U.S. Atty Update

A reader asked a reasonable question -- When do you think Obama might consider replacing the Bush US Attorneys? -- that was ably answered by another reader, which led to polite disagreement about the robustness of Obama's effort. My own perusal of the internets revealed last month's report that the first batch would be announced in a few weeks. Three appointees got the Judiciary Committee's blessing a couple of days ago and will face confirmation votes as early as next week. Other announcements seem to be on the verge of ... announcement. A number of U.S. Attorneys have already resigned. Obama is keeping Patrick Fitzgerald, and in general appears to be proceeding with caution. Whether it is better for the White House to fire them all at once or to work its way through the appointments in an orderly way is a matter of opinion.

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    U.S. Atty is a policy position (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 07:35:03 PM EST
    they should all have departed or have been fired on 1/20. Making the decision to keep Fitzgerald is one thing, but those who weren't asked to stay on should have been quickly dispatched.

    Agree 100% (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 07:48:14 PM EST
    I wonder if his 'hgh information"'supporters are also willing to accept THIS as 'changing the way Washington works'

    Looks like the change means that winning doesn't really mean winning.

    A big part of electing a President is the people he/she will bring into the administration.

    It ain't just the person in the Oval Office.


    The latest person under consideration (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 08:05:34 PM EST
    for a top job is yet another Republican - Tom Davis - rumored to be Obama's pick for Cyberczar:

    Tom Davis, a moderate Republican from Virginia, has emerged as a leading candidate for the Obama Administration's newly created position of cybersecurity czar. Sources familiar with the White House's deliberations on the subject say Obama officials feel a Washington power player would make a better candidate than a tech guru. "They want someone who understands technology issues, but more importantly, knows how to get things done in Washington," says a cybersecurity expert who has been consulted by the White House. "There are very few people who have that combination of skills, and Davis is at the top of that short list."

    The question is, why another Republican, and why this one?  Marcy Wheeler weighs in:

    More troubling, to me, is the role Davis played in thwarting Democratic investigations of Bush's chronic problems with emails. Remember, both the investigation of the use of RNC emails among Bush appointees and the investigation of the missing emails went through the Oversight Committee. And, in his role as then-ranking member, Davis did what he could to stymie that investigation. Last year, for example, Davis helped the White House make sure Steven McDevitt--the guy who first discovered the extent of the missing emails--could not testify before the Oversight Committee. Davis repeatedly suggested that pushing to get the RNC emails would be an improper infringement on the RNC's political freedom. Most interesting, perhaps, Davis used his position to demand emails that might reflect an investigation into his own role while RNCC head.  

    All of this might be considered a natural role for Davis to have played while Ranking Member of a committee investigating his party's funny business with email. Or, given the way that Davis repeatedly intervened during hearings to assist the Bush Administration with legal problems, it might have been complicit cooperation in a cover-up.  

    But whatever it is--do we really want a guy with a history of politicizing email to be in charge of our nation's internet security?

    So...I think we need to pay particular attention to who the US Attorney nominees are - when the nominations are made - and which ones are being considered for holdover (other than Pat Fitzgerald, whom we already know about and have a fair amount of familiarity with).

    I just don't have a lot of confidence that his nominees for the US Attorney positions will make any more sense to me than him even considering Tom Davis for czar of anything.


    Tom Davis is really smart (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 08:09:39 PM EST
    but he doesn't belong ANYWHERE near this administration.

    ok, once again, for those of you (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by cpinva on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:15:47 AM EST
    on drugs:

    there is NO such thing as a moderate republican. nada, zip, zilch, does not exist! they are all lunatics. some quieter than others, but ALL dangerous to freedom as we know it in this country.

    if they were truly moderate, they wouldn't be republicans to begin with.

    according to standard protocol, every AG should have submitted their resignations, effective 1/20/2009. the new administration would then choose to either accept them, or ask them (should they so desire) to continue in that capacity, for the obama administration. the same goes for all appointed positions in the federal government.

    this is actually one the huge transitions jobs facing any new president: filling all those positions with your own people, so your policies are being supported. these people, like military officers, serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be removed at any time, with or without cause.

    republicans seem to have a much better grasp of this concept than modern democrats do.


