Out with the old.....
"After 6 years, Holder steps down as attorney general" by Eric Tucker Associated Press April 25, 2015
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder bid farewell to the Justice Department on Friday after six years, outlining what he said were his major accomplishments and telling staff members that they helped produce a ‘‘golden age’’ in the department’s history.
(Blog editor can only shake his head at the self-serving delusion. The "golden age" of Holder and Obama)
An emotional Holder, who has served as the nation’s top law enforcement official since the start of the Obama administration, addressed hundreds of lawyers and staff members one day after his successor, Loretta Lynch, was confirmed by the Senate.
‘‘I am proud of you. I’m going to miss you. I am going to miss this building. I am going to miss this institution. More than anything, I am going to miss you all,’’ Holder told the standing-room-only crowd, many of whom embraced him after he concluded his speech.
The event also included a tribute video prepared for the occasion that featured members of Congress, former President Bill Clinton, and Holder’s wife, Sharon Malone.
In it, Holder described an ‘‘emotional attachment’’ to the department and recounted efforts to protect civil rights, prosecute terror suspects in federal court, and change the criminal justice system.
Nothing about running guns to drug cartels or spying on reporters, huh?
Other clips showed President Obama showering Holder with praise on the day Holder announced his departure.
Holder, 64, a former judge and US attorney who took the job in 2009, will exit the department as the third-longest serving attorney general in US history. He has not publicly said what he will be doing next.
After Lynch, 55, is sworn in at the Justice Department on Monday, she is likely to continue some of the same agenda as Holder as the Obama administration draws to a close.
She is there to keep all the secrets.
But she is expected to bring to Washington her own management style and has spoken optimistically about having cooperative relationships with Congress after years of bitter feuding between Holder and Republicans, who saw him as overly political and once held him in contempt.
Holder’s tenure was in many ways defined by his efforts on civil rights protections. His department challenged state laws that it saw as restricting access to the voting booth and refused to defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of gay marriage.
Holder also pushed for changes in the criminal justice system, directing prosecutors to sharply limit their use of harsh mandatory minimum sentences and championing alternatives to prison for nonviolent drug defendants.
The disgustingness of the fawning media is surpassed only by the congratulatory self-adulation.
"Dan Pfeiffer, one of the last members of Obama’s intimate circle of aides who had been with him since his White House run, plans to depart by early next month. Jennifer Palmieri, his communications director, will leave sometime this spring to join the nascent presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The exits will follow that of a top adviser, John D. Podesta, the presidential counselor who has already announced he will step aside and is widely expected to advise Clinton should she seek the presidency. His final day will be Feb. 13. Taken together, the resignations mark a transition for Obama, as public attention increasingly turns to the 2016 race to replace him and he turns toward the last chapter of his presidency without some of his most trusted lieutenants."
Also see: Former Obama press secretary takes post at Amazon.com
In with the new....
"Senate deal clears way for vote on Obama’s AG nominee; Impasse over bill delayed action for six weeks" by Mike DeBonis Washington Post April 22, 2015
WASHINGTON — Senate leaders agreed Tuesday to clear a legislative clog that has delayed the confirmation of President Obama’s attorney general nominee for more than six weeks and distracted attention from bipartisan efforts to pass major policy measures in the early months of a Congress newly under Republican control.
Loretta Lynch, a US attorney in New York, is expected to win confirmation as soon as Thursday under the deal, which ended a partisan dispute over abortion restrictions in an unrelated bill. Senate GOP leaders insisted on clearing that impasse before moving forward with Lynch.
The agreement prompted Republicans, starting with Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate majority leader, to boast about Congress ‘‘getting back to work’’ after a narrowly averted shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security presented doubts earlier in the year.
‘‘There’s some encouraging signs that lots of people are noticing,’’ McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
Later in the day, the Senate began the process of voting on amendments to long-stalled legislation to combat human trafficking, with final approval expected Wednesday. That would clear the Senate to vote on Lynch and then move on in the coming weeks to several bills that have passed in committee votes with at least some bipartisan support.
They include legislation establishing a congressional review of any final deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, something that was initially strongly opposed by Obama but that ended up clearing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a unanimous vote.
