Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Department of Justice alumnus Hans von Spakovsky explains how curious is the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division dismissal of its victory by default against the New Black Panther Party for voter threats and intimidation in Philadelphia last Election Day. If you think this is extraordinary you are right, he says: “I have never, ever heard of the Division refusing to take a default judgment, especially in a situation where the defendants are basically admitting they violated the law. The facts indicting the DOJ seem damning, and no good explanation seems possible.”

If Republican Bob McDonnell runs even with his Democratic challenger in November he’ll be the next Virginia governor. But that’s a long way off.

Satellite TV and Sudoku puzzles at Guantanamo. Maybe while in Cairo Obama can go visit the sort of facilities to which we’d prefer to send terrorists for incarceration and interrogation. After all, this is all about what’s humane, right?

The Obama precedent: vote against a Supreme Court justice if you don’t like his philosophy of judging. No deference required. And then, as with Justice Alito, go ahead and filibuster.

Mickey Kaus wonders  whether “the Obama Administration [is] really planning to cut off GM’s intravenous drip of federal billions, if when the $50 billion doesn’t put the company back on its feet?” In a word: no. A better question: will the UAW ever have to take a wage cut? Same answer.

Obama is ever the reluctant president. He really didn’t want to take over GM. (He says he’s a “reluctant shareholder.”) He hates spending money. He can’t believe how much debt we’ve run up. Perhaps he needs a 12-step program to stop doing all these things he doesn’t want to do.

After waxing rhapsodic about GM and praising Obama for rescuing the company, Eugene Robinson admits: “I don’t see much more than a temporary reprieve for General Motors and a somewhat easier landing for GM workers.” So that’s worth a minimum of $50B?’s Tom Goldstein on the inane Supreme Court coverage: “I talked to three reporters from Politico today. If they can find the Supreme Court, it’s because it’s across the street from the Capitol. It’s not their beat, and they’re highly open about that.” Actually they are not open but should be in their pieces — explaining, for example, what they haven’t read and that they lack expertise to comment on much of what is going on. But then what would they do? Well, hire a knowledgeable court reporter, I suppose.

At home the president is not convincing much of anyone about Guantanamo: “Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to closing the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and moving some of the detainees to prisons on U.S. soil, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. By more than 2-1, those surveyed say Guantanamo shouldn’t be closed. By more than 3-1, they oppose moving some of the accused terrorists housed there to prisons in their own states.”

I didn’t think much of the flap about the president’s expensive “date” in New York. The president can’t be a hostage in the White House, after all. But really what possible justification is there for keeping the cost secret? There isn’t any for this bit of non-transparency. “Afraid we’ll embarrass the Great Leader” really isn’t a legitimate excuse.

Dick Cheney favors gay marriage and the president does not. Perhaps gay marriage advocates should suggest a face-off on the subject, like the Guantanamo match up. After all, Cheney won that one.