The Case of the Missing President
This anonymously-sourced report from The Hill, which clearly derives in good part from Republican sources, is pretty damning about President Obama’s leadership, if it turns out to be accurate: GOP aides and lawmakers, speaking on background, portrayed Boehner as the calm negotiator who repeatedly exasperated President Obama. Boehner last month asked the networks to televise his response to Obama’s address to the nation, a request | Read More »
Gov. Brown’s Office to Conservative Californians: Leave the State!
So, a member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors – Jeff Stone, a Republican – has proposed splitting the state of California, with San Diego and the largely rural, Republican-leaning south east of the state becoming “South California,” and LA remaining with the liberal coast and northern part of the state. You can follow the link to the LA Times for the map of | Read More »
You too can ask President Obama a question on Twitter, using the hashtag #askobama. Of course, the tiny fraction of those tweets to be answered will doubtless be carefully screened, and the answers vetted before posting them. I’d say Saturday Night Live should satirize this, but it already did, the last time something like this was tried as if it was a totally brand-new idea, | Read More »
Steve Benen Is Shocked To Find That Some People Don’t Like Signing Statements
Expecting consistency from left-wing political activists is folly, but rarely does one get such a glaring example as the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen on presidential “signing statements.” Watch, and your head will spin. During the Bush years, liberal commentators suddenly discovered that they didn’t like the longstanding practice of “signing statements” by which the President offered his own interpretation of legislation he was signing, in | Read More »
Militarizing America: The Nick Kristof Plan
So often, the problem with the New York Times op-ed page is not just the left-leaning politics, but the poor quality of the contributors, despite the fact that they occupy some of the highest-paid and most-visible perches in the punditocracy. And the hallmark of poor quality punditry is the failure to think through the implications of one’s arguments. So it is with today’s column from | Read More »
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 »
BREAKING: Herb Kohl Retiring
I told you last month that Herb Kohl, Wisconsin’s Democratic senior Senator, hadn’t raised even a penny in the first quarter of 2011, leading to questions about whether he would run for re-election in 2012. Kohl was best known for being not known – he kept an extremely low profile in the Senate, and the best you can say of his Senate career is that, | Read More »
Notes From “The Food Stamp Recovery”
In case you missed it, Jay Cost had a great piece on Friday on “the Food Stamp recovery”, laying out the ways in which the currently-underway “recovery” is the weakest in memory. His bracing conclusion? [I]f the economic recovery does not begin to show substantial improvement, the likes of which we have not really seen in the last two years, and if the GOP nominates | Read More »
Will Obama 2012 Campaign Run On The “Gutsy Call” Of Doing The Obvious?
If you click on the URL www.gutsycall.com, you will notice that – as of this writing – it redirects you to the Obama 2012 re-election campaign website. The URL was apparently purchased yesterday, although the purchaser seems to have covered its tracks. It would appear that this is being done with the intention of using “Gutsy Call” as a campaign slogan for Obama’s 2012 campaign, | Read More »
Inconvenient Facts About The Takedown of Osama bin Laden
One good rule of thumb if you are arguing politics – or practicing law, as I do – is that if your argument requires you to prove that something never happens or somebody does nothing good or right, you have started off with two strikes against you. Never is a hard thing to prove and an easy one to disprove. In the real world, bad | Read More »
Haley Barbour Not Running For President in 2012
If there is one thing we should have learned from the 2008 primary and general elections, to say nothing of 1996, it’s that being a good presidential candidate on paper is useless; you have to want it – want it badly enough to hire a serious staff, badly enough to trim a few positions and hard edges to fit the various demands of the primary | Read More »
Counting Our Hot Buttons: Abortion Numbers in Perspective
With the recent debate over federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood bringing the abortion debate back to the surface, it is sometimes useful to look at the numbers to get a little perspective on why this issue is such a large one. (All of these are estimates, and sources vary, but there’s no serious debate as to the scale of the numbers). Number killed or | Read More »
Not One Dime For Herb Kohl: Mission Accomplished!
PLEASE BE IT TO YOUR ATTENTION URGENT MESSAGE OF BUSINESS MY NAME IS MR HERBERT KOHL AND I AM A UNITED STATES SENATOR OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN. I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IN AN URGENT TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS TO REMOVE $1 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS FROM MY CAMPAIGN FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2012.
Ten Reflections On Libya
I had intended to write up a longer or at any rate more organized essay about Libya, but for now, here are my two cents: 1. I was open initially, at least in theory, to the U.S. arming the rebels and enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, on the theory that we could tip the balance in favor of the rebels without the need to | Read More »
Regulating The Fourth Amendment Out of Existence
The Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures and demands that judicial officers issuing search warrants do so only on a showing of probable cause, is an important guarantee of our civil liberties, designed to protect personal privacy – especially in the home – from random governmental snooping. The Fourth Amendment tends to get a lot of bad press because it is | Read More »