Monica Goodling Serves the President

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The DOJ's Inspector General has released a 146-page (pdf) "Investigation of Allegations of
Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General." Via the Washington Independent comes a sampling of ways in which Goodling assessed whether lawyers were qualified to act as chief prosecutors for the United States:

The report gives eight instances where candidates who qualified for positions like counter-terrorism prosecutor and asst. U.S. attorneys were turned down by Goodling due to questions about their GOP loyalty. Goodling gave each of these employees interview questions like "Aside from the President, give us an example currently or recently of someone in public service that you admire" and "Why are you a Republican?" Several prospective employees told the inspector general that Goodling often steered the conversation to questions about abortion and gay marriage. For instance, one employee might have thought they were displaying their GOP bona fides by naming Condoleezza Rice as their most admired politician. But Goodling "frowned" and replied "but she's pro-choice."

Goodling also performed Lexis Nexis searches on prospective candidates by typing in their names in tandem with words like "abortion," "gay," and "homosexual." She also mined www.opensecrets.org for prospective employee's political contributions.

Also on the list of interview questions: "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?", which sounds like a Twilight Zone punchline. In Goodling's favor, she apparently makes excellent brownies.

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  1. For some reason the Bush II adminstration’s handling of the Justice Department bothers me as much as the useless and futile war in Iraq.

    Am I the only one who feels that way?

  2. I know that people will remind us that lots of federal hiring does have and has had an element of politics. Fair enough. I would just observe that there are varying degrees of political meddling in hiring, and turning it up is never good. Moreover, turning it up is especially bad in the department that is responsible for investigating government corruption.

  3. “Am I the only one who feels that way?”

    Hell, no.

    The fundie takeover of our country was in full swing.

    From Creationism in public schools, contraception, the full scale assault on science and reason, a different interpretation of the Constitution, forced prayer, etc., the Wahhabi Christians were planning on turning us heathens into subservient minions of their “gawd”.

    I fear our government far more than a few Arabs.

    But fuck, I donate to the ACLU too – putting me on the terrorist watchlist.

  4. “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?”

    DOJ attorneys are not the President’s personal attendants. The White House has it’s own lawyers that have no other function than kissing the President’s ass.

  5. Am I the only one who feels that way?

    Not at all.

    What’s most ironic about this all is that this president (and the GOP in general) has been accusing critics of being unpatriotic, when they themselves are the ones putting party above country.

  6. Wouldn’t “Monica Serves the President” be a better headline? It works in 98, it works in 2008.

    (Monica Goodling sounds like a truly horrid person, by the way.)

  7. “I did not ‘delegate hiring decisions’ with that woman, Monica Goodling”

  8. “It depends on what the meaning of ‘politicized’ is.”

  9. “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?”

    That one just made my skin crawl.

  10. “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?”

    That one just made my skin crawl.

    + about 10. Yikes!

  11. Outrageous. And practically it seems like a really bad idea, too — if the Democrats win in November, what’ll they do to retaliate? Hound serving Bush appointees out of office? Investigate the Federalist society as an extremist organization?

  12. couldn’t resist | July 28, 2008, 5:16pm | #
    Wouldn’t “Monica Serves the President” be a better headline? It works in 98, it works in 2008.

    OK, that’s a win.

  13. If anyone believes this is the first, worst, or last example of politicized hiring by an underling in an administration, I need your help getting $40,000,000 from a Nigerian bank account. On a 1-10 scandal scale, this rates about a 1.

  14. “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?”

    With favre beans and a good chianti.

  15. To some degree ALL political appointments and non political hiring by the executive branch is political, but the level of incompetence by the Bush Administration is astounding. For Fuck’s sake they can’t even vet their hirings in a way that guarantees the people they want without looking like actual crooks, and nepotism.

    Clearly if you are hiring a Federal Prosecutor, since their resources (the prosecutors) are limited you can ask questions about how they would use these resources. Based upon the answers, you could probably quite easily tell their political affiliation as well as their general political persuasions.

    Thus, when hiring prosecutors you’d could hire competent relatively conservative prosecutors with ease. At the same time, your hiring would look very above board. It ain’t rocket science.

