October 22, 2008
Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a nice meditation on Madelyn and Stanley Dunham: I was looking at this picture of Obama's grandparents and thinking how much he looks like his grandfather. And suddenly, for whatever reason, I was struck by the fact that they had made the decision to love their daughter, no matter what, and love their grandson, no matter what. I'd bet money that they never even thought of themselves as courageous, that they didn't give much thought to the broader struggles in the the world at the time.
October 21, 2008
Bush Is No Hoover
At various points throughout his administration, George W. Bush has been likened to Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, to Teddy Roosevelt and William McKinley. But during his second term, a consensus has been forming on the president he most brings to mind. As early as the fall of 2006, historian Douglas Brinkley wrote that Bush “has joined [Herbert] Hoover as a case study on how not to be president,” and the comparison has only become more commonplace since then.
Federal appellate judge Richard A. Posner, from the Seventh Circuit, recently wrote in The New Republic ("In Defense of Looseness,” August 27, 2008) that the Heller decision striking down the D.C. gun ban constituted inappropriate judicial activism. Another conservative-leaning appellate judge, the Fourth Circuit’s J. Harvie Wilkinson, takes the same position in an article scheduled for publication in the Virginia Law Review.
Obama's Sneaky New Climate Strategy
Last week, Jason Grumet, one of Obama's main energy advisors, caused a small splash in enviro-policy circles by telling Bloomberg News that, if Obama becomes president, his EPA would probably use the authority given to it by the Supreme Court last year and start regulating carbon-dioxide emissions directly. In other words, an Obama administration wouldn't necessarily have to wait for Congress before starting to curtail greenhouse gases.
In addition to casting ballots for individual candidates Nov. 4, voters in California will be voting on Proposition 8, a high-profile initiative that would ban gay marriage, effectively overturning a May decision by the California Supreme Court. A study released last week reveals a surprising group of swing voters on the issue: Asian Americans. The study, which is the largest of its kind in the United States, surveyed 1,900 likely Asian American voters in eight languages between August 18 and September 26. It showed that by a margin of 57 to 32 percent, the population opposed Prop 8.
The Security Council Will Never Curb Iran's Nuclear Appetite But The Price Of Oil, Down By Half Since Its Summer High, May Well
Iran, Russia and Venezuela have always yearned to play a tough, even aggressive foreign policy game. And they did when the price of crude went up, up, up. By the time oil went to $147 a barrel these countries and their dictators were pushing everyone near--and some far--around.Venezuela made virtual war on Columbia and taunted the U.S.
October 20, 2008
How the West Was Lost
Two regions in this election contain a disproportionate number of battleground states: the Rust Belt (including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin) and the Interior West (Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada). On that score, each candidate would seem to have a home-region advantage, with Barack Obama representing Illinois in the heart of the Rust Belt region, and John McCain Arizona in the Interior West. Studies have proven the presence of a strong “friends and neighbors” effect in a candidate’s home state: They tend to outperform their demographics among voters who know them the bes
John McCain says that he wasn’t surprised by Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama. Nobody should be. Powell has broken ranks in his own inimitable style. For years, he has tried to distance himself from the administration. But he would rarely bring himself to do it in public; instead, he perfected the techniques of a ferocious bureaucratic in-fighter. He was the master of identifying himself in print interviews as “senior administration official,” not to mention the political art of poignant silence.
I can't believe there wasn't more gloating on the liberal blogs yesterday about this story (emphasis added): The recent collapse on Wall Street appears to have found another victim: the independent political groups aiming to make an impact on the 2008 elections.... [F]undraising consultants say the economic collapse ultimately slammed the door.
Why Ceos Don't Get It On Health Care
Why aren't employers, who complain constantly about the cost of employee health benefits, begging and pleading for government to take health insurance away from them? That's the question Ezra Klein asks in a smart post over at the American Prospect site: The big question here, of course, is employers. Why they haven't risen up and demanded an end to the employer-based health care market is one of the questions that I've never been able to answer. Why does GM want to build cars and also provide health insurance?