- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MCCHRYSTAL PART DEUX

How long will it take before Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal retires and turns up on cable TV as a proverbial “Pentagon pundit”? Three months? Six months? If he chooses that career trajectory, he’ll be in crowded company. Dozens of former brass have segued snugly from E-Ring to talent chair since the first Gulf War, and such transitions are a mainstay of the substantial pool of one-time politicians, military officers and public officials now manning the front lines of the ratings wars.

“Old soldiers used to fade away, now they go on cable TV — joining former politicians, lawmakers, ex-candidates and even disgraced New York governors like Eliot Spitzer, who just joined CNN. Everybody gets a second act,” S. Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs, tells Inside the Beltway.

THE YOUTH FACTOR

“It’s typical of young lawyers going into constitutional law that they have inflated dreams of what constitutional law can do, what courts can do. That usually wears off as time passes and they get experience. But Ms. Kagan has not had time to develop a mature philosophy of judging. I would say her admiration for [Aharon] Barak, the Israeli justice, is a prime example. As I’ve said before, Barak might be the least competent judge on the planet.” Judge Robert Bork, evaluating Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan during an Americans United for Life press conference on Wednesday.

THE EX FACTOR

Elena Kagan has steadfastly refused to divulge her sexual orientation, despite a CBS News blog item claiming that Miss Kagan is known in Harvard circles as a lesbian. In response, the White House blasted CBS for its ‘lies.’ But if Kagan is a lesbian, why would the White House insist otherwise when President Obama made gay rights part of his platform for change?” asks Greg Quinlan, president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, a nonprofit group.

“Could it be that Kagan is ex-gay? That would explain the White House insistence on Kagan’s heterosexuality and Kagan’s silence about her past sexual preference. As an ex-gay myself, I sympathize with Kagan and the Obama administration. I have faced taunts, threats, and phone calls demanding I be fired. There is no hate like that against the ex-gay community. And President Obama knows it,” Mr. Quinlan says. “But aren’t ex-gays part of diversity? Why can’t we have the same tolerance that gays enjoy? So Ms. Kagan, don’t be afraid to come out of the closet. Ex-gays like me, and maybe you, should be able to live openly, just like when we were homosexuals.”

90-DAY REVIEW

Time flies in a distracted nation. Somehow, three months have already passed since health care reform became law, with new Gallup findings revealing that the legislation “divided the public then and has not gained significant support in the three months since.” More than three-quarters of both Democrats and liberals call the reform a “good” thing, compared with 17 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of conservatives.

“For a full year, Democrats let priorities like the economy and debt slip while trying to sell the American people a bill of goods called ‘ObamaCare.’ But over the last three months, the truth has come out. ObamaCare does not lower costs, create jobs, decrease the deficit, or protect your current health care plan,” says Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. “The string of broken promises has only strengthened Americans’ opposition to this unconstitutional intrusion into personal health care decisions.”

STARTING EARLY

“Defending Freedom in Congress” (Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican)

“Diversity, Tolerance, Multiculturalism and Other Bad Ideas” (Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor, National Review)

“Why a Life in Public Service is a Life Well Lived” (Tim Goeglein, vice president, Focus on the Family)

“Don’t Become an Obama Zombie” (Jason Matterra, editor, Human Events)

“Advancing Conservative Ideas in Film and the Supreme Court” (David Bossie, president, Citizens United)

- A selection of mini-courses and instructors offered through Friday at the Young America’s Foundation conference for more than 100 high school students from 30 states.

STILL WAITING

The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said nothing to Sen. John Cornyn about those 17 Afghan military officers missing in his state, slipping away during the past two years from Lackland Air Force Base. The Texas Republican does not care for that, and found out on his own from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that “the majority” of the missing officers have not been located, he says. Mr. Cornyn has taken his concerns directly to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“I recognize that tracking visa overstays in the United States is a challenge. However, I continue to see a disturbing pattern that began with Ramzi Yousef and the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, came to fruition with the 9/11 hijackers, and has continued recently with Hosam Maher Husein Smadis planned attempts to bomb a skyscraper in Dallas, Texas,” Mr. Cornyn says in a letter to the secretary.

“I view this situation as a clear security failure that needs to be remedied immediately,” the senator insists.

POLL DU JOUR

  • 83 percent of U.S. voters say it is likely thatElena Kagan will be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
  • 42 percent say she should not be confirmed.
  • 42 percent say she is “politically liberal.”
  • 41 percent have an unfavorable impression of Miss Kagan, 40 percent rate her favorably.
  • 36 percent rate her as a moderate
  • 35 percent say Ms. Kagan should be confirmed as justice.
  • 5 percent say she is conservative.

Source: A Rasmussen reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted June 21 and 22.

Hurrahs and hand-wringing to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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