Monthly Archives: April 2009

Defending Dawn Johnsen, if you can call it that

The Washington Post editorial board calls on the Senate to confirm Dawn Johnsen as head of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. The editorial is almost entirely content free. The Post complains about some of those who headed OLC during the Bush administration, and it labels the objections to Johnsen (which centrist Arlen Specter found persuasive) “petty politics.” But the only argument the Post advances is that Johnsen »

Banana Republic Capitalism

The Chrysler reorganization is shaping up as another milestone in the decline of the rule of law under Barack Obama. We’ve said for quite a while that bankruptcy is the only viable option for Chrysler and General Motors, not–as Obama claims–because they don’t know how to make the right kinds of vehicles, but because their unsustainable union contracts make it impossible for them to be profitable. That reality has now »

Souter to Retire?

It is being reported that David Souter has notified the White House that he will step down from the Supreme Court this summer. If that report is true, Barack Obama will have an early opportunity to move the Court to the left–even farther left than Souter, that is. At one time I would have expected Obama to exercise caution with his first Court appointment, but nothing we’ve seen in the »

A Ukrainian grudge match

For the second time in two years, the European Champions League final four has consisted of three English teams, thus creating one all-English semi-final (Manchester United vs. Arsenal; Chelsea is the other English semi-finalist). But the UEFA Cup, Europe’s secondary club competition, has gone one better: it features one an all-German semi (Werder Bremen vs. Hamburg) and one all-Ukrainian affair. The latter is the more interesting in part because of »

Obama’s Daily Dish

President Obama put on an impressive performance in his press conference last night. He is a formidable political talent. The journalists posing the questions, however, seemed as lame as ever. Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times gets special mention for the worst question of the night. If the Times goes under, he would be a natural for People or, even better, Us. The full text of the press conference »

How to “Rebuild the Party”

According to the New York Times, we Republicans are having a debate “over how to rebuild the party in the wake of Senator Arlen Specter’s departure.” Just like how the Democrats had to rebuild their party after Ben Nighthorse Campbell switched parties. You remember that, don’t you? PAUL remembers: If memory serves, the Dems internalized the lesson implicit in Campbell’s switch, promptly moderated all of their liberal positions, and were »

A day in court for an obsolete law

The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in a lawsuit challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That section requires certain states, and jurisdictions within states, to obain “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department or a federal court before making any change in their electoral law or procedures. Justice Kennedy, normally the “swing” vote in these kinds of cases, seemed skeptical (at least in the recorded excerpts I heard) as »

Airbrushing History

This local story probably isn’t being reported anywhere else, but, along with many similar stories, it sheds a disturbing light on the Obama administration: FEMA grounds Minnesota coloring book with pic of 9/11 attack: A coloring book from southeastern Minnesota, written and designed to help children cope with disasters and other crises, has been removed from a federal government website after one or more complaints about its content, a county »

An Interesting Coincidence

For much of the day, the second most-read story on the Minneapolis Star Tribune web site was this one, from the Associated Press: “Bachmann: Dem connection to outbreak ‘interesting.'” Here is the substance of the story: Rep. Michele Bachmann says she finds it an “interesting coincidence” that the last swine flu outbreak in the U.S. occurred under a Democratic president — though her claim is historically inaccurate. The last major »

Snowe job

Sen. Olympia Snowe complains in the New York Times about the loss of Arlen Specter from the Republican ranks. She blames this development on the Republican party. Snowe says that “being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of ‘Survivor’ — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe.” She adds that, in a »

Not as wet as previously reported

It turns out that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not waterboarded 183 times in one month by CIA interrogators, as the liberal MSM widely reported. Instead, according to Joseph Abrams of Fox News, 183 represents the number of times water was poured onto Mohammed’s face — not the number of times the CIA applied the simulated-drowning technique on him. Abrams cites a 2007 Red Cross report which states that the terror »

John Cornyn: What the Specter Switch Means

Senator John Cornyn of Texas wrote these observations on the significance of Arlen Specter’s defection for Power Line: During the last 24 hours, much has been written about U.S. Senator Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) defection to the Democrat Party. Unsurprisingly, the Washington media have cast Specter’s announcement as a devastating blow to the Republican Party, and are predicting doom and gloom for us in the months and years ahead. Senator Specter’s »

Pork Flu

Michael Ramirez offers a diagnosis; click to enlarge: »

Public Getting Nervous About Terror

A very interesting finding this morning from Rasmussen Reports: the American people are losing confidence in the way in which their government is fighting the war against Islamic terror: Just 42% of likely voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s down from 50% two weeks ago, down from 62% in early February, »

Bleak Prospects?

The Commerce Department reported today that GDP declined during the first quarter of 2009 at a 6.1 percent rate, worse than expected. The decline occurred despite a rebound in consumer spending. Some will say: Nice going, Barack. But that isn’t fair, since the effects of the Obama administration’s policies have yet to be felt (although the decline in business spending may reflect, in part, businessmen’s expectations regarding the effects of »

“Never again,” Obama style

On April 23 President Obama spoke at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony at the Capitol. The White House has posted the text of his remarks here and video here. Obama’s remarks drew little attention. In a recent post, Michael Ledeen takes a close look at Obama’s speech. Bringing his professional background as a student of fascism to bear, Ledeen provides both explication and analysis. Some of the speech, in »

Putin vs. the truth

Jonathan Brent is the editorial director of the Yale University Press and the author of Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia, the story of his efforts to procure publishing rights to material in various Soviet archives. The fruit of Brent’s efforts is the Yale University Press’s ongoing Annals of Communism series of books. In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, Professor Orlando Figes reviews »