- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2010

LIFE WITH ELENA

They knew it was coming. They’ve heaved a sigh. Now, those opposed to newly minted Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan already anticipate the long march ahead, as Ms. Kagan sets up her bench and gets to work.

“She is what she is, and that is an academician. What troubles me most, and what has troubled many of us, is that she has no legal experience. It’s going to be in her nature to be a problem solver, rather than jurist,” Republican National Lawyers Association Chairman David A. Norcross tells Inside the Beltway.

“I believe that a judge who assumes a role of being a policymaker or a lawmaker is, in essence, a lawbreaker. Ms. Kagan’s career up to this point shows a willingness to bend the law and the facts to advance her own beliefs. And I fear this trend will continue in an activist tenure on the Supreme Court,” says Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican.

“The American people deserve judges who will interpret laws, not invent them, and who will adhere to the Constitution,” observes Marco Rubio, a conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida.

“Her confirmation is tragic news for women, the unborn and the American pro-life majority,” agrees Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

“I am convinced that Ms. Kagan will approach the cases from a political perspective and judge not based on blind justice but based on which party is historically underrepresented,” says David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society and former congressman from Indiana.

ONE DOWN

And about a thousand to go. The first installment of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of D.C.” has come and gone, trailing lots of cocktails, spats, rebukes, name-dropping, chatter and icy reviews of the five well-heeled Washington hausfraus who utter such sound bites as “The currency here is proximity to power” and “This town is small, and everybody has an agenda.”

Well, OK. There is power here and everybody has an agenda, granted. But some critics wonder if the D.C. version of the franchise is the one that will, uh, fail. But wait. Will any of the cast emerge queen? Maybe. Alleged White House party crasher Michaele Salahi has already made a deft maneuver to that end:She plans to publicly auction off to charity the crimson and gilt sari she wore during that social escapade — virtuously timed just as that “scandal” surfaces in the series.

LIQUID ASSETS

There’s government-sanctioned fluoride in the water to prevent tooth decay. Why not add a little of the psychotropic drug lithium to cheer up the American public as well? Bioethicist Jacob Appel says the federal government should consider such a policy to even out suicidal tendencies and mood swings in uncertain times.

“We are not talking about adding therapeutic levels of lithium to the drinking water,” says Mr. Appel, a writer for BigThink.com. “If you wanted to get a therapeutic level from the trace amounts that currently exist in the areas where there is already lithium, you would have to drink several Olympic-size swimming pools. So the reality is, these are very low levels, and theres no reason to think they are not safe in the areas they already exist, so why not give everybody that benefit?”

Mr. Appel cites U.S. and Japanese studies that found that communities with higher than average amounts of naturally occurring lithium in the drinking water had “significantly lower suicide rates.” And if people don’t want to take part, he argues, they can always opt out by drinking bottled water. Simple as that.

“If the vast majority of people gain health benefits from fortifying the public water, and particularly if these benefits are life-saving, then there is nothing unreasonable about placing the burden not to drink upon the resistant minority,” he adds.

BUMPER PATROL

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

Bumper sticker spotted in Germantown, Md.

ON THE RADAR

A conservative businessman is pining to replace the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. Declaring himself “a happy warrior and steadfast advocate,” John Raese has hit the ground running, and for good reason. Primary voting starts Aug. 20 in the Mountain State. In the past 48 hours alone, Mr. Raese appeared at two “tea party” rallies and one county fair, talking up fiscal sanity and the American competitive spirit.

“The core of the campaign is focused on the single fact that our government must be disciplined so that it works for us — the citizens — not the other way around,” Mr. Raese says. “I won’t be a senator who is a rubber stamp for [President] Obama.”

POLL DU JOUR

*57 percent of U.S. voters overall disapprove of President Obama’s job performance.

*46 percent plan to vote for a Republican candidate in the congressional races this fall.

*85 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats say they will do the same.

*38 percent of voters overall plan to vote for a Democratic candidate.

*78 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of independents and 4 percent of Republicans say they will do the same.

*13 percent of voters overall are still unsure of their choice.

*3 percent will vote for neither major party.

Source: A Zogby Interactive poll of 2,389 likely voters conducted July 27-29.

*Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow her at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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