Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shocker: Holder Won't Be A.G. for Life

Well, knock me over with a feather. Attorney General Eric Holder will only serve about seven-eighths of his two-term stint as the nation's chief selective law enforcement officer. With any luck, he'll take another spin through the revolving doors a year or two before Obama does. Assuming, that is, that the Senate will deign to confirm any replacement who is not Alberto Gonzales or Michael Mukasey. If the GOP takes the Senate, I am sure things will go a lot more smoothly. They will no longer have to pretend that there is any major difference between the two corporate parties.

I guess we can be marginally grateful that Holder is not pulling a Ruth Bader Ginsburg and arrogantly claiming that nobody but nobody could ever replace him in the current political gridlock, which of course magically goes away whenever there's a war to be fought, or CEOs to be enriched, or plutocratic nominees like Obama donors Penny Pritzker and Caroline Kennedy to be bipartisanly fawned over. So, maybe if Obama nominates a Forbes 400 scion, he or she will have a fighting chance to fight for truth, justice and the American way of wealth.

The premature accolades for the first African-American attorney general are flowing fast and furious. The New York Times has not only placed Holder's eventual departure prominently on its home page, but shockingly called him "the most prominent liberal voice of the administration."

It just goes to show how far the definition of "liberalism" has fallen. Some examples of Holder's liberalism:

-- Declared that assassinations of American citizens are perfectly O.K. as long as they constitute an imminent threat to American interests. Of course, "imminent" as defined by Holder is not the same thing as how you or I might define it. Holder's DOJ has decreed that "imminent threat" can be something as benign as a group of malcontents bitching to each other in emails, or an Imam calling USA the Great Satan.

-- Blamed his failure to prosecute even one bankster on the canard that not only are mega-banks too big to fail, their individual human overseers are too important to jail. Although Holder later tried to backtrack from his remarks, he's never backed them up by actually indicting anybody.

-- Has overseen more prosecutions of whistleblowers than in any previous administration. Despite giving lip service to press freedoms, Holder has still refused to withdraw the subpoena demanding that New York Times reporter James Risen testify against one source who embarrassed the Bush administration.

--Immediately upon being sworn in as chief selective law enforcement officer in 2009, Holder announced there would be no prosecutions of CIA torture. And on the off-chance that Congress should decide to hold the torturers to account, Holder promised at that time that the government would provide them with free legal representation and use taxpayer money to pay any judgments."It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," Holder said.

-- Absolved the CIA from criminal accountability even when Kill List architect John Brennan admitted hacking into Senate computers. 

I know that this list of Holder faits accomplis is far from exhaustive. For one thing, it does not include his accomplishments as assistant AG under Clinton, the most famous of which was the pardon of Marc Rich. But you get the picture.

 Naturally, the Opologists are concentrating heavily on Holder's victimization/contempt charge at the hands of the GOP over the Fast and Furious debacle. It's this political martyrdom -- rather than his actual misdeeds -- which help drive the mythologizing campaign to paint him as a liberal hero for black people. His defenders don't want to admit that Holder raided medical marijuana dispensaries before piecemeal state legalization made this war on drugs seem as thuggish as it was. He also initially tried to keep largely minority prisoners in jail under unfair sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine possession, before worries about his own legacy got to him and he minimally modified his stance, pre-revolving door.

This man's departure can't come fast enough for me. In a just world, he would not be missed. And when he rejoins his white shoe law firm, or becomes a well-remunerated, chin-stroking pundit at some faux-liberal, corporate-funded think tank, the initial liberal disappointment that he won't be offering pro bono representation of indigent defendants will no doubt be fleeting, shallow, tepid, and insincere.


Meredith, NYC said...

Karen, just saw your comment to public editor re A. Stanley tv column. You said:

There is a reason writers like Dowd and Stanley (and let's not forget David Brooks) keep their jobs. Mean sells. Mean is click-bait. When they're confronted, they sneeringly blame the reader for taking offense, and cackle all the way to the bank. As long they get enough Number Ones on "Most E-mailed" they are set for life.

I've been wondering comment or not to comment, that is the question, for these type columnists. Especially as Brooks gets more assenine -sp?--each week.
Fewer comments might have a good effect, heeded by the Times. Now it seems Nocera gets maybe the fewest reader comments consistently.

I replied to you at the public editor:

Here's something ripe for arch satire: Stanley’s Wiki bio says she taught a Princeton class called--- "Investigative Viewing: The Art of Television Criticism," an "intensive introduction to criticism as it is undertaken at the highest level of a cultural institution."

OMG...What a pretentious's 'art' it is 'undertaken' at the highest level of a cultural institution! This is really funny and should be the basis of a Jon Stewart monologue. Pass the Pepto please.

Karen, dunno, maybe we should stop commenting to Dowd and Brooks..... give them less attention. Most comments to both are pretty scathing--fun to read just for that. Otoh, they need smack downs, er refutations.

oh when are these old timers going to retire? Age cannot wither Dowd’s infinite scorn.

Karen Garcia said...

