Dec 13, 2008

If Sloppy Journalism Were a Crime....

I would double my case load!

Profile: Patrick Fitzgerald, a modern-day Eliot Ness

"His internet blog, which is subtitled 'Fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way', reveals there was no time for a honeymoon."

...or a fact check...?

The BBC Rocks and Rolls...


Dec 10, 2008

" Sen. Patrick J. Fitzgerald (I) IL ???" - King Solomonojevich

U.S. Senator by Default - Fond Ties Have Grown Between Chicago and Its Corruption Fighter

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but no thanks, Rod... ;)

Oct 8, 2008

Open Thread

Have at it....

Jun 19, 2008

Marriage Is Not A Word...

it is a sentence. ;)

Love, Etc.

Married: Very Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, 47, to Head Start teacher Jennifer Letzkus, 35, sometime "last week," a rep for the Chicago federal prosecutor (once the most eligible bachelor in Washington wonkdom) confirmed yesterday. Spokesman Randy Samborn would not tell us exactly when or where, only that "he is wearing a ring." What about a honeymoon? "He's back at work."

Happily guilty as charged.

Mar 10, 2008

Gov. Spitzer - Pimp Or John...?

Linked to prostitution ring? DEVELOPING....

Surely, it must be an under (the) cover sting run by his office!
Uh oh...

The Smoking Gun's Smoking Gun...

Mar 4, 2008

My "Fleeting Moment Of Brutish Triumph..!"

Disgraced CEO begins serving prison term

Defiant former mogul calls sentence a 'travesty - a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.'
Conrad Black,the disgraced former newspaper baron, noted historian and British peer who began serving his prison sentence Monday in Florida, could be feeding convicts or fixing their toilets or their pet.

Black went through a regular screening at the Coleman Federal Correction Complex, before he was handed an inmate guidebook and began serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice.

There is a compulsory work call at 7 a.m. <more>

I understand that to some Justice can be a bitch in more ways than one. ;)

Jan 25, 2008

Valentine's Day...

is fast approaching...

Jan 6, 2008

Happy New Year..!

Dec 10, 2007

Happy Monday...

Nov 28, 2007

ABA Award Winning Blog... <-----------

awwwww shucks :)


(WASHINGTON, DC - NOV 28, 2007) – Editors of the ABA Journal today announced they have selected From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald as one of the top 100 best websites by lawyers, for lawyers.

Now lawyers are being asked to vote on their favorites in each of the Blawg 100’s 12 categories. To vote, go to here. Voting ends Jan. 2, 2008.

From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald is penned by the very special prosecutor himself. If you don't believe us just read his profile or ask the BBC.

“Lawyers nationwide are using the power of the Internet to educate the public about developments in the law, market their practices and attract new clients,” says Edward A. Adams, the Journal’s editor and publisher. “Our list of the 100 best lawyer blogs is the cream of the crop from our directory of more than 1,500 blawgs in dozens of categories, including blawgs focused on almost every state, law school and major federal court in the nation.”

Randall Samborn issued the following statement from Fitz when reached for comment on this breaking news:
"Having grown up in Flatbush, I am very honored and humbled to receive this prestigious national honor and recognition. It proves that with the power of the pen, amplified by the reach of the Internet, one can truly think globally and prosecute locally to fight for truth, justice and the American way."
About the ABA Journal:
The ABA Journal is the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, and it is read by half of the nation’s 1.1 million lawyers every month. It covers the trends, people and finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. features breaking legal news updated as it happens by staff reporters throughout every business day, a directory of more than 1,500 lawyer blogs, and the full contents of the magazine.

About the ABA:
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

To vote for yours truly, click on the image below....

Car Maf54 Where Are You...?

Rove Prober Scott Bloch Wiped and Swiped by Nerds for Hire

The Journal reports that Bloch called the tech support service Geeks on Call for help deleting computer files instead of using his agency's own in-house computer technicians. That company "dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons," according to Wilke, who adds that Bloch confirms contacting Geeks on Call but maintains it was part of an effort to "eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer."

"Mr. Bloch had his computer's hard disk completely cleansed using a 'seven-level' wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards," the report continues, describing a process which makes it "nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. Technicians were also directed to erase laptops used by Bloch's former political deputies, Wilke adds.

"Geeks on Call visited Mr. Bloch's government office in a nondescript office building on M Street in Washington twice, on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2006," according the paper's review of a company receipt. "The total charge was $1,149, paid with an agency credit card, the receipt shows. The receipt says a seven-level wipe was performed but doesn't mention any computer virus."

