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April 10, 2007

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Though if I'm reading this correctly it suggests the emphasis at WH and DOJ were different. DOJ wanted to get rid of USAs it considered a pain in the ass. WH wanted to load up creeps like Paulose into our justice system.

Sneaky little devils they are. This just makes them look crappier if that is possible. I wonder how Paulose is liking her babysitter. I think the House and Senate could be investigating this for a very long time.

Looking at the placement of Regent grads in the DOJ this is a deep reaching attempt by the Bushies to totally change the outlook of the law between church and state. Rove gives these guys the open door and they support the Bush/Rove policies.

Oh, Paulose wasn't Regent U. She got her JD from Yale.

True EW but I suspect she has been drinking the kool-aid for long time. Spouting bible verses certainly gives an indication as to where she is coming from. It looks as if she was appointed without the necessary experience and given Kyle Sampson's desire to get more of their folks into USA positions for grooming for judgeships this looks part and parcel of the big move by Rove.

Just because she's from Yale doesn't mean she was/is qualified. I think it's safe to assume everyone, everyone Bush has ever appointed to ANYTHING is a worthless slack-jawed nincompoop.

EW, you are undoubtedly right about the mechanism here. What I simply don't get, and never have, is what the hell do our fine Democratic Senators do with their brains while they are on the job? Gee, lets see, on the last day of the Congress we have the slimy Frist requesting discharge of the Judiciary Committee with USA nominations pending for 33 year old inexperienced candidates. What could possibly be askew in this picture? And it its not like this was the first time the slight of hand shell game had been run on our folks either. I understand the Repubs likely still would have won out because of their majority, but why didn't anyone at least scream foul at the top of their lungs, or make any record of noticing at all? Just because you are in the minority doesn't mean you can't pay attention and make a record.

Yale Law, huh? Another proud graduate. Bush, Negroponte, Paulose.
Damn fine school.

But it makes me wonder...are women allowed in Skull and Crossbones or Crosshairs or whatever they call it?

Is a color guard and choir required for induction into the secret society?

Really, I want to know. I'm not some conspiracy nut. Well...a little bit...

Is there any reason why the Senate committee can't haul her up and ask her some questions, even after she has been confirmed? She sure can't plead the 5th.

I don't get this at all. The Senate confirmed her unanimously, even though the Republicans did an end-run around the Judiciary Committee? Is that how it went down? Because that's just absurd. Not one damn Senator stepped up and called bullshit here? "We've secretly switched the Democratic cloakroom's coffee to decaf. Let's see what happens."

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

Language limiting Senate approval of USAs was placed in Patriot Act without overt Congressional knowledge. (Sneaky)

Upon learning of the language, Congress voted for repeal of the provision, overwhelmingly in both parties.

Gonzales offered multiple stories to Congress and the press regarding the rationale and process for removing USA’s. (Wants to hide something)

Documents and testimony contradict Gonzales’ explanations.

Incompetent filing by prosecutor loses multi-million tax case.

Former USA publicly announces DOJ ordered her to read a prepared closing statement in tobacco case and seek reduced damages. (extremely unusual)

Fired USA put one Congressman in jail for bribery, was pursuing others; links exist between bribery suspect and Cheney and CIA.

Former Rove political operative and opposition researcher appointed USA in Arkansas, former home state of Hillary Clinton.

Politically charged case against Democrat is brought pre-election in Wisconsin. Conviction is thrown out during oral argument (extremely unusual).

Minnesota prosecutors voluntarily demote themselves to avoid Paulose. (extremely unusual)

Paulose appointment evaded Senate review through parliamentary maneuver after the Republicans lost the 2006 elections (sneaky).

DOJ and WH stayed in contact on USA firings using non-WH email systems (want to hide something).

Goodling invokes Fifth while serving as member of DOJ (extremely unusual, wants to hide something).

NM USA received pre-election phone calls from Republican politicians regarding status of a case against Democrats; no pre-election case was brought, and USA is fired.

