President Obama has nominated my former boss, Mary Jo White, to be the next chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He could not have made a better choice.
I worked for Mary Jo for nearly a decade when she was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years, from 1993-2002. It’s not enough to say she’s one of the best lawyers in the country; she’s also one of the best people I’ve been fortunate to know. She is whip smart and tough. She is also a model of integrity and rectitude. She will do what the SEC ought to do: aggressive enforcement against fraudulent actors. But she also has a world of experience representing businesses, and thus a mature appreciation of the difference between necessary regulation and paralyzing overreach.
The president has made many terrible appointments. To say that this one is a superb appointment is not to grade him on a curve. Mary Jo White will be terrific in what is a very important job.
(Cross-posted on my PJ Media column.)
I’m still in the cave, finishing a book about the “Arab Spring.” That’s why I couldn’t help but catch a post by my pal Diana West, who notes a Los Angeles Times report about the redoubtable President Hamid Karzai, our ”partner” in the “Islamic democracy” of Afghanistan — the one where apostates from Islam are put on capital trial and 19-year-old rape victims, after being convicted of having sex out of wedlock, get their 12-year prison sentences commuted if they marry their rapists.
Seems that after over a decade of American soldiers putting their lives on the line to prop up his sorry regime so that Afghans can live in, er, freedom from “violent extremists” like the Taliban, Karzai is proposing that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, run in the next presidential election. Seriously:
President Hamid Karzai had a suggestion Thursday for Mullah Mohammad Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban movement: Run for president if you want.
The Afghan leader, speaking at a news conference, urged the Taliban chief to embark on negotiations with his government and take part in the political process. He said Omar and his “comrades” could set up a political party and that Omar himself could become a candidate for office if he wished.
“If people vote for him, he can take the leadership,” Karzai declared. Afghanistan’s next presidential elections are scheduled in 2014.
Karzai also said that Omar could visit Afghanistan “anywhere he wants,” but added,“He should put the gun down.” Renouncing violence is a condition for Taliban who wish to join government “reintegration” programs intended to draw fighters away from the battlefield.
In inviting Omar to run for office, it was not clear whether the Afghan president was speaking rhetorically — as he once did when he threatened to join the Taliban.
I have written about Ali Musa Daqduq, the Iran-backed Hezbollah commander responsible for the brutal murder of five of our troops in Karbala in 2007. The Obama administration declined to transfer him to Gitmo or some other location where he could be held as an enemy combatant, tried by military commission, and executed. Instead, Presidnet Obama chose to surrender him to the Iraqis — who have predictably cleared him for release. Every American’s blood should be boiling. Rep. Allen West’s sure is. The decorated combat veteran has sent this letter to the man it is especially difficult today to call the commander-in-chief.