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November 18, 2008

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IANAL, but I remember him perfectly well from the Clinton Administration, where I always read good reports about him in news/analysis coverage, for what it's worth. He helped prosecute John Jenrette during Abscam. Also Dan Rostenkowski. He was the holdover Acting Attorney General for Bush while Ashcroft was being confirmed, and Reagan appointed him a judge, so it's hard to see how the Republicans can complain about him, which won't stop some.

Jeralyn is taking a dim view:

As U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., Eric Holder sought to raise marijuana penalties and restore mandatory minimum penalties for drug crimes. From the Washington Times, December 5, 1996 (via Lexis.com)
With more detail.

I think it was Jon Cohn who said that Orszag at CBO was a very good sign for efforts to fix the health care system, because he recognized how a universal system could keep high health care costs from devastating our economy. We didn't have that going for us in 1994.

I hope that OMB gives him a better opportunity to play this role and not a worse one.

I'd be curious to hear more about his representation of Chiquita, which is an awful, awful company.

Obama hasn't even been sworn in and already the left has commenced the circular firing squad. I'm shocked to find out a big city US Attorney took a hard nosed stand in the war on drugs.
Look, I loathe the war on drugs and consider it a useless drain. But attacking a good, qualified, decent left wing AG candidate because while a US Attorney in Washington DC (which does have a drug problem and said problem - from the point of view of a US Attorney - presents a rather limited range of options) is about as helpful as telling a crack dealer to "get a job".
Christ, how sweet the discipline of the right looks sometimes.

Gary: … so it's hard to see how the Republicans can complain about him, which won't stop some.

Of course not. So far (that I have seen):

-Another Clinton administration retread.
-Marc Rich yes, but also involved in the pardons of FALN and Weathermen terrorists. Recall that Obama attacked Clinton in the primaries over these very pardons.
-Elian Gonzalez and his defense of those actions. (And Greg Craig represented Gonzalez senior during that mess.)
-Lobbyist for Global Crossing after it racked up all that debt and went bankrupt.

That was as of this morning. I haven't made the rounds this afternoon yet.


Hilzoy: But as far as I can tell, Holder's role was as follows: he was called hours before Bush was to be sworn in, and was asked what he thought about a pardon, which (he was told) Ehud Barak strongly supported.

Seems like there may be a bit more to it than that:

A forthcoming Congressional report on the last-minute pardons by President Bill Clinton says Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was a ''willing participant in the plan to keep the Justice Department from knowing about and opposing'' a pardon for Marc Rich, the financier.

I haven't tried to dig up the actual report...

I haven't tried to dig up the actual report...

If you do, be sure to read the views of the minority members of the committee for different view of what happened. IIRC 90% of that report was a political hit job by House Republicans.

OCSteve: Who is pure enough to be appointed AG? And I mean that sincerely. Who has the requisite education, background, temperament, etc AND no baggage - none - just a pure monument to progressive values?

Tom Daschle accepted Health and Human Services secretary.

Oh yeah, I also saw is Arnold Schwarzenegger bein' discussed for Energy Sec. Spirits preserve us, I hope they're kidding.

Somehow, I knew that Avedon Carol would ignore or downplay the Holder appointment -- it really messes up her "Obama is as bad as Bush" idiocy. I'm expecting others of the same mindset to do the same.

-Another Clinton administration retread.

On the other hand, how many Democratic administrations do we have to pick from? Experience is a good thing, right?

FOlks should throw up some alternatives...

Marc Rich yes, but also involved in the pardons of FALN and Weathermen terrorists. Recall that Obama attacked Clinton in the primaries over these very pardons.

OCSteve, that's a hell of a stretch, considering Obama only mentioned them in the primaries to point out that Hillary's use of Bill Ayers as a guilt-by-association point of attack was fundamentally absurd.

OCSteve: there aren't all that many people whose work I'm willing to dismiss out of hand, but Dan Burton, the guy who chaired the committee that wrote that report, is one of them See here. (Short version: he headed the Congressional Vince Foster investigation. He reenacted the "murder" of Vince Foster using a pumpkin. He's just all-around nuts.)

Briefly reviewing some of the portions of the Rich pardon report that I was previously familiar with, the report pretty much slimes anyone who was associated with Rich's pardon that wasn't opposed to it.

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