Law

The Flaw In Clinton's Florida-michigan Strategy
February 15, 2008

I see the Clinton campaign is still pressing to seat delegates from the Michigan and Florida primaries. What I fail to see is why. Like most people, I find the effort objectionable on philosophical grounds – particularly in Michigan, where Clinton's name was the only one on the ballot. The Clinton campaign says that it is merely trying to respect the rights of Michigan residents who went to the polls that day. Well, I happen to be one of those people. And I find the argument unpersuasive. But put that aside. It's the sheer practicality of this effort that baffles me at the moment.

Mccain Aiding Clinton?
February 14, 2008

So yesterday, John McCain attacked Barack Obama for lacking specifics. Also yesterday, McCain's economic advisor, Kevin "Dow 36,000" Hassett attacked Obama for allegedly pilfering Clinton's economic stimulus program. (The criticism, and Obama's denial of it, can be found here.) I noted yesterday that it's odd McCain would be attacking Obama for lacking specifics, when McCain is far vaguer and more ill-informed than Obama. It's even odder that McCain's campaign is jumping into the question of which Democrat came out with which stimulus plan first.

Fights Of The 90s
February 12, 2008

Interesting exchange from Hillary's Politico/ABC interview last night:   JOHN HARRIS: You talked about taking on the Republicans. And I think a lot of Democrats are proud of the fact that you and Bill Clinton did prevail in some of your fights against Republicans. But some of them were also frustrated that they had to defend you against what they perceived as self-inflicted wounds, in some cases. And a lot of Obama supporters are saying, Look, we don't want to just win the fights.

A Proud Day For Cornhuskers
February 08, 2008

Nebraska was the last state to use the electric chair as a method of execution--until the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional today (ruling here--pdf). From Justice William Connolly's opinion: “We recognize the temptation to make the prisoner suffer, just as the prisoner made an innocent victim suffer.

"may Include Fraud"
February 07, 2008

Politico yesterday: Top House Republicans were told in recent days that a former employee of their campaign committee may have forged an official audit during the contentious 2006 election cycle and that they should brace for the possibility that an unfolding investigation could uncover financial improprieties stretching back several years, according to GOP sources briefed on the members-only discussions.... “There is a sense that this could be very damaging to the committee,” said a Republican insider close to the GOP leadership.... The NRCC internal investigation centers on Christopher J.

More On The Clintons' Piggy Bank
February 07, 2008

Just to pick up where Mike left off, the prospect of the Clintons self-funding part of Hillary's campaign really does raise a lot of questions, some of them uncomfortable. For example, according to this Washington Post story from last year, Bill frequently commands between $200,000 and $300,000 per speech (with foreign clients usually paying the highest prices).

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.

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