Kick ’em when they’re down

Piling  on

Pawn tries not to pile-on the easy political topics. There is only so much interest in the latest flap in the US Attorney imbroglio, for example, and not much reward in picking the low-hanging fruit. Sometimes, though, one just cannot pass it up.

Here, then, in the very spirit of a White House that thought nothing of trying to slip the domestic spying program past then debilitated A.G. John Ashcroft:

“I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me. I thought he had conducted himself — and I said to the attorney general — in a way that demonstrated a strength that I had never seen before, but still I thought it was improper,” [former Deputy A.G. James B.] Comey told the [Senate Judiciary] committee.
Aide: Sick Ashcroft pressed to approve domestic spying – CNN.com

Slate has no similar compunction, and pile-on they do in their new interactive guide to graft, corruption and incompetence in the current administration:

Having a hard time keeping track of all 10,000 GOP scandals? Between fired U.S. attorneys, deleted RNC e-mails, sexually harassed pages, outed CIA agents, and tortured Iraqi prisoners—not to mention the warrantless wiretapping, plum defense contracts, and golf junkets to Scotland—you could be forgiven for losing track of which congressman or Bush administration flunky did which shady thing. Renzi—now, was that the guy with the skeezy land deal? Or the woman Paul Wolfowitz promoted?
An illustrated guide to Republican scandals. – By Holly Allen, Christopher Beam, and Torie Bosch – Slate Magazine

In a bookend to the testimony of Ashcroft’s Deputy, Comers, we have the resignation of his successor, Paul McNulty. The ranks are getting might thin over there at Justice:

Mr. McNulty, the fourth and highest-ranking Justice Department official to resign since the uproar began in Congress over the dismissals of the United States attorneys, had told friends for weeks that he was planning to step aside.
Gonzales’s Deputy Quits Justice Department – New York Times

Mr. Wolfowitz, is prominently featured in most guides to bad governance. Ironically while he tries to promote good governance at the World Bank, his top aide in good governance and transparency had to step down because Wolfowitz’s own ethical lapses have made the job untenable. The bank is now calling for Wolfowitz to follow his aide out the door.

The report charged that Mr. Wolfowitz broke bank rules and the ethical obligations in his contract, and that he tried to hide the salary and promotion package awarded to Shaha Ali Riza, his companion and a bank employee, from top legal and ethics officials in the months after he became bank president in 2005.
Citing what it said was the “central theme” of the matter, the report said Mr. Wolfowitz’s assertions that what he did was in response to the requests of others showed that “from the outset” of his tenure he “cast himself in opposition to the established rules of the institution.”
“He did not accept the bank’s policy on conflict of interest, so he sought to negotiate for himself a resolution different from that which would be applied to the staff he was selected to head,” the committee said, adding that this was “a manifestation of an attitude in which Mr. Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply.”
Bank’s Report Says Wolfowitz Violated Ethics – New York Times

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