Archive for September 18th, 2007

Irony

So… if I’m reading this correctly, Democrats should continue to capitulate to Republicans so that they can obtain a 60-seat “governing” majority… which they will then be afraid to use, lest their incivility cause it to slip out of their grasp once more? Have I got that about right?

There is no God but Dry Powder, and Broder is Its prophet.

1 comment September 18th, 2007 at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Media,Politics

This Is What You Get

This is what happens when you emphasize political loyalty above competence, character, and everything else:

The federal Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Rachel Paulose, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, mishandled classified information, decided to fire the subordinate who called it to her attention, retaliated against others in the office who crossed her, and made racist remarks about one employee.

(…)

The allegations also undermine the claim, which was put out for public consumption in April, that four top supervisory officials in the office had voluntarily stepped down to lower positions because of differences with Paulose over management style. The highest ranking of those four, former First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, resigned after learning that Paulose was about to dump him. Marti, who remains in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney, also declined to discuss the matter.

While the allegations are unproven, the ongoing investigation reaffirms that a dysfunctional climate in the top federal law enforcement agency in Minnesota continues.

By most insider accounts, Paulose remains at odds with much of her staff, who are non-political career officials. Federal investigators interviews with the staff about their boss’s alleged misdeeds keep alive the hope among her critics that she will not last until the end of President Bush’s term.

(…)

The conflicts enumerated in this matter are not explicitly political or ideological, except for one instance in which Paulose allegedly made false statements about a job candidate who had liberal associations.

But the pattern of the matters under investigation by the special counsel may shed some light on the gray area between issue of “management style” and issues of politics.

When Paulose took over the office, she told several of the career officials there that she demanded total personal loyalty. At least one replied that loyalty was owed to the Constitution, not to her. Many of the allegations raise the possibility that Paulose crossed the line while seeking to punish personal disloyalty.

The allegations

My knowledge of the allegations comes from sources familiar with the investigation. The summary below reflects the areas into which the investigators have been inquiring:

*As U.S. attorney, Paulose received regular reports about the status of the war on terror, drawing on up-to-date information assembled by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The reports, classified “secret,” were supposed to kept locked up. For about a year, Paulose regularly left the reports loose in her office, sometimes unattended, where they could have been seen by unauthorized people. Marti spoke to her about it and, as required by regulations, filed a report with the national office that oversees U.S. attorneys.

Paulose began threatening Marti with the loss of his position as the No. 2 attorney in the office. He heard from colleagues and even from a federal judge that Paulose was bad-mouthing him, making false allegations against him and telling them that she was going to replace him.

*Paulose committed large and small acts of retaliation against others in the office whom she accused of disloyalty to her. In one instance, after changing the job assignment of one employee, Paulose allegedly said that she would make the woman so miserable that she would want to quit. In some instances, Paulose allegedly ordered those in charge of performing job evaluations to downgrade the reviews of those she considered disloyal, or turned down requests that they be allowed to perform work outside the office. The allegation is that Paulose took these actions against employees for reasons other than the quality of their work, but rather for offenses like advising her that some actions she was contemplating would exceed her legal authority.

*Paulose allegedly denigrated one employee of the office, using the terms “fat,” “black,” “lazy” and “ass.”

Un-fricking-believable. How many other Bush political appointees are completely unqualified, unprofessional children like Paulose? How many of them are career employees? How long will it take to weed them out? How much damage will the loyal Bushies inflict on our government before we’re rid of them?

September 18th, 2007 at 09:51pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Religion

Auction Of The Day

Granted, it’s not new, or even refurbished:

Hidden among the porcelain fox hounds and Burberry tablecloths on sale at eBay.be this week was an unusual item: ”For Sale: Belgium, a Kingdom in three parts … free premium: the king and his court (costs not included).”

The odd ad was posted by one disgruntled Belgian in protest at his country’s political crisis which reached a 100-day landmark Tuesday with no end in sight to the squabbling between Flemish and Walloon politicians.

(…)

Six placed the advertisement on Saturday, offering free delivery, but pointing out that the country was coming secondhand and that potential buyers would have to take on over $300 billion (euro220 billion) in national debt.

(…)

EBay was happy to take Six’ advertisement.

”It was a really fun listing made by a Belgian,” Peter Burin, PR manager of eBay Belgium. ”This person, in a very funny way, reminded the Belgians what a great country Belgium actually is and it would be a shame to sell it.”

However, the company decided to pull the add Tuesday after receiving a bid of euro10 million ($14 million)

”We decided to take it down, just to avoid confusion,” he told APTN.

Oh well. I guess you’ll just have to contact the seller directly if you’re interested.

September 18th, 2007 at 11:49am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Weirdness

Quote Of The Day

Frank Caliendo of Fox Sports, on the Bill Belichick videotape scandal:

Cheating to beat the Jets? That’s like studying for a blood test.

Still, unlike the Giants, I can actually picture the Jets beating some teams this year.

2 comments September 18th, 2007 at 11:36am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports

Still More Random Air & Space Photoblogging

Once again, a theme completely fails to emerge…

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Disembodied legs! Perhaps they are the ghosts of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.

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Speaking of Charles Lindbergh…

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Voyager or Pioneer or some damn thing. It’s got a dish, anyway.

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Huh.

September 18th, 2007 at 11:02am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Washington DC

I Must Be Hallucinating

Are the Democrats actually playing… HARDBALL?

Two Senate Democrats warned Monday that the Judiciary Committee would delay confirmation of President Bush’s choice for attorney general unless the White House turned over documents that the panel was seeking for several investigations.

(…)

Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Charles E. Schumer of New York – vowed on Monday to use the nomination to extract information from a reluctant White House.

“All I want is the material we need to ask some questions about the former attorney general’s conduct, on torture and warrantless wiretapping, so we can legitimately ask, ‘Here’s what was done in the past, what will you do?’ ” Mr. Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said.

(…)

The White House wants Mr. Mukasey confirmed by Oct. 8, when the Senate leaves for its next recess. But Mr. Leahy said there would be no quick confirmation without the documents. He said he had told the White House counsel, Fred F. Fielding, that “cooperation with the White House would be central” to scheduling hearings.

It sounds too good to be true, really. I guess my biggest question would be whether the documents and subsequent confirmation of Mukasey would be the end of the investigations into warrantless wiretapping, US Attorney firings, etc., etc. ‘Cuz the appointment of a replacement for Gonzo doesn’t magically wipe away all the crimes Gonzo and his minions committed.

If this is for real, and the Democrats are actually flexing some muscle for once, Dubya must be sputtering furiously about how this wasn’t the deal, that the Democrats were supposed to completely roll over in exchange for… a non-loyal Bushie AG. God, I hope so.

6 comments September 18th, 2007 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Politics,Republicans


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