Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Or, not. AG Alberto Gonzales continues to get into hot water. The latest is that his Justice Department has not turned over (perhaps withheld) documents to the Senate Judiciary committee which relate to hiring/firing of employees at the department, including employees below the US Attorney level. Murray Waas at the National Journal has the whole scoop. Snippet:

In the order, Gonzales delegated to his then-chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, and his White House liaison "the authority, with the approval of the Attorney General, to take final action in matters pertaining to the appointment, employment, pay, separation, and general administration" of virtually all non-civil-service employees of the Justice Department, including all of the department's political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation. Monica Goodling became White House liaison in April 2006, the month after Gonzales signed the order.

The existence of the order suggests that a broad effort was under way by the White House to place politically and ideologically loyal appointees throughout the Justice Department, not just at the U.S.-attorney level. Department records show that the personnel authority was delegated to the two aides at about the same time they were working with the White House in planning the firings of a dozen U.S. attorneys, eight of whom were, in fact, later dismissed.

A senior executive branch official familiar with the delegation of authority said in an interview that -- as was the case with the firings of the U.S. attorneys and the selection of their replacements -- the two aides intended to work closely with White House political aides and the White House counsel's office in deciding which senior Justice Department officials to dismiss and whom to appoint to their posts. "It was an attempt to make the department more responsive to the political side of the White House and to do it in such a way that people would not know it was going on," the official said.

The DC Madam is now all the rage in gossip news from Washington. However, the only reason she came to light was because of the scandal involving Duke Cunningham and the CIA folks who were using a limousine service to pick up her escorts.

Contrast in headlines: The NY Times Headline reads Wolfowitz Says Ethics Charges Are Unwarranted. The Guardian's headline reads Wolfowitz Hints He May Be Prepared To Resign.

British fishermen find a deer swimming in the ocean a half mile from the shore.

Yahoo is trying to keep pace with Google by buying a web advertising firm. Expect MSN to follow suit by buying a newspaper.

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