Recently in Politics Category
Still, I'll give the authors credit for a sense of embarrassment (for once). Out of all 79 pages, they could only choke out four sentences buried in the middle to give a pat on the head to Eric Holder and "smart" sentencing. Part of this, of course, stems from their unwillingness to understand that any kind of sentencing might be useful.
I'm truly astonished that they can find someone to sit at a computer all day and churn out this stuff. The job market must be even worse than the White House is admitting.
...have not contributed as much as they should to the conservative movement...because they have tended to focus on secondary, or tertiary, issues of domestic policy.
A couple of years ago I was invited to a gathering on behalf of Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico who then was a libertarian candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. I was well disposed toward him, but when he started talking, his first subject was legalization of drugs. Now he is the CEO of a marijuana company. Rand Paul is probably the leading libertarian at the moment; he purports to take seriously the threat that someone drinking coffee in an American cafe will be struck by a drone-fired missile, [in addition to supporting dumbed-down drug sentences]....
A battle is being fought for the liberties of the American people and, frankly, it isn't going well. The fight has little or nothing to do with drugs and drones. If libertarians are serious about preserving and expanding liberty, they should join the fight that matters.
Section 1035(d) provides--without exception--that the Secretary of Defense "shall notify the appropriate committees of Congress of a determination" to transfer or release an individual detained at Guantanamo "not later than 30 days before the transfer or release of the individual." The Secretary of Defense did not give advance notice in this case. And yet, rather than argue that Section 1035(d) is unconstitutional as applied to the Bergdahl matter, the Administration has (as I understand it) invoked the absurd-results canon and argued that Section 1035(d) "should be construed not to apply to this unique set of circumstances." We are asked to read the NDAA as if it exempts a sensitive prisoner swap from its congressional notification scheme, when the plain text of the statute does no such thing.
There are various frames through which this episode might be viewed: as a dispute about the President's power over prisoners of war, the winding down of Guantanamo, or the "unique set of circumstances" behind the Bergdahl exchange. I want to place the episode in a different and broader context, involving the Obama Administration's efforts to cope with congressional obstreperousness more generally. Across a range of areas, this Administration has responded to perceived legislative misconduct by interpreting away legal limits that might have seemed to stand in its way. Interpretation has been a tool of constitutional adaptation and retaliation.
Fortunately, that third-place finish is insufficient for him to proceed to the general election in November.
Taranto also provides a reminder on the reality of the Willie Horton episode:
Willie Horton has become a sort of urban legend on the left, which seems to remember him vaguely as a victim of some sort of discrimination. In fact he is an actual man, now 62 years old and incarcerated in Maryland. He had previously served time in Massachusetts for the brutal 1974 murder of gas-station attendant Joseph Fournier. But in 1986 he was released on weekend furlough. He deserted and turned up the following year in Maryland, where he broke into a home, tied up and pistol-whipped the man of the house, and raped his fiancée.Horton was a genuine example of a stupid soft-on-crime decision resulting in the violent victimization of innocent people. The use of this episode by political opponents was completely justified. It is entirely appropriate that voters understand the real consequences of these decisions to real people.
In 1976, Gov. Dukakis had vetoed a bill to exclude first-degree murderers from the furlough program. But for that decision, Horton would have been unable to commit his subsequent crimes. Before Dukakis ever faced George H.W. Bush, Al Gore sought to hold him responsible for his furlough policy, which had been the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune.