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Today, former Kansas City U.S. Attorney Brad Schlozman is set to make his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee (he had bowed out of the date originally proposed by the committee, stating that he would be “on vacation”). In preparation for his appearance, the Los Angeles Times provides a solid backgrounder. Schlozman, the Times reports, was viewed by career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division as “the enemy.” His major functions there consisted of attempting to pack the division with unqualified political hacks and pushing the notion of Jim Crow-style legislation designed to limit access of minorities to the ballot box, particularly in states like Georgia, with a long track record of voting rights abuse.
After his appointment to Kansas City, Schlozman immediately moved electoral manipulation to the top of his office’s agenda.
One of Schlozman’s priorities was filing a suit against a black political boss in Mississippi who was allegedly violating the rights of white voters. The complaint was the first time the Justice Department ever claimed that whites suffered discrimination in voting because of race. The case is pending.
The department also began aggressively enforcing a law requiring states to maintain accurate voter registration lists. On Schlozman’s watch, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in November 2005 against the state of Missouri, where in some counties the number of registered voters exceeded the voting-age population. The government said the lists were rife with potential for fraud.
Todd Graves, then the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, reportedly had reservations about the suit, and refused to sign the complaint. Graves, who has said he was ordered to resign last year by department headquarters, is also scheduled to testify at Tuesday’s congressional hearing.
Graves’s clashes with Schlozman over voter manipulation issues apparently led to a discussion to demand his resignation. Today Murray Waas offers further detail in the Huffington Post about Graves’s conflicts with main Justice that led to his dismissal, including a heart-wrenching pharmaceuticals fraud case that Graves handled but in which main Justice was uninterested.
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.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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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.'”