Can Obama make an executive-privilege claim stick?

posted at 8:41 am on June 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This is actually two questions, both equally important, thanks to the calendar.  Will Barack Obama’s claims of executive privilege work legally, and will it work politically?  We’re more likely to find the answer to the second question before we find the answer to the first, as the presidential election will arrive before any definitive court ruling on the action yesterday from Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.  In my column for The Fiscal Times, I predict that Obama will lose on both counts:

A Congressional Research Service analysis from 2008 makes the need for presidential involvement in a claim of executive privilege quite clear, quoting from US v Espy, a Clinton-era case:

“Not every person who plays a role in the development of presidential advice, no matter how remote and removed from the President, can qualify for the privilege. In particular, the privilege should not extend to staff outside the White House in executive branch agencies. Instead, the privilege should apply only to communications authored or solicited and received by those members of an immediate White House advisor’s staff who have broad and significant responsibility for investigation and  formulating the advice to be given the President on the particular matter to which the communications relate. Only communications at that level are close enough to the President to be revelatory of his deliberations or to pose a risk to the candor of his advisers.”

Therefore, the Obama administration can’t claim executive privilege for actions that don’t involve the President, or his immediate staff in advising the President.  The claim of privilege appears a tacit admission that previous claims that Obama and his White House staff were unaware of Operation Fast and Furious and uninvolved in it were false. That opens up potential criminal charges for anyone who testified differently under oath for perjury and obstruction of justice – the end results of most executive-branch scandals, most famously in Watergate. …

By asserting executive privilege, the Obama administration has made it clear that they fear the exposure of ATF and Department of Justice documentation, and that Obama himself has some connection to the papers.  The question that arises has more than a whiff of Watergate to it: what did the President know, and when did he know it?  Thanks to the claim of executive privilege, the media will no longer be able to ignore the deadly outcomes of Operation Fast and Furious, and the timing of this scandal could ensure that Obama won’t have the ability to call on executive privilege after January.

My good friend and target-shooting partner John Hinderaker says that Espy is more complicated than that, but still believes that Obama’s assertion of privilege is frivolous:

Holder’s letter is a remarkable document. Viewed from a strictly technical standpoint, it is a terrible piece of legal work. Its arguments are weak at best; in some cases, they are so frivolous as to invite the imposition of sanctions if they were asserted in court. I will explain why momentarily, but first this observation: if an opposing party requests documents that plainly are protected by a privilege, a lawyer will routinely assert the privilege, on principle, even though there is nothing hurtful to his case in those documents. On the other hand, a lawyer will not assert a lousy claim of privilege unless he badly wants to keep the documents in question out of the opponent’s hands because of their damaging nature. If I am correct that the administration’s assertion of executive privilege is baseless, it is reasonable to infer that the documents, if made public, would be highly damaging to President Obama, Attorney General Holder, or other senior administration officials. …

[T]he case that is most directly pertinent to Holder’s assertion of executive privilege isIn re Sealed Case (Espy), 121 F.3d 729 (D.C. Circuit 1997), which, along with Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108 (D.C. Cir. 2008), cites and relies upon Espy, contains the most up to date judicial exposition of the doctrine of executive privilege. Unbelievably, Holder’s letter never cites or mentions the Espy case. If a first-year associate wrote a memorandum for me in which he failed even to mention the most significant case, I would fire him….

But Holder’s letter completely fails to acknowledge what a weak reed the “deliberative process privilege” is in the circumstances of this case. In Espy, the court said:

The deliberative process privilege does not shield documents that simply state or explain a decision the government has already made or protect material that is purely factual….

The deliberative process privilege is a qualified privilege and can be overcome by a sufficient showing of need. … For example, where there is reason to believe the documents sought may shed light on government misconduct, ‘the privilege is routinely denied,’ on the grounds that shielding internal government deliberations in this context does not serve ‘the public’s interest in honest, effective government.’”

