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April 04, 2007

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Orrin and Rush are lying to their audiences? i'm shocked!

(nice sleuthing, all)

Carol Lam, Michael Ware, rinse repeat. Lying as the first choice in the repetoire.

I'll repeat my comment from the other thread, where it was somewhat OT:

In 1986, she went straight from her clerkship to a job as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California: this was of course during the Reagan administration. She served with that title until being made Chief of the Major Frauds Section from 1997 to 2000. It's unclear from Wikipedia, but it seems that she was appointed to a judgeship in 2000, which might thus be Clinton's doing. She then became the US attorney in her region in 2002, appointed by the Bush administration.

According to Nexis, Carol Lam was a Superior Court Judge in San Diego in 2001. That's the state court system, not federal, so she wouldn't have been appointed by Clinton.

News stories from throughout the 1990s refer to her as being with the US Attorney's office. I have no idea where the wingers are getting all this phony biographical information from. A San Diego Union Tribune article from 8/14/01 says:

Four more people have applied for the job of top federal prosecutor for San Diego and Imperial counties.

Joining the list of those seeking the position of U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California:

[] Edward Allard, an assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego.

[] Carol Lam, a San Diego Superior Court judge.

[] Christopher Pace, a San Diego civil attorney.

[] Jeffrey Taylor, counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee...

Lam, 42, was appointed to the Superior Court in November. Before the appointment, she worked as a federal prosecutor in San Diego for 14 years.

Clinton's US Atty appointee in Seattle was also a Yale classmate, Kate Pflaumer. I don't recall if she had prosecutorial background but she acquitted herself well while she was in the position.

"There are, I think, two take-home points from this. First, what Hatch and Limbaugh said about Lam is just plain false."

It's also about as clear a case of libel as you can get.

Libel wouldn't work here because they could claim to have simply confused the two, and it would be impossible to actually prove otherwise. That doesn't excuse their behaviour but it immunizes them from that particular charge.

Well, it wouldn't work if they ran a correction.

I don't THINK either of the two are stupid enough to refuse to run a correction....

Hilzoy, thank goodness you tracked down what is almost surely the source for this nonsense! That aspect was driving me crazy -- the sheer arbitrariness, and the consistent and complete inaccuracy.

As for Griffin, a sentence or two after Hatch's quoted remark, he says, "Griffin, nobody doubts that he’s a good prosecutor."

Nobody? I don't merely doubt that he's a good prosecutor. I doubt that he's a prosecutor.

And, no, of course this isn't me. The utter absence of puns should have made that clear.

Yours,

The Man Who Put the Wordplay Back in Swordplay

somehow this proves Lam deserved to be fired. i can't wait to learn how!

I don't THINK either of the two are stupid enough to refuse to run a correction....

Don't get your hopes up.

It's SOP. Start a story. It doesn't matter if it's true, it just has to resonate with the base. It doesn't hurt to throw in some red meat, like "didn't prosecute illegal aliens." Now that Rush has repeated it, it's gospel to the Bush faithful.

Speaking of appointments, something needs to be done about recess appointments, which I realize are not new with Bush, just yet another fuzzy area of his powers that he's pushing to its limit. Since the Senate is now in recess, he's appointed Sam Fox, the Swift Boat Vet funder whose nomination he withdrew last month, to be ambassador to Belgium. He's also appointed privatization fan Andrew Biggs as deputy director of Social Security, after the Senate rejected him. Obviously Bush decided the Senate couldn't possibly be any more angry at him.

If the current interpretation of the recess appointment power continues to stand, and presidents continue to take such advantage of it, the "advice and consent" clause seems close to meaningless.

I'm more concerned about Andrew Biggs being named as Deputy Director of Social Security. Since Bush has decided he can dispense with Congressional approval of, well, anything, I wonder if he's going to try running his phase-out scam that way, too.

It is pretty hard to care who the Ambassador to Belgium is, though. That seems like a pretty painless political payoff as those things go. I guess they he was not a good enough pal to get Sweden or Norway.

"I guess they he was not a good enough pal to get Sweden or Norway."

Hmm, slimy cold pickled fish and aquavit vs better-than-French French food and monk-brewed beer, that's a tough call.

True, I should have listed Biggs as the main objection, but Sam Fox had made a bigger splash in the blogosphere, which is symptomatic of the problems with our politics.

I don't think Belgium has a bikini team.

Appointing Fox has got to be one of the stupidest political moves I can think of. What did Mr. Bush gain from this appointment? Absolutely nothing. What did he lose? Lots of political capital. This was an obvious, blatant slap in the face of the Senate, an act of spite. Its only effect will be to convince senators that Mr. Bush holds them in the deepest contempt. Even those senators who decried the rejection of the appointment will still be taken aback by the spitefulness of this action.

The net effect of this appointment is that Mr. Bush will lose even more Congressional votes than he would have otherwise. What an idiotic move!

No USA on the planet is going to be anyone's "honorific campaign manager" during his or her tenure.

Were you kidding?

Great jarb, Hilzoy.

About what York said about Clinton's appointment of Bersin: Do you know it's true?

Looks like it is true about Clinton and Bersin. And you're right, it does look bad.

I suspect someone misread either this story or another one that describes Bersin's background in the course of discussing Lam, and that that accounts for what Hatch and Limbaugh said.

So, as long as there is some kernel of truth in something related then we can fight like hell to make an excuses for these liars?

