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Waiting for the Court

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:45

The Washington Post has a nice piece from Robert Barnes, examining the state of the Supreme Court's decisions on cases defended by the Obama administration. He notes some interesting currents in the court:

But whatever the reasons, the losses so far cannot be blamed on the conflict between an increasingly conservative court and a progressive administration. For instance, the authors of the Indian cases that went against the government last week were Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Obama’s choices for the court.

Now Where Is My Giant Multi-Touch Screen?

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:11

CNN has a very nice, interactive electoral college map for those who want to do some election punditry.

Dowd on the President

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:24

I am not, by any means, a huge fan of Maureen Dowd, but her column in this Sunday's New York Times is an interesting consideration of the current presidential landscape.

Once glowing, his press is now burning. “To a very real degree, 2008's candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012's candidate of fear,” John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine, noting that because Obama feels he can't run on his record, his campaign will resort to nuking Romney.

I'm looking forward to seeing what campaign messages come out over the summer months.

Mr. Cook Goes to Washington

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:01

Apple has never been the biggest participant in U.S. national politics, but it looks like CEO Tim Cook is bypassing K-Street and doing a little lobbying himself:

Tim Cook met with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) today. It is unknown what the topic of discussion was, but it's possible that Cook was lobbying Boehner to pass a tax holiday that would allow Apple and other companies with large overseas tax holdings to bring back their earnings at a lower corporate tax rate.

I'd love to know how the conversation went.

Abe Lincoln for WI Governor?

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:47

CNN reports on an odd bit of the Wisconsin recall election contest:

mediaman sat down with Arthur Kohl-Riggs, a young Republican who carries the values of President Abraham Lincoln and even looks quite a bit like him. Kohl-Riggs, 23, is running against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election, which is tomorrow. He decided to join the race to educate the public. 'Mainstream media's investigative laziness has rendered them unwitting accomplices to Scott Walker's extreme corporate agenda,' Kohl-Riggs told mediaman in an interview on May 3.

Obama vs. Romney

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:02

Well, with Rick out it looks like we know who the players in this year's race for the White House will be. Alas, another presidential election will pass without a brokered convention, dashing the hopes of this political junkie who would like to see a political convention that decided a party's candidate and wasn't prior to my lifetime.

A Taxing Subject

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:17

This little bit from coverage of the Supreme Court's hearings on President Obama's healthcare plan is fascinating — there are reasons why the administration wants the fines for non-compliance to be viewed as a tax and other reasons why everyone wants it to not be viewed as a tax (viewing it as a tax would delay the decision for years).

“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax,” said Justice Samuel Alito, in one of the few laugh lines throughout the 90 minutes of argument Monday.

The remark underscores the fine line the White House is walking in its argument. On one hand, it says the backstop is not a tax, because that could subject it to the Anti-Injunction Act — the focal point of Monday's arguments — and delay a ruling to at least 2015. On the other, they claim that the power to impose a penalty derives from Congress' broad taxing power. That's in part because calling it a tax makes defending the mandate easier — Congress' power to levy taxes is less in question than its power to require people to do things.

Nothing like a few good technicalities to make a Supreme Court hearing more interesting.

Werewolves, Again, Get Passed Over for Vampires

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:43

John Dickerson writes on Slate:

The GOP nominating race has become a clash of vampires and zombies. Candidates like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich appear to die only to rise again, while Mitt Romney walks around not quite alive. In the wild narrative authored by cranky voters (who must not have heard the smart people who declared the race over months ago), the newest plot line is the battle between Rick Santorum, a candidate defined by his conviction, and Mitt Romney, one who has been defined by his lack of same.

So which one's Edward, anyway?

Fascinating

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:39

I commented earlier today on Facebook that the Missouri Presidential Primary was rather uninteresting. Think about it, on the Democratic side, of course, there was no real race, despite a bunch of names on the ballot. On the Republican side, one of the four major candidates wasn't even on the ballot. And, there were no delegates at stake — the election was merely a “preference poll.”

All that said, the results of the Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado races did turn out different than I expected. It'll be interesting to see if Missouri's caucus next month goes the same way as today's vote or if those who go to caucuses are of a different mind.

Momentum

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:22

Oh, why not? I haven't made any predictions on here concerning politics in ages. While refraining to comment on who I'm rooting for, I'll say this: after Newt's performance in Thursday's debate, his notable endorsements, etc., I think South Carolina will go for the former speaker tomorrow.

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