June 16, 2004

Is John Ashcroft the Worst Attorney General Ever? Paul Krugman gives a laundry list of reasons why he think he is. Atrios and Kevin Drum don't think much of him, either. They both make the observation that the press no longer believe anything he saids about terrorism and the man loves the spotlight.


When he did his latest "WE'VE ARRESTED A TERRORIST!!!!!" news conference yesterday I thought that finally there was a bit of skepticism on the part of the press. Maybe I was just projecting, but I sensed a bit of subliminal eyerolling coming from the CNN anchordesk.
Kevin Drum
For what it's worth, I happened to be watching ABC News last night when they ran a segment about this, and the skepticism was more than subliminal. Peter Jennings came about as close as an anchor can to telling us that Ashcroft was completely full of shit before ABC ran its piece. The fact that Ashcroft is such an obvious camera hog is probably part of the reason for this treatment. I swear, I think he'd hold a press conference to announce his own birthday if he thought it would get him on the evening news. Nor does it help that two weeks ago he announced a huge terrorism scare, only to have Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge sound confused the next day while admitting that, no, as far as he knew there was nothing serious going on and the threat level would stay at yellow.
  • It's the trifecta - worst President ever; worst Secretary of Defense ever; worst Attorney General ever. In case you haven't seen it already, watch this Daily Show clip. ("Stewart, Durbin, and Biden tear Ashcroft a new one.") Please, Americans, vote them out in November - only you can save mankind!
  • John Ashcroft turned me into a card-carrying, dues-paying member of the ACLU. Before Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, I'd just sort of nodded in agreement. Now, I pull out my checkbook.
  • Why do you hate America?
  • Why do you hate America? Why not?...
  • Why do you hate America? I haven't seen that one in awhile.
  • Why not?... Because hating America makes the Zombie Reagan cry. and crave brainnnnssss
  • John Ashcroft turned me into a card-carrying, dues-paying member of the ACLU. :) Heh, me too. Wonder how many other people joined because of him.
  • I've got enough garlic to scare away that zombie Reagan. I ain't scared of no ghosts (or zombies).
  • been saying for years Ashcroft is evil..just saying
  • Firing Ashcroft wouldn't be a good idea. Where would Bush get another such an open-minded, religiously tolorant champion of civil rights with movie star charisma?
  • Plus he digs the marble boobies.
  • Plus, he can carry a tune.
  • "Is John Ashcroft the Worst Attorney General Ever?" Yes.
  • Plus, he can carry a tune. Especially, when CNN cameras are around.
  • More on Ashcroft's terrorist arrest that no one believes.
    Abdi has been in federal custody since his arrest in November.
    Note: this guy did admit to involvement into two terrorist plots. So why does Ashcroft go all the way to Ohio to announce the arrest now?
    Yesterday, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the indictment of Nuradin M. Abdi, for allegedy planning to bomb a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio -- a swing city in a swing state.
    From the New York Times.
    Law enforcement officials said the plot was still under investigation, but they cautioned that it appeared not to have advanced beyond the discussion stage. The officials expressed doubt that Mr. Abdi had the financial, organizational or technical skills to carry out an attack.
    Note: according to the Times Abdi did admit to involvement in two other terrorist plots.
  • So why does Ashcroft ... announce the arrest now? Because Reagan took a while to die. Anyway, what I want to know is -- how does one blow up an entire mall? In some of these midwestern malls opposite ends are a twenty minute drive apart! </light exaggeration>
  • Ashcroft is batshit crazy insane.
  • how does one blow up an entire mall? Practice.
  • >>John Ashcroft turned me into a card-carrying, dues-paying member of the ACLU. >Heh, me too. Then he's done a good thing! Brainnnnsssss.
  • Practice. Aaaargh!
  • how does one blow up an entire mall? Gain a trillion pounds and then shop there dressed at as pirate, "Aaaargh!"
  • Ass-croft (as may Mom calls him) also did an excellent job gutting education spending when he was govenor of Missouri. And he did lose to a dead man for U.S. senate. What credentials!
