Recently in Politics Category
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch plans to announce on Friday that she will accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton's personal email server, a Justice Department official said. Her decision removes the possibility that a political appointee will overrule investigators in the case.Of course, under the "unitary executive" structure of the federal government, all executive decisions are ultimately under the control of the President, but to squelch an indictment now Mr. Obama would have to do so personally, without Ms. Lynch as a buffer. The political consequences of doing so can be extraordinarily high, as President Nixon discovered after the Saturday Night Massacre.
The Justice Department had been moving toward such an arrangement for months -- officials said in April that it was being considered -- but a private meeting between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton this week set off a political furor and made the decision all but inevitable.
Update: Devlin Barrett has this article in the WSJ:
California has 53 congressional districts, and in 49 of them an incumbent was running for reelection in Tuesday's primary. Care to guess how many incumbents finished less than first in those 49?
Gov. Brown's solution was to strike a deal with proponents of an unrelated juvenile justice initiative that had already gone through the early stages of the process. Can he do that? The bill allowing amendment of pending initiatives is only two years old, and there are unanswered questions. Today the California Supreme Court answered one of the questions and cleared the way for the Jailbreak Initiative to be put on the ballot this fall.
The statute at issue, California Elections Code § 9002(b), requires that the amendments be "reasonably germane" to the original measure. Does that phrase stretch far enough to take an initiative that is entirely about juvenile justice and graft on a measure that largely dismantles the determinate sentencing reforms of 40 years ago, which apply only to convictions in adult court?
We have the test case before us. His attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel is hands-down the stupidest thing he has said to date. "Indefensible" hardly does it justice. Paul Gigot has this editorial in the WSJ.
Donald Trump keeps giving his political opponents ammunition, most recently with his continuing attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over lawsuits against Trump University. But it's important to distinguish between what is merely obnoxious and the truly odious in his remarks.
During the [Libertarian Party Convention] presidential candidate debate, the room went wild for suggestions of abolishing the Federal Reserve, state-sponsored education, and gun control.
"I believe in a world where gay married couples can defend their marijuana fields with submachine guns, aw yeah baby!" conservative libertarian Austin Petersen said.
"Crystal meth should be as legal as tomatoes," another candidate Daryl Perry declared.
I'm all for the right to defend your person and your home with force, including, in cases of imminent danger of grave bodily harm, guns. But using an AK-47 to defend your pot grow, is, well......
What else is there to say here, except that those in search of a third party should check out whether those things in their sandwiches are really tomatoes.
FBI Director James B. Comey had an odd plea to Washington reporters when he met them earlier this month. Please, he said, write about the surge of murders rocking the nation's cities.
"I raise it with you all because I hope it's being reported on at local levels, but in my view, it's not in the attention of the national level it deserves," he said. "I am in many ways more worried, because the numbers are not only going up, they're continuing to go up in most of those cities faster than they were going up last year. I worry very much. It's a problem that most of America can drive around."
The media dished out a few stories and moved on. But soon the issue will receive attention on the national political stage as the two likely presidential nominees prepare to address it.
"Crime is a factor that I think is going to play bigger in this election than people realize because crime is going up, drug addiction is surging -- 120 deaths a day from drug overdoses. It's just a stunning number," [said] Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and adviser to Donald Trump.
One must wonder whether Trump's recent big advance in the polls reflects the country's increased alarm about spiking drug abuse and murder.
Mr. Trump, whose record of sexist remarks, among other things, has left him at a potentially crippling disadvantage among female voters, polls show, appealed directly to women in his speech, imbuing his defense of gun rights with an undercurrent of fear.
"In trying to overturn the Second Amendment, Hillary Clinton is telling everyone -- and every woman living in a dangerous community -- that she doesn't have the right to defend herself," Mr. Trump said. "So you have a woman living in a community, a rough community, a bad community -- sorry, you can't defend yourself."
If Mr. Trump's comments seemed reminiscent of an era when crime rates were far higher -- the Willie Horton ads attacking Michael S. Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, in the 1988 presidential race came to mind -- they also appeared somewhat at odds with the broad bipartisan consensus on the need to reduce incarceration rates and prison populations: Mr. Trump sought to frighten voters about the idea of criminals being released from prison.
The idea that this is a news story, as opposed to an editorial hatchet job, is preposterous. Let's take it one line at a time.
Steven Colloton of the Eighth Circuit (Iowa)
Allison Eid of the Colorado Supreme Court
Raymond Gruender of the Eighth Circuit (Mo.)
Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit (Penn.)
Raymond Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit (Mich.)
Thomas Lee of the Utah Supreme Court
Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court
William Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit (Ala.)
David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court
Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit (Wis.)
Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court
I am not familiar with the jurisprudence of all 11, but I do think that William Pryor would make a very fitting successor to Justice Scalia. Confirmation would be a bloody fight, but if we hold the Senate it is a fight we would win.
The larger question is whether Mr. Trump can and will pivot from the crass bluster that got him this far into a man of serious policy, capable of winning the general election and then being an effective President. Many have serious doubts, but this looks like a good start.