Monday, August 09, 2004

Been a while...

The lazy political month of August. Between the conventions no one can really make news and hope it to stay relevant by November. But hey, us political junkies have had our appetites whetted for over a year now, and can barely go cold turkey right now.

In the meantime you ask, what interesting constitutional tidbits have come relevant lately?

- Illinois is getting a lot of attention not just for rising Democratic star Barack Obama in the race, but now famed GOP speaker Alan Keyes has joined. Renowned for his quixotic presidential runs, use of Enlightenment era rhetoric, support of neo-conservatives... and oh yeah, being a Maryland resident. Just like Clinton in 2000, his political beliefs matter a lot more than whether he can represent the particular state, to his own party at least. So why are we still electing these powerful positions on local basis?

- Doha round of talks look like they're getting a promise by the developed nations to abandon all export subsidies and other various agriculture subsidies in a gradual phase out. Ha! Let's see if this has any chance of passing our inefficient Senate.

- Kerry and Bush continue to spend all their campaign finance and time in a dozen or so states. And not a few promises, on things from Ethanol to tobacco subsidies to energy policy to foreign policy towards Cuba are being made just to grab these swing areas. Wonderful.

- Abu Gahraib and the Supreme Court's glacial reaction to Guantanamo are highlighting the inability of our Constitution to really hold the military in check from rather disgusting abuses. Heck, even now that the Supreme Court after 2 years ruled that the combatants at Guantanamo deserve judicial action, the Justice Department is cleverly doing every delay action it can and waiting till the final day to submit any paperwork, just so they can get as much time as possible to interrogate their detainees. No end in sight really.

- The 911 Commission has rallied the country around reform of the intelligence agencies. Of course, because of the secretive Congressional committees and a very independent Defense Department, no one expects there to be any meaningful change.

Any other submissions from the past month, say?


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