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A double-standard when it comes to sleeper cells

Politics 2007 Theocracy Regent University

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#1 Zwolf

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:52 PM

The War Against Terror is being waged because a group of fanatics wish to destroy our system of government, replace it with a theocracy, and subjugate us all to a repressive fundamentalist regime that would destroy the freedoms the country was based upon.

Do I have that about right?

So... when do we get to rout these guys?

Quote

Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent's Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that "approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work." And that's precisely what its founder desired. The school's motto is "Christian Leadership To Change the World," and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a "lie of the left," according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two.

I know that some people like to turn a blind eye to the doings of one religion while sounding the alarms at the doings of another, but to me, they're all the same.  A theocracy is a theocracy, whichever imaginary friend may be at the head of it, and I don't want either one.   We see what theocracy has done for the Middle East; it turned what was once the most advanced area on the planet - the cradle of civilization, in fact - to one of the most backward, miserable, behind-everybody-else societies there is.   They f'ed up by allowing that there; we should not allow that here.

This is already corrupting the government to the core, remaking it:

Quote

One of Ashcroft's most profound changes was to the Civil Rights Division, launched in 1957 to file cases on behalf of African-Americans and women. Under Ashcroft, career lawyers were systematically fired or forced out and replaced by members of conservative or Christian groups or folks with no civil rights experience. In the five years after 2001, the civil rights division brought no voting cases on behalf of African-Americans. It brought one employment case on behalf of an African-American. Instead, the division took up the "civil rights" abuses of reverse discrimination—claims of voter fraud or discrimination against Christians. On Feb. 20, Gonzales announced a new initiative called the First Freedom Project to carry out "even greater enforcement of religious rights for all Americans."

Even as an athiest, I'm all for religious rights for all Americans, because it's a right.  If you believe in a god I'll admit that I think you're sorely deluded (although usually well-meaning), but we should all have the right to believe what we want, as crazy as it may be.  Some think that not believing in a god is delusional, and I want that right regardless of what they think, so, I want to protect their right, too.  But if you think that Ashcroft's people are going to return the favor, I'm afraid you're naive.  Bush's father didn't even consider athiests to be citizens, and Ashcroft's people are more militant about it than that.  You should read some of the death threats that Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins got for publishing their books.  Pat Robertson is as big a threat to me personally as Osama Bin Laden is... and possibly bigger, since Bin Laden's chance of weilding any real power stateside is much more limited.  As much as I am certain they'd like to, no Muslim has yet spilled any of my blood.  Pat Robertson types, however, have.

Here's more analysis of what this means:

Quote

It now seems that the Monica Goodlings of this "administration" have been planting partisan "sleeper cells" among the career civil service ranks -- the very positions that are supposed to be non-partisan and are therefore protected in their tenure by law. What this means is that the DoJ and other agencies of the executive branch are filled with people who understand that their role in the next Democratic administration -- which will be prohibited by law from rooting them out and firing them for political reasons -- is, as Atrios says, to take that administration down from the inside.

I daresay that's not limited to just future Democratic administrations, though... I think the Republicans have just as much to worry about from these people, because I don't believe that the Republicans want to replace democracy with theocracy, either.   And these people aren't loyal to the Republicans, primarily... they're loyal to the agenda of destroying the divide between church and state.  This does not bode well for either party, nor does it bode well for the majority of Christians, who stand to profit from Robertson's actions the same way that moderate Muslims have profited from Bin Laden's - i.e., with extreme detriment.  A theocracy would be no favor to the religion, because the separation of church and state works both ways; it also protects the chuch from government interference, which is never a good thing.  Ask the Russians.

So why do we attack the one batch of sleeper-cell-planting fanatics so vigorously while turning a blind eye to the other?  It's all just different flavors of the exact same enemy... we should fight them all if this war is to be anything but a hollow sham.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#2 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:01 PM

It's worrying: the separation of Church and State was intended to stop the kind of religious persecution that the Pilgrim Father's fled England to escape.
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Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
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#3 Palisades

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:20 PM

View PostZwolf, on Apr 9 2007, 02:52 PM, said:

I think the Republicans have just as much to worry about from these people, because I don't believe that the Republicans want to replace democracy with theocracy, either.

A vocal part of the religious right sure seems to want a Fundamentalist Christian theocracy in America.
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#4 Godeskian

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:31 PM

Sure they do, because unlike those evil Muslim religious nutcases, Christianity is the right religion, the one that founded the great, God fearing US of A :rolleyes:

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#5 Rov Judicata

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:43 PM

I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.
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#6 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:10 PM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Apr 9 2007, 10:43 PM, said:

I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.
I know a few Conspiracy Theorist's who'd say the same thing...
Rommie: I just want a day where I can build missiles and tweak fire control in peace
Beka: We need to find you a hobby
Rommie: That IS my hobby

Daniel: She's Hathor, the goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music
Jack: Sex, drugs and rock & roll?

Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
Lord Vetinari: Capital! Welcome to government service!

Mary Raven: ....your house smells weird
Dr Vukovic: It smells of SCIENCE!

Wooster: Why is it, do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of the "little thing" my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?

#7 Palisades

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:13 PM

Rov said:

I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.

Cancer is worse than a laceration.

Edited by Solar Wind, 09 April 2007 - 05:14 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#8 SparkyCola

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:19 PM

^ What Sinister Dexter said.

Theocracy = bad. And I say that as a Christian.

I also hope we can refrain from religion bashing in this thread ;)

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#9 Palisades

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:25 PM

http://www.boston.co...ian_law_school/

The stuff on page 2 doesn't bode well for us.
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#10 Cait

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:32 PM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Apr 9 2007, 02:43 PM, said:

I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.

But what we are doing is sending soldiers over there to kill their population now aren't we?  [and please no one go postal on me and claim I'm supporting terrorists, I'm merely pointing out *their possible* POV.  I"m not legitimizing it.  We all know that people can get the craziest ideas in their head and then act on them.]  Not that I'm saying the war is the work of Christians out to kill those infidels.  I'm just saying that characterizing one kind of fundamentalism as worse than the other depends on your POV, now doesn't it.

But, back on topic, I don't think any of us are afraid of fundamental Christians marching into our homes to kill us, but I'm also not comfortable with religion playing a part in what cases to prosecute and which investigations to push.  And let's be honest, it's the job of Justice to push what *they* think is relevant and/or pressing.  What is a department filled with loyal Busies bound to *think* is important to prosecute?

I'd just rather Justice be as unbiased as possible if you don't mind.  And this kind of relaxing of the qualifications for career Justice personnel, coupled with the numbers of people hired from a particular sector of the vast legal community, is a biased Justice department waiting to happen.  And we cannot get rid of them with our ballot vote.  They are civil servants now, not appointees.  They will stay long after Bush is gone.

I'm just saying

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#11 Rov Judicata

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:56 PM

Let's be realistic here: The power of fundamentalist Christians is extremely limited. [The usual disclaimer: I'm not remotely theistic in any sense, so I don't really have a stake in all this.].

Let's count the ways:

-- Let's start with the DoJ, shall we? According to wikipedia, the DoJ alone employs over 112,500 people. 150 of those are graduates of Regent. EVERYBODY PANIC!! 0.1% of DoJ employees went to a fundamentalist Christian law school, which means that the 0.1% may or may not be fundamentalist! I'm hard-pressed to find this alarming. [Source of employment numbers: http://en.wikipedia....ment_of_Justice  ]
-- Homosexuality? Legal in every state, thanks to Lawrence v. Texas (and, before that, it was almost never enforced anyway). Currently, they're trying to maintain the status quo by preventing gays from getting married. While they've had some temporary success, it appears to be a losing battle.
-- Abortion? All they can do is nibble around the edges. Roe V. Wade is part of that, but abortion is also popular. The recent anti-abortion initiative in South Dakota-- South Dakota!-- failed. The related area of birth control is ground they've basically ceded.
-- Divorce? I think even they have given up this fight.
-- Religious displays in public? It's impossible to get so much as a cross up at Christmas without the ACLU honing in on you.
-- "Family values" in primetime television? Also a lost battle.
-- Prayer in schools? Not even remotely on the horizon.
-- Women in the workforce? Accepted and mostly non-controversial. Note the rise of stay-at-home dads.
-- Um...what am I forgetting here? Fundamentalists have lost virtually every major battle. The gap between the world they want and the world we have is rather large.

So... no, on the list of things I'm worried about, fundamentalist Christians don't rank very highly.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#12 Bobby

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:01 PM

:p

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Apr 9 2007, 04:43 PM, said:

I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.

Eric Rudolph is a Christian fundamentalist and he had people helping him hide out.  What's better, anyway, having to go to war to get your way or underhandedly grabbing power without ever having to fire a shot?  No more violent video games... :p

#13 Spectacles

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:02 PM

The Boston Globe has a good, general article on Regent, its evolution, and its influence in the Bush Administration.

http://www.boston.co...hool/?page=full

This is very, very disturbing stuff. Essentially, we now have in the DOJ around 150 "baby lawyers" from Regent, placed in influential positions, and all committed to fulfilling a theocratic vision of America.

