Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Might Not Work Out So Well
It appears that President Obama will appoint Seattle Police Chief Richard “Gil” Kerlikowske to be the country's Drug Czar, which I always thought was the coolest title for a member of the Executive Branch.

This appointment is not without controversy. Kerlikowske has some kind of son (he's been referred to as "stepson," "adopted son," and "son from a previous marriage" -- by the time confirmation hearings start, he'll be known as the Chief's third cousin twice removed on his great uncle's side) who's had some rough patches with the law, including some drug arrests. He's also been in trouble for "cruelty to animals," which is particularly despicable and a quality that he shares with most psychopaths. I understand the fact that all families have their issues, but I think you'd want the leader of the war on drugs to at least be able to lead his own family away from drugs. (Maybe the cruelty to animals part while you're at it, too.) Also, didn't anyone in the Administration think of Traffic when they were considering this appointment?

Perhaps more troubling to me is that, on December 26, 2004, Chief Kerkilowke had his gun stolen from his unmarked police car, while he and his wife were shopping at the Pacific Place shopping mall in downtown Seattle. The couple parked at 10:30AM, and returned about 3:30PM to find that the gun, which had been stashed in that great hiding place, under the driver's seat, was gone. That's completely humiliating -- what kind of a guy is going to spend five hours at a mall on the day after Christmas? Was his cable out or something? Even giving them an hour for lunch, hopefully with some drinks, that's still four more hours than anyone should spend at a mall on that day. (Although it probably is a good idea to limit your access to weapons if you must spend that day at the mall.)

Maybe Chief Kerkilowke is the right man for the job, who knows. I'm sure it helps him that there's not exactly a long history of successful drug policy in this country, so the bar is low. For now, the Chief is excited about the possibilities, and also because he's heard there's great shopping in DC.

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