Saturday's Lunch Special
October 22, 2011
What's for lunch today? In many Texas prisons, nothing. The Times had a remarkable story tucked inside Friday's paper noting that Rick Perry's administration has decided to stop serving lunch on Saturdays and Sundays in order to help deal with the state's budget troubles. Not serving lunch to 23,000 inmates is the better part of $2.8 million in prison-system savings being sought this year.
Obama And The Amnesty That Wasn't
August 30, 2011
[Guest post by Nathan Pippenger] In my story yesterday, I tried to explain the longstanding practice of “prosecutorial discretion” in immigration enforcement, recently under attack by many of its former advocates, as well as some of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers tasked with carrying it out.
America Reaches a Demographic Tipping Point
August 29, 2011
The latest wave of 2010 Census data, released this week, confirms what earlier surveys have strongly hinted: Virtually half of recent births in the U.S. are minorities. We are becoming a more globalized nation than most Americans have ever experienced. This great demographic change has potential long term benefits for our economic competitiveness in the international marketplace.
Will The Supercommittee Be Different This Time?
August 03, 2011
There's been some debate over whether the supercommittee will simply deadlock over the Republican refusal to raise any taxes, or whether Republicans will roll Democrats again and force another all-cuts budget deal. I am less sure, in part because the alternative to a deal (huge cuts to medical providers and the military) frightens Republicans as much as Democrats.
“I’ve talked to my lawyers,” President Obama said in explaining his dismissal of the argument that Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment authorizes him to raise the debt ceiling if Congress fails to act. “They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument.” But who are President Obama’s cowering lawyers, and why would the former constitutional law professor defer to their overly cautious prediction that the Supreme Court would rule against Obama if asked to adjudicate a dispute between the president and Congress?
The Shifting GOP Nominating Calendar Will Produce a Knockout Victory—Or an Extended Slugfest
July 28, 2011
When I last wrote about the schedule of Republican presidential nominating contests back in April, there were two dynamics that appeared to be shaping the calendar: first, the usual “frontloading” temptation of states to run to the front of the line in order to have an impact on the results, which both national parties have been fighting in recent years with less than brilliant success; and second, a more unusual “backloading” phenomenon, where other states were delaying primaries or caucuses for their own reasons, often the money savings associated with holding the contests in conjunction wi
July 28, 2011
The Supreme Court has included good writers and bad writers during the past two centuries, but the literarily challenged justices have always had a comfortable majority. In the Court’s early days, one of its clumsiest writers was Samuel Chase, who, in addition to being impeached for excessive partisanship, had a weakness for random italics.
On Tuesday, Parliament’s hearing on News Corp was abruptly interrupted after a protester rushed toward Rupert Murdoch and tried to hit him in the face with shaving cream. The protester was identified as British comedian Jonnie Marbles, who tweeted about his intentions before the attack. “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before (at)splat,” he tweeted, riffing off Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. The incident caused an uproar, but Murdoch was certainly not the first public figure to be “creamed,” so to speak.
Last night, the National League defeated the American League 5-1 in the eighty-second MLB All-Star Game, posting its second consecutive victory after more than a decade of losses to the AL. Last night’s game took place at Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (For those of you questioning the wisdom of holding the All-Star Game in Phoenix at this time of year, remember that the field has a retractable roof and massive cooling system, which lowered the game-time temperature to a pleasant 72 degrees.) But what did the event mean for Phoenix?
Why The Big Budget Deal Won't Happen
July 08, 2011
Because conservatives won't go for it: Mr. Obama, seated between Mr. Boehner and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, told the lawmakers he would not sign an interim deal, only one that extended through the 2012 election. Then he surveyed the eight leaders about their preference for three deals of different sizes — the largest being up to $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, according to aides briefed on the discussion. Six of the eight expressed their support for the biggest deal, the aides said.