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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Phillip J. VanFossen

The author is professor of Social Studies Education; Director, Ackerman Center; Associate Director, Purdue Center for Economic Education, Purdue University.

How the “Grand Committee on Postponed Questions” Created the Electoral College

The awkward solution of an Electoral College was created as a way to prevent Congress from having the authority and as a way to get Southern states to agree.

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The Grinches Who Stole Seattle’s Civic Mojo

Banks, Baby Bells, law firms, architects, Boeing, downtown property developers, media, financial firms, Safeco -- all now controlled by national owners, who apply standard formulas and bottom-line thinking. Seattle is a "province" again.

Brexit Deadline: A Looming Crash

Much of the envisioned UK-EU trade treaty is already in a draft of 600-plus pages, with three areas of disagreement holding up its conclusion. Those few stumbling blocks, however, are deeply embedded in Britain’s disaffection with an alliance it considers a constraint on British sovereignty.

The Obscure Law that Could Throw the Election to Trump

The best example of the act’s inability to deal with what could become a major constitutional fight is its ambiguity as to the solution when multiple slates of electors are sent from a state. In that case, the House and Senate are expected to vote separately on which slate to accept.

More Broken Bridges to Come?

The saga of the West Seattle Bridge, born in the aftermath of a catastrophic marine accident, is likely far from an anomaly. Seattle's bridges (somewhere around 124) are a threatened commodity.

It Takes Self-Confidence to be a Moderate

Moderation should never be confused with indecisiveness. On the contrary, a lack of self-confidence in one’s most basic commitments is often expressed in extremism.