From what is absolutely and indisputably known so far, there is a pattern of deception and hiding behavior from the Republicans, generating some unusual case results and unusual behavior in the DOJ.

(Sorry EW, didn't put it into a timeline)

All Congressional procedures are an outrage. We've just been conditioned to think they are normal.

Is it normal that our democratic process is so byzantine that no ordinary person can hope to understand what they are watching on C-SPAN? Why should debates and votes be so dependent upon bizarre and arcane rules?

Why isn't there a requirement that every bill and every amendment be published on the internet for a full two weeks before there is a vote on such (at a time and date known in advance)?

It is common sense in our day and age, with the technology at hand.

The procedures make no sense. But they are accepted as normal, and never questioned in any penetrating way -- even in academia.

So don't wonder why Paulose got through. Ordinary process.

Paulose is not the scandal. The whole process is the scandal.

I don't think we had CSPAN before the GOoPers got control of Congress. So I don't know how much of what it shows is normal, and how much is stuff that's been, um, messed with by people who are not in favor of democracy or Democrats.
Most of the rules I think might be 19th-century polite debating-society type rules, and as such possibly seem arcane to our current way of thinking. (Like 'my esteemed colleague from the great state of X' as an insult to the colleague!)

I don't think we had C-SPAN before the GOoPers got control of Congress.

That's incorrect. Tip O'Neill had the C-SPAN cameras pan an empty House chamber in 1984.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,951090,00.html

I'm dying to know who paid for Paulose's coronation in Minnesota. The DoJ says they paid $225.00 toward it. Where did the rest of the $$ come from? And what are the laws about USAs accepting freebies?

jwp. Good point, never thought of that. Oversite by the public. Love it.

Marcy, any thoughts on Cohen's bizarro piece today?

Look at Iowa too. Civil Rights Division to US Attorney. I suspect that Iowa was mentioned in redacted bits of the DOJ dumps.

P I N

The ND of IA is especially weird, bc after the resignation, they appointed the First USA, and she retired a month later.

Frank,

You stated above:

The Senate confirmed her unanimously, even though the Republicans did an end-run around the Judiciary Committee? Is that how it went down? Because that's just absurd. Not one damn Senator stepped up and called bullshit here?
Look. That was the last day of the Senate that the Republicans were running, that was Frist's last day on the job, and that was the last day of the do-less-than-nothing Republican term. They had tons of stuff that had to be passed to just keep the government working, and clearly they slipped some political garbage like the Rachal Paulose confirmation in there.

There is no telling how many things they slipped in that day, and since the Democrats were not in the leadership they had little or no data on what was happening. There was too much being "expedited" out of necessity. Very likely, the Democratic Senators who are competent were slipping their own priority stuff into the mass and had no time to watch over anyone else's shoulder.

If someone were to really want to see a can of smelly worms, they just might start reviewing all the legislation passed after the Thanksgiving break in 2006. In fact, it might be fun to get Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to put it all on the internet and let the TPM Rangers have a go at reviewing all of it, piece by piece. As they have been proving with the DoJ document dumps, that is an ideal use of the internet in governance.

There was no more possiblity that anyone would have spotted this one piece of garbage as the Republicans pushed it through than there is of my winning the Mega-ball lottery. (I didn't.) Catching such crap is the reason the Senate and House are organized into committees in the first place, and this was specifically removed from the committee system at the last second.

Cut the Democrats some slack and put the blame where it belongs - on the Republicans. They held all the levers in early December.

OT, but has anyone read "Analyzing The Anthrax Attacks" by Edward G. Lake?

He was described by someone (Glenn Greenwald I think) as obsessing on the facts surrounding the anthrax attacks, so much so that he has become an acknowledged expert on the subject. The book is one he self-published in 2005.

