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April 29, 2007

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"Chiara sends a follow-up on October 27, Mercer responds." EW, your timeline seems to indicate that this Mercer response occurs on October 27, but it is not definitively clear. The reason I ask is that October 27 was a Friday; therefore, if Mercer indeed responded that day, the "Friday of the following week" would be November 3, not November 10. November 3 is the date that Elston tells Chiara she is being canned. I am assuming until told otherwise that Mercer's response must have actually been on Monday morning October 30 and Chiara promptly responds at 12:33 the same day; because this maintains the integrity of your timeline. At least in my twisted mind, this issue would affect my prima facie take on the sequence if I made the wrong assumption here. There might be someone locally here that would have an informed take on the NAIS; I'll see what I can find out.

EW - I'm sure you know this but a lot of the Bush administration scandals (Griles, Norton, DoI, Abramoff, voter suppression, Cobell) run through Indian Country. MBW of Wampum has been all over the USA firings/Indian Affairs ties in her dKos diaries including a nice catch of Sen. Tester pressing Mercer on the so-called 'dismissal' of the Cobell liabilities - something that may have occurred in a Bush admin meeting but has never happened in a federal court - the case is ongoing. The federal judge hearing Cobell ordered the case move forward just last week and the first progress report on the historical accounting will be scrutinzed in court - an accounting which could reveal the US government is liable for somewhere close to $200 billion dollars in theft from the Indian trust including interest.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/3/30/2048/76418

joejoejoe

Oh, absolutely, I'm a huge fan of MB's work--I have precisely that link loaded up for my next post!

Oh, and thanks, bmaz--you are right.

Would this be yet another reason that it might be interesting to get a look at all those documents being tied up in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee? If it involves Native Americans and casinos, doesn't the name Jack Abramoff automatically come to mind?

I'm getting there dotsright, just hold on!!

Of course, we all are like dotsright - what does all of this this mean? Leslie A. Hagen was Margaret Chiara's Assistant U.S.A. in Michigan before becoming the liason between the IC and the NAIS. She's also a heavy-hitter in the Domestic Violence world. She seems anything but a Republican Operative type, more like a classic do-gooder. Maybe we ought to ask her what's up [now that she's been summarily "un-funded"].

Squirrel this away in your prodigious mental databank, EW -- somewhere in the early doc dumps from DOJ there is a poorly redacted document that makes reference to a committee or subcommittee that has been eliminated.

I want to caution here that I cannot recall the exact phrasing; the reference could have been to a neutralization of some sort.

With the exception of Elston's and Chiara's comments about the NAIS meeting, is there any other documentation to suggest that the NAIS remains an active, on-going entity? Rhetorical question here, I'm sure we'll get an answer in the not-too-distant future.

Rayne,

Yes, I know the email--lots of redacted committee information, but certainly possible they said to get rid of NAIS, which would be consistent with Heffelfinger's take. Plus, they clearly were trying to prevent tribes from getting together to discuss legal issues; providing NAIS with no funding is almost the same as eliminating it altogether. ANd frankly, given the $200 B suit out there, I don't think our side, in general is dealing with the tribes any more honestly.

Emptywheel, this is just fascinating. I just learned you were working this angle. Does it look like it is Abramoff/casino related, or just the usual-for-500 yrs screw-the-Indians attitude?
I don't know the name "Cobell"-is that a case (or the case) regarding the trust issues that has been dragging on for so long? You're amazing btw.

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