Archive

  • THE COMING CONSTITUTIONAL SHOWDOWN.

    THE COMING CONSTITUTIONAL SHOWDOWN. I didn't manage to get in on yesterday's orgy of electoral predictions, but I do agree with AEI's most honest analyst, Norman Ornstein , as to what will happen when Democrats take the House: a showdown between the White House and Congress over executive privilege. Dick Cheney has already said he would "probably not" appear if he is subpoenaed. John Holbo thinks the crisis would take the form of: 2-years of semi-successful executive branch stonewalling, followed by Bush proving himself his father�s son in at least one way � by handing out a bunch of Christmas pardons, meaning the guilty are never brought to justice, and even the truth about what happened is never officially investigated to the fullest extent. And the Constitutional framework is, in this way, brutalized in one final way even as the door hits Bush�s ass on the way out. Maybe so, but I think it is more likely that the House will threaten to cut off funding unless Bush cooperates, he...
  • OR ELSE! From...

    OR ELSE! From the Rev. Rob Schenck , president of the National Clergy Council (the folks who tried to pick a fight with the government of the District of Columbia by putting an 850-lb. Ten Commandments monument in their front yard without getting a permit), I received an urgent message in my e-mail box bearing this title, "Christians Must Vote Today or Else": If Christians don't show up to vote today, babies will continue to die in abortions, fewer children will grow up in married homes, many more will grow up with two daddies or two mommies, God will ultimately be purged from the public square. In short, America will soon look like godless Europe. It's that simple. Good pastry and lots of jazz clubs . From the good reverend's lips to God's ears, say I. --Adele M. Stan
  • PREDICTIONS.

    PREDICTIONS. Matt 's House call (and overall sentiments) track with mine . Meanwhile, over here he's pretty shrill, while in his column today he's pretty gloomy about the prospects of us leaving Iraq soon regardless of today's election outcome. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • AH, GOOD.

    AH, GOOD. Take a look at this brief report by Kate Burson from a polling place in my hometown, St. Louis. Burson's post underscores Genevieve Smith 's point that, when it comes to e-voting machines, technical and logistical snafus may be as much of a danger as their vulnerability to tampering. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • The Problem of Takings and Environmentalism

    We've all heard about the problem posed by "takings," when the government passes regulations that prevent property owners from developing their land. Well, the NYT has a piece about efforts by Maine residents to prevent a property owner from doing what she wants with her land, but it never discusses it in the context of takings. That is because the property owner is an environmentalist who wants to turn the land that she has bought into a park and exclude uses like logging and snowmobiling. Of course the link between "takings" and environmental regulation is nonesense. The government takes actions all the time that raise or lower the value of property. Adults understand these risks when they buy property. Unfortunately, the media has chosen to treat the "anti-takings" crew as a serious property rights movement, instead of just a new approach to undermining environmental regulation. --Dean Baker
  • The Developing Countries and Global Warming

    The NYT had an article on projections showing that China is about to pass the U.S. as the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. While the article does point out the near complete failure of the world to do anything to stem the threat posed by global warming, it is almost deliberately uninformative. For example, it notes the refusal of China and other developing countries to agree to restrictions on their greenhouse gas emissions, commenting that "China says rich countries bear responsibility for the increase in global carbon dioxide levels that has already taken place." Well, this is not just something that China says, it happens to be true. The world would have no global warming problem had it not been for greenhouse gas emissions for the last two centuries by rich countries. This is important, because there is no possibility of a solution unless greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries are curtailed. In turn, this will not happen unless rich countries pay developing countries...
  • POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SOME DARK HORSES TO WATCH.

    POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SOME DARK HORSES TO WATCH. It's always nice to get a closer look at a few of the longer-shot but still potentially close House races, to have them in mind when the madness begins tomorrow. On Friday, Jim McNeill had an on-the-ground report from Ohio's 2nd district, where Victoria Wulsin is challengeing "Mean Jean" Schmidt for the seat Paul Hackett almost nabbed last year; and today, Suzanne Charl� reported on former Orleans soft-rocker John Hall 's challenge to Republican Sue Kelly in New York's 19th. (Her piece also includes links to some stellar Colbert material.) --Sam Rosenfeld
  • BLOOD IN THE...

    BLOOD IN THE WATER. In the course of being quizzed yesterday by Chris Wallace on the whereabouts of House Speaker Dennis Hastert , House Majority Leader John Boehner let on that he had "spoken to the Speaker" about the possibility of postponing the leadership elections for the House Republicans -- now scheduled for Nov. 15th -- in consideration of whether, in Wallace's words, members should "take a clean look at whether you should have a new team in place to lead Republicans going forward." You'll recall that Boehner, nipping at Hastert's heels, claimed to have warned the Speaker about former Rep. Mark Foley 's overly lech -- er, friendly mash notes to congressional pages, while Hastert claimed otherwise. On the subject of Denny's time out from the campaign playground, Boehner had little to say, except to counter with the discredited implication that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also been absent from the campaign scene. Incidentally, this bogus claim has been systematically...
  • IT'S CATHOLIC V....

    IT'S CATHOLIC V. CATHOLIC IN MISSOURI. In the final day before Missourians decide whether to enshrine in the state's constitution the right of scientists to conduct embryonic stem cell research, a battle taking place within the Catholic faith has come into full view. The church fathers object to embryonic stem cell research in a logical extrapolation of their opposition to abortion: they contend that embryos are people. (Really, the opposition to embryonic stem cell research, whether by Catholics or anyone else, is pretty much fueled by the abortion debate.) Last month, I reported in this post on the response to Michael J. Fox 's ad in support of Democratic senatorial candidate Claire McCaskill , which featured a cast of prominent Catholics from the entertainment and sports worlds. The latest volley on the issue features the Missouri bishops taking on a group of prominent Catholics led by former senator Thomas Eagleton , who was briefly on the Democratic presidential ticket as George...
  • NOT WORTH THE...

    NOT WORTH THE PAPER THEY'RE NOT PRINTED ON, BUT... While I take Addie 's (and Bob Somerby 's) point about predicting election outcomes, I can't resist saying something. I'm actually inclined to stick with Dems +5 for the Senate, which seemed pessimistic last week but now seems a little optimistic. Although Sam seems to buy the claims about Steele that are also popular at the otherwise gloomy (from their perspective) Weekly Standard , I don't see it, partly owing to my political scientist's belief that the effects of campaigning are overrated. Well, looking at the marginal seats (and I think PA and OH are certain Dem pickups, of course), I'd group them like this: Confident about Democratic chances: MD, NJ, RI Tentatively think Dems will win: MO, MT Tentatively think Dems will lose: VA Dems Deader than The Santa Clause 3 's Oscar chances: TN Hmm. well, I guess that's not fully optimistic. On the one hand, I think that +5 is the most likely scenario. On the other hand, +2 or +3 is a lot...

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