Another interesting aspect is how a pretty obscure (and I think another last minute slip-in) in the Patriot Act may factor in to the Paulose case: waiver of the residency requirement (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/013541.php) and flakiness on her publicly posted resume (http://www.mncampaignreport.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=389)

I realize that you want to give them slack but damn...they should have seem this coming EW. Don't you think?

And I just have to agree with a poster upthread...

"Posted by: Albert Fall | April 10, 2007 at 22:42ll Congressional procedures are an outrage. We've just been conditioned to think they are normal.

Is it normal that our democratic process is so byzantine that no ordinary person can hope to understand what they are watching on C-SPAN? Why should debates and votes be so dependent upon bizarre and arcane rules?

Why isn't there a requirement that every bill and every amendment be published on the internet for a full two weeks before there is a vote on such (at a time and date known in advance)?

It is common sense in our day and age, with the technology at hand.

The procedures make no sense. But they are accepted as normal, and never questioned in any penetrating way -- even in academia.

So don't wonder why Paulose got through. Ordinary process.

Paulose is not the scandal. The whole process is the scandal.

I actually like the obscure rules and proceedures. Much of it is about not letting bad things happen, or about using leverage to build your interest into a compromise from a position of weakness. Those who really master the rules (Senator Byrd) are as much artists as anything else. (I know, I know, developed taste.)

Anyhow, that lame duck session was something strange. First of all, many Republicans were in shock given their loss of the majority in the election. Bye bye committee chairmanships, K-Street Money and Jobs were chaseing after Democrats, Many Republicans were gradually coming to understand the electorate had slapped down all things Bush, Cheney and Rove. Put simply, the mood was ugly.

Mark Dayton (D)had decided not to run for a 2nd term, so the Paulose matter came at the last minute of his term. Mark was trying to wind up the things he had been working on for several years -- and the information on Paulose was dumped on him at the last minute. I am not aware that anyone locally flagged him on this -- someone needs to figure out whether someone contacted one of his staffers, and whether information was passed on when this confirmation came up at the last minute.

Norm Coleman's role is also difficult to interpret. He clearly was more in the loop as to what was going on, but the election had been a real shocker for him, and it is in that context one should review. He has never become particularly popular here -- his win in 2002 after the Wellstone Plane Crash has always put him under a cloud as an accidental Senator -- but in November 2006, the DFL candidate had defeated the right wing Republican by 20 points, outraised the Republican money machine, and gotten virtually all the Independent and Moderate Republican votes for Amy Klobuchar -- and Coleman is up for re-election in 2008. Since November Coleman has not been a happy camper. His approval numbers have dropped to about 46% from a previous mid 50's, and the Republican State Party is firmly in the hands of the Christian Coalition types -- the Michelle Bachman supporters, and Paulose is clearly out of that party faction. My guess is that Coleman did nothing vis a vis the USA because as things have worked out, he is politically dependent on that party faction -- and will be until some leadership shows up to take back the Republican Party and haul it into the mainstream again. Remember, Coleman is a former conservative DFL'er, Co-Chaired Clinton's state campaigns in 92 and 96, and was recruited to change parties by a mix of people -- yes, Karl Rove, but also the old money people who traditionally dominated the Republican Party, and his best buddy in the Senate is Joe Lieberman. In December, 2006 that was hardly a position of strength if you were looking at a re-election campaign in 2008 against a well known Wellstonian named Al Franken.

(By the Way -- Franken is going to be on Larry King tonight, might be of some interest.)

Anyhow, I assume Norm "went along" because Paulose is a chit for the only faction in the MN Republican Party that is still semi-loyal and organized, the Christian Coalition gang behind Bachman.

In recent days, Senator Amy Klobuchar has been given to tight little comments on the art of managing a Prosecutor's office -- she was Hennepin County Attorney for three terms prior to running for the Senate -- so popular she ran unopposed. She is not on Judiciary, rather on Ag and Environment -- so she is totally focused on coordinating the building of a major Alternative Energy Policy. That leaves Coleman sitting out in the bleachers with "his" USA and her office mess...and Coleman apparently does not have the Clout to address the problem. And since the Heffelfinger Family is at the core of the Old Money, Respectable, Republican Moderates (now voting DFL) crowd -- his position is not really all that great.

