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Taking a break from suing states, Obama's Justice Department wins hundreds of awards from itself

Democrats Eric Holder attorney general and his boss president barack obama

Reassuring news today for those who worried that the Obama administration's Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder had been overwhelmed by their workload:

Dropping the Black Panther voter intimidation case.

Not closingDemocrat attorney general eric Holder the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Suing Arizona for trying to do the federal job of securing the porous Mexican border against drug and human smugglers.

Fighting in federal court to uphold the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law on gays in the military that Obama often says he really, really opposes and will certainly change someday on his watch.

Ditto for the department's ongoing legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Even though top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett got caught on an interview video recently kinda letting the cat out of the bag about the White House view of gay being a lifestyle choice.

But she apologized for the revelation.

The nation's top law enforcement officer has never seen a podium he couldn't use.

Somehow in his otherwise crippling schedule that took him to China last month, Holder managed to squeeze in time to preside today over another of his department's awards ceremonies.HolderpodiumlkleftLiuJinAFPGtty10-10

There was even one unconfirmed report that Holder got caught smiling. But only for a moment.

The awards list is impressive, including some exceptional heroism awards for brave anti-drug folks dangerously deployed in Afghanistan where the gunfire is worse even than in Washington, D.C..

There were more than 300 awards.

They involved included employees honored for distinguished service, lifetime service, exceptional service, cooperative service, excellence in legal advice, information technology, management, handling of legislation, appeals services, asset forfeiture, fraud fighting, legal services, dispute resolution and for being a good new employee.

The president himself could not make the ceremony. He was doing what this president chooses to do five days before midterm elections -- go on Comedy Central, since all the nation's other problems are so well under control.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press; Department of Justice; Liu Jin / AFP / Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (10)

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I'm not impressed by the performance of the DoJ recently either, but this article is seems snarky without much substance behind it.

If there are people in the DoJ doing good work, why shouldn't they be recognized and encouraged by the DoJ? Many public and private organizations have award ceremonies for significant employee accomplishments.

Was the selection of people for recognition based on political connections instead of actual accomplishments? If so, then the LAT has a story. If not, publications of this sort diminish its reputation as a leading news service.

This isn't really news. It's like saying the military won awards from itself when soldiers are given a medal, or McDonalds won an award from itself when it named an employee of the month. The awards are for individuals within the DOJ. There's nothing wrong with the DOJ recognizing the performance of their employees, regardless of whether you like what they're doing.

This is a decades-old annual tradition and a big deal in DOJ. The AG was there because he's the guy who hands out the Attorney General's Awards. If he hadn't been there, it would have been a bigger deal and bad for morale. Disagree with his policies and politics all you want (Lord knows I do), but it's his institutional obligation as the head of this big organization to host this ceremony to recognize special achievements, build camaraderie, and give employees incentives to do exceptional work.

Could you perhaps explain what the problem is with the chief of an Executive Branch Department being involved in handing out distinguished service awards to Department employees? Seems to me that guys named Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Comey, (and Reno) did the same thing. Not to mention pretty much every other chief of every federal department for as far back as I can remember. In fact, even in the military, busy generals take time out to pin medals on soldiers, and even to re-enlist some of them...

Way to go guys! You're the absolute best of the best of the best!

It kinda reminds me of the Academy Awards. You know, where a bunch of pompous donkeys get together, pat themselves on the back and tell themselves how great they are.

Nobody else is going to give them awards. Why not ? Keep up morale until the adults come back and clean the place out.

Given how many are out there, why isn't there an Award for Best Awards Ceremony?

Excellent snark, Mr. Malcolm.

They should all congratulate themselves for the ongoing CIA drug runnnig coverup .

See Mad Cow Morning news and google CIA Drug Running documenting 50 years of criminality.

Sounds like the DOJ is handing out a whole mess of Dundie awards to the staff.

Eric Holder will go down in history as white America"s enemy.
We have no justice in an injustice dept. that will not prosecute black on
white crime, or repeated instances of voter fraud. Any justice employees
remaining who believe in the job they should be doing, should resign in


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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