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The Brennan Center at NYU has released an important study of the conduct of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division over the last three-years. The shorter version would be to say that scare quotes now need to be attached to the words “Justice” and “Civil Rights,” because what’s going on there is quite the opposite of what those labels imply. “The Bush administration engaged in a three-year effort to suppress likely Democratic votes,” says the report.
Of course, everyone who watched Brad Schlozman testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee knows this already. The real shocker in the Brennan report was the statement that the career employees of the Division – 55% of them – have departed, either being hounded out or leaving in disgust over what was happening. It’s not surprising that conscientious, career lawyers would abandon the rat and rot infested vessel under the command of the man known to his closest friends by the mafia moniker – “Fredo.”
The real worry is about those who are left aboard. Increasingly this is becoming what was known in the literature of the High Middle Ages as a ship of fools (Narrenschyff):
Ja würt all gschrifft vnd ler veracht/Die gantz welt lebt in finstrer nacht/Vnd dût in sünden blint verharren/All strassen/gassen/sindt voll narren.
”All scripture and learning they detest/they bring the world into darkest night/and wallow in sin and blindness/all streets and alleys are full of fools.”
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her “the woman’s place is in the home,” in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."