As alway, Sara, enlightening comment. I need to find the reference (I'm rereading the document dumps), but I believe when Paulose was first appointed, Coleman actually opposed her. He had his own candidate, and was not happy have her foisted on him. (I guess the WH cares not a whit for Coleman's Senatorial priveilege, as they did not for Ensign's, who was miffed about the Bogden firing.) At some point, he came around to support her, no doubt for the reasons you've laid out.

This is why Senate Judic should not approve any appointments for any jobs in DOJ, or any judgships, until the WH starts coming clean. If that means no one passes, so be it. And no recesses until the end of the year, so no recess appointments either.

Mimikatz,

I'll agree with you. No Senate hearings of confirmations for US attorney or judges until both the White House comes clean AND Gonzales leaves office.

Sara,

Thanks for the very informative comment. I frequently wonder what is happening politically up there in Yankee-land.

I've also wondered how many states the Christian political right has taken over the Republican Party. Texas is the only one I am sure of, but I'd bet on Missouri and Oklahoma.

EW, there are a couple of local blogs deep into the Paulose Story, which I've been checking. I recommend Norweginity, and Minnesota Monitor -- but there are others too. My own guess is that Norm supported the interium appointment prior to election, assuming that the R's would keep control of the Senate, and the list he apparently sent to the WH and DOJ would have been consulted for a regular appointment, and would easily come out of Judiciary. But as we know from Barbara Boxer -- Elections have consequences. Apparently Norm has somewhat continued Wellstone's practice of having a local committee review appointment possibilities when a vacancy exists -- and do some preliminary vetting, and they had produced a list for Coleman. The WH was uninterested in his list.

News at noon today. A more moderate Republican has been found to run for State Chair -- election in June, to run against the current chair, out of the Bachman School of Republicanism and Theocracy. Since the choice will be made by the State Central Committee selected in 2006 that nominated Kennedy and Bachman, I would not bet money on change right now, but the announcement promises a fight for more moderation and competence so we'll see. Coleman immediately announced he would support the current chair. The only way the Republicans can change is to have a fight at the Precinct Caucus level, move the ultra conservatives out and find moderate Republicans willing to run for Party Offices. Given that the Christian Coalitionists have been insulting them with eliminationist rhetoric for 20 years, that will be a hard sell. But if the moderate reformers are serious, this is the route they have to travel. Last fall they lost a US House Seat, an open Senate Seat, two Constitutional Officers statewide, four State Senate Seats, and I think it is 18 State House Seats. One does have to ask about their winning strategy at some point. The Paulose matter just makes their situation more ugly. If Norm now fails to support the far right State Chair, he would probably be looking at a challenge either at State Convention or in a primary -- which is why he wrote Paulose a letter telling her to clean up her office administration (hardly her real problem) -- and getting under the bed covers should anyone mention the fight for State Party Chair.

I wonder if other Republican State Parties are having similar fights? Is this just Minnesota, or a much more generalized condition? It seems this sort of thing did happen in Colorado over the past couple of years -- and for different reasons it looks like Nevada and Kentucky have major problems. In Minnesota and Colorado I think it is the unnatural marriage of traditional (business) Republicanism with the hard right ideologues that is coming apart -- but I don't know about other places.

Sara (at 15:21):
Do you have the links to the minnesota blogs?

I think they did the same thing in 2005. Another nominee with no prosecutorial experience but great political connections

From White House Web page
Catherine L. Hanaway
Position: Missouri - E
US Attorneys (94) Department of Justice
Status: Appointed
Date Nomination Sent to the Senate: April 28, 2005
Date of Confirmation by the Senate: December 27, 2005


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