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THE PLANK DECEMBER 22, 2006

In Last Week's Web Magazine

Happy New Year from The New Republic Online! Over the holiday week, Jonathan Chait pointed out how Bush fooled neoconservatives into supporting the Iraq war; Catherine O'Neill reminisced about Christmas as a foreign service brat in India; Roger Rosenblatt explained why the ghost of Christmas past was more influential than the ghost of Christmas future; S.Adele Shaw rued the Americanization of Christmas; Emma Chastain revealed the erotic side of The Nutcracker; the Editors bristled at Calvin Coolidge's admonition--delivered via New Year's card--not to disagree publicly with U.S. policy; Gerald W. Johnson looked at the forces allied against John F. Kennedy and wished him a happy new year (knowing that he probably wouldn't get one); the Editors (in 1957) saluted the initiative of a bumbling but spirited public servant and (in 1941) laid out six ways readers could help America defeat fascism during World War II; and we reprinted poems by Joseph Campbell and Philip Appleman.

As we marked the passing of Gerald Ford, we took a look back at John Osborne's coverage of Ford's presidency for TNR. Osborne watched as Ford learned how to govern in 1975, clashed with Democrats in Congress, and fought off a primary challenge by Ronald Reagan in 1976.

We also reposted some of the best essays of 2006: David Hajdu's piece on Starbucks' crappy taste in music; Noam Scheiber's profile of Tommy Goldstein, the lawyer who transformed the Supreme Court; the Editors' plea for intervention in Darfur; Michael Crowley's tour of McLean, the new GOP Mecca; and Ryan Lizza's exposé of George Allen's Confederate sympathies, which helped end the senator's presidential aspirations.

Today, the Editors--writing at the start of 1983--lament the growing wealth gap; and Jonathan Chait thinks about what might have happened if Gerald Ford had been elected president in 1976.

--Adam B. Kushner

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