The group blog of The New Republic
June 19, 2013
The nominal occasions for a conference call today with “Julian Assange & Whistleblowers” were, obviously, Edward Snowden’s recent leaks; the ongoing Bradley Manning court-martial; and the one-year anniversary of Assange’s “embassy confinement” (he took aslyum in Ecuador’s embassy in London; during the call, he accused Britain of violating international law by refusing to allow him to travel from the embassy to Ecuador itself).
John Harwood has a piece in The New York Times today that exemplifies such astonishing levels of silly conventional wisdom that it must be read in full. Harwood's contention, which is almost too boring to summarize, is that Obama has ignored the "red" areas of the country, rarely visiting them and thus failing to heal our country's divisions. (Sorry, cliched writing is almost impossible to avoid on this subject).
Last night LeBron James came through for the Miami Heat. Can he also come through for Obamacare? As Politico’s Kyle Cheney is reporting, the Administration has approached the National Basketball Association about helping to make the public aware of the new health insurance options that Obamacare will make available next year. It’s not clear exactly what the NBA or its stars would be doing, according to Cheney, or even if the league has agreed to participate.
Yesterday, that venerable institution, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed yet another Republican-backed bill that will never become law. No, it’s not their thirty-eighth attempt to repeal Obamacare, though that’s surely around the corner. It’s a restriction on abortion that flies in the face of Roe v.
June 18, 2013
It was no surprise that, after speaking in private for two hours in Northern Ireland, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin looked “tense and uncomfortable,” or, as the pool report put it, “serious and unsmiling.” Not only did the meeting come on the heels of a year and a half of Russia cynically ratcheting up anti-American sentiments—and harassing Obama’s ambassador—in the country, or g
The president’s approval rating has dipped, probably because of the NSA surveillance revelations or the accumulated effect of supposed or actual scandals. As Mark Blumenthal has pointed out, the decline probably isn’t as large as suggested by yesterday’s CNN poll, which pointed toward a big, 8 point decline in the president’s approval rating.
Barely had the executive jets departed Boston's Logan Airport filled with disappointed Mitt Romney backers after the 2012 election than Bobby Jindal was out of the box declaiming on what the Republican Party needed to do to win back the White House.
No one except, perhaps, Secretary of State John Kerry, thinks that the current Israeli government is willing to negotiate in good faith a two-state solution. As Mairav Zonszein writes on the website, +972, members of Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet and party are now openly declaring the two-state solution dead.