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Gerald Walpin and the New York Times


Bryan
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Paul LaClair has more than once lauded the excellence of the New York Times.

The recent story about the firing of IG Gerald Walpin serves as an excellent example of very poor reporting from the Times, however.

The Times is not only about a week late on the story (the AP had a piece on the firing when it happened), but also leaves out two of the key facts about the story.

1) The White House ignored the law stipulating that Congress shall receive 30 day notice when an IG is dismissed.

2) Administration officials tried to intimidate Walpin into resigning prior to firing him.

If the Grey Lady was ever as great as her legend, at the very least she ain't what she used to be.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/us/polit...lpin&st=cse

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/06/18/how-...ma-controversy/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511811033017539.html

And this is not an isolated case.

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Guest 2smart4u
Paul LaClair has more than once lauded the excellence of the New York Times.

The recent story about the firing of IG Gerald Walpin serves as an excellent example of very poor reporting from the Times, however.

The Times is not only about a week late on the story (the AP had a piece on the firing when it happened), but also leaves out two of the key facts about the story.

1) The White House ignored the law stipulating that Congress shall receive 30 day notice when an IG is dismissed.

2) Administration officials tried to intimidate Walpin into resigning prior to firing him.

If the Grey Lady was ever as great as her legend, at the very least she ain't what she used to be.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/us/polit...lpin&st=cse

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/06/18/how-...ma-controversy/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511811033017539.html

And this is not an isolated case.

The "ole gray mare" is about ready for the glue factory. They've drifted so far left that they won't even print any news item that has a conservative viewpoint. Their biased reporting is driving them into bankruptcy but it appears they don't care. Apparently they're content to go down with the ship.

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Guest Desperate Republicans!

If the most Republicans can point to is a 30 day notice provision, the Grand Ole Party is going to join the Whig Party in relevancy to the American people! This Republican Inspector General is a hack who is "disoriented" at meetings and "telecommutes" to DC to perform his job. Those are euphamisms for no-show job and unqualified. If Republicans want to defend the use of tax dollars that way, as Democrat, I say keep at it.

From the best newspaper in America, the New York Times:

After complaints about the dismissal grew, the White House fired back on Wednesday, releasing a letter from a senior counsel to the president sharply criticizing Mr. Walpin’s record. The letter, sent to Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, justified the dismissal on several grounds, including what it said was Mr. Walpin’s “confused, disoriented” behavior at a meeting of the agency’s board on May 20, when, according to the letter, he was unable to respond to questions.

The letter, from Norman L. Eisen, the special counsel to the president who handles ethics matters, also noted that a career federal prosecutor in Sacramento had filed an ethics complaint about Mr. Walpin’s actions in the case involving Mayor Johnson. And the Eisen letter said that Mr. Walpin chose to work in New York, not in Washington, over the board’s objections and that he “had become unduly disruptive to agency operations.”

Mr. Walpin issued a rebuttal late Wednesday in which he charged that the board of the corporation wanted his dismissal because he was doing precisely what he is supposed to do — aggressively probing how money is being spent.

He also said he felt ill at the May 20 meeting and might not have been at his best. But he said that was only one meeting of many in which he had performed admirably. He said he believed that working from New York and “telecommuting” was working well.

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The "ole gray mare" is about ready for the glue factory. They've drifted so far left that they won't even print any news item that has a conservative viewpoint. Their biased reporting is driving them into bankruptcy but it appears they don't care. Apparently they're content to go down with the ship.

The Times' financial difficulties primarily stem from their outdated product.

The biased content certainly exacerbates the problem, but newspapers face extreme difficulties in generating a profit these days regardless of bias.

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If the most Republicans can point to is a 30 day notice provision, the Grand Ole Party is going to join the Whig Party in relevancy to the American people! This Republican Inspector General is a hack who is "disoriented" at meetings and "telecommutes" to DC to perform his job. Those are euphamisms for no-show job and unqualified. If Republicans want to defend the use of tax dollars that way, as Democrat, I say keep at it.

From the best newspaper in America, the New York Times:

After complaints about the dismissal grew, the White House fired back on Wednesday, releasing a letter from a senior counsel to the president sharply criticizing Mr. Walpin’s record. The letter, sent to Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, justified the dismissal on several grounds, including what it said was Mr. Walpin’s “confused, disoriented” behavior at a meeting of the agency’s board on May 20, when, according to the letter, he was unable to respond to questions.

The letter, from Norman L. Eisen, the special counsel to the president who handles ethics matters, also noted that a career federal prosecutor in Sacramento had filed an ethics complaint about Mr. Walpin’s actions in the case involving Mayor Johnson. And the Eisen letter said that Mr. Walpin chose to work in New York, not in Washington, over the board’s objections and that he “had become unduly disruptive to agency operations.”

Mr. Walpin issued a rebuttal late Wednesday in which he charged that the board of the corporation wanted his dismissal because he was doing precisely what he is supposed to do — aggressively probing how money is being spent.