Z's right in that having these marginally competent zealots in positions of power in government doesn't do the Republicans any more good than it does the Democrats, but this is why I will not, cannot vote Republican--not as long as they continue to pander to the Robertson brand of religious fundamentalists in this country who want the U.S. to be a "Christian nation"--and under a very narrow definition of Christian at that. (Recently, Dobson said that he didn't think Republican Senator Fred Thompson was a Christian. Thompson's office responded that he was indeed a baptized Christian. Dobson later said that, to him, "Christian" meant someone who was active in the evangelical-political movement that he's involved in. That's something that should scare Christians, too.)
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#14 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:04 PM

View PostSinister Dexter, on Apr 9 2007, 05:01 PM, said:

It's worrying: the separation of Church and State was intended to stop the kind of religious persecution that the Pilgrim Father's fled England to escape.
The Puritans are the last people who would have wanted a separation of Church and State....  ;)  Their is a reason why the expression puritanical means what it does....  You might as well say that the Puritan set up a religious theocracy once they got their colony.  Their interest in escaping religious persecution was pretty much to setup a theocracy of their own and then persecute others...  So religious freedom would be a no no in their eyes.
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#15 Spectacles

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:06 PM

Rov, it's true that 150 graduates of Regent is a small percentage of the DOJ. However, they're well-placed. (Goodling, for instance, was a chief assistant to the Attorney General). And some are in personnel, doing the hiring. (Read the Boston Globe article.)
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#16 Bobby

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:07 PM

Quote

Recently, Dobson said that he didn't think Republican Senator Fred Thompson was a Christian. Thompson's office responded that he was indeed a baptized Christian. Dobson later said that, to him, "Christian" meant someone who was active in the evangelical-political movement that he's involved in. That's something that should scare Christians, too.)

Maybe that's why I didn't change the radio station when they were interviewing Thompson about whether or not he was gonna run for president.  He was all about state rights with things like abortion.

#17 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:11 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 9 2007, 07:06 PM, said:

Rov, it's true that 150 graduates of Regent is a small percentage of the DOJ. However, they're well-placed. (Goodling, for instance, was a chief assistant to the Attorney General). And some are in personnel, doing the hiring. (Read the Boston Globe article.)
I have to agree with Rov.  Name one major battle that the religious fundamentalist have won that has a daily impact on everyday Americans?  If anything they are losing on every front or barely holding the line.  I think people tend to give them way too much credit because they happen to be very good at making noise even though they accomplish nothing.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
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#18 Cait

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:19 PM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Apr 9 2007, 03:56 PM, said:

So... no, on the list of things I'm worried about, fundamentalist Christians don't rank very highly.

No one can make a point [I don't agree with] and then make me chuckle like you can!   :p

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#19 G1223

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:22 PM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Apr 9 2007, 06:56 PM, said:

Let's be realistic here: The power of fundamentalist Christians is extremely limited. [The usual disclaimer: I'm not remotely theistic in any sense, so I don't really have a stake in all this.].

Let's count the ways:

-- Let's start with the DoJ, shall we? According to wikipedia, the DoJ alone employs over 112,500 people. 150 of those are graduates of Regent. EVERYBODY PANIC!! 0.1% of DoJ employees went to a fundamentalist Christian law school, which means that the 0.1% may or may not be fundamentalist! I'm hard-pressed to find this alarming. [Source of employment numbers: http://en.wikipedia....ment_of_Justice  ]
-- Homosexuality? Legal in every state, thanks to Lawrence v. Texas (and, before that, it was almost never enforced anyway). Currently, they're trying to maintain the status quo by preventing gays from getting married. While they've had some temporary success, it appears to be a losing battle.
-- Abortion? All they can do is nibble around the edges. Roe V. Wade is part of that, but abortion is also popular. The recent anti-abortion initiative in South Dakota-- South Dakota!-- failed. The related area of birth control is ground they've basically ceded.
-- Divorce? I think even they have given up this fight.
-- Religious displays in public? It's impossible to get so much as a cross up at Christmas without the ACLU honing in on you.
-- "Family values" in primetime television? Also a lost battle.
-- Prayer in schools? Not even remotely on the horizon.
-- Women in the workforce? Accepted and mostly non-controversial. Note the rise of stay-at-home dads.
-- Um...what am I forgetting here? Fundamentalists have lost virtually every major battle. The gap between the world they want and the world we have is rather large.

So... no, on the list of things I'm worried about, fundamentalist Christians don't rank very highly.