Also waiting in the wings are major bills that would enhance national cybersecurity efforts, to reauthorize federal education programs, and to grant presidential ‘‘fast track’’ authority to negotiate trade deals....
Hopefully I will be getting to those soon.
Let's send this back to committee:
"Senate panel backs attorney general nominee" by Emmarie Huetteman, New York Times February 27, 2015
WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved Loretta E. Lynch to be the next attorney general, sending her nomination to the full Senate for what is likely to be a contentious vote.
The panel voted 12-8 to advance Lynch, President Obama’s pick to replace Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., with all of the votes against her coming from Republicans. The full Senate will likely vote in the next week or two.
While praising Lynch’s credentials, Republicans made it clear that their objections to her nomination hinged on her belief in the legality of the president’s executive action on immigration, the same issue that has tied up the approval of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
Several Republicans said they did not believe that she would be willing to stand up to the president if needed. Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, said approving Lynch would amount to approving Obama’s policies.
“A vote for this nominee, in my opinion, who favors and will defend this unconstitutional action, does provide support for the president’s agenda, and I don’t think we should provide that,” he said.
But Lynch needed just two GOP votes to proceed to consideration by the full Senate. She got three — Senators Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted in favor of her.
Hatch said he thought Lynch would act more independently than Holder. He criticized his colleagues for opposing her based solely on some of her testimony before the committee and for dismissing her “substantial” career.
“I do not believe that that is the proper way to evaluate any nominee’s fitness,” he said.
Several senators criticized colleagues, saying they had hashed out the immigration debate in an inappropriate forum.
“The place for this fight is in the courts,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from New York.
Graham concurred, saying, “We can yell and scream all we like, but the courts are the right place for this to be resolved.” He added, “I’m sorry the president has created this mess, but I’m not going to add to it.”
As US attorney in Brooklyn, Lynch has already been confirmed by the Senate twice.
Meaning she was on watch during the Wall Street malfeasance and frauds, the police brutality in the city, and the torture at Riker's.
But she is expected to meet resistance this time, with conservative Republicans such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas opposing her because of her defense of Obama’s immigration actions, and with others, such as Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, vowing to reject all of Obama’s choices.
On Thursday, Cruz on called Lynch “unsuitable” for the job, saying her confirmation would open a possibility that Obama would take broader action on immigration and other policies.
“In this instance, Ms. Lynch has sat in this room and told the members of this committee what she intends to do,” he said. “If those answers are not sufficient to vote against a nominee, I don’t know what answers will be.”
But a change to the Senate rules orchestrated by Democrats in 2013 means that only a simple majority — not the previous threshold of 60 votes — is needed to stop a filibuster and confirm a nominee. With a handful of Republicans already expressing their support for Lynch, it seems likely that she will be confirmed.
The vote Thursday came a month after her confirmation hearings, which featured criticism not of Lynch but of Holder. Senators quizzed her on her views on Holder’s policies, such as his choice not to defend a federal ban on same-sex marriage; she replied that she would make her own decisions.
Republicans postponed the committee vote two weeks ago, a move that Senate Democrats criticized. Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the panel’s ranking Democrat, pointed out that Lynch has had the longest wait of any attorney general nominee in the modern era, with nearly four months passing since Obama announced her nomination. He said that she had answered an “unprecedented” number of written questions from the committee.
"Democrats have noted that Lynch has had one of the longest waits of any attorney general nominee in modern times. The last to undergo such a lengthy confirmation process was Edwin Meese III, who was nominated by President Reagan in 1984 and waited more than a year during a Justice Department investigation into his business and personal dealings."
Thus they were pressing for a vote. Then Obama took his swipes at the stall even as Democrats were being obstructionist:
"The Senate unanimously passed legislation Wednesday to help victims of human trafficking, ending a tortuous partisan standoff over abortion that also delayed confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for attorney general. The vote was 99 to 0 to approve the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which expands law enforcement tools to target sex traffickers and creates a fund to help victims. With all sides eager for a resolution, the vote put a bipartisan punctuation mark on legislation that started out with wide support from both parties but veered into a partisan cul-de-sac last month."
