Orin Kerr and Eugene Volokh are talking up the likely run for state attorney general by Ted Cruz, the state’s former solicitor general. While I can’t say I’m thrilled about all of Cruz’s political positions, particularly on the social conservative dimension where Cruz makes much of his advocacy for Ten Commandments tomfoolery and takes pride in undermining foreign relations, he does at least seem to be eminently qualified for the post.
As a semi-related aside (perhaps brought on by my learning-more-about-while-teaching Texas government this semester), while in general I’d favor taking a rather large scythe to the number of statewide elected offices in Texas in favor of more gubernatorial appointees in line with the federal model, I’d probably favor keeping the attorney general’s office a separately-elected post, mostly to better promote checks and balances on executive power in a more transparent way.
Laredo managed to wedge its way up to the trough to get $31.5 million in stimulus money (along with $57.2 million in other funds) to build the Cuatro Vientos project in south Laredo, which is basically a bypass for U.S. 83 (Zapata Highway). Hopefully TxDOT can move relatively quickly on this project, since I know based on the MPO long-range planning workshop I went to last month that folks on the south side have been looking for some traffic relief.
Inside Higher Ed reports (as does the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) that Wisconsin Lutheran College has decided to eliminate its political science department and, with it, two apparently-tenured faculty members to better focus on its “liberal arts mission.” I find myself in agreement with the thoughts of Michael Brintnall, executive director of the APSA:
“It would be thought to be a central component of a liberal arts education,” [Brintnall] said. “The subject matter is too central to civic life and understanding where we are going in the world to not offer the content.”
There is an argument to be made that the political dimensions of life can be explored in other social science and humanities disciplines—principally, through history, economics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology—but somehow I doubt Wisconsin Lutheran will be devoting the attention those dimensions deserve in a well-rounded education.
Then again, Wisconsin Lutheran may have made the right decision in its current circumstances: according to the Journal Sentinel article, the abolition of political science only affects 5 majors directly. Considering that we had political science majors beating down the doors at Millsaps, which isn’t much bigger than Wisconsin Lutheran, I’m not sure what is going on with that.
þ: John Sides and Steven Taylor.