Friday, December 02, 2005

Justice Delayed

I guess among all the stories of corruption, misleadership, and mendacity coming from the current batch of leadership, today's story in the Post strikes home for many of us.

Justice Staff Saw Texas Districting As Illegal
Voting Rights Finding On Map Pushed by DeLay Was Overruled
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 2, 2005; Page A01

Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.

The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.

"The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect," the memo concluded.

The memo also found that Republican lawmakers and state officials who helped craft the proposal were aware it posed a high risk of being ruled discriminatory compared with other options.

But the Texas legislature proceeded with the new map anyway because it would maximize the number of Republican federal lawmakers in the state, the memo said. The redistricting was approved in 2003, and Texas Republicans gained five seats in the U.S. House in the 2004 elections, solidifying GOP control of Congress.

The 73-page memo, dated Dec. 12, 2003, has been kept under tight wraps for two years. Lawyers who worked on the case were subjected to an unusual gag rule. The memo was provided to The Post by a person connected to the case who is critical of the adopted redistricting map. Such recommendation memos, while not binding, historically carry great weight within the Justice Department."

And here is a new story in the Times about Delay's buddy Abramoff:

Lobbyist's Role in Hiring Aides Is Investigated
New York Times
Published: December 2, 2005

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 - With a federal corruption case intensifying, prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors, people involved in the case have said.

The attention paid to how the aides obtained jobs occurs as Mr. Abramoff is under mounting pressure to cooperate with prosecutors as they consider a case against lawmakers. Participants in the case, who insisted on anonymity because the investigation is secret, said he could try to reach a deal in the next six weeks.

Many forces are bearing down on Mr. Abramoff. Last week, his closest business partner, Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in exchange for cooperating in the inquiry, being run by an interagency group, into whether money and gifts were used in an influence-peddling scandal that involved lawmakers.

What began as an inquiry into Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Abramoff's lobbying has widened to a corruption investigation centering mainly on Republican lawmakers who came to power as part of the conservative revolution of the 1990's.

At least six members of Congress are in the scope of the inquiry, with an additional 12 or so former aides being examined to determine whether they gave Mr. Abramoff legislative help in exchange for campaign donations, lavish trips and gifts."

In the meantime, the media is reponding to this landslide of corruption by the party in power by calling it bi-partisan. Here is the story in Media Matters.

Depoliticizing corruption:
Media figures miscast GOP-laden scandals as "nonpartisan"

A number of national media figures have cast the recent spate of political scandals as "nonpartisan," despite the fact that the vast majority of government officials who have been indicted or are under investigation are Republicans.

In breaking down the "series of scandals ... currently dogging high-level elected officials," Washington Post staff writer Chris Cillizza lumped a former Democratic member of Congress in with current government officials, apparently to beef up the numbers on the Democrats' side of the ledger.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews asserted that "there's no difference in the saliva test" between corrupt Republicans and Democrats. Post staff writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum quoted a Republican pollster in reporting that "voters think less of both political parties the more prominent the issue of corruption in Washington becomes."

By framing the recent political scandals as affecting "both political parties" (or "Washington" in general), Cillizza, Matthews, and Birnbaum obscured the fact that the vast majority of these scandals involve Republicans. "

It's that liberal media again.

Taking the story and shaping it.

Time will move these and the other stories of misdoings forward.

But, as Gladstone said,

"Justice Delayed.

Is Justice denied."

He also said,

"That selfishness

is the greatest curse

of the human race."

Like someone else said,

No $#!t Sherlock.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the art.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we can survive this, it will be good for us all. Like the Nixon era, this corruption will destroy the Republican party for a decade or more, and hopefully bring the country to its senses. MS

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pride cometh before a fall.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear the White (Wash) House uses the term, "Plausible Deniability." Handy vocabulary, eh?

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Frontier:

Del Rio, Texas Dic. 4, 2005
It is interesting to me that here on the Rio Grande no one seems to give a hoot what is happening in Washington or Austin. The worries are water rights and immigration. And immigration worries are that who is going to do the work if the government builds that fence and who is going to build the fence? They can't get people to build the roads to the fence.

The most important issue on "La Voz de la Frontera" on which I am now a guest host was Christmas lights in Del Rio being lamer then the Christmas lights in Uvalde. Lots of calls and ranting about Del Rio's Santa missing an eye.

And of course we talked about the long lines and people who break in line at the bridge.

6:16 AM  

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