He also said he felt ill at the May 20 meeting and might not have been at his best. But he said that was only one meeting of many in which he had performed admirably. He said he believed that working from New York and “telecommuting” was working well.

Best newspaper in America, right. How are things in The Land of Oz?

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If the most Republicans can point to is a 30 day notice provision, the Grand Ole Party is going to join the Whig Party in relevancy to the American people!

Hey! Great idea! Let's make this about the Republican Party instead of about the New York Times! That will show how desperate the Republicans are!

Yeah. Good luck with that one.

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Guest Desperate Republicans!
Hey! Great idea! Let's make this about the Republican Party instead of about the New York Times! That will show how desperate the Republicans are!

Yeah. Good luck with that one.

Since it's a Rush Limbaugh and Fox talking point, yes, I'd say it's about the Republicans struggling for an issue. Quite frankly, I'm not sure why the New York Times gave this any more than a squib.

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Guest Desperate Republicans!
Best newspaper in America, right. How are things in The Land of Oz?

Yes, the best paper by far. Check the number of Pulitzers.

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Since it's a Rush Limbaugh and Fox talking point, yes, I'd say it's about the Republicans struggling for an issue.

Perhaps they should consider health care reform.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure why the New York Times gave this any more than a squib.

That's easy. So that they can leave out the facts mentioned earlier in this thread. You know, the stuff you've been ignoring.

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Guest Desperate Republicans
Explain what you mean.

Explain what you mean and I'll explain the absence of Republican outrage.

Okay, Bryan, I'll parse this out for for you.

You said:

1) The White House ignored the law stipulating that Congress shall receive 30 day notice when an IG is dismissed.

2) Administration officials tried to intimidate Walpin into resigning prior to firing him.

You presented these speculative statements as "facts" in your criticism of the New York Times and your indirect criticism of President Obama's Administration.

"Ignored the law" is untrue. Walpin was a Republican political appointment by President Bush. President Obama exercised his authority to terminate him, suspending him with pay for 30 days, at which point the termination is effective since the 30 day notice provision to Congress will have lapsed.

There is no evidence presented by anyone (not even by Walpin) of your statemetn that the Obama Administration "tried to intimidate Walpin".

Walpin himself has admitted he doesn't physically show up to his job in Washington, D.C. A no-show job is illegal. Questions have also been raised about his competence based on public statements he's made regarding his "office".

Where is the Republican outrage when a Republican appointee is unqualified and not doing his job?

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Okay, Bryan, I'll parse this out for for you.

You said:

1) The White House ignored the law stipulating that Congress shall receive 30 day notice when an IG is dismissed.

2) Administration officials tried to intimidate Walpin into resigning prior to firing him.

You presented these speculative statements as "facts" in your criticism of the New York Times and your indirect criticism of President Obama's Administration.

I did. So what's the "no-show job"? Or are you not going to explain that after all?

"Ignored the law" is untrue. Walpin was a Republican political appointment by President Bush.

Incorrect. IG's are not political appointments, though they are appointed by the president.

President Obama exercised his authority to terminate him, suspending him with pay for 30 days, at which point the termination is effective since the 30 day notice provision to Congress will have lapsed.

And "loss of confidence" is supposed to be an adequate reason? Why have a notification law if any reason is good enough?

There is no evidence presented by anyone (not even by Walpin) of your statemetn that the Obama Administration "tried to intimidate Walpin".

Asking someone to either resign or be terminated constitutes the application of pressure to resign. That is what "intimidation" is, by definition. If Walpin had resigned then the Obama administration would not have had to proceed with the formality of firing him.

Walpin himself has admitted he doesn't physically show up to his job in Washington, D.C. A no-show job is illegal.

He had the permission of his supervisors to telecommute, as I understand it. Should they be terminated? And feel free to provide evidence in support of your claim that Walpin's arrangement was illegal.

Questions have also been raised about his competence based on public statements he's made regarding his "office".

Where is the Republican outrage when a Republican appointee is unqualified and not doing his job?

You're a Republican appointee? Prove it.

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Guest Desperate Republicans

Not political? He's an extreme right Republican activist appointed by George W. Bush (see below).

It's also undisputed he doesn't show up to the job in DC. You don't "telecommute" (Walpin's description) as an Inspector General.

Chalk Walpin up there with "Brownie" (the hack at FEMA during Katrina).

It's a new day in America. President Barack H. Obama. Democratic Congress. Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It's time to sweep out Republican cronies.

A hard-line conservative with a résumé that dates back to the early '60s, Walpin was a curious choice for a position that requires dispassionate judgment and nonpartisan fairness. Although he developed a reputation as a highly capable litigator at a major New York City law firm, he has devoted much of his life to the causes of the extreme right, in particular as a trustee of the Federalist Society and as a director of the Center for Individual Rights, a right-wing law foundation devoted to overturning affirmative-action programs.

