• Benjamin Wittes on Due Process for Terrorists  In The Washington Post, Wittes carefully reviews the pros and cons of the two options currently available to presidents: treat a terror suspect as a criminal and lose valuable interrogation time, or treat the suspect as an enemy combatant, gaining intelligence but raising issues about legality and ultimately "undermin[ing] the eventually criminal prosecution of the suspects." Here's his take:
...what authorities really need is [not delayed Miranda rights but] ... greater flexibility in the rules that govern the first several days of these crisis cases--rules that give the executive some time and room to maneuver before it has to make fateful decisions. This would require congressional action and judicial tolerance.
  • Ruth Marcus on Elena Kagan, Smart Women, and Their Problems with Men  Kagan isn't gay, says Marcus unequivocally, pointing to a Politico interview with Kagan's law school roommate and Marcus's close friend. Kagan dated men but simply, in the words of her roommate "didn't find the right person." In that, argues Kagan, she's in the company of plenty of other single women who, in their 40s and 50s, find options dwindling. If anything, Kagan's situation brings attention to a particularly heterosexual problem: men being "put off by women smarter than them."
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, Henry Kissinger famously said, but its magical properties seem to work best on the female sex. Walzer touched on this in her comments to Politico, describing how, in law school, she and Kagan would discuss ways to be smart and confident without intimidating potential dates. "It's an ongoing challenge for very smart women--there are not very many men who would choose women who are smarter than they are," Walzer said.
  • Mona Charen on the First Lady's Anti-Obesity Program  In a National Review column liberals could have a field day finding fault with, Charen points out the oddness of what seems like counter-productivity: the federal government both providing large quantities of food to the poor and then trying to prevent them from eating it.
  • Paul Davies on Alien Life and Earth Life  "How can we test the idea that the transition from nonlife to life is simple enough to happen repeatedly?" asks scientist Paul Davies in The New York Times. "The most obvious and straightforward way is to search for a second form of life on Earth." He goes over what that involves, presenting a string of interesting facts to readers as he does: "In standard life, the key amino acids are always left-handed, and the sugars are right-handed. Scientists are not sure why standard life has made this particular choice; nonliving chemical mixtures tend to contain equal amounts of both left- and right-handed molecules."
  • David Brooks on Looking to Britain's New Leaders  Right now most developed countries are faced with the problem of trying "to reduce national deficits without choking off a fragile recovery; to trim the welfare state and raise taxes while still funding the things that lead to long-term growth," and to do so in a politically feasible way. "Without any planning but by sheer good luck," argues Brooks, "the British may have stumbled into an arrangement that will be a model for all the other countries in the same desperate straits." The "economically conservative, socially liberal" coalition David Cameron and Nick Clegg have wrought may just make the politically impossible possible.