Yup, believe it or not, the Democrats caved and now Lynch can be confirmed.
Holder, who in September revealed his plan to resign, has served for six years, drawing conservative ire for his outspoken, liberal approach to leading the Justice Department.
How do you like your tyranny?
Also see: Senate confirms Loretta Lynch as US attorney general
It was a race thing say the Democrats (I swear), and hey, if three black women can't set AmeriKa straight what hope do we have, huh?
Boston officer apologizes for confrontation with videographer
Still doesn't remove the Staines (more similarities between Baltimore and Boston).
Boston community leaders happy charges were filed in Freddie Gray case
Baltimore officers post bond following felony charges
Oh my goodness! Three of them are black!
At least everyone can start resting peacefully even if nothing changes!
Turns out the protests were not random at all but staged hoaxes. What shit, huh? Really gives one a jolt seeing that.
Senate approves ex-Mass. official as US drug czar
Meet Michael Botticelli.
Otherwise, the rearranging of deck chairs and opening of new offices seems to have made everyone happy.
Let's hope her tenure doesn't end like this:
"Sorrell rejects call for independent investigation of him" by Dave Gram Associated Press April 21, 2015
MONTPELIER — Attorney General William Sorrell on Monday rejected a request by a Republican Party official that Sorrell appoint an independent counsel to investigate his political practices and whether he violated campaign finance laws.
The attorney general, whose office oversees enforcement of campaign finance laws, defended his campaign practices and said in an interview that he was ‘‘not about to waste a lot of taxpayer money responding to his call for an independent counsel.’’
That type of thing is trotted out when one is usually guilty.
Brady Toensing, vice chairman of the state Republican Party, accused the Democrat in a letter dated April 19 of ‘‘long-term and chronic flouting’’ of the laws. Toensing attached a four-count complaint to the letter, pointing to what he called illegal activities by the attorney general during the 2012 and 2014 campaigns.
The complaint was based on reporting by Seven Days, a Burlington newspaper, and by The New York Times.
The New York Times wouldn't waste money -- they might lose it and you might miss it -- nor would they ever lie.
It alleges possible violations of antibribery laws, illegal coordination between a Sorrell campaign and a super PAC, failure to report legally required detail on campaign expenses, and improperly using state resources.
Sorrell denied any wrongdoing.
Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, said Monday the circumstances pointed to ‘‘at least the possibility of there being a need for an investigation, and our current system’s failure to account for that.’’ He said the state may need a law saying who should handle an investigation when the attorney general is the target.
No conservative there, I assure you.
In his complaint, Toensing alleges Sorrell took campaign contributions from private lawyers and later, as the state’s top lawyer, joined them in a lawsuit against 29 oil and gas companies. Seven Days reported this month that Sorrell met with representatives of the Dallas law firm Baron and Budd at a Washington, D.C., fund-raiser in late 2013, where they donated $10,000 to Sorrell’s campaign and asked for a meeting to discuss Vermont possibly signing onto the lawsuit, which the state later did.
Toensing alleges Sorrell may have violated Vermont law that bars public officials from seeking or accepting gifts with the understanding that they will result in an official action favorable to the donor.
Sorrell said he had been advised by his staff and the state Agency of Natural Resources to select Baron & Budd as one of the law firms that the state would partner with in the suit.
‘‘It’s unfortunate that there are questions about whether there was undue influence,’’ Sorrell said. ‘‘I know there was no undue influence.’’
The complaint also alleges Sorrell’s 2012 campaign improperly coordinated activities with a super PAC set up to help him beat back a primary challenge by Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan. Toensing said former presidential candidate and governor Howard Dean, who appointed Sorrell in 1997, ‘‘provided strategic advice’’ to both Sorrell and the PAC, Citizens for Justice and Fairness. Dean’s ‘‘role with both entities allowed [the PAC] to make improper coordinated expenditures with the Sorrell Campaign,’’ Toensing said.
By law, super PACs must operate separately from a candidate’s campaign.
Dean did not immediately respond to a message left at his home or an e-mail to his office. Sorrell denied any wrongdoing.
I'm sure he's $orrell.