Palestinian Collaborators Then And Now
December 24, 2007

I've just finished a truly intriguing book.  It is called Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948 and is the product of what is clearly a daring mind, that is the mind of Hillel Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The book bears two blurbs: one from Zachary Lockman, director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at N.Y.U., who last appeared in the news as a signatory to the international petition calling on universities and colleges to boycott Israeli academics.  The second blurb was by Tom Segev, an Israeli version of Alexander Cockburn: "all that the hom

Wrapping Up The Debate--the Dither In Des Moines
December 13, 2007

Okay, okay. So it was a completely lame debate: Another inexplicable decision to take meaty topics off the table. Very few questions designed to elicit confrontation.  Extremely confining time limits. And all of this humorlessly enforced by a controlling, schoolmarmish moderator. Oh, and there was also the ludicrous presence of Alan Keyes, who managed to make the cut even though Dennis Kucinich has been barred from today’s Democratic installment. Having said that, the debate did do one thing: It nicely illuminated the central divide among the GOP front-runners.

Roger Cohen Vs. Bernard Lewis
November 26, 2007

There was an inadvertent debate this morning between two op-ed pieces: one in the New York Times by Roger Cohen (he, of the priestly caste among the Jews); the other in the Wall Street Journal by Bernard Lewis (a scholar of titanic stature but a Jew as ordinary as the rest of us Israelites).  The two essays of roughly a thousand words each appear to be addressed to the outcome of tomorrow's conference at Annapolis.  They are not.  They are different ways of reading history...or, of one of them, not reading history at all.

Creative Destruction
November 12, 2007

The best case against universal health care.

No Spine, No God Or No Chance: What's A Gop Voter To Do?
November 08, 2007

Poll Dancing [John Harwood, Wall Street Journal]: "Democrats enter the 2008 election campaign with powerful political advantages but face a tough and unpredictable battle because of the vulnerabilities of front-runner Hillary Clinton and the Democratic-controlled Congress." Blue-Collar Barack [Jason Clayworth, Des Moines Register]: "Presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed spending $26 billion a year on middle-class tax cuts and credits, plus help to guarantee sick days for workers and reform of bankruptcy laws." Little Girls, Big Problem [Robert Novak, RealClearPolitics]:  "

Partisanship And Activism On The Supreme Court
October 31, 2007

We have been engaged in a long-term study of judicial voting patterns, and we  recently published an oped in the Los Angeles Times, in which we gave “awards” to Supreme Court justices, based on a statistical study of their votes. The Judicial Neutrality Award went to Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Judicial Restraint award went to Justice Stephen Breyer. The less coveted Partisan Voting Award went to Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Antonin Scalia received the Judicial Activism Award.

Obama And Entitlements
October 30, 2007

  Barack Obama hasn't been getting much love from the liberal blogosphere for suggesting that Social Security poses a long-term fiscal problem for the federal government (see Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, and Matt Stoller, among others). Obama's critics note, correctly, that it's Medicare, not Social Security, that's responsible for the bulk of the entitlement crunch we face (Jon Chait also made this point recently), and that the bulk of that problem is that health-care costs are rising rapidly.

Your Daily Dose Of Health Policy

Now that Hillary Clinton has followed John Edwards in endorsing an "individual mandate" model for universal health care, lots of people are asking questions about the model -- some good, some not so good. In Business Week, columnist Glen Whitman raises several objections. It's difficult to enforce a mandate that everybody buy insurance, he says; just look at how many people don't carry car insurance, which states supposedly require of all drivers.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Proposes Another Homeland For The Jews
October 07, 2007

At the Sixth Zionist Congress in Vienna in 1903, Theodor Herzl proposed that a Jewish homeland be established in Uganda, a reflection of the difficulties he was having persuading European statesman that it is Palestine where both physical and spiritual Zion actually resided. Despite the fact that he had actually received (tentative) support for Uganda from some of these same statesman, the Congress turned him down...flat. In any case, there were many proposals over the decades for a Jewish polity other than one in Palestine.

Obama @ Howard: Attack Is The New Black

Barack Obama's speech at Howard University this morning was full of explosive, rhythmic calls to action, striking a fine balance between sober convocation and straight stumping. The campaign touted it as a substantive rollout of Obama's criminal justice platform, while the theater of his presence clearly thrilled the audience of black students and faculty.