The Spectacle Blog
Julie Myers' nomination was moved out of committee earlier today and will be voted on by the full Senate soon. Myers is nominated to direct the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The vote out of the Senate Homeland Security Committee was 7-2.
Before Harriet Miers came on the scene, Myers was the lightning rod for those screaming unqualified cronyism in the Bush Administration. And she still may be. Whereas Harriet Miers' rulings will effect our lives, should Julie Myers not be up to the ICE job, her failings may actually cost citizens their lives. It's a brutal fact, but it's probably true. She's young, with no real management experience and no immigration experience. But older folks have built the mess she is walking into.
ICE has long been identified as one of the most dysfunctional, failing agencies in all of government. In many ways it still is, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is counting on Myers to fix it. It's a safe bet that she won't, and while it isn't a safe bet, our guess is that she's capable and bright enough to not screw things up worse than they already are. She might even improve them.
The White House Press Corps didn't beat around the bush this morning, broaching the question to the President that is very much "in the air" around Washington these last couple days, including at the NR dinner last night.
Q Thank you, sir. The criticism from some conservatives of Harriet Miers is continuing and getting rather sharp, as you know. Are you willing to rule out ever letting her nomination be withdrawn?
"If Harriet Miers were not a crony of the president of the United States, her nomination to the Supreme Court would be a joke, as it would have occurred to no one else to nominate her."
Further down in his devastating column today, Charles Krauthammer echoes John Wohlstetter's points yesterday on our site in "The Recusal Trap."
"For four years Miers has been immersed in war-and-peace decisions and therefore will have a deep familiarity with the tough constitutional issues regarding detention, prisoner treatment and war powers," Krauthammer writes. "...For years -- crucial years in the war on terrorism -- she will have to recuse herself from judging the constitutionality of these decisions because she will have been a party to having made them in the first place. The Supreme Court will be left with an absent chair on precisely the laws-of-war issues to which she is supposed to bring so much."
Given what we have seen the President do with the appointment of his personal lawyer to the Supreme Court, and given that we have an upcoming nomination for Chairman of the Federal Reserve, does anyone know who the President's personal accountant is?
If so, let's try to find out if he or she was a "trailblazer" of some kind, with little or no actual financial markets experience. I think we've found our nominee!
A couple of things on last night's National Review anniversary dinner. The overriding undercurrent during the cocktail hour and thereafter was a kind of simmering outrage at the Miers nomination, but a general sense that her confirmation was inevitable.
We got the feeling those impressions had not been tempered by the the interview Hugh Hewitt did with Sen. Sam Brownback late yesterday. Brownback's response, was, how do you say it? Devastating. This is a man who clearly is going to be prepared to have a nice "conversation" with the nominee during the hearing process.
That said, Miers is getting somewhat of a bad rap. For example, Sen. Pat Leahy's staff was up to its old tricks of leaking the Senator's conversation with Miers to the media, but wholly inaccurately. Why the White House had her meet with Leahy so early in the process is beyond us.
The Chicago Tribune reports that in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina reconstruction pricetag, the Bush administration is pulling funding from a $20 billion Great Lakes restoration program. At first glance, this program seems to be more infrastructure and shipping spending than pork, but just about any cuts are welcome cuts these days.
According to the Guardian Newspaper, the EUnuchs have thrown in with such free speech protectors as Cuba and China to overturn American control of the internet. The UN has been trying to do this for about two years, and plans to implement new controls by agreement of the assembled diplomutts at a "world information society" summit to be held next month.
This is a non-trivial problem. Controlling the internet means controlling access to a primary outlet for free speech, the ability to provide some measure of protection from cyber-attack on industry, finance, and government computer systems. To put the UN or any other body in charge means submitting these key elements of our freedoms and our economy to those whose only interests are in limiting freedom of speech and attacking the economic structure that fuels democracy. Acquiescence to this -- which Guardian delights in saying is our only choice -- would be an historic mistake.