Category Archives: Politics

For the record: Netanyahu’s visit

Congress, which disagrees with President Obama’s policy on Iran, has invited the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also disagrees with Obama’s policy on Iran, to speak before a joint session. Among other commentary, Michael Ramsey, whose 2001 article with Sai Prakash, The Executive Power over Foreign Affairs, gives him unimpeachable originalist credentials on […]

Tweaking the governmental process: Some modest suggestions

Whether or not Ezra Klein understands that there is a difference between what Klein would like the President to say at the State of the Union and what President Obama would like to say, and setting aside the various problems with his piece, and, indeed, whether the State of the Union speech ought to exist at […]

Catholics and politics

His excellency Bishop Robert McElroy (Aux. D. San Francisco) reportedly addressed “a diverse group of political players … [gathered] at Georgetown University to discuss the moral implications of partisanship”: McElroy noted that the founders were deeply suspicious of partisanship, or what they called “faction.” They thought parties were necessarily divisive and there is no shortage […]

In re the firearms debate, redux

I last wrote about Catholics and guns in 2013. Kathy Schiffer notes a new book, “My Parents Open-Carry,” and asks for thoughts on gun policy. I should note at the outset that I am uncomfortable with propaganda aimed at children, and this book trips the propaganda alarm for me, even though I favor exposing Americans to guns […]

Thoughts re the Hobby Lobby decision

The notion that a person should be forced to purchase a product that they believe to be immoral is a charmless one for which no eulogies should be read nor requiems composed. Had the Supreme Court actually killed the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, decided today, we should say “good riddance.” Joyous […]

Tape and tradition

This is a post about audio recording and tape that becomes a post about politics, tradition, and the reform of the reform. Last week, I posted my recording of 74/75; I sent a copy to my parents with the observation that it surprised me that so much of the sound for which I’d been looking was tape, and […]

Cruz’s eligibility

Over at SF, I have a post on the Presidential eligibility (vel non) of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

The NSA programs: Deference, secrecy, libertarians, conservatives, and the Fourth Amendment

In the last month, leaked documents have revealed the existence of two government surveillance programs which collect “metadata” (i.e. “data that describes data”) about customer telephone calls and email from the TelCos and ISPs that route the data. For now, the details aren’t important; we’ll get to that when we talk about these programs and […]

Judges and excommunication

Yesterday, in United States v. Windsor, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which prevented one or more states imposing a redefinition of marriage upon other states or the federal government, via the full faith and credit clause or via federal statutes that presuppose the […]

In re the firearms debate

The contentious public policy dispute of the hour is the question of regulating firearms, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a statement that makes two comments and advances five (very general) calls. I. The bishops’ call. When the bishops intervene in public policy questions, they do well to tread lightly. Bishops have a […]