Tuesday, May 04, 2010

D.C. Droppings XXIII

Local Boy Makes Bad

A Chevy Chase, Md., senior at the University of Virginia who graduated from a top local prep school (already three elements that make me gag even in the best of times) is alleged to have killed his ex-girlfriend. Both were beautiful people, good students and members of the school’s top-rated lacrosse teams.

This was a natural news story locally, but only here could the routine televised “I couldn’t believe he could do such a thing” testimonial came not from a clergyman, a neighbor or a former teacher. The character witness in this neck of the woods was his nanny!

Grant Wasn’t Just a Northern General

Turns out, as we kind of knew all along, that the most Republican of states get the most return on their tax dollars; that is, the states that are the bottom of every list of everything good – think Mississippi, Alabama, Florida -- get far more in federal grants, contracts and other spending than they contribute in taxes. And much more than Democratic states.

As Dana Milbank in the Washington Post suggests, maybe these Gulf state politicians ought to reject any help from the Coast Guard, NOAA or EPA in cleaning their fouled waters.

The Back Doors of Justice

From both a civic and an architectural point of view, the Supreme Court has handed down yet one more inexplicable decision.

It is closing the grand front entrance emblazoned with the motto “Equal Justice Under the Law” under which millions of Americans, including more than a few scoundrels, have passed or at least photographed. The given reason is security. The real result is one more diminution of the majesty of the American legal system, whose chief judges prefer tailoring not just the people’s access, but the law itself, to fit through the back doors of justice.

I am reminded of what Abby Hoffman said during the Chicago Seven trial: “In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls.”

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