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Unconventional Wisdom Since 1865
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January 7, 2006
Eyal Press writes that Republicans had the nerve to ram through a budget bill in December that cuts $40 billion from domestic programs, from Medicaid to child support enforcement and student loans. It's now up to Senate Democrats and Republican moderates to defeat this measure.
Nicholas von Hoffman writes that there ought to be a law against bribery in America, but there isn't. Not a real one, anyway. Our laws on political payoffs are so weak it's highly unlikely any politicos snared in the Abramoff scandal will actually be prosecuted for accepting political payoffs.
Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith pose a series of pointed questions to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito to fully elicit his views on the scope and limits of presidential power.
December 21, 2005
The Editors write that a belligerent President has vowed that warrantless domestic spying will continue. The Administration also hopes to quash open debate of the issue in Congress on security grounds. Given the palpable outrage in Congress over the President's contempt for basic constitutional law, will illegal wiretaps lead to the undoing of the Bush presidency?
Daphne Eviatar writes that the election of former coca farmer Evo Morales as Bolivia's first indigenous president appears to be an enormous victory for the left. But will Morales be able to live up to his promise of home-grown solutions for this cash-poor yet resource-rich nation?
Jonathan Schell writes that the Bush Administration is not a dictatorship, but it has all the markings of one in embryonic form. Bush has declared himself to be above the law, and members of Congress must accept the challenge. Either Bush upholds the laws of this country, or he must leave office.
David Cole writes that the Bush Administration believes it can ignore the rule of law--the use of torture, Pentagon surveillance of antiwar groups and now, domestic spying. We must continue to insist that in a democracy, the rule of law cannot be ignored.
Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smithwrite that Congress is poised to pass legislation allowing evidence obtained through torture to be used in court against terror suspects. But human rights groups and some lawmakers will fight back in 2006, with court challenges, hearings and tough questions on executive privilege for Samuel Alito and other Bush nominees.
December 19, 2005
Under pressure from the White House, the New York Times withheld publication for a year of a report of illegal domestic surveillance of US citizens. Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that if information is the oxygen of democracy, the Bush Administration is trying to cut off the supply. Journalists and media organizations must find a way to restore their role as effective watchdogs, as checks on an executive run amok.
December 16, 2005
US Senator Russ Feingold once stood alone as a defender of the Constitution, when he cast the Senate's sole vote against the Patriot Act in 2001. No longer. Leading a bipartisan group of 47 senators, Feingold Friday blocked efforts to renew the controversial law, and now heads a coalition that could force significant changes. John Nichols reports from Washington.
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