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Q: When does the U.S. Department of Justice, once one of the most highly respected law enforcement organizations in the world, behave like an organized crime family?
A: When it’s under the control of a man named “Fredo.”
The Department of Justice continues its flat-out efforts at obstruction of Congressional oversight and investigation. And the latest act in this comic opera: it orders the head of the voting rights section, John Tanner, not to appear or testify before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating wrongdoing in his section. TPM Muckraker reports:
The House Judiciary Committee was set to hold a hearing on the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights section tomorrow, but no more. That’s because the Justice Department has refused to allow the chief of the section, John Tanner, to testify. The committee has postponed the hearing until the Department allows Tanner to appear.
A career employee at the Department, Tanner worked hand in hand with political appointees Bradley Schlozman and Hans von Spakovsky to ensure the passage of voter identification laws in Georgia and elsewhere — sometimes overruling the recommendations of staff analysts and attorneys, who found that the laws might discriminate against African American voters.
Both Schlozman and von Spakovsky endured hard questioning during testimony last month. Tanner would have gotten the same treatment.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”