Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Amy Acker, 36.

And just a bit of the good stuff,

1. Good point by Kevin Drum about conservatives and treaties.

2. The latest purge within the GOP, reported by Dave Weigel.

3. And Seth Masket checks in with a rave for "Lincoln," although he inexplicably doesn't mention "Dick" in his list of president movies.

10 comments:

  1. Not Richard Wayne Penniman? Happy birthday, Little Richard!

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    1. I was back and forth between them, but since I do the yearly Kennedy Center post for him, I figured I'd share the blog love, and I do like Amy Acker quite a bit.

      But as long as we're on it, I'll put in another plug for the excellent and AFAIK very obscure OKeh Sessions.

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  2. Regarding treaties, apart from the general opposition to presumed threats to US sovereignty, Mike Lee of Utah said that the treaty may not have any impact on US law (since it uses ADA as a model) but it could have unintended and unexpected consequences in the future. Based on that argument, I assume that Lee will be opposing all treaties and all legislation from this point on.

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    1. Makes sense to me -- why pass unnecessary laws? If you want to send a message, pass a resolution.

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    2. It's not the most vital of treaties. As Erik Voeten points out over at the Monkey Cage, there will be countries that bide by prevailing norms anyhow and countries that will ignore them even if they sign a treaty, but there may be a few transitional countries with forces vying in both directions where a UN convention establishing a norm could have an impact. That could make it worth a bit more than a resolution, and it's not like ratification involves a heavy cost. But overall, this one is probably marginal.

      By the way, inaction can have unintended consequences as well.

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    3. Scott, but what does all that have to do with us? Are you suggesting that other countries will sign it just because we do?

      I tend to think America's greatest source of influence is our society, our culture and our people. People visit the US and say "hey, we should be more like that!"

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  3. I should have mentioned "Dick" - it gets much more into White House operations than "All the President's Men" did. But I felt that the Brezhnev-eats-a-pot-cookie scene was a tad unrealistic. Otherwise, spot on.

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  4. Or Thirteen Days which despite Kevin Costner's accent is actually a great movie.

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    1. I agree, but again, Thirteen Days is all soldiers and diplomats. We don't see the president deal with Congress at all.

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    2. Another movie to put on my list to watch...but actually the stuff that I think is even more important than "Presidents can't give orders to Congress" is "Presidents can't give orders to the exec branch, even sometimes the military." Don't know whether Thirteen Days got to any of that.

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