Monthly Archives: January 2010

California Dreamin’

Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts suggests that there may not be many “safe” Democratic seats in Congress among those that will be contested this year. For example, Republicans are hoping to defeat Sen. Barbara Boxer in California. In fact, Boxer herself has suggested that her seat is far from safe. Bruce Kesler argues, however, that “Boxer doth protest too much and is actually trying to get California Democrats revved up »

The day Obamacare died

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Should we be taking recession-fighting advice from Paul Krugman?

No. »

A presidential pledge broken, thank goodness

Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s promise to close the Gitmo detention facility within one year. This is the one broken Obama promise for which we should be gratetul. Unfortunately, the warped thinking that stands behind the promise remains almost fully intact, as Bill Otis explains: The obsession with closing Gitmo was always more about high-minded posturing than protecting the country from terror. It was also a sop »

Speculating about Justice Stevens

Yesterday, I mentioned again the prospect that Justice Stevens will retire at the end of this term. Stevens will turn 90 this year and he has only hired one law clerk for next term, not the four that sitting justices typically hire every year. I added, however, that his 90-page dissent in the Citizens United case Stevens suggests that he “seems to be as vigorous as ever.” But Jan Crawford, »

Another note on citizens united

A friend and colleague points out that, “almost lost in the shuffle of liberal criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision [in Citizens United v. FEC]” is the position taken by the ACLU in the case. The ACLU, “darling of the left and the Obama Administration,” wrote an amicus brief in the case. It argued that The broad prohibition on “electioneering communications” set forth in Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign »

A mistake that can be rectified, part 2

Yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding unanswered questions surrounding the attempted Christmas Day attack: Mister President, yesterday several members of the administration’s national security team testified before the Senate concerning the attempted Christmas Day attack by the Nigerian terrorist of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. This testimony was troubling, and left some wondering why the administration is subjecting this terrorist to criminal prosecution »

A looming poltical crisis in Iraq

This Washington Post editorial discusses a serious and under-reported problem in Iraq — the disqualfication of more than 500 would-be candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election. Most of the disqualified candidates are Sunnis who once supported the Baath party to one degree or another. Some of them are prominent leaders, including the current defense minister and the head of a major political bloc. As the Post argues, if the ban »

The revenge of the brightest and the best

There are a number of recent developments that are gratifying for conservatives and Republicans. One small thing that gratifies me is the emergence of former Bush administration officials and staffers as powerful spokespersons in the fight against Obama’s left-liberal policies. Two obvious examples are Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove. The latter appears regularly on television to pick apart the policies and practices of President Obama and the Democratic (or »

Pants on the ground

“General” Larry Platt is one of the heroes of the civil rights era, but he is experiencing 15 minutes of fame as the result of his appearance performing “Pants On the Ground” last week on American Idol in Atlanta. As the Christian Science Monitor explains, even though Platt’s performance cracked everyone up, Platt is not your standard Idol outtake (and not only because he’s well over the cut-off age of »

A cautionary note on Citizens United

Daniel H. Lowenstein is professor of law at the UCLA Law School and Director of the Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions at UCLA. He writes to comment on today’s Supreme Court decision: For those of us who follow campaign finance regulation carefully, today’s Citizens United decision is indeed important. The Austin case, which is now overruled, had allowed prohibition of “independent” campaign spending by corporations. Such spending »

A “small revolution” in campaign finance law

The Supreme Court has just issued a major ruling in a campaign finance reform case that, according to Tom Goldstein at ScotusBlog, might well represent “a small revolution” in this area of the law because it “overturns the previously settled distinction between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections.” The case is Citizens United v. FEC. The opinions are here. I haven’t read the majority opinion yet and won’t be »

A mistake that can be rectified

Eli Lake reports that Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair criticized the decision by FBI agents last month to question the Christmas Day airline bombing suspect as a criminal and not interrogate him as a terrorist. In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Blair revealed a previously undisclosed disagreement among the Obama administration’s top officials over the handling of the Nigerian who is accused of attempting »

More historical perspective on the Massachusetts miracle

My conservative cousin from New York agrees with me that Scott Brown’s Massachusetts miracle is the biggest upset in a Senate race in the past 50 years. As I expected, though, he is able to add a few strong contenders during this span and, reaching back two more years to 1958, a few more. [Brown's victory] was an upset for the ages. Two Senate election shockers may come close. Show »

Courting Disaster with Christiane Amanpour

Marc Thiessen is the author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack , about which he wrote for us here. As White House speechwriter for George Bush, Thiessen was locked in a secure room and given access to the most sensitive intelligence when he was assigned the task of writing Bush’s September 2006 speech explaining the CIA’s interrogation program »

Good news and bad news from Dartmouth

There’s good news and bad news from Dartmouth today. First, the good news. Our friend Joe Asch has announced that he is gathering signatures in order to run for an Alumni Trustee seat on the Board. Joe follows Dartmouth like I follow Everton, except that he has the benefit of proximity (he lives in Hanover) and an interested readership (he is now the main writer for Dartblog). In the coming »

Southers withdraws

We’ve been very critical of Erroll Southers, President Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Agency. He engaged in severe misconduct as an FBI agent 20 plus years ago and did not testify accurately or ( in my view) candidly about that misconduct during his confirmation hearings. He also showed himself to be clueless when he stated in 2008 that America is subject to terror attacks because of its alliances »