April 26, 2012
One bit of Barack Obama’s recent interview with Rolling Stone has caused a little stir: He talked about climate change! After not mentioning it once in the 2011 State of the Union, nor in his recent Earth Day proclamation, Obama had this to say when the magazine brought up the issue: “I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we’re going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way.
Following yesterday’s oral arguments, the early consensus among Supreme Court–watchers is that the conservative justices will band together to uphold at least some core provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. One would hope that any such decision would be rooted in a strong understanding of the issues at stake. Unfortunately, after attending yesterday’s oral arguments, I’m not sure that the leader of the Court’s conservative bloc—Antonin Scalia—has a very sound grasp of our country’s immigration policies. The question before the Court is whether S.B.
First Health Care, Now Immigration: How the Government Fumbled Its Latest Supreme Court Case
At the conclusion of yesterday’s oral arguments in Arizona v. U.S., the case that will decide the fate of Arizona law SB 1070, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Thank you, Mr. Clement, General Verrilli.
April 25, 2012
You’ve probably heard about the radical reduction in federal spending that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the Republican Party leadership has endorsed. But what would those cuts actually mean? How would they affect real people?
Almost thirty years ago, the Nixon revisionist Joan Hoff pronounced that Watergate was fast becoming a “dim and distant curiosity.” She couldn’t have been more wrong. Few people under the age of 50 are liable to get a reference to a “modified limited hang-out,” but Nixon’s gallery of White House horrors remains the benchmark against which presidential wrongdoing is measured. While anniversaries of lesser scandals like the Lewinsky affairs and even Iran-contra come and go with little attention from the news media, Watergate remembrances persist.
Of all the issues on which Mitt Romney will be tempted to execute an “Etch-a-Sketch” moment as he heads into the general election, immigration is the most pressing. Remember, on immigration Romney didn’t just rely on his super PAC to slur his opponents; he identified himself robustly with the nativist strain in the GOP. This worked out fine in the primaries: It helped him snuff the existential threat of Rick Perry’s candidacy, and provided additional fodder for his team’s crucial attack on Newt Gingrich after the South Carolina primary.
Obama, a European Socialist? I Wish!
Last fall, Mitt Romney alleged that Obama “takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist Democrats in Europe.” I wish that were true, although socialism has American roots as well. But in point of fact, Romney could summon no evidence at all for his claim. In the richer European countries, citizens have the benefit of a cradle-to-grave welfare system—or did, until the current wave of austerity rolled in.
How Do We Know?
In the first two thirds of Uncontrolled, Jim Manzi describes the historical development of the randomized field trial (RFT) and its philosophical basi
April 24, 2012
When Governor Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070—Arizona’s notorious immigration law—in 2010, she didn’t just enact what was, at the time, the harshest immigration regime in the United States; she also inspired copycat bills in a number of other states. But with the Supreme Court set to consider the constitutionality of Arizona’s law—oral arguments for Arizona v. United States will be heard on Wednesday, and the Court’s decision is expected by the end of June—there’s a lot more at stake than the fate of S.B. 1070 and its imitators.
April 23, 2012
Left without a manufactured scandal or over-hyped gaffe to talk about these past few days, the media circus has turned its attention to matters of a higher order: campaign semiotics.