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.

Tea Leaves, Ii
November 21, 2007

Second Amendment cases in the Supreme Court have numbered only two in the last century. After weeks of speculation that the 1939 Miller v. California would keep this streak alive, the court agreed to hear DC v. Heller, a challenge to the challenge of DC's stringent gun ban (which Sen. Jim Webb discovered the hard way), and the best chance for advocates of gun ownership to make flat-out bans unconstitutional.If the lower-court decision is upheld, we may credit one man: Robert A.

Dc Gun Case Tea Leaves
November 21, 2007

Scott Lemieux and Jack Balkin have two early takes on the Supreme Court's decision to hear the challenge to the District of Columbia's gun ban.

Obama, Clinton, And That Novak Column
November 19, 2007

I'm in Iowa this week, like pretty much every Democratic candidate in the race. I spent yesterday and today with Obama, and will be with Hillary beginning this afternoon. (Edwards, Dodd, and Biden are also here--I may try to catch the latter at some point.) The big topic of conversation among the reporters covering him (as well as basically everyone in Washington, so far as I can tell) is the recent Bob Novak column suggesting the Clinton campaign has dirt on Obama that, in their infinite generosity, they are declining to use.

Debate Questions
November 16, 2007

There has been a lot of press criticism lately (see Paul Waldman's Tim Russert takedown, Noam's thoughts on Russert, and Matt Yglesias' more general criticisms), and while much of it is sensible, I think the media is getting a little too much blame. Here's Matt: Great example. An audience member makes the sensible observation that the candidates haven't talked about the Supreme Court and asks them to say something about their approach to picking nominees. I'd be interested to hear the answers to these questions.

The Connectivity Campaign
November 15, 2007

Yesterday afternoon, Barack Obama made a speech in Silicon Valley on innovation, outlining a plan to create a national technology czar, or "chief technology officer"--likely some 28-year old techie whiz kid, or kids--charged with making president Obama's wildest web fantasies a reality. The venue was no mistake--he spoke at Google headquarters in Mountain View, a petri dish of hyper-wealthy young innovators, who were soon crowing over his plan to make cutting-edge technology the bedrock of his administration.

Aclu Of Southern California: Impeach Bush And Cheney
November 15, 2007

  Do you want to know why it's so tedious sitting next to an ACLU board member at dinner?  Well, now you'll know.    Yes, I know this is only the Sothern California branch.  And National may not follow.  But here is the morally smug and politically idiotic statement issued from the beach. ACLU of Southern California Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney -- Will National Follow? ACLU-SC Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney The ACLU of Southern California has called for the impeachment of President George W.

Vegas Voters And Obama's Tech Support
November 14, 2007

  Nevada's Firing Squad [David McGrath Schwartz,Las Vegas Sun]: "About 100 Nevadans will be sitting in the audience at Cox Pavilion, primed to inject state and Western issues during the second hour of the debate." Silicon Backers [Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo]: "Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig, one of the founders of the Creative Commons movement and a leading intellectual and legal proponent of free information and open government, has endorsed Barack Obama." B-word Blues [Helena Andrews, Politico]: "On Monday, while campaigning in South Carolina, Sen.

So Much For Smoke Breaks
November 13, 2007

There's a piece in today's WaPo's health section about the growing number of employers moving to penalize workers for indulging in unhealthful behaviors--most notably smoking--even outside of the workplace, on the argument that such employees wreak disproportionate havoc on companies' health insurance premiums.

Do Not Try This At Home, Kids
November 09, 2007

USA Today has one of those news-of-the-weird stories about the family of a Kentucky snake-handling victim that's suing a local hospital for failing to provide their loved one with adequate care following a divinely inspired run-in with a rattler. As the paper tells it: About a year ago, Linda Long was attending the East London Holiness Church in London, Ky.