In Today's Web Magazine

Michael Kinsley recalls the time Ronald Reagan invited him to lunch (or did he?); Cass R. Sunstein says the Supreme Court's rulings this week belie a fundamental disagreement between the conservative justices; Eve Fairbanks listens to House Energy Committee Chairman John Dingell rant and rave about environmentalists; and James Kirchick braves protestors and a would-be pipe bomber at Jerusalem's gay rights parade. --Alexander M. Belenky

What 'they' Call It
June 29, 2007

by Cass Sunstein In the midst of all the discussion of race-based pupil assignments and affirmative action, I've now received an Op-Ed from someone at the same institution as the person who sent me an Op-Ed on climate change. (Or was that a parody?) I print this one because it seems to me to capture some widespread views in the popular press and perhaps even to overlap, at least a little bit, with the Court's analysis yesterday. (Or is this a parody? What do you think?) "Reverse Discrimination" "They" call it affirmative action.

Photographing Israel
June 29, 2007

Just a while back, I commented in this space on an exhibition of Israeli photographs at the Jewish Museum in New York. I found its chosen subject matter so self-consciously focused on the Palestinians that it gave hardly a look at the Israel which lives an ordinary life beyond and aside from the conflict. Yes, Israelis are aware of the Palestinian predicament, and they are often rattled by Palestinian terror. Some Israelis also believe that great injustices have been done by their country to the Palestinians.

The Company They Keep

Apropos this story--about the Israeli government's decision to let a BBC employee who moonlights for Hamas to enter the Gaza strip and help negotiate the freedom of Alan Johnston--just what, exactly, is the BBC doing hiring people who belong to Hamas? Angering? Yes. Surprising? No. --James Kirchick

Who Hates Sick Leave?

As Ezra Klein says, there's not too much that's shocking about the new Labor Department report finding that workers want more sick leave and paid vacation while businesses want, well, less. But this paragraph seemed ominous: Many businesses complained that the Labor Department's definition of a serious health condition enabling workers to take leave was unclear and too generous.

In Today's Web Magazine

Martin Peretz argues that the disintegration of Gaza marks the end of Palestinian nationalism; Jonathan Chait says that Michael Bloomberg's attempt to transcend ideology is merely a pretense; Jason Zengerle begins a debate with Chait over whether Fred Thompson stands a chance in the presidential race; Benjamin Wittes identifies the Supreme Court's looming legitimacy crisis; and Mark Lilla calls Alexis de Tocqueville a prophet for our times. --Alexander M. Belenky

John Roberts Unleashed

The Supreme Court went on a rampage today: weakening McCain-Feingold, barring ordinary taxpayers from challenging the White House's faith-based initiatives in court, siding with businesses over environmentalists in a dispute about endangered species, and ruling against a student who unfurled a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner in school (no, really). Worth noting: All of those decisions were 5-4, Alito and Roberts wrote two majority opinions apiece, and in all cases, the court liberals--Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter, Breyer--were on the dissenting end of things. --Bradford Plumer

Conservative Jurisprudence Today

This has to be among the most depressing things I've read in a while: "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand. "Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer?

Crimes And Misdemeanors

Richard Cohen makes some reasonable points in his column today decrying the investigation that led to Scooter Libby's conviction. (Liberals really ought to be more leery about Patrick Fitzgerald's efforts to strong-arm reporters.) But he concludes by making a specious analogy to Bill Clinton: I have come to hate the war and I cannot approve of lying under oath--not by Scooter, not by Bill Clinton, not by anybody. But the underlying crime is absent... People makes this comparison all the time, and it's a false one. Yes, both men lied under oath.

Degrees For A Dictator
June 17, 2007

And to think that many of these same high dudgeon, high-minded Brits are boycotting Israel. Peter Godwin is a journalist who knows Zimbabwe; he has known it really from the beginning. Godwin was there and he told his readers what was happening about Robert Mugabe. They were not ignorant but the faculty of Edinburgh University, which awarded the despot an honorary degree in 1984, was ... or made itself ignorant or, worse yet, pretended to ignorance.