You Think Alberto Gonzales Knows There’s Not a “Department of Law”?

Let’s hope so, because Texas Tech just hired Gonzales to teach what appears to be a PoliSci course. (h/t Wonkette)

Alberto Gonzales, who resigned as the Bush administration’s embattled attorney general nearly two years ago, has lined up a fall-semester teaching spot at Texas Tech University, the university confirmed today.

Gonzales, who was Gov. George W. Bush’s lawyer and Texas secretary of state before joining Bush in Washington, will be working in the university’s political science department, teaching a “special topics” course on contemporary issues in the executive branch, according to Dora Rodriguez, a senior business assistant in the department.

Maybe Sarah Palin can use her soon-to-be-abundant free time and go learn how the guy running the Department of Law can protect the President from any legal consequences for his actions.

One important detail: note that Texas Tech is not employing AGAG to teach law. I guess in this day and age, even Texas schools want to avoid having John Yoo problems.

  1. AZ Matt says:

    No doubt Texas Tech is a good school but no University of Texas Law School appointment for the ex-AGAG??? Too bad.

      • tejanarusa says:

        In the interest of objective truth, I must point out that the filing of a complaint, or grievance, as it’s called in Texas, does NOT mean that the person against whom the complaint is made is “in the process of being disbarred.”

        It merely means the Bar will have to process the grievance and possibly investigate it. The lawyer against whom the grievance is filed may be ordered to respond. But if the Texas Bar concludes that it is frivolous, they can dismiss the grievance without further action.

        So your statement is way premature.

        Not that I would mind if he were disbarred, but this complaint is a long way from accomplishing that, and you should understand that.
        Frankly, I would be surprised if it ever happens.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, and keep in mind that the ultimate authority in Texas is the Texas Supreme Court, and they have already dismissed at least one complaint against Gonzales as being without merit.

        • NMvoiceofreason says:

          If you can’t disbar him for this we need to get rid of all the bar associations and start over. Any ideas?

  2. Arbusto says:

    Special topics; how cute! How any institution could hire someone of Gonzos stature, and expect a relevant or lucid course from him is highly questionable. Bushco strikes again?

  3. skdadl says:

    How can he teach much about special issues in the executive branch if he can’t answer questions about it lucidly in front of congressional committees?

    Maybe we should think of ways to get some questions through to his students — things we’ve always wanted to know but could never figure out from his testimony, that sort of thing.

    • dakine01 says:

      Don’t forget, Texas Tech has a history of toxic reclamation projects. Think Bobby Knight.

      • bmaz says:

        Say what you will about Bob Knight, he is, and has long been considered one of the best college basketball coaches in history; he won three championships and always had a top team even with non-NBA level talent. He ran a notoriously by the book and clean program and had an astounding graduation rate. Most all of his players loved him and would go to war for him. He has nothing whatsoever in common with Fredo Gonzales, who never did shit on his own, and was universally considered a dolt and a failure.

    • freepatriot says:

      Texas Tech is dead to me

      better still, any student from Texas Tech who takes a class taught by ab gonzo is UNFIT TO SERVE in ANY POSITION in American Government

      so let’s issue a fair warning to all Texas Tech students

      if you sit in a classroom with this man, YOU’RE POLITICAL CAREER IS OVER BEFORE IT BEGAN

      I have no intentions of letting this fucking criminal influence MY GOVERNMET EVER AGAIN

      so go ahead, texas tech

      fuck up the future of your students by allowing them to be corrupted by this war mongering criminal

      but don’t expect me to treat his students with even a modicum of respect

      I will spit on them, and denounce them, every chance I get

      class rosters at public schools are PUBLIC INFORMATION

      so go ahead an cut your own throats, young people

      I am waiting to denounce you

      knock yerselves out

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    With all due respect to Texas Tech, by the standards of former Attorneys General, Nixon’s excluded, this appointment is like a Nobel laureate teaching high school physics.

