Government (Separation of Powers)

Time for a Second Constitutional Convention?


PT speaks with Larry J. Sabato, author of the recently published A More Perfect Constitution. Reminding us of Jefferson’s quote that, “the earth belongs always to the living generation,” Professor Sabato advances 23 proposals in line with Jefferson’s call for a new Constitution every 19 years—including asking the states to call a Constitutional Convention.

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China & India: Pork - Different Time Zones, Same Politics

Pork knows no boundaries.

There's an old saying about how you really don't want to know the ins and outs of making sausages—or laws. That venerable axiom is doubly true when it comes to the messiest of laws: a budget. Just look at what happens inside the Beltway when the White House and Congress start divvying up taxpayer money. Defense programs get approved because they are in key lawmakers' districts. Tax breaks get passed because they benefit powerful corporate lobbying groups. Then there are those now infamous earmarks—money spent on pet pork projects—that are quietly inserted into the federal budget by lawmakers of both parties. Last year they may have gone too big when $223 million was earmarked to construct a bridge—the infamous Bridge to Nowhere—connecting a small Alaskan town to an island with just a few dozen inhabitants.

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Political Cronyism: The Team You Know

Policy Today magazine cover showing people hoeing in a field
April 5, 2006

"One person's crony is another person's trusted advisor.”

Making it to the top of the political mountain in America takes more than a splash of charisma and a bag of ideas. More and more, you need the right connections to succeed in the political jungle. And with presidential appointees like Michael Brown and Alberto Gonzales grabbing the wrong kind of headlines, people on both sides of the aisle are growing uneasy.

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Ultimate Issues for the Supreme Court

Policy Today magazine cover showing American founders meeting
September 8, 2006

John Roberts' confirmation hearings give the Senate an opportunity to examine the structural forces that have reshaped the Supreme Court over the past 50 years. Chief Justice Rehnquist's passing and Judge Roberts' nomination to take his place make that enquiry even timelier.

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