Monday, May 27, 2013

Where's My Lawyer?

Two papers; two puff pieces; two pictures exactly the same.   It's time for us to meet the president's lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler.

Ironically both the Times and WaPo thought Sunday night was the right time.  Both have pieces on her (using the same file photo) in which they tell us how tough-minded and fair she is, oh, and did you know she helped take down Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay from Enron?  She wears stiletto heels as well.  Don't misunderestimate this woman, GOP!

According to both articles this woman was an outsider to the Obama inner circle but Barack wanted her for his counsel and nobody else--he wanted "Kathy".   Apparently she put in some time with Bill Clinton's White House counsel's office as a staffer in the late 90s, getting a taste of the big leagues.  So while she may not be an insider she certainly seems like a fellow traveler.

Hard to say why WaPo and the Times both went to press on the same story on the same night other than the usual--Plouffe or others in the White House called and asked them to, maybe in an effort to improve her image before another grueling week of IRS revelations and perhaps new shifts and twists in the rubbery and unbelievable narrative.   Maybe they are focusing on her gender, after all Obama has been criticized for not having enough women in roles of importance.  Others may have better ideas.

A quick search of Ruemmler provides something that neither the Times nor the Post went into much detail about, her involvement in the non-recess recess appointments:
Over what would have traditionally been the 2011-2012 winter recess of the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives did not assent to recess, specifically to block Richard Cordray's appointment as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.[5] As a result, both the House and Senate held pro forma sessions.[6] On January 4th, 2012, President Obama claimed authority to appoint Richard Cordray and others under the Recess Appointments Clause.
Counsel Ruemmler asserted that the appointments were valid, because the pro forma sessions were designed to, "through form, render a constitutional power of the executive obsolete," and that the Senate was for all intents and purposes recessed.[7] Republicans in the Senate disputed the appointments, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stating that Obama had "arrogantly circumvented the American people" with the appointments. It was expected that there would be a legal challenge to the appointments.[8]
Two circuit court of appeals rulings have now stated the appointments were invalid. For some reason that hasn't been noticed amongst the main three blockbusters, or as Rand Paul says, so many scandals it's sort of like an "old MacDonald's farm" kind of thing (here a scandal, there a scandal, everywhere a scandal) where some things are just going to slip by unnoticed.

MORE  5/27/13

The Times is trying to help out in other ways today (they are apparently using Memorial Day weekend to reload).  This article blames the victims and justifies the extra scrutiny because, gasp, Tea Party groups applying for 501c4 actually had a political preference that wasn't named Obama.

Let's see, how long did it take the IRS to approve "Organizing for Action", a group run by ex White House officials with a nudge from the president himself, for their c4 status?  Not that long.   Hint to the Times--it's not the scrutiny, it's the disparity, especially in an election season.  But they know that.


They shouldn't be amazing, but the stories coming out of the mainstream and Washington press are indeed amazing.  Here's NBC News making the GOP the focus of the scandals:
And as recently as Thursday, as top Republicans continued to voice their conspiracy theories about the IRS, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, Republicans’ chief deputy whip, conceded again there’s no evidence that Obama had been involved in the IRS abuses. “There’s no evidence that leads it to the Oval Office,” he said on “Daily Rundown” on Thursday. “And I think this is a situation where we need to be very careful and get the facts out and not come to conclusions and speculations before the facts speak for themselves.”
Just 'mad lib' conspiracy theories. That meme is illustrated here, along with the notion that all these pesky scandals may stop the administration from doing the important work of changing America into a Euro-socialist paradise:
McDonough, as has been widely reported, wants to cap at 10 percent the amount of White House time that gets spent responding to the furors of the moment rather than advancing the president’s broader agenda. Among other White House staff, solace is taken from a number of factors. First, they believe that there is no direct link between the president and any of the misbehavior that is being probed. Second, they contend that the only thing that could truly jeopardize him, or his top aides, is inappropriate meddling in future investigations or those currently underway. Third, they say that maintaining a steady focus on the large issues of national importance will pay off in the long run.
And Nixon went to China. All of this via leaks and whispers from the White House to reporters, of course. CBS News approaches from a different angle--how the scandals are bringing the GOP together and 'empowering' them to team up against the good guys:
Long-peddled questions about how the administration handled an attack last Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya, were recently joined by news that the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed reporters' phone records. And then there was the conservatives' crown jewel: An inspector general's report that showed members of the Internal Revenue Service targeted tea party groups for excessive review of their tax-exempt status.
Wonder if CBS ever used 'long-peddled' or 'crown jewels' to describe the Democrats notion that Bush lied about Iraqi WMDs?  To their credit, ABC News seems to be taking the holiday off from telling us what's not important.   But that won't last.  Again, if anyone thinks this press corpse is going to easily switch sides they should be checked by a doctor.

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