The group blog of The New Republic

August 29, 2013

Whether or not the United States intervenes in Syria’s civil war, one thing about the current situation won’t change: Those of us outside Syria’s borders will never be entirely sure what’s happening within them. Syria has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, and legacy media outlets have, understandably, sent fewer and fewer of their reporters into harm’s way. This means that if journalists and policymakers in western countries want information from a source other than Bashar al Assad’s regime, they have to take it from citizen journalists, nearly all of whom are activists who openly support the opposition.

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Another Obamascare article is making the rounds. This one, from National Journal, is about what people buying their own insurance will pay on the new Obamacare exchanges—and how those prices compare to what people pay when they get coverage from their employers.

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Advocates for a more restrained foreign policy, like Rand Paul, seem increasing ascendant in the Republican Party. Recently, Marco Rubio, a natural figure of the Republican establishment, came out against attacking Syria—even though most neoconservatives want an even more ambitious military operation than the one likely to come over the next few weeks. But despite the movement among Republican politicians, the Republican rank-and-file still seem relatively supportive of intervention. 

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Last spring, Swarthmore joined the growing list of prestigious colleges induced to rewrite their sexual misconduct policies after students told the federal government the schools belittled their reports of assault.

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In mid-2001, Johana Cece, a woman in her early twenties, fled her hometown of Korçë, a small city near Albania’s Greek border. A local gang member, “Reqi,” who was notorious for kidnapping women Cece’s age to work as prostitutes, had begun stalking her around town, offering her rides and asking her out on dates that Cece refused. Things came to a head one day when Reqi followed her into a crowded cosmetics store and pinned her against the wall.

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August 28, 2013

It was all about the line—the line and the heat. The line was more of a mass, a crowd stretching thick and far from the security gates, where mounted officers patrolled. Everyone was waiting, inching forward, sweating.

They were on their way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, an event that has come to stand for the whole of the civil rights movement. But for now, all the talk was about the line, or else the heat. 

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This Local Election Could Determine the Future of Gun Control

Why Michael Bloomberg has gone all-in on a Colorado race

Angela Giron, one of two Colorado state senators who is up for a recall election on Sept. 10 as a result of voting for new gun restrictions earlier this year, did not hesitate when I asked her over the weekend what the recall meant for New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the rest of the national gun-control movement.

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Obamacare took a big step forward on Tuesday night, when the Michigan Senate approved an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. The state House is likely to back the same measure, as early as next week. And while the program requires a special federal waiver, the Obama Administration is likely to grant it.

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Obama Must Insist on Total Victory Over the GOP

There's no other way when you're dealing with loons

When you’re dealing with loons, you have to throw out the book on negotiating and suppress your conciliatory impulses (ahem, Mr. President). The lunatics will somehow manage to rationalize as victory anything short of total defeat. And so total defeat is what you have to give them.

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I found two false notes in Rolling Stone’s otherwise excellent, scrupulously reported story on the downfall of former star New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who now faces a murder charge and is being investigated for several other alleged crimes, including other killings.

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