Fred Van Valkenburg is back from vacation today, and I do not envy him his voice mailbox. Probably he checked it while he was away. We know he read the paper, because he sent attorney Jim Ghidella an angry email after Ghidella wrote a letter to the editor critical of Van Valkenburg’s fight against the US Department of Justice. For those of you who have not followed this story: in 2012, the DOJ announced that it was investigating the University of Montana, Missoula police, and the county attorney’s office for improper handling of sexual assault cases. The police and UM cooperated, and their investigations are now over. Van Valkenburg, on the other hand, has insisted all along that Justice has no jurisdiction over his office, and recently got $50,000 from the county commission to pursue a declaratory judgment against them. That lawsuit was filed earlier this week—just in time for us to learn about the agreement that Montana’s state attorney general made with the DOJ in 2012 to cooperate with investigators.
As of this morning, the Congressional Deficit Super Committee is neither super nor really a committee, since they managed to agree on exactly no things. Congress and the deficit remain real. Meanwhile, the group of six Republicans and six Democrats cannot even settle on why they failed to reach an agreement, although both sides concur in principle: it was them. “We made a reasonable offer and got nothing in return. We got naked in the room. Republicans are standing there in overcoats, hats and gloves and are toasty warm,” said one Democrat on the panel. “We showed some leg. The Democrats want us to get completely naked,” explained a Republican aide. As usual when two parties can’t bring themselves to take their clothes off at the same time, somebody else is going to get fucked.