Our latest war is now illegal

The War Powers Act allows presidents to launch hostilities at their discretion, but they must receive the concurrence of Congress (to which the Constitution gives the authority to declare war) within 60 days.  If that doesn’t happen, the president has 30 additional days to end the hostilities.   The clock ran out on our war against ISIL on November 6.

President Obama is invoking the authority previously granted to fight the War in Iraq, but legal authorities question its applicability, since that war has been declared over and much of the fighting against ISIL is taking place in Syria.  But he could certainly make a good case for fighting those monstrous terrorists.  So why doesn’t he?

I suspect that neither the lame duck Congress with the Democratic Senate or the incoming Republican legislative branch wants anything to do with this issue.  This leaves the President to, once again, rule by decree. [Read more…]

Do we need a food policy?

The food industry is the biggest sector of the economy.  Food is a major factor in health.  Food production has a major impact on the environment.  Food is a factor in policies about poverty, foreign aid, and entitlements.   Shouldn’t we have a  coherent national food policy, other than an agriculture bill that rewards farmers for producing food that isn’t necessarily good for us?  A group of food activists is making the case that we should.  See what they are proposing after the jump.

Would this just be big government infringement on liberty, or is there something to this?  What would be some free market solutions to these concerns? [Read more…]

Election post-mortem

Democrats thought they had demographics, the young adult vote, the Hispanic vote, the women’s vote, and the cultural tides all going for them.  And yet, they lost catastrophically.  So what went wrong?  After the jump, excerpts and some links to attempts to account for what happened. [Read more…]

The first New Class president

Sociologist Peter Berger discusses the Houston mayor subpoening sermons (which have been cancelled, by the way), the progression of punishment for those who do not agree with gay sex, and President Obama as the first president from the “new class”  (the elite social class that trades in information rather than tangible goods). [Read more…]

Election results

I now know a Senator–Ben Sasse won in Nebraska!  The biggest surprise so far is in my home state of Virginia, where Republican Ed Gillespie–who no one thought had a chance–is leading incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, though the election is too close to call as of this moment.  Right now, 10:00 p.m., the Republicans are up 5 (beating Democratic incumbents in West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, and Colorado), needing 6 to win the Senate majority, though that net gain could go down if they lose any incumbent seats.  The Republicans have retained the House of Representatives, picking up 10 seats.

My custom has been to stay up to watch election returns, but it’s an hour later than the clock says, due to the recent daylight savings time shift that I haven’t adjusted to yet, and I’m  getting sleepy.  It’s 10:39.  I’m going to bed.

But you can learn the results of all the races, which should be announced by daylight,  here:  Politics, Political News – POLITICO.com.

So what do these results mean?

Election Day

Today we Americans are privileged to participate in what has been called the “civic sacrament” of voting.

Elections for public office are not new, of course.  They were staples of the Greek democracy and the Roman republic.  The papacy has always been an elected position.  In medieval Europe, the Emperor was elected, the main difference from our elections being that only seven people got to vote (including the Duke of Saxony, which is why one holder of that office, Frederick the Wise, had the clout to prevent Martin Luther from being burned at the stake).

Pundits expect a big day for Republicans, who may well gain a majority on the Senate.   Any predictions? [Read more…]