    All that being said, the Bush Administration is one of the most flat out incompetent Presidential Administration EVER. Really, EVER. They make Grant and Harding look down right transparent.

    This White House could fuck up a wet dream. From the Neocons who tried to reinvent Iraq into some kind of free market nirvana. Where they sent twenty somethings with an ideological agenda and no actual knowledge of Iraq or any experience rebuilding a country. To hurricane Katrina, where between the utter incompetence of Louisiana Government coupled with the ineffectual Federal Effort made the US look absolutely pathetic.

    Coupled with this utter incompetence is a philosophy that believes in the “Unitary Presidency” which basically believes what ever the president does is okay. Essentially, these fucktards are unclear on the idea of limited presidential powers and the conception of checks and balances.

    Incompetence + Hubris = Cluster Fuck

    Regards

    Joe Dokes

  16. Something tells me she won’t be joining the Board of Log Cabin Republicans any time in the near future.

  17. Love Song to Our President

    World Trade Center’s on fire, and no one could save us but you
    It’s strange what a pyre will make foolish people do
    I never dreamed that I’d vote for somebody like you
    And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you

    No, IIIIII don’t want to fall in love
    (This prez is only gonna break your heart)
    No, IIIIII don’t want to fall in love
    (This prez is only gonna break your heart)
    With you

    What a wicked game to play
    To make me vote this way
    What a wicked thing to do
    To let me dream Kerry’s worse than you
    What a wicked thing to say
    Saddam’s nuke program’s under way
    What a wicked thing to do
    To make me cheer the war with you, and

    IIIIII want to fall in love
    (This prez is only gonna break your heart)
    No, IIIIII want to fall in love
    (This prez is only gonna break your heart)
    With you

    Nobody … loves no onnnne.

  18. If anyone believes this is the first, worst, or last example of politicized hiring by an underling in an administration, I need your help getting $40,000,000 from a Nigerian bank account.

    If you think this is due to an “underling” then I don’t doubt you are looking for that $40 mil you were duped out of.

    The corruption went all the way to the “top” – if that word can be used regarding the Bush criminals.

  19. Wow, it almost sounds like they’re political appointees.

    Does anyone seriously think the Clinton admin was any different?

    I also seem to recall lots of political questions for Supreme Court nominees.

    Oh well, let the crazies have their Two Minutes Hate.

  20. Yes, politics is always going to play a role in these kind of hirings; however, it seems like Monica Goodling cared more about how much appointees wanted to fellate the President than their qualifications or experience.

  21. however, it seems like Monica Goodling cared more about how much appointees wanted to fellate the President than their qualifications or experience.

    Yeah, there are questions that you shouldn’t have to answer once you’re past the intern phase of your career.


  22. Wow, it almost sounds like they’re political appointees.

    Hi, TallDave, did you follow the link or read any of the front-page news stories about this today? Kerry Howley kinda buries the lede about the hiring practices being “illegal”. But they were, according to the notoriously liberal Mukasey DOJ.

    By the way, when are you going to stop using the “Clinton was worse” wheeze? I’ve heard the other wingers are switching to “Imagine if Bush had done that!” in 2009.

  23. Tall Dave,

    The issue is not that politics played a role in the hiring, after all everything is to some degree political. The issue is they didn’t have the sophistication to at least have the window dressing of being above board.

    Further, unlike the top positions at the DOJ which are entirely political, many of these positions were for CAREER lawyers where their COMPETENCE was supposed to be the overarching concern. And this is where she clearly violated the law.

