Good Enough for Our Children, But Not Bush's Vanity War

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emptywheel
I made the point this morning that the whole premise of No Child Left Behind is that, by determining whether every school--and every child--was passing or failing, you could require improvements on the schools. Well, not surprisingly, Bush is unwilling to undergo the same kind of tough scrutiny that the six year olds in our nation's schools undergo: Stung by the bleakfindings of a congressional audit of progress in Iraq, the Pentagon hasasked

Seal-Fight in San Diego

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emptywheel
There are two, related developments in San Diego (hat tip to ChrisC for her updates) in the Wilkes/Michael/Kontogiannis side of the Wilkes trial. First, the government has responded to John Michael's attempt to throw out his indictment because of a weird connection between Tommy Kontogiannis and one of the prosecutors, Phillip Halpern.

Speaking of Propaganda Reports

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emptywheel
They're doing it with voting rights reports, too (hat tip bmaz). Because my approach to election issues tends to be more closely alignedwith Democrats, I was paired with a Republican co-author. To furtherremove any taint of partisanship, my co-author and I convened abipartisan working group to help us. We spent a year doing research andconsulting with leaders in the field to produce a draft report.

Condi's Jewels

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emptywheel
I appreciate the desire to make Condi look like a bitch. Or rather, to expose Condi's imperious side. But does anyone suspect there's some crucial context left out of this story? Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor who is one of thesecretary of state's closest friends, recalls going into a shop whereRice asked to see earrings.

The Report Liberation Review Process

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emptywheel
Remember back when someone liberated the Office of Special Counsel report finding Lurita Doan had violated the Hatch Act? I speculated that someone had liberated the report to prevent it from getting watered down in the review process. I'll bet Doan and her lawyer are pissed this report got leaked--kudosto whatever person in OPC liberated this report, which was provided toat least the WaPo and LAT.

Moral Relativists

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emptywheel
When David Vitter admitted to using a prostitute service, no Republicans asked him to resign. When it became clear that Pete Domenici had asked Bush and Gonzales to fire David Iglesias because the US Attorney didn't trump up charges against Democrats, no Republicans asked him to resign. When it became clear that Bob Ney and Ted Stevens and John Doolittle and Don Young had received some mighty curious gifts, no Republicans asked them

The Replacements

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emptywheel
This is my outtamyarse guide to the potential replacement candidates for AGAG floated so far: Michael Chertoff: I think someone in the Administration floated Michael Chertoff as a replacement candidate before that someone really thought things through. Sure, Chertoff has been approved by the Senate before. But that was before 11/7--and we know that 11/7 changed everything.

The Iglesias Cover-Up, Again

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emptywheel
Most people who linked to Isikoff's latest did so to note that Jack Goldsmith will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. The Senate Judiciary Committee, for example, has already planned ahearing next month featuring the first public testimony of formerOffice of Legal Counsel chief Jack Goldsmith. A one-time administrationstalwart, he became convinced that Gonzales and other administrationofficials were breaking the law in eavesdropping on conversations ofU.S.

Schlozman's Not Done

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emptywheel
In my rush to leave town on Thursday, I missed this letter Pat Leahy sent to Brad Schlozman about his missing homework: Dear Mr. Schlozman: According to news reports, you have confirmed that you resigned last week from the Department of Justice. Yet, the Judiciary Committee is still waiting for your responses to written questions from Committee Members following your June 5 testimony at the Committee's hearing on "Preserving Prosecutorial Independence:

The Political Rehabilitation of Ari Fleischer

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emptywheel
Say, has anyone noticed how omnipresent Ari Fleischer has been, of late? Obviously, the big news is his pimping for a $15 million propaganda campaign in favor of death and destruction. "For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry iscoming," said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who isa founding board member of the group. But Ari is also, all of a sudden, a seemingly acceptable source of the

Wilkes' Creditors Don't Get to See His Financial Statements, Either

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emptywheel
Remember how federal prosecutors were denied the ability to review Brent Wilkes' affidavit showing he was indigent? Well, ChrisC sent along news of a civil magistrate case in which one of Wilkes' creditors appears to be trying to force Wilkes to reveal where his assets are--also to no avail. The unopposed motion to compel filed by plaintiff De Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc., as assignee of Union Bank, is denied, without prejudice.

Did Chertoff EVER Use the DHS privacy review process?

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emptywheel
Before we crown Michael Chertoff Attorney General, I recommend we pull him before some oversight committee and ask him if he ever used Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office to review planned domestic surveillance activities before they're used to collect data on American citizens. CSM reports that DHS is suspending a massive data-mining program because it has already started using live data without ever putting the program through a privacy review.

Random Thoughts on AGAG's Demise

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emptywheel
Just some random thoughts on AGAG's resignation. AGAG and Kim There have been a number of people connecting Gonzales' resignation with Rove's (Cenk Uygur's take and Sidney Blumenthal's). I am much much more interested in the timing of DOJ Civil Rights Division head Wan Kim's resignation. Here's the chronology: The week of August 13:

A Tale of Two Resignations

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emptywheel
If you compare Bush's comments on Rove's resignation with his comments on Gonzales' resignation, it sure seems like Rove left on Bush's terms, whereas Gonzales left on his own terms. Here's how Bush announced the departure of the man who had made his entire political career. Karl Rove is moving on down the road.

I Should Go Away More Often

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emptywheel
Do you think if I had stayed away a week, Cheney would have resigned too? I'll have some more comments once I clean the long road trip stink out of my hair.

Going Fishing!

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emptywheel
Mr. emptywheel and I are headed to DC so McCaffrey the MilleniaLab can attend a very important Furrin' Policy Summit with Kobe, Katy, and Lucy (oh, and so we can go to a wedding or some such rot). The emptywheel pack is going to play around in the mud together for a couple of days on the way back.

The End of the Month

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emptywheel
Via TPMM, the Director of DOJ's Civil Rights Division has resigned. Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’sCivil Rights Division, today announced his resignation, effective atthe end of this month. President Bush nominated Mr. Kim to the positionon June 16, 2005, and the Senate unanimously confirmed his appointmenton November 4, 2005.

Minimization

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emptywheel
In this post, I compare what Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell revealed yesterday about why Democratic bills amending FISA were unacceptable with the content of those bills. The comparison shows that DNI McConnell found it unacceptable to require the government to:List what the minimization procedures were that protect data collected from Americans Allow either a FISA judge or Congress to review its compliance with its own minimization procedures In short, the

Don't Bother Telling Those with Oversight Responsibilities

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emptywheel
I pointed out yesterday that Mike McConnell admitted that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not receive a briefing on the warrantless wiretapping program, in spite of the fact that the Committee has been working on the issue for well over a year. We submitted the bill in April, had an open hearing1 May, we had a closed hearing in May, I don't remember the exact date.Chairman (U.S.
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The NIE: Iraq to Split in Three States

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emptywheel
Okay, that's not precisely the conclusion the new NIE in Iraq draws. But it is the logical outcome of the key judgments its gives. Here are some key points, taken totally out of the context of the report, but which are otherwise direct quotes:The IC assesses that the emergence of “bottom-up” security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the
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