Thursday, February 08, 2007



I hope you've been following the stories about how the rogue Bush Regime has been firing U.S. Attorneys-- each one a Republican appointed by Bush himself-- under dubious circumstances and for dubious reasons (like successfully prosecuting Bush cronies for bribery). Today the Senate Judiciary Committee, with wide-- though certainly not complete-- bipartisan support moved a bill forward to curb the Justice Department's assumed power to replace federal prosecutors. So far Gonzales has knocked off seven. The vote, on a bill sponsored by Dianne Feinstein, was 13-6 with Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) joining the Democrats and voting the interests of the American people for a change-- instead of rubber-stamping Bush Regime neo-fascism. The neo-fascist side was led by Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

No one knows how the mysterious provision that was slipped into the Patriot Act allowing Bush to run rough shod like this got there. Originally it was reported that then Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter had slipped it into the bill in the dead of night. Specter not only denies that but says he discovered it recently and agreed "We ought to change it back to what it was."
It has recently come to light that Karl Rove, Bush's political hatchetman, played a role in several of the unjustified firings and that political favoritism was the motivating factor.
The Democrats cite the firings since March of seven U.S. attorneys from Arkansas to California, some without cause, as evidence that the administration is punishing prosecutors whose work targeted Republican allies and rewarding those faithful to the GOP.

Gonzales has denied that charge and promised to submit every replacement for Senate confirmation.

Earlier this week, his deputy, Paul McNulty, told the panel that some of the ousted prosecutors were fired for performance-related causes he would not describe, while others were asked to leave without cause.

Democrats demanded the performance reports of all seven dismissed prosecutors and threatened to subpoena the material. McNulty cautioned that the reports might not detail any reasons for dismissal.

The panel's action came a day after one of those fired, former U.S. Attorney John McKay of Washington state, said his resignation was ordered by the administration without explanation seven months after he received a favorable job evaluation.

"I was ordered to resign as U.S. attorney on Dec. 7 by the Justice Department," McKay, who led the Justice Department's Western Washington office, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I was given no explanation. I certainly was told of no performance issues."

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that in his last performance review, McKay received a highly favorable report from a 27-member team from the Justice Department's Evaluation and Review Staff.

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At 10:42 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

By rights this ought to be the scandal that brings down the whole rotten regime: It's the nakedly partisan perversion of the federal criminal justice system.

But how do we get people to understand the dimension of the outrage? They don't even know what U.S. attorneys do, let alone how outrageous these firings are, or that THIS JUST ISN'T DONE in our system.

The point isn't that the ousted U.S. attorneys were paragons of prosecution. They're all Bush hacks, after all. But they're being pushed out, not for falling down on the job, but for NOT being Bush-hackish ENOUGH.

Conventional wisdom might say: You can't get away with firing a bunch of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. But it fits right in with my perception of Karl Rove's motto as:



At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orrin Hatch voted for curbing Bush's power? Oh, dear Lord, the End Times are here.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger cybermome said...

Why was I not suprised that snarlin Arlen was involved with this odious provision( I'm in PA) Is there nothing this man won't do to stay in power and curry favor with these fascists? He's the Senate own little Vichy regime...

I digress a little but it as to do with Specter and the NRA...And PA politics

When Joe Hoeffel ran against Specter, we who supported Joe knew it was going to be a tough fight. On a lot of levels. And Joe did not have the name recognition and I'll be polite; he's not a greatr campaigner. Any way during the campaign,the ban on assault weapons was set to expire and Joe spoke at the rally. I was there with my daughter and I turned to her and said you can kiss this election good bye for Joe because being for any kind of reasonable gun legislation has been the kiss of death for many politicians here in PA. That's why Casey was on the " short" list to run against Sanatorium Casey's pro gun .Joe lost to Specter..
My daugher goes to Springfield High School. We are a small suburban community right over the Philly city line. This Dec one of her friends took a AK 47 and killed himself at school. A fucking AK 47.Last night I met with our State rep(a really good guy and friend to us Progressives here) about what we can do to help push out legislators to enact some gun leglislation with real teeth.He said its useless..The NRA here in PA contributes big $$ to political campaigns here. And of course Specter is one of those.


At 6:43 AM, Blogger skaterina said...

wow, i can finally call Orrin's office and thank him for a vote that i agree with / will wonders never cease


At 9:06 AM, Blogger Bil said...

I am just about outraged out but I hope this does wake up the rest of the sheep.

Thanks Howie for giving this more space.

I would be interested in a Tom Delay update sometime. Whatever he is up to can't be good. Thanks!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

I just wanted to thank Lee for sharing her history with that exalted legend in his own mind, Arlen Specter--not to mention the rest of her local perspective, including the ghastly event at her daughter's school.

If Karl Rove weren't on their side, he would know how to put the NRA on the defensive, and students wielding AK-47s would be prime exhibits. Alas, on our side we don't have the courage (more even than the money) to take them on.


At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the Democratic leadership sticks with this.


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