The lying liars | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 19, 2007

The lying liars

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2007 at 6:24 AM

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor didn't use the "L" word, but it sure sounds like that's what he meant yesterday in responding to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defense of naming a Karl Rove political hit man, Tim Griffin, to be U.S. attorney in Little Rock without submitting him for Senate confirmation. Pryor said Gonzales had told him in December that Griffin would go through the confirmation process. We're still waiting.

Paul Krugman has written today about the purge of a number of U.S. attorneys, including LR's Bud Cummins, and bypass of Senate confirmation for their successors. A taste:

Mr. Gonzales says that there’s nothing political about the firings. And according to The Associated Press, he said that district court judges shouldn’t appoint U.S. attorneys because they “tend to appoint friends and others not properly qualified to be prosecutors.” Words fail me.

Mr. Gonzales also says that the administration intends to get Senate confirmation for every replacement. Sorry, but that’s not at all credible, even if we ignore the administration’s track record. Mr. Griffin, the political-operative-turned-prosecutor, would be savaged in a confirmation hearing. By appointing him, the administration showed that it has no intention of following the usual rules.

The broader context is this: defeat in the midterm elections hasn’t led the Bush administration to scale back its imperial view of presidential power.

Hey, here's an idea by which Tim Griffin could rehabilitate himself. He could take a long look at how the Huckabee administration handled federal money. Even Huckabee seems to expect the state to lose a civil suit and have to repay federal money spent on Computer Services, which looks more and more with today's D-G story mentioned on another blog item like a private Huckabee play pen. Was this just an honest ($37 million) mistake? If someone knowingly spent money intended for one purpose on another ineligible expense, has a legal foul been committed? If the D-G can call for a Grand Jury on purchase of a used SUV over at the LR convention bureau, do you think some similar scrutiny might be in order for $37 million worth of questionable spending?


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