Commission on Presidential Debates Remember when the presidential debates were held by the League of Women Voters? What happened to that? The Commission on Presidential Debates took over. The result of this coup is that debates are controlled and meaningless, structured to avoid a debate on issues and geared only to promoting the Republican and Democratic parties.
Presidential Records Act The Presidential Records Act (PRA) was passed in 1978 in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It requires the preservation and ultimate disclosure of all records about official government business. There have been two amendments to the Act by Executive Order. Executive Order 13233, issued by President George W. Bush in 2001, supersedes Executive Order 12667 issued by President Ronald Reagan. 13233 is a matter of much contention and a remedy bill is currently going through Congress.
The Curious Case of Jane Harman New information about Rep. Jane Harman (D, CA) sheds some light on the so-called “Gang of 8.” And it explains why The New York Times, who knew of Bush’s illegal wiretapping, held off printing the story until after the 2004 election. It also explains why Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) denied Harman the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee. It explains a lot. However, we really don’t know if it’s true. But, it is interesting nonetheless.
The New Agenda Since the election, everyone is talking about what the priorities of the new Democrat-controlled Congress will be. The in-coming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and others have stated that the Iraq War is the top priority. Many other issues have also been named. The Issue Wonk believes the first priority should be the reinstitution of our Constitutional rights.
The Overton Window Developed by Joseph P. Overton at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Overton Window is a concept that holds that there is a range of opinions about public issues, a “window,” that can be moved by public discourse. By taking an issue from “unthinkable” to “radical,” to “acceptable,” etc., public policy can be changed. When one understands the concept, it explains a lot about the changes we have seen recently.
Who Is Columbia? We all know that "D.C." stands for the District of Columbia. But, who’s Columbia? With a little summer lull, I thought we’d do something fun.