As John notes, Darrell Issa narrowed his document request in the subpoena in question to issues and documents relating to false testimony given by DoJ officials in Congress.  That is specific to government misconduct, which also means Espy applies and the privilege doesn’t exist, especially the “deliberative process” brand of privilege.

Former DoJ attorney J. Christian Adams declares the assertion of privilege flat-out illegal, quoting from a statement by former House Judiciary Chair James Sensenbrenner, speaking about Espy (cited as Sealed Case) as well:

It continued:  “Moreover, the privilege disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct occurred.”   In Re: Sealed Case, 121 F.3d 746 (D.C. Cir. June 17, 1997, No. 96-3124).

The First Circuit agreed.  It found that, where there is reason to believe the documents sought may shed light on government misconduct, “the privilege is routinely denied,” on the grounds that shielding internal government deliberations in this context does not serve “the public’s interest in honest, effective government.”  Texaco Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Department of Consumer Affairs, 60 F.3d 867, 885 (1st Cir. 1995); see also In re Comptroller of the Currency, 967 F.2d at 634 (“the privilege may be overridden where necessary to ‘shed light on alleged government malfeasance.’”)

The Department literally asserted this privilege in the face of Congressional contempt proceedings.  It clearly cannot argue that there is no reason to believe that government misconduct occurred.  The assertion of the privilege was therefore illegal.

Clearly, Obama won’t win the legal argument.  What about the political argument?  The White House is certainly trying to shrug this off as a partisan election strategy on the part of House Republicans, but the connection of Operation Fast and Furious to the deaths of two American law-enforcement officers makes that a very risky strategy.  Until the assertion of privilege, most of the media had ignored the story — but asserting executive privilege, especially on the 40th anniversary of Watergate, has forced everyone to start reporting on OF&F.  The Washington Post lays out the risk in its analysis:

On Wednesday, his role had changed, but the debate was the same: Republican were asking what exactly Obama was trying to hide by invoking his right to executive privilege for the first time. The administration is refusing to turn over documents related to the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” operation, which involved the flow of illegal guns to Mexico. A House committee on Wednesday voted to find Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the documents.

The answers to his critics’ questions could have broad implications for Obama five months before voters decide whether to grant him a second term. The expected protracted legal dispute has the potential to embarrass and distract the White House during the heart of the reelection campaign. Obama’s assertion of privilege quickly became fodder for his political opponents, who have latched onto the Fast and Furious scandal to accuse the president of trying to avoid congressional scrutiny.

Even if Obama can convince people that partisan politics is driving the confrontation, most people will want to get to the bottom of how an ATF operation contributed to the deaths of two Americans and hundreds of Mexicans while arming drug cartels.  Bloomberg News’ editorial today gripes about the partisanship on both sides, for example, but also says that the Oversight Committee is right, and the documents need to be released:

Democrats say efforts by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over a botched gun- sting operation are a partisan stunt. They are right about the politics. The committee is nevertheless right on the merits.

Holder should turn over the Justice Department documents Congress has demanded.

Here’s why. The controversy stems from a misguided effort to stem the flow of U.S. weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Starting under the George W. Bush administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed thousands of guns to be bought by so-called straw purchasers in the U.S. The agency then attempted to track the firearms as they found their way into the hands of Mexican traffickers.

Operation Fast and Furious, initiated in 2009, was the largest and last of these “gunwalking” stings, involving more than 2,000 firearms. It was a monumental failure: Only about a third of the guns have been recovered, and two weapons involved were found where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was fatally shot on Dec. 14, 2010.

The only way to salvage something positive from this fiasco is to investigate what went wrong and learn from the mistakes. Instead, the Justice Department seems intent on burying the past.

