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Flotsam and Jetsam

The National Jewish Democratic Council can’t understand all the fuss about Mary Robinson. I’m sure they can’t. Neither could Obama, which is the nub of the problem.

Sen. Jim Webb is the latest moderate to plead to “slow down” health-care reform.

Charles Krauthammer on the Obama administration’s interrogation polices: “The idiocy of imagining that if you capture Aymen al-Zahiri, one of the cruelest terrorists in world history, you would actually think of saying to him you do—you know, that he doesn’t have to actually tell you anything, is insane. Of course he doesn’t have a right to remain silent. This man barely has a right to live. You capture him, you make him talk. . . . If you stick him in a situation in which he is Mirandized, you are guaranteed you will learn nothing. This isn’t a game, and we are actually involved in two wars. It’s incredibly irresponsible.”

Did Eric Holder’s Justice Department follow its own guidelines in declining to press forward with the public corruption case against Bill Richardson? The former DOJ attorney who drafted the guidelines writes: “The DOJ manual sets out the consultation rules for U.S. attorneys, who are required to ‘consult’ with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division in Washington. But only consultation is required; the Public Integrity Section does not make the final decision on whether an investigation should go forward. . . . So if the AP is correct in reporting that ‘top’ officials in Washington killed the investigation, then political appointees within the department did not follow normal DOJ procedures.” I’m sure Sen. Pat Leahy will demand an oversight hearing immediately.

And to top it off, the New Mexico prosecutor sounds awfully peeved: “U.S. Attorney Greg Fouratt said the decision not to bring charges ‘is not to be interpreted as an exoneration of any party’s conduct.’ In a letter sent to defense attorneys, Fouratt said a yearlong federal investigation ‘revealed that pressure from the governor’s office resulted in the corruption of the procurement process’ so that state bond deal work went to a Richardson political donor in 2004.” And so why no charges filed?

This is not a report from the Onion: “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping that the ‘Great California Garage Sale’ will turn government clutter like surplus prison uniforms and office furniture into cash to bulk up the state’s depleted finances.”

Ramadan in Israel—90,000 Muslims celebrate and Desmond Tutu lectures: “The lesson that Israel must learn from the Holocaust is that it can never get security through fences, walls and guns.” (Yes, he got the Medal of Freedom, too.) And if not for those East Jerusalem apartments, we’d have peace in our time, don’t you see?

We saw this one coming: “Democrats plan to invoke Sen. Edward Kennedy’s name repeatedly in their push for a massive overhaul of the healthcare system, but political insiders in both parties say his name alone will fall far short of the contribution he could have made personally. . . . But Republicans are not about to be shamed into blindly backing a one-sided bill, and some conservatives have already criticized Democrats for trying to politicize the issue through the use of Kennedy’s name.”



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