The manager of the Geeks on Call franchise involved told the Journal that the so-called seven-level wipe was not a typical remedy for a computer virus. "We don't do a seven-level wipe for a virus," he said. <more>
Scott, what were you thinking or DOING!?

Nov 20, 2007

I Never Unpack My Suitcase...

Former spokesman says both president and VP up to their ears in cess

Full excerpt from the book:
“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.”
I have missed those
Old Ebbitt Grill hamburgers...between you and me -- I hear agents of a certain campaign have been telling Robert Novak that I will be proactively mentioned as their choice for AG before the Iowa caucuses...ask Randall! ;)

Nov 11, 2007

Open Thread...

Quite the the JJ Dinner, eh?

Nov 6, 2007

Only 48 Days Until Christmas...

I got my present early this year. :)

Oct 31, 2007

The Costume Remains The Same...

Oct 26, 2007

LIke Sands Through The Hourglass...

Ryan's appeal denied

I am pleased that the full Court of Appeals has decided to let stand the initial careful opinion of the court’s majority, which held that the defendants received a fair trial.

Oct 19, 2007

What's All The Fuss About..?

Lawyer love The Fitzgerald file...

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is engaged!

One of the nation's most eligible bachelors and one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive" plans to marry a Head Start teacher from Chicago named Jennifer Letzkus, 34, whose family hails from Decatur.

And it was the Washington Post that got the scoop.

"We are obsessed with him," said scoopster Amy Argetsinger, who printed the zinger in Thursday's editions.

"We are so happy for them but we want to respect their privacy," said Peggy Letzkus, Jennifer's stepmother, who is married to Jennifer's dad, Gerald. The couple lives in Decatur, where their daughter may tie the knot in a small, private ceremony this spring.

Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Fitzgerald who helps maintain a lid on his boss' obsessive privacy, chuckled at how long it took us to find out.

"Several of you reporters have known for a few days," he told Sneed. "I'm surprised it took so long to come out."

• • Background: Letzkus, who was described as a former investment banker and a marathon runner, was formerly married to Chicagoan Jeremy Crisup in 2001 and divorced in 2004. She also reported a burglary based on forcible entry to her apartment in 2006.

The heartbreak blog . . .

Chuckle central: Fitzgerald, who has a terrific sense of humor, has handled his share of personal teasing since coming to Chicago . . . but check out this excerpt from the "The Little Pink Clubhouse" blog about his engagement.

"Patrick Fitzgerald is engaged. This is the worst day EVER!

"Ladies, the day we've dreaded is here. Bring your own Kleenex. This will be legendary!

"This calls for chocolate, more chocolate, and chocolate after that! My heart is BROKEN. He's supposed to be pining away for ME, and he gets himself engaged to some gorgeous marathon running, Head Start teaching, former investment banker? How can this BE? She sounds like she's just perfect for my heartthrob. [sob! sob! sniff!] Congratulations, you two. I hope you'll be blissfully happy together.

"In the meantime, I'll be cleaning out the chocolate supply in a three-state area!"

I couldn't have done it without everyone's help - it was love at first sight - my color coordinated suit and tie caught Jen's eye and according to her...I had her at "doh!" ;)

And thank you all for the well wishes and emails, especially Laura Bush -- though not quite sure what she meant by "marriage is not a word - it is a sentence!"

Oct 18, 2007

Narrow Stance On Marriage...


* Engaged: Patrick Fitzgerald, 46, to Chicago teacher Jennifer Letzkus, 34. We noticed the Very Special Prosecutor in the Scooter Libby case first, and People magazine put him in its "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. Now we've learned he's proposed to Letzkus, described as a former investment banker turned Head Start teacher and marathon runner (hard to compete with that résumé, ladies). First marriage for Fitz, second for her. Plans call for a small, private wedding, probably in the spring.

I am a lucky man.

Oct 17, 2007

Crossing I's And Dotting T's...

Court Gonna Busta Move Against White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. magistrate indicated Wednesday that a federal court may order the Bush administration to preserve copies of all White House e-mails, a move that a government lawyer argued strongly against.

U.S. Magistrate John M. Facciola asked Justice Department attorneys and a private group for suggested wording on a proposed court order in a lawsuit stemming from problems with the White House e-mail system.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Executive Office of the President last month, demanding that any e-mails lost from White House computer servers be restored from computer backup tapes.

In the weeks since the group filed its lawsuit, the private organization says it has been unable to get assurances from the government that all White House backup tapes containing copies of e-mails will be preserved. The group, known by the acronym CREW, also says it has been unable to get assurances that the White House is using the backup tapes only once.

Facciola made clear that he is concerned.

Can the government provide assurances that the White House backup tapes of its e-mails have not been "obliterated and recycled?" asked Facciola.

CREW is trying to make sure the e-mail copies are being preserved so that the lawsuit "does not become an academic exercise," said Facciola.

"The Office of Administration is not recycling backup tapes," Justice Department attorney Helen Hong told the judge.

In response, CREW attorney Anne Weismann said the group is concerned about past practices by the Executive Office of the President and private contractors who might have handled backup tapes.

"I don't know how the White House defendants could have been made it more clear," Hong said. She said the administration's position is that there is no need for a court order. She offered to have the administration provide a sworn declaration of what it is preserving.

Facciola adjourned court for 20 minutes, asking the two sides to try to work out wording on an agreement of what has been preserved. After the attorneys said they were at an impasse, Facciola suggested the requirements for a court order had been met.

The Federal Records Act and the President Records Act require that all White House e-mail be preserved.

The lawsuit by CREW last month is similar to one filed earlier by the National Security Archive, a private group advocating public disclosure of government secrets.

The first indication of a problem with the White House e-mail system came nearly two years ago when special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald raised the possibility that records sought in the CIA leak investigation involving the outing of Valerie Plame could be missing because of an e-mail archiving problem.

The issue arose again early this year amid the controversy over the firing of U.S. attorneys. Aides to Bush improperly used Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts for official business and an undetermined number of e-mails were lost.

Ultimately, the e-mails will be important years from now to historians delving into the inner workings of the Bush administration.

Oct 11, 2007

Citizen Heroes...

More Questions Over White House E-Mail

WASHINGTON (AP) — An ethics advocacy group asked a federal judge Thursday to order the White House to preserve tapes used to back up its e-mail system.

Asserting that the White House may not have kept copies of e-mails that are at the heart of a dispute over the Bush administration's record-keeping, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a motion asking for a court order to preserve computer backup tapes.

"The White House is refusing to confirm that they have maintained e-mail going back to the beginning of the administration as they are required by law to do," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.

The group placed on the public record two Justice Department letters stating that the White House is maintaining all backup tapes that were in the possession of the White House Office of Administration as of Sept. 25, 2007, the date CREW sued the Executive Office of the President in the e-mail controversy.

The private group asked the Justice Department for information about what backup tapes were in the White House's possession, but the Justice Department has not provided an explanation.

The possibility that backup tapes may not contain copies of all White House e-mail is a new dimension to the controversy, which first arose in early 2006. CREW alleges that millions of White House e-mails are missing, and that the backup tapes contained the lone remaining copies.

"At present the missing e-mail records exist only on backup tapes and other mediums, if at all," CREW said in its court filing. "Thus, those backup tapes contain the only copies of important historical evidence of this presidency."

CREW is entitled to a temporary restraining order to prevent any further document destruction, the group said in its filing with U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy, an appointee of President Clinton.

In the past, the White House has said it is aware that some e-mails may not have been automatically archived on a computer server for the Executive Office of the President and that the e-mails may have been preserved on backup tapes.

In response to the latest court filing, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said that because the matter is in court, he is referring to previous White Houses comments on the issue.

The White House has said that its Office of Administration is looking into whether there are e-mails that were not automatically archived and that if there is a problem, the necessary steps will be taken to address it.

The first indication of a problem came in nearly two years ago when special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald raised the possibility that records sought in the CIA leak investigation involving the outing of Valerie Plame could be missing because of an e-mail archiving problem at the White House.

The issue arose again this year amid the controversy over the firing of U.S. attorneys. Aides to Bush improperly used Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts for official business and an undetermined number of e-mails were lost.

Oct 9, 2007

"Vicious And Slashing,.."

Two at the top share their view from out house

Karl Rove keeps a newspaper picture of Lewis "Scooter" Libby and his wife on the day Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. Rove says he holds onto it to remember.

"I'm really sad about Scooter," he said.

Although he does not say it, the picture may also be a reminder of what he avoided.

Rove adamantly denies doing anything wrong, but the investigation, which hung over him for years before special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald decided against seeking an indictment, gave more grist to enemies who see a ruthless Machiavellian willing to destroy his critics. Rove sees it the other way around; he sees a hunt for a crime that did not exist.

The investigation, Rove said, was his lowest moment at Bush's side. "It was really hard for me," he said. "I'm not bitter about it. But I'll tell you, my wife is bitter about all the people who carry those little badges that say, 'Press.' "

Foes assumed Rove's resignation as deputy chief of staff was connected to his role in the U.S. attorney firings, but Rove scoffs at that notion.

"I'm the evil genius," he said, mocking his reputation. More seriously, he said, "I understand there are people out there who really don't like me. And the question is, am I going to let it bother me? I ignore the ugly things that are said." <more>

Oct 7, 2007

Mouth Zero...

Novak: Wilson did not forcefully object to naming of CIA wife in column

Columnist Robert Novak said Saturday Ambassador Joe Wilson did not forcefully object to the naming of his CIA operative wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, when Novak spoke to him prior to the publication of a column that sparked a federal investigation and sent White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to jail.

“He was not terribly exercised about it,” Novak said.

Instead, Wilson focused on not being portrayed as simply an opponent of the Iraq war. Wilson also stressed that his wife went by his last name, Wilson, rather than Plame, Novak said.

Novak forcefully defended his handling of the column and the legal wrangling that surrounded the special counsel investigation in a seminar on the CIA leak case at the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists Convention.

“It was an off-hand remark to a question I asked in an interview I requested,” Novak said. “This was not a conspiracy in the federal government to go after Valerie Plame Wilson.”

Novak said he complied with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s subpoena to testify because his lawyer told him he had no legal grounds to resist, and losing a court fight could erode the legal protections of the press. He noted that, as a syndicated columnist, he had to pay the legal fees himself, to the tune of $160,000. His home newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, contributed $30,000, he said.

He was surprised when the questioning began, that he was not pressed on his source. The reason, he said, was that Fitzgerald already knew that it was then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

At one point, he recalled, former White House aide Kenneth Duberstein called Novak on Armitage’s behalf, asking if Armitage was the source.

“I said, ‘I can’t give you that information,’” Novak said with a grin.

Novak said his critics, including those in the press, have attacks his ethics, when in fact their quarrel was with his ideology.

“I was stunned by how little editorial support I received. I was under assault from editorial writers from across the country,” Novak said. “It is startling how little is known about this case by the people who are commenting on it.”

He said his case shows the need for a shield law like the one approved last week by a Senate committee. But he added, “Is it not hypocritical for my critics to support a law that would have saved me from three years of confrontation?”

Oct 4, 2007

My Point Of View...

Shield Law Perils . . .
Bill Would Wreak Havoc on a System That Isn't Broken

By Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a "shield law" for journalists that would radically alter the way national security investigations are conducted. Unlike state shield laws, a federal shield law poses unique obstacles to the protection of national security. We must know whether the proposed law squarely addresses a real problem before taking such a significant step.

Let's start from the common premise that a robust and free press and fair and effective law enforcement are both vital to our democracy. Since the Supreme Court ruled 35 years ago that reporters are obligated to comply with grand jury subpoenas, there has been no shortage of whistle-blowers -- from Watergate to Abu Ghraib. And the Justice Department operates under rigorous regulations restricting the issuance of subpoenas to journalists. These regulations, which require balancing the competing public interests in law enforcement and the flow of information to the media, have yielded only a trickle of subpoenas.

Against this background, a compelling case has not been made for jettisoning the legal framework that has guided this process for the past 35 years.

A threshold question lawmakers should ask is whether reporters will obey the law if it is enacted. They should ask because the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press calls for a shield law while urging journalists to defy the law when a court upholds a subpoena for source information. Any shield bill should require that a person seeking its protection first provide the subpoenaed information under seal to the court, to be released only if the court orders the information disclosed.

The proposed shield law poses real hazards to national security and law enforcement. The bipartisan Sept. 11 commission and the Robb-Silberman commission on prewar intelligence both found our national security at great risk because of the widespread leaking of classified information. The proposed law would have the unintended but profound effect of handcuffing investigations of such leaks. In many cases, authorities would face the Catch-22 of being required to prove specific criminal activity -- in a hearing before a judge, often resulting in notice to the subjects of investigation or their associates -- before they could take the investigative steps to determine whether criminal activity had occurred. In effect, the law would require "trial before investigation." Even worse, in cases involving leaks of classified information, the law would require the government to disclose in a hearing the specific damage caused by the leak -- information often more sensitive than the leak itself.

On a practical level, the bill would cause delays -- measured in years -- in national security investigations because prosecutors would be litigating (and appealing) instead of investigating serious crimes. As but one example, if classified nuclear secrets were published in a newspaper citing official sources at the Pentagon, the FBI would need to litigate with the newspaper before being allowed to use subpoenas to follow the trail of the Pentagon's own telephone or e-mail records. And the FBI might well lose because the bill, puzzlingly, requires that agents prove that the leak occurred without relying on the newspaper article.

The bill would have other serious consequences. "Journalism" is so broadly defined that it includes not just newspapers and bloggers but also criminal organizations that disseminate information widely. In recent cases in Chicago, this bill would have qualified as journalists:
  • "Charity" groups that raised money through Internet postings, purportedly for widows and orphans, but that actually diverted the funds to groups affiliated with al-Qaeda.
  • An Iraqi spy who had a cover job as a journalist.
  • A violent street gang that pirated a religious radio station to broadcast messages to gang members.
  • Child pornographers who shared information over the Internet.
The shield bill appears to address the first two cases but does not. The bill does not protect people if the government proves they are acting on behalf of a foreign terrorist group or foreign power. But the bill also handcuffs investigators from taking the steps necessary to obtain that proof. The bill does not even purport to exclude domestic terrorists, gangs or pedophiles. No senator or legitimate journalist wants to extend protection to terrorists or other criminals, but such is the vice of a law defining journalism.

Any shield bill raises important questions for our democracy and warrants close scrutiny. Certainly those who advocate a shield law do not wish to compromise national security or public safety. Similarly, those who oppose such a law intend neither to cripple the free press nor to suffocate dissent. Before acting in this sensitive area, Congress should take care that any legislation addresses demonstrated needs and does not create dangerous unintended consequences for national security and law enforcement. Congress -- and the public -- ought to be assured that the people who propose the shield law will themselves obey it. The proposed bill fails all these tests.

The writer is the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Senate Panel Approves Press Shield Bill

Sep 28, 2007

Raw Video...

Feds Detail Alleged Murder-For-Hire Plot Fitz-TV

I think I did medium well. ;)


The Big Mo...?

landed in my email today...
From: Barack Obama <>
Date: Sep 28, 2007 1:56 PM
Subject: Hey

I'm just now leaving New York, and you've got me fired up. Nearly 25,000 people came together last night for the rally.

Here's the video:

Video: NYC Rally

We're still shy of our goal of 350,000 people giving to the campaign by Sunday's deadline.

Make a donation now and get us there:

More soon.


P.S. Serious problems require serious solutions.

P.S.S. Run, don't walk to my rally.

P.S.S. Bill Clinton Says He Was More Experienced Than Me?

Polls, schmolls! Go Mets!

Sep 27, 2007

Law Enforcement Good...

torture bad!

Alleged torture by police is now a Fitz matter

"After years of listening to calls for a federal investigation into the Chicago police torture scandal that allegedly ran from the 1970s into the early 1990s, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald announced Wednesday that his office is engaged in a criminal investigation of the matter.

Without using the names of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge or the detectives who worked under him, Fitzgerald said his office would look into whether any of the officers lied under oath or obstructed justice as part of the civil litigation resulting from allegations that police tortured dozens of suspects."

"We're not going to prejudge what will happen," Fitzgerald said at a news conference called to announce an unrelated arrest. "We're not going to predict whether there will be charges or anything beyond that, but we do want to make clear that we're very, very serious about this investigation." <more>

Sep 26, 2007

Romper, Bomper, Stomper Boo...

"Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all my "authors" had fun at play?"

"Imaginative Author: The skeleton in Pat Fitzgerald's closet" - Rawstory


Sep 25, 2007

Away Go Troubles Down The Drain...

‘Most corrupt’ list members keep vanishing

After creating a list called “The 22 most corrupt members of Congress (and two to watch),” one must make haste in releasing it.

That’s because those pesky designees have a way of disappearing.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit watchdog, released its third-annual list on Sept. 18.
It included Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), who announced on Sept. 22 that he wanted to spend more time with his family and would retire next year.

Yes, the decision was 100 percent about his family, and had nothing at all to do with the list or a Chicago Tribune investigative series of stories that uncovered omissions in his financial disclosure filings.

Sen. Craig, who is one of the “two to watch,” is on his way out the door at month’s end — at least, his Republican leadership hopes he is.

At this pace, CREW can hope to get results like its list did last year. Of the 25 lawmakers who earned the distinction in 2006, 10 are no longer in Congress and eight more are under federal investigation.

But not everybody is impressed by the organization’s work. Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), who is the target of a Justice Department probe and two-time winner of a slot on the list, fought back, informing the local Auburn Journal that he doesn’t like CREW anyway.

“I just really think it’s unfair and wrong for an underhanded and vile organization like CREW, who disagrees with me because I’m a conservative Republican, to attack me on that,” he reportedly said.

I heart CREW for demonstrating that with a little sunshine, elbow grease and diligence -- (extra)ordinary citizens like them CAN make a difference in cleaning up Congress!
Brownmail Alert - White House Approved Lobbying Effort to Block Approval of California Vehicle Standards


Sep 21, 2007

Very Good Yontif...

