And now Democrats will take them for granted
And now Democrats will take them for granted.
For some of us at TNR, the most surprising aspect of yesterday’s Great Internet Blackout wasn’t the crushing recognition of just how often we head to Wikipedia—it was noticing the strange political bedfellows forged by SOPA, the House's Stop Internet Piracy Act, and its Senate analogue PIPA. In this hyper-partisan political climate, seeing Michele Bachmann on the same page as Nancy Pelosi, and Rupert Murdoch agree with avowed-liberal Patrick Leahy was unusual (and somewhat refreshing).
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] It has always been a question of earth-shattering importance: are newspaper Ombudsmen terrible because the job is a hopeless one, or are they terrible because newspapers make wretched hires? As urgent as this matter remains, one thing can be agreed upon at once: even those who believe the former must concede that the major papers have done an abysmal job of filling these positions. I’m a little late coming to this, but a few weeks ago, Patrick Pexton, The Washington Post’s Ombudsman, wrote a column about the use of bad words in the paper.
Last May, the novelist Scott Turow published yet another courtroom thriller—Innocent, a sequel to his hugely popular 1987 debut Presumed Innocent. “I was lucky enough that it landed on the best-seller list,” he quips, as if there were ever any doubt. But the celebration didn’t last. Turow’s friends soon alerted him to the fact that knock-off e-versions of his novel were being offered at steep discounts on shady websites all over the Internet.
As soon as Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he would leave the Supreme Court, President Obama and progressive groups said the next justice should be an economic populist.
When Vince Flynn recently finished writing his eleventh novel, Pursuit of Honor, he sent an advance copy to Rush Limbaugh, along with some special reading instructions. Upon arriving at Chapter 50, he told the radio host in a note inscribed on the chapter’s first page, “open one of your bottles of Lafite and grab a cigar and savor these words.” Flynn self-published his first political thriller twelve years ago but, today, has a seven-figure contract with an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
No, this post will have nothing to do with Sarah Palin. It concerns the hearing held this morning by the Senate Homeland Security Committee regarding the terrorist attack carried out by Maj. Nidal Hassan against his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, a hearing called by that Committee's chairman, Joe Lieberman. Given the gravity of this incident and the potential for future such attacks, it makes eminent sense that such a hearing would occur, in order to find out how such clear and visible signals of impending danger were ignored by the Army hierarchy.
On his first day in office, President Barack Obama will head to the situation room for a video conference with his most important commander, General David Petraeus. If the conversation is chilly, it is not just the awkwardness of virtual chatting. Obama and Petraeus have a history. While Obama has called for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, Petraeus oversaw the deployment of more than 30,000 additional troops. To win support from the left, Obama postured as a skeptic of the general's Iraq strategy during congressional hearings.
Today's Senate judiciary hearing on the attorney firings, mainly called, it seems, so that Karl Rove wouldn't show up, was notable for little new information and much senatorial outrage about White House deputy political director Scott Jennings's refusal to answer questions based on Bush's invocation of executive privilege (he used the phrase, "Pursuant to the president's assertion of executive privilege, I must respectfully decline to answer that question at this time," at least ten times--Chairman Patrick Leahy, who cut him off a couple of times before he got to "assertion," grumpily called