The group blog of The New Republic
June 26, 2007
Scott Lemieux notices some selective originalism on display from Clarence Thomas yesterday. In the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, Thomas found that the original meaning of the Constitution gave schools nearly limitless power to censor student speech. But when it came time to weaken campaign-finance laws, history lessons from Thomas and Scalia on original meaning were nowhere to be found. How curious.
Back in February, a powerful Pennsylvania state senator named Vincent Fumo was indicted on a slew of federal corruption charges. If nothing else, the government's lengthy complaint against the South Philly Democrat made for an entertaining read--a case study in what observers euphemistically like to call the city's "colorful" political culture.
I think Stephen Danley may be the NBA Draft guru America wants and needs--and I'm not just saying that because he's down on Josh McRoberts.
Dave Roberts excerpts a great CongressNow article about an obscure, tediously wonky, and utterly important climate-change issue: If Congress decides to create a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse emissions across the country, how should it give out the pollution permits? Auction them off? Or should legislators figure out for themselves who deserves pollution credits and simply give them away for free?
Ross Douthat is right about John Updike's boring and aimless review of Amity Shlaes's new book on the Great Depression (don't click that link!). If you are writing a piece on a book that claims the New Deal was actually counterproductive and harmful it is indeed pathetic to simply say, well, my dad became a Democrat because of FDR.
Amy Zegart makes a decent point here: It's nice that the CIA is cracking open its archives so that people can examine the agency's past abuses--abuses that, in any case, took place well before the Church Commission hearings. But it would be nicer still if CIA director Michael Hayden's promises of greater openness lead to, say, a better public understanding of what went wrong before 9/11 or something a little more recent.