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Archive for December 2008

Lincoln Bicentennial Madness

While most Americans are focused on the holidays and then the Inauguration, the book business is braced for Lincoln Bicentennial Madness on February 12, 2009, the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Lists of Lincoln books are being promulgated by the national Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Kentucky commission, and doubtless many others. If you have…

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Back into the cesspool!

Some of my favorite stories feature craven pols betraying the public interest. Just give me a steady diet of corruption porn. It’s been a good week, with Illinois Governor Blagojevich taking the concept of “felony stupid” to a whole new level: (i) He was auctioning off a Senate seat, (ii) held by the man who…

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Canadian Hijinks: Prorogue Madness

Having spent a good deal of my life exploring problems with the U.S. Constitution, I have a generally high tolerance level for governmental and constitutional confusions. The current mess in Canada, a nation that enjoys an enviable reputation for levelheadedness and civic virtue, underscores that even the best among us can contrive a constitutional structure…

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The 44th President, or the 45th?

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office, he will be acclaimed as our 44th president, but that calculation omits a true footnote in history, the one-day presidency of David Rice Atchison of Missouri. Atchison was Senate President pro tempore on March 4, 1849, and served as president for 24 hours because the new president,…

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