Good News: The United States Still Isn’t a Failed State
But it should be recognized that this “attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States” — with Republicans using blackmail to extort powers that the American people have given, in recent elections, to the other major political party– is only the latest in what has virtually been a war against the constitutional order of the United States that has been waged from the right for more than a decade. So how far back does this right-wing war against the American democracy go? I don’t believe the chronicle need go all the way back to Nixon’s crimes in Watergate, which nonetheless struck a blow against the fundamental idea that we are a nation of laws and not of men. Nor would I include the transgressions of Reagan and Co. in the Iran Contra scandal (compounded subsequently by the pardons issued by Bush the First giving a free pass to those in the Reagan administration who’d been convicted of law-breaking), even though these events demonstrated a frightening willingness –that may have been an early symptom of the power grabs to come– to run roughshod over the law and the separation of powers. Perhaps the best place to begin the chronicle of this war on “the governance and constitutional order of the United States” is with the relentless effort by the Republicans, in the age of Gingrich, from the beginning of the Clinton presidency, to find a way to bring that president down, launching one bogus investigation after another until at last they found evidence of marital infidelity, which they proceeded to inflate into a “high crime and misdemeanor” they could use to impeach the President of the United States. Without doubt, however, the history of this war against the American democracy would focus hard on the presidency of George W. Bush. With enough impeachable offenses to fill a book –as several responsible observers demonstrated during that era with books like Elizabeth de la Vega’s UNITED STATES v. GEORGE W. BUSH ET AL.– the Republicans gave us with Bush the most lawless presidency in the history of the nation.
government in a partisan dispute over healthcare reform. The Justice Department requested a delay after many of its attorneys and support staff were placed on furlough. “This is creating difficulties for the department to perform the functions necessary to support its litigation efforts,” the department said in a court filing. Merging companies usually oppose delays because they make it harder to hold deals together. So it was good news for the airlines when Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly turned down the request in an order issued on Tuesday. A lawyer for the airlines expected the trial to begin as scheduled in late November. “From what the judge said in there, and I think everybody heard, we’re going to trial on November 25,” Richard Parker said after a pretrial hearing. “We are planning on a November 25 trial date.” Parker said a settlement resolving the fight was still possible. “We are interested in a reasonable settlement in this case,” he added. Any settlement would mean asset sales, which in turn would require approval from the judge overseeing American’s emergence from bankruptcy. TEXAS SECURES CONCESSIONS Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport would remain a hub for the combined carrier, whose headquarters would be in Texas.
“An Attack on the Governance and the Constitutional Order of the United States”
Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer. The House is attempting to restore some government functions piecemeal. On Wednesday, leaders approved three smaller funding bills, which would provide money for national parks and museums, the District of Columbia government, and the National Institutes of Health. The House is planning to vote on Thursday to fund the National Guard and the Veterans Administration. But so far, Democrats have remained united, opposed to any partial approach to funding the government. Obama has vowed to veto such measures. House Republicans and Senate Democrats have remained at loggerheads for weeks, barely talking to one another. That impasse on Tuesday led to the first government shutdown in nearly two decades. Most House Republicans have insisted that any government funding bill include cuts or delays to President Obamas signature health care law, a position Democrats have declared a non-starter. About a dozen House Republicans have spoken out in favour of abandoning that approach, but they have not built enough of a movement to upend the plans of Tea Party-backed Republicans who want to hold firm. Increasingly, it appears that one potential solution is to tie the government funding to an increase of the debt limit. It is an approach that both Democrats and Republicans have said they could support. Thats what we think we need – a forcing action to bring two parties together, Representative Paul Ryan, an influential Republican from Wisconsin, said on Tuesday. We dont want to close the government down.
United States seeks delay in trial on US Air, AMR deal due to shutdown
The shutdown, depending on how long it goes on, could cause the United States to at least rise a few spots in next year’s rankings (the higher the ranking, the more instability). Congress’s inability to agree on a spending plan has consequences for several indicators of “failedness” where the U.S. has already not been faring too well of late, Krista Hendry, executive director of the Fund, told FP. It’s a demonstration of an increasingly factionalized elite, it leads directly to a deterioration of public services, and it doesn’t exactly do the economy any favors, or strengthen perceptions about the legitimacy of the state. But hey, we have a lot going for us! General rule of law holds — federal courts are still hearing cases, and prison guards are still on the job. Essential services have been preserved; mail, for instance, is still being delivered. Our federalized system means states are still capable of running their own schools and hospitals without federal aid. “We still have air-traffic controllers in the towers, we still have military that are on call and as ready as they were yesterday. Essential services are all still going to function,” said Failed States Index Co-Director J.J. Messner. And perhaps most importantly, Americans expect that the shutdown will be resolved, and that the U.S. government will eventually return to normal, Hendry explained.