Saturday, December 31, 2005

Washington Post: State of the Region

A constructive treatment of the situation in Sudan and the available options for the United States.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Economist: Studies in Poverty

RCP: Corrupting the Budget

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Washington Post: Twelve Days of Heart Ache

This is truly agonizing. As American citizens responsible for the condition of out nation and her people, we must take responsibility for this and take action to make a better future in the schools in our capital and across the nation.

Why do some schools suffer demoralizing conditions while others produce the bulk of Ivy League scholars?HERE is why.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Huffington Post: Pretzel Time Apologetics

Interesting take by Marty Kaplan on the response by conservative apologists in response to this latest revelation.

So far I have really only read what journalists have been saying about the legality of the domestic surveillance authorization. I am looking forward to reading what some legal scholars have to say.

Washington Post: All He Had To Do Was Ask

George F. Will gives a concise treatment of the legal inconsistency in the consititutional claim regarding executive war powers being used as a justification of the controversial NSA domestic surveillance authorization.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Clear Executive Philosophy

NY Times: Power of the Executive
KR: Presidential Intelligence
via Moderate Voters
Washington Monthly: NSA Authorization

Vice-President Cheney, widely acknowledged as a guiding force in the Bush White House, has made well known his views on presidential authority. Apparently Cheney remembers fondly a time when he first came to Washington when the President could conduct secret wars and use the national intelligence services as he wished.

Beginning in late 2001 and continuing, arguably, until the present, Congress has allowed President Bush and his team to stray further from historical precedent and Constitutional provision that makes Congress responsible for committing the nation to war and having an unfettered role in ensuring its effective conduct. Ever since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution America has been in need of a Congress willing to be the leading branch of government and a federal executive who respected his office enough to let them. In the past four years the Bush team has practiced a governing style intended to empower the President, incorrectly assuming, among other things, that he could best win a war with Congress serving only as a mechanism to provide funding and legitimacy (and not meaningful oversight). This approach to governance has progressed so far as to produce another piece of horrible press, a genuine threat to the protection of civil liberties, and perhaps another legal battle from an administration whose armor now seems to be in as short supply as that of many American soldiers.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reason: A Fatal Case of Empathy

Brendan O'Neill, an editor from spiked-online in the UK, presents a fresh reasoning of the problems with western approaches to the war in Iraq, especially the pathological domestic infighting between the left and right. O'Neill concludes that our inability to agree on a characterization of the infamous and amorphous insurgency stems from a common failure to recognize the fundamental link between the coalition allies.
This insurgency is best understood, not as a band of freedom fighters or evil incarnate, but as a movement with an intuitive grasp of the West's fearful psychology.
The analysis in this piece rings true for me in the same way that William Raspberry recognizes a "keen insight to a difficult problem": I knew it all the time, I just never articulated it.

Please check out this piece regardless of your take on the war or the war debate. It has much more to say on those subject than I wish to attempt.

However, I will say briefly that the observation that the enemies in the "Global War On Terror" have chosen their tactics so carefully, appealing directly to western popular consciousness, should give us pause to consider if our tactics, sending our military in limited force to refashion uncooperative or hostile states, is the really the best option at our disposal.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bull Moose: The Trials of Delay

This post signals the return of Exile after a brief vacation. To start off, here is a piece of light fare from Bull Moose giving a brief explanation of the significance, or lack thereof, in the dismissal of the conspiracy charge brought against Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX).