Still More Libby

What I find most galling about the commuted sentence is that it really wasn't a commutation in any meaningful sense. Typically a sentence is commuted after some portion, often the bulk, of it has been served, the idea being that poor so-and-so has suffered long enough in prison and the additional pain that completing the sentence would bring in no way serves justice. In Scooter Libby's case, of course, he hasn't served a day in prison and now never will.

A Constitutional Crisis
July 03, 2007

by Sanford Levinson I cannot restrain myself from offering some comment on the President's commutation of I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby's prison sentence. There are so many things that one might say: The most obvious point is that Mr. Bush has been notably uncompassionate in his use of his pardoning power in his first six-years in office; moreover, as Governor of Texas he exhibited almost blithe disregard--enabled, to be sure, by his lawyer Alberto ("Fredo") Gonzales--of the poor wretches condemned to die under a notably slipshod system of Texas criminal justice.

The Value Of Religious Convictions
June 29, 2007

by Alan Wolfe In the current TNR I have a review essay on Russell Kirk. In passing I mention that Kirk, although insisting that religion serve as a pillar of society, never bothered to select out any one religion for the task. Against this, I wrote, "give me Father Neuhaus any time; when he defends the need for religion in the public square, you are not left in doubt about which religion it is." Or is not. As if on cue, Fr.

On Siegelman

Before we turn former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman into a liberal icon, a few words of caution. While I don't find it hard to believe that there was some Rove-an conspiracy behind his prosecution--and, if accusations of that conspiracy turn out to be true, then Siegelman's conviction should be thrown out--the guy was a bad governor. On the issue in Alabama that liberals should care most about--which is the state's highly regressive tax code--Siegelman didn't lift a finger.

"cho Was The Alien"
May 10, 2007

Nothing much surprises me anymore regarding Pat Buchanan and immigration, but I do want to flag this particularly sick column he wrote on Seung-Hui Cho: In stories about him, we learn he had no friends, rarely spoke, and was a loner, isolated from classmates and roommates. Cho was the alien in Hokie Nation. And to vent his rage at those with whom he could not communicate, he decided to kill in cold blood dozens of us. ... Before 1970, we were a people, a community, a country. Students would have said aloud of Cho: "Who is this guy?

The Duke Dilemma
April 16, 2007

I know Sacco and Vanzetti are both innocent. I know Julius Rosenberg is innocent. And, of course, Alger Hiss is innocent. too. But, for sure, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans are guilty and have been guilty since the moment a stripper-mom who happens to be black said she had been violently shtupped--from the rear, no less--at a lacrosse team party just off the Duke University campus.

It's The Hacks, Stupid
April 02, 2007

The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last argues that the real attorney scandal isn't a matter of political corruption (I'm not so sure) but rampant hackery (I totally agree). He focuses on the case of Monica "Taking the Fifth" Goodling: Goodling's background is curious. Now 33, she graduated from Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school, in 1995. After a year at the American University Washington College of Law, she enrolled at Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School in 1996 - the year it received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. She graduated from Regent in 1999.

A Muslim Mlk, Revisited
January 25, 2007

I am grateful to Jonathan Chait for defending me against Matthew Yglesias' insinuation that I didn't really know that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been imprisoned (by the state) and murdered by a racist. This racist, James Earl Ray, was convicted by the state in a jury trial of his peers and sentenced to 99 years in prison. What does Yglesias think would have happened to a nearly unimaginable Muslim Martin Luther King had he arisen in Iraq or Syria or Iran or Algeria or Taliban Afghanistan? Would he not have been killed by the regime?

Not Very Saintly Francis
January 23, 2007

In what can only be described as (insufficiently) good news, 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joe Francis has just been sentenced to 200 hours of community service for failing to document the age of the women in his "films". If you haven't already, be sure to check out this disturbing, compelling, and amazingly good profile of Francis by Claire Hoffman from the Los Angeles Times Magazine. --Isaac Chotiner

The Use And Abuse Of Intelligence
January 21, 2007

by David Bromwich Walter Mondale, interviewed today by Wolf Blitzer, said that in his judgment Vice President Cheney had "crossed a line" the Carter presidency took care to preserve: the line that stops the vice president from becoming an autonomous actor in the framing and the pursuit of policies. He added that Dick Cheney appears to have constructed "a parallel National Security Council" to control national intelligence.