He appears to have continued acting in those capacities even after his appointment as inspector general. In November 2007, for instance, he delivered a speech at a Federalist Society function titled "Inherent Presidential Wartime Powers -- The Wiretap Program is Constitutional." Then in March 2008, he wrote an Op-Ed essay for the New York Daily News berating human rights lawyers at Yale Law School for pursuing a legal action against John Yoo, the former Justice Department official famous for his memoranda justifying torture of terror suspects.

Media profiles of Walpin now often mention his nasty quip at a November 2005 luncheon when he introduced Mitt Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, as the leader of a state dominated by "the modern-day KKK ... the Kennedy-Kerry Klan," a reference to the Bay State's U.S. senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Joking about Catholic politicians belonging to the Klan is always obnoxious, but Walpin was guilty of worse than poor taste.

Aside from its ferocious pursuit of lawsuits against affirmative action, the Center for Individual Rights, where Walpin served as director for many years, has displayed an enduring attraction to academic racism, or at least to its practitioners. That attraction led CIR to represent both Michael Levin, the notorious racist professor at the City University of New York, and Linda Gottfredson, an obscure University of Delaware professor whose negative research on African-Americans has made her a heroine to racial extremists. To finance this kind of litigation, CIR accepted thousands of dollars from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation dedicated to proving that blacks are racially inferior to whites and Asians -- in short, the intellectual equivalent of the KKK.

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Guest Desperate Republicans

My earlier response didn't make it, so I'm trying again.

As to Walpin not showing up at work, that's undisputed. Walpin's version is that he 'telecommutes'. That's turning it into a 'no show job'. Check with Chris Christie and ex-State Senator Bryant on that one.

It's undisputed Walpin is a political appointee of George W. Bush:

A hard-line conservative with a résumé that dates back to the early '60s, Walpin was a curious choice for a position that requires dispassionate judgment and nonpartisan fairness. Although he developed a reputation as a highly capable litigator at a major New York City law firm, he has devoted much of his life to the causes of the extreme right, in particular as a trustee of the Federalist Society and as a director of the Center for Individual Rights, a right-wing law foundation devoted to overturning affirmative-action programs.

He appears to have continued acting in those capacities even after his appointment as inspector general. In November 2007, for instance, he delivered a speech at a Federalist Society function titled "Inherent Presidential Wartime Powers -- The Wiretap Program is Constitutional." Then in March 2008, he wrote an Op-Ed essay for the New York Daily News berating human rights lawyers at Yale Law School for pursuing a legal action against John Yoo, the former Justice Department official famous for his memoranda justifying torture of terror suspects.

Media profiles of Walpin now often mention his nasty quip at a November 2005 luncheon when he introduced Mitt Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, as the leader of a state dominated by "the modern-day KKK ... the Kennedy-Kerry Klan," a reference to the Bay State's U.S. senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Joking about Catholic politicians belonging to the Klan is always obnoxious, but Walpin was guilty of worse than poor taste.

Aside from its ferocious pursuit of lawsuits against affirmative action, the Center for Individual Rights, where Walpin served as director for many years, has displayed an enduring attraction to academic racism, or at least to its practitioners. That attraction led CIR to represent both Michael Levin, the notorious racist professor at the City University of New York, and Linda Gottfredson, an obscure University of Delaware professor whose negative research on African-Americans has made her a heroine to racial extremists. To finance this kind of litigation, CIR accepted thousands of dollars from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation dedicated to proving that blacks are racially inferior to whites and Asians -- in short, the intellectual equivalent of the KKK.

Chalk this one as another Bush crony (almost as bad as 'Brownie' at FEMA during Katrina) that needs to go. It's now President Barack H. Obama. It's now a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. And it's soon-to-be Jusice Sonia Sotamayor.

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Not political? He's an extreme right Republican activist appointed by George W. Bush (see below).

Hmmm. That must mean that Geraldine Ferraro is a Republican. Walpin contributed to her run for NY senator back in the 1990s, IIRC.

There are two kinds of political appointments. There are those done by a particular political figure, such as a president. There are also appointment to jobs that are innately political, such as federal attorneys and Cabinet members. Judges and IGs are historically of the former type but not the latter type.

It's also undisputed he doesn't show up to the job in DC. You don't "telecommute" (Walpin's description) as an Inspector General.

It's undisputed that Walpin has done his (job) via telecommute. It is considerably less clear that it is honest to equate the two. You've skipped your opportunities to make that point thus far. But you're doing a great job of getting the thread away from the topic of the New York Times. That has to count for something.

A hard-line conservative with a résumé that dates back to the early '60s, Walpin was a curious choice for a position that requires dispassionate judgment and nonpartisan fairness. Although he developed a reputation as a highly capable litigator at a major New York City law firm, he has devoted much of his life to the causes of the extreme right, in particular as a trustee of the Federalist Society and as a director of the Center for Individual Rights, a right-wing law foundation devoted to overturning affirmative-action programs.

