The Plank

Where Are The Talking Points?


Slate's Emily Bazelon has a good summary of the fired U.S. attorneys' day on the Hill. This caught me eye:

The Republican senators came up with only a scattershot defense. Specter questioned whether the phone calls Iglesias and McKay received from their home state politicians were actually threatening. This mostly gave the former prosecutors an opportunity to elaborate. Sen. John Kyl of Arizona complained that since only Cummins has been replaced by a Bush favorite there was no evidence that the administration's desire to install political cronies was behind the firings. Jeff Sessions of Alabama did himself no favors by attacking Carol Lam, a former U.S. attorney from the southern district of California, for her office's low number of gun cases. "It's a zero-sum game," Lam snapped back, citing her efforts to go after, um, big-time border troubles like drug and illegal-immigrant smugglers. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina reminded the ex-USAs that they'd been in office since 2001 and 2002. "Those are long stints," he said, adding that he believes in "cycling people through." Maybe so, but that hasn't been the Bush administration's explanation for the firings.

C'mon guys. We expect more.

--Isaac Chotiner

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