Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More corruption in the Bush Administration

The report is in, and the outcome was never in doubt: Bush lackeys Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson illegally based Department of Justice hiring decisions for career positions on the political positions of the candidates. No surprise, but the details are pretty shocking.

Here's what the law says:
It is the policy of the Department of Justice to seek to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, age, or physical or mental handicap in employment within the Department and to assure equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment.

And here are some of the questions that Monical Goodling asked when she was conducting interviews:

Tell us about your political philosophy. There are different groups of conservatives, by way of example: Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.
[W]hat is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?
Aside from the President, give us an example of someone currently or recently in public service who you admire.
“Why are you a Republican?”

Anything at all troubling there?

What about the fact that she blocked a new hire, effectively ending a lawyer's career with the Department of Justice, because she thought she was a lesbian?

Now Gonzalez claims that he never knew that Goodling was using political tests to make her decisions. Wouldn't you think it might occur to him when he stopped getting recommendations to hire people from real law schools like Harvard, Yale, and Michigan, and started getting recommendations to hire people from places like Regent Law School , which is where Goodling went?

You hear about heads of corporations getting prosecuted for treating the company as their own personal piggy bank. What we have here is even worse: the Republicans using the hiring power of the federal government to corrupt the Justice Department and mold it to their political preferences. As I've observed before, these people simply have no conception that government exists for any reason other than to serve the political interests of themselves and their political allies.

So is it official yet? Is this the most corrupt administration in history?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whom should we trust on foreign policy?

So we know that McBush's big selling point is that he has a lot of experience in foreign policy and knows a lot about it, right?

Here we have another example of what he knows. I know all about linguistic competence vs. linguistic performance. Still, when the guy consistently gets significant points wrong, pretty much every time he opens his mouth, shouldn't it make us wonder if he has the first idea what he's talking about?

On the other hand, the greenhorn, Obama, has been saying for months that we should be getting out if Iraq in about sixteen months after he takes office.

You know who agrees with him? Iraq.

So if the young guy knows what he's talking about, and the people we're supposedly trying to help agree with him, and the old guy doesn't have a clue, maybe we're safer with the young guy, huh?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What kind of crazy foreign policy ideas is Obama pushing?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare

For some bizarre reason, McBush still has the image of being a straight shooter. We need to spread the truth, that he isn't honest, constantly flip-flops and contradicts himself, and doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Profile in courage

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Allahu aqbar!

Yes, that's right. Who can doubt the wisdom of these words? This week we have another example of the benevolence of Allah's believers.
For instance, this is the guy who just killed his daughter because she didn't want to accept the forced marriage that the family had arranged for her. It's nothing but family values, right?
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A Pakistani man accused of killing his daughter because she wanted out of an arranged marriage told a judge Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong.

My one concern about the CNN.com story is that it seems to accept the statements of the parties referring to the victim and her "husband". In fact, it is clear that this young woman never married the stranger, who lives in Chicago, and never consented to the supposed marriage, which somehow took place in Pakistan.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Helms Dead at 86!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tom Stoppard at 71

Although his works seem completely English, you may be surprised to learn that Tom Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937. His works, including such plays as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arcadia are both intellectually challenging and emotionally intense. I remember when Rosencrantz opened on Broadway in 1966, but I didn't see it until the 1990's at Lost Nation Theater., where I've also seen Arcadia. A great way to spend a weekend, and to really get into the work, is to rent Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Rosencrantz and watch them on consecutive nights.

He's also been a human rights activist since the mid-1970's.

Today is Stoppard's birthday.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thurgood Marshall at 100

Today was the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest Americans of the Twentieth Century.

I think we don't think about him enough, but as a lawyer I am devoted to using the law to bring about social justice. It's worth thinking about the great things that Marshall accomplished using the same tools that we have.

Reconsidering my Vote

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I think I initially found this in Salon, and it's so great I have to post it here.

There's this right-wing group called the American Family Association, and they have their own view of what constitutes appropriate language. For example, they don't think that we should use the word "gay" to refer to homosexuals. Presumably it's because gay means happy and there's nothing happy about being a sinner.

So part of what they do is use auto-correct to replace the word "gay" when it appears in news feeds they get from the Associated Press.

Like the following story about the Olympic Trials over the weekend:

Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999. [...]

Homosexual didn't get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead.... Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: "A little fatigued."

Call on Obama to stand up to FISA

If I'm walking down the street and the police ask me to break into your house, rifle through your possessions, and bring them anything I think they might be interested in, I could be prosecuted, charged with burgalary, breaking and entering, theft, and unlawful trespass, and besides that, you could sue me for it.

Now, according to the bill that Bush and the House of Representatives want to pass, if the police asked me to do it, my criminal acts would suddenly be legal.

I'm talking about the new FISA legislation. Last year many of us were hugely supportive of Chris Dodd because he stood up to the administration and the Senate leadership and he was willing to filibuster to block FISA, and especially the retroactive immunity provisions.

Now it's back and Obama is saying he's going to support the bill even with the retroactive immunity provision in it.

I am so angry I am thinking about asking our delegation not to support him in Denver.

Before doing that, though, there is a way for Obama supporters to make their voices heard. If you go to www.mybarackobama.com you can sign up with the group called Senator Obama - Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity - Get FISA Right.

Since last Wednesday more than 6000 Obama supporters have signed up, probably 4000 since noon yesterday.

I've been trying to get the message through every way I can. As soon as I learn that Obama has a staff person in Vermont I'll post that information. Obama needs to hear this. Maybe if we rise up with one voice, and make clear that we aren't going along with Bush's assault on our civil liberties, and we don't want him to go along with it either, it will make a difference.