The New Republic's Adam Kirsch has already laid bare what is, respectively, sinister and fraudulent about Slavoj Žižek, the Slovene philosopher and campus hero. In New York magazine this week, Žižek gives some time to Joshua Cohen, who conducted an enjoyable (albeit nonlinear) interview with him.
Debates, and other political performances, don't change elections. Political reporters know it. But their work depends on not admitting it.
Hillary Clinton is a bigger favorite to be the next president than any non-incumbent in history at a comparable time in the election cycle. But she still faces several challenges, from concerns about her health and age, to a sense among some commentators that she is not in step with the Democratic Party's activist base. The challenge for her, at least in the 2016 primary, will be to prevent an opponent from filling the space on her left flank that Barack Obama captured five years ago.
The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier has already taken a satisfying whack at T.M. Luhrmann, the occasional New York Times columnist who writes about spirituality and religion. But Luhrmann's Thursday column, written in honor of Halloween, begs several questions, none of which she attempts to answer.
In a video clip that has gone viral today, Jon Stewart rips into CNN for asking the same question of its guest: "Is X good or bad?" Whether the subject is Obamacare, the war in Syria, or the balance between liberty and security, CNN analysts seem intent on defining things in this somewhat simplified manner.
The superb story by Matthew Rosenberg in The New York Times on Tuesday, casually titled 'U.S. Disrupts Tack on Militants,' is actually one of the scarier things written about Afghanistan in quite a while. (And that is saying something). One of the numerous problems confronting Afghanistan is that it faces various threats from extremist groups that operate out of Pakistan.
The famed atheist talks about the Pope, fiction, and why Jews win Nobel Prizes
Richard Dawkins first became famous for his pioneering work in evolutionary biology, but these days his reputation stems mostly from his no-holds-barred advocacy of atheism. On Twitter, his attacks on religion are blistering and relentless. Sample tweet: “I’m not ‘intolerant’ of your belief in a virgin birth. Please be tolerant of my right to tolerate your belief but call it stupid.” But in his new memoir, An Appetite For Wonder, Dawkins reveals a softer side. The book covers his childhood—including his struggles with a stammer and nasty teachers—and his discovery of the beauty of science.
It has been apparent for some time that Marco Rubio's political skills are less impressive than most people assumed several years ago. During the government shutdown/debt ceiling debacle he was either invisible or confused, ricocheting between extremism and quiet moderation, but at all times appearing like a man who didn't know what to do. In one corner, the business community. In another corner, Tea Party activists who will vote in a 2016 Republican primary. The result: flailing.
And then Obama goes to church
Coincidence: The first family went to church two days after Richard Dawkins called the president an atheist.
The New Republic's Alec MacGillis offers up various reasons why immigration reform has a better chance of passing in the next year than conventional wisdom currently holds. I appreciate his optimism, but immigration is doomed—at least until after the midterm elections.