    How many former AG’s, for example, have been refused re-entry into their partnerships by their former firms, even where his former president and vice president (Wyoming was a dodge) come from the same state, and it’s the state where the former president lives and is putting up his presidential libwary?

    ‘Fredo’s brother no longer has any use for him, so he can sell oranges or go fishing. I hope the Hail, Mary works better for this ‘Fredo than it did for the Corleone’s.

    This appointment is cover to avoid the ignominy of remaining unemployed.

  5. Kineslaw says:

    My heart stopped beating when I first saw the headline and the link going to the Austin-American Statesman. Then I realized UT had not hired him and felt better. My blood can remain orange.

    Alberto must be absolutely radioactive for SMU to be willing to take the Presidential Library and not him. Or maybe the library has proved so controversial SMU wasn’t willing to compound the problem.

    I wish part of the job requirement were that Alberto had to live in Lubbock. It’s not Gitmo, but it also isn’t Austin or Houston.

  6. TheraP says:

    As most of you likely know, being hired to teach “one course” generally pays a pittance! I’d bet you it’s no more than $2500 – if that much (maybe $1500). And don’t forget, the students get to grade the teacher at the end of the course!

  7. Loo Hoo. says:

    Ha! TPM reader RS:

    Late Update: TPM Reader RS:

    Please tell me there’s at least one Texas Tech political science student with the guts to answer “I do not recall” to every test question. Maybe even “I do not recall remembering.”

  8. Mary says:

    Hmmm, poli sci dept (not law school) and a made up “special topics” class. Whatever.

    I think it is unfair, though, to Palin to claim a win over arm wrestling with herr linquistics when she has bascially won the cage match on outcomes hands down.

    Call it the Dept of Law or Dept of Justice (and I really think given the morph it probaby should have a new name) the function over the better part of the last decade and for all the foreseable future is to protect Executive branch criminals and help them exploit their crimes, while at the same time to go for the throats of whistleblowers who believed in the rule of law and the Constitution.

    She’s right – look at how strenuously Obama is protecting murdering toturers and Dick Cheney (assuming a conjunction is needed) and I think she’s pretty much won the argument that if she and McCain had won, The Department (however you further describe it) would have devoted itself with a religious fervor to protecting her, at any cost and at every cost to the nation and to individuals she wronged.

    It’s ez to mock her, but she got the substance right.

    Holder and Obama should be proud – they’ve taught a con law lesson that can be processed by even a Palin.

  9. Waccamaw says:

    If you think he’s gonna be paid a “pittance”, think again. I’d be willing to bet this is just a way to cover up shoveling some major bucks into his pocket by a round-about route. Wrt the student grading at end of term, any student who signs up for his class is gonna give him an automatic “A”.

    • tejanarusa says:

      Yeah, absolutely. Anybody else would get paid the pittance, but somebody will be providing the difference for AG. Hope he disappears quietly into the west Texas sunset now.

      Oh, and Bmaz, as a somewhat conflicted IU alum of the Knight era, thanks for the defense. The biggie to me is that his players loved him, his players graduated at an astonishingly high rate, and there was never a whisper of scandal of the usual NCAA sort. A bad temper, absolutely. A sunovabitch to live with, no doubt. As a coach..well, you can’t take that away from him.

  10. plunger says:

    Maybe there’s an opening for the Iquitarod Winner at the

    Department Of Huntin’-N-Fishin’

  11. Waccamaw says:

    Will be interesting to see what kind of blow-back TT encounters as more of its grads hear the news. Comments in the Statesman are not currently what could be described as favorable to the decision.

    • tejanarusa says:

      From the article:

      In a press release issued hours after I inquired, the university said that as of Aug. 1, Gonzales will join the Texas Tech University System to assist both Texas Tech University and Angelo State University (in San Angelo) with recruiting and retaining first generation and under-represented students.

