June 21st, 2012


Understanding Holder and Contempt of Congress

A quick explanation "what the heck is going on" with the recent "contempt of congress" and executive privilege issue in our congress, for those of you who are curious but not keen to pull together what you need to know from various sources.

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Again: IANAL, so please consider the legal analysis included here possibly underinformed. Hopefully it's helpful for those of you who may have been following this and are more confused than I am on it.


Two Analyses of American Politics

These two commentaries of political strategy in the United States over the span of decades are worth reading:

  • How liberalism lost half of its message over some decades, failing to act as moderator and counterbalance to market forces. There's a lot of insight here; cultural liberalism has been reasonably successful, even with recent troubles, while the institutions we need for a just society keep being strangled. I see this as tragic; in my view, improvements to the world primarily come from two sources: changing norms of society, and supportive institutions. These are the two things that I think we should be focusing on; if we get them right, almost every kind of justice worth having comes along for free. If we don't get them, any of our other struggles lack value. This isn't meant to diminish some of the things we've had to struggle for through other means; it's just now appropriate to narrow our struggles primarily around those two things. (Note that this is actually a broad and powerful statement; don't be afraid to read a *lot* into this analysis)
  • This analysis, focusing on more recent history, suggests that technocratic stances of the democratic party may have led to surprising social developments among conservatives due to differences between conservative and liberal culture in the United States. It seems like a reasonable analysis; I don't know of good alternatives that are as comprehensive, and it stands in contrast to an older analysis I made (namely, that the level of criticism of BushJr, justified or not, radicalised conservatives)
And another thing(s):
  • Really hoping not to need to think about that Wikileaks guy who might-or-might-not have raped someone and might be trying to escape to another country. I don't know if he did it, I don't know if this is railroading, nor do I care. Wikileaks should be bigger than him, and I would much rather see reports and analysis on leaked documents than coverage of the soap opera of his life. Rapist or not, he looks like a douche. This kind of coverage is a distraction.
  • Israel is still beating the drums for war, trying to get Russian support to lock out Iran. Not happy about this. Aggression towards Iran helps nobody.
I am kind of fascinated with the organisational structure of the Claremont Colleges.