I’m no fan of George Bush (I held my nose and voted for him last time mainly because I scary-hillary-clinton-small.jpgcouldn’t stand the insufferable John Kerry and I absolutely could not abide the smarmy and insipid John Edwards being anywhere near the presidency) and even less a fan of Alberto Gonzales, but this latest kerfuffle about the discharge of a handful of U.S. Attorneys is ludicrous.
The Democrats, sensing blood in the water, are in a feeding frenzy of accusations of politicization of the U.S. Attorney’s office. But even worse than this predictable partisan gotcha is the piling on of the much-despised Hillary Clinton. She should know better, but, apparently, she has a short memory.
Today’s lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal should help her remember.

As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we’d suggest she call herself as the first witness–and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel.
As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton’s choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. [My italics] Ms. Reno–or Mr. Hubbell–gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.
At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: “All those people are routinely replaced,” he told reporters, “and I have not done anything differently.” In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.
Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was “within 30 days” of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton’s economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.

Ah, just reading this and all the old Arkansas connections come back. Web Hubble’s sister was one of the nurses in our clinic for several years. She was very capable and a nice person. And Webb Hubble’s son was in our middle son’s class at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. We were often together on parent’s weekends and other sundry occasions.


  1. Are nitrites in meat safe? I have been eating lots of summer sausage lately (which does not have to be cooked) and am concerned about the nitrite content of the meat since I have heard it is a toxin.
    Hi Freddy–
    Nitrites, which, like many things, can be toxic in large doses, are used in the preservation of meats.  The problem with nitrites is that with cooking they combine with amino acids to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.  I prefer to eat meats that contain no nitrites, but don’t just absolutely avoid them like death.  I don’t figure a little here or there is going to hurt me.  In the case of your sausages, I would assume that they are cured and not cooked, so the nitrosamine content would be pretty low.

  2. Love the photo Dr. Mike! Let’s hope that Hillary is not our next president.
    Hi Amy–
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I never thought I would ever write these words, but Hillary would be my choice over some who are in the race.

  3. Wow, what a bad photo! Now I know why most public officials wear a game face so their expressions don’t make it onto a photo.
    Senator Clinton completely lost me when I found out she was courting Rupert Murdock for funding. I consider him a deeply cynical, barely human being, who more than any single person, has helped cheapen American political discourse. It’s one thing for Clinton to bill herself as a centrist. It’s another for her to seek help from a staunch conservative corporatist who thinks of nothing but furthering his own agenda by using everyone around him. I am actively working against Clinton’s candidacy.
    Regarding the editorial, always check context–something that the WSJ hopes you never do. Check all previous administrations during the first months of their tenure–the attorneys belonging to the previous admin are always asked to leave, so that the new attorney general can pick his or her own people. In other words the comparison is disingenuous. The 93 lawyers who left under Reno were republicans asked to leave by an incoming democrat–and no, they weren’t fired–they’re asked to tender their resignations as is customary.
    The eight or so atty’s fired by Gonzales are republican attorneys investigating republican corruption. How conveeeeeeeeenient! Some have already testified as to how they were called by Republican politicians nearing their elections and asked not to continue investigating certain politicians so as not to make those nearing elections look bad. This is illegal. Some have testified that they were told, to their face, that they were being replaced by younger attorneys who needed to pad their resumes before they started seeking political office.
    There is no comparing Reno to Gonzales.
    Reno understood her role under the Constitution. Gonzales is merely Bush’s flunky.

  4. Ha! That is a great photo! I rather like Hillary if for nothing else other than the fact that she scares a lot of white men. Back when Bill was in office, I cataloged more than one book about her written by some lard-jowled character who pretty much made her out to be the anti-christ.
    At this point, I’m very much on the fence regarding who I’d vote for in the coming election. I guess I’m waiting to see which folks shake out as the official candidates. As usual, it should make for an interesting time in our household with me being the Libertarian-leaning Democrat and hubby being the conservative Republican.
    Gosh, and here all along I thought she was the anti-Christ.

  5. I thought the unprecedented part was the political firing of a president’s own US attorneys. So trying to spin this into a something the democrats do requires some shamefaced spinning, which The Wall Street Journal editors do without hestitation. The worlds best reporters, but the editorial staff is willing to tortuously reframe the issue and spin for Bush 43.
    US attorneys having sworn an oath to protect the constitution, have to prosecute crime when they find it- even though it hurts the president and their political party. Doing so despite political pressure from Rove proves that some US Attorneys take their oaths to the constitution seriously.
    So for comparable examples, using the correct frame, the WSJ has to find examples of Clinton firing his own attorneys for political reasons. He did fire two!. One for biting a stripper and another grabbed a reporter by the throat. Not political on the face of it.
    And if it turns out to be political I would be as upset with Clinton as I am with Bush 43. I think this is indefensible stuff.
    Carole Lam was my republican US attorney, she had two to three more republican California congressmen in her gun sights when she was fired. She did an outstanding job on jailed Congressman Randy Cunningham. Too bad she can’t get the remaining targets. And pursuing Foggo, former 3rd in command of the CIA, is another feather in her cap.

  6. LOL, no doubt she probably is. That picture sure makes her look like it.
    Probably not enough essential fats. 

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