Don't miss the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2010. My favorite: "Restaurant sued for failing to offer artichoke-eating instructions." Well, by gosh, that sounds like a tort to me!
Don't forget to bookmark the new, must-read blog on the Middle East from Elliott Abrams. You'll get analysis like this: "The New Year bombing at a church in Alexandria, Egypt has now claimed 23 lives. . . [I]t seems Egypt's police state isn't very good at policing. The security forces in 'mukhabarat states' like Egypt, where the secret police in essence run the country (with the Army standing by as the ultimate guarantor of regime survival) are there to protect the regime from the people, not to protect the people. Even when they fight terrorist groups, this is usually on behalf of regime stability rather than public safety. Egypt's Copts are now demanding something more, and we will see on Friday--the Orthodox Christmas--whether the Egyptian police will do the job."
Don't get your hopes up about a stable, pro-American Pakistan. "Lawyers showered the suspected assassin of a liberal Pakistani governor with rose petals as he entered court. . . . Even so-called moderate Muslim scholars praised 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri for allegedly killing Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer on Tuesday in a hail of gunfire while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. Qadri later told authorities he acted because of Taseer's vocal opposition to blasphemy laws that order death for those who insult Islam."
Don't think you were the only one pleasantly surprised by House Speaker John Boehner's speech. "His opening ad-lib quieting thunderous applause - 'It's still just me' - should be an instructional moment in public behavior in our celebrity culture."
Don't imagine that Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has it easy. "According to Senator Jim DeMint, even if a balanced-budget amendment were attached to a vote to raise the debt limit, he'd vote against it -- and he encourages freshmen Republicans not to vote for raising the debt limit either. . . .It is quite extraordinary, really. Senator DeMint is essentially urging Republicans to cast a vote that would lead to a federal default. This would have catastrophic economic consequences, since the United States depends on other nations buying our debt. . . .What Senator DeMint is counseling, then, is terribly unwise. And if the GOP were to be perceived as causing a default by the federal government, it would be extremely politically injurious." Is DeMint running for something?
Don't do what Obama did! That's White House spokesman Robert Gibbs's message to lawmakers considering voting against raising the debt ceiling. His explanation of Obama's vote in the Senate in 2006 boils down to: Since other Senators were responsible, he could grandstand. "Gibbs said Obama's vote was not necessary at the time to secure passage of the bill, which squeaked by 52-48, and that he was using the occasion to call for fiscal discipline." Who'd have thought that Obama and DeMint would have so much in common?
Don't assume that because someone is a state legislator, he has the slightest idea what the Constitution means. "A coalition of state lawmakers is preparing a showdown in various state legislatures over immigration reform, by reviving the concept of a distinct 'state citizenship' and seeking to form a separate state compact that would challenge the federal government's automatic guarantee of citizenship."
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