Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ross Douthat Doesn't Like Dynasty Either

And he expresses his distaste with much better writing. Having quoted Ruth Marcus' WaPo column, Douthat writes,
This is, of course, a pretty good distillation of the case against dynastic politics: Namely, that it transforms the business of republican self-government into a soap opera...This sort of politics is entertaining to write about, which is one reason why fantasy sagas and Shakespeare are generally more interesting than Washington novels. But after twenty years with the same two families in the White House - which nearly became twenty-four (or twenty-eight) - for a political columnist to endorse a pointless escalation of dynastic politics because it fulfills the fairy-tale mythos her generation spun around a mediocre, tragically-murdered President and his good-looking family isn't "girly"; it's an embarrassment.

On a complete tangent, I thought George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire novels were pretty marginal. And a big contributor to their mediocrity was, in my opinion, their focus on politics, which I found superficial and unconvincing. But like I say, that's a complete tangent.

(h/t Instapundit)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kennedy Considering Senate Seat in NY

AP reports Caroline Kennedy is inquiring about replacing Sen. Clinton as U.S. Senator from New York.


Please, please, PLEASE: No more dynasties! No more Kennedy's, Clintons, or Bushes. No more Rockefellers or Roosevelts either! This is America. These family dynasties and cult-of-personalities undercut our democracy. Caroline Kennedy is no more qualified to be Senator than Hillary Clinton was. And neither of them is any more qualified to be President than George W. Bush was in 2000.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

U.S. Attorneys and Politics

David Kocieniewski wrote a piece Nov 18 on U.S. Attorney Chris Christie of New Jersey. Interesting article about Christie, but this para caught my attention:
Mr. Christie's resignation was essentially a foregone conclusion, as President-elect Barack Obama, a Democrat, was almost certain to replace him after being sworn in.

Didn't we just spend two years hearing the Democrats complain that Pres. Bush and Attorney General Gonzalez had fired certain U.S. Attorneys for political reasons? Where's the outrage now, when a U.S. Attorney resigns in part because he's about to get fired anyway, for no reason other than he doesn't belong to the President's political party?

Great Reporting

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has sent a letter to the NY Times, challenging David Kocieniewski's reporting on Mr. Rangel's ethical troubles with Nabors Industries. The Times prints the letter, along with footnoted responses from Kocieniewski.

More reporting like that, please! The original article, along with the response to Mr. Rangel's letter, is a masterpiece. That's the sort of journalism I go looking for.

(h/t Instapundit)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sec. of State Clinton and the Emoluments Clause

Eugene Volokh thinks the Emolument Clause of the US Constitution might bar Sen. Clinton's appointment as Sec. of State. Mickey Kaus notes the Clinton team has smugly dismissed the Emoluments Clause, and wonders what kind of diplomat she'll really make.

I feel like indulging in a little conspiracy theory today: How do we know President-Elect Obama (the Harvard law grad and former Constitutional law prof) wasn't aware of the Emoluments Clause when he offered Sen. Clinton the job? If he had remembered it, what would that mean?

Lending Towards Depression

On the way into work this morning I heard a radio advertisement for a lending company. The ad bragged that they could write a home equity loan for 97% of home value. They also bragged that the recent government bailout was providing them with all the capital they needed.

Isn't this the exact sort of loans that got us in the current mess? Why hasn't Congress tightened lending standards already? What are they waiting for, Christmas?