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Jun 29,2007
The U.S. Supreme Court this week issued two rulings on speech issues and got both cases mostly right, but could have done better. Incredibly, in a nation whose fundamental charter contains the words "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech," it is a criminal offense for corporations, unions or interest groups such as Right to Life or the American Civil Liberties Union to speak freely in the form of paid advertising about ... [full story]
848 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
An estimated 5,000 lynchings took place during the Jim Crow and civil rights eras. Most went unsolved, but some of the people responsible for those and other horrific race murders are still alive. There is still time to hold them accountable. That's the idea behind the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a 422 to 2 vote but has since stalled in the Senate. The ... [full story]
1397 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
It's bewildering that the Supreme Court's decision Monday to strike down a key provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is being hailed in some quarters as a victory for free speech. The speech in question is contained in broadcast ads, which can cost upward of several hundred thousand dollars a minute. This kind of speech is absolutely essential to winning elections, but it is free only if you can afford it, which is not ... [full story]
1122 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
So far, so good. The bipartisan immigration bill inched forward Tuesday when a majority of senators voted to revive the legislation and begin debating amendments. It is expected that, by Thursday, another vote will be held - this one to close the debate entirely and put the measure to a vote. As it stands, the outcome is too close to call. Yet supporters have reason to be optimistic. But what if? What if the Senate ... [full story]
991 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
Most of official Washington had gone home Monday night when Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., made an unannounced 50-minute speech on the floor of the Senate. In years to come, it may be remembered as the moment when America's tragic misadventure in Iraq began to turn in a positive direction. Lugar, a 31-year Senate veteran, arguably is its most respected voice on foreign affairs. On Monday, he broke with his president and the leader of ... [full story]
956 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
The compromise struck by the White House and congressional Democrats on trade last month is the kind of bipartisan effort that most Americans would like to see. Led by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the Democrats would get environmental and worker protections in several pending trade pacts. And the Bush administration would get the ability to move swiftly ahead with the deals. To his credit, Rangel fought tighter and unnecessary controls sought by his party's protectionist ... [full story]
870 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
On (last) Thursday, the U.S. Senate refused to pass a comprehensive immigration bill supported by the Bush White House and the leadership of both political parties. If that rejection were to hold, these would be some of the consequences: - Twelve million illegal aliens would continue to live in America as members of an underclass - trapped in low-wage jobs, many paid in under-the-table cash, afraid of the police and raising American-born children in poverty. ... [full story]
1201 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
Corn-based ethanol is the alternative fuel of choice for many politicians and investors. It's not hard to understand why. Ethanol's most enthusiastic backers say it promises both to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign energy sources and to provide a new market for Corn Belt farmers. Some 115 ethanol plants already are operating in the United States, four in Missouri and 11 in Illinois. Another 80 are under construction. Like many in the Midwest, we'd ... [full story]
1651 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
It can't be over. Not like this. Along with many Americans, we find it inconceivable that, after many months of debate and dozens of bills and amendments, immigration reform in Congress would die such a bizarre death. In the end, there were few fireworks and no firefight. The Senate's bipartisan immigration compromise now seems in danger of simply expiring. Worked out by senators with the blessing of the White House, the bill is in jeopardy ... [full story]
879 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
With the Senate's "no confidence" resolution failing on procedural grounds, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may feel he now can put his deeply flawed record behind him and move on. Regrettably for the Justice Department, which has seen its reputation for nonpartisan stewardship shattered under Gonzales, there is nothing the attorney general can do to escape the taint he himself has created. But don't expect either Gonzales or President Bush to recognize this reality. Attempting to ... [full story]
1117 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
Doubtless, more than 60 U.S. senators lack confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, particularly after his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, where he displayed colossal ineptness, either feigned or real. Yet just 53 senators acted to put their feelings on the record Monday - short of the 60 needed. For shame. A vote of no confidence would not have a direct impact on Gonzales' tenure. But it would have sent President Bush a message he ... [full story]
962 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
The Bush administration has had nearly six years to bring the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo into compliance with the Constitution. Yet the sturdy American judicial system, to its everlasting credit, continues to strike down the administration's audacious claims that any person the president chooses to label an "enemy combatant" has no legal rights or constitutional protections, and is subject to being held indefinitely without charges and without access to due process. In the meantime, ... [full story]
1007 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2007
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., long has defended congressional earmarking - the practice by which lawmakers quietly, sometimes secretly, slip pet projects and favored contractors into mammoth spending bills. But he now appears determined to make himself the poster child of egregious earmarks by squandering $63 million on a San Diego firm's failed military jet. Earmarking abuses cost taxpayers billions of dollars a year in wasteful spending. But they also breed corruption - campaign contributions in ... [full story]
852 times read - No comment posted

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