Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 17, 2009
POLITICS: Convicted Thieves We Can Believe In

Did the Obama Administration's "vetting" team somehow miss this?

In the annals of vetting, this will go down as the most laughable miss ever: Vivek Kundra, the D.C. official tapped by Obama to run government technology, pleaded guilty to a theft charge in 1997.

Kundra is currently suspended from his White House job as Yusuf Acar, a manager in the D.C. office Kundra headed, faces bribery charges unrelated to Kundra's 12-year-old theft. When Kundra, an advocate of free Web-based software like Gmail, was first named to the CIO post, tech enthusiasts hailed his nomination as proof that Obama took their concerns seriously. They have fallen strangely silent as Kundra's reputation has grown tarnished. One of Kundra's few remaining defenders, TechPresident's Micah Sifry, noted Kundra's work in "theft and fraud prevention" as he wrote Sunday, "We believe people are innocent until they're proven guilty, right?"

Right. Here's some guilty for you!

Maryland state records show that a Vivek Kundra pleaded guilty to a theft of less than $300, for which he received supervised probation before judgment and a fine of $500, $400 of which was suspended.

I suppose, given Obama's record of endorsements back in Chicago, it's possible that this sort of thing seemed small by comparison.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:09 PM | Politics 2009 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Make up your mind, Crank. Do you want America "looking back" and holding people accountable for their actions, or should we just "look forward" because there is too much to do if we want to survive?
Remember, "looking back" and holding people accountable is "partisan" and leads to "witch hunts" (or so you've written).

You know where I stand on it. I think "looking back" and holding people accountable will keep them from showing up on Sunday mornings and spreading their lies further when interviewed by John King, et al.

Posted by: Berto at March 17, 2009 1:53 PM

As usual, Berto, you fail to grasp the distinction between prosecuting crime and prosecuting disputes over public policy. Justice Scalia aptly described, in his majestic opinion on why the Independent Counsel statute was unconstitutional, the damage done by criminalizing political and policy disputes, none of which applies to theft:

Perhaps the boldness of the President himself will not be affected -- though I am not even sure of that. (How much easier it is for Congress, instead of accepting the political damage attendant to the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the President on trivial grounds -- or, for that matter, how easy it is for one of the President's political foes outside of Congress -- simply to trigger a debilitating criminal investigation of the Chief Executive under this law.) But as for the President's high-level assistants, who typically have no political base of support, it is as utterly unrealistic to think that they will not be intimidated by this prospect, and that their advice to him and their advocacy of his interests before a hostile Congress will not be affected, as it would be to think that the Members of Congress and their staffs would be unaffected by replacing the Speech or Debate Clause with a similar provision. It deeply wounds the President, by substantially reducing the President's ability to protect himself and his staff. That is the whole object of the law, of course, and I cannot imagine why the Court believes it does not succeed.

Besides weakening the Presidency by reducing the zeal of his staff, it must also be obvious that the institution of the independent counsel enfeebles him more directly in his constant confrontations with Congress, by eroding his public support. Nothing is so politically effective as the ability to charge that one's opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive, ineffective, but, in all probability, "crooks." And nothing so effectively gives an appearance of validity to such charges as a Justice Department investigation and, even better, prosecution. The present statute provides ample means for that sort of attack, assuring that massive and lengthy investigations will occur, not merely when the Justice Department in the application of its usual standards believes they are called for, but whenever it cannot be said that there are "no reasonable grounds to believe" they are called for. The statute's highly visible procedures assure, moreover, that, unlike most investigations, these will be widely known and prominently displayed. Thus, in the 10 years since the institution of the independent counsel was established by law, there have been nine highly publicized investigations, a source of constant political damage to two administrations.

Posted by: Crank at March 17, 2009 2:02 PM

As usual, Crank, you've failed to grasp how much of an arrogant asswipe you are...

Posted by: bill at March 17, 2009 8:23 PM

So breaking the law after taking an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United states of America is a "public policy dispute"?
All i can say, is thank God the conservative ideology has been exposed as the complete failure it has always been, and the people now trying to defend it (lawyers, no less) can't make an honest argument to defend it if their life depended on it.

Uncle Crank, tell us all about how conservatives believe in "rule of law". We love fairy tales.

Posted by: Berto at March 17, 2009 9:17 PM

The Republican mistake is, as always, being insufficiently partisan. We needed to go after Carter and Clinton for failing in a President's first duty, that of protecting the nation. The fact that these matters concerned public policy is beside the point.

Something to look forward to: After regaining power we can prosecute Obama and his minions--plus Frank, Dodd, Waters, Shumer, Rangel, etc--for corruption in regard to the mortgage debacle.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at March 18, 2009 12:15 AM


Torture, approving the use of torture and encouraging the use of torture are crimes, not "policy disputes." Take a look at the Red Cross report and see the damage Bush, Cheney and their ilk did to our country.

Oh, while you are expressing so much concern about the "unborn," how about a little Christian charity for the living? Or, are you still too busy making excuses for pedophiles and Holocaust deniers?

Posted by: Magrooder at March 18, 2009 1:50 PM

making excuses for pedophiles and Holocaust deniers

This would be the point at which you provide either supporting citations or an apology.

Posted by: Crank at March 18, 2009 2:04 PM

I'm with Crank..twice.
One in asking Magrooder for citations to back up his claims, and secondly in realizing the Catholic Church is a joke with absolutely no moral standing.

Posted by: Berto at March 18, 2009 2:26 PM
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