The DoJ’s refusal to cooperate, especially on a probe of false testimony given by government officials to Congress, makes it clear that the administration thinks it has something to hide — from Obama on down.  He might get a day or two of sympathy about having to deal with big meanie Republicans, but the hundreds of deaths that occurred in this operation and the dishonesty from Obama’s administration during the probe will erode that very, very quickly.  Both sides of this arguments are losers, and the White House would probably be better served by tossing Holder and his crew under the bus and releasing everything in a single Friday-night document dump this week.  If they do that now, whatever embarrassing materials that do arise have a few months to lose their sting before the election.


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Fast and Furious was step one, the ultimate disarming of the good people. Step two was Obamacare, the federal law allowing the government control of every aspect of American life.

F&F was necessary so the invasion into our lives could occur without resistance.

The sick books written by B.O., are the 21st century version of Mein Kamph.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM

They looked like the slime that they are when they were asked how much the life of Brian Terry and hundreds of dead Mexicans was worth?

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Maybe they did to you.
But it’s an exploitative and pandering question.
I see it as just another example of how far some are willing to go when grandstanding in service to a political objective.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

They know about it and you can ignore. I see nothing wrong with it, either way. Fight the main battle in front of you, with all the assets – she is one of the best.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I just think its tacky; take two seconds to embed it in a comment.

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Or set up your handle to link to your blog and then leave it alone. And if it’s OK, then lets all do it – on every post. I would think if you sent your links to Ed’s tip email, he or AP could probably decide whether they wanted link to the site directly in the top of the post. Now that would be a real feather in your cap.

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Fluke all on your side – see Valerie Plame for total waste of taxdollars.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I’m starting to wonder what Holder has on Obama, that not only does Holder still have a job, but Obama is throwing the weight and prestige of the Presidency of the United States into protecting his skanky ass. Perhaps Holder accessed J Edgar’s FBI files on politicians and found a Kenyan birth certificate. Or Putin’s name on one of those overseas campaign donations in 2008. Or that Michelle is really a male cross-dresser who enjoys showing off ripped biceps.

NahnCee on June 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The sick books written by B.O. and Bill Ayers, Weather Underground domestic terrorist, are the 21st century version of Mein Kamph.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM

FIFY

novaculus on June 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Carney having a rough day in the press briefing.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving tool.

novaculus on June 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Are you asking me to provide what did not happen…to detail what people did not say?

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Tell it to the Mexican Attorney General and President Calderon.

Mexican attorney general: “Obama more involved in Fast & Furious than admitted!”

Calderon misfires on U.S. gun control – Mexican president scatters blame far and wide for ‘Fast and Furious’ mistakes

Unless you’re going to accuse them of being “right-wing racists” too.

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Flora – The sky is not blue. Moral is immoral, left is right. Nothing you say to this person will change that. Politics of the right is criminal. Criminality of the left is just politics.

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

by a party with one singular objective.
But look on the bright side…in the end, they may get their prize.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

For the sake of the land, and the world, and progress for humanity, not to mention decency, may you be right.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The crappiness of the legal work speaks to the irrefutable damage from affirmative action, and the inherent fraud of set asides for incompetent minorities based only on skin color. Holder is demonstrably a nitwit.

Jaibones on June 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

They looked like the slime that they are when they were asked how much the life of Brian Terry and hundreds of dead Mexicans was worth?

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Maybe they did to you.
But it’s an exploitative and pandering question.
I see it as just another example of how far some are willing to go when grandstanding in service to a political objective.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

So there it is. verbaldouche isn’t any more concerned about hundreds of dead Mexicans or dead US law enforcement officers than is Eric Holder or Barack Obama. It views any reference to the bloody and deadly consequences of this criminal conspiracy at the highest levels of government as political grandstanding, apparently because the prepetrators are inconveniently not Republican.

novaculus on June 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Unless you’re going to accuse them of being “right-wing racists” too.

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Wow!

Mexico’s attorney general is infuriated over the allegations that the U.S. was behind the smuggling of weapons into Mexico that ended up killing her countrymen.

…she called Operation Fast and Furious “an attack on Mexicans’ security.”

