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Monday, March 26, 2007
Drawing on U.S. attorneys
Our latest installment of “Drawing on” finds three I-Report cartoonists taking on the controversy surrounding the firing of 8 U.S. attorneys. (Check out the earlier rounds here: Gas prices, Walter Reed, Academy Awards, Iran and Iraq, Anna Nicole Smith.)

Scroll down to see them all, then let us know which one you like best -- and why -- by posting a comment. Better yet, send your own cartoon response.

Take 1: 'Meanwhile…' - Cartoonist Jim Brenneman

Take 2: 'Amateur!' - Cartoonist Dean Turnbloom

Take 3: ‘Not what she had in mind' - Cartoonist Brixton Doyle

Now it’s your turn. Tell us which cartoon is best by sending a comment, or pick up your pen and draw your own take on this week's topic.
While they all represent different viewpoints, Mr. Doyle's is the only one that brings out the disgust that I personally feel towards our Attorney General. This man has, even before taking this office, demonstrated a lack of integrity, a willingness to do whatever the administration wants, right or wrong. He was a terrible choice for AG by a terrible choice for POTUS.
I'm disgusted by the 'witch hunt' these politicians are putting on regarding the firing of US attorneys. As Dean pointed out in his cartoon, where were these people when Bill Clinton fired all US attorneys when he was in office? These people's sole motive is to destroy this administration, while more serious work are left undone. Tell me what's the last thing this congress had done that's really beneficial to the country? All they ever do is bickering and blame each other. It's all a political act. They call them self lawmakers but they don't even have the decency to respect the constitution and the separation of power that the constitution grants the presidency. These politicians make me want to throw up.
Alright Bill!

Michael from NY (the bluest of the blue territory) is at it again...been reading those left-wing blogs again, eh Mikey? This little canard of a "scandal" was pumped up months after the firings happened only to draw attention away from the fact that the Dems are woefully out of step with each other, let alone the nation. If they muster up enough hatred for President Bush to get a Dem elected (and I'm thinking it's going to be a Gore/Clinton ticket eventually), they will implode and the Republicans will again take over the Senate, if not the House...although they are not that much better...
What this country needs is a third party with the cajones to stand up to the lobbyists and special interests and do what is right, not what's politically expedient.
For once I agree with Chuck - almost. We are in need of a third party to stand up to the special interests and lobbyists - like the K Street Project and Abramoff. We need enormous reform at the highest levels of government, and I think term limits for Senators and Representatives would be a good place to start.

I do, however, believe that the AG office has been little more than a rubber stamp for the Executive branch since this administration started. One of my reforms would be for it to be completely and utterly independent of party politics.

As for the cartoons, I find Doyle's to be the most interesting. Even many republicans are disillusioned with the job Gonzales has done, and I would only take exception to his depiction of being blinded - I believe his actions were carried out knowingly and even defiantly.

I also like Mr. Brenneman's take. A handful of US Attorney jobs pale in comparison to thousands of dead Americans and Iraqis.

If you had read my post, you would have noticed that I was not solely referring to this scandal, made up or not. I was referring to a long record of disrespecting the constitution. If anything this guy is worse than Ashcroft.

You're right, we do need a third party, but I warn you, the Neo-Cons in office now will brand it as un-American, and fill the media with lies about everyone involved with it. Their typical tactics. Then you and others like you will spout the same talking points to demonstrate how this fictional new party shouldn't even have a chance at election.

I don't care about the Democrats, they're as much to blame as anyone for the shambles our country is in, so don't try playing the Blue vs. Red card. That's just more rhetoric from the Neo-Cons to be divisive. Wait...Didn't Bush say he was a uniter? Yet another lie.

And Bill, If you take any one scandal that's come out around the Neo-Cons, it would be no big deal. Trouble is it's not one scandal, there are tons of them and they all demonstrate a lack of respect for the people of the country and the constitution which they are sworn to preserve, protect and defend.
No reasonable debate can be had when even the simplest truths are ignored. No nuance can enter a discussion when parties claim the sky is not blue, water is not wet and fire does not burn.

Mr. Turnbloom's cartoon, while amusing, is incorrect. Chuck, from AZ's condescending agreement is equally incorrect, not for opinion sake, but for deliberate adherence to a blatantly obvious falsehood- being: President Bush's firing of 8 US Attorneys is nothing compared to Clinton's 93. This is a lie issued as a talking point from Karl Rove to muddy the waters of fact.

Presidents, to put their imprimatur on their administrations, replace the entire roster of United States attorneys at the beginning of their terms- Ronald Regan did it in 1981, George H. W. Bush did it in 1989. Bill Clinton did it in 1993 and YES IN FACT, George W. Bush did the very same in 2001.

Karl Rove himself has stated that the entire tally for Clinton in USA appointments (initial ones and replacements, some with 4 year service, etc.) rose to 123 for his eight year administration. George Bush's tally of appointments (and replacements) so far? 128. Not 8.

What presidents don't do is replace USAs midstream. However, the President is within his rights to do so. So what makes these 8 firings so suspect? It's that the they appear to be for political reasons, an en-masse firing, and not individual cases.

In a January 2005 response to an e-mail from Karl Rove, Kyle Sampson, AG Gonzales' Chief of Staff, said, "As an operational matter, we would like to replace 15-20 percent of the current U.S. attorneys- the underperforming ones..." What of the others? Stated Sampson, "The vast majority of U.S. attorneys, 80-85 percent I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies, etc. etc."

The slate might have been wider- even ALL the USAs, mid-administration (!), per Harriet Meyer's initial suggestion. Why such an audacious suggestion? Because the entire raft of USAs would have bypassed Senate confirmation. Imagine all federal prosecutors appointed foremost on loyalty and not legal prowess, bypassing Congressional oversight. That coup would have been too red-flag obvious, (ask Mr. Sampson) so the list of targets was whittled down.

What the Congress is now endeavoring to do is find out the facts on whether these unprecedented firings were politically motivated. That's important to the very core of our democracy, in that the law is (or is supposed to be) sacrosanct, beyond and not beholden to ANY political party.

I don't suppose that even with fact in hand, the false diversionary tactic of blaming Clinton will subside. I'm curious though. George Bush has been President for over 6 years now. When does he officially bear responsibility for his administration? And as for Bill from LA's assertion that "These people's sole motivation is to destroy this administration..." the administration is doing fine. The US is hemmhoraging jobs, the middle class is becoming extinct, illegal immigration is running rampant, gas prices are through the roof, our environment is woefully degraded, and worst of the worst, the best of our country's best-our men and women are being blown to bits in a civil war in Iraq that flourishes because of this administration's bungling. The Bush administration is fine, the rest of us? Not so good.
I thought after Ashcroft left that they stopped covering the breasts of Justice Department statues.
Jim Brenneman
A former Marine and current cartoonist who penned this, this, this and this

Jake Novak
CNN producer by day, comedian by night

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