    Some things never change (1.00 / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:19:53 AM EST
    this is actually one the huge transitions jobs facing any new president: filling all those positions with your own people, so your policies are being supported. these people, like military officers, serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be removed at any time, with or without cause.

    Can I assume you never complained about a Bush appointment?


    no, you can't. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by cpinva on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:58:20 PM EST
    Can I assume you never complained about a Bush appointment?

    stupid question, and you're a stupider person for having asked it.

    frankly, there were few bush appointees i didn't complain about, they uniformly sucked, as did bush and his policies. as proof: two ongoing wars, crashed economy, unemployment reaching new historical heights, foreclosures and bankruptcies at levels unseen since the vandals sacked rome (killed the housing market).

    actually, i'm wrong about the "two wars" thing, they're actually occupations. think of them as government enterprises, with major cost overruns.

    in fact, the whole bush presidency, from illegitimate start, to utter disaster end, reflected the man himself: inept, inarticulate, not very bright.


    hehe (2.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:43:19 PM EST
    stupid question, and you're a stupider person for having asked it.

    Now let me see. I point out just how full of hypocritical BS you are full of and you call me stupid.

    I tell you I am shocked, yes shocked that a full fledged card carrying member of the Left would resort to such slimy personal attacks. Of course when your intellect is as trivial as yours, that is all you can do.


    I really should ignore you... (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 11:17:29 AM EST
    and I will after this comment, so you can have last word...And I know you will because you have developed this pathology re my comments and me that is, frankly, troubling...

    But that aside, what I did was point out to cpina and all the other Lefties that they screamed when Bush fired AG's but demand Obamie do the same.

    That is hypocritical.


    I dont know.. (4.00 / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 01:04:50 PM EST
    maybe it has something to do with the fact that Bush is a right-wing bullet head and seemed to like most of his appointees in that mold and that most of the folks happen to be left leaning -- hence the name of the site and the "screaming".

    It would be more hypocritical to be quiescent and compliant in a (presumed) democracy over policy decisions you disagree with, no?

    If you want a country in which people just fall in line with the junta at all times, may I suggest Myanmar?


    The left screamed when Bush fired (none / 0) (#28)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM EST
    the Clinton AG's.  But all of the brouhaha really started when Clinton asked for the resignation of Senior Bush's AG's within weeks of his taking office.  Up until that time it had been rather routine to ask for their resignations and to keep some and let the others go.  But the right wing machine under the guidance of Lee Atwater was already in full swing ready to bring down the Clinton presidency.  You of all people must remember the Arkansas project, Richard Mellon Scaiffe, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times and even the Washington Post and NYTimes combing through the files looking for something...anything to discredit Atwater's worst nightmare.

    Why another Republican and why this one? (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 08:41:21 PM EST
    Maybe Obama agrees with Davis on policy issues.

    Tom Davis was essentially Fred Hiatt's (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 09:10:05 PM EST

    Interesting (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 10:38:48 AM EST
    Village uber alles eh.

    Thanks for this information, Chris - (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 07:44:15 PM EST
    it hasn't been something I've been especially on top of, other than having a sense that after all the controversy with the Bush USA's, I was having a hard time understanding why the loyalists were still in place. People like Mary Beth Buchanan in Western PA and Leura Canary in Alabama are two who should have, in my opinion, been gone by January 21st.

    The other thing that puzzles me is why Dawn Johnsen and Harold Koh are just treading water with regard to their nominations; I just don't have a sense that Obama - or whoever his point-person is on these things - is doing much to help push them through.  The tin-foil hat side of me wonders if there are some things on his plate that he might rather not have Johnsen weighing in on - but then I think that if that were the case, why nominate her in the first place?  At some point, though, if there's no movement and ongoing GOP resistance (well, and also from newly-minted Dem Arlen Specter), how much longer will Johnsen keep her name in the hat?