      The university said he will work with Texas Tech’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement in the planning of a first generation and minority student leadership training and development program.

      Frankly, that’s more unbelievable to me than the “Executive office issues” course.
      Gonzalez has never shown one bit of leadership; he’s the ultimate follower if ever there was one.

      And Waccamaw, you’re so right about the comments; I couldn’t find one favorable to him or TT. Of course, Austin doesn’t exactly hold TT or Lubbock in high esteem, anyway.
      My fave comment:

      He is going to teach a course on how to improve your memory and a seminar on how to successfully duck prosecution.

      Someone else refers to Lubbock as “hell on earth,” therefore an appropriate place for him.
      Bet his family is thrilled to go from Houston to DC to ….Lubbock. Or San Angelo.

      • PJEvans says:

        Lubbock’s not that bad. (Been there, seen the mall, bought beer on the Strip.)
        I don’t know if Tech is the high point of educational institutions in West Texas, although my father did go there posthumously. A lot of smart people go there (and some of the professors aren’t too bright: the guy who decided to see if fire ants could adapt to the local climate (and let some get loose!) is probably not as bright as Fredo.)

          • randiego says:

            I’m married to a very pissed-off Tech grad, who also agrees that Lubbock isn’t that bad.

            This guy should be prohibited from getting within 1000 feet of ANY school, just like a freaking child molester!

            • bmaz says:

              Wow. Mrs. Randiego was my first thought when I saw this. And I agree with the “zone of protection” you suggest.

      • emptywheel says:

        In college, I lived with women from Lubbock and Peoria (and Ames and Grand Rapids).

        At the time, I lived in Poway, CA, affectionately nicknamed “Cowpie” by those living near the beach to mock our rodeo.

        Which I thought could compete with Lubbock. Until I actually went there.

  12. foothillsmike says:

    Even though growth continued at Texas Tech, the university was not immune to controversy. In 2003, a third-year student at the Texas Tech School of Law filed suit against the university over its policy on free speech zones, which restricted student speech to a single “free speech gazebo”.[35] The following year, a federal judge declared the policy unconstitutional.[35][36][37


  13. Loo Hoo. says:

    What the hell?

    Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson moved the Obama administration into new territory from a civil liberties perspective. Asked by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) the politically difficult but entirely fair question about whether terrorism detainees acquitted in courts could be released in the United States, Johnson said that “as a matter of legal authority,” the administration’s powers to detain someone under the law of war don’t expire for a detainee after he’s acquitted in court. “If you have authority under the law of war to detain someone” under the Supreme Court’s Hamdi ruling, “that is true irrespective of what happens on the prosecution side.”

  14. bgrothus says:

    Even without merit, he will be capable of receiving a high salary for this “executive” (type) job which (the hire and the job) sounds a lot like “affirmative action” to me:

    “Gonzales will join the Texas Tech University System to assist both Texas Tech University and Angelo State University (in San Angelo) with recruiting and retaining first generation and under-represented students.

    The university said he will work with Texas Tech’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement in the planning of a first generation and minority student leadership training and development program.”

  15. AKSteve says:

    With all due respect, I’d like to point out that setting up a new class at many universities can take a while to get through the administrative hoops. Many departments set up a “Special Topics” course, which can have any specific title added, to try out new classes, have a one time course on some topic of current interest, or for visiting faculty to teach their specialty. So teaching a special topics course makes sense and isn’t really an issue.

    Second, are you saying that none of you would be interested in hearing what Gonzales might have to over 40 hours on the executive branch? He certainly can’t do this without giving lots of examples. For college students to get to see and talk to someone who was recently at this level of the government – for better or worse – is a great opportunity. If he’s as big a flake as we think, the students will see that.

    As an undergraduate student in Göttingen for one year, I got to take a course on the history of WWII taught by Professor Percy Schramm who was Hitler’s official historian. Maybe he shouldn’t have been allowed to teach, but it sure was an interesting class.

