Monthly Archives: July 2007

Free John Lindh?

The quality of mercy is in the news these days, with the commutaion of Scooter Libby’s jail sentence. Today, the Los Angeles Times urges clemency for John Walker Lindh, in an editorial titled “Free Our Talib”. Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison as a result of a plea bargain. The Times argues that Lindh never took up arms against American soldiers and didn’t, really, do anything seriously »

Playing Hooky

That is sort of what we did today, involuntarily. Due to a database disaster, we were out of commission all day, with a blank screen appearing where our posts should be. We should have put up a “gone fishing” sign. But we’re back in business, and posting will resume shortly. »

Is this investigation really necessary?

Yesterday, I considered some of the arguments that might come up if Congress continues to contest the president’s claim of executive privilege with respect to conversations and documents pertaining to the firing of some U.S. attorneys. I focused in particular on the interests Congress might assert as outweighing the interest of the executive branch in candid discussion. The congressional interests in this context does not seem strong. Removing U.S. attorneys »

War In Waziristan?

If this London Times account is accurate, it sounds like good news: In North Waziristan, the wild border land that America hopes will be Osama Bin Laden »

What’s Generally Referred to as “Truth”

Today the New York Times filled in the blanks on Alberto Gonzales’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As we discussed in detail here and here, Gonzales testified that he had visited John Ashcroft in the hospital to try to resolve a legal dispute that had developed over an intelligence program, but that the program in question was not the “terrorist surveillance program” that had been confirmed by President Bush, »

Pulling together “to bring happiness to the Iraqi people”

Tomorrow is the championship match in the Asian Cup soccer tournament. One of the finalist is no surprise — it’s three time winner Saudi Arabia. But the other is a shock. Instead of taking on one of the usual suspects — Iran, South Korea, Japan — or new entrant Australia, the Saudis will face Iraq. The Iraqi team, a mixture of Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish players, has had a marvelous »

Starship Enterprise

Today’s Wall Street Journal runs a review (subscribers only) by Glenn Reynolds of the new book Rocketeers by Michael Belfiore. (Subtitle: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots Is Boldly Privatizing Space.) Considering that Glenn is a professor of law, a scholar, an author himself, and a seemingly full-time blogger, it is remarkable that Glenn finds time for such interests as technology, entrepreneurship, and science fiction on »

The American Public: Still Reaganesque

The Washington Times reports on a new Rasmussen survey that reinforces the idea that Republicans shouldn’t give up on 2008. Rasmussen tested five descriptions of a Presidential candidate; the one that came out on top, with a 44% positive rating, was “like Reagan.” Most Republicans have been pretty confident that last year’s election wasn’t a repudiation of conservatism. This is borne out by the fact that “conservative” outpolls “liberal” by »

But Beautiful

I arrived in New York on Thursday on my way to Israel tonight, stopping over to visit the daughter formerly known as Little Trunk. On Thursday evening we went to see the second show of cabaret/jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway at the Blue Note Jazz Club. I had not heard of Callaway before her audacious 1996 release To Ella With Love, but I’m glad I took a chance on that »

The next debate — some preliminary thoughts

I’ve read the Federalist Society debate (as it has progressed so far) on the administration’s executive privilege claim regarding the dismissal of U.S. attorneys, and I’ve kicked the issues around a bit. Here are some preliminary observations. First, any attempt by the House to obtain the testimony of Harriet Miers or others through a criminal contempt citation looks like a non-starter. The President has made it clear he will forbid »

Steve Hayes on the Northern Alliance

On tomorrow’s radio show, Steve Hayes will be our guest starting at 12 central, 1 eastern to talk about his new book, Cheney: The Untold Story of America’s Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President. I’ve read a little over half of the book, and it is excellent. It is, really, surprisingly good, not because Hayes isn’t a terrific journalist–he is–but because most journalists can’t sustain a book-length narrative. That takes »

Boning up for the next debate

The Federalist Society is featuring an online debate about what is becoming the hottest legal issue of the day — the president’s claim of executive privilege with respect to witnesses and documents pertaining to the firing of some U.S. attorneys. True to the tradition of the Federalist Society, the participants in the debate are all top legal thinkers in the area, and they represent diverse points of view. The page »

Is This A Coup? If Not, What Is It?

The Democrats’ unconstitutional usurpation of power continues: Chuck Schumer, possibly the wackiest of all Capitol Hill Democrats, announces a change in the Constitution: New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush »

Judiciary Committee Members and Journalists Gone Wild

Today Tony Snow told the White House press corps that what Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee was correct: there was no disagreement in the Justice Department about the “terrorist surveillance program” which President Bush described to the American people in 2005. There was controversy, but that was over a different set of intelligence activities: The terrorist surveillance program, as it has been labeled — it was »

Senate Dems slander a good man, Part Two

Last night, I wrote about the scurrilous attack by Senator Durbin and other Senate Dems against Judge Leslie Southwick, the president’s nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The main attack consists of the claim that Judge Southwick is racist or racially insensitive. As I pointed out, though, those best in a position to know whether this is so, including two African-American former law clerks, vigorously disagree with the »

Putting Politics Ahead of National Security

The NSA’s terrorist surveillance program has been in the news again lately. This makes it a good time to review the sad history of how Democratic partisanship has damaged this program, and thereby impaired our national security. The NSA program was set up shortly after September 11, 2001. The Justice Department issued an opinion that the program was legal, and authorized it to begin. Those authorizations continued for a period »

It All Depends On Whose Church Is Being Separated

Ryskind: »