Hans von Spakovsky is continuing the feeble Pajamas Media (PJM) campaign against Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division with a fourth column in a series highlighting the allegedly "liberal" resumes of individuals hired by DOJ. PJM's oft-repeated (and just as often unsupported) claim is that Holder and the DOJ are engaged in "politicized hiring" that is "nearly unprecedented in scope and significantly eclipses anything the Bush administration was even accused of doing."
Today, Spakovsky spends five pages tirelessly reciting what he believes are the liberal affiliations of new career attorneys at the Civil Rights Division's Special Litigation Section. He then concludes:
No one is suggesting any of these individuals' activist backgrounds disqualifies them from working as attorneys in the Civil Rights Division. The point is that such liberal bona fides appear to be a prerequisite for employment in the Division -- there is no other explanation for this. These resumes are an example of a legal doctrine that law students learn in their first year: res ipsa loquitur -- "the thing speaks for itself."
Res ipsa? Perhaps Spakovsky has forgotten what he learned in his first year, but res ipsa loquitur is a common law negligence doctrine which presumes that a harmful act could only have occurred as a result of a defendant's carelessness, even if the plaintiff has no direct proof of the defendant's carelessness (one of the prototypical cases is a scalpel left in someone's body while the patient was under general anesthesia).
But Spakovsky isn't accusing the DOJ of negligently filling their rosters with liberals. He's alleging that they purposefully considered a candidate's liberal credentials as a precondition for hiring them into the Civil Rights Division. In his words, "None of this is an accident."
Using a series of misleading talking points, News Corporation's Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Fox have accused the Obama administration of waging a "war on coal" because the EPA has moved to limit toxic air pollution from power plants. In reality, the EPA is issuing these rules because the Bush administration's regulations were rejected by courts, and the revised rules are expected to have significant public health benefits.
Former Department of Justice lawyer and New Black Panthers fabulist J. Christian Adams has found a way to cash in on last year's manufactured scandal. On October 4, right-wing outlet Regnery Publishing will release Adams' first book, "Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department."
According to the description provided to Amazon.com, Adams' book will expand on his oft-repeated claims that DOJ practices racially-motivated enforcement of the law, focusing in particular on his fanciful recounting of the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case:
Revealing unknown and startling examples of racism and corruption at the local, state, and federal level, Injustice exposes a Justice Department that is anything but just.
Justice is supposed to be blind, especially to race and politics. Yet as Department of Justice (DOJ) whistleblower J. Christian Adams divulges in his shocking expose Injustice, justice under the Obama administration is anything but blind. Here, Adams reveals the never-before-published truth about the corrupt, racist, and politicized inner workings of the Obama Justice Department, as well as the untold story of the DOJ's corrupt handling of the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case. As a former Department of Justice attorney in the civil rights division, Adams has witnessed firsthand how the DOJ is aggressively executing a racist and radical left-wing agenda through its policies and employees. After watching the DOJ continually turn a blind eye to voter fraud, blatant racism, and voter rights abuses, Adams finally blew the whistle during the New Black Panther case--a case that Adams brought to the DOJ's attention and ultimately resigned over because of the corruption and perjury he witnessed leading up to and following the case's orchestrated dismissal.
Michael Yaki, a Democratic member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission who led the opposition to the Commission's flawed investigation of the New Black Panther Party case, predicted to Media Matters that Adams' book would be "a warmed over-retread of his allegations that never got traction and which an independent watchdog within Justice cleared of any political or racial overtones."
Yaki also commented that "Adams' failed and discredited testimony before the US Civil Rights Commission was a lesson that apparently did not take hold," adding that under the Bush administration, DOJ's Civil Rights Division employed "a partisan litmus test which he passed" and "ignored massive civil rights violations at the polls."
Indeed, it has long been clear that Adams' claims of racially charged "corruption" in the handling of the New Black Panther Party case don't add up, and are simply the politically-motivated attacks of a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of DOJ.
As part of its extended campaign against the Obama administration Justice Department's hires, Pajamas Media has turned to noted experts on the subject of politicization: Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams.
Yes, the conservative media outlet is again attacking the Obama administration for hiring civil rights attorneys for the Civil Rights Division. And they've decided that the best people to push their months-long investigation are a beneficiary of the Bush DOJ's policy of politicized hiring and a Bush DOJ staffer known for injecting his own politics into the department's work.
It's the sort of takes-one-to-know-one decision reminiscent of Fox News' decisions to hire Judith Miller as a media critic and book Michael Brown to discuss disaster relief.
