March 29, 2007

by Jacob T. Levy Over on The Spine, Marty Peretzseemingly endorses state-level divestments from businesses doing business in Sudan. Apart from the merits of divestment as a strategy of effecting change, I have a question: Isn't such a policy unconstitutional? Per Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, states are prohibited from conducting independent foreign policies through economic boycotts; the federal government occupies the whole field of legitimate action on foreign trade. Isn't a divestment policy just a narrow case of an economic boycott?

Democrats On Health Care
March 25, 2007

Now that every candidate for president is talking about taking care of the nation's health, the issue is getting murkier and murkier. Naturally, Hillary is angry and is already a caricature of her own self in 1993. Obama is vague. John Edwards is very specific and runs the risk of not getting his message across. The rest of the Democrats say more or less the same words, except for Chris Dodd who adds that he is in favor letting supervisory nurses unionize.

War Costs Money
March 22, 2007

That is the message that Joe Lieberman will deliver on the floor of the Senate tonight. Here is an excerpt of that speech, calling for a tax increase to fight the multi-pronged war on Islamism: During the Second World War, our government raised taxes and we spent as much as 30 percent of our Gross Domestic Product to defeat fascism and Nazism.

Congressional Culpability & The U.s. Attorneys
March 20, 2007

by Stanley I. Kutler Congress is on the verge of rare bi-partisanship: the administration's calculated decision to rid its ranks of "disloyal" U.S. attorneys, who did their duty to enforce the law without political fear or favor, has roiled the blood of Democrats and Republicans alike. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez's days appear numbered; at the very least, his authority is severely diminished. Karl Rove, the architect of many Democratic defeats and Harriet Miers (alas!

The Survival Of The Fattest
March 19, 2007

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think By Brian Wansink (Bantam, 276 pp., $25) The idea of "the survival of the fittest" is one of the most powerful organizing principles in all of science. That simple idea, stated by Herbert Spencer on the basis of Charles Darwin's work and later endorsed by Darwin himself, captures the theory of evolution, the process of natural selection, and a host of associated notions. And yet the phrase can produce confusion.

Say Goodbye To "justice Gonzales"
March 14, 2007

In a (pretty feeble) defense of Alberto Gonzales, David Frum notes a fringe benefit for Democrats in the current US Attorney scandal: Even if he stays, Gonzales is probably toast as a Supreme Court nominee. Whereas until now he would've been a tough pick for many Democrats to oppose. --Michael Crowley

In Today's Web Magazine
March 14, 2007

Sam Tanenhaus describes how William F. Buckley turned against his own movement (and also discovers that Buckley turned David Brooks down for the editorship of the National Review because he wasn't "a believing Christian"); Tanenhaus also recommends essential books about American conservatism and chats with Isaac Chotiner about the future of the movement (we've got the audio); Cass R. Sunstein thinks the D.C.

You're Unbelievable
March 13, 2007

It was #1 Hack Harriet Miers who suggested firing U.S. attorneys in 2005 -- that is, firing all 93 of them. Imagine if this had come out with Miers as a sitting Supreme Court Justice. --Eve Fairbanks

Obama Isn't Going Out
March 08, 2007

Stop the presses! Barack Obama has committed parking violations! And he's been late in paying the fines! Today's Boston Globe reveals that Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1990 while he was at Harvard Law School--and that he didn't get around to paying 15 of them until just a few weeks ago. As for the specific offenses, the Globe reports: Obama received the tickets between Oct. 5, 1988, and Jan.

The New Ethanol
March 05, 2007

As a follow-up to Jon Chait's excellent piece on card-check legislation, I see Mickey Kaus is suggesting that card-check will "cripple American capitalism." Kevin Drum mocks the argument, and I'd just add that card check isn't some brand new idea here. The practice was quite common during the late 1930s and 1940s, before Congress passed Taft-Hartley. The United States did okay for itself. Our neighbors up north, meanwhile, have had card check for a long while--in fact, most provinces still do--and they've survived just fine. Anyway, that's not the point of this post.