  • He *graciously* lost to a dead man for Senate, when he could have challenged that result in Missouri Supreme Court; remember, Ashcroft was running neck and neck with Carnahan until that plane went down. And Holden didn't do himself or the Democrats any favors by naming Jean to the Senate - surly, litiginous, inexperienced Jean - which smacked of aristocracy and, ultimately, paved the way for Jim Talent to be elected. I've no love for Ashcroft - he takes his legal cues from the Old Testament too much for my taste - but one may want to consider that Ashcroft may not be the pompous fool he plays at; that he may have cultivated this image with the press to deflect attention from Bush. If on the same day Bush fucks up small and Ashcroft says something outlandish, which story will lead, do you think? Ashcroft is nearing the end of his political career, and as such has nothing to lose... and yet, by being a controversial attorney general, he can deflect criticism of the president while at the same time cementing his reputation with the woolier wing of the Republican Party and ensuring they will pay him court in the years to come. He nearly said as much in an interview in Esquire last year
  • Well, it wasn't grace. There were some rumblings from his campaign right after the election that he was considering contesting the election while the Dems were figuring out who they wanted to fill Carnahan's seat. He later decided against it. Personally, I think he decided it was bad politics.
  • Point taken, grace is a relative term in politics. Let's say he could have thrown a long, public hissyfit (and perhaps had that hissyfit vindicated by the courts, which is the worst sort of thing that can happen to a hissyfit) but chose not to.
  • And there's more on the Sibel Edmonds case: Ashcroft Sued Over FBI Whistleblower Case
  • Another article on Edmunds. I think Ashcroft's retroactive classification has just made the story more interesting to some in the media.
  • one may want to consider that Ashcroft may not be the pompous fool he plays at; that he may have cultivated this image with the press to deflect attention from Bush Wait a minute, I thought Bush was cultivating the pompous fool image? These guys have got to get their shit together and figure out just who the pompous fool is for each day. Maybe they could put together a Pompous Fool calendar to keep track. Of course Bush would have to have someone read it to him. Too many words.
  • Sheesh I was going to say "that guy gets creepier every freakin' day" but now I'd like to change that to "that administration" in place of "that guy".
  • Shocked! Shocked I am that Don Ashcroft would sink so low as to let politics interfere with the honest execution of his very important duties. Why this is an outrage! I demand satisfaction! *sigh*
  • My outrage o-ring began leaking about a year ago. Now it just sort of sniffles.
  • Ashcroft sued by NYT John Asscroft is a wet fart on a beautiful romantic evening. You majesty is like a dose of clap - before you arrive is pleasure, afterwards is a pain in the balls
  • ...the same attorney un-gender-all who draped the statues... Heh. Bashi-croft!
  • "Which of our daughters, wives and husbands -- are we willing to sacrifice to return to revolving door justice." (from the article.) It's become apparent that we are sacrificing people to mandated sentencing for relatively innocuous stuff. or even charges that would only be supportable by innuendo. I just learned of a local case where the evidence against the defendant wasn't strong for the original charges, but the prosecution added a charge at the last minute which would have mandated a life sentence. The reason for that was that the police had the defendant in their computer data base as being a gang member (and they don't need anything but police opinion to support that - pretty much any black person the cops notice is entered as a gang member.) The evidence for the new charge was non-existant, but the defendant's lawyer, who normally wins his cases, advised pleading guilty to the lesser charges because of the risk involved if a jury in this fairly red-neck community found that the unsupported gang membership was believable. So, the young man was sentenced to 6+ years on charges that he may have been able defend against. You know, I don't know whether he was guilty or not, but I suspect that the prosecution wanted an easy win in this case to bolster their "we're tough on crime" statistics. Seems as though justice would have been better served if they had gone ahead with the original case. But, I'm not sure that justice is much of a consideration these days.
  • Hey Path, we got justice covered, remember?
  • Just stumbled across this thread. How naive we were...
  • And they said things couldn't get worse... HA!