IG report: Bush's GOP hires among immigration judges

by Amaury Nora

Today, the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility just released a report on the improper hiring practices by Monica Goodling, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) White House Liaison and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General. According to the report, Goodling broke federal law by discriminating against job applicants on account of their political views.

Our investigation found that Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions, in violation of federal law and Department policy. With regard to requests from interim U.S. Attorneys to hire [assisant U.S. attorneys], we determined that in two instances Goodling considered the candidate’s political or ideological affiliations when she assessed the request. For example, in one instance when the interim U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia sought approval from Goodling to hire an AUSA for a vacant position, Goodling responded that the candidate gave her pause because judging from his résumé he appeared to be a “liberal Democrat.” Continue reading

Our latest tragic shooting: who's to blame?

Another church shooting, this time in Knoxville. By now you’ve probably read the accounts and know that the shooter, Jim Adkisson, was motivated by, among other things, an apparent hatred of “liberals.”

Before diving too much deeper, there are a couple things we can probably safely say about Adkisson. First, these weren’t the actions of a rational man. Rational people don’t wade into crowds of people attempting to kill as many as possible.

So whatever else may have been at play, and no doubt the causes were many and complex, let’s be clear that we’re dealing with a disturbed individual. Continue reading

S&R @ the DNC: Come see us at Lime

We mentioned earlier that Scholars & Rogues is one of 124 blogs that have been credentialed to cover the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with our good friends at Lime – they’ll be our official home during the DNC.

If you’re new to Denver, Lime is one of the best places in town. Situated in the heart of Larimer Square, they feature some of the best upbeat Mexican cuisine in a city that’s known for its Mexican; the bar serves up the best mojito I’ve ever tasted; the patio is an ideal spot to relax with friends; and the bar/lounge scene is positively thumping later in the evening. Their second location, a few blocks south in the Governor’s Park neighborhood, is pretty happening, too. Continue reading

Letters from Afghanistan: installment #4

Afghanistan, Ghowr Province: an opium village

[Ed. note: Connor O’Steen writes of going to an opium village in Afghanistan’s Ghowr province to do the necessary research to admit Nasim to the orphanage in Chaghcharan.]

First the roads. They were dirt the entire way and I was expecting this, but I had also figured that they would have been purposefully made, smoothed over even to facilitate the transfer of people from point A to point B. Silly me. The roads were the natural result of cars following the same path over and over. We drove in the ruts that had been imprinted by heavier trucks and, from time to time, our car’s tires scraped against the sides of the ruts, bouncing us from side to side. At first I imagined it was like being on a particularly cloying rollercoaster. Then I imagined it was like being inside a pinata. Then I stopped imagining things. Continue reading

What to do — blow myself up or study engineering at Caltech?

Sometimes the answer to a problem isn’t as hard as we think it is. In fact, it may be downright easy. But something in our makeup prevents us from either seeing or pursuing the answer. We continue to tread the more arduous path and, in the process, not only perpetuate, but compound the problem.

In a Washington Monthly article, “How many of you want to study in America?,” Kenneth Ballen reports on the extensive polling that his organization, Terror Free Tomorrow, has done around the world. First, he describes a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia with young Muslims in apparent thrall to bin Laden. Though they didn’t give him credit for 9/ll, which, Ballen writes, they felt was the work of “the CIA and the Israeli intelligence service — how else to explain the fact that there were no Jews in the World Trade Center when it was destroyed?” Continue reading

Nota Bene #33

Got hot links if you want ‘em!

Jonathan Martin of Politico writes: “Liberal media has traditionally been upstream media, generating information and putting it into circulation. Conservative media is downstream, it’s the second bite at the apple.”

Has a way been finally found to explain the FISA bill to the public? Glenn Greenwald of Salon quotes an ad attacking a Pennsylvanian congressmen who voted yea on it: “Chris Carney is surrendering to Bush and Cheney the same un-American spying powers they have in Russia and communist China.” We have a winner! Continue reading