Questions from the Past Week

Nothing has happened in DC for the past 3 weeks, and then I go on vacation and everything happens at once. Yikes! So much happened that we should be asking ourselves lots of questions. These are the questions I’ll be thinking over, while I get back to the mindless agony that is my job.

While I was in the Badlands, SD: Rolling Stone pulled off a coup against the Lame Stream Media, effectively showing McChrystal was on his way to a MacArthur-level sense of rogue. Rolling Stone also did a widely praised piece on the financial crisis. (Best printed line of the year: “(Goldman Sachs is) a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”) So, question, how did the “real” journalists miss catching this guy in mid-rhetoric when McChrystal and his staff seemed perfectly willing to spout their insubordination to any listening ear?

While I was in Yellowstone, Obama fired McChrystal. The badmouthing was about frustration with the Afghanistan war’s lack of progress and problems with counter insurgency tactics (all the fault of the civilians – convenient!). Is counterinsurgency working in Afghanistan? Did it even work in Iraq, or was the success there indigenous?

While I was in the Redwoods National Forest, financial regulation seemed to have found its shape and support. But does it address the need for TARP, caused by Too Big to Fail financial institutions, failing all at once?

And today, back in the office, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment’s individual right to bear handguns applies to state and local laws. This one bothers me, because Roberts promised to only call “balls and strikes” when it comes to rulings, but has been reinterpreting the Bill of Rights and our common law. Is the call for judicial restraint a political tactic to restrain rulings against a supported ideology in the Roberts Court? Was that a baited question? Have all amendments to the Bill of Rights been applied equally to local and state governments?

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