But the left needs to demonize christians so they can stir up fear . Speaking of evil cabels comming from certain colleges Has anyone checked on the hold Harvard has in politics. I mean during the golden age of Camelot were not the famed Kennedy Whiz Kids from Good old Harvard. But wait only Republicans are evil. I keep forgetting that sticking point.
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#20 Spectacles

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:22 PM

Here's one legal analyst's take on why this matters.

http://www.cbsnews.c...in2665402.shtml

Quote

The Gutting Of The Justice Department
CBS News.com Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen Says U.S. Attorney Firings Reveal Deeper Departmental Flaws



If the scandal over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys came upon the nation like a bolt of lightning, the concerted effort by the White House to undermine the professional class of lawyers at the Justice Department has been rumbling like thunder for years. The immediate crisis concerning the federal prosecutors will be over soon enough. The Administration's forced brain drain at Justice threatens its stature and effectiveness for years to come.

Thanks to the spotlight's glare on how and why the Justice Department and White House conspired to fire eight loyal U.S. Attorneys last year, we now are hearing about how career professionals at Justice — nonpartisan federal lawyers who make up the backbone of the department — have been squeezed out or otherwise marginalized over the past few years by ideological (and in many cases underachieving and intellectually weak) attorneys chosen more for their partisan views and political connections than for their ability to offer unbiased and sharp stewardship over the nation's federal laws.

Some of the folks who are feeling the pinch are beginning to speak out. Emboldened by the fatally weakened Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the good guys are starting to make waves. In Minnesota last week, three top attorneys in the U.S. Attorney's office rebelled and demoted themselves to regular line prosecutors rather than work directly with the newly appointed U.S. Attorney there. The development was alarming enough to Justice Department officials that they promptly dispatched to Minneapolis a special envoy whose diplomatic mission apparently failed to persuade the rebels to recant.

The newbie who is causing the heartburn there is a woman named Rachel K. Paulose, a 34-year-old crony of the attorney general and his deputy, Paul J. McNulty. The Washington Post reported last week that "Paulose has drawn complaints from taxpayer advocates for an allegedly lavish 'investiture' ceremony held last month to commemorate her confirmation as U.S. Attorney, although Justice officials say the cost to the department was only $225. Paulose has also gained attention for her aggressive efforts to obtain 'righteous sentences' in child pornography cases."

Quote

One year later, Savage reports, in 2002, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft — who led prayer meetings at the Justice Department, remember — changed the hiring rules at the Department to make it easier for ideological candidates (and for candidates with unimpressive academic credentials) to be selected to serve as career lawyers. Our government, our Justice Department, no longer seeks only the best and the brightest from our nation's law schools. Instead, it allows itself to be overrun with fourth-rate lawyers (Regent was ranked in the fourth tier of law schools) whose political views and loyalties are convenient and useful to implementing the administration's policies.

"This Administration's decision to forego traditional selection processes that have been used by both Republican and Democratic administrations is a reflection of the White House's determination to politicize, to change, an agency where lawyers of all political stripes have served in a non-partisan way for years," former deputy attorney general Eric Holder, Jr. told me via e-mail on Monday.


Quote

Why does this matter to you? Here’s just one example. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week ordered the immediate release from federal prison of a state employee named Georgia Thompson. She had been sent there last fall by a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor (and a jury of her peers) after she was convicted of fraud in connection with a public travel contract she allegedly steered to a firm that had contributed to the political campaign of Wisconsin's Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. The indictment, trial and conviction were big political news in the state during the run-up to the election — the Republicans made much hay of it during their campaign.

Problem is, there was no evidence to support the case. So little evidence, in fact, that the 7th Circuit, not exactly known for a bleeding-heart makeup, set Thompson free on the day of oral argument because of the complete lack of proof supporting the conviction. It's not just the weakness of the Thompson case and the fact that it got as far as it did (during an election season, no less) that is potentially devastating to the rule of law. It is the appearance of prejudice and bias on the part of the U.S. Attorney's office in Wisconsin (and in other places recently) that has the potential for serious long-term ramifications. This is no less true because the federal prosecutor involved in the Thompson case, a fellow named Stephen Biskupic, is not one of the new breed of Justice Department hacks.

While the 150 Regent lawyers represent a small portion of the DOJ, the new hiring practices and the messages from the top have created a general climate of valuing politicizing over justice


Quote

The White House and Justice Department, under the reign of attorneys general Ashcroft and Gonzales, have encouraged over the past half decade an atmosphere that sullies the coin of the realm under our rule of law — the perceived legitimacy and authority and objectivity and neutrality and professional competence of the men and women who are tasked with enforcing our laws uniformly, fairly and without fear or favor. Without that legitimacy, the legal system devolves down into Third World status, perceived by those within and without it as subject to manipulation for political purposes.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman



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