Morales told Mexican reporters that she is demanding a full and honest explanation from the United States government especially since evidence is being gathered that reveals the Obama administration was more involved in Operation Fast and Furious than top officials admitted in their sworn statements.

When you’ve lost Mexico…

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Bizarro,
Are you asking me to provide what did not happen…to detail what people did not say?
I know you think this is clever, but it’s moot.
Someone denying, say, robbing a house is not required to prove who robbed it…or that the house was robbed.
Follow?

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

“Follow”? LOL you’re asking the wrong person that question.

You don’t know what I find clever, you self-serving idiot, because you lack the requisite integrity and intellectual curiosity to do so – I’ve been challenging you to provide the “true” narrative because you made the assertion that people on the Right were propagating a false one.

Of course, instead of making an honest effort to provide us your rendition of an accurate timeline, you keep babbling/rambling/dancing around the issue, which you do because you are not interested in the establishing the truth – you’re more interested in obfuscation and in verbally abusing people who disagree with you.

Again, of course you will dismiss what I’m saying here instead of trying to refute me on a rational, adult level. I’ve dealt with enough people like you in my life – lazy, burdensome ones who don’t believe in ‘put up or shut up’ – to know what I’m talking about! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Can Obama make an executive-privilege claim stick?

…why not?…everything JugEars does is sticky!

KOOLAID2 on June 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Just ask O’s boy Reggie!

Nutstuyu on June 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Bloomberg is wrong about the connection between Wide Receiver (Bush) and Fast and Furious (Obama). The argument is roughly equivalent to attacking flag football because pro football players suffer concussions.

Operation Wide Receiver was a “controlled delivery” operation. There were “straw” purchases, but ATF agents monitored and surveilled the transportation of the guns and were present when deliveries were made. People on both sides of the border were arrested. The Mexican government was fully informed and cooperative. So far as I know, none of the guns that were bought here were used to kill American border agents. Most if not all were recovered.

Operation Fast and Furious was “uncontrolled delivery”. Once the purchases were made the guns were allowed to go into Mexico without surveillance other than with micro-transmitters planted in about 15% of the guns. Most of those transmitters failed, or the guns got so far inside Mexico that they could not be picked up. The plan was to go into Mexico and bust the cartels, but the Mexican government was never informed. Over 2000 guns got into Mexico; guns from F&F have been identified at the scenes where Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata were murdered. The guns have been linked to somewhere between 250 and 300 killings of Mexican nationals. Most have not been recovered, nor have major arrests been made.

There is ample reason to believe Holder has lied from the beginning. The 2009 stimulus package contained a $10M appropriation for what became Fast and Furious, and in April 2009 Holder gave a speech in Cuernavaca heralding this new, ambitious program. I suppose it is possible that Obama did not know the details of the stimulus (after all, Congress hadn’t passed it yet) but it is inconceivable that Holder did not know the contents of his own speech (though he often gives good reason for us to think he does not know what he is talking about).

This is partisan because the Democrats have made it partisan. They continually distort Wide Receiver and seek to push the blame back on Bush, Gonzales and Mukasey. They do not stand up and apologize to the families of Terry and Zapata, nor acknowledge any remorse or regret for their deaths; Sandra Fluke got more attention from Obama over the cost of contraceptives than either of these men have ever received from his administration.

Fast and Furious is a scandal and a disgrace, and now Obama has shown himself to indeed be an amateur by stepping in with executive privilege. His line should have been: “The truth must come out and let the chips fall where they may.” That would have been non-partisan. Instead he stands with Holder in an effort to keep the truth from coming out and in the process gives us more than ample reason to believe that the WH is and always has been in the loop.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

The crappiness of the legal work speaks to the irrefutable damage from affirmative action, and the inherent fraud of set asides for incompetent minorities based only on skin color. Holder is demonstrably a nitwit.

