Friday, April 20, 2007

Politics and discussions

For those of us who are still befuddled at the complexities of the U.S. Attorney firings investigations, some background help:

Harvard's Berkman Center held a panel discussion on the firings a couple weeks back, and they created a U.S. Attorney Firings Wiki with background and links.

Congresspedia also has a Wiki page on the firings: Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy. It includes a timeline, links to news reports, and documents.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government has a report on why the non-government emails question is so important, in a PDF file: Without a Trace" The Story beind the missing White House e-mails and violations of the Presidential Records Act.

McClatchy's Washington Bureau's story today ties the scandal to an administration campaign to pursue 'voter fraud' cases to favor Republican candidates: Campaign against alleged voter fraud fuels political tempest. From the report:
Since President Bush's first attorney general, John Ashcroft, a former Republican senator from Missouri, launched a "Ballot Access and Voter Integrity Initiative" in 2001, Justice Department political appointees have exhorted U.S. attorneys to prosecute voter fraud cases, and the department's Civil Rights Division has sought to roll back policies to protect minority voting rights.
On virtually every significant decision affecting election balloting since 2001, the division's Voting Rights Section has come down on the side of Republicans, notably in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and other states where recent elections have been decided by narrow margins.

More McClatchy coverage. Also linked on today's story: comparisons of the Clinton and Bush administrations' pollicies on White House/Justice Department contacts. For this, also see today's posting from Sheila Lennon, with a chart prepared by RI Sen. Whitehouse, showing the difference. This is pretty shocking. Under the Clinton administration, only the White House counsel and deputy (or the President or VP) were allowed to deal with Justice. At the Bush White House, "417 different people at the White House have contacts about pending criminal cases with 30-some people at Justice", according to Slate.

In other discussions, a couple interesting ones on the VT tragedy:

At Facing South, Chris Kromm wonders Who is 'using tragedy'? reflects on the feeling some express these days, that the VT story will help Democrats push gun control. Kromm notes that those who accuse the dems of 'using' this tragedy have a history of 'using' others. For example,
Rush Limbaugh jumped straight to the point, his commentary today featuring this headline: "Could We Blame Lack of Religion and the Liberal Culture of Death?"

And, on Smirking Chimp, an interesting take from Brent Budowsky: Imus, Virginia Tech, Iraq, Pollution: Let's End The War Against Our Kids:
And more young people die, both Iraqis and Americans, while the band plays on.
...Once upon a time in America there was a great generation. Today there is a great generational rip-off.

And here's another interesting take, linked from the comments on the above essay:
at Thought Theater, Chain Letter Society: on the Virginia Tech Tragedy. From this one:
We have become a society that is obsessed with winning…what I have called the “Chain Letter Society” does that relate to today’s tragedy? Again, we have to consider the mathematics of life. In this country, the value placed on being the best, being number one, or being famous has become a focal point for our American culture. Parents today raise children to believe that they are privileged and can and will be the best…and the inference is that they must in order to have worth or value. It’s as if narcissism has become the trait of choice.



Post a Comment

<< Home