Federal grand jury issues subpoena for Buckham payroll records
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed payroll records from the House for Ed Buckham, former chief of staff to ex-House Majority Leader and exterminator Tom DeLay.
The subpoena, issued by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., is the first formal notification that Buckham is the focus of a federal corruption probe by the Justice Department. The subpoena was sent to Daniel Beard, chief administrative officer for the House, and formally read into the Congressional Record this afternoon, although Buckham was not mentioned in the official notification.
Buckham served as DeLay's chief of staff before leaving to become a lobbyist. He had extensive dealings with now imprisoned GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and a former buiness associate Tony Rudy - also a former DeLay aide - has already pleaded guilty to accepting payments from Abramoff's clients while working for DeLay. The gifts, including payments to Rudy's wife, were in exchange for helping Abramoff and his clients with legislative matters, according to Rudy's plea agreement with DOJ.

Rudy also pleaded guilty to violating the one-year ban for former senior aides to approach their former bosses as lobbyists. It is unclear if the Justice Department is pursuing the same allegation against Buckham. Neil Volz, ex-chief of staff to imprisoned former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), pleaded guilty to same charge as well.

Buckham, an ordained minister, remained very close to DeLay after he left the Texas Republican's staff, advising DeLay on numerous political and legislative matters.

In recent months, a number of ex-DeLay staffers have been subpoenaed - or voluntarily came in for questioning - by the Justice Dept. to discuss the day-to-day operations of DeLay's office, including the role Buckham played once he left DeLay's staff, according to several sources familiar with the investigation.

Buckham also has ties to other lawmakers under federal investigation, including Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.). Buckham's lobbying firm hired Doolittle's wife, Julie Doolittle, to do consulting work. Doolittle's house was recently raided by FBI agents as part of the continuing Abramoff investigation.

DeLay and Buckham have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, although a number of former associates have pleaded guilty to corruption charges as a result of the Abramoff probe.

Roger That...

Indictment sought for Good Cop/Bad Cop Burge
Aldermen urge Fitzgerald to look into federal charges

As always, if you have any questions, speak to Randall or post them on here.

Sep 19, 2007

Protocol - WWJD..?

Pope 'refused to meet with Rice'
Snub by the Vatican towards the Bush administration

What I learned at Regis: Confession is good for the soul and -- Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! Psalm 34: 14


Sep 18, 2007

Until I Am Red In The Face...

Just say "No, thank you!" to graft!

Today, CREW released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch). This encyclopedic report on corruption in the 110th Congress documents the egregious, unethical and possibly illegal activities of the most tainted members of Congress. CREW has compiled the members’ transgressions and analyzed them in light of federal laws and congressional rules. <more>
Top U.S. Official Eyed For Blocking Probes
Investigation Alleges State Dept. Inspector General Blocked Investigations Into Baghdad Embassy Graft

Sep 17, 2007

Freedom Of X...

FOX bleeps Sally Field’s anti-war Emmy speech

The network really doesn't like her?

Sep 16, 2007

Blowing Shofars..!

Sep 15, 2007

Don't Cry For Me Abu Ghraib...

Gonzales receives praise, standing ovations at farewell ceremony

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales received an emotional and staunchly supportive send-off in the final hour of his last day on the job at the Justice Department on Friday.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gets emotional during a farewell ceremony on his last day of work Friday.

With a handful of protesters noisily celebrating his departure on the sidewalks outside, Gonzales was praised by no fewer than 10 Justice lieutenants and agency heads -- some with their voices cracking, others crack smoking.

Gonzales himself at one point wiped tears from his eyes and praised the Justice Department as "a place of inspiration" in his farewell speech. <warning --tissue zone>
Sing it, Madonna...

Sep 14, 2007

I Once Developed A Deep...

thigh bruise after bumping with Condi while dancing after a heated evening of Klingon Scrabble.
After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll. Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud.
It's true! ;)

Hat tip: Condi, chose, public service, over a budding song writing, career! And that's the rest of the story, good day.

That's A Pricey Meatball..!

Sep 13, 2007

My AG Party Evite Must Be Lost...

somewhere in the Internets.

Gonzales Ready to Leave the Stage

Democrats to make AG nomination less political -- Vow to block Olsen

Harry Reid vowed on Wednesday to block former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson from becoming attorney general if President George W. Bush nominates him to replace Alberto Gonzales. <more>
Surely, a big going away party is planned for AG Gonzalez? Hello? Anyone?

UPDATE: my Evite <-----woo hoo!!!

Sep 10, 2007

When The Moon Hits Your Eye...

