Democrats & Liberals Archives

Not at Discretion of President

In the Purgegate fiasco, Republicans keep saying that nobody did anything wrong when 8 Justice Department prosecutors were fired, since all prosecutors serve at the pleasure or discretion of the president. It’s true these prosecutors obtain their jobs through political means but once they are appointed they are expected to serve the needs of justice, not politics.

Those prosecutors that were fired did serve the needs of justice in preference to politics, and it appears more and more that this is the reason they were fired. Take for instance, Carol Lam, the San Diego prosecutor who brought then-California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham to justice. Evidently she was looking for more culprits in that dark saga:

The media reports this morning that among Lam’s politically powerful targets were former CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and then-House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA). But there is evidence to believe that the White House may also have been on Lam’s target list.

It appears that MZM Inc, the company of Mitchell Wade, the guy that paid Cunningham more than a $1 million in bribes, received a contract from the White House to “provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Dick Cheney." The contract ran from July 15 to August 15, 2002 and paid $140,000.

Two weeks after the end of the contract, on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a yacht for Duke Cunningham. What do you think the purchase price was? $140,000.

I quote again from the previous article in Think Progress:

To recap, the White House awarded a one-month, $140,000 contract to an individual who never held a federal contract. Two weeks after he got paid, that same contractor used a cashier’s check for exactly that amount to buy a boat for a now-imprisoned congressman at a price that the congressman had pre-negotiated.

Something's fishy in the White House. If you were Carol Lam would you not want to follow up here? If you were patriotic and wanted to serve you country, that is. If you were corrupt, however, you would go along and stop further investigations into the underside of the White House.

The underside is dark. And Alberto Gonzales has served these dark interests well.

The Republican drumbeat that the president can hire and fire at his discretion, implying that prosecutors are political plums, is wrong. No less than the previous Republican appointed by Bush to the post of attorney general, John Ashcroft, said:

You have to leave politics at the door to do this job properly.

How on earth can we have justice in this country if members of the Justice Department serve at the pleasure of the president. Yes, he appoints. However, once the appointment is approved the prosecutor's job is to fight for objective justice. A prosecutor appointment may be compared to a Supreme Court justice appointment: It may take a lot of political activity to get either appointment, but once appointed both justices and prosecutors are independent.

If we want the Department of Justice to provide justice to all, prosecutors should NOT serve at the discretion of the president.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 19, 2007 6:46 PM
Comments
Comment #212758

Paul Excellent post! Have you read Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in today’s NYT? It puts things into the larger context.

Posted by: Allen at March 19, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #212762

Thanks Paul, for reminding us that this (?) does NOT have unrestricted control over everyone and everything !!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 19, 2007 7:29 PM
Comment #212763

Paul- Great! It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you sit on, the Justice Department should be off limits to political pressure. If a Federal prosecutor has to worry every time he or she starts an investigation about political fallout, we will wind up with a system that does nothing. There should be, in law, a provision that makes interference in a Justice Department investigation a class A felony, punishable by some lengthy prison time. This law should include anyone, Congress, White House, or Justice officials who is in a position to influence an investigation. The actions attributed to Gonzalez and the White House have reduced the Justice department to a laughingstock. It has also eroded what little trust the public has for anything coming out of Washington.

Posted by: John Back at March 19, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #212767

It shows how, with such nonchalance and total disregard, this administration has made a mockery of our laws and justice system. They have all got to go…..not in 20 months, but NOW. Oh, if only wishing could make it so ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 19, 2007 8:08 PM
Comment #212769

Great post Paul. It sounds as though Tony Snow is starting to backslide as to whether or not Gonzalez will be able to retain his position. It is looking more and more like another firing is fast approaching. Of course all this is really nothing new. It is just keeping in tune with the tone of the entire republican party for the last 6 years. We have all known that they are less than respectable people. It was just that their own self investigations and bending of the rules to suit there needs did not allow any headway into proof of their moral demise.

It is sad times for republicans. Hopefully this will lead to placing roadblocks to and cleaning up the corruption which seems to rule our government.

