Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:29 am

Odds and ends for 1/29

I’ve already called for impeaching Obama. Looks like we can now add Holder to the mix: A draft report from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility that originally found that Bush officials Jay Bybee (now a federal judge) and John Yoo (now a “law” “professor” at Berkeley) committed professional misconduct (which would constitute grounds for impeaching Bybee), the final version was cleaned up to say they showed “poor judgment” only. Granted, fabricating a legal justification for torture out of whole cloth does show “poor judgment,” but it shows criminal intent as well.

Well, OK, it’s a first step: Pravda, of all places, reports that Francis A. Boyle, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champlain, Ill., has requested arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the arrests of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Rice and Gonzalez for “crimes against humanity” under the Rome Statute, which established the court. For all I know this is an Eastern Hemisphere version of an Onion article, but, hey, a citizen can dream.

Well, this bites: More than 30% of Triad mortgages will be under water by 1Q2011, Deutsche Bank estimates.

Historians finally weigh in Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.” Only two years after the fat, lying putz laughed his way to the bank. Thanks a ton, guys.

Banksters organize protest of their treatment … indoors, because it was too cold to go outside. Power to the people!

Bloomberg’s David Reilly asks a good question about this week’s bankster-related developments: Where’s the anger? (Besides Chez Blog on the Run, of course.)

Major-league media?: The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm keeps using the phrase “discretionary spending.” I do not think that phrase means what he thinks it means.

Every little bit helps: Somali “pirates” pledge aid to Haiti. (Somali pirates’ est. 2008 income: $150MM+).

Possibly the most entertaining appeals court ruling of the year, and it’s still only January: Gender discrimination in the workplace as manifested by rude language (Oh, so NSFW, by the ruling’s own standards).

What’s stopping the Senate from ramming through a public option in reconciliation? I’m just askin’, on account of 51 breathing senators are on records as supporting one. Seriously, Joe Lieberman can go to hell.

Party of fiscal responsibility, my butt: Every single Republican senator voted Thursday against a new pay-as-you-go rule. Every single Democratic senator voted for it. Remind me again, please, who the grownups are. Quoth commenter Chad N. Freude at Balloon Juice: “They are opposed to pay-as-you-go because they are opposed to go.”

Whoux Dat?; or, There’s a reason they call it the No Fun League: Because you can’t abbreviate No Brains League as NFL. No Frontal Lobe, maybe. (h/t: DivaGeek)

The U.S. economy shrank 2.4% in 2009, the worst calendar-year performance since 1946.

California Senate approves single-payer health-care system; the Governator vetoes it on the laughable grounds that the state “can’t afford it.” Dude, you pay either way, and with single payer, there’s an excellent chance you’d pay less.

Terrorist convicted: The jury deliberated only 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder guilty of first-degree murder for shooting abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in the head at point-blank range. Roeder admitted the shooting and also testified that he considered only chopping off Tiller’s hands instead of killing him. What a great humanitarian. Memo to New York: If Wichita can try a terrorist, so can you. Memo to the Republicans: Americans are beyond tired of government by incontinence.

I’m probably the last person to find this out, but the free audio-editing program Audacity can record streaming audio from, apparently, any Web site. This makes me insanely happy.

So Obama got together with some Congressional Republicans today. And it’s John Cole of Balloon Juice, who, despite humerus- and-clavicle- and scapula-scraping surgery a couple of days ago, is flying without painkillers, For The Win: “If Mike Pence really is regarded as one of the deep thinkers for the GOP, I’m beginning to understand why they refused to admit Terri Schiavo was brain-dead.” Although the prez himself does nicely with the runner-up: “I would have implemented those ideas had I found a credible economist who agreed with them …”


  1. Will impeaching God be next ?

    The guy who defanged the OPR report was David Margolis who I have known for decades. He is a man of impecable integrity and who the lefty blogs ( like FDL ) are now attacking citing alleged previous whatevers. Horse S–t

    Several years ago the Daily Kos had this to say about Dave , citing a Legal Times article.

    Margolis is a 1964 graduate of Harvard Law, and has been a career attorney with the DOJ since 1976. He is also, according to an excellent biographical piece in Legal Times, a powerful force for truth within the DOJ, of unquestionably sound character:

    From the Legal Times article:

    “In theory the prosecutors could have appealed Margolis’ decision to then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. But that would have meant taking on Margolis, one of the Justice Department’s most respected officials, a lawyer with a sterling reputation earned over 42 years of service at the department. ‘Taking him on is a losing battle,’ says the source. ‘The guy is Yoda. Nobody fucks with the guy.’

    In many ways, comparing the 66-year-old Margolis to the quirky and ancient Jedi Master is apt. Margolis is widely described as the “institutional knowledge” of the Justice Department. A notorious straight shooter known more for his love of country music and outlaw garb than his politics, he’s managed to navigate the shifting sands of Washington to retain a powerful voice under Attorney Generals Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, and now Alberto Gonzales. Though Margolis is technically outranked by more than a dozen political appointees at DOJ headquarters and all 94 U.S. attorneys scattered throughout the country, his influence on the department extends far beyond his title, say both current and former Justice officials.

    Margolis’ bulletproof reputation and lack of partisan stripes also mean that the presidentially appointed attorneys general and deputy attorneys general at the top often turn to Margolis when Justice Department investigations venture into the swirl of national politics. From the investigation after former White House lawyer Vincent Foster’s suicide to the ethics of Kenneth Starr’s Lewinsky probe to the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity, Margolis has played a major role in the DOJ’s attempts to show that its law enforcement actions aren’t motivated by political concerns.”

    Margolis was a lone voice in the DOJ calling for openness in the investigation of the Vince Foster Suicide, and had his advice been heeded, wingnuts would have to figure out what they would do with 20% of their time. He also played a role in supervising the Valerie Plame case, so he is especially sensitive to politically charged prosecutorial issues.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, January 30, 2010 7:37 pm @ 7:37 pm

  2. Well, Fred, we’re left with the fact that Margolis, however impeccable his career to this point, is looking to get a couple of war criminals off the hook. And given how simple the laws they broke are, it’s easier for me to invoke Occam’s Razor and conclude that he’s trying to spare the government the embarrassment of criminal proceedings against two former senior officials than it is for me to believe, in the face of significant circumstantial evidence, that Margolis is merely sincere but misguided.

    Even Yoda was involved in politics, you know.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, January 31, 2010 10:54 pm @ 10:54 pm

  3. […] } With all due respect to my friend and neighbor Fred’s high opinion of Justice Department official David Margolis, Margolis’ conclusion that legal memocraft by Bush officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee in 2002 […]

    Pingback by Bad judgment and then some: Protecting the war criminals makes the lawyers criminals, too. « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:23 pm @ 4:23 pm

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