Hi Meredith,

Yeah, Stanley vies with Dowd for the title Archduchess of Mean.

I've been weaning myself off my addiction to Times commenting. Dowd is down to one column a week, and since Brooks admitted that he never reads the comments and is virtually immune from editorial control, I rarely bother with him any more either. I am convinced that he is kept on purely as "click-bait" -- as the columnist who readers love to hate and comment on. I will comment on his tripe if I can find evidence that he is transmitting think tank or corporate talking points almost verbatim, and then I'll expose him. Otherwise, I refuse to bite.

Also, an article in which the Times honchos described reader comments as "free content" for them hit me with a jolt. They freely admit that they're using us as unpaid labor, and our content as fodder for marketing, etc. Here's the link:

In a couple of years, they essentially say, they'll rank right up (or down) there with Arianna Huffington and her army of unpaid bloggers, aka content providers. The Times will further "aggregate" our comments,even including pix we'll be allowed to submit, for use in other sections, to generate even more revenue for them. All the while, we will be paying them for the privilege!

Call me mean, but this whole "sharing economy" scam turns me off. Plus, I'm afraid of heights. I dislike the idea of being perched on somebody else's "platform!"

Denis Neville said...

A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.” – Tacitus

Karen, in her response to Krugman’s “The Show-Off Society,” referenced a new Harvard Business School study showing that people have no clue about how extreme American wealth inequality really is.

“The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least to neglect, persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.” - Adam Smith

Yves Smith’s delightful “vomititious Holder encomiums” captures the corporate, lamestream media’s coverage of Holder’s resignation.

Long forgotten are the words of FDR:

“Business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, and war profiteering … consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden, 1936

Contrast Obama to FDR:

“When it comes to fighting financial fraud, the Obama Administration’s record of success has been nothing less than historic … We found that much of the conduct that led to the financial crisis was unethical and irresponsible. But we have also discovered that some of this behavior — while morally reprehensible — may not necessarily have been criminal.” - Eric Holder, Address To Columbia University

When the banksters won, they divided the profits amongst themselves, and when they lost, they charged it to the taxpayers. They are a den of vipers and thieves.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Welcome to inverted totalitarianism!

“If the ideology had been a lie, then they are not heroes and gods on earth, but monsters and criminals, and their life has been self-serving and meaningless, without significance and honor. And that is the credibility trap. It is the impulse for the leaders to keep doubling down in the hope of a win, until exhaustion and collapse.

“A credibility trap is a condition wherein the financial, political and informational functions of a society have been compromised by corruption and fraud, so that the leadership cannot effectively reform, or even honestly address, the problems of that system without impairing and implicating, at least incidentally, a broad swath of the power structure, including themselves. The status quo tolerates the corruption and the fraud because they have profited at least indirectly from it, and would like to continue to do so. Even the impulse to reform within the power structure is susceptible to various forms of soft blackmail and coercion by the system that maintains and rewards.

And so a failed policy and its support system become self-sustaining, long after it is seen by objective observers to have failed. In its failure it is counterproductive, and an impediment to recovery in the real economy. Admitting failure is not an option for the thought leaders who receive their power from that system. The continuity of the structural hierarchy must therefore be maintained at all costs, even to the point of becoming a painfully obvious hypocrisy.”


Zee said...

Meredith asks, "oh when are these old timers going to retire?"

On that same topic, I have to laugh at the Left's agitation over Ruth Bader Ginsburg's refusal to step down from the Supreme Court because she has outlived her usefulness and the time is opportune in the eyes of some—but maybe not for much longer—to replace her with a younger model.

Once the darling of the Left, Ginsburg is now its bĂȘ noire, because she won't sacrifice herself for the sake of a greater political strategy.

How quickly they turn on their own.

Too funny!

voice-in-wilderness said...

I've long expected that the audience for comments is other readers, that the authors and editors don't bother with them. Even if they wanted to, unlike Brooks, it would probably be difficult to make the time to really read through hundreds of comments.

Of course The New Yorker has gone the other way, dropping all pretense by eliminating comments when they did their redesign (ugh!).

Jay - Ottawa said...

Comments are a waste of time, as we should all know by now, something like hanging out on a popular corner, which was one of the time sinks of the old days. The only respectability in it is in w h e r e you choose to waste your time.

Zee, another fine comment in the exercise of schadenfreude over the free fall of the left (in lieu of sadness or the sardonic). But doesn’t it tarnish your luster as an ever open-minded spirit of the right who advertises himself as so very open to learning from the left? What’s to learn from the laughable tribe? You must remind me, as a corrective, where your views do overlap with the left’s and how much you’ve picked up and treasured from this electronic street corner. I keep forgetting.

Ginsburg may not be careful how she comes over from the august bench, but she’s right. If she stepped down, Obama would appoint another make believe lefty. Ginsburg knows that much. If you read between the lines, I suspect she is, intentionally, criticizing Obama for his appointment record so far. I wonder how her speech goes down with her close neighbors, Sotomayor and Kagan?