March 27, 2007

Substituting ideology for competence

The fine looking group of folks above are pictured at a college picnic while attending certified lunatic Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Can you spot the one who, after retaining one of the top D.C. criminal defense attorney's, recently announced they'd plead the fifth amendment if anyone asked them anything at all to do with the Gonzales scandal?

If you guessed the attractive woman second from the right in the front row, you win.

It's Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzalez's "senior counselor" and Justice Department liasson to the White House who presumable knows a thing or two about this matter and who was involved at the White House.

But one of Goodling's lawyers, John Dowd, said in a statement yesterday that "the potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real."

(A very interesting take on whether Ms. Goodling can even plead the fifth in this circumstance is discussed at TPM. Attorney's in the audience care to venture an opinion?)

That doesn't sound too good for the White House.

The pictures is from a Regent University web page, but old Pat must not be too proud of his successful alumi though, as he recently yanked the page down. The cached version is here.

Guess that's what happens when you value ideology over competence and put people with a recent law grad from Robertson's school in a top Justice Department position.

But this is just one of thousands of instances where this administration have given incredibly important posts to young political hacks as favors to the religious right or rich donors, most eggregiously in Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion where 20-something Republican shills with no experience were placed in such high positions that military generals had to do their bidding.

Prediction: Before the Bush regime is over, there'll be so many administration and Republican figures pleading the fifth that it will seem like the Kefauver committee all over again.


At 3/27/2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

She does seem pretty good lookin.

At 3/27/2007 5:23 PM, Anonymous HiFi said...

The word "certified" and "Pat Robertson's Regent University" should never be that close together ever again. We don't want any lazy reader to think that Regent University is someone accredited. Thank you.

At 3/27/2007 8:17 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hi, Point well taken. I regret the inference.

I think a law degree from Regent is about equivelent of one from the University of Second Floor.

Bet they teach a really reverent respect for the Constitution at Pat's place, eh? It always applies unless you feel that it conflicts with your interpretation (or Pat's) of the Bible.

As history has shown, basing a nation on theocratic law is always the most successful and beneficial to their populations. Examples are all over the place.

At 3/27/2007 8:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hi, Point well taken. I regret the inference.

I think a law degree from Regent is about equivilent of one from Second Floor University.

Bet they teach a really iron-clad respect for the Constitution at Pat's place, eh? It always applies unless you feel that it conflicts with your interpretation (or Pat's) of the Bible.

As history has shown, basing a nation on theocratic law is always the most successful and beneficial to their populations. Examples are all over the place.

It's always been a too tempting tool to control the masses. Turning them all into mindless consumers and wage slaves works better.

At 3/28/2007 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what exactly has she done to make you think she is not competent?

At 3/28/2007 8:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Fair question.

First, graduating from Pat Robertson university.

Secondly, engaging in something that would cause her to plead the fifth on the grounds that if she testified, she'd likely be charged with a crime.

But beyond that, my point was about the many instances where this administration has picked very high level officials based entirely on their often far-from-mainstream ideological views and religious beliefs rather than their resume and experience or demonstrated ability.

Political hires are political hires and are an expected part of any administration, but this one has taken it to another level entirely, with disasterous results.

At 3/29/2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

but what is the "disasterous level?" What exactly has she done wrong?

You can't blame her for pleading the fifth, it is her right to do so. Aren't we supposed to be for people's rights here in America?

It seems now a days, the democrat congress is in such a rush to say everything is a scandal, that they are loosing their moral compass.

At 3/29/2007 12:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above... OMG! Stop it! You're cracking me up!!!

If I might assume you're a good Republican, it's hilarious to even hear you talk about losing a "moral compass". That's too funny for words!

The Republicans haven't seen a moral compass since ..well... certainly since 2000.

Secondly, while it's everyone's right to plead the fifth, it's NOT accepted except under very specific situations where you are obviously in jeopardy of criminal prosecution should you be forced to testify.

This woman's attorney has tried to suggest in statements that she's pleading the fifth because she feels the Dems in congress are too "hostile" or mean.

That's NOT a valid reason for pleading the fifth at all.

Another factor is that no one can recall someone who works at the freaking JUSTICE department, let alone a high official, EVER taking the fifth..... EVER. Never been done.

It's also been noted that her bar license should be yanked for the fact that she's even announced her intentions to do so.

The gal's got a lot of 'splainin' to do, and I wouldn't be surprised if the congress simply doesn't accept her plea on the grounds that she has no basis for invoking it.

At 3/29/2007 12:43 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Oversimplified Criminal Lawyer answer.

She can, indeed, invoke the fifth amendment, by stating substantially that her testimony "may tend to" incriminate her. That's not much of a semantic test, but it's court-tested and will get a declarant by every time.

The better question is "What the hell is her high priced lawyer talking about?" Lots of settled law that a belief the forum will act in bad faith, there's no legislative purpose for the hearing or the forum is a "perjury trap" individually or taken together will NOT be a basis for an assertion of the self-incrimination privilege. So the guy's gassed for five pages and failed to say the magic words.

Why would that be, you say? Because you can't work for Gonzo and even admit that there is anything incriminating about which to claim privilege. The hallowed Justice Department is just about fighing kiddie porn and mail fraud, so nobody could possibly be doing anything wrong there.

Wonder if the committee counsel will make her say the magic words or let it slide.

At 3/30/2007 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

but what exactly has she done wrong?

At 3/30/2007 8:11 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 8:13

EXCELLENT question!

If she'd testify honestly under oath, we'd have the chance to find out if she's done anything wrong or not, wouldn't we?

Other than that, as to what she's done wrong, how about being a justice department lawyer who's pleading the fifth?

That's never occured in the recorded history of our country before.

In the real world (as opposed to Bushworld) people who hold such positions in law enforcement resign rather than plead the fifth, yet this woman is still on the Justice Dept. payroll.

And she's also destroying the all-important faith that the Justice Department is not engaged in criminal acts. No one at Justice should ever feel the need to plead the fifth.

This is an attorney sworn to uphold the law and serve justice, and she's hiding behind the fifth amendment. This has never been done, and should never have been done.

What is she hiding?

At 4/02/2007 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't people innocent until proven guilty?

Again, you are calling this girl incompetent, yet you are showing nothing from her job performace that would lead one to believe that. You are clearly on an ideological with hunt here.

At 4/02/2007 10:19 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah... a witch hunt.

Someone with a law degree from Pat Robertson... which is a step above finding it in a box of Cracker-jacks in a top Justice Dept position.

I think that's wrong and I'm on a "witch hunt"?

I think the unprecidented action of a top Justice official pleading the fifth to avoid criminal prosecution is inexcusable and wrong... and I'm on a "witch hunt"?

About 2 out of 3 people think this matter should be fully investigated.... I guess they're on a "witch hunt" too?

What is it with you folks? Have you really been so brain-washed that you think NO Republican should ever be investigated or prosecuted for ANYTHING?

Has the fact that for 6 long years the REpublican congress has aided and abetted the White House in doing so many illegal and underhanded and shocking abuses of power lulled you into thinking that these people are above the law?

Get set for a shock, because this stuff is just the tip of the iceberg.

They lied and used Pat Tilman as some sort of recruiting tool when he thought invading Iraq was illegal and wrong.

They had weekly meetings to try to further the agenda of creating a permanent Republican majority... one of which strategies was to pack the federal bench...

The list is so long it's hard to keep straight.

But if you're planning on trying to excuse and defend this crew, you've got your work cut out for you.


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