With all the strange, dishonest, arguably illegal procedures taking place in the financial world and the bizarre fulminations of Tea Party demonstrators who seem not to have a complete understanding of exactly what they’re so angry about, most ordinary folks just want some straight answers from government and clear explanations about the forces that shape their lives

As the murmurings about the next Supreme Court Justice grow more insistent the president’s nominee is a major subject of conjecture across the political landscape. Clearly the president needn’t try overly hard to appoint someone who will have an easy time being approved by the Senate because Republicans aren’t likely to approve whoever it is without a fight. Indeed if the process were to go too smoothly it would probably be a sign that the administration had missed an opportunity to make a difference.