Jaibones on June 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

A fine analysis. May I add, the same applies to the president.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Well said doesn’t even begin to cover it…

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Obama job approval down

Holder resignation in 43%, 42%, 41%…

Roy Rogers on June 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declared that House Republicans are charging Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress not as part of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, but in order to weaken his ability to prevent voter suppression.”

– Beltway Confidential

This is just plain precious.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

“Thanks Nancy, now go back to your cage”

- Barry

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Thanks. I appreciate it.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Just when you think Bela Pelosi can’t get any more stupid, she opens her scary mouth, and out flying comes something you could never make up. Her stupidic genius has no equal among history’s most dopey figures.

It’s quite amazing, really.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Both sides of this arguments are losers…

I keep seeing this assertion, and I really don’t understand why. How are the Republicans losers in this investigation? Were the Democrats ‘losers’ in the Watergate investigation?

IMHO this is just pro-Democrat MSM whistling past the graveyard ‘conventional wisdom’. I just don’t see why Ed Morrissey is falling for the spin.

Texastoast on June 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Can anyone tell me if whistleblowers came forward before the deaths of the two agents? I’m not reading anything about how this got started. Weren’t there lower level agents and gun shop owners taking this to higher ups and told to shut up and stay with the plan?
If that’s the case it’s not just a “botched” program. It was working just as intended.

tj4osu on June 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Weren’t there lower level agents and gun shop owners taking this to higher ups and told to shut up and stay with the plan?
If that’s the case it’s not just a “botched” program. It was working just as intended.

It also makes it first degree murder.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM

tj4osu on June 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

To my knowledge the first whistleblower, John Dodson, came forward in February 2011 because of Terry’s death.

And I think you are right. The program was not “botched”, it was carried out as intended. Thanks to Katie Pavlich and others, the news got out. The program was stopped after Dodson came forward, but it has been all about the cover-up ever since.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

tj4osu on June 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Well, what do you mean by come forward? Dodson warned his supervisors that they were going to get people killed.

Dodson warned his supervisors their operation was going to kill an American law enforcement officer, not to mention hundreds of Mexicans.

“I asked them if they were prepared to go to the funeral of a Border Patrol agent over this or Cochise County deputy – if they were prepared to watch that widow accept that folded flag because that’s exactly what was going to happen. So they can’t claim that was an unforeseen consequence,” he said.

novaculus on June 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

tj4osu on June 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

These CBS reports by Sharyl Atkinson might help answer your questions.

What is “Fast and Furious?”

Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Brian Terry Memorial page.

Seems it was Dec. 15, 2010. I think that was pretty late in the game.

Jaime Zapata – Died Feb. 15, 2011.

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM

In his wildest dreams Obama can make Executive Privilege stick …

Mark Levin, in his excellent commentary on Executive Privilege, closes with the observation that misuse and abuse in invoking the privilege “diminishes the ability of future presidents to assert it legitimately.”

Obama’s take on this is “so what?” cuz in his Nancy Pelosi delusional mind he’s immortal and so will remain president for eternity so there will be no other future presidents to ever have to invoke Executive Privilege.

stukinIL4now on June 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Unless you’re going to accuse them of being “right-wing racists” too.

Flora Duh on June 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Who have I accused of being ‘right wing racists’?
Come on. Don’t go all silly.
I’ve already got Bizarro’s non-questions to deal with.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

you’re more interested in obfuscation and in verbally abusing people who disagree with you.

Bizarro No. 1 on June 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

You can’t be serious.
If you don’t think you are in general verbally abusive – I’d hate to see what you offer when you make a conscious effort to be.
But I don’t think it’s without effort.
I understand you’re mad, and do my best to read around the personal and the ad hominem attacks.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

There is a lot of detail to this horrific story that adds context and that most people will never understand.

For example, some of the BATFE agents like Dodson tried to raise red flags, but were told to shut up and follow orders. Literally.

