Thursday, September 15, 2011

When the right wing gets the story the left missed (update)

Every now and then it can be fascinating to read what the right wing extremists are reporting on the Obama administration. That's because many times they get stories the left miss completely.

As those who read here regularly know, I'm very interested in what Attorney General Eric Holder is doing to reform the Department of Justice after the havoc wreaked by the Bush administration. And in particular, the excellent work of Tom Perez in running the Civil Rights Division.

So where did I find more amazing news about what's going on? None other than the right wing extremist rag known as Pajamas Media. They went to the trouble of obtaining and analyzing the resumes of 106 lawyers hired to work in the Civil Rights Division of DOJ. And of course, I had the opposite reaction they did to what they found. Overall, here's how they reported the results:

A scoring update is in order. So far, PJMedia has profiled 106 new career attorneys hired into the Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration. The results:

Leftist lawyers hired: 106

Moderate, non-ideological, or conservative lawyers hired: 0.

Any lawyer who has actual experience in dealing with civil rights is, by definition, considered "leftist" by them. Only those with experience going after so-called "reverse discrimination" are considered to be "moderate, non-ideological or conservative." So keep that in mind.

But look at some of the examples they found (I'll edit here for brevity):

Chiraag Bains

Meanwhile, as an undergraduate, he interned at the liberal Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he co-wrote a guide to assist convicted felons in gaining the right to vote. He also worked with the SEIU local chapter, and was an active member of Amnesty International. Little wonder that he won a Soros Fellowship for New Americans, upon which he described his dream of pursuing a career in “human rights and distributive justice.”

Tona Boyd

While serving as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, she wrote an article titled “Confronting Racial Disparity: Legislative Responses to the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” in which she argued that tough law enforcement policies against violent youth should be abandoned, because they tend to “cast too wide a net, failing to differentiate between gangs and other group criminal activity, and could exacerbate the problem of disproportionate minority contact.”

Cindy Chung

...her service as managing editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, which describes its mission as “publish[ing] interdisciplinary works related to feminism and gender-related issues with the aim of promoting dialogue, debate, and awareness around an expansive view of feminism embracing women and men of different colors, classes, sexual orientations, and cultures.”

Fara Gold

During her undergraduate days, she worked as a counselor at a rape crisis center in Georgia and vowed thereafter to spend her life helping victims. She writes that she contemplated going into social work but ultimately felt that she could assist victims more effectively as a prosecutor.

Carroll McCabe

Ms. McCabe was hired into the Section after spending her entire career as a personal injury and criminal defense attorney, concentrating the bulk of her time representing murderers facing the death penalty...her membership in both the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Organization of Hispanics and Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County on her resume served as the ticket to admission.

Saeed Mody

While a law student at the University of Texas-Austin, he served as vice-president of the Muslim Student Lawyers Association and worked in the criminal defense clinic. He also clerked for the Texas Civil Rights Project, where he assisted the NAACP in suing the Austin Police Department for alleged brutality.

Ryan Murgula

Most prominently, he headed the Illinois chapter of Young Latino Professionals for Obama in 2008. He also received scholarships from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) as well as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Nicole Ndumele

During law school — where she was named an NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Scholar — she co-founded the Multi-Racial Law Students Association and served on the Executive Board of the Black Law Students Association.

Christine Siscaretti

But Civil Rights Division officials were surely impressed by her service on the Third World Law Journal at Boston College Law School. This journal characterizes its mission as providing “a forum for discussing legal issues affecting people, cultures, and institutions that share a common history of colonialism, oppression, under-representation, and marginalization in the political and economic processes.”

WOW, pretty impressive bunch, huh?

Of course, Pajama's Media doesn't specifically mention the race of these individuals. But they send out enough dog whistles that you get the point, right?

It's too bad the left isn't paying as much attention to this sort of thing that the right is. I'm not happy - believe me - for any clicks I might give or send to a publication like that. But that's because we're missing the story here and they're not. I'm afraid that happens too often.

UPDATE: Of course, the right wing media also gives us crap like this one Benen reports on today. So of course, you must always tread carefully.


  1. Mo'nin', Ms. Pants

    I was SO happy when PBO selected Eric Holder to be the Attorney General. Over-all, he, to me, is doing an EXcellent job and pretty much what I'd hoped he'd do.

    And, were it not for how you are digging in to find out he he is continuing to turn Justice around, who would know??

    Indeed, this is not being disclosed anywhere except in this upside down fashion.

    You know how impressed I am by you, but I had NO idea that you were a "contortionist" :-). This is just GREAT news. Hopefully, this will spread because this needs to be known.

    As always, THANK YOU for all you do.

    Have a better one today.

  2. An addendum, Ms. Pants...

    Ahhhh, yes...

    Stokely in a dress (that green and black number she wore last night....) STRIKES again!

    Right here is where, if I could, I'd put the eye roll face.

  3. Ha-ha - a contortionist, huh?

    Well, it was sort-of creepy to spend time at a site like that. But who else is telling this story?

  4. You are amazing for finding this. It's a great story. Keep up the amazing job you're doing. Your contribution is extremely vital.

  5. Thanks Tien Le.

    I'm glad folks agree with me that this is a big story. I hope we can get the word out.

    I work with a lot of African American professionals. At one point I started hearing this meme from them that Obama isn't doing enough for that community. When I started passing on information like this - they changed their tune. Its powerful stuff!

  6. Thank you for this, Ms. Pants.
    Re other initiatives that folks like the CBC might want to check-out and hype:

    Specifics for new fiscal year 2012:

  7. Any lawyer who has actual experience in dealing with civil rights is, by definition, considered "leftist" by them. Only those with experience going after so-called "reverse discrimination" are considered to be "moderate, non-ideological or conservative." So keep that in mind.

    Did you post something explaining this? Conservatives are not strong proponents of civil rights, as they are not especially passionate about them, so what they are saying is that we did not hire enough inexperienced attorneys with no passion for the field in which they would be working.

    How many liberal lobbying do they think Perry should hire to promote his candidacy?

  8. John - You're right, I should have done a better job of explaining that.

    Or perhaps I could have linked to this post I wrote a couple of months ago.


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