Ex-spouse law defies efforts for change

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A 1982 law that allows state courts to divide military retirement as marital property in divorce proceedings has grown skin of armor, making it impenetrable to court challenge or legislative change. That, at least, is how it must seem to long-time critics of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act […]

Foley’s e-mails another example of excessive power

Editorial The media and the blogosphere are brimming with comments on the sad story of Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned from Congress after ABC News made public some of the suggestive — and well beyond suggestive — e-mails and text messages he had exchanged with young male congressional pages. Did the leadership fail […]

Gaining approval for Ute water project not easy task

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority members expect an uphill battle in their latest attempt to gain federal approval on the Ute Water Project. Sens. Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman introduced a bill two weeks ago authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico […]

Congress should help small business have fewer fines

Editorial While the movers and shakers in Congress, always with an eye to November elections, are deciding higher-profile matters, a small but significant reform that deserves support is wending its way through the committee process in Congress. HR5242 would give small-business owners a chance — for the first time — to correct unintentional paperwork mistakes […]

It may be too late for Republicans to save sinking ship

Editorial It may be too late for Republicans to restore their lost luster as the party of fiscal responsibility, at least in time to prevent a drubbing in the coming elections. But at least some of them are trying. A few senators are pushing the SOS bill, the Stop Overspending Act of 2006, which attempts […]

Bush’s use of signing statements presidential powers cop-out

Editorial It has long been viewed as an anomaly, even a curiosity, that President Bush, who has been more jealous of the powers and prerogatives of the presidency than any recent inhabitant of that office, has not used his power to veto a single law passed by Congress. Recent surveys of his use of what […]

DeLay legacy already determined despite outcome of legal issues

Editorial Seen from a liberty perspective of the American people, Rep. Tom DeLay’s career was a failure. The Texas Republican, undergoing a trial for alleged ethics violations, announced this week that he would not seek re-election this fall. There’s no doubt Rep. DeLay is a talented, tough political infighter. He is a major reason Republicans […]

Editorial

Get ready for some squealing. The “Congressional Pig Book,” an annual exposé of some of the worst pork barrel projects conceived by Congress, is due out this week. The report’s release is never a happy occasion inside the Beltway, but this year it’s even less so, given the spotlight that lobbying scandals have shone on […]

Shaming Congress away from pork barrel won’t work

Editorial There’s a serious flaw in the thinking of reformers who believe congressional pork-barrel spending can be curbed by forcing members to attach their names to the pet projects (or “earmarks”) they slip into appropriations bills, in circumvention of the normal budget procedures. They hope bringing more transparency and accountability to the process will shame […]

Puerto Rico’s statehood comes into question again

Freedom Newspapers The question of statehood for Puerto Rico is again bobbing to the surface like a mossy coconut, as it seems to with annoying regularity. Some Republicans — including a few in the Bush clan’s inner circle — apparently have convinced themselves this would mean a political windfall for the GOP, in terms of […]