict, Rossi declined to appeal to the State Supreme Court, claiming that the political makeup of the Court would make it impossible for him to win, thereby ending all legal challenges to the election of Gregoire as the Governor of Washington.

With all the recent blasting of Fitzgerald, I would think that McKay's discretion in this matter would be appreciated, especially since the Republican challenge received its day in court and was determined to be without merit.

stop making thisridiculous ... (Below threshold)

stop making thisridiculous comparison... Yes, Clinton fired all these people but GUESS WHAT? he got congressional approval for the replacements -- WHICH IS THE LAW. he didn't send out emails asking who's loyal to him and then fire the ones who worked. he didn't try and do it on the sly using the shady clause in the PATRIOT ACT in order to do it. This was just a test to see if the Bush Admin could get away with it. If they had, there'd have been more. Thank gawd we have whistle blowers now in the media. If they had balls before the Iraq War, things might have been slightly different.

Recall the case of the w... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Recall the case of the woman who Monica Lewinsky spilled her guts to

You're equating some knucklehead who didn't resign when it was customary to (as per my question) someone Bush would fire for not donating to Jeb's campaign?

So, if someone cal... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:
So, if someone called up the US attorney to suggest that you should be investigated for multiple homicide, they should start an investigation? I think they only start investigating when presented with actual evidence of a crime. No evidence = no investigation. In Washington, the Republicans were upset that they didn't win the recount, so they wanted to go fishing for voter fraud.

Joe, you are going to have to forgive my cynicism. I still see the election in Ohio in 2004 called "invalid" because of the length of time people reportedly stood in line in counties controlled by Democratic Board of Elections - the same Board of Elections who, post elections, sued the Secretary of State to stop any efforts on his part to alleviate the "alleged inequities" in their areas with new equipment. The same people who were screaming bias on election night in front of the world wanted nothing changed when the cameras were off.

I've seen the 2000 election called fraudulent because people "just knew" who those voters who voted for no presidential candidate or voted for two candidates "reallly wanted" to vote for despite the lack of evidence to back of their claims. Given that we were the choice of two idiots in 2000, a "no vote" for president was an extremely understandable choice - none the less there were those rushing to deprive voters of the right to make that choice when it suited their purpose.

It's not my fault that the threshhold for what constitutes "voter fraud" in this country has been lowered to the point its virtually meaningless. It does, however, appear to be the rules of the game at this time. Now, I give you that, in a state election, it should be the state legal system investigating it, but I would also question - given the actions of King County in this matter - if a fair state hearing on the question was even possible.

BTW, I am amused that you chose a WIKI source for your "proof". Working for a college, I didn't know anyone took them seriously anymore. Given their two recent - and extreme scandals about their veracity, I am even more surprised that you would use it.

Given that you used it as "proof" and even it criticized the WAY THE ELECTION WAS RUN, I find it funnier.

As to waiting for the public to come forward with evidence of election fraud ..... been there, done that, got the t-shirt. After my experience in 2006, I know that "evidence of election fraud" means the person making the complaint had to do their own investigation first. My local Board of Elections canceled thousands of voter registrations when the confirmation cards were returned to them despite the fact all the cards were from voters living on the same streets and no cards were marked in anyway as undeliverable by the post office. They never questioned why until I asked and plan no follow up inquiry afterward. No other agency or office has even responded to my inquiries.

You're equating so... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:
You're equating some knucklehead who didn't resign when it was customary to (as per my question) someone Bush would fire for not donating to Jeb's campaign?

So you are fine with federal employees - who did not necessarily get their jobs from the current President - being told they had to resign or be fired when that President leaves office for no other reason than he is leaving office?

You have not proven "why" these particular attorneys were fired. Therefore you question was a hypothetical one.

You seem to fine with people who may have worked through 2 or 3 different administrations losing their jobs for no other reason than he wants them to resign.

Truthfully, I assumed that you weren't being serious in asking the question as a result.

However, since you say you are .... ; - )

By law, I believe that no federal employee can be fired for failing to donate to a particular campaign. Now, there was testimony given that John Conyers staff were required to spend time campaiging for his election despite the laws prohibiting such actions. Those testifying indicated that they felt their jobs were on the line if they didn't. As I recall, the Ethics Committee of Congress gave Conyers a slap on the wrist and told him that he had "minunderstood" the rules. Accordingly, Conyers - in his 21st term in Congress - announced that he would modify his past actions in the future to fix his "misunderstanding".

Janet Reno remained Attorney General for all 8 years of the Clinton Presidency despite Waco. That alone indicates she was willing to do favors for someone to keep her job.

She should have taken responsibility and resigned. Failing that, she should have been fired. Given the perespective that she survived that incident virtually without condemnation makes the actions of other Attorney Generals pale in comparision.

As to failing to give someone a job.... *shrug* - well, we know the opposite was true. Several high ranking Clinton officials spent considerable time looking for a high paying job for Monica Lewinsky when it was helpful to the President. How many other federal employees did those individuals try to find jobs for? What happened to those who refused?

