The Case for Filibusters, Version 2.0

A mostly political Weblog.
April 24 2005 4:09 AM

kf Filibusters Itself!

Plus--The Ecology of Blarney.

(Continued from Page 1)

But what mostly gives the [GOP] appeal to the electorate is its ability to scream and yell while seldom being granted the opportunity to ban abortion or eliminate the Securities and Exchange Commission or declare war on France. It stirs things up satisfyingly, while never requiring anybody to pay the price. If the Senate eliminated the filibuster, Republicans would have to choose between putting their money where their mouth was or just shutting up.

In short, without filibustering Democrats to stop them they'd have to act more sensibly then we now fear. And if they didn't their laws (unlike their judges) could be repealed. 2:02 A.M. link

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Italian Government Falls, New Jersey Politician Indicted, Summer Brings Warmer Weather: The nation's biggest teachers' union, the NEA, doesn't like the No Child Left Behind Act? Gee, I never knew! If the NEA didn't hate the NCLBA it would be a strong indication the NCLBA was deeply flawed. (If we're really going to improve K-12 education, many NEA members are going to have to lose their jobs.) Yet a lawsuit brought by the union attacking the act as an "unfunded mandate" got front-page play in the NYT (and USAT). As usual, when faced with the NYT's campaign to generate anti-NCLB hysteria,** concerned citizens turn to Eduwonk for a sober analysis. He doesn't disappoint. Sample:

[T]he core of the lawsuit boils down to the contention that No Child Left Behind is forcing school districts (and by extension states) to spend too much on education. This is, to put it mildly, a novel argument from the NEA ... [snip]

NCLB, though not without its flaws, is a law aimed at forcing states and school districts to do right by poor and minority kids. In the long run, does the NEA really want to be remembered for having gone to court to stop that?

He has much more.

**--NYT's lede: "Opening a new front in the growing rebellion against President Bush's signature education law ...." Times reporter Sam Dillon also used the classic 'Some Analysts Say' device in his second graf to give the NEA's suit the appearance of rectitude--as in, "Some legal scholars said that the union, the National Education Association, had assembled a compelling cause of action," though "it was difficult to judge the suit's prospects." [Emph. added] Of course, Dillon could just as well have highlighted "some legal scholars" who said the union's proposed cause of action was dangerous and destructive, in addition to having dim "prospects" for actual success in the federal courts. ... In stark contrast:USA Today'sstory was fair and unhyped! ... 11:55 P.M. link

N.Y.D.N. Buries the Lede: I've always thought the IRS probes of Clinton critics smelled fishy. There were too many of them to be a coincidence. Now the N.Y. Daily News notes a special prosecutor's report that Senate Dems are apparently trying to bottle up:

The report will allege that Justice Department officials snuffed out a tax case against Cisneros and that the IRS sometimes audited Clinton critics without good cause.

Not very strongly worded, but let's see the report, no? ... P.S.: Voters probably think Hillary Clinton has an imperfect marriage. But do they want to have this possibility shoved in their face? [Don't worry, Bill had Jerry Bruckheimer there to keep him on the straight and narrow!-ed Ron Burkle wasn't available?]... P.P.S.: Via Lucianne, who has a nose for this sort of thing. ...  11:56 A.M. link

You've heard of the Full Ginsburg? Now there's the Full Kokoski. ... 2:04 A.M. link

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