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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 — 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.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”