Associated Press

Obama’s Education Agenda Isn’t Anti-Minority
July 28, 2010

When President Obama speaks to the National Urban League on Thursday about education reform, he’ll be on the defensive. On Monday, the league and six other civil rights groups—including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Rainbow Push Coalition—released a document outlining what they see as the most pressing priorities for U.S. public schools. In it, the groups issue strident criticisms of some of Obama’s key reform efforts. Their chief complaint? That Obama’s could further disadvantage minority students.

The Draft Boss Hogg Movement Is Alive!
July 13, 2010

I still can't believe this is happening: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) is getting pushed by major Republican donors to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Barbour, a two-term governor, described himself as a “fat redneck” with an “accent” in a recent interview with CNN. Casino magnate Steve Wynn, a major Republican donor, is leading a group of friends who are encouraging Barbour to run, according to the New York Post.

North Korea, Nuclear Proliferator… And China Does Nothing
May 28, 2010

A seven-member United Nations panel—yes, even a U.N. panel—without stammer and without dodging yesterday accused North Korea of providing banned nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran and Syria. The news was reported by the Associated Press, Ha'aretz, the Global Security Newswire of the NTI (an outfit founded by Sen. Richard Lugar and former senator Sam Nunn) and Reuters. The U.N.

More On Right-Wing Scofflaw Mine Operator
April 08, 2010

Yesterday, I flagged an embryonic attempt by conservatives -- in this case, Chris Stirewalt of the Washington Examiner -- to defend right-wing coal mine operator Don Blankenship, one of whose mines recently exploded and killed two dozen workers. Stirewalt scoffs at the possibility that Blankenship ignored safety standards: We don’t know what caused the explosion – an electric arc, a spark from metal on metal, etc.

Obama’s First Triumph In Syria: Ahmadinejad Will Make An Official Visit To Damascus
February 23, 2010

The news is reported by the Associated Press. It was announced by the Syrian state-run news agency. And confirmed by “Palestinian officials.” A’jad will meet with Bashar Assad, the object of President Obama’s courtship. The man whom Hillary last week basically called the military dictator of Iran will also confer with top guns from Hezbollah and Hamas. I’m sure that their topic will be the road to peace. Keep up with TNR on Facebook and Twitter.

Explaining My Health Care Polyannaism
February 22, 2010

For more than a month now, I've taken a stubbornly optimistic line on the fate of health care reform -- I've given it slightly better than even odds of passing all along. You've probably noticed that most political reporters have a very different take. They write about health care reform in the past tense, or at best as a very long shot. Perhaps you wonder why my take differs so strongly. I certainly do. I don't think the answer is that they have access to better information. In most cases, they probably do.

The Great Unknowns (Updated)
February 19, 2010

If you read this blog, you probably want to know the true state of play in the health care reform debate. Well, join the club. After yet another a round of phone calls on Friday, I've become convinced that nobody really knows for sure. There's a lot of activity and discussion right now. But the key discussions involve a very small circle of people--smaller, in fact, than the circle of people you see quoted in the media, even anonymously.

John Kerry and the Underbelly of History, John Kerry and the Underbelly of the Present
January 20, 2010

Watching the wake for Martha Coakley on television Tuesday night, I saw John Kerry hobbling into the Sheraton Boston ballroom, his crutches supporting the hip replacement he'd had last week. What a difference between this very serious and cerebral senator and the lightweight who aspired to join him in the upper house of the U.S. Congress. I allude to two efforts by Kerry to reveal facts that others would prefer to leave undisturbed. The first is a scandal of history. It has been quite evident that J. Edgar Hoover pursued Martin Luther King, Jr. in his life and after his murder.

WH: We're Not Folding
January 20, 2010

A new Associated Press report says the White House and members of Congress are contemplating a vastly scaled-down health care reform plan: Chastened by the Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts, President Barack Obama and congressional allies signaled Wednesday they will try to scale back his sweeping health care overhaul in an effort to at least keep parts of it alive. A simpler, less ambitious bill emerged as an alternative only hours after the loss of the party's crucial 60th Senate seat forced the Democrats to slow their all-out drive to pass Obama's signature legislation and reconsider

The Wheels of Justice Grind Exceedingly Slow. But They Grind Exceedingly Fine. Do You Recall "Chemical Ali"?
January 17, 2010

“Chemical Ali” was arrested nearly seven years ago, near the beginning of the (second) Iraq war. He is a cousin of Sadsam Hussein who carried out (and maybe even initiated) the tyrant’s most serious crimes. His real name is Ali Hassan al-Majid, by which tag he has already been charged with and judged guilty of three other horrific assaults against the various peoples of Iraq. This fourth death penalty establishes his centrality in the poison nerve and mustard gas attacks against Kurdish villagers in Halabja. The 1988 massacre took the lives of at least 5,600.

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