He appears to have continued acting in those capacities even after his appointment as inspector general. In November 2007, for instance, he delivered a speech at a Federalist Society function titled "Inherent Presidential Wartime Powers -- The Wiretap Program is Constitutional." Then in March 2008, he wrote an Op-Ed essay for the New York Daily News berating human rights lawyers at Yale Law School for pursuing a legal action against John Yoo, the former Justice Department official famous for his memoranda justifying torture of terror suspects.

Media profiles of Walpin now often mention his nasty quip at a November 2005 luncheon when he introduced Mitt Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, as the leader of a state dominated by "the modern-day KKK ... the Kennedy-Kerry Klan," a reference to the Bay State's U.S. senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Joking about Catholic politicians belonging to the Klan is always obnoxious, but Walpin was guilty of worse than poor taste.

Aside from its ferocious pursuit of lawsuits against affirmative action, the Center for Individual Rights, where Walpin served as director for many years, has displayed an enduring attraction to academic racism, or at least to its practitioners. That attraction led CIR to represent both Michael Levin, the notorious racist professor at the City University of New York, and Linda Gottfredson, an obscure University of Delaware professor whose negative research on African-Americans has made her a heroine to racial extremists. To finance this kind of litigation, CIR accepted thousands of dollars from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation dedicated to proving that blacks are racially inferior to whites and Asians -- in short, the intellectual equivalent of the KKK.

Slate's getting quite the reputation for running hatchet-job stories against Republican targets. Though of course even Bill Clinton thought that Slate had savaged him in the story they did on him. The treatment of the joke about the KKK should be sufficient for one to detect the patent unfairness coming from the author.

Walpin's politics are properly irrelevant to the issue of his termination except as it may impact the performance of his job. You haven't suggested any particular relevance, unless you perhaps consider it a peculiarly Republican trait to telecommute.

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Guest Desperate Republicans
Hmmm. That must mean that Geraldine Ferraro is a Republican. Walpin contributed to her run for NY senator back in the 1990s, IIRC.

There are two kinds of political appointments. There are those done by a particular political figure, such as a president. There are also appointment to jobs that are innately political, such as federal attorneys and Cabinet members. Judges and IGs are historically of the former type but not the latter type.

It's undisputed that Walpin has done his (job) via telecommute. It is considerably less clear that it is honest to equate the two. You've skipped your opportunities to make that point thus far. But you're doing a great job of getting the thread away from the topic of the New York Times. That has to count for something.

Slate's getting quite the reputation for running hatchet-job stories against Republican targets. Though of course even Bill Clinton thought that Slate had savaged him in the story they did on him. The treatment of the joke about the KKK should be sufficient for one to detect the patent unfairness coming from the author.

Walpin's politics are properly irrelevant to the issue of his termination except as it may impact the performance of his job. You haven't suggested any particular relevance, unless you perhaps consider it a peculiarly Republican trait to telecommute.

He "telecommutes." You can't telecommute to a federal job.

He's an extremely political as IG. A sitting IG that describes sitting Senators (and liberal Democrats) with a KKK reference shouldn't be there.

The contribution to Ferraro falls under the 'enemy of my enemy is my friend.' In this case, Walpin's enemy was Schumer so he contributed to his opponent.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. It's a presidential appointment and he's getting his 30 days. That right-wing commentators think this is a Whitewater scandal is mindboggling.

The NY Times gave this way more attention then it deserves.

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He "telecommutes." You can't telecommute to a federal job.

Let's try this again: Says who?

http://jobs.lovetoknow.com/Telecommute_Job...eral_Government

He's an extremely political as IG. A sitting IG that describes sitting Senators (and liberal Democrats) with a KKK reference shouldn't be there.

If Kennedy and Kerry did not have last names beginning with "K" then you might have a case. It was obviously a joke, not any type of serious reference to racism or anything else negative. The use of the incident to tar Walpin should repulse any fair minded person.

The contribution to Ferraro falls under the 'enemy of my enemy is my friend.' In this case, Walpin's enemy was Schumer so he contributed to his opponent.

Nice try, but that was Schumer's first run for the Senate. If you want to try to make the case that Walpin held a special dislike for Schumer than go ahead--but Ferraro is no conservative. You offer no reason to think that Walpin wasn't simply supporting his preferred candidate among those with a chance to win.

Ms. Ferraro was first elected to Congress from New York's Ninth Congressional District in Queens in 1978 and served three terms in the House of Representatives. During her six years in Congress, she compiled a liberal voting record in Congress, but stayed in touch with conservative voters in her district.

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4940

Live by the sword, die by the sword. It's a presidential appointment and he's getting his 30 days. That right-wing commentators think this is a Whitewater scandal is mindboggling.

Agreed, which is why I focused on the reporting from the New York Times. The Walpin firing may be a legitimate scandal (a bit early to tell), but it looks bad for Obama on the surface. The president did succeed in timing the firing fairly closely with the conclusion of Walpin's investigation of an Obama political pal, and the administration is having a tough time answering the hard questions about the case.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics...--49767217.html

The NY Times gave this way more attention then it deserves.

