Patterico's Pontifications


Josh Marshall Confirms His Biskupic Theory Involved Time-Travel

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 pm

Last month I mocked the Josh Marshall crowd for bending the laws of the space-time continuum by arguing that first:

  • Steven Biskupic was put on a list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired (something Josh Marshall believed had happened on or after October 17, 2006)

and then:

  • Biskupic subsequently saved his job by bringing the Georgia Thompson prosecution (which was concluded in June 2006).

My argument was that people don’t generally take actions in response to events that have not yet happened.

In a comment to my post, Orin Kerr questioned whether Marshall had actually made that argument:

I see Marshall arguing that the baseless prosecution shows that the U.S. Attorney was under political pressure to indict Democrats in 2005, but I’m having trouble finding the claim that the prosecution was brought to get off the list after having been put on it in late 2006.

Here is Josh Marshall today:

Now, we’ve written a good bit about Biskupic. He’s the one who didn’t find the Democratic ‘vote fraud’ conspiracy Republican operatives wanted him to find. And that apparently landed him on the DOJ US Attorney firing list.

That link goes to a post that says: “As I detailed earlier this week, Biskupic was almost certainly put on the purge list in late October of 2006 . . .” Back to Marshall’s post from today:

But then he got pulled off the list. That’s made people take a second look at his prosecution of a bureaucrat in Wisconsin’s Democratic governor’s administration. That conviction got overturned by an appeals court last month. And not just overturned, but judged “beyond thin” and “preposterous” and sent back for a directed acqui[t]tal.

That raised the question: Did Biskupic get in trouble with the failure to pursue bogus ‘vote fraud’ cases and then save his job by bringing a bogus corruption case?

Note, please, the use of the word “then.”

The answer to Marshall’s question is simple: No. The corruption case was brought in January 2006 and resulted in a conviction in June 2006 — months before Marshall says Biskupic was added to the firing list. So it can’t be the case that Biskupic was added to the firing list in October 2006, and then brought a case nine months earlier, in January 2006, to get off the list that he wasn’t even on yet.

Because time, as far as we know, still moves in only one direction. It just keeps doing that, day after day, minute after minute. As They Might Be Giants put it:

You’re older than you’ve ever been.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re even older.

You’re older than you’ve ever been.
And now you’re even older.
And now you’re older still.

It still astounds me that Marshall, the alleged guru of this scandal, doesn’t see this.

At least Marshall is letting Biskupic off the hook today, but because he’s heard good things about Biskupic — not because his theory defies all known laws of physics.

12 Responses to “Josh Marshall Confirms His Biskupic Theory Involved Time-Travel”

  1. None of the conspiracy theories about any of this make sense, and they are all made by people who are only interested in the subject if there is some grand conspiracy behind it.

    The TRUTH is that the whole episode — which includes both the removal of US Attorneys and the “secret” authorization given to Sampson and Goodling to hire/fire senior DOJ management who were not Presidential appointees — was all about creating openings in politically plum positions so that administration loyalists could fill those positions over the last 24 months of the Admin. Its simply the “spoils” system in is lowest form.

    How would you get a friend/loyalist named US Attorney when all 93 jobs are filled? You force some to resign, thereby creating openings. Now you have places for people like Griffin, Paulose, and Rachel Brand to go and serve as US Attorney. Same with DOJ management positions in the various DOJ litigation divisions.

    Sampson and Goodling know they would only have that ability through Jan 2009 — assuming the whole episode hadn’t come to light and caused such controversy — so they had to act in 2006 in order to begin putting people in place in 2007.

    This is how people who are politically connected and want to have important “titles” on their resume accomplish it.

    And it was no different in the Clinton Admin at the same point in time. The last two years under Reno saw a non-stop parade of new appointees to various positions both at Main Justice and among the US Attorneys.

    If anyone wanted to take the time they could go back through all the US Attorneys in the 93 districts from 1996 to 2000, and see how many of those offices turned over, and look at the resumes of the people who were appointed to serve out in that position for the remainder of Clinton’s second term.

    The fact is that the “First Teamers” in any Presidential Administration begin to exit in the last 2-3 years in order to “cash in” on their time in government by taking lucrative jobs in the private sector. This makes room for the “Second” and “Third Teamers” to take their place. Sampson and Goodling were put in charge of picking out who among the Second and Third team got such rewards.

    wls (859dc4)

  2. This is off-topic, but I’d like to thank you, Patterico.

    You see, I just accidentally ran into a Debbie Schlussel post a few days ago, and…my god. I’m not a conservative, but I think it’s good to talk with people who will at least engage you in relatively reasonable conversation. I’ve found that here most of the time.

    But I’ve never been attacked like that before. I was just asking, rather naively perhaps, why she seemed to immediately assume that every violent event that happened in the US was carried out by “Paki” Islamic extremists (I have a few Pakistani friends, and that is a slur if you don’t know).

    A few hours later, I was subjected to what is I guess the standard all-caps assault calling me all sorts of names I won’t repeat. Anyway, thanks for providing a reasonable forum Patterico, and not calling me a Nazi if I disagree with you.

    Russell (13a51a)

  3. “The last two years under Reno saw a non-stop parade of new appointees to various positions both at Main Justice and among the US Attorneys.”

    Just curious.
    I’d like to see the numbers on that.

    AF (d700ef)

  4. WLS, no doubt a big part of the motivation for the attorney firings was the “spoils system” as you put it. But I think it’s far from clear that it’s not also about removing some highly inconvenient attorneys. Look at the Carol Lam case. She was in the midst of some very major investigations, yet Elston insisted she would have to be out in “weeks not months”. If the motive was really solely to make room for “Second” and “Third Teamers” why not grant her request for time to wrap up?

    Crust (399898)

  5. Link for “weeks, not months” quote.

    Just to be clear: this is grounds for suspicion, but it is circumstantial and obviously not dispositive.

    Crust (399898)

  6. Miers wanted Debra Wong Yang gone too. And there’s Comey’s testimony yesterday and this, a note to TPM from a prosecutor in Washingtone State:

    Apparently during Comey’s testimony today he said that one of the reasons McKay got himself in hot water with the DOJ heavyweights was because he was pushing for additional resources to investigate the murder of Tom Wales, who was an Assistant US Attorney in Seattle. Tom Wales was shot and killed in 2001. What nobody has talked about, and what you may not be aware of, is the fact that Tom Wales was extremely active in attempting to get tighter gun control laws passed here in Washington.

    Think about that for a second. A pro-gun control federal prosecutor was shot and killed. John McKay was agitating for more resources to bring his killer to justice. That pissed off DOJ, who apparently thought that McKay should spend his time going after bogus voter fraud prosecutions rather than solve the murder of a guy who was in favor of gun control. If you don’t think the fact that Tom Wales’ political views weren’t taken into consideration by the higher ups at DOJ when they decided to punish McKay for fighting to find his killer, you haven’t been paying attention to the way these guys have operated for the last 6 years. Every single thing they do is about politics, and the political views of those they help or hurt.

    Maybe the writer is pushing a bit, but maybe not. Once everything gets reduced to simple politics it’s pretty easy to push it into real corruption. WLS argues that it never got that low, but it’s not that clear at all.

    AF (d700ef)

  7. I’m surprised they haven’t implicated Rove in the shooting yet.

    I’m still amazed how anyone with half a brain can say there was no evidence of voter fraud in the ’04 Washington race. Mystery ballots turning up just in time to tip the recount in Gregiore’s favor, more ballots counted than registered voters, admittedly fabricated records, and that’s just King county.

    Taltos (c99804)

  8. “I’m surprised they haven’t implicated Rove in the shooting yet.”
    You mean I think that you’re suprised no one’s tried.

    “Had anyone at the Justice Department or the White House ordered me to pursue any matter criminally in the 2004 governor’s election, I would have resigned,” McKay said. “There was no evidence, and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury.”

    I gues if you’re willing to believe fantasies about people you like, then you’ll probably believe fantasies about people you don’t.

    AF (d700ef)

  9. As I’ve said before, McKay can say there was no evidence until he’s blue in the face, it’s bullshit. A 9 year old could look at the facts in the ’04 election and tell you it was fishy. The sheer fact that King county openly admitted to falsifying records should have prompted an investigation by itself.

    Taltos (c99804)

  10. Taltos:

    A 9 year old could look at the facts in the ‘04 election and tell you it was fishy. The sheer fact that King county openly admitted to falsifying records should have prompted an investigation by itself.

    McKay did think it was fishy enough to do a preliminary investigation “despite the hesitation of Craig Donsanto, the longtime chief of the Election Crimes branch of the Department of Justice” (source: AF’s link). After that, he concluded that there was no evidence warranting pursuing it further.

    Crust (399898)

  11. Causality is so passe’.

    Rob Crawford (46b1a4)

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