Remember when the left demanded the removal of John Ashcroft as attorney general during the first term of the second Bush? Ashcroft was deemed too devout in his religious beliefs and too conservative in his political views. Comes now Eric Holder, the incumbent attorney general. (1) Holder has dropped voter-intimidation charges in a high-profile case in Philadelphia. (2) He botched the civilian trial of Tanzanian terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, winning just one conviction on 285 counts related to the murder of 224 innocents.
He nevertheless bristles at the very notion of (3) not closing Guantanamo and (4) not trying its inmates in civilian courts. Indeed, these days he seems more inclined to hold prisoners there indefinitely (as the Bush administration did) instead of trying them before military tribunals. And (5) Holder opposes expediting appeals of lower-court rulings on the constitutionality (etc.) of ObamaCare. Here's an idea: Remove Holder.
By the way, of the 598 Guantanamo detainees released as of October, 150 were suspected or confirmed -- in the words of a national intelligence report -- of "re-engaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer."
If head-scratching pols are looking for a way out of the Social Security swamp, Chile has a suggestion. Privatize it. Thirty years ago, on the advice of Nobel economist Milton Friedman, Chile became the first country to privatize its national pension system. Today, Chile's system is rocking along with wild popularity, a 9 percent rate of return (those signing up for U.S. Social Security today will see a negative return), and pension debt at just 6 percent of GNP (compared with 100 percent in the U.S.).
Oh, and Chicago's three-member election commission concluded unanimously over the holidays that while Rahm Emanuel lived in Washington as an advisor to Barack Obama, he remained a Chicago resident in spirit. That way, the commission ruled, Emanuel may legally run for mayor without tangling with any troublesome residency issues. Perhaps the commission was bowing to the inevitable, given that Emanuel currently leads the mayoral field by 32 points -- and the commissioners, you know, covet their posts. Whatever. It's but the latest example of The Chicago Way.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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