Posted by: ILdem at March 19, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #212778

The greatest good that will come of this whole situation is the return of Senate confirmation of U.S. attorneys. As political, plodding, gridlocked and petty as the Senate has been in bringing judicial nominations to confirmation votes (and we should expect the same with U.S. attorneys), it really is better than the PATRIOT Act abomination we currently have.

And frankly, conservatives are idiots if they don’t support a return to the way the law used to be. Because the shoe will someday be on the other foot, and they’ll be the ones left screaming bloody murder about the politicized Justice department - again, but worse.

Posted by: Wulf at March 19, 2007 9:23 PM
Comment #212801

What is becoming increasingly clear about GOPers is, personal and party loyalty trumps loyalty to the nation and is the basis for so much lying.

Whether we are talking of Scooter Libby’s lying to the FBI & grand jury or Alberto Gonzalez’s lying to Congress and the American people or that of a myriad of other GOPers, the pattern is clear. And, it is sociopathic. It is not a new pattern of GOP behavior: think Watergate, think Iran-Contra. Lying and personal loyalty has trumped loyalty to the nation every time.

Posted by: Allen at March 19, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #212807


I think it would be very interesting if Congress were to investigate all 85 of the U.S. Attorneys appointed by Bush just to see what cases they decided to prosecute and which ones they chose to ignore.

Posted by: jlw at March 20, 2007 1:52 AM
Comment #212813

I’m not changing the subject so I will get right back to it but for a real research fact, go to :

http://www.watchblog.com/

Look on the left side and follow down to how many blogs cover “GLOBAL WARMING”


WHY DO THE LIBERALS WANT TO QUIT DISCUSSING “global warming”

“Could it be that since the New York Time’s told Al Gore to quit exaggerating. ..


and

could it be that since the TENS of THOUSANDS of scientist that have come out and said “NO! NO! NO!” to Mr. Gore’s statement on Larry King that all the scientis’s agree’d with his view of global warming…


and


ah look it up yourselves.


“Don’t rely on right or left wing sites that compile the facts for you.”

Look the numbers up and COMPARE for yourselves.

RESEARCH…. Real research.

Look at what the far Left says
Look at what the far Right says
Look at what the middle says

Then make up your own mind

But do it educated, not just the compilation of facts from others.

OK BACK TO THE SUBJECT

7 OF 8 OF THE FIRED JUDGES REFUSED TO PUT FORWARD CASES INCLUDING DEMOCRATIC VOTER FRAUD. THE ONLY VOTER FRAUD TO EVER GO TO COURT ANY TIME ANY PLACE AS THE FAR LEFT SLAMS THE RIGHT ON THE ISSUE.


LETS JUST LET HISTORY BEAR THIS OUT!!@!!!

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2007 5:46 AM
Comment #212814

sorry for the Typos’. Gotta go!

Sorry for YELLING!

Posted by: Scott at March 20, 2007 5:48 AM
Comment #212816


Leading climate change experts have thrown their weight behind two scientists who hit out at the Hollywoodisation of global warming

Researchers Question Validity Of A ‘Global Temperature’


PERTH, Scotland, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a formal
invitation sent to former Vice-President Al Gore’s Tennessee address and
released to the public, Lord Monckton has thrown down the gauntlet to
challenge Gore to what he terms “the Second Great Debate,” an internationally
televised, head-to-head, nation-unto-nation confrontation on the question,
“That our effect on climate is not dangerous.”
(http://ff.org/centers/csspp/docs/20070316_monckton.html)

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2007 5:58 AM
Comment #212817

Clinton fired all 93 when he took office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bush SHOULD have cleaned house when he took office but He didn’t and many have been working against him FOR their own purposes and not for the good of America as they should!I don’t agree with all of Bush’s policies but no one can know every reason for everything he or any one does.Your hatred of anyone conservative blinds you to giving any one any thing but opposition.That shows your bias and not the spirit needed for the co-operation necessary for good things to happen.If your aim is to destroy America keep this up,it’s been working for 60 years but Reagan and the 2 Bush Presidents have actually done positive things for the American People and away from Socialism and Communism which is where the Dems have been going .I want him to succeed in stamping out every bit of Socialism and Communism because they kill the Human Spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rdc at March 20, 2007 8:02 AM
Comment #212818

Conservatism is working and that’s really what tears you up.To argue with success you have to deny it.This country is better off, not perfect but better off,and moving up not declining!!!!!!!

