Monday, April 16, 2007

Do You want to Get Up To Steam on the US Attorney Firings ?

I am currently well past steam to overheated (maybe plasma by now) but someone who doesn't have time to read all of the original reporting (almost all of which is at TPM and TPMuckraker) could do worse than reading this very good article by Dan Eggen and Paul Kane in the Washington Post.

Unlike the TPMuckrakers Eggan and Kane scrupulously refrain from stating their personal opinions directly. In this case, the rule does no harm and actually makes the case more convincing.

I'd say that political figures who mess up had better fear Paul raising Cain and getting Eggen in their faces more than egg on their faces.

I also applaud the Solomon decision made by some editor, since earlier stories had John Solomon's as an author along with Eggen and now Solomon is spending more time reporting on his family or something.

As Brad DeLong might say, reading this article, I think the Washington Post will survive for more than five more years. I'd guess he'd give them 6 or maybe even 7 years to live now.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/opinion/16mon4.html?ex=1334376000&en=d12c36936998aac3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

April 16, 2007

A Woman Wrongly Convicted and a U.S. Attorney Who Kept His Job
By ADAM COHEN

Madison, Wis.

Opponents of Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin spent $4 million on ads last year trying to link the Democratic incumbent to a state employee who was sent to jail on corruption charges. The effort failed, and Mr. Doyle was re-elected — and now the state employee has been found to have been wrongly convicted. The entire affair is raising serious questions about why a United States attorney put an innocent woman in jail.

The conviction of Georgia Thompson has become part of the furor over the firing of eight United States attorneys in what seems like a political purge. While the main focus of that scandal is on why the attorneys were fired, the Thompson case raises questions about why other prosecutors kept their jobs.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which heard Ms. Thompson's case this month, did not discuss whether her prosecution was political — but it did make clear that it was wrong. And in an extraordinary move, it ordered her released immediately, without waiting to write a decision. "Your evidence is beyond thin," Judge Diane Wood told the prosecutor. "I'm not sure what your actual theory in this case is."

Members of Congress should ask whether it was by coincidence or design that Steven Biskupic, the United States attorney in Milwaukee, turned a flimsy case into a campaign issue that nearly helped Republicans win a pivotal governor's race.

There was good reason for the appeals court to be shocked. Ms. Thompson, a 56-year-old single woman, seems to have lost her home and spent four months in prison simply for doing her job. Ms. Thompson, who spent years in the travel industry before becoming a state employee, was responsible for putting the state's travel account up for competitive bid. Mr. Biskupic claimed that she awarded the contract to an agency called Adelman Travel because its C.E.O. contributed to Mr. Doyle's campaign.

To charge her, Mr. Biskupic had to look past a mountain of evidence of innocence. Ms. Thompson was not a Doyle partisan. She was a civil servant, hired by a Republican governor, with no identifiable interest in politics. She was only one member of a seven-person committee that evaluated the bidders. She was not even aware of the Adelman campaign contributions. She also had a good explanation for her choice: of the 10 travel agencies that competed, Adelman submitted the lowest-cost bid....

anne

Anonymous said...

For a US Attorney to railroad a person to prison for political gain, is beyond understanding and contept. Truly frightening and sad.

anne

Anonymous said...

No; my words were no remotely strong enough. Sending a person to prison for political gain, is what we experienced for several generations through the Jim Crow period. Here we are come round to another form of Jim Crow persecution.

anne

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/opinion/16mon4.html?ex=1334376000&en=d12c36936998aac3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

To charge her, Mr. Biskupic had to look past a mountain of evidence of innocence. Ms. Thompson was not a Doyle partisan. She was a civil servant, hired by a Republican governor, with no identifiable interest in politics. She was only one member of a seven-person committee that evaluated the bidders. She was not even aware of the Adelman campaign contributions. She also had a good explanation for her choice: of the 10 travel agencies that competed, Adelman submitted the lowest-cost bid....

[Here then is what Republicanism has come to. Imagine, this woman was actually sent to prison.]

anne

Anonymous said...

The absence of compassion in Wisconsin is beyond understanding.

Anonymous said...

Notice that Hillary the Warrior Princess Clinton still is all for keeping American soldiers in Iraq thorugh her supposed presidency and still has no national healthcare plan. Barack Obama, for whom I have the highest hopes, still has no pledge to leave Iraq and no healthcare plan. We are left with John Edwards, as the only viable candidate to have pledged to leave Iraq and set down a fine healthcare plan.

Bill Richardson and Dennis Kuchinich have fine plans but too little support.

anne

Anonymous said...

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/04/paul_krugman_wa.html

April 16, 2007

Paul Krugman: Way Off base
Edited by Mark Thoma

Things have changed. It's time for Democrats to speak up loudly and firmly on important issues, just as their base demands:

NY Times: Normally, politicians face a difficult tradeoff between taking positions that satisfy their party's base and appealing to the broader public. You can see that happening right now to the Republicans: to have a chance of winning the party's nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls have to take far-right positions on Iraq and social issues that will cost them a lot of votes in the general election.

But a funny thing has happened on the Democratic side: the party's base seems to be more in touch with the mood of the country than many of the party's leaders. And the result is ... reluctant Democratic politicians are being dragged by their base into taking highly popular positions.

Iraq is the most dramatic example. Strange as it may seem, Democratic strategists were initially reluctant to make Iraq a central issue in the midterm election. Even after their stunning victory, which demonstrated that the G.O.P.'s smear-and-fear tactics have stopped working, they were afraid that any attempt to rein in the Bush administration's expansion of the war would be successfully portrayed as a betrayal of the troops and/or a treasonous undermining of the commander in chief.

Beltway insiders, who still don't seem to realize how overwhelmingly the public has turned against President Bush, fed that fear. ...

But the public hates this war... Iraq was a big factor in the Democrats' midterm victory. And far from being a risky political move, the confrontation over funding has overwhelming popular support: according to a new CBS News poll, only 29 percent of voters believe Congress should allow war funding without a time limit, while 67 percent either want to cut off funding or impose a time limit.

Health care is another example of the base being more in touch with what the country wants than the politicians. Except for John Edwards, ... most leading Democratic politicians, still intimidated by the failure of the Clinton health care plan, have been cautious and cagey about presenting plans to cover the uninsured....

anne

Anonymous said...

Time then for Barack Obama to get specific, and past and high time. The Warrior Princess will simply not do.

anne

Anonymous said...

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/opinion/16krugman.html

April 16, 2007

Way Off Base
By PAUL KRUGMAN

But the Democratic presidential candidates — Mr. Obama in particular — have been facing a lot of pressure from the base to get specific about what they're proposing. And the base is doing them a favor.

The fact is that a long time has passed since the defeat of the Clinton plan, and the public is now demanding that something be done. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed overwhelming support for a government guarantee of health insurance for all, even if that guarantee required higher taxes. Even self-identified Republicans were almost evenly split on the question! ...

anne

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton has eliminated herself in my estimation, as well as friends', as a possible candidate; I will simply never vote for the Warrior Princess. So, that leave Edwards and Obama to listen carefully to the Democratic base.

anne