And folks need to focus on Bill Newell, the BATFE supervisor with his hands on F&F, working directly under Dennis Burke at the Phoenix US Attorney’s office. (Yes, that’s right, the op was NOT run through the normal BATFE chain of command. It was run by the Dennis Burke and Emory Hurley. Bypassing an agency’s normal chain of command and setting up a separate op is a classic dodge used to corrupt and agency’s assets to personal or political ends.)

Anyone who questions what Bill Newell is capable of doing to agents who cross him needs to check out what he did to Jay Dobyns

Crossing Newell can get you killed. This ain’t beanbag. These agents put their careers and their lives on the line when they came forward.

novaculus on June 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

It also makes it first degree murder.

JackM on June 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM

At the very least, “depraved indifference” homicide. Guess we need that Florida prosecutor on the case.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Resist We Much on June 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I enjoy your site.
When you put up an occasional link to it,the toon displayed usually has a pithy connection to whatever article/thread it’s on.
No one is forced to click a link.

Solaratov on June 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM

As I understand it, Dodson and one or two others made noise inside ATF about the risk to border agents’ lives due to the project in about May 2010. Terry was killed in December. After Terry was killed and just before Zapata was killed, Dodson went public through Grassley’s office.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Yikes. Didn’t know that. That…..makes this….even….worse.

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

You can’t be serious.
If you don’t think you are in general verbally abusive – I’d hate to see what you offer when you make a conscious effort to be.
But I don’t think it’s without effort.
I understand you’re mad, and do my best to read around the personal and the ad hominem attacks.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

lol is calling someone who’s a proven liar, like Bill Clinton, a liar purely a personal attack? Do you appreciate & passively ignore it when you see yourself being slandered?

Why do you believe it is that you keep babbling/dancing instead of going through what I’ve been said, point by point, either confirming or denying each statement with facts w/o interjection of your personal considerations? What objectively demonstrates to you that you are able to make logically non-fallacious arguments?

Your pathetic avoidance of my assertions keeps proving my points – your attempt to make this discussion about me while you have the opportunity not to shows that you are coward! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Yikes. Didn’t know that. That…..makes this….even….worse.

oldroy on June 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

It is a horror story. I started paying attention when Dodson went public. I consider it one of the most scandalous, egregious events in the history of any administration, far surpassing Watergate and the blue dress. It takes a lot to get me really riled, but this ….

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on June 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I understand you’re mad, and do my best to read around the personal and the ad hominem attacks.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

What you broadly perceive as anger on my part is better described as “indignance” – I don’t tolerate character assassination by inferior operators any more than you should.

If you believe I’m being too harsh with you, be more careful to distinguish between your feelings/impressions/opinions and your accusatory charges, and watch how my tone would correspondingly change…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM

If you believe I’m being too harsh with you, be more careful to distinguish between your feelings/impressions/opinions and your accusatory charges, and watch how my tone would correspondingly change…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM

You misperceive what I wrote as a complaint.
Matters not to me if you choose to be ‘harsh’ or not.
I was simply noting the irony of you having that complaint with me.
I have no illusions as to what it would take for you to have a different reaction to my opinions and points.
But it’s not like you don’t plenty of support here – regardless of whether you’re making a valid point or just being strident and frivolous.

I’m on the fence with the EP issue here. I think there’s a worthy case to be made that is shouldn’t apply here.
And was it a good or necessary move on Obama’s part?
I think Issa couldn’t be more pleased than to have his real and intended target in this whole thing pulling a chair up to the table. I know that’s true for many here as well.
I am, as you know, not on the fence as far as the absurd way we got here. I think it’s telling that sitting just behind Isaa is Dan Burton. He’s about to retire, with a legacy that Issa will now inherit.
He might end up shooting pumpkins too.

verbaluce on June 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

All Obama has to do is tie it up in the courts for 5 months and it’s basically moot. He should be able to do that pretty easily unless Congress can get the Supreme Court to cut through the fog in an emergency session with very short pleading times – such as the Fla election.

{^_^}

herself on June 22, 2012 at 4:54 AM

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