No Job Protection For Medical Marijuana Users
January 25, 2008

In a rather unique case, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 1996, only protects users from criminal prosecution--it doesn't prohibit firms from disciplining or firing employees who use marijuana under the law. Needless to say, medical marijuana advocates are none too happy: California is one of 12 states with medical marijuana laws.

Freedom's Watch Gets Busy
January 21, 2008

The Washington Post reports that Freedom's Watch—the new conservative non-profit funded by billionaire Sheldon Adelson—could spend as much as $250 million in the 2008 elections. (To put that in context, MoveOn spent just $21 million in 2004.) And the group's already making a splash: Adelson personally wrote an $80,000 check to Freedom's Watch on Dec. 7, according to Federal Election Commission documents, just four days before the election that gave Republican Robert Latta the House seat representing the district around Bowling Green.

Unsolicited Advice For Democratic Candidates
January 18, 2008

One of the most important cases, at least at a symbolic level, to be argued before the Supreme Court this term will be District of Columbia v. Heller, involving the constitutionality of DC's de facto prohibition of handguns. The Circuit Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the prohibition, and the District, against the pleas of many in the "gun control community" who correctly recognize that this is a very high-risk case from their perspective, chose to appeal to the Court.

Bobby Fischer's Fan Club
January 18, 2008

Thanks to Dave Weigel, I see that Bobby Fischer, the world champion chess player, has died. Fischer was also a lunatic anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, in spite of being Jewish himself. Here's what Lew Rockwell, the probable author of Ron Paul's newsletters, has to say over at his blog today: The chess genius the US government tried to jail has died in his adopted homeland of Iceland. His crime? He played a chess match in Yugoslavia, which was then hated by the US for playing a Lincolnesque role against its secessionist states. Was Fischer thereby endorsing the Yugo Union?

Mccain, You Depress Me
January 18, 2008

My colleague Leon has been "rather stirred" by many things about John McCain, including his "decency about immigrants." I'm rather stirred by that too -- it is my favorite thing about McCain, his capacity to argue that it's a profoundly American imperative to treat humans humanely without sneeringly dismissing those who are peeved about our open borders. But McCain's radio ads in South Carolina are depressing. Counter to the legend that McCain doesn't give a damn what anybody thinks about his controversial positions, he's trying to have it both ways.

Waxman: Administration Illegally Failed To Preserve Emails
January 18, 2008

For all of you folks worried that Henry Waxman's dogged campaign to make Major League Baseball shape up might distract him from his real mission in life--unearthing egregious instances of misconduct by the Bush administration--today's Washington Post story should set your minds at ease.

An Apology
January 16, 2008

I did Andrew Cuomo an injustice earlier today by accepting as true an allegation that the New York attorney-general was alluding to Barack Obama when he used the phrase "shuck and jive" as representative of what you can't do in the intimate campaigns of New Hampshire and Iowa. After realizing my mistake, I spoke with Cuomo on the phone and we agreed that the phrase was unfortunate, more than unfortunate. But, in the absence of very clear evidence, why did I so easily accept that he was applying it to Obama when he was not?

Ron Paul Round-up
January 16, 2008

Reason magazine's Dave Weigel and Julian Sanchez have a must-read piece digging into the question of who wrote Ron Paul's newsletters. There's also some very interesting background on the history of libertarianism, and how Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard hoped to turn it into a neo-populist movement based upon racial resentment (thus the amity for Pat Buchanan and David Duke). It appears that the man in charge of the newsletters was indeed Rockwell, whom Paul can't renounce because he's his longtime guru.

Hillary On Obama's Anti-war Cred
January 14, 2008

Like Matt Yglesias, I don't entirely get what Hillary Clinton is aiming for by raising questions about Obama's war-opposition. Yes, Obama toned down his opposition once he arrived in the Senate. But, as Matt says, "Russ Feingold's not his opponent. Hillary Clinton is." And, at pretty much every step of the way, Hillary was either where Obama was or to the right of him on this issue.

Team Hillary's Ill-conceived Robocall Obsession
January 07, 2008

As previously noted, I have a soft spot for Hillary. But this week's robocall squabble has me shaking my head, wondering if it's possible for her team to draw any starker distinction between their vision of/approach to politics and the Obamaniacs'. To recap: Post-Iowa, an unnerved Hillary campaign mailed out flyers slamming Obama for being an insufficiently enthusiastic champion of abortion rights.