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.
Why Dems Are Happy About the Primaries and I'm Not
August 11, 2010
The early spin on last night's primaries is that it was a good night for the Democrats, largely because Republican voters in four states rallied behind candidates who, in the words of Politico, are "tarnished by scandal, gaffes or some other significant vulnerability." And when you think about the likes of Linda McMahon, the World Wrestling tycoon, running for the Senate from Connecticut, the spin makes a lot of sense. This morning McMahon was on "Good Morning America" and host George Stephanopoulos asked her whether she regretted anything she did during her tenure at WWE.
Dodd and Man
August 08, 2010
Washington—When it comes to the role and functioning of the United States Senate, my rather dyspeptic views could not be more at odds with those of Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is retiring at the end of the year. I've reached the point where I'd abolish the Senate if I could.
Tea Bags, Wind Bags, and Moneybags
August 05, 2010
So let’s say you’re a Republican politician who’s been working the far right side of the political highway for years, getting little national attention other than the occasional shout-out in Human Events. Or let’s say you’re a sketchy business buccaneer with a few million smackers burning a hole in your pocket, and you’ve decided that you’d like to live in the governor’s mansion for a while, but you can’t get the local GOP to see you as anything more than a walking checkbook who funds other people's dreams. What do you do?
The Gospel According to Luce
July 23, 2010
The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century By Alan Brinkley (Knopf, 531 pp., $35) I. Sometimes human beings bring sociological theory to life. Consider the career of Henry Luce. A child of Presbyterian missionaries in China, he pursued wealth and power with unremitting zeal, creating the media empire that dominated American journalism for much of the twentieth century: Time, Inc. Yet Luce never lost touch with his didactic origins, never abandoned the conviction that his magazines should teach Americans the right way of thinking about the world.
Is Cheerleading A Sport?
July 22, 2010
No, says a federal judge: Competitive cheerleading is not an official sport that colleges can use to meet gender-equity requirements, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in ordering Quinnipiac University to keep its women’s volleyball team.
But Is Jesse Jackson *Interesting*?
July 15, 2010
Jesse Jackson has never interested me much. I’m a little late out of the gate in commenting about Jackson’s latest diversion, analogizing LeBron James to a runaway slave in light of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s sputtering about James’ departure to Miami. I’ve always been a little laggard in dogpiling on Jesse. When I first started writing about race, I quickly noted a certain cognitive dissonance: everybody expected the new cranky black “conservative” to have a Jesse obsession. I never did, and don’t now. He shouldn’t be news, really.
In Defense of Michael Steele
July 07, 2010
WASHINGTON–It's easy to understand why Democrats want Michael Steele to stay in the news. The Republican National Committee chairman is a wonderful distraction, a constant source of gaffes, laughs, clarifications and denials. But Steele recently scored a victory of sorts, even though you wouldn't know it from the coverage: His comments on Afghanistan got Democrats to recite GOP talking points from the Bush era.
Cap And Trade And Systemic Failure
June 28, 2010
Politico details the Republican turn against cap and trade: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), under pressure back home from a conservative primary challenger, hasn’t come anywhere close to the climate issue that was once a key component of his “maverick” credentials. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who joined Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) on cap-and-trade legislation in 2008, challenged the Obama administration earlier this month by forcing a floor vote that would have removed EPA’s authority to write its own carbon rules. Sen.
So Much For Lindsey Graham
June 08, 2010
Once upon a time, Lindsey Graham was the great conservative hope for passing climate-change legislation. He helped draft a (decent, if imperfect) bill with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. He gave a bunch of passionate speeches about the need to wean America off fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. He took a lot of abuse from the Tea Party lunatics in his state but stood by the effort because, by all accounts, he thought it was an important cause worth fighting for.