Clearing my spindle: I’m Not OK edition

I think the following items will be of interest to Power Line readers. I’d like to bring them to your attention without much comment.

While our attention was turned elsewhere this past October, the space shuttle Endeavour made its final journey: it traveled 12-miles from Los Angeles International Airport, through Inglewood, to the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Reader Zack Russ writes that he came across this wonderful time-lapse Los Angeles Times video that is, according to Mr. Russ, “a tribute to the greatness of the American space program and the continuing reverence that people of all walks have for it.” Footnote: “Look for the Randy’s Donuts statue, immortalized in The Simpsons as Lard Lad.” Please don’t miss this one.

Victor Davis Hanson and Jay Nordlinger seek to administer justice to two good men: Hanson to George W. Bush and Nordlinger to Mitt Romney. Hanson’s column pursues themes that have been a mainstay of his meditations on the Age of Obama. Jay’s indignation toward conservatives in this special edition of Impromptus is uncharacteristic, and bracing.

In case you missed it, the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute recently posted excerpts of two 2010 interviews of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi described Zionists as “bloodsuckers” and descendants of apes and pigs, urged “military resistance” against Israel, and called sever all ties with the Jewish state. The footage was found, translated, reposted and transcribed this week by MEMRI.

Reporting on the MEMRI video, the Times of Israel writes that “[s]ince winning Egypt’s first democratic elections last June, after the ousting of longtime president Hosni Mubarak, Morsi has significantly toned down his anti-Israel rhetoric.” The video, however, provides a window into Morsi’s thinking at a time when he was free to express his views in full.

Jose Rodridguez Jr. is a 31-year veteran of the CIA and the author of the memoir Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, written with former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. As Spencer Ackerman angrily recalls, Rodriguez is of course the CIA official who destroyed the video recordings of interrogations including those of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Now why would he do something like that? Rodriguez explains his conduct in the book, but it is regrettable.

Ackerman and others discussing Zero Dark Thirty freely invoke “torture” as the technique employed to interrogate high-value al Qaeda detainees as depicted in the film. Who better to weigh in on Zero Dark Thirty than Rodriguez and his co-author? The Washington Post has posted their essay “A CIA veteran on what ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ gets wrong about the bin Laden manhunt.”

We’ve been critical of the cliff deal that Congress enacted in a big hurry this week. NR senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru takes to the pages of the Weekly Standard to argue the virtue of the deal from a conservative perspective in “Starve the beast…” It’s a well argued piece. I hope he’s right, but see also the Wall Street Journal editorial “The stealth tax hike.”

What to do about the conflict between state and federal law in the matter of marijuana — legal under recently adopted state statutes in Colorado and Washington, illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970? In an interview with Barbara Walters, President Obama explained that he has “bigger fish to fry” than enforcing our nation’s marijuana laws, noting that countering Colorado’s and Washington’s defiance is not a “top priority” for his administration. This is a particularly “tough problem,” he said, because as the head of the executive branch, he’s “supposed to be carrying out the laws.” Also in the Weekly Standard, Brett Talley explains why Obama’s I’m OK–You’re OK approach is not OK. Talley characterizes it as a “a crisis of federalism.”

I’m definitely not okay. I’m on crisis overload.

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