We spend our time trying to rationalize why these disgusting people should be given a break?

So let's see, if Hatch ever comes clean, what do you think will be his excuse? Did we work hard enough to find him one that his cult will buy into?

People STILL haven't awoken to how corrupt the right is. Fools.

Oh btw, Bush found a General to say we only needed 130 thousand troops in Iraq so all is well..he was just confused when he heard Shenseki.

I don't see anyone "making excuses for these liars." It's simply more logical that Hatch and staff screwed up bigtime than that they would contrive this particular lie.

Now Hatch has attempted to come clean and, to my mind, has gotten dirtier in the process. There's a post from Rachel Maddow at HuffPo with a response from Hatch's office. The problem is that he claims to have "misspoken" and to have meant to be talking about Bersin at that moment and spoke Lam's name by accident. But, in context, that makes no sense. Hatch is just going with "misspoken" in preference to "incredible sloppiness and stupidity."

AndyK, I think you're being too hard on Mr. Hatch. It is obvious that Mr. Hatch's remarks applied to Mr. Bersin, not Ms. Lam. From there it is entirely reasonable to guess that Mr. Hatch mixed up the two in his mind and applied his description of Mr. Bersin to Ms. Lam. That's a mistake, and one that deserves to be corrected, but it looks for all the world like a stupid slip of the tongue, not an Evil Plan to Conquer the World. The Republicans tell so many lies, why should we concentrate on minor peccadilloes when we have so many major crimes to occupy our energies?

Erasmussimo: AndyK, I think you're being too hard on Mr. Hatch. It is obvious that Mr. Hatch's remarks applied to Mr. Bersin, not Ms. Lam. From there it is entirely reasonable to guess that Mr. Hatch mixed up the two in his mind and applied his description of Mr. Bersin to Ms. Lam.

I strongly doubt is the case. Hatch began the statement by talking about the DOJ's offered justifications for firing Lam, and attempted to bolster that by attributing Bersin's resume to Lam. The first half of the passage Hilzoy quoted above applies to Lam, not Bersin, so for your explanation to work he'd have to have suddenly launched into a complete non sequitur, while still using Lam's name. Occam's razor says he or somebody on his staff got the story very wrong, whether through recklessness or malice, and anyone who repeated the falsehood in earnest failed to check his facts.

Gromit, surely you agree that the falsehoods that Mr. Hatch applied to Ms. Lam constitute a good description of Mr. Bersin. It is therefore obvious that there was a mental switcheroo inside somebody's head. Perhaps it was Mr. Hatch; perhaps it was one of his staff. In any case, it seems most likely to me that this switcheroo was inadvertent. To believe that it was not inadvertent requires us to believe that somebody thought they could get away with such an obviously false substitution.

How many times do you see blog discussions where Commentator A replies to Commentator B for something that was actually said by Commentator C? People get things mixed up in their heads. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I don't think Belgium has a bikini team.

Maybe not, but it does have Hoegaarden. That makes up for a lot.

I understand your meaning now, Erasmussimo. I initially took "It is obvious that Mr. Hatch's remarks applied to Mr. Bersin, not Ms. Lam" to mean you thought Hatch meant to be talking about Bersin, but slipped and used Lam's name. The reason I mistook your meaning is that Hatch himself is offering that defense. His letter to Tim Russert (scroll down to the update), which AndyK was referring to, says "I accidentally used her name, instead of her predecessor, Alan Bersin, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton."

So, while you might be right that Hatch simply got the facts mixed up, it's pretty clear he's not willing to admit as much.

But rather than admit to such a screw-up, he's trying to pretend that it was just a "whoops, did I say Lam? I meant Bersin" kind of mistake. A discussion of Bersin's history and qualifications would make little sense in the context of his remarks, so it seems pretty obvious that he didn't mean Bersin at all, but had rather misattibuted his history to Lam. Of course, why nobody questioned the obvious absurdities and contradictions there is another question.

>>How many times do you see blog discussions where Commentator A replies to Commentator B for something that was actually said by Commentator C? People get things mixed up in their heads. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I see it very often. In this case, I see you apparently doing this in regard to me, when you say:

>>That's a mistake, and one that deserves to be corrected, but it looks for all the world like a stupid slip of the tongue, not an Evil Plan to Conquer the World.

The point of my post was that, indeed, I *don't* think Hatch was lying in his MTP statements; I think he screwed up bigtime (or someone on his staff did), with egregiously sloppy research.

I *do* think he was lying in his letter, however, because -- as I and others have pointed out -- a mere name slip makes NO SENSE in the context.

Yes, a mistake, but the apolgy or correction was totally misplaced. There is no way, in the context of the discussion, that he meant to be talking about Bersin. But to say that he had the wrong information would be admitting to sloppy research.

Given all the misunderstandings we've all had here, it looks as if we're not much better than Mr. Hatch -- except for the fact that each of us seems willing to admit his mistakes. I can't understand why Mr. Hatch clings to that ridiculous story when he could have chosen to say that he got the two confused.

Given all the misunderstandings we've all had here, it looks as if we're not much better than Mr. Hatch -- except for the fact that each of us seems willing to admit his mistakes.

I thought that DID make us much better than Mr. Hatch. Admitting mistakes, particularly FOOLISH ones, is the beginning of wisdom.

Does being powerful mean that you can never say "Ooops, I made a stupid mistake"?

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