Posted by: rdc at March 20, 2007 8:09 AM
Comment #212821

WHY DO THE LIBERALS WANT TO QUIT DISCUSSING ‘global warming’

scott,

We have been discussing it — in depth over on your side. The right posts trivial attacks on politicians and ignores science. So we are trying to get you to address facts.

Pointing everyone to one article by one scientist does not negate the consensus views of the rest of the scientists in the world, as expressed by the IPCC, NAS, and other national academies. It’s very easy to find an individual scientist or single study that meets your prejudicial views on the science. If you take the next step and read what everyone else has written and evaluate the science on that basis, then we’re ready to make some progress.

Posted by: Steve K at March 20, 2007 9:01 AM
Comment #212822

rdc

Conservatism is working and that’s really what tears you up.To argue with success you have to deny it.This country is better off, not perfect but better off,and moving up not declining!!!!!!!

Conservatism (if what the former congress was practicing can indeed be considered conservatism) was working to make corruptive gains to meet an agenda not in keeping with the needs of the nation. I am not sure what reality you are living in, but take a good look at the principles of these people. You should be ashamed of the practices of this administration and the last legislature. My viewpoint has nothing to do with hatred so much as it does bringing justice and awareness to the corruption which these people are mired in. The only way to make our government responsible is to hold them, republican and democrat, accountable for all misdeeds.

Posted by: ILdem at March 20, 2007 9:05 AM
Comment #212824

scott,
On the voter fraud cases, at least in New Mexico, the Federal prosecutor concluded that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against any individuals. Is it your assertion that the prosecutor’s judgment put politics over evidence?

Posted by: Steve K at March 20, 2007 9:23 AM
Comment #212829
Clinton fired all 93 when he took office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!… Posted by: rdc at March 20, 2007 08:02 AM
All those had been appointed by prior President(s). The 8 being fired now were all appointed by Bush. They’re being fired for “performance” issues after all having good/great performance reviews. They’re being fired for doing their jobs, which is defending the nation, instead of protecting the political interests of Bush and the others of his ilk. Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at March 20, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #212830

I keep hearing conflicting reports … Does anyone know for sure did The Bush Admin. appoint all these U.S. Attorneys when they took office or did they keep what was there?

rdc and jlw illustrate this discrepency in this thread.

I think it would be very interesting if Congress were to investigate all 85 of the U.S. Attorneys appointed by Bush
Clinton fired all 93 when he took office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bush SHOULD have cleaned house when he took office but He didn’t

Posted by: Schwamp at March 20, 2007 9:57 AM
Comment #212831

RDC,
“Conservatism is working and that’s really what tears you up.To argue with success you have to deny it.This country is better off, not perfect but better off,and moving up not declining!!!!!!!”


Good point! Conservatism look at America in a positive light: “Success is good; good for you on being successful”. Liberalism looks at America in the negative light: “Success is for the rich; you need the gov’t for help.”


“Have you read Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in today’s NYT? It puts things into the larger context.”

Yeah, a larger “LIBERAL” context! Nice balance there.


“The right posts trivial attacks on politicians and ignores science. So we are trying to get you to address facts.”

It’s the left who won’t listen to the scientist! To the left, Global Warming is a Religion. It’s sickening.

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases.

Posted by: rahdigly at March 20, 2007 9:57 AM
Comment #212832

rahdigly,

This is typical of the types of comments from the right on the subject of global climate change. Rather than address the entire science and entire issue, you zero in on the one or two statements that back up your personal non-scientific prejudice on the science.

Rather than address what the scientists have to say, you attack a non-scientist for (surprise, surprise) not getting every detail 100 percent correct. If only conservatives were as critical of the way this administration has waged war in Iraq.

The William Board article in the New York Times quotes several scientists. While Easterbook and Vranes both believe that Gore made mistakes in the details, nowhere are they quoted as saying they disagree with Mr. Gore’s overall message: that global climate change is occuring and is being caused, at least in part, by human activity (primarily CO2 emissions).

The end of the article quotes, yet another scientist, Michael Oppenheimer, who says: “in terms of the big picture, [Mr. Gore] got it right.”

Posted by: Steve K at March 20, 2007 10:17 AM
Comment #212835

steve,

“This is typical of the types of comments from the right on the subject of global climate change. Rather than address the entire science and entire issue, you zero in on the one or two statements that back up your personal non-scientific prejudice on the science. “

Here’s another source that address that “zeros” in on climate change cause experts using real data!


“While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change,” explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. “They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies.” This is highly valuable knowledge, but doesn’t make them climate change cause experts, only climate impact experts…We should listen most to scientists who use real data to try to understand what nature is actually telling us about the causes and extent of global climate change. In this relatively small community, there is no consensus, despite what Gore and others would suggest.

“Here is a small sample of the side of the debate we almost never hear:
Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?” Patterson concluded his testimony by explaining what his research and “hundreds of other studies” reveal: on all time scales, there is very good correlation between Earth’s temperature and natural celestial phenomena such changes in the brightness of the Sun.”

Posted by: rahdigly at March 20, 2007 10:44 AM
Comment #212837

rahdigly,

I am already familiar with Ball and Patterson’s comments. They have been out for a year. I am not swayed by what a handful of people have to say on this subject, and neither should you. Again, you zero in on what you already agree with.

Simple question for you: have you read the executive summaries of the IPCC or NAS? They reflect the consensus research of thousands of scientists throughout the world.

Posted by: Steve K at March 20, 2007 11:05 AM
Comment #212843

Schwamp-

As I understand it many resigned their position and he kept others until their 4 year term was up.

All 8 of these had served their 4 year term which means they were in the “until successor is confirmmed” phase:

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).

It looks like the Admin just screwed the pooch on this one (like so many before). Had they just come out said that the whole process was political it would have been a one day story.

Otherwise, it’s easy for critics like Paul to write “it appears” and “something’s fishy.”

As to his last statement, “If we want the Department of Justice to provide justice to all, prosecutors should NOT serve at the discretion of the president,” Congress has a process for addressing this. They can change the statue. Of course they’ll want to change it back once the Democrats are in the White House.

Posted by: George in SC at March 20, 2007 11:25 AM
Comment #212845

Paul,
Why does the lattest scandle from this Admisistration supprise you? The best and the brightest need not apply. The only things that matter with this Admisistration is he blinded loyality to the “Occupant of the White House” and everything he says he believes in. This Bush and his people do not want anyone who may have an idea that s not in line with the Administrations. This Admisistration will go down in History as one of the worse. They make Grant and Harding look good.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at March 20, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #212852

The IPCC is political not scientific! It’s from the UN which is (ridiculously) Political and (completely) Inept! So, you don’t agree with scientists that have provided facts to form their opinions?! You only believe in a census, rather than proven scientists?! Oh, ok. And, just look what happens to the (real) scientists that disagree with the “religion” of Global Warming from its’ disciples!

“Scientists who questioned mankind’s impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community. They say the debate on global warming has been “hijacked” by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Posted by: rahdigly at March 20, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #212859

rahdigly,

I guess that’s you way of say you haven’t read the IPCC’s or NAS’s works.

Go ahead and dismiss the IPCC because of its affiliation with the United Nations. Does that apply to the world of NAS as well?

In your world, it seems that two scientists talking in the same room are inevitably engaged in politics rather than science because they hold passports from different countries.

Posted by: Steve K at March 20, 2007 12:40 PM
Comment #212871

We might as well read this IPCC report. It’s the only one being thrown at us over and over and over again.
Al Gore showed his colors when he interupted an interviewer by saying “THE DEBATE IS OVER!”
He doesn’t want to discuss it. He wants us to fall in step and resign ourselves to his point of view.

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 20, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #212888

Wow Paul you sure must have hit a few conservative nerves with this article. I guess the new derailng tactic is just to start denying global warming.