    Regards

    Joe Dokes

  24. Bush & Clinton were amateurs.

  25. Stevo, if I weren’t already in one of those committed-relationship things I would beg you to marry me. Seriously.

  26. Kerry would have been worse!

  27. Waaaaaa! Waaaaaa!

    You can’t disagree with me, that is QUESTIONING MY PATRIOTISM

  28. I want to serve George Bush. Right in the face.

  29. Stevo, if I weren’t already in one of those committed-relationship things I would beg you to marry me. Seriously.

    As a libertarian, I support your right to marry both of them. ­čÖé

  30. Democrat Shill,

    I don’t think your problem is with the people who disagreed with you. More the people who said that Dems wanted America to be defeated in Iraq, like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc…

  31. TallDave’s just bitter because he’s afraid that when it’s his turn to drop to his knees, Bush will be tapped out.

  32. Was Democrat Shill being super-ironic? Everybody knows the crop of neocons have cornered the “Dissent is Unpatriotic” shtick.

    Oh well, let the crazies have their Two Minutes Hate.

    How deliciously ironic that you would use this term when it references those of us who get mad at the merger of party and state.

    Please tell me you did it completely oblivious to that…

  33. Where will all the Liberty University grads get jobs after Bush is gone?

  34. Where will all the Liberty University grads get jobs after Bush is gone?

    Iran?

  35. Goodling also performed Lexis Nexis searches on prospective candidates by typing in their names in tandem with words like “abortion,” “gay,” and “homosexual.”

    Like journalists do when a new conservative-appointed judge hits the circuit?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Yes, disclaimers: Goodling sucks, politicized hiring bad, etc.

  36. Normally I don’t comment on the appearances of women mentioned in blog posts, but since the topic is a GOP loyalist looking for loyal foot soldiers, I think it’s appropriate to observe that she looks like she could totally be on Fox News. She just has that look.

    Does the GOP have a breeding program or something?

  37. I think it’s appropriate to observe that she looks like she could totally be on Fox News. She just has that look.

    What look? Idiotic, mindless bureaucrat marching lockstep with orders, fearing losing her job and career because, as a Republican, believes this her only chance to escape being a housewife?

    Did I miss anything?

  38. “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?”

    He’s taking America back from the gays, perverts, atheists, abortionists, evolutionists, intellectuals, and pornographers, and giving it back to Jesus Christ.

    “You’re hired!”

  39. That word “serve” makes me shiver a little. You’d think we were in Turkmenistan.
    (In fact, I’m curious to see what would happen if someone put up a heroic gilt statue of the President in an enclave of Bush supporters.)

  40. I’m just as heterosexual as a guy who lifts a lot of weights, but right now I’m really gay for Stevo Darkly.

    This place has really gone to suck since de stijl and Stevo fucked off to greener pastures, or employment. At least we have josephine and Tall Dave!

  41. I think it’s appropriate to observe that she looks like she could totally be on Fox News. She just has that look.

    Do you mean the Greta Van Sustren look or the Laurie Dhue look?

  42. Definitely Laurie Dhue.

  43. Where will all the Liberty University grads get jobs after Bush is gone?

    Would you like fries with that?

  44. Call it the WASP breeding program. (Though I have no problems with WASes).

  45. Good. I never thought Greta belonged on Fox, she could never be accused of talking out of both sides of her mouth.

  46. On a related note, why is Nancy Grace on CNN rather than Fox? Not only does she look like a Fox News anchor, the establishment would agree with her that anybody accused of a crime must be guilty.

  47. I agree with J sub D. This is mind-blowing, that the Department of Justice is being run this way.

    As you vote this November, I want to consider what you’ve seen the Republican regulars write about this, on this thread, an on the threads about all the Gonzo-gates from last year.

    They keep saying that this is how the government – even federal prosecutors’ offices – is supposed to work, because that is what they believe. That is how Republicans govern. It’s how they’ve governed for the past eight years, and it’s how they will govern for eight more if they win, because that’s how they think the government is supposed to be run. They think that Goodling did nothing wrong.

  48. “Where will all the Liberty University grads get jobs after Bush is gone?”

    They did open up a creationist museum in TN I think…

  49. joe,

    Not all Republicans are Bush. Should we keep the Carter administration in mind as “how Democrats govern”?

  50. TallDave | July 28, 2008, 6:01pm | #

    Wow, it almost sounds like they’re political appointees.

    They don’t believe that federal prosecutors are different than flacks in the White House press office.

  51. Occam,

    Most are. Did you see how the Republicans in Congress behaved during this? They sound an awful lot like TallDave.

    This isn’t some isolated thing. Did you see anything, either in the earlier hearings of today, to make you think the party as a whole, or even some meaningful slice of it, was outraged about this?

  52. There’s a difference between not showing visible outrage and seeing this as good government practice.

  53. They defended her, Toothbrush! They denounced the hearing, and tried to pass the whole thing off as much ado about nothing.

  54. They made exactly the same arguments as TallDave.

    (Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that he made exactly the same arguments that they did).

  55. That’s just political theater. Republicans aren’t as shallow, so you can’t just judge by appearances, you have to look deep into their hearts.

  56. All right, Toothbrush. I got carried away, because this particular scandal really pisses me off. Particularly in light of the Don Siegelman case, and the raft of other bogus prosecutions the federal United States Attorneys offices have carried out.

    There probably are Republicans out there who are opposed to this sort of thing, who respect the need to put limits on the partisan activity of goddamn FEDERAL PROSECUTORS, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE! They’re FEDERAL PROSECUTORS’ OFFICES! They’re not paving streets. They’re not the sewer board. They’ve got to be civil servants first, not partisan operatives.

    Back on topic: there probably are Republicans who oppose this sort of thing. Point is, there seem to be a heck of a lot of them who don’t, so it would seem to be the kind of thing you’d want to know about when you voted.

  57. Mmmm….

    Republican hearts . . . I think that calls for burgandy to offset the pure concentrated evil.

  58. Point taken, joe. I can’t imagine Bob Barr asking anyone to serve him out of partisan motives.

  59. Particularly in light of the Don Siegelman case

    He was a corrupt politician. What the hell are you talking about?

  60. As usual, its all about WHO you know. Got the right contacts and you can literally get away with murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity and anything else.

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  61. Where will all the Liberty University grads get jobs after Bush is gone?

    FYI, she’s a graduate of Messiah College and Regent University. Get your Rev. Billy Bob’s schools of book learnin’ straight.

  62. Liberty University?

    ROFLMAO.

    I would never hire anyone who attended that joke.

  63. Also from the list of questions:

    “Tell us about your political philosophy. There are different groups of conservatives, by way of example: Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.”

    Do the “Fiscal Conservatives” get the boot too?

  64. Mr. Nice Guy,
    The creationist museum was opened in Kentucky.

    And so long as they didn’t receive any government funds for it, then I don’t think there’s any problem with it.


  65. Occam’s toothbrush | July 28, 2008, 9:14pm | #

    That’s just political theater. Republicans aren’t as shallow, so you can’t just judge by appearances, you have to look deep into their hearts.

    Didn’t Bush say the same thing about Putin?

  66. Wouldn’t “Monica Serves the President” be a better headline?

    Shouldn’t that be Monica Services the President?

  67. Occam’s utensil wrote: “That’s just political theater.”

    At this point in President Bush’s term, given his pathetic ratings, the strategically appropriate political theater for them would surely be to support good governance, rather than pandering to TallDave and the rest of the 27%ers.

    If they’re still defending Goodling, they must truly suck to the core.

  68. Joe’s right that Sampson and Goodling can’t be justified by saying they needed to know how the prosecutors would pursue cases. Federal law actually prohibits the use of political affiliation as a hiring factor for people in career DOJ attorney positions.

    Furthermore, I don’t know of any precedent in the DOJ for this type of violation. That’s because most DOJ lawyers know and apply the law correctly. One of the more troubling aspects of this case is that Goodling and Sampson both thought that they were justified in using political affiliation as a hiring factor–plain incompetence. I could see a Post Office hiring official pleading ignorance of the law, but a DOJ attorney?

    That said, what Sampson and Goodling did could by done by any kool-aid drinking partisan–and the Democratic party has its share of those. It’s not like registering Republican makes you cheer for Voldemort and registering Democrat makes you fart rainbows.

  69. So TallDave, how do you feel about the fact Goodling rejected a highly respected, award-winning (presented by Gonzales), experienced, and qualified anti-terrorism prosecutor who applied for an anti-terror job simply because his wife is a democrat?

