When Shuls Were Banned In America
August 13, 2010
Synangogues were banned in New Amsterdam, and even after the signing of the Constitution, First Amendment protections didn't stop cities from preventing the construction of Jewish housesof worship, writes Jonathan Sarna in The Forward: In Connecticut, for example, statutes limited the right of religious incorporation to Christians long after the Bill of Rights mandated religious liberty for all on the federal level.
Bush vs. The Neocons
August 11, 2010
It's been an article of faith for several years now that the neoconservatives controlled George W. Bush. I've always considered that notion pretty exaggerated, and this bit from Jeffrey Goldberg's new Atlantic piece is pretty amusing: Bush would sometimes mock those aides and commentators who advocated an attack on Iran, even referring to the conservative columnists Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol as “the bomber boys,” according to two people I spoke with who overheard this. I'm starting to think I was too hard on the guy.
What Is Moderate Islam?
August 11, 2010
Is the “Ground Zero Imam,” Feisal Abd ar-Rauf, a moderate Muslim? I do not know. I have yet to read his books or peruse his speeches and sermons in all the languages that Mr. Rauf uses. Some of his short essays and interviews in English suggest that he is a preacher of moderate disposition and views.
The Bush Economy Won The Election For Obama
July 31, 2010
It's become extremely common for conservatives to assert that the crash of the financial system in 2008 almost single-handedly enabled Barack Obama to win the presidential election. See, for instance, this: “We were crushed by circumstance,” communications director Jill Hazelbaker said after McCain’s speech. “The economic crisis was a pivotal point in this race.” Or this (from Charles Krauthammer): “It was rejection of the Bush administration, a weariness of war, and the rejection of an administration at a time of economic collapse.
Krauthammer, Process And Partisanship
July 23, 2010
Charles Krauthammer today waxes indignant at the prospect that Democrats might pass legislation in a post-election session: The only thing holding the Democrats back would be shame, a Washington commodity in chronically short supply. To pass in a lame-duck session major legislation so unpopular that Democrats had no chance of passing it in regular session -- after major Democratic losses signifying a withdrawal of the mandate implicitly granted in 2008 -- would be an egregious violation of elementary democratic norms. Perhaps shame will constrain the Democrats.
Obama's Agenda And The Deficit
July 19, 2010
Charles Krauthammer argues that President Obama has permanently altered U.S. fiscal policy: Obama's most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed. These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction.
"Hell No" Is No Platform
July 15, 2010
Since Sarah Palin coined this imaginative slogan, it has taken on the function of analysis, inspiration, program for the Republicans and for their outlier allies. But, of course, it is not any of these. Like "yes, we can" in 2008, it is exhortative. As it happens, the Obama chant became a decisive and mortifying flop when the president failed even in his most easy symbolic chore to dislodge the Guantanamo SP prisoners from the big jail house at the southern tip of Cuba when his Democratic congressional allies simply wouldn't have them in their districts.
The Post Retreats
June 25, 2010
I was completely stunned to learn that the Washington Post pushed out Dave Weigel, who has been reporting a blog on the conservative movement and doing a fantastic job of it. The cause of the firing is that Weigel was found to have emailed nasty things about certain right-wingers.
Today’s Spillage Idiot
June 02, 2010
Last week I credited Charles Krauthammer with a “genuine conceptual breakthrough” of blaming the BP oil spill on environmentalists and thus spare conservatives from cognitive dissonance. Sadly, I was giving Krauthammer too much credit, as it turns out Rush Limbaugh came up with this deranged line ten days before Krauthammer. Now the concept has moved down the conservative intellectual food chain from Limbaugh to Krauthammer to, of course, Sarah Palin, who tweets: Extreme Greenies:see now why we push"drill,baby,drill"of known reserves&promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR?
The Spillage Idiot
May 28, 2010
Charles Krauthammer has a genuine conceptual breakthrough. The BP oil spill is the fault, at least in part, of... environmentalists! Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production.