You misspelled "spin." It has four letters, not nine.

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Guest Desperate Republicans

Let's try this again: Says who?

The DOJ"S directive on telecommuting. The AmeriCorp's Board never approved the "arrangement".

If Kennedy and Kerry did not have last names beginning with "K" then you might have a case. It was obviously a joke, not any type of serious reference to racism or anything else negative. The use of the incident to tar Walpin should repulse any fair minded person.

He's a conservative idealogue. A reference to the KKK is horrendous. If he can't keep his politics on the backburner while doing the NONPARTISAN job of being Inspector General, then he shouldn't have the office. (By the way, your defense is preposterous -- where is the third 'K'?)

Nice try, but that was Schumer's first run for the Senate. If you want to try to make the case that Walpin held a special dislike for Schumer than go ahead--but Ferraro is no conservative. You offer no reason to think that Walpin wasn't simply supporting his preferred candidate among those with a chance to win.

Schumer was a sitting Congressman who was more of a concern to the right-wing than a former Congresswoman. It's classic the "enemy of my enemy is my friend". It's not about principle, it's about self-interest.

Walpin firing may be a legitimate scandal (a bit early to tell), but it looks bad for Obama on the surface. The president did succeed in timing the firing fairly closely with the conclusion of Walpin's investigation of an Obama political pal, and the administration is having a tough time answering the hard questions about the case.

This is a scandal only in the right wing blogosphere. It's amusing how those right wing idealogues (I don't consider Senator Grassley an idealogue) never expressed concerns when George Bush politicized the nonpartisan offices of Inspectors General:

Created in 1978 as a post-Watergate check on Nixonian abuses of power, the inspectors bypass the chain of command within their own agencies and report their findings directly to Congress. By law, the president must appoint these watchdogs "without regard to political affiliation" and "solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability."

But as the investigation of Helgerson makes clear, the administration is more interested in turning the watchdogs into lap dogs. Just as he politicized every other facet of government from FEMA to the Farm Bureau, President Bush has ignored the law and stocked the inspector general posts with inexperienced cronies. According to a study by the House Oversight Committee, more than a third of Bush's inspectors previously held a political post in the White House, compared to none of Bill Clinton's appointees. Judging from their résumés — deputy counsel to the Bush-Cheney transition team, special assistant to Trent Lott, senior counsel to Fred Thompson, daughter to Chief Justice William Rehnquist — Bush's appointees seem more qualified to be partisans at a neoconservative think tank than America's last line of defense against fraud and abuse. What's more, fewer than one-fifth of the inspectors appointed by Bush had previous experience as auditors, compared to two-thirds of Clinton's appointees. "The IGs have been politicized and dumbed down," said Rep. Brad Miller, oversight chair of the House science committee.

Rather than root out wrongdoing, Bush's appointees — men with nicknames like Moose and Cookie — have actually helped the White House cover up corrupt defense contracts, conceal the theft of sensitive rocket technology and whitewash a host of scandals from Abu Ghraib to Medicare prescription drugs. "Not only has this administration been aided in avoiding scrutiny by a compliant Republican Congress, they installed inspectors general who were not going to use their positions aggressively — if at all," says Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

You misspelled "spin." It has four letters, not nine.

That's a real petty response. Rather than stoop to your level, I'll just be proud that in America today we have President Barack H. Obama, Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, and soon-to-be Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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Guest 2smart4u
Let's try this again: Says who?

The DOJ"S directive on telecommuting. The AmeriCorp's Board never approved the "arrangement".

If Kennedy and Kerry did not have last names beginning with "K" then you might have a case. It was obviously a joke, not any type of serious reference to racism or anything else negative. The use of the incident to tar Walpin should repulse any fair minded person.

He's a conservative idealogue. A reference to the KKK is horrendous. If he can't keep his politics on the backburner while doing the NONPARTISAN job of being Inspector General, then he shouldn't have the office. (By the way, your defense is preposterous -- where is the third 'K'?)

Nice try, but that was Schumer's first run for the Senate. If you want to try to make the case that Walpin held a special dislike for Schumer than go ahead--but Ferraro is no conservative. You offer no reason to think that Walpin wasn't simply supporting his preferred candidate among those with a chance to win.

Schumer was a sitting Congressman who was more of a concern to the right-wing than a former Congresswoman. It's classic the "enemy of my enemy is my friend". It's not about principle, it's about self-interest.

Walpin firing may be a legitimate scandal (a bit early to tell), but it looks bad for Obama on the surface. The president did succeed in timing the firing fairly closely with the conclusion of Walpin's investigation of an Obama political pal, and the administration is having a tough time answering the hard questions about the case.