    And how do you feel about the fact that Goodling chose, instead, a totally inexperienced hack without even the minimum experience that would normally be acceptable?

  70. “That said, what Sampson and Goodling did could by done by any kool-aid drinking partisan–and the Democratic party has its share of those.”

    Could be – *if* such people were placed in positions to do so by Democrats – which doesn’t seem to happen. Goodling even overruled names put forward with Gonzo’s recommendation. I kinda doubt the Dems would set up a system where that could even happen.

    The Democratic preference for people from good schools rather than Christian diploma mills helps a lot, too.

    On the Democratic side, I think you’re more likely to see this kind of behavior on the state or local level.

  71. Gee, I’m wondering how many republican lawyers got hired by Janet Reno.

  72. Douglas Fletcher,

    National Review’s Andrew McCarthy received the Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award in 1996. And in 1999 he was promoted to Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District’s satellite office, responsible for federal law enforcement in six counties north of New York City.

    By contrast, the Bush DOJ tried to drive out everyone who wasn’t Republican *enough*. Being Republican wasn’t even sufficient.

  73. It bothers me, too. I had the (strong) feeling this was going on under Clinton, but the fact that it’s blatantly going on now suggests it’s going to be SOP forever, regardless of high minded allegations to the contrary.
    JMR

  74. “It bothers me, too. I had the (strong) feeling this was going on under Clinton, but the fact that it’s blatantly going on now suggests it’s going to be SOP forever, regardless of high minded allegations to the contrary.”

    Oh boy, here it comes. This epic feat of projection will be the GOP faux-scandal faux-outrage of the next Democratic administration, no matter what actually happens at the DOJ.

    Try to face it – the Bush administration has been corrupt well beyond the historical norms, Republican or Democrat.

  75. Jon H,

    I don’t doubt that you’re right about the Obama administration: they’ll have to be squeakly-clean to avoid GOP witch-hunts.

    Even if the Dems manage this, however, and even if they vote in some new proceedures designed to curtail future corruption, history proves their actions won’t solve the corruption problem.

    Grant was bad, Nixon was rotten, and Georgie has been repugnant. The only questions are who will be next in line, and what they will do to the country.

    as I see it, corruption is inevitable. the best way to mitigate it is to mitigate the power of the corruptible offices.

  76. John H wins the thread with his smackdown at 8:17, and he didn’t even tell a joke.

    You can’t just assume that A=B because you wan to. That’s just as much an act of blind partisanship as assuming that A > B.

  77. So Clinton knew McCarthy was a republican when he appointed him? Cite please. You can’t just assume that A=B because you want to.

  78. Commenters who think this went on under previous administrations are most likely wrong. If it did happen, it was not widespread.

    The stuff Goodling and Sampson did was just as illegal as asking a black attorney if he can litigate as well as a white one. Discrimination based on political affiliation comes under the same section of the law as discrimination based on race, gender, etc. I really doubt it was widespread under previous administrations–republican or democratic–because it is such an obvious violation of the law.

    If you read the report, you’ll see that people who sat in on interviews with Goodling confronted her. Not only that, Goodling was asking these illegal questions to other attorneys. It was only a matter of time before she got busted by a jilted job-seeker.

    The only silver lining on Goodling’s blatancy is that it harder to believe that she was instructed by higher-ups to do it and supports her statement that she and Kyle Sampson came up with this idea on their own.

  79. So Jon thinks Slick’s administration didn’t hire lawyers politically?? Wow. That wins the thread all right — but for unintentional humor. Bush’s corruption is simply more ham-handed than Slick’s, but they’re otherwise just the same. Hell, Slick’s Chinese = Bush’s Saudis to me.
    JMR

  80. Wilson Ellerson | July 29, 2008, 11:02am | #

    So Clinton knew McCarthy was a republican when he appointed him?

    Who cares?

    He either knowingly appointed a conservative Republican, or didn’t look into applicants’ party affiliation at all. Both of these situations are vastly more ethical and responsible than the corrupt, partisan, illegal hiring practices desscribed by Goodling.

