June 26, 2012

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WSJ Editors note the passing of Anna Schwartz. 

Let it be said that Anna Schwartz led a model professional life. In our mercurial times, that is no small thing.

Most often, Anna Schwartz, who died Thursday at age 96, was included in sentences as co-author with Milton Friedman of the magisterial economic study “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960.” That would suffice for the epitaph of nearly any economist. It does not for Anna Schwartz. …


As regards Obama’s new immigration policy, Charles Krauthammer has thoughts.

… Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the Dream Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. Congress refused.

When subsequently pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama explained that it would be illegal. “Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. .?.?. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”

That was then. Now he’s gone and done it anyway. It’s obvious why. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote and this is the perfect pander. After all, who will call him on it? A supine press? Congressional Democrats? …


Jennifer Rubin has some questions.

There is a surplus of news every day — more than one can read or write about. I’m left with many questions at the end of a busy news week.

Here are some:

1.Why is Andrea Mitchell still covering the 2012 race? My colleague Erik Wemple aptly documented her use of a misleading video and her blatantly unfair introduction to a piece on Mitt Romney’s comments about Wawa’s technology. She hasn’t explained what she did, let alone apologized. It is mystifying how her employer could regard her as an unbiased reporter at this point.

2.Why has the Obama campaign taken Vice President Joe Biden to an undisclosed location? By muzzling him, it’s taken away the most likable member of the administration. (Damning with faint praise, I know.) …


WaPo Editors think Congress has a right to investigate “fast and furious.”

… The administration is on relatively firm ground in refusing to release wiretap records or prosecutorial memoranda that might affect ongoing criminal investigations. We’re less impressed by its claim that the subpoena improperly demands internal records relating to the Justice Department’s response to Mr. Issa’s investigation — as opposed to Fast and Furious itself.

Perhaps it’s true, as the White House has argued, that Mr. Issa’s investigation has degenerated into a partisan fishing expedition. And perhaps yielding to that would discourage candor in the councils of this and future administrations, as the Obama administration, echoing a standard plea of its predecessors, asserts.

But Congress’s authority to gather information is broad — as broad as its sweeping powers to legislate, spend public money and hold executive officials accountable through impeachment. No doubt a lot of congressional investigations are partisan fishing expeditions. For better or worse, that comes with the democratic territory. Absent very strong countervailing considerations — stronger than some of those the administration has asserted in this case — Congress is generally entitled to disclosure.


Ed Morrissey links to Jon Stewart of the Daily Show having fun with spurious executive privilege claims.

Via Katie Pavlich, that’s not the only bad news here for Eric Holder and Barack Obama. Not only does Jon Stewart tell an audience inclined towards supporting Obama in November exactly why Operation Fast and Furious was so important to investigate, he also explains that the Obama administration has been refusing to cooperate with subpoenas, giving false information to Congress, and generally stalling for the last several months. On top of that, Stewart then skewers the same Democrats who blasted George Bush in 2007 for hypocrisy in defending Obama’s executive privilege claim in 2012. That’s a hell of a lot more information than NBC provided its viewers this week, that’s for sure. …


Morrissey spots another Obama supporter who thinks the assertion of executive privilege was a mistake. This time it is David Brooks.

Forget the legalities of executive privilege and the partisan nature of the fight over the contempt charge, David Brooks told PBS on Friday night.  Even if the assertion of the privilege is legal, which almost everyone agrees it isn’t, it’s still a dumb response to a dumb program — and it’s only going to benefit the Republicans:

“I’m in general a defender of executive privilege,” Brooks said. “I think it’s important for an administration to be able to have conversations about policy that will be private, so they can have a normal deliberative process. In this case — whether legally the administration is on solid ground in invoking it — that is a gray area. Politically, I think it’s stupid.” …


Roger Simon wonders which former president this one most resembles.

Now that we are deep into a presidential election year that promises to be a referendum on the direction of our nation, possibly even of the world, it seems appropriate to examine similarities between our current president and past presidents to see what that reveals.

Which former president most closely resembles Barack Obama? I have my theory. You may feel differently. Whoever the choice may be, the discussion of the subject may tell us important things about what we should be looking for in leadership.

The conventional wisdom, especially on the right, is that of all past presidents Barack Obama most closely resembles Jimmy Carter. Both men, after all, presided over parlous economic times and chose ultra-typical liberal solutions that did not work, apparently worsening the situation and leading to, in Carter’s own term, national “malaise.” Both men also had to deal with serious challenges from Iran and did so, to say the least, ineffectually.

So the case for Carter — who, as we all know, was not reelected — is strong. But I have another candidate, one who to me resembles Barack Obama more, especially in personality and style.

His name is Richard Nixon. …


Andrew Malcolm with late night humor. 

Conan: The theory of the Freudian slip has been scientifically proven after 111 years. Don’t know about you, but I think that’s the breast news I’ve heard all week.

Fallon: President Obama just played his 100th round of golf since taking office. You could tell it was Obama, because he finished about 14 trillion over par.

Fallon: Playing 100th round of golf, Obama asked his caddie for a recommendation and he was like, “Uhh, don’t play so much golf??”

Fallon: Two Oregon men plan a 400-mile trip in two lawn chairs connected to balloons. Or as North Korea calls that, “the space program.”

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