In Today's Web Magazine
May 13, 2007

Christine Stansell explains how the Supreme Court endorsed the pseudoscience of the anti-choicers (she also suggests some reading about abortion); Alan Dershowitz laments his accidental role in conveying respectability to the charlatan Norman Finkelstein; the Editors say adieu to the French cliché; and Benjamin Wittes judges Alberto Gonzales's performance before the House Judiciary Committee last week. On Saturday, we posted some of Lincoln Kirstein's criticism from The New Republic to complement Jed Perl's review of the new Kirstein biography. --Adam B. Kushner

The Pope, Brazil, And Abortion
May 10, 2007

by Richard Stern "The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into communion in the body of Christ," said Pope Benedict XVI thirty-odd-thousand feet in the air en route to Brazil, the country with more Roman Catholics than any other in the world.

Mark Penn's Day Job
May 07, 2007

Huh, I wonder if any labor unions have a problem with the fact that Hillary Clinton's chief political strategist is the CEO of a firm that engages in union-busting. Here's a tidbit from Ari Berman's new Nation piece on Clinton's inner circle: [Burson-Marsteller, where Mark Penn is CEO] has a highly confrontational relationship with organized labor. "Companies cannot be caught unprepared by Organized Labor's coordinated campaigns," read the "Labor Relations" section of its website (until it was scrubbed after Mark Schmitt of The American Prospect quoted the language in March).

May 04, 2007

Many have commented on the extraordinary nonchalance of Rudy Giuliani's response to the debate question of whether it'd be a good thing if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. What struck me, though, was the extent to which he carelessly demolished the code he's been relying on to allay social conservatives' fears on this very subject: It would be OK to repeal it.

Quote Of The Day
May 04, 2007

"I misinterpreted the question. I thought that I answered it yes when I should have answered it no. I didn't hear it." --GOP presidential candidate Tommy Thompson, revising his answer to a question about whether business owners should be able to fire gay employees--a position he had initially described as something "I really, sincerely believe." --Michael Crowley

Obama And Niebuhr
May 03, 2007

by Casey BlakeDavid Brooks was delighted by the response he received when he popped the Reinhold Niebuhr question to Barack Obama a week or so ago. "I love him." Obama said. "He's one of my favorite philosophers." Needless to say, Brooks was impressed. "So I asked, What do you take away from him?" "I take away," Obama answered in a rush of words, "the compelling idea that there's serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn't use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away ...

Hate Crimes, Continued
May 03, 2007

Ramesh Ponnuru says I'm being unfair and that the White House opposes the hate-crimes bill because of concerns over federalism, not because the bill would add sexual orientation to the list of protected categories. That might well be true. In the past, people like Barney Frank have claimed that the GOP leadership scuttled versions of the bill mainly because they included protections for gays and lesbians, but hey, it's possible that Frank's wrong and they really were doing so out of a principled concern for federalism.

In Today's Web Magazine
May 03, 2007

Martin Peretz praises the vision and analysis of Fouad Ajami; read recent pieces by Ajami here (a review for TNR of Ali Allawi's book on the occupation) and here (an essay for The Wall Street Journal on Iraq); David Fontana argues that Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has been a major disappointment for liberals; David A. Bell handicaps Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal for Sunday's election in France; and Peter Beinart and Jonah Goldberg ask if the GOP has inked a deal with the devil on immigration. --Adam B. Kushner

The Real World Bank Scandal
May 02, 2007

Every so often I get a provocative e-mail that gets at a subject via an acute angle from Edward Jay Epstein, the independent inteligence analyst and a man who has provocative ideas about nearly everything. Here's his comment on one segment of the World Bank "scandal." "Is it really shocking for an employee of the World Bank to receive more than Condoleezza Rice's $183,500 salary? Try this for a perspective adjustment: In 2005, 1,396 world bank employees earn that much or more. And, unlike Ms. Rice's salary, it is tax-free.

May 01, 2007

Media Matters takes us back to May 1, 2003, when the "Mission Accomplished" banner unfurled, the president strutted onto the USS Abraham Lincoln in his parachute harness, and media figures dropped to their knees on live TV. Like this little guy: [CHRIS] MATTHEWS: What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that's the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously.