Hoover

When Michael Ratner argued in a February 2002 lawsuit that British citizen Shafiq Rasul had a legal right to challenge his detention at Guantanamo Bay, there was little reason to believe he and his colleagues at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) would play any role in shaping America’s national security landscape. The country was still seething with anger over the attacks of 9/11, and longing for revenge. The few legal precedents that existed were not very encouraging.

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Whatever respect you feel for Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, or even Warner Brothers (its distributor), I think you know that a $35 million dollar movie about J. Edgar Hoover, running over two hours (it often feels longer), is going to face this issue: Are we going to see Hoover in drag? You can argue that many things about this man are more important, but a movie is a movie. It depends on things it can show us, and this one runs the risk of “explaining” Hoover’s vicious pursuit of power (or his overcoming of insecurity) in terms of sexual repression.

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It was not so long ago that George W. Bush seemed to embody the future of conservatism. He had entered office amid doubts about his rightful place there, but pressed ahead nonetheless with grand ambitions, conducting an ideologically potent foreign war while also promising much at home. Which led some to wonder: Was this lavish spender really a conservative? Bush’s champions rushed in to explain.

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The Weekly Standard's editorial moves beyond its familiar ritual of predicting victory and begins simply assuming it as settled fact: In 2013, we’ll need action on the order of 1933 or 1981. Hoover, Carter, and Obama will go down in the history books as failed one-term presidents. Will Obama’s Republican successor be remembered as acting on the scale of FDR and Reagan? As is always the case with Kristol, you have to examine anything he writes with the question in mind, what political end is he trying to achieve here?

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In Washington, on both left and right, a new piece of conventional wisdom is hardening into place: Barack Obama’s presidency is slowly collapsing under the burdens of a bad economy, a rudderless foreign policy, and confusion about how the man who once twinkled with charisma wants to change the country. Even if the president manages to get re-elected, his chance to “win the future,” pundits agree, is probably over.

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Like most people, I've always believed that Jeb Bush is the smart Bush brother. And yet his Wall Street Journal op-ed today shakes that assumption to its core. The entire thing has to be read in its full, I-can't-believe-this-isn't-parody context.

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Michele Bachmann really wants you to know she’s a “constitutional conservative.” The term is featured prominently on her web ads. She mentioned it three times in her announcement speech. It’s in the first sentence of her official bio. But what exactly does it mean? While the term can signify different things to different people, it turns out it’s especially important to Bachmann.

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This long attack on the unfairness of progressive taxation from the Hoover Institution by Kip Hagopian usefully embodies a lot of right-wing delusions about income inequality. It argues that a person's income is determined by three things: America’s free enterprise system provides an environment in which the substantial majority of its citizens can realize their fullest earnings potential.

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Phoenix and Las Vegas remain the two largest proximate metropolitan areas in the United States not connected by an Interstate highway, but a major improvement to the corridor is about to come on line. The Hoover Dam Bypass, set to be dedicated Thursday, will take through traffic off the top of the Hoover Dam and onto a new four-lane bridge over the Colorado River. The dam top crossing has always been a chokepoint, with heavy traffic mixing with the scads of tourists who visit the dam annually.

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The Tea Party has played an outsized role in the conservative imagination. The reason, I suspect, is that it provides a vehicle for conservatives to indulge their fantasy about representing the true American public. The Tea Party helps conservatives wipe away the memory of the Bush administration and the election of President Obama. The people were somnolent, and now they have awoken, announcing in their righteous fury that they demand conservative policies. If the GOP had failed in 2006 and 2008, it was only in its wishy-washiness.

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