This is a scandal only in the right wing blogosphere. It's amusing how those right wing idealogues (I don't consider Senator Grassley an idealogue) never expressed concerns when George Bush politicized the nonpartisan offices of Inspectors General:

Created in 1978 as a post-Watergate check on Nixonian abuses of power, the inspectors bypass the chain of command within their own agencies and report their findings directly to Congress. By law, the president must appoint these watchdogs "without regard to political affiliation" and "solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability."

But as the investigation of Helgerson makes clear, the administration is more interested in turning the watchdogs into lap dogs. Just as he politicized every other facet of government from FEMA to the Farm Bureau, President Bush has ignored the law and stocked the inspector general posts with inexperienced cronies. According to a study by the House Oversight Committee, more than a third of Bush's inspectors previously held a political post in the White House, compared to none of Bill Clinton's appointees. Judging from their résumés — deputy counsel to the Bush-Cheney transition team, special assistant to Trent Lott, senior counsel to Fred Thompson, daughter to Chief Justice William Rehnquist — Bush's appointees seem more qualified to be partisans at a neoconservative think tank than America's last line of defense against fraud and abuse. What's more, fewer than one-fifth of the inspectors appointed by Bush had previous experience as auditors, compared to two-thirds of Clinton's appointees. "The IGs have been politicized and dumbed down," said Rep. Brad Miller, oversight chair of the House science committee.

Rather than root out wrongdoing, Bush's appointees — men with nicknames like Moose and Cookie — have actually helped the White House cover up corrupt defense contracts, conceal the theft of sensitive rocket technology and whitewash a host of scandals from Abu Ghraib to Medicare prescription drugs. "Not only has this administration been aided in avoiding scrutiny by a compliant Republican Congress, they installed inspectors general who were not going to use their positions aggressively — if at all," says Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

You misspelled "spin." It has four letters, not nine.

That's a real petty response. Rather than stoop to your level, I'll just be proud that in America today we have President Barack H. Obama, Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, and soon-to-be Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

You must be real proud of Sotomayor after she denied the promotions of the white New Haven Firefighters who studied long and hard to score high on their promotional exams in favor of black firefighters who chose not to put in the long hours necessary to score as high.

How is the liberal brain wired that would cause one to think that was fair? Is not discrimination color-blind?

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Let's try this again: Says who?

The DOJ"S directive on telecommuting.

What DOJ directive on telecommuting?

Advances in information and computer technology, the development of the Internet, and the growth of wireless and digital products have given some Federal employees the ability to telework, or work anytime from almost any place. Management considerations, such as productive and satisfied workers; environmental considerations, such as reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality; and quality of life considerations, such as accommodating the short- or long-term health needs of employees, require the establishment of telework programs.

Telecommuting provides Federal agencies with a viable option to ensure continuity of operations in the event of an emergency. Following Hurricane Katrina, lapses in the Federal government's performance could have been mitigated by telecommuting. The Committee is aware of businesses that were able to continue operations following Hurricane Katrina due to telecommuting programs already in place. By reducing automobile trips, telecommuting helps to reduce dependence on foreign oil and to reduce car emissions.

In light of the benefits of telecommuting, the Committee remains concerned about the lack of progress being made by Federal agencies in this area. The Committee believes that agencies should be taking extensive measures to certify more Federal employees as eligible to telecommute.

The Committee directs the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Small Business Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation to provide a report to the Committee in no less than six months from enactment of this legislation detailing plans to increase the eligible number of telecommuters as well as what major obstacles exist.

http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&am...=TOC_22223&

http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&...=TOC_22223&

The AmeriCorp's Board never approved the "arrangement".

Mr. Walpin says he cleared the arrangement with the board's chairman, vice chairman and a third board member. Our witness was not present at that meeting but says he was present at more than one subsequent meeting of the full board during which Mr. Walpin mentioned his telecommuting arrangement without a single objection being raised from the board.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/j...to-walpin-gate/

There's more at the link about the telecommuting arrangement (approved by general council according to Walpin before it came up before the board). Feel free to check it out.

If Kennedy and Kerry did not have last names beginning with "K" then you might have a case. It was obviously a joke, not any type of serious reference to racism or anything else negative. The use of the incident to tar Walpin should repulse any fair minded person.

He's a conservative idealogue. A reference to the KKK is horrendous. If he can't keep his politics on the backburner while doing the NONPARTISAN job of being Inspector General, then he shouldn't have the office. (By the way, your defense is preposterous -- where is the third 'K'?)

Duh. "Klan." You may be interested to learn that it is also the third K after Ku and Klux.

Schumer was a sitting Congressman who was more of a concern to the right-wing than a former Congresswoman. It's classic the "enemy of my enemy is my friend". It's not about principle, it's about self-interest.

You're funny. You've got nothing, so you just make noise.

This is a scandal only in the right wing blogosphere. It's amusing how those right wing idealogues (I don't consider Senator Grassley an idealogue) never expressed concerns when George Bush politicized the nonpartisan offices of Inspectors General:

Created in 1978 as a post-Watergate check on Nixonian abuses of power, the inspectors bypass the chain of command within their own agencies and report their findings directly to Congress. By law, the president must appoint these watchdogs "without regard to political affiliation" and "solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability."

