Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bravo Katherine

Once again, while the Strib and Nick Coleman are busy stuffing their agenda down the throats of readers, it falls on columnist Katherine Kersten to do the actual reporting. This time it is in defense of U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose, who has been characterized as a bible-thumping, unqualified, partisan Bushie appointee. Kersten points out that nothing could be further from the truth:

The first thing to get clear is that Paulose is a legal superstar. She graduated from Yale Law School and has worked at two of the nation's most prestigious law firms, as well as the U.S. Justice Department. The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed her to her current position.

Paulose also had experience as a federal prosecutor before she became U.S. attorney here. From 1999 to 2002, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for Minnesota in both the civil and criminal divisions.

In contrast, recent highly regarded U.S. attorneys such as David Lillehaug and James Rosenbaum (who was 36 when he was appointed) had no federal prosecutorial experience when they started the job. In fact, only two of the five U.S. attorneys who preceded Paulose had federal prosecutorial experience.

And Paulose's age? Fourteen individuals under 35 have been nominated to serve as U.S. attorneys during the Clinton and Bush administrations, according to the Office of Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of Justice. The youngest was 29. Robert Kennedy was 35 when he became attorney general of the United States.

If Paulose is a Republican hack out to pervert justice, why are many prominent Democrats among her most ardent supporters?

Read on to hear ringing endorsements for Paulose from Democrats who find her non-political, extraordinarily qualified, inherently fair and driven by the law. The post would be too long if I listed them all.

For her part, Kersten has a theory as to the character assassination that has followed Paulose since her appointment:

She's young, female, a "person of color" and an immigrant. (Her grandfather came here from India with $7 in his pocket in the 1960s, she has said, and the rest of the family followed.) If she were a political liberal -- as such people are expected to be -- she would be the toast of the town. But she's not. In some folks' view, such renegades must be run out of the public arena quickly before other minority folks get similar uppity, independent ideas.

"Such folks" such as Nick Coleman I presume, who said Paulose's only qualifications were:

1) A member of the conservative Federalist Society and 2) A friend of Monica Goodling, a deeply religious aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

If anyone's saw Coleman's pointless FOx 9 "commentary" about his gas card and how its $50 limit isn't enough to fill his gas tank anymore, one might wonder over his qualifications. Clearly he didn't bother to interview anyone who knew Paulose. That's work. Angry, bitter, talking points are so much easier and have so much more appeal for his fan base.

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