Hmmm. Maybe if I retype something Paul just wrote another Al Gore charater assassin will show up. Just gotta decide which part of the article makes the administration sound most aobviously corrupt. Ah this’ll work

“It appears that MZM Inc, the company of Mitchell Wade, the guy that paid Cunningham more than a $1 million in bribes, received a contract from the White House to “provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Dick Cheney.” The contract ran from July 15 to August 15, 2002 and paid $140,000.

Two weeks after the end of the contract, on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a yacht for Duke Cunningham. What do you think the purchase price was? $140,000.”

Strangely coincidental, just like the firings.

Posted by: darren159 at March 20, 2007 3:02 PM
Comment #212902

Paul

I’m not sure how this posting digressed into a global warming discussion so I will try to keep on point.

You said

“A prosecutor appointment may be compared to a Supreme Court justice appointment: It may take a lot of political activity to get either appointment, but once appointed both justices and prosecutors are independent.”

Terrible comparison, you should reread the U.S. Constitution. Pay particular attention to separation of powers. U.S. attorneys are part of the executive branch not the judicial branch of our government.

Posted by: wkw at March 20, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #213007

Steve,

“Go ahead and dismiss the IPCC because of its affiliation with the United Nations. Does that apply to the world of NAS as well? In your world, it seems that two scientists talking in the same room are inevitably engaged in politics rather than science because they hold passports from different countries.”


When science becomes politicized, then we are all in trouble! It’s like the people that (actually) thought the earth was flat; imagine if the Dems took a stand that it was flat! That’s what you’re doing when you discount scientists and look at the (freaking) IPCC. By the way, there’s thousands of scientists that dispute global warming.

“Thousands of scientists dispute much of what Gore says and maintain that global warming might be real but man’s impact on it is negligible, that the Earth goes through cycles and it’s currently in a warming cycle.”

“The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which Gore quotes in almost every appearance, says its worst-case scenario is that the most sea levels will rise in the next hundred years is 23 inches. That’s only a difference of more than 18 feet.”


However, if you want to dismiss scientists for your UN brethen, go ahead; they may not tell you that the earth is (actually) “not flat”, though. :-)

Yet, as I’ve said before, this global warming is a religion to the kooks and they’ll do and say anything to keep it going and punish future generation’s economies.

Posted by: rahdigly at March 21, 2007 12:25 PM
Comment #213038

rahdigly,

The way I see it, the truth is in one of four possiblities:

1. The scientist whose works the IPCC, NAS and other national academies summarize are correct. (That’s what I believe)

2. These scientist are well-meaning but just plain wrong. (which makes this a collosal failure of modern science).

3. These scientists are part of a global conspiracy. To which I ask: to what end? For whose benefit and why?

4. These scientists are brainwashed. To which I ask: who is doing the brainwashing and why? To what end?

So which of these four truths do you subscribe to?

Posted by: Steve K at March 21, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #213048

Why does anyone want to argue with someone that insists the Earth is flat? The facts have been determined, yet there are thousands in the Flat Earth Society. You end up explaining why an airplane doesn’t fly off into space. Man causes global warming. Why argue?

Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

On the topic, if the conservatives are so certain that nothing is wrong here, then why not support the call for Rove (and Gonzales) and anyone else involved to testify under oath, answer the questions, prove everything is fine, and clear their good names? If they did everything right, wouldn’t this mess just all go away if they answered the questions and made it clear all was right? Unless of course, they had something to hide.

Posted by: Boomer at March 21, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #213067

Need this answered.

I keep hearing conflicting reports … Does anyone know for sure did The Bush Admin. appoint all these U.S. Attorneys when they took office or did they keep what was there?

rdc and jlw illustrate this discrepency in this thread.

I think it would be very interesting if Congress were to investigate all 85 of the U.S. Attorneys appointed by Bush
Clinton fired all 93 when he took office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bush SHOULD have cleaned house when he took office but He didn’t

Posted by: bandman at March 21, 2007 6:04 PM
Comment #213108

Boomer,
I gave up arguing. I’m just curious re: brainwash or conspiracy.

Posted by: Steve K at March 21, 2007 8:06 PM
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