The Perils of Complexity
As a practicing lawyer, I naturally have a professional interest in vague and/or complex legal rules that require lots of expensive legal research, training and experience to understand and explain. But complexity isn’t just costly to consumers of legal services, and thus a burden on business as well as on citizen access to the courts. It’s also a drag on the economy and on personal | Read More »
Obama’s Health Care Strategy: Vote First, Sell Second
One of the most elusive concepts in politics is the notion of a mandate. Presidents love to claim them to bulldoze opposition (“the American people elected me to do this!”), but they can evaporate with astonishing speed, most famously in the case of the backlash against Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Court-packing” plan after FDR had won the most sweeping electoral endorsement for any party in a | Read More »
The Case For Not Letting Up On Speaker Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi has had a very bad stretch over the issue of what she knew, and when, about waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques.” She still seems not to have learned that it’s a bad idea to get in a public spat with people who collect secrets for a living. Her ever-shifting explanations of what she was briefed on and when, culminating in yesterday’s press | Read More »
Nancy Pelosi Was Briefed On Waterboarding But Says She Didn’t Inhale
One of the occupational hazards of partisan politics is attacking the other side for something people on your own side knew about or participated in. Of course, that’s politics; but it becomes a serious problem when you raise the rhetorical temperature to the point of calling your political opponents war criminals … and it turns out your own people knew about the “war crimes” and | Read More »
Heckuva job, Barney.
From Nancy Pelosi’s speech just prior to the bailout vote: I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired. Heckuva job, Barney.
Senate Democrats Play Politics With The Economy
UPDATE: Looks like they are voting anyway and at last check, the House is all but set to vote the deal down. Hold on to your seatbelts, folks. So, the word just came down that the Senate will not vote on the bailout package until Wednesday night. House Republicans should refuse to vote on the deal until the ballots are cast in the Senate. And | Read More »
Some Straight Talk For House Republicans: Time To Lead From The Rear
The question of the day is whether House Republicans are going to support some form of bipartisan bailout deal. The Paulson plan is pretty much the only plan that is on the table with any conceivable chance of passing a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, period. There will undoubtedly be battles over what to add on to the basic bones of the Paulson plan, or whether | Read More »