But as the investigation of Helgerson makes clear, the administration is more interested in turning the watchdogs into lap dogs. Just as he politicized every other facet of government from FEMA to the Farm Bureau, President Bush has ignored the law and stocked the inspector general posts with inexperienced cronies. According to a study by the House Oversight Committee, more than a third of Bush's inspectors previously held a political post in the White House, compared to none of Bill Clinton's appointees. Judging from their résumés — deputy counsel to the Bush-Cheney transition team, special assistant to Trent Lott, senior counsel to Fred Thompson, daughter to Chief Justice William Rehnquist — Bush's appointees seem more qualified to be partisans at a neoconservative think tank than America's last line of defense against fraud and abuse. What's more, fewer than one-fifth of the inspectors appointed by Bush had previous experience as auditors, compared to two-thirds of Clinton's appointees. "The IGs have been politicized and dumbed down," said Rep. Brad Miller, oversight chair of the House science committee.

Rather than root out wrongdoing, Bush's appointees — men with nicknames like Moose and Cookie — have actually helped the White House cover up corrupt defense contracts, conceal the theft of sensitive rocket technology and whitewash a host of scandals from Abu Ghraib to Medicare prescription drugs. "Not only has this administration been aided in avoiding scrutiny by a compliant Republican Congress, they installed inspectors general who were not going to use their positions aggressively — if at all," says Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

"Rolling Stone," eh? :ph34r:

Well, at least you'll be comforted that Grassley is at the forefront of those questioning the behavior of the executive branch in this case. He probably also objects to the proposal crafted by Congress to abandon its oversight of the inspectors general and turn it all over to the executive branch.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9070502519.html

You misspelled "spin." It has four letters, not nine.

That's a real petty response.

So you say, but you haven't really addressed the reporting from the Times except with your own petty response to which I had replied.

Does it seem the least bit odd to you that Congress now wants to release its share of IG oversight?

I'll just be proud that in America today we have President Barack H. Obama, Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, and soon-to-be Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Right ... Sotomayor. Isn't she the nominee whose recent decision in the Ricci case was flogged when it reached the Supreme Court? The liberals who dissented all implicitly rejected her reasoning. Whereas she accepted in full the reasoning of the lower court, the dissent would have remanded the case so that critical issues might have been addressed. You must be so proud!

Just for fun, try to predict the budget deficit and the unemployment rate for the end of Obama's first term.

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Guest Desperate Republicans
You must be real proud of Sotomayor after she denied the promotions of the white New Haven Firefighters who studied long and hard to score high on their promotional exams in favor of black firefighters who chose not to put in the long hours necessary to score as high.

How is the liberal brain wired that would cause one to think that was fair? Is not discrimination color-blind?

You should start by reading the the Second Circuit three-judge panel's one paragraph opinion which she joined. Nowhere in the decision do the judges suport any view in favor or against preferential treatment based on race or ethnicity. Instead, the the three judges struggled with the requirements of the Civil Rights Act and upheld the lower court's decision. She's a very careful and deliberate judge, so you're way off the mark. Here is the entire decision that you complain about:

"We affirm, substantially for the reasons stated in the thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion of the court below. In this case, the Civil Service Board found itself in the unfortunate position of having no good alternatives. We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs' expression of frustration. Mr. Ricci, for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim. To the contrary, because the Board, in refusing to validate the exams, was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact, its actions were protected."

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Right ... Sotomayor. Isn't she the nominee whose recent decision in the Ricci case was flogged when it reached the Supreme Court? The liberals who dissented all implicitly rejected her reasoning. Whereas she accepted in full the reasoning of the lower court, the dissent would have remanded the case so that critical issues might have been addressed. You must be so proud!

That's right-wing spin. Here are the final two paragraph's of the dissent in Ricci criticizing the Court's 5 judge majority:

It is indeed regrettable that the City’s noncertification decision would have required all candidates to go through another selection process. But it would have been more regrettable to rely on flawed exams to shut out candidateswho may well have the command presence and other qualities needed to excel as fire officers. Yet that is the choice the Court makes today. It is a choice that breaks the promise of Griggs that groups long denied equal oppor-tunity would not be held back by tests “fair in form, butdiscriminatory in operation.” 401 U. S., at 431.

This case presents an unfortunate situation, one New Haven might well have avoided had it utilized a better selection process in the first place. But what this case does not present is race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII. I dissent from the Court’s judgment, which rests on the false premise that respondents showed “asignificant statistical disparity,” but “nothing more.” See ante, at 27–28.

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Guest Numbers predictor
Just for fun, try to predict the budget deficit and the unemployment rate for the end of Obama's first term.

