Quit-while-you’re-behind Dep’t

John Tanner, late of the Voting Rights Section, writes a letter to Mary Frances Berry after being caught on email saying that he wants his coffee “Mary Frances Berry style: black and bitter.” He shoulda stood in bed. Eric Holder’s problem is what to do with all the folks just like him now burrowed in to civil service positions at DoJ.

So the clown Ashcroft put in to run the Voting Rights Section at DoJ said in an email that he wanted his coffee “Mary Frances Berry style: black and bitter.” When that came out in an Inspector General report, the clown (John Tanner) felt moved to write a letter of apology. He shoulda stood in bed.

I don’t envy Eric Holder the job of purging the people that people like Tanner left behind them, safely burrowed in to civil service positions. But I’m sure that the very serious problems Alaskan Natives face in securing the right to vote, and battling other forms of discrimination against them, warrant the creation of a Civil Rights Division field office in Nome, or perhaps in some more rural area of Alaska. The urgency is so great that it’s worth setting up such an office even if only a poorly-heated and drafty building can be found to house it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com