“We are turning to socialism and away from God!” Joseph Grab said as he stood amid the thousands who gathered on Capitol Hill today to attend Michele Bachmann’s “House Call” protest against the health care reform bill. Grab, a retired engineer from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was clutching a leather-bound King James in his hand and a green sign that simply said “Pray” in the other.
The Times of London has a pretty disturbing/infuriating story about payments the Italian Secret Service allegedly made to Taliban commanders and local warlords to buy peace and quiet in areas of Afghanistan where Italian troops were stationed. It's not the payments per se that were the problem; if members of the Taliban can be bribed over to NATO's side, I say bribe them.
When the world last left Wesley Clark in early 2004, he was a streaking meteor of a presidential candidate. Still fresh from leading NATO in the Kosovo war, he arrived as a savior for the left, who saw a bulletproof patriot that the rest of America could believe in; hero of the netroots, beloved by Michael Moore and Madonna; hope of the Clintonites, delighted by such a clean ideological slate. Alas, after five blazing months, Clark for President flamed out. There are the conventional explanations: He got in too late. He didn't play in Iowa.
Simon Johnson raises a fair question in response to this AP scoop about the bankers Tim Geithner was in touch with early in the Obama administration. Here's the AP: The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies -- Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.
After the Russo-Georgian War in August 2008, the European Union found itself in a difficult position. Moscow had not only invaded a neighbor for the first time since the Soviet assault on Afghanistan in 1979. In recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, it had also broken the cardinal rule of post-cold war European security: that borders in Europe would never again be changed by force of arms. Yet Georgia, too, had clearly made mistakes, not the least in embroiling itself in a military conflict with Russia that Georgia's own allies had repeatedly warned against.
In the course of discussing with Sam Tanenhaus his book The Death of Conservatism (an expansion of this essay he wrote for TNR), Reihan Salam claims in passing Karl Rove never imagined that opposition to same-sex marriage would cement a permanent Republican majority. It was a distraction that I'm sure he found distasteful. Andrew Sullivan pounces Rove thought this was a distraction? From his realignment? Does Reihan recall the kind of politics Rove cut his teeth on in the South?
Alex Jones is a husky man with short sandy hair, weary eyes, baby cheeks, and the kind of deep, gravelly voice made for horror-movie trailers. And it’s horror he has in mind. "Your New World Order will fall!" he screams through a megaphone at the shiny façade of a nondescript office building. "Humanity will defeat you!" A syndicated radio host, filmmaker, and all-around countercultural icon based in Austin, Texas, Jones has long been one of the country’s most significant purveyors of paranoia.
A month-old labor dispute in Boston has taken a curious twist. It began when on August 31, a hundred housekeepers at three Hyatt hotels in Boston were fired and replaced by workers from a Georgia company, Hospitality Staffing Solutions. The housekeepers, some of whom had worked for Hyatt for over twenty years, were making between $14 and $16 an hour plus health, dental, and 401(k) benefits. Their replacements were to make $8 an hour with no health benefits.
Want a hint about what the president will say tonight? Check out the guest list for the First Lady's box, which the White House just published.
Now that Chris Dodd has decided to keep his chairmanship of the Senate banking committee, it looks like Tom Harkin will leave his agriculture post to go take Ted Kennedy's former spot atop the HELP committee. To the dismay of a lot of food-policy reformers, this means the more conservative Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will be next in line for the Ag Committee gavel (there are more senior members on that committee, but they all have other, more powerful chairmanships already). It's not unreasonable to ask if this will really make a big difference as far as agricultural policy's concerned.