Author & Speaker

Archive for March 2008

Slow Motion Showdown, Part Deux

So the topic is the flaccid congressional response when the White House thumbed its nose at a congressional subpoena for documents about the firing of U.S. Attorneys in 2006. My interest is in episodes when Congress did not limply file a lawsuit to assert its rights, secure in the knowledge that no self-respecting court would…

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Slow-Motion Showdown

Has Congress forgotten how to stick up for itself? The face-off over the firing of United States Attorneys in 2006 was explosive at first. Was the Bush Administration injecting crude political criteria into law enforcement? High-level officials, including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, resigned in the blowback. Sensing that the trail of wrongdoing led to the…

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Tom Peters & Me

A few months back, after giving a couple of dozen book talks on The Summer of 1787, I developed a new one on the “Leadership Lessons of the Constitutional Convention.” I figured a new take on the writing of the Constitution would keep my presentations fresh. I also thought business and government groups might appreciate…

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Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Before getting into the Supreme Court’s argument today in District of Columbia v. Heller, the title from the Warren Zevon song prompts this best Zevon quote ever. Shortly before his premature death, he was asked what he would tell those (unlike him) not expecting to die soon. His response: “Enjoy that sandwich.” As for the…

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Oh, Those Vice Presidents, Part 3

For my last visit (for a while) to this remarkably rich vein of unknown historical fact, I share information about our vice presidents with which you can dazzle, delight, and delectify. Well, dazzle and delight, anyway. Q. How many vice presidents have died in office? Seven! Q. Come one, seven? I can’t name one! If…

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Oh, Those Vice Presidents, Part II

Only recently have I come to realize just what a ragged, sickly bunch our vice presidents have been. Today I review the most obvious scoundrels. Aaron Burr — After finishing in a dead heat with Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 election, Burr either did, or did not, treacherously angle for the top spot when the…

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Oh, Those Vice Presidents

After the dust-up over whether John McCain can be president, even though he was born in the Canal Zone (see last post), a friend asked what the citizenship requirements are for the vice president? Aaron Burr, the killer Vice President Great question! There are none. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention did not come up…

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El Presidente McCain?

With the Republican presidential nomination locked up, John McCain is facing spirited inquiry into a very basic question — is he eligible under the Constitution to be president? The sweaty man-hug with President Bush — who could resist this shot? The problem for McCain is that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, at…

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An Executive Council? Let George Do It

This afternoon I gave the first in the Liberty Lecture series at Gunston Hall in Alexandria, George Mason’s former digs, and talked about why the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 did such a poor job with the Presidency. Among the more painful errors they committed was having each presidential elector vote for two…

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