April 02, 2007
Supreme Court And Climate Change
by Cass Sunstein Just out: The Supreme Court has ruled against the Bush administration in the climate change case. It is too soon to know whether this is a major development in terms of climate change, but it is a remarkable outcome in terms of the law. The plaintiffs faced several serious obstacles: It was not clear that they had standing, it was not (entirely) clear that EPA's decision was reviewable under the ordinary standards, and it was not clear that the EPA's decision was inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.
by Cass Sunstein One of the most interesting questions raised by today's decision is the likely aftermath. In a nutshell, the EPA said that it lacked the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, and also said that it would decline to regulate greenhouse gases even if it had such authority. The Court ruled (1) that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and (2) that it did not adequately explain why it declined to do so.
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman started his reign cautiously, probably for fear of going all Dan Burton. But methinks one consequence of the blowing-up of the U.S. attorneys scandal -- a gift that just fell out of the sky into the Democrats' lap -- is that it gives Waxman the opportunity to open the floodgates without seeming unjustly inquisitorial (hey, this administration already demonstrated it's a rats' nest of corruption and hackery, right?). Check out the rapidly accelerating rate of requests and invitations to come before his Waxman's committee.
Spouse In The House
Elizabeth Edwards declares she has no interest in attending her husband's cabinet meetings if John is elected president. This of course is a response to Rudy Giuliani's (now mostly retracted) suggestion that his wife might. Far more interesting to me is how Hillary Clinton will handle this question. Will Bill attend cabinet meetings? Weigh in on foreign policy crises? Will he keep running his foundation--and if so how much time will he spend in the White House? Hillary has said he'll be "ambassador to the world," whatever that means.
It's The Hacks, Stupid
The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last argues that the real attorney scandal isn't a matter of political corruption (I'm not so sure) but rampant hackery (I totally agree). He focuses on the case of Monica "Taking the Fifth" Goodling: Goodling's background is curious. Now 33, she graduated from Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school, in 1995. After a year at the American University Washington College of Law, she enrolled at Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School in 1996 - the year it received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. She graduated from Regent in 1999.
In Today's Web Magazine
Jason Zengerle hangs out with Ned Lamont, who relives his loss to Joe Lieberman every week; Michael E. O'Hanlon judges Robert Gates's first months in office; Michael Currie Schaffer probes the psychology of Matthew Dowd, the Bush turncoat; Rachel Bronson explains why Saudi Arabia is suddenly so chummy with longtime adversary Iran; and, in the wake of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the greenhouse-gas emissions, we offer a package of stories from our archives on the EPA--including articles by Al Gore and Ralph Nader. --Adam B. Kushner
April 01, 2007
The Ridiculing Posture
It is like a tornado itself. Except its attempt is to contain the damage and restrain it in the future. A particularly clear dispatch by Fiona Harvey, "Damage from global warming 'to worsen'," in Saturday's FT reports on the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Change to be made public this week. Now, according to this panel, North America and northern Europe will do not badly, in a comparative sense, and the southern spheres plus East Asia and lower Europe will be a disaster.
March 31, 2007
Everything that happens in the world that's bad and everything that doesn't happen that would be good is clearly George Bush's fault. No doubt about that. Now, frankly, I too accept that proposition as it regards the relentlessly intrusive efforts to put every government action in line with the administration's often crackpot and more than somewhat authoritarian ideology.
March 30, 2007
Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value. Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents.
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?