Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles

FRED THOMPSON HAS...

FRED THOMPSON HAS NO PRINCIPLES. Note the plural. He does, judging by his website have one principle -- federalism. It's the only thing listed in his "principles" page and it's mainly a long, pedantic essay that answers the question "so what is this federalism thing anyway?" There's almost no discussion of the issues except for, bizarrely, immigration which is a federal issue if there ever was one: The recent immigration bill was a case in point. That bill failed, and it failed for good reason. The federal government simply had no credibility on the issue. The promises of the 1986 immigration bill have not been fulfilled. Current laws have not been enforced. The federal government has been failing in its fundamental responsibility to control the borders. Worse, when state officials have tried to act with reforms of their own, federal authorities have gotten in the way. In the end, many in both parties in Congress have learned a lesson: promises about immigration reform aren't worth...

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN...

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN ICKY. The strange case of self-described "pedophile" Jack McClellan has, inevitably, reached its next logical step. McClellan, who has not been accused of actually engaging in any illegal activity with children, has understandably freaked out parents across southern California by declaring his sexual interest in young children and posting photos of them online. So far, so very very creepy. But the government's response has been worrisome. A judge recently issued a restraining order against him which required him to stay 10 yards from all children in the state. Essentially this condemns him to jail, exile, or living in a shack in the desert. Unsurprisingly, only days after the initial restraining order he has been arrested for violating it . It's hard to see how the restraining order will hold up in court, but we've already seen how fear of pedophiles removes most people's qualms about due process. --Sam Boyd

RUDY GIULIANI WILL KILL US ALL.

RUDY GIULIANI WILL KILL US ALL. Not quite, but his foreign policy team makes Dick Cheney look like Dennis Kucinich , according to the recent New Yorker piece that Stephen blogged about: Earlier this month, Giuliani named Podhoretz a senior adviser on his foreign-policy team... Podhoretz is so untempered a neocon that he makes Paul Wolfowitz , Bush 's former Deputy Defense Secretary, and a key architect of the Iraq invasion, seem almost a moderate realist. Podhoretz knows that he carries a certain political radioactivity. While he believes that Giuliani would follow his advice to bomb Iran before it gets nuclear weapons -- Giuliani, like other candidates, has said that Iran must be kept out of the nuclear club -- Podhoretz hasn't asked him directly, because he doesn't want to damage Giuliani's candidacy with the inevitable controversy that an affirmative answer might arouse. Which of course raises the question: if one of Giuliani's top advisers advocates attacking Iran why hasn't...

A GRAND UNIFIED THEORY OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

A GRAND UNIFIED THEORY OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. The new Atlantic piece on Karl Rove by Joshua Green has been rightly hailed as a brilliant piece of reporting. It's a great article, not just because it reveals Rove's role, but because it provides a highly plausible theory that explains much of the Bush presidency. In the beginning, policy was run by Josh Bolten and, whatever its serious faults, had some intellectual coherence and bipartisan appeal (NCLB, tax cuts, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit ). The war in Iraq was the work of Dick Cheney , the other main actor in policymaking. Then, after the 2004 election, Rove took full control of domestic policy and initiated the disastrous push for Social Security "reform" as part of his attempt to destroy Democratic power bases and create a lasting Republican majority and a permanent realignment. Unfortunately for Rove, while he had a keen understanding of elections and the role of policy in shaping political coalitions, he never...

CHINA SHOWS OFF...

CHINA SHOWS OFF ITS FINANCIAL GUNS. China is softly sending a clear message to Congress not to get tough on exchange rates, and carrying a $1.33 trillion stick -- the total amount of currency reserves held it holds in dollars (equal to some 44 percent of US national debt). Chinese leaders have hinted that a provocation from the US could trigger a sell-off of these reserves which would in turn have disastrous consequences for an already shaky US economy: For the U.S. economy, it just might be the economic equivalent of a nuclear holocaust...The already-stumbling U.S. housing market is beaten into collapse. And the euro overtakes the dollar as the world's reserve currency of choice as America sinks into a deep recession. That would be, to put it mildly, bad. Very bad. This kind of thing is why our deficits DO matter. They make us weak and beholden to people we don't want to be beholden to. Unfortunately, its probably too late to do anything in the immediate future except make nice and...

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