    Firing US Attorneys (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by barbarajmay on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 08:50:42 AM EST
    I wish he would fire the United States Trustees.  I'm a bankruptcy attorney, and Bush and buddies appointed the worst, nastiest people to the posts of US Trustee.  US Trustees are supposed to detect and stamp out "abuse"by evil debtors.  You guessed it:  The posts are filled with right wing ideologues who are there to do the creditor's bidding. It has been a nightmarish 8 years under Bush, and I am so disappointed that Obama intends to keep the same Nazis on board for the next 8.

    One question about the attorneys (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Sweet Sue on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:35:39 AM EST
    Is Don Siegelman still in jail?

    Whose ox is being gored? (2.00 / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:15:56 AM EST
    Whether it is better for the White House to fire them all at once or to work its way through the appointments in an orderly way is a matter of opinion.

    Well, we know what the Left thought of that in Clinton's and then Bush's case.

    Btw Jim (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    I love that Ah-thank-that-Obama's-an Arab-Muslim schtick you've been using at your site. It gives you so much credibility.

    Another question . . . (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 10:58:27 PM EST
    So as long as he still has Bush attorneys on staff, wouldn't it be prudent to read their briefs etc? I saw some folks 'splainin away that the gay slurs were due to a Bush person writing it. Hello! Was this new admin not paying attention the past 8 yrs? It's one thing to carefully replace them, spend some time doing it, whatever, but it's quite another to let them continue status quo, imo. So they (O adim) either knew what was going on or they didn't. Either way . . .

    we need a change, but I'm not too optimistic.

    And (none / 0) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:05:39 PM EST
    And....When Gibbs was asked if how Obama felt about the DOMA brief, Gibbs response was essentially to own it.

    If he'd said, "well we disagree, but just wait until we get around to reappointing US attorneys.  Our hands are tied until then!" that would be different.

    Obama, through Gibbs, owned the DOMA brief.  It isn't that he just hasn't found the time to appoint more than 6 attorneys.  

    Thinking anything different is well, the act of an apologist...Obama didn't apologize for his justice department's nasty briefs, so why is anyone apologizing for him?


    I hope you know (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:13:39 PM EST
    that I sit in opposition with the whole issue and how it went down. And Gibbs remarks/lack of comment or apology from O,  reminded me of Condi sitting in hearings saying she wasn't aware of what was going on with all her people (pre 911). That sh!t just doesn't fly with me. That's baseline of what you are expected to do when you head up a dept etc. Know what the h*ll your people are doing.

    Of course, I don't play dimensional chess either and WORMs are what birds and other critters eat.  


    Mary Beth Buchanan, Western PA (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:26:25 PM EST
    best known for imprisoning Tommy Chong, playing the hatchet in partisan firings, and the partisan United States vs. Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, a prosecution sol egregious that Reagan Atty General Dick Thornburgh called for her resignation while Bush was still President.

    Planning's underway for a picket of her Pittsburgh office during Netroots Nation.

    And yet she's still serving (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 12:06:23 AM EST
    No idea why. . .

    In Eastern Dist of PA (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 12:15:22 AM EST
    the Bush-appointee resigned to run for Governor next year.  The judges then booted the partisan Republican interim U.S. Attorney, and replaced her (pending action from the White House) with a career guy who happens to be a very smart, liberal Dem, and who has now replaced a bunch of the prior administration's supervisors with intelligent, relatively fair-minded (mostly Dem, although they're non-partisan) career prosecutors.  Are similar things happening elsewhere, even before the White House acts?

    Obama is conservative (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:44:52 AM EST
    Have we not figured that out yet?  It is the answer to many puzzling questions about his actions.  He is defining the middle as essentially a moderate Republican place of opinions and values.  The two parties are one, and Obama ain't so different that he will come close to changing this.