    The original article says Gonzales be working as a visiting professor. That means it’s probably for one term or year and not a tenure track position. Yes, it probably is a face-saving move, but he does have to teach. If he doesn’t do that well, I hope the students will let us all know.

    • bmaz says:

      Um, no, I honestly do not think Gonzales is qualified to teach future lawyers. Separate and distinct from what he did in office (which could be disqualifying to many people), is the fact that he is a blithering idiot. I honestly do not think he is smart enough, nor accomplished enough to teach. Not to mention his clear memory problems. And no I am not joking about either factor.

    • Mary says:

      Second, are you saying that none of you would be interested in hearing what Gonzales might have to over 40 hours on the executive branch?

      Oh, absolutely I would. As long as it was under oath, subject to cross examination and supported by evidentiary subpoena power.

      Otherwise, not so much.

  16. Mary says:

    Contemporary Issues in the Executive:

    1. How to use the Dept of Justice to proactively refuse to investigate murder so you don’t have to pardon it.

    2. The Nuremberg Defense – loses at Nuremeber, wins over the Obama White House.

    3. What do the Presidential Briefing and Hustler have in common? [Hint: Stories of kidnap victims anally assaulted by “the good guys”] How are they different? [Hint: Hustler publishes its pictures.}

    4. How to violate FISA and make telecomrades for fun and profit.

    5. Presidential souvenirs – Sadaam’s gun; a brick from the building where Zarqawhi was blown up; the head of the guy who wasn’t Zawahiri; KSM’s children …

    Man – happening kinds of topics indeed.
    Not. Enough. Showers.

    @29 – the only thing worse than the lawyers who were still working for Bush the last couple of years are the ones who are still working for Obama after a couple of months of his “change”

    I remember having these episodes from time to time, thinking that beyond the individual horrors and losses on 9/11 that don’t really have anything to compare with them, the saddest thing after 9/11 was to watch how Bush took so much that was directed to him in such a benefical way and with such good intentions from so many and not only wasted, but fully perverted it. I didn’t think there was much that would leave that much of a sense of loss, but even though I never had high hopes for Obama, watching what he and Holder had done to finally and thoroughly stab justice and law in the back – even as they can still hear the echoes of the cheers from the crowds welcoming them in full belief that they would defend the nation and the rule of law. And I have to say, it’s sadder to watch what is happening now. Losses that have teetered for a half decade are finally made full.

  17. oldtree says:

    We have to help sponsor someone that will go document the debacle. And someone that will answer with those oh so clever quips of Abu himself. Should mean an A.

  18. Citizen92 says:

    More evidence that guys like Alberto can only be “successful” on the public dole. I bet James Baker (or the Carlyle Group) funded Alberto’s forthcoming visiting professorship. That’s how things like this get done. Alberto certainly wasn’t going anywhere on his own.

  19. skdadl says:

    A UK Conservative MP, David Davis, has apparently revealed in the Commons (where he is protected by parliamentary privilege) details in one case of MI5 complicity in torture. A good deal has been known about this case before, and the courts have hinted at their impatience at having to suppress evidence in this and other cases, but Davis seems to have gone further. I can’t quite make out from that report what he did, but I assume he was reading out details from official documents so far restricted by the courts under pressure from the government.

  20. fatster says:

    “Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman.”


  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If this gig is how Shrub repays his debts to a close confidante who worked with him for over a decade, in Austin and DC, and a Texas attorney who kept him in office and out of jail, I’d hate to see how he repays those who oppose him.

  22. Leen says:

    EW “You Think Alberto Gonzales Knows There’s Not a “Department of Law”?”

    Well we know he does not believe in the Dept of Justice?

  23. C2ba133bb says:

    Bet his family is thrilled to go from Houston to DC to ….Lubbock. Or San Angelo.

    If he does live in San Angelo here’s hoping he finds a nice place downwind from the stockyards.