The group blog of The New Republic

March 30, 2007

The Indian cricket team's embarrassing loss continues to dominate the news here. If you don't understand cricket, this can quickly become tiresome. However, one of the local Bombay papers did have an op-ed I quite enjoyed. Here's an excerpt:

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A few months ago, Ben Smith asked in our pages, Will Bernie Kerik sink Rudy Giuliani? Today's Magic 8-Ball New York Times answers, Signs Point to Yes.

--Jason Zengerle

"My son was murdered because of your incompetence!"

--Michael Crowley

If you were making a time capsule, and you wanted to capture the potent mix of intellectual bankruptcy and outright hysteria that afflicts certain segments of the American conservative movement ca. 2007, you'd be well-advised to print out this Mark Levin screed on the U.S.

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Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value.

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There seem to be a lot of "American Idol" fans around this office (and, um, country), so I thought I'd share this Guardian article about the Abu Dhabi version of the show, with an audience of 17 million across the Arab world voting by text message. Turns out theirs is just a tad ... classier:

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So last weekend, Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine (and the ontological pioneer who brought us "You" as their Person of the Year), went on the Chris Matthews show and explained his view of the U.S. Attorney scandal:

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Looks like the Interior Department has been outsourcing policy analysis to the 13-year-olds playing World of Warcraft in their parents' basement. (Um, really.)

--Bradford Plumer

A couple of commenters and bloggers have raised a similar quibble with my recent piece about Freakonomics, so I figured it was worth addressing here. The offending passage appears to be this one:

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It goes without saying that one of the worst consequences of the Bush administration is our damaged reputation abroad. But a corollary to that damage has been an overreaction on some parts of the left (and the paleo-conservative right) about America's moral standing in the world. America, and Americans, are so much more than the leaders we elect.

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