Friday, November 21, 2008

When the chips are down ...

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is being sued by a group of law students over the Justice Department hiring practices at the time he oversaw it. The matter at the core of the suit was the Department's rejection of a number of Ivy league-educated law school graduates who applied for positions within the Department largely on the grounds of their apparent political leanings rather than for any reason related to actual qualifications.

Instead, a number of applicants were chosen from 3rd and 4th-tier law schools largely on the basis of their conservative politics rather than their knowledge of the law.

Normally such a case would be defended by the Justice Department's civil division, and even though Gonzales is no longer a Federal employee it would be entirely appropriate for the division to represent him, given he is being sued for actions taken while he was head of the Department. However, instead Gonzales has asked for private counsel, and Justice has agreed to foot the bill, at up to $24,000 a month.

So I guess all those lawyers with proper political backgrounds are great for hiring when you are busy illegally politicizing the Justice Department, but when it comes time to actually be brought to court over the affair one wants those hoity-toity well-educated lawyers to handle your defense.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Secret Service likely to be busy

To no real surprise, it came out last week the secret service has already been investigating an increased number of threats against the new President-elect. Already two "plots" have been broken up, although they apparently amounted to a lot of ranting and hot air rather than anything serious.

Which isn't to say racists with guns doing a lot of ranting and raving isn't threatening in and of itself.

Also to no surprise, the Secret Service announced there was a noticeable spike in threats at the time Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin was traveling the country spewing bile trying to draw a false image of Obama "pallin' around" with terrorists. Anyone who thinks Palin wasn't purposefully trying to stir up violent reactions is kidding themselves. Of course, if anything disasterous had acctually occurred to Obama or his family, she'd have claimed to as distraught as anyone at her words being "misconstrued".

No, I don't think Palin was hoping Obama would be shot ... but I do think she was aware of what her words might spawn, and simply didn't care. If winning the election meant increasing the likelihood of some nutcase killing her opponent, well ... that was a risk she was willing for him to take.