For thousands of children with debilitating mental illnesses, the get-tough juvenile-justice culture of the 1990s could not have come at a worse time. The new punitive policies emerged in tandem with the slow breakdown of the public mental-health system, and the conﬂuence has led to a pervasive criminalization of juvenile mental illness.
On July 5, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) bought ads in the local papers of six Republican representatives airing questions about various ethical shenanigans and corruption charges. The ad purchase amounted to a measly $36,000, but the Dems promise that this is only the beginning of a national campaign centered on Republican corruption in the run-up to the midterm elections next year.
On May 12, leading lights of the conservative movement threw a gala banquet at the Capital Hilton in Washington to honor House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in his moment of need. After dessert and a closing invocation by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, the crowd of almost 800 rose up and began shufﬂing out of the ballroom. As DeLay shook hands and signed some autographs from his perch on the stage, a tall, sturdy man, clearly a chum of the majority leader's, approached and presented a large framed plaque. Its text was a declaration of support, and a call to arms.
Here we are at another prescribed deadline for Bill Frist's detonation of the “nuclear option” to end judicial filibusters. And here we are, watching that deadline get postponed once more.
Early last week, everyone in the know seemed sure that the majority leader would pull the trigger in the last days before the Senate begins its weeklong recess on April 29. But by yesterday, April 25, Frist aides had put out word that nuclear action would not, in fact, occur this week, so lawmakers can focus their energies on the highway bill and on conference reports for the Iraq War supplemental and the budget.