Who's next? Will PJM drag out fellow Bush DOJ alums Bradley Schlozman and Monica Goodling to write the next installments in this breathtakingly mundane series?
From the August 9 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Pajamas Media has been scandal-mongering for months with hollow allegations of politicization in the hiring process at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Today, Hans von Spakovsky published the first piece "in a series of articles by Pajamas Media about the Civil Rights Division's hiring practices since President Obama took office." He claims the supposed tainting of the hiring process by the DOJ's Civil Rights Division under Obama is "nearly unprecedented in scope and significantly eclipses anything the Bush administration was even accused of doing."
Spakovsky and PJM are responding defensively to allegations that under President Bush, political appointees at DOJ's Civil Rights Division illegally considered applicants' political leanings when making hiring decisions. These claims have been backed up in a report completed by the DOJ's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, who declared the hiring activity a "viola[tion] of federal law."
For months, PJM has been waging a campaign alleging the Obama administration is committing the same sins. The crusade continues today, with Spakovsky's piece outing the so-called "new radicals" in the Civil Rights Division's Voting Section. Instead of bolstering his argument, however, he's instead just highlighted the many exemplary qualifications and relevant civil rights law experiences the new employees have brought to the table. Indeed, von Spakovsky's complaint often appears to be that the Civil Rights Division has hired attorneys with backgrounds in civil rights.
Specifically, Spakovsky has published the employment histories of the 16 new hires in the Voting Rights department of the Civil Rights division. He rails at length about the alleged liberal affiliations of the DOJ hires, detailing their past civil rights work with groups like the ACLU and NAACP, but his complaining notably lacks any accusation or evidence that DOJ was hiring unqualified lawyers or excluding applicants based on their political predilections - something the Bush administration was found to have done.
The question, after all, is not whether DOJ hired too many conservatives in the Bush administration or too many liberals in the Obama administration; the question is whether either of those administrations improperly used an individual's political leanings as a pro or con in their hiring deliberations. Spakovsky offers no evidence that the DOJ is doing this other than the circumstantial claim that it's more likely than not that politicization took place because so many liberals have been hired.
Following the announcement that Timothy Geithner will remain Treasury secretary, Fox News attacked the decision and called for President Obama to make Geithner "walk the plank." However, economic experts have argued against replacing Geithner, stating that "we can't afford the loss in continuity at this stage."
From the August 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday:
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A New York Post blogger criticizing a government program that provides cell phones and monthly minutes free of charge to low-income individuals baselessly stated that free cell phones are now a "civil right." Despite that phrase appearing nowhere in the news article the Post linked to, the meme has traveled through the right-wing media, including one segment on Fox & Friends that contained several falsehoods about the program.
From the August 3 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money:
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From the August 3 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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A segment ran on America Live today examining the Universal Service Fund, a program that is intended to provide universal access to telecommunications, and, among other things, provides cell phones and minutes for free to poor people. The segment managed to be both misleading and offensive.
A Wall Street Journal editorial endorses House Republicans' TRAIN Act [Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation], which would delay two Clean Air regulations and create a committee to report on potential economic costs of certain EPA rules. The Journal claims the legislation "would help expose some of the true costs that the agency is trying to hide."
Who's hiding? The EPA is already required to conduct economic analyses for significant regulation, and the Office of Management and Budget also reviews the costs and benefits of the rules. The Journal claims that these analyses are not sufficient because they do not consider the "broad[er]" or "more tangible" economic costs. In fact, the Congressional Research Service states that in "past experience," costs of regulation have not been "as great as they are projected to be" by EPA.
A story about a Department of Homeland Security video that began at a website operated by radio host Alex Jones and was then covered on Fox News is just the latest example of how Fox has been moving increasingly toward pushing the conspiratorial views of Jones.
A Fox & Friends Sunday segment on EPA's proposed ozone standard featured George Jarkesy, a frequent Fox Business guest, who claimed that "everyone expects" EPA regulation "to add as much as a dollar per gallon of gas." Jarkesy also declared that cutting the EPA's budget by one-third "would create 1.2 million private sector jobs in America."
Fox identified Jarkesy as an "energy investor and managing member of John Thomas Capital Management Group." But Fox did not disclose that he also serves on the Board of Directors of America West Resources, a domestic coal mining company, and Radiant Oil and Gas, an oil and gas production company.
From the July 31 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday: