Tuesday, October 04, 2005

NYT: "Mixed Review of Bush Pick in Oversight of Gambling" (Ralph Blumenthal)

About Harriet Mier and that Texas Lottery job that Bully Boy thinks she did so great at:

More than five years after her departure, however, with the lottery struggling and brushed by scandal, those results are a matter of heated dispute. Fellow commissioners praise her tenure. "She was a calm voice in the storm, diligent, faithful and fair," said John L. Hill Jr., a former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court who served on the lottery panel with her.
But Charles E. Soechting, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party and a lawyer for one of the fired directors, said, "Harriet made a mess of things." Under her leadership, Mr. Soechting said, "the Texas Lottery went from one of the most successful to one of the least successful."

The above is from Ralph Blumenthal's "Mixed Review of Bush Pick in Oversight of Gambling" in this morning's New York Times. Here's another section:

A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Monday that Ms. Miers declined to discuss her handling of personnel matters at the Lottery Commission.

Okay, let's get this straight because Repubes love to hide behind "personal matters." Did Bully Boy get arrested for drinking and driving? It's a "personal matter" and if he had ever brought it up it would hurt his children. Even if he had brought it up while he ran for Congress, it would have hurt his children. Even if he had brought it up while he ran for Congress when his arrest wasn't even a year old and his driver's lic. was still suspended. Even if he had brought it up while he ran for Congress it would have, presumably, hurt his children. Who weren't born. Who were years and years from being born.

So now, the way that Miers handled issues in a government post are under the cloak of "personnel matters." "Personal matter" and "personnel matters." The difference is personnel matters should be public record. If someone was fired (for mismangement, such as putting a boyfriend on the payroll -- no, not Harriet Mier), that's public record. In fact, memos, e-mails, phone messages, any of that is public record. Pay? Public record. (Billie went over this at length in her e-mail this morning, she worked for a municipality in Texas and went into the open records act as it applies to employees.)

Maybe Miers meant to say "personal matter"? Personnel matters, how she handled them, go to how she'll handle herself on the Court. She has no judicial record. She needs to explain what happened on the lottery commission. If she won't, the press needs to dig deep and they need to dig hard. Will they? Who knows? Maybe Blumenthal will surprise us? Maybe he's already put in a request for open records? Billie suggests the press also go into the minutes for the time that Miers served on the Dallas City Council.

Todd Purdum and Neil A. Lewis file "Miers Known as a Hard-Working Advocate for the President" which is full of "news." Here's one example:

It has been a long time since Ms. Miers lacked encouragement, and for the last 12 years she has had the support of an important patron.

Is Todd trying to get a job at People? "It has been a long time since Ms. Miers lacked encouragement!" The first clause of the sentence screams for an exclamation point. Breathless writing?

You bet. Who can breathe when the fumes from Todd S. Purdum's smelly jock are wafting all around!

It gets better!

Ms. Miers has been a go-to person for Mr. Bush ever since, first as his appointee to the Texas State Lottery Commission, which she helped clean up; then as White House staff secretary, directing the flow of . . .

She helped clean it up!

Uh, Todd, get your fingers out of your jock and pick up the morning edition of your own paper.
Blumenthal's a little less sure than you are. Todd. Todd! Quit sniffing your fingers and read Blumenthal's article.

She is known among friends and associates as a hard-working and thorough advocate, someone staunchly loyal to Mr. Bush and possessing an unusual ability to remain calm and out of public view in the glare of the White House.

Friends don't trash her? It's "news"!!!!

What she is not known for are her personal views on the hottest legal and political issues of the day.

Has a more awkward sentence appeared in the Times this week? Well you can't type with two hands when you're sniffing the fingers of one. Purdum's grooving on his own funk, people. Cut him some slack.

"I think she's conservative in the sense that most lawyers are conservative, that she looks at the issues in that case," said Linda S. Eads, a professor at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, from which Ms. Miers graduated and to which she returned as an adjunct professor. "I don't know her to be an ideologue."

Linda S. Eads. She's what, Todd?

Diane Ragsdale (an African-American woman) is identified as a "liberal Democrat" but all the white folks get a pass? Is that how it works, Todd?

Linda S. Eads. Served under Corny John Cornyn. Which means she served unde Bully Boy. Why is she treated as impartial? Just a law professor, apparently. One who also fiercly supported Priscilla Owens but the article doesn't tell you that either. So she supported Owens and she was in the attorney general's office under Corny, under Bully.

Todd's surpassed himself today. He must have worn a cup, and not just a strap, while writing this one. Probably gathered all the other kids and went behind the fence with them so he could show off his jock and cup.

Richard W. Stevenson usually just serves on the Elite Fluff Patrol but apparently he's been sniffing ode de Todd's jock which explains sentences like this:

Mr. Bush has worked closely with her for more than a decade, and on Monday he made clear his belief that she meets the standard that he most frequently sets out for his judicial nominees, that they faithfully interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench.

They've all accepted Robert's umpire analogy. (Possibly because they wear jocks to work?) As though the any decision isn't legislating from the bench? Mental midgets abound at the Times.
There's a headline for you. (Stevenson's headline is "When a President Is Not Spoiling for a Fight.")

In the land of reality, we have Kim Gandy's "Miers Nomination Raises Important Questions for Women" (NOW):

It remains to be seen where Miers stands on those and virtually every other issue. She has no paper trail and has never served as a judge—quite simply, her future conduct on the Court may be impossible to determine. Should the Senate confirm someone to a lifetime appointment with so little information? We think not. NOW urges the Senate to ask tough questions, insist on answers, and refuse to confirm this nomination unless they can establish that Miers supports the fundamental rights of women.
The rights of women and girls are on the line; too much is at stake to confirm a stealth nominee to the Court.

Also in the land of reality, Matthew Rothschild's "A Crony for the Court" (This Just In, The Progressive):

But you can bet that she’ll be a down-the-line conservative on social issues.
One clue dates back to 1993 when Miers, as president of the Texas Bar Association, tried to get the American Bar Association "to reconsider its pro-abortion rights stance," as
Anne Gearan of AP reports.
Another clue: She served on the board of directors of
Prison Exodus Ministries in Dallas, which describes itself as a place "where ex-offenders learn how faith in Christ is the first step from captivity to freedom."
And you can bet that she'll toe the corporate line. She has represented Microsoft, Walt Disney, and SunGuard. She has spoken at conferences of the American Tort Reform Association, the business group that has been one of the prime movers against anti corporate lawsuits. And she was a trustee of the Southwestern Legal Foundation, which is now the Center for American and International Law. The center appears to be in the pocket of Big Oil.
Advisory board members on its Institute for Energy Law include several ExxonMobil executives, as well as representatives of Amerada Hess, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Hunt, Marathon, Occidental, Shell, and Texaco. According to the group exxonsecrets.org, the "Center for American and International Law has received $177,450 from ExxonMobil since 1998."
And, like Roberts before her, she comes out of the Executive Branch, and justices with such a pedigree tend to lick the feet of the President from the bench.
That's especially disturbing right now, as Bush acts as though there is no check on his war-making powers.
As White House counsel, Miers must have had a hand in delaying the legal process the Supreme Court has ordered for Guantánamo and in continuing to insist on the legality of rounding up U.S. citizens like Jose Padilla.

For the land of fantasy, forget the Times and (fingers crossed) enjoy Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts (fingers crossed, it will post momentarily). (Thank you, Rebecca!)

Rod e-mails to note a scheduled topic for Democracy Now! today:

Tuesday, October 4:* The nomination of President Bush's friend and attorney Harriet Miers as Supreme Court justice.

Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman continues the Un-Embed The Media Tour Wednesday:

* Amy Goodman in Poughkeepsie, NY:
Wed, Oct 5
*TIME: 5:30 PM
Vassar College
The Villard Room, Main Building
Poughkeepsie, NY
Event is free and open to the public

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