Wiseguys and Cop -- Guilty In Chicago Mob Trial

A federal jury found five aging men guilty Monday in a racketeering conspiracy that involved decades of extortion, loan sharking and murder aimed at rubbing out anyone who dared stand in the way of the ruthless Chicago mob.

The verdicts capped an extraordinary 10-week trial that laid bare some of the inner workings of The Outfit. <more>

Sep 7, 2007

TGIF Potpourri...

Teamsters Local 743 Officer and Former Employees Indicted

CHICAGO, Sept. 7 -- An officer of Teamsters Local 743 and three former union local employees were indicted on federal charges for allegedly conspiring together with others to steal ballots in an effort to rig two elections in favor of an incumbent slate of officers in 2004, officials of the U.S. Justice and Labor departments announced today.

In two closely-contested elections just months apart, the defendants and others allegedly diverted to their friends, family and confidantes hundreds of mailed, official ballot packages that were intended for delivery to Local 743 members, and then cast the ballots or caused them to be cast to ensure election of the incumbent slate. Local 743 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, based in Chicago, represents more than 12,000 members engaged in warehouse, office, medical, service and other industries, and is one of the largest Teamsters locals in the country.

The seven-count indictment was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; Don Todd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards; Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General of the Labor Department; and Thomas P. Brady, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. <more>

Judith Miller joins conservative thunk tank!!!

Nifong not only rogue prosecutor???

Sep 6, 2007

Loose Lips S-to-tha-izzink Ships...

Ahead of tha Posse

Accord'n ta White Hizouse playa there were plans fo` ho-slappin' Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ta resign, but not as early as he did cuz its a G thang. "We wizzy pimpin' it over Labor Day weekend, not a week drug deala sez a White Hizouse staffa�.

In fact, few if any senior staff at tha Department of Justice were prepared fo` tha Monday (August 27) resignizzles of Gonzales. Ho-slappin' ta DOJ aides, Gonzales wrote his very brief remarks at tha press conferizzles wit gangsta n policy advisa completely in tha dizzy of wizzle was ho-slappin'

So why tha speed up? Ridin' ta DOJ staff, revelizzles tizzle tha Department was doggy stylin' ta improperly vet partna fo` Muslim outreach programm'n were brew'n, particularly wit tha resignizzles of tha heezee of tha departments civil rights division.

"Its bizzy an ongo'n issue, n there was politics at play, as well," accord'n ta a DOJ source.

Earlia in August, it was reported tizzy tha department had canceled a Muslim outreach event at Washington heezeequarters, W-H-to-tha-izzich would hizzy featured Gonzales, afta it was learned one of tha cosponsors had ties ta a Muslim organizzles tizzle was an unindicted co-conspirizzles in tha federal Holy Land Foundation terrorist hatin' prosecution.

And why was there concern `bout these stories? Coz tha U.S. Attorney pimpin' tha Holy Land case is nizzy otha tizzy Patrick Fitzgerald, of Scoota Libby fame. Fitzgerald is believed by some inside tha White Hizouse ta have been tha source of tha earlia Muslim leak T-H-to-tha-izzat embarrassed Gonzales.

American Spectator, word to your mother!

Firedoglake sez...

Sep 4, 2007

Who Knew..???

DOJ Seeks to Recover From Gonzales' Tenure
Many observers say the AG leaves behind a Main Justice in disarray

Demoralized. Discredited. Dysfunctional.

These words are among those used to sum up the state of the Justice Department under the watch of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who last week announced he will step down Sept. 17.

Much like a wounded patient in an intensive care unit, the department is in need of critical attention to revive its core mission: law enforcement.

Exactly how much influence Gonzales exerted throughout the department is still open to debate, but as his 2½-year tenure comes to a close, this much is clear: Main Justice is in disarray.

Current and ex-career employees, former political appointees, legal scholars, detractors, and supporters all tell the same story: The shortcomings are numerous and the successes few and far between.

With ongoing internal and congressional investigations into the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys, the controversial warrantless surveillance program, the politicization of the Civil Rights Division, and Gonzales' own testimony to Congress, it's hard to find observers willing to step out and put a positive spin on Gonzales' tenure. His detractors aren't so shy.

"There is no reasonable doubt that Alberto R. Gonzales will be remembered as one of the worst attorneys general in history and perhaps the most embarrassed, and embarrassing, Cabinet officers ever," says Daniel Metcalfe, a 30-year veteran of Justice who has become an outspoken critic since retiring in January as head of the department's Office of Information and Privacy. Some current Justice employees are just relieved to hear that Gonzales is stepping aside.

