Law

Hillarycare And History
February 05, 2008

Today's David Brooks column, which reexamines Hillary Clinton's record during the 1993-94 health care fight, offers an important reminder of the antipathy she has generated not just among many average Americans but also among some members of Congress.  That, by itself, raises important questions about whether she could really master Washington better than Barack Obama could -- a claim she and her supporters frequently make.   But what about the underlying reality that Brooks describes: Did Clinton really botch things back then as much as Brooks -- and pretty much everybody else -- seems to th

Vote Mccain--because Life Expectancy Is Going Up
February 04, 2008

The McCain campaign must be pretty spooked about conservative reaction to the story that their man isn't a full-throated Sam Alito fan. Today the campaign sent out an email to supporters trumpeting this Wall Street Journal op-ed by conservative Northwestern University law professors Steven Calabresi and John McGinnis, wherein they attest to McCain's fealty to the right in judicial nominations. The op-ed reads in part: On Jan. 20, 2009, six of the nine Supreme Court justices will be over 70. Most of them could be replaced by the next president, particularly if he or she is re-elected.

Health Care Reformers -- Don't Despair!
February 04, 2008

We're going to take a moment from the debate about individual mandates in health care reform -- a topic to which I shall return soon enough -- to bring you some unambiguously good news.  If, that is, you think universal health care is a good idea. Today the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced it would be launching a $75 million election-year campaign on behalf of universal coverage.

James Baker Demands Honest Elections
February 04, 2008

Can you believe it? James Baker, of all people, has enlisted in a campaign to get the Supreme Court to approve as precedent both state and federal laws that guarantee both "ballot security and full access to voting."  In this effort, he is joined by Jimmy Carter who spends much of his time certifying that elections in select third world countries are fair, honest and democratic -- even when they are not.In 2005, Baker and Carter led a bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform that did tackle the problem and proposed a uniform voter photo ID.

Where Obama Stands In California
February 01, 2008

This report is a little confusing--mostly because it was written at a couple different times throughout the day--but it sounds like the California chapter of the service employees union, SEIU, is endorsing Obama today. Combine that with the Kennedy endorsement, the recent endorsements by members of the California congressional delegation, Obama's unprecedented organization in the state, and the fact that independents can only vote in California's Democratic primary, and the fundamentals continue to improve for Obama there.  Having said that, I think he's still a pretty long shot to win the sta

Who's Afraid Of The Methodist Church? Or The Presbyterians?
February 01, 2008

The Methodist Church in the United States seems to have embarked on its annual foray into the murky waters where hostility to Zionism and Israel just barely averts anti-Semitism.  Or maybe not.The righteous Methodists are once again considering disinvesting from public companies which do business in Israel in general and with companies that somehow help sustain the occupation of the West Bank.  This might mean a farm machine company like International Harvester or John Deere or perhaps a seed company.  Of course, it depends in which companies Methodist endowment and pensions are invested.  But

Harry And Louise -- They're Back!
February 01, 2008

A quick follow-up on last night's debate over health care reform -- and then a new development. 1.

Paging Dr. Gupta -- America Needs You!
January 31, 2008

Right after the debate, CNN decided to run an hour-long special on health care by their medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta M.D..  I wasn't going to watch it, mostly because of low expectations.

Sound Of No Hands Clapping?
January 28, 2008

So far, this is a fairly plodding address. Very few flashes of humor or eloquence. My friend Jeff Yarbro, a former Gore aide, called from Tennessee with the line of the night: “People at home must be clapping less than the Supreme Court justices.” --Andrei Cherny

Who Would Mccain Appoint To The Court?
January 28, 2008

John McCain's recent comments on Supreme Court appointments seemed worth a blockquote: McCain mentioned that Sam Brownback would play an advisory role in helping decide who he should nominate for the Supreme Court. As models of who he would select, John McCain pointed to Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. The idea that McCain would let Sam Brownback do the honors of picking John Paul Stevens's replacement is terrifying, but not unexpected.

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