I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Congress is a coequal branch of government"

Op-ed piece in the NYT that echoes some of our discussions in class about how the majority party loves a super-majority when they have it, but whine about abuse of power and checks and balances when they are on the opposite side of the table.

Republicans are made to look hypocritical when they ask for adequate checks and balances in the Senate but then defend their use of torture as within the confines of the law (when really it bypassed the confines of the law, ignoring checks and balances). Republicans negate responsibility for the allowance of the torture by stating they were doing what they were told or simply relaying affirmations for torture made by others. Clearly the system of checks and balances failed in the authorizations of torture, or checks and balances were simply bypassed .

What can be gleaned from this though, for Republicans and Democrats, is that any time a system of checks and balances can be bypassed, blame can only land in one party's lap. Whatever goes wrong under the Senate's authorization will be squarely attributed to the Dems, giving the Republicans some campaign fuel for 2010 or 2012.

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