Republicans demand broader powers for Obama justice department

You know the Republicans have lost their way when they vigorously argue in favor of something they warned against just two years ago. Remember hearing conservatives insist that Obama was going to revive the Fairness Doctrine as part of his Marxist plot to give Omar Sharif his own show on government-run radio? I understand if you’ve forgotten, seeing as how the president hasn’t even raised the issue. Now those same voices want Obama to order his justice department to prosecute any media outlet that facilitated the publication of leaked government secrets obtained by Bond villain Julian “you can’t spell ass without” Assange.…

BP’s mess, Obama’s country

“This is a BP mess,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and several U.S. senators. “It is a horrible mess. It is a massive and environmental mess.” Yes, and you’ve let it linger. As this disaster unfolds it’s becoming evident that the Obama administration has been a bystander. Once again Washington has failed the Gulf.

pegging obama

NYT columnist Ross Douthat understands what most of Obama’s critics, left and right, fail to grasp. Both right and left have had trouble processing Obama’s institutionalism. Conservatives have exaggerated his liberal instincts into radicalism, ignoring the fact that a president who takes advice from Lawrence Summers and Robert Gates probably isn’t a closet Marxist-Leninist. The left has been frustrated, again and again, by the gulf between Obama’s professed principles and the compromises that he’s willing to accept, and some liberals have become convinced that he isn’t one of them at all.

an opportunity for conservatives to say something positive about obama

They should be encouraged by the words of Barack Obama’s education secretary. Not bloody likely. In deciding how to spend Race to the Top dollars, Duncan wants to reward programs that don’t see a child’s poverty as insurmountable, and that focus on raising academic standards, improving teacher quality and inspiring innovation. “It is not enough to make the same investment in the same programs,” he said, stressing the need for innovation, quality and results. “We are not going to reward the status quo.” He also intends to overhaul the landmark No Child Left Behind Act. The current system, which allows states to…

the left vs. obama

With the ship of state headed for one mother of an iceberg, is now the time to be worrying about the race, gender and sexual identity of those steering the barge? I’d be troubled if the president-elect overlooked obviously qualified candidates just because they’re gay. There’s no evidence of that, but the professionally aggrieved tend not to wait on facts: It’s the same with Salazar – with Solis’ nomination, especially, there was no compelling need for another Latino appointment, but I acknowledge the political benefit. But that’s not true with SBA, and what happened there makes me question the Interior appointment, too.…

hillary for state

I’m trying to find reasons to oppose Hillary’s new assignment, but it’s no use. She’s tough and she’s smart. The world’s a dirty place, and Hillary’s willing to get in the mud. She’s one-half of the most narcissistic couple since Antony and Cleopatra but, in this case, what’s good for the Clintons is good for the country. Most importantly, Obama’s thinking practically, and I’m impressed. This Cabinet won’t require coddling.

why can’t we get a decent attorney general?

Of late, nothing but fuck-ups, suck-ups, prudes and enablers: *Janet Reno. One word: Waco *John Ashcroft. Embarrassed by nude statues *Alberto Gonzalez. Lied before Congress; made Ashcroft look good in comparison And now, Eric Holder, who looked the other way as Bill Clinton made a mockery of the president’s pardon powers. In the Clinton pardon scandal, Holder was deputy attorney general when his duties intersected with the efforts of Rich’s lawyer, Jack Quinn, who had been White House counsel earlier in the Clinton administration. The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner — on a straight line from Rich’s lawyer to…

the pundit class

They really do think alike. Two examples: Issue: Hillary for Secretary of State The consensus: It’s reminiscent of Lincoln, who appointed a “team of rivals” to his Cabinet. (Pundits like to appear well-read and well-versed in history.) What was overlooked: William Seward’s spouse never raisied money from Confederate generals. The exception: Fox’s Juan Williams asked, “How do you fire Hillary?” Good point. Issue Two: Obama’s First 100 Days The consensus: Obama needs to “hit the ground running.” What was overlooked: The economy is in crisis. Prudence is called for, not bold new initiatives. We can’t afford big mistakes. Worst pundits (tie): Fred…

no to richardson

Bill Richardson — a top contender for U.S. Secretary of State — is well-liked and generally moderate. And, for the diversity-minded, he’s part-Hispanic. He’s also part-incompetent. Remember Los Alamos?