Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Strange Places

Some plays are born strange, some achieve strangeness, and some have strangeness thrust upon them (or upon their characters, at least). We consider one of each type herein.

Same-Sex Marriage: The Fight to Shape “the Next Shoe”

Judge Feldman tried to draw comfort from the fact that Windsor did not employ the magic phrases “intermediate scrutiny” or “heightened scrutiny.” I would liken that comfort to saying that it’s anybody’s game with two out at the bottom of the ninth inning when the score is 20-0.

The Drones and the Virus: Time to Talk, Not Prosecute

We can all agree that historical understandings of the dividing line between war and law enforcement do not fit well the kind of conflicts our nation faces today. But the solution to that quandary should not be to cede all discretion to an Executive that works in the shadows. There are other unaddressed needs at work, among them the imperative to cut the public in on the discussion and the decision-making.

Contraception, an Unrepresentative Church, and Unresponsive Courts

Catholic turf should not be the bishops’ to rule in the first place. The hospitals and the universities were built with the funds and the blood, sweat and tears of generations of all Catholic believers, and should by all rights belong to all of their successors, the entire body of the faithful. Instead of acting like the in-title-only trustees of these institutions, accountable to those who built them and their successors, the hierarchy behave like the equitable owners. And if you think these would-be owners are in favor of religious freedom for the rest of us in the Catholic fold, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.


Even if you think it’s a good thing to be trying to unseat Kadafi, you ought to be discouraged by the thinly-veiled mutiny Obama is waging against the law. Me, I had this naive notion that the president was supposed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Silly moi! Nothing faithful about this bit of execution.

Signing Statements Done Wrong, and Done Right

The ABA’s report said that if a President thinks a law contains unconstitutional language, he shouldn’t sign it. To me, that is Ivory Tower impracticality. Take the 2011 Appropriations Act; if Obama hadn’t signed it, the government would have shut down. Would it have been remotely responsible for Obama to have done that? Such purity would make government impossible. Signing statements are actually a good alternative to such chaos. The President asserts non-aquiescence, government moves on, and the courts can sort the matter out if they need to.

(Saving) Money Is No Object: Tea Party Budget Thinking

One has to ask what kind of country the Tea Partiers desire, though. Clearly it is a big step away from a commonwealth. In Tea Party Utopia, it seems, the Partiers would get maximize their personal wealth, at whatever cost to the well-being of their fellow-citizens, even, or perhaps especially the poorest. It’s a country where there would be no planning or direction of economic activity from Washington, apparently in the faith that an atomized economy could avoid obliteration by the better-organized economies of other nations. And a faith as well, in the teeth of historical evidence, that privately-funded economic forces undirected by government, would give us an adequate infrastructure. And in Tea Party Utopia, cultural elites would be denied the support and recognition that even the tiny sliver of the national budget dedicated to edifying them conveys.

Just Following Orders

Just Following Orders   [I]t can never be maintained that a military officer can justify himself for doing an unlawful act, by producing the order of his superior. Chief Justice Taney, Mitchell v. Harmony, 54 U.S. 115, 137 (1851)[1]              Last time, we started with the premise that the MPs who abused the detainees […]