[Cue: Rattling chains and spooky organ music, topped off with a terrifying high-pitched scream...]
Archive of Articles for October, 2011
We'd like to begin today with an issue that we regularly get incensed about here, mostly because it flies under the radar of just about everyone -- including the entire media universe. Because for once, Democrats are making the attempt to use the issue to make some political hay (even though, in this regard, they're admittedly almost as bad as the Republicans).
The "Occupy Wall Street" movement seems to be at a crossroads. The path it chooses to take next may be the deciding moment for whether it declines into irrelevance or grows beyond its current boundaries into something larger.
Due to a mixup in scheduling, there will be no column today. Our apologies, but hey, Monday's column should really have been a two-parter, and we've got pumpkins to carve for next Monday, so it's a busy week all around even without the snafu.
Call today a rare "open thread" here. I'll even toss [...]
Two months ago, Perry led the field with 23 percent (to Romney's 16 percent second-place). Two months ago, Herman Cain was at five percent. Cain is now, to be blunt, eating Perry's lunch (insert your own pizza joke here). Even the Tea Party has all but abandoned Perry in favor of Cain, at this point.
While predictable, this reaction is absolutely ridiculous. Every single talking point the Republicans came up with on the subject shows their almost complete lack of understanding of the basic concepts of democracy -- both here at home, and abroad. Which is why these points need refuting, one by one.
It has been a big week on the foreign policy front, with the death of Libya's dictator and President Obama's announcement today that all U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of this year (leaving roughly 150 to guard the embassy). But before we get to all of that, I've got some domestic advice for the president's re-election team.
Too busy researching today to write, even though it is a momentous day in Libya. I'll be commenting on this in the near future, most likely, but for now this will have to do.
Last night, at yet another Republican presidential candidate debate, Herman Cain was roundly criticized for his simplistic 9-9-9 tax plan by his fellow Republicans. I have to admit, it was a little bizarre (in a "Nixon goes to China" sort of way) to see Republicans disparaging a tax plan for being "regressive." Ron Paul was unafraid to actually use this word, and while several other candidates avoided the term they in essence leveled the same charge: 9-9-9 would wind up increasing taxes on the poor and the middle class. Being Republicans, though, they didn't also speak of the other side of this coin -- the fact that 9-9-9 would lower taxes on the wealthy and really lower them on the ultra-wealthy. But still, it was odd enough to see candidate after candidate speak of their concern for the tax burden of the lower-class and middle-class, since this is usually a Democratic argument. Perhaps all those 99 Percenters out there demonstrating in the streets are getting through to the Republican politicians? Stranger things have happened.
The issue of what, exactly, "three co-equal branches" means in American government -- and, more importantly, what happens when two of them disagree -- goes back a long way. Further than Franklin Roosevelt, further even than Abraham Lincoln. The first president to truly tangle with the Supreme Court was actually Andrew Jackson, who fought the court on two separate issues: Jackson's policy of "Indian removal," and the Second Bank of the United States. The first one is where Jackson responded (according to legend -- he may not have actually said this) to a court ruling against him: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" By doing so, Jackson was stating his open defiance of a Supreme Court decision, and pointing out that the Executive Branch actually controlled the levers of federal power, and not the Judicial Branch.