    A little logic, please.

  81. So Jon thinks Slick’s administration didn’t hire lawyers politically??

    Retreat into vagueness.

    Jon thinks Slick’s administration didn’t hire lawyers illegally. Do you have any reasons not related to the phrase “but the Democrats, too” to believe they did?

  82. You know, I do get the cynical view, and I am a bit suspicious of those who insist that there was no politicized hiring of US Attorneys under Clinton. Human nature being what it is, I suspect that this sort of thing happens to some extent in just about every administration.

    However, while I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a bit of it happening before, it’s clear that this gang turned it up to 11. Bad behavior will always be with us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to keep it at as low a level as possible. Even a very plausible hunch that it’s happened before is hardly a sufficient argument for not getting upset when it’s discovered to happen on a larger scale.

    It’s like the difference between the guy who took a few pens home and the guy who took a laptop with confidential data.

  83. “”” Federal law actually prohibits the use of political affiliation as a hiring factor for people in career DOJ attorney positions.”””

    This is what people like TallDave like to ignore. The law.

  84. Statements like “the other guy did it” holds no value when discussing the application of law.

    If only we, as citizens, would be as concerned with applying the law to government as government is concerned with applying law to the citizens. Instead, many prefer to argue why their team should get a free pass.

  85. “Politicized hiring” can mean a lot of things, thoreau.

    I haven’t seen anyone claim that conformance to Clinton’s/Reno’s policies wasn’t a factor in hirings at DOJ during the 1990s, but that is entirely appropriate.

    Heck, when the Republicans got in trouble over the Carol Lam firing (Carol Lam prosecuted Duke Cunningham), they pointed to an alleged record of not taking enough immigration cases as the reason for her dimissal – a perfectly legitimate, legal act basis for the action, she didn’t prioritize cases the way the administration wanted her to.

    There isn’t just a quantitative difference here, though there’s that, too. There’s the qualitative difference that Goodling and Sampson violated federal law, and they did so by making partisan affiliation, sexual orientation, and other explicitly-defined no-nos into criteria for hiring and firing decisions.

    Next up: the Civil Rights Division.

  86. joe-

    It would not shock me if there was also some subtle bias influencing decision-making in hiring, causing them to favor people with compatible political views. Nothing I can prove, but a plausible hypothesis.

    I’d love to hear what our GOP loyalists think about subtle bias influencing hiring decisions.

    Anyway, that’s still not in the same category as “So, you’re a Republican, but how Republican are you?”

  87. Remember when the Coalition Provisional Authority was refusing to hire career foreign service officials with several years in-country and fluent Arabic, in favor of politically loyal interns from AEI?

    Subtle bias is one thing. Working to make the government into a branch of the party is quite another.

  88. Does anyone remember what the fight Bush picked over the Department of Homeland Security bill was all about?

    That’s right – he wanted to be able to hire and fire on an political basis, without civil-service protections.

    For departments like, say, FEMA.

    Goodling and Sampson aren’t a couple of bad apples. This was a pattern. If this type of behavior wasn’t endorsed by the administration, those two wouldn’t have held the positions they did.

  89. The Bush administration is everything that we libertarians have warned can happen if the government gets too big. I also recall that a lot of libertarians saw the Bush administration as an opportunity, believing that the Bushies (and GOP more generally) shared enough of our ideas to make it worth giving them consolidated power.

    Well, I think the Bushies do indeed understand a lot of our ideas….they just don’t draw the same conclusions. Accepting certain conclusions about the nature of the state doesn’t mean that you want to trim it…you might decide to take advantage of it.

  90. Why am I not suprised that a political party fails to see the danger in the ideaology of making the government one party.

  91. “””The Bush administration is everything that we libertarians have warned can happen if the government gets too big.”””

    Bush has become a rerun of the bad things from resent past presidents.

    The power grab of Nixon
    The energy crisis of Carter
    The record spending of Reagan
    The savings and loan crisis of Bush I

  92. Goodling and Sampson aren’t a couple of bad apples. This was a pattern. If this type of behavior wasn’t endorsed by the administration, those two wouldn’t have held the positions they did.