"The departure was a reassurance for a lot of people," says a career attorney in the Civil Division. "I'm looking forward to better times."

Not everyone is so critical of Gonzales' stewardship. His defenders highlight the creation of the National Security Division within the department and his emphasis on child exploitation as key accomplishments by the man who replaced John Ashcroft in February 2005.

"As for his legacy, the ironic thing is, I think he did a pretty good job as attorney general," says Viet Dinh, a former high-ranking official at the Office of Legal Counsel under Ashcroft.


Needless to say, not too many observers share Dinh's sunny assessment. Looking over the department's 40 offices, divisions and components, critics point to the Civil Rights Division and the Office of Legal Counsel as being the most tarnished under Gonzales' leadership. They also point to the Executive Office of Immigration Review as being heavily politicized under both Ashcroft and Gonzales. Records show that dozens of former Republican activists and loyalists without immigration law experience got jobs as judges there in recent years.

Evan Peterson, a Justice spokesman, last week strongly denied that politics had influenced some of the department's divisions or that the offices had become extensions of the White House.

But Douglas Kmiec, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says the office that oversaw the application of Gonzales' famed memo on interrogations must reinforce its commitment to independence.

"Much of the difficulty over torture memos and signing statements started in that office," says Kmiec, who teaches at Pepperdine University School of Law. "Somehow it lost its way. It lost its ability to say no. [The office] needs to get its act in order."

Dawn Johnsen, a former head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Attorney General Janet Reno, agrees.

"There are just appalling examples of the Department of Justice and its counsel acting as a rubber stamp for unlawful programs that the White House wanted to pursue," says Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University.

The office is currently headed by Steven Bradbury, who holds the title of principal deputy assistant attorney general and whom the Senate has refused to confirm as the official head of the office for more than two years. Bradbury has been accused of using the office to facilitate White House legal requests and recently wrote a memo advising former White House officials, including former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, to ignore congressional subpoenas.

Democratic senators have questioned Bradbury's credentials and have asked the White House to appoint someone else to head the office. They also are upset that an inquiry by the Office of Professional Responsibility into Bradbury's role in the warrantless surveillance program was quashed by President George W. Bush, who refused to grant OPR investigators security clearances.

Justice spokesman Peterson said in an e-mail statement that the Office of Legal Counsel "has provided rigorous and objective legal advice" to the White House and the executive branch.

"There is no basis to assert that OLC has been politicized or is a rubber stamp for the White House," Peterson said.

At the Civil Rights Division, meanwhile, some career attorneys say their influence has diminished as new department heads and political appointees sought to reverse decades of key civil rights law enforcement under Gonzales and, earlier, Ashcroft.

"The damage done to one of the federal government's most important law enforcement agencies is deep and will take time to overcome," Joseph Rich, a former chief in the voting section of the Civil Rights Division who retired in 2005, said in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year.

Some career staff complain about being overruled on key re-districting plans -- which were later challenged in court. Other controversial practices, such as diverting the hiring duties from career staff to political appointees, began under Ashcroft, but ex-career officials say Gonzales let them continue unchecked. <more>

Aug 31, 2007

Got Pretzels..?

Aug 28, 2007

Stupid Pet Tricks...

Letterman -- Top Ten Reasons Alberto is Stepping Down - Durbin: Fitz Could Be Long Shot To Replace Gonzales

CHICAGO -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday the top federal prosecutor in Chicago might be a long shot to replace outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The Illinois Democrat praised U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for being a career prosecutor who has proven time and again that he looks at the law and not politics. Fitzgerald's Chicago office has prosecuted several high-profile cases, including former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.

Durbin has been a frequent critic of Gonzales. He said he is glad Gonzales is leaving his post next month, but he wonders about the timing of it.

Dick, the timing is perfect -- my lease is up next month.

Aug 27, 2007


hey hey, hey hey hey

US Attorney General Gonzales resigns

Heaven holds a place for those who pray...

Aug 16, 2007

Gone Fishin'...

Come September...

Aug 14, 2007

No Surprises Here...

RNC Now Seeks Shelter of Executive Privilege

The Republican National Committee said it will not abide by a subpoena and turn over documents to a Congressional committee investigating the firings of at least eight US attorneys last year because the RNC is waiting to see if the White House will assert executive privilege over RNC documents at the center of the controversy, according to an outside law firm retained by the RNC. <more>
The only surprise here is that Jason has not yet won a Pulitzer...

Aug 13, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do...

Karl "the Architect" Rove: It will be a long time before this Administration falls apart. It was built to last forever like the Pyramids in Egypt.

You can't compare the Pyramids to this White House. The Pyramids were designed to be tombs.