Here's a new wrinkle in the debt-limit debate: it turns out that the feds may not be able to turn off the spigot even if the deadline passes and they're legally required to. Reuters reports that:
"If Treasury were to decide to delay payments, it would need to re-program government computers that generate automatic payments as they fall due -- a massive and difficult undertaking." Read More
I have to admit, I found the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape case irresistible. In DSK, the ousted sanctimonious head of the International Monetary Fund, you had the purest form of the “Champagne socialist,” a character whose flaws would be too over the top even for an Ayn Rand villain. Here was a jet-setting champion of the poor who was charged by New York authorities with forcibly abusing the help at his $3,000-a-day luxury hotel suite — brutally raping a poor immigrant maid from West Africa. You can’t make this stuff up. Read More
On June 18, officers of the Transportation Security Administration forced a wheelchair-bound, 95-year-old leukemia patient to remove her adult diaper, lest it contain a bomb. As always when the TSA commits some new atrocity — like last April’s “freedom fondle” of a 6-year-old girl — a designated bureaucratic spokes-unit affirmed that the officers acted “according to proper procedure.” Read More
"It’s the Senate’s turn to beat up on Obama’s Libya intervention," at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, Josh Rogin reports in Foreign Policy. This could be fun, especially since State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh is scheduled to testify this morning (streaming video here). Read More
‘No more ignoring the law when it’s inconvenient,” then-Sen. Barack Obama proclaimed on the campaign trail; as president, he’d show the world “that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers.”
But last Thursday, the president answered House Speaker John Boehner’s request for an explanation as to why, 90 days into our Libyan misadventure, he isn’t in violation of the War Powers Resolution, which requires him to terminate U.S. engagement in “hostilities” after 60 days in the absence of congressional authorization.
“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold H. Read More
Remember when President Barack Obama assured us his Libyan adventure would be over in “days, not weeks”? To employ a Clinton-era euphemism, “That statement is no longer operative.”
On Friday, the 60-day clock ran out, leaving Obama in clear violation of the War Powers Resolution, passed in 1973 to “fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution ... [and] insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities.” Read More
Newt! He's just so full of ideas! You can’t get though a profile of the former Speaker without hearing that he's a "one-man think tank," an "idea-spewing machine":
“Newt’s been the Republican Party’s main idea man for close to a generation,” said Terry Holt, a Republican strategist who closely observed Gingrich as speaker. Read More
It’s a high-pressure job, the presidency. Think about how badly the Osama bin Laden raid could have gone. The worst case — Navy SEALs trapped in a firefight with Pakistani forces — could have made “Black Hawk Down” look like a cakewalk.
Yet the night after he gave the “go” order, President Barack Obama hit the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and had to grin his way through canned laugh lines working over The Donald. Read More
Via CBS-NY comes the news of “a new national alert system… set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.” (hat tip: Alan Gura). Read More
Barely a day after we heard the happy news that Osama bin Laden took an American bullet to the head, President Barack Obama hosted both parties’ leadership at an event called “Together as an American Family: A Bipartisan Congressional Dinner at the White House.”
“Last night,” the president said, “we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. Read More
"My first reaction was a cringe,” Washington Post reporter Petula Dvorak wrote about Sunday night’s “macabre jubilee,” as D.C. residents of all stripes partied in the downtown streets, celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death. “Almost vulgar,” she pronounced the scene.
There’s no accounting for taste, but it seems to me that, if ever there was a death worth celebrating, it’s this one. Read More
This morning, Drudge links to a Fox-NY report: Obama Visit To Create Traffic Nightmare. His visit to New York City today is the third in a month, and it could force the closure of the FDR Drive from Wall St. to E. 61st St. during evening rush hour.
Wow--what, is there a high-level Libya-crisis summit at the UN or something? Read More
Just when you think you’ve reached maximum possible cynicism about politics, you discover that, actually, you haven’t been cynical enough. We got dragged into Libya by our NATO allies, who aren’t competent to run a proper air war against a crumbling Third-World autocracy and are now complaining that we’re not doing more to bail them out. France was especially eager for war: first to recognize the rebel “government,” and first to fire shots over Benghazi. “France has decided to play its part before history,” President Nicolas Sarkozy pompously intoned. Read More
Two news items last week put the problems with the federal Transportation Security Administration in stark relief. First was the viral video of a 6-year-old’s recent encounter with a pat-down search in New Orleans. Then on Friday, CNN revealed a list of “behavioral indicators” TSA uses to scope out travelers who deserve extra manhandling. Among the agency’s red flags are “arrogant” expressions of “contempt against airport passenger procedures.” Read More
...or was that "not intended to be a factual statement"?
"What, You Thought The U.S. Was Done Bombing Libya?" Wired's Spencer Ackerman asks. Turns out we're not--we've hit Libyan air defenses three times in the last week. Read More