    Gotta disagree, joe. The report’s pretty thorough, and there’s no evidence that this came from top down. In fact, one of the reasons Goodling came under scrutiny is that she squashed a detail for some that Alberto Gonzales reccomended, i.e., she defied her superior’s merit-based decision for political reasons.

  93. I also recall that a lot of libertarians saw the Bush administration as an opportunity, believing that the Bushies (and GOP more generally) shared enough of our ideas to make it worth giving them consolidated power.

    Perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention to the “libertarian establishment” in 2000-01, but I recall much unease about Bush from libertarians and fiscal conservatives from the get-go due to all that “compassionate conservative” crap. The civil rights violations and general disregard for the law are just a bonus.

  94. Abdul,

    Personnel is policy – isn’t that a Republican dictum?

    Da Troops don’t need explicit orders if you hire troops who already know what to do.

    Goodling and Sampson may have gotten a bit ahead of their superiors, but it’s pretty clear that they were all going in the same direction.

  95. “””Gotta disagree, joe. The report’s pretty thorough, and there’s no evidence that this came from top down.”””

    Wasn’t Rove mentioned in the report?

  96. I wonder if she ever googled the words “miserable failure.”

    God bless these kids.

  97. Stevo, if I weren’t already in one of those committed-relationship things I would beg you to marry me. Seriously.

    Jennifer, I just now belatedly saw this day-maker.

    Can we possibly have one of those pretend Internet marriages? I know you’re already pretend-Internet-committed to Jake, but he also has another pretend-Internet-wife, so I don’t know why you shouldn’t have the same freedom.

    It could be one of those Heinlein-style interlinked S-group things where you are the pretend-Internet-wife of two otherwise unrelated pretend-Internet husbands.

    Maybe down the road, a full merger might be discussed, of a two-husband/two-wife deal, but Jake and his other pretend Internet wife would have to agree to this first, and I’m prepared to pretend to commit to you on the Internet right now.

    Also, a four-way merger would require that elaborate bedding procedures would have to be drawn up to allow girl-girl frolic but no accidental male-male ghey. We might also have to consult a pretend Internet lawyer. Fortunately, there are plenty of those — they are like passenger pigeons prior to 1800.

    But for now, let’s keep it simple. I say we pretend to give this pretend Internet thing a go. We can pretend to elope and then pretend to honeymoon at http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen — I hear the scenery there is beautiful this time of year.

  98. Mr. von Laue: I thank you for your flattering comment, but I will have to table it for future action pending my accidental conversion to teh ghey or your willingness to undergo certain drastic surgeries. But I appreciate it.

  99. Abdul wrote: ” The report’s pretty thorough, and there’s no evidence that this came from top down.”

    Maybe not the top of the DOJ, but possibly from the White House.

    Too bad the White House lost all those emails.

  100. “So Clinton knew McCarthy was a republican when he appointed him? ”

    No, Clinton and Reno knew McCarthy was competent and qualified for promotion and commendation, regardless of his political views.

    That’s kind of the point. The Bushies’ main consideration was membership in the Bush personality cult. Actual ability, experience, and qualifications didn’t matter to Goodling.

  101. From Lichtblau’s story in the NYTimes, via Drezner: “According to the report, officials at the White House first developed a method of searching the Internet to glean the political leanings of a candidate and introduced it at a White House seminar called The Thorough Process of Investigation. Justice Department officials then began using the technique to search for key phrases or words in an applicant’s background, like “abortion,” “homosexual,” “Florida recount,” or “guns.””

    So, yes, this came from the White House. And, why else were DOJ people invited to such a seminar, than to purge the ranks and applicants?

  102. Stevo, that works for me, so long as the choreography is done to ensure that none of the accidental girl-girl contact involves me. A woman can never have too many Internet husbands.

  103. I didn’t know you were squeamish about pretend girl-girl, but I respect your boundaries.

    This is the happiest day of my Internet life! Champagne for everyone! Woo hoo!

  104. Questo articolo ? stato scritto ah bello!

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