All of a sudden, Tom DeLay is back on his heels after a slew of fresh allegations have even Republicans gossiping about his political viability. But it would be foolish to count DeLay out just yet (and not just because of his strangely effective transformation into a pious crusader for Medicaid-supported coma victims). The roller coaster of bad press the House majority leader has ridden since the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct slapped him with three admonishments last fall might obscure the extent to which DeLay's day-to-day power remains durable and far-reaching. Yet he is still capable of moving institutional mountains to serve his own purposes.
All budgets have got to be based on priorities,” George W. Bush said on February 8, “and mine are clear.” He wasn't lying. The president's $2.57 trillion budget proposal for ﬁscal year 2006 calls for a 16-percent cut in all non–homeland domestic discretionary spending -- which includes most education, housing, environmental-protection, and research programs -- in ﬁve years and devastating cuts to low-income entitlement programs like Medicaid, in part to help ﬁnance $1.6 trillion in tax cuts in the coming decade.
“My God, we're not going to be like them," cried a member of the House Republican leadership, upset over the recently proposed gutting of the House ethics rules, as quoted in The Washington Post.
He was referring to the arrogant Democratic congressional majority of the late 1980s and early '90s. Remember “them”? Those complacent, blinkered politicians had grown bloated by decades of unchecked power, and their autocratic and corrupt ways supposedly provoked the popular revolt that swept the Republicans to the majority in 1994.
The spring of 2003 was a season of crisis for The New York Times, as revelations of the fraud perpetrated by reporter Jayson Blair brought a dramatic end to the stormy tenure of Executive Editor Howell Raines. Former Newsweek media writer Seth Mnookin has produced a definitive account of the period in his new book Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media. TAP's Sam Rosenfeld talked to Mnookin about the scandals, the Times of today, and the media landscape of tomorrow.
When it comes to election systems, the United States isn't all Floridas and Ohios. There are, in fact, a number of states that tend to run their elections well, through trusted systems and voter-friendly procedures. They don't grab the attention of journalists and reformers precisely because they rarely produce newsworthy controversies and snafus.