How would the Mayans handle the fiscal cliff?

All things Mayan are getting a lot of publicity this week, and one topic we’ve tossed around is how would such an advanced society handle a current problem: the fiscal cliff scenario? In reality, researchers are discovering new clues and facts about the Maya every day, and no one knows for sure how they would […]

The historical connection between Prohibition, guns, and drugs

In recent weeks, the United States has witnessed two parallel narratives unfolding over the contest between freedom and regulation in American society. On November 6, two states–Washington and Colorado–passed voter referendums decriminalizing recreational marijuana use in the face of federal policy that dictates otherwise. And on December 14, a young man walked into a Connecticut […]

More signs that the fiscal cliff seems unavoidable

Events were moving quickly on Thursday that indicated a fiscal cliff solution would almost certainly be delayed until next year, after John Boehner made a high-stakes move in the House. House speaker John Boehner was moving forward with a politically risky vote on Thursday night to pass two bills that would hike taxes on millionaires […]

Constitution Check: Who has the power to fill the president’s cabinet seats?

Lyle Denniston looks at the controversy over two Cabinet nominations by President Barack Obama, and how it further erodes the constitutional respectability of the nomination and confirmation process. The statement at issue: “With Chuck Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, emerging as a front-runner to be President Obama’s next secretary of defense, critics are taking […]

History’s biggest doomsday duds (after the Mayan apocalypse)

As the world waits for the alleged Mayan apocalypse on Friday, Constitution Daily looks back at some doomsday predictions that fell flat in the course of American history. If you haven’t been the following this developing story from home, some people think that based on interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar, the world could be […]

Why gun control, fiscal cliff issues are on collision course

Congress now faces two critical issues with an early January deadline, gun violence and the fiscal cliff, which could lead to an extraordinary session to start off the New Year. An intersection of the two hot-button issues is the prospect of deep cuts to the nation’s mental health system. But also on the radar is […]

Tragedy shows sometimes people aren’t protected from the press

The Constitution’s First Amendment protects the freedom of the press. But the reporting errors in the Sandy Hook tragedy show that people aren’t protected from the press, in certain cases. There was mass media confusion on Friday about the facts related to the Connecticut shooting that took 26 lives, including those of 20 elementary schoolchildren. […]

After Newtown: the real toll of ‘journalistic bedlam’

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much flawed reporting as in the news coverage surrounding the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Errors abounded. News organizations identified the wrong man as the shooter, reported that the shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school and mischaracterized both the killers’ weapons and his access to […]

Update: Instagram gives in on privacy issues

The photosharing service Instagram will change key parts of its new privacy policy, which had enraged some of its 100 million users with its proposed use of member photos in paid ads. News spread quickly online on Monday that Instagram had updated its privacy policy to give it a non-exclusive license to use your photos […]

Report: GOP to try own tax hike as cliff talks stall again

Just hours after there was a reported breakthrough in fiscal cliff negotiations, there were signs on Tuesday that the GOP will move forward with a proposed tax hike, without involving the Democrats. Politico and The Hill said House Speaker John Boehner was preparing a bill that called for a tax hike on households making more […]