OhioVoter,Words ar... (Below threshold)

OhioVoter,

Words are cheap. The 2004 and 2000 elections were both called invalid and fraudulent by some people, but both stood, neither was overturned, and, as far as I know, neither was investigated for voter fraud by a US Attorney (though I'm welcome to see evidence that they were, perhaps my memory is faulty here). Why is the 2004 Washington Governor's election so special with its allegations? Or perhaps you're saying that all of these should have had rigorous investigations by US Attorneys.

The US Attorney in Washington was a Republican, appointed by George Bush. If there was any reason to investigate this, I'd think that he would have done so. I appreciate that he had the guts to tell people that he wasn't going to waste his time on a political witchhunt. That kind of integrity is the sort of thing that will cost you in the modern world, especially if you are associated with the Bush administration.

BTW, I am amused that you chose a WIKI source for your "proof".
I just used wiki as an easy source of information. If you have differing evidence, please present it. Otherwise, shooting the messenger makes you look like you've got nothing.

As to waiting for the public to come forward with evidence of election fraud
I believe that everything that the Republicans had in this case was allowed and presented in court. What it amounted to was not much.

Joe, did you read what you ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Joe, did you read what you wrote?

You admit that there was no official investigation.

Then you say that 'it's OK' because the Republicans were allowed to present all that they had and it wasn't much.

Had there been an investigation, then their 'not having much' would have meant something. Since there was no investigation, questions remain.

As to your putting words in my mouth ...

"Or perhaps you're saying that all of these should have had rigorous investigations by US Attorneys."

I have already answered that one.

Are you saying that there was never a single time in the history of the US that the federal government investigated the legitimacy of a specific state or local election? Of course, you aren't.

Let's stick to what is actually said here and not create something that hasn't been said.

I just used wiki as an easy source of information. If you have differing evidence, please present it. Otherwise, shooting the messenger makes you look like you've got nothing.

So you used Wiki because it was "easy"?

Actually, using Wiki makes you look like you have nothing.

However, you are confused as to why I commented on it. The opinion in the opening sentence was what struck me as funny.


You go on and on about eigh... (Below threshold)
crazylibs:

You go on and on about eight people fired by the Bush administration, but how come you never mention that Bill Clinton and Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys after taking office? The omission shows (or reaffirms) your bias and ignorance.

The Chronicle's legal affairs writer, Bob Egelko, has been made well aware of this point of view in the wake of the story he wrote on the affair earlier this week ('Firings raise concern over Justice Dept. and politics')

Egelko's response:

The two situations aren't really comparable, as the Washington Post, for example, pointed out in an editorial earlier this month.

Clinton, like other presidents before him -- and Bush after him -- installed a new set of U.S. attorneys after taking over from a president of another party. The recent firings are different, and apparently unprecedented: They happened in mid-term, targeting prosecutors who had originally been appointed by Bush and who hadn't been viewed as either corrupt or incompetent.

Of the eight dismissals, only one -- Northern California's own Kevin Ryan -- was even arguably for performance-based reasons, in the aftermath of Justice Department audits that cited high staff turnover and low morale.

Had there been an invest... (Below threshold)

Had there been an investigation, then their 'not having much' would have meant something. Since there was no investigation, questions remain.
Just like they do over the possibility of you committing multiple homicide. By all means, let's have an official investigation and see what we can find. Otherwise, "questions remain"...

Are you saying that there was never a single time in the history of the US that the federal government investigated the legitimacy of a specific state or local election? Of course, you aren't.
No, of course I'm not saying that. Every case gets evaluated on its merits and ones that actually have merit get investigated. You raised the other examples where other people say that "questions remain". Since you seem to be heavily on the bandwagon of the US Attorneys spending taxpayer funds to conduct official investigations whenever that is the case, it would stand to reason that you wanted official investigations in those cases as well. Your desire for investigations in one case and not in the others seems to identify you either as illogical or, more likely, as a partisan shill.

Actually, using Wiki makes you look like you have nothing.
As I've said, if you have something better than that, which you have yet to present, then please do so. And yes, I used wiki because it was easy. I would have to say it was a lot harder then just comlaining about sources and presenting absolutely no actual evidence to support any counter claims, as you do.

The US Attorney in Washington was a Republican, appointed by George Bush. If there was any reason to investigate this, I'd think that he would have done so.
I was most interested in your response to this point. Sadly, that response was the null set.

Joe, I was hoping to have a... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Joe, I was hoping to have a reasonable discussion with you. Sadly it is you who went the route of a "partisian shill".

Since your response is based on erroneous assumptions about what I believe, there is nothing to respond to there.

As to your reliance on Wiki, by all means continue. More and more colleges in this country are banning it as a source for serious research, but, by all means, continue to do what is "easy".

Yes, it is sad that you hav... (Below threshold)

Yes, it is sad that you have no more desire to continue this. That often happens when people like you run out of points and answers to counterpoints...

As soon as someone gives me college credit for posting on Wizbang, I'll conform to the college rules on using Wiki. Until then, enjoy your sour grapes and own total lack of any sources whatsoever to back up your assertions.




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