American Civil Liberties Union

The modern idea of human rights was only created after World War II. In the next half-century, it became a global movement.

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Tallahassee, Florida—Since getting elected last year, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, has had a rough go of it. In his short tenure, he has been sued by teachers and law enforcement unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, physician groups, environmentalists, advocates for the disabled, and even a Republican state legislator. He’s also managed to irritate the media and public protesters, which only muddied his already tarnished image.

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I take it is a relief that, aside from its rhetorical pandering to the civil libertarian absolutists who can’t seem to grasp that Muslim terror networks are in a worldwide war with the United States and its remaining allies, the Obama administration is actually extending the life of the Bush presidency in its defense against jihad. Eli Lake, who is among the most discerning journalists on the intelligence beat, has written an analysis in Reason on where—or, rather, how little—the Obami have deviated from Bush guidelines. When it comes to the legal framework for confronting terrorism, President

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President Obama is now caught between memory and reality, between the ecstatic experience of campaigning and the stringent expectations of governing. Promises made (or, more aptly, vaguely suggested) are not promises delivered. And oftentimes they shouldn't be and wouldn't be. Wise men and women know this. So they also know that their candidate's victory on election day is also a prelude to a gradual but inevitable incline of disenchantment. I was lucky. I was for Barack Obama early and, as the old Boston pols used to say, also often.

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Empire Falls

With Hurricane Katrina still over the Gulf of Mexico, Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman, New Orleans's chief jailer, convened his ranking officers for an emergency meeting. Present in the sheriff's conference room that Saturday were most of his wardens, as well as the officer in charge of supplies and the head of the jail's kitchen, a huge feeding operation that prepared more than 18,000 meals per day. The sheriff went around the table, asking the officers if they were prepared for a storm.

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A Fighting Faith

On January 4, 1947, 130 men and women met at Washington's Willard Hotel to save American liberalism. A few months earlier, in articles in The New Republic and elsewhere, the columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop had warned that "the liberal movement is now engaged in sowing the seeds of its own destruction." Liberals, they argued, "consistently avoided the great political reality of the present: the Soviet challenge to the West." Unless that changed, "In the spasm of terror which will seize this country ...

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Misjudged

LAST YEAR, CONSERVATIVES responded to Lawrence v. Texas—in which the Supreme Court struck down all 13 state anti-sodomy statutes and overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, the infamous 1986 case that denied “a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy”—with dire warnings that the decision would open the floodgates to radical social changes, including the advent of gay marriage.

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Closed Sessions

Trent Lott must think he's living in a nightmare. More than one week has passed since his segregationist cheerleading at Strom Thurmond's century celebration, and the chorus of anti-Lottism has swelled ever louder. Conservatives in particular can't scream loud enough.

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Wilson's 1991 review of Why Americans Hate Politics: The Death of the Democratic Process and The United States of Ambition: Politicians, Pow

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Roboflop

Despite his pee-pants performance in the Omaha debate against Lloyd Bentsen, it looks as if Dan Quayle, 41, will be president one of these days. Consider the politico-actuarial probabilities. Assuming the Republican lead endures, the junior senator from Indiana will be elected vice president. This alone will give him an even chance of becoming president. Three out of the last five presidents were vice president first. Seven out of the last ten vice presidents have ended up heading a national ticket, and four (five if you presumptively count George Bush) got all the way to the Oval Office.

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