Kind of tough since it's only 3 and 1/2 months into Obama's first term, but here goes:

I think the budget deficit will continue to rise because of the prior administration's Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Iraq/Afghanistan war and the growth in debt servicing costs. Clinton left Bush a $128 billion annual SURPLUS (2001) and Bush left office with an over $400 billion annual deficit. If an unfunded national health plan is adopted, that would push the deficit even higher. I'll say $200 billion annual deficit at the end of Obama's first term and $100 billion deficit at the end of his second term. I lowered the deficit in term two with the expection of the resumption of significant economic growth.

As to the unemployment rate, that's a lagging economic indicator. With just 3 and 1/2 months into this Administration, you can't blame the current 9.5% unemployment rate on Obama. I'd say 7% at the end of Obama's first term and 4% at the end of Obama's second term.

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Guest Desperate Republicans

Mr. Walpin says he cleared the arrangement with the board's chairman, vice chairman and a third board member. Our witness was not present at that meeting but says he was present at more than one subsequent meeting of the full board during which Mr. Walpin mentioned his telecommuting arrangement without a single objection being raised from the board

Not true. This was done with a "wink and a nod". It was unauthorized. From e-mail documents recently turned over to Congress on the matter, it's clear Mr. Walpin was aware of the concerns:

-----Original Message-----

From: Tanenblatt, Eric [mailto:etanenblatt@mckennalong.com]

Sent: FridaYI January 23, 2009 8:57 AM

To: Gerald Walpin

Cc: Steve Goldsmith; Alan D. Solomont

Subject: Telecommuting arrangement

Jerry:

In advance of our upcoming MAG committee meeting, I did want to provide you with feedback from the board regarding your proposed telecommuting arrangement.

First, we recognize and appreciate the sacrifices you and your family have made the past two years. Your willingness to commute each week from New York City to Washington, D.C. speaks to your deep and personal

commitment to your responsibilities as Inspector General.

Second, we have concerns about the viability of a long-term telecommuting arrangement for a position as important as the Inspector General. It is our view that, given the need for effective leadership, and the high-profile and critical nature of the Inspector General position, a full-time telecommute arrangement is not acceptable. You have been a hands-on Inspector General, one who is willing to take the time to work through issues principally through face to face

meetings, where candid give and take has yielded in many instances better decisions for the agency. While we would expect that you would make every effort to be in Washington for critical meetings, you would lose the in-person communications that currently take place on a' daily basis. Moreover/ given the unexpected nature of IG-related matters,

telecommuting would make it difficult for you to participate optimally and in person in issues and meetings that come up without notice. In a year of transition, this is a critical time for the Corporation -- the; in-person presence of the Inspector General will be important to ensuring the best possible oversight of our agency.

Finally, in all candor, an Inspector GeneralIs recommendations are often made in contentious matters of great sensitivity and importance. It is our expectation that your telecommuting arrangement would, fairly or unfairly, detract from the force and persuasiveness of your recommendations. Thus, we are concerned that a long-term telecommuting arrangement would likely have the effect of weakening your effectivenessas Inspector General.

Duh. "Klan." You may be interested to learn that it is also the third K after Ku and Klux.

That's offensive. To use a Klan reference as a joke in a political context is beyond the pale. It's indefensible. How can a person that partisan then be objective and nonpartisan in his deliberations, as he is required to be?

You're funny. You've got nothing, so you just make noise.

The noise is the right wing trying to turn this into a scandal. It's only a matter of time before the right wing blogosphere goes after the First Lady, much like the right wing did against Hillary Clinton during the Clinton Administration. The funny part is why I even bother to engage you in discussion since this will go no further than the right wing blogosphere.

So you say, but you haven't really addressed the reporting from the Times except with your own petty response to which I had replied.

All I did was point out who our President and members of Congress are. When did stating facts become petty? As to the NY Times, I did address it. It doesn't merit any coverage beyond a blurb on page A23 with the national summaries.

Right ... Sotomayor. Isn't she the nominee whose recent decision in the Ricci case was flogged when it reached the Supreme Court? The liberals who dissented all implicitly rejected her reasoning. Whereas she accepted in full the reasoning of the lower court, the dissent would have remanded the case so that critical issues might have been addressed. You must be so proud!

Indeed I am proud of her nomination. She's a temperate and careful judge who applied existing Supreme Court (Griggs) and Circuit law to uphold the district court's decision. A split Supreme Court narrowed Griggs on statistical disparity impact analyses. As a Circuit Court judge, her obligation is to apply the law, not make it, as the Supreme Court did.

Just for fun, try to predict the budget deficit and the unemployment rate for the end of Obama's first term.

First Obama Term: $300 billion annual deficit and 7% unemployment

Second Obama Term: Surplus (like Clinton) and 5% unemployment

My turn. Just for fun, try to predict how many Supreme Court vacancies Obama will fill during his terms of office and who they will be. I think the vacancies will be Souter, Stevens, Ginsburg, Scalia and Kennedy in that order. It will be the most Justices appointed by a President since Franklin Roosevelt and will shift the Court back to the center for the next 25 years.

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