The Sectarian Specter In Iraq, Cont'd
August 10, 2009

Eli Lake has an important and troubling scoop this morning:  A report to be published this month by the U.S. government's prestigious National Defense University warns that the Iraqi army and police are becoming pawns of sectarian political parties -- a trend that it calls "a recipe for civil war."... The paper, made available to The Washington Times, carries particular weight considering its author. Mr. al-Jabouri was the police chief and later the mayor of Tal Afar, a city in Ninevah province, in 2005 and 2006 when he and then-Col.

The New York Times On Cary Grant
August 03, 2009

On the front page of the Weekend Arts section on Friday, the Times published an above-the-fold celebration of the work of Cary Grant so backhanded and begrudging as to be genuinely mystifying. The occasion was a retrospective taking place at BAMcinematek, and the author was Mike Hall, who usually writes about television. Hall begins by noting To put on a Cary Grant series ... presents some special challenges.

Disputations: The Lost Lincoln
July 25, 2009

Click here to read letters by Fred Kaplan, Michael Kazin, John Stauffer, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The following is Sean Wilentz's response to their letters. I wrote a 25,000 word essay about Abraham Lincoln, not Barack Obama. My aim was to review some of the most prominent scholarly books interpreting Lincoln on the occasion of his bicentennial, and to offer a different view of Lincoln as, first and foremost, a democratic politician.

Farm Lobbies Squabble Over Climate Details
July 23, 2009

It's common knowledge that most farmers oppose a cap-and-trade bill—or at least it was common knowledge until last month. That's when the National Farmers Union (NFU) issued a press release that urged House members to approve Rep. Collin Peterson's controversial and farm-friendly additions to the House climate bill.

The Operator
July 01, 2009

The first time I remember speaking with Karen Ignagni was via a TV satellite, for a debate about health care policy on CNN. It was the summer of 2007, not long after the debut of Michael Moore's Sicko, and each of us was playing our usual role. Ignagni is the telegenic president of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and arguably Washington's most influential health-industry lobbyist.

Pleasure Harvest
July 01, 2009

When she took a position in a distant city he knew He could not follow and in the months afterwards he built Them a home where she was still with him even Though they never lived together. Mornings they made coffee In this kitchen, washed the berries, read books on the long couch, Their legs touching in some configuration, and one would interrupt The other's reading to make some observation on the art They both practiced.

Now We Know
June 17, 2009

Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev (Yale University Press, 637 pp., $35) If one were trying to define the lowest point in the long and venerable tradition of American anti-communism, surely it came in 2003, with the publication of Ann Coulter's Treason.

Fleeing Moment
June 17, 2009

About 400,000 people, many of them children, annually tour the battlegrounds of Ypres, near the French border in Western Belgium, the scene of some of history's most savage combat. Millions of troops fought here during World War I; more than 600,000 of them died.

Between Idealism And Realism In Iran
June 16, 2009

Peter Scoblic is the executive editor of The New Republic and the author of U.S. vs. Them, which is now out in paperback. Like my colleagues, I am rapt by the sight of the Iranian protests. In fact, listening to NPR's coverage from Tehran this morning, I found myself rapt by the sound of the protests, the kind of roar that only a stadium-sized group of people can produce. It's an inspiring moment in Iranian politics.

Night of the Living Bushies
May 06, 2009

The depiction of Barack Obama that has emerged from some quarters of the American right is that of a Bush-like figure. He is irresponsibly running up deficits and covering them up with budgetary gimmickry. Under the guise of healing rhetoric, he ruthlessly pressures fellow partisans in Congress to toe the line. He is "filling White House ranks with former lobbyists," and his administration is devolving into general incompetence. And he has given unprecedented, Rove-like power to his political Svengali, David Axelrod.