March 06, 2009

The Happy Talk Is Great. Don't Expect It To Last.
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Thursday's White House summit on health care was all about cooperation and optimism. Republicans promised to work with Democrats. Corporate lobbyists pledged to find common ground with liberal activists. If you support comprehensive reform to make health care affordable for all, it was hard to walk away without feeling enthusiastic--about both President Obama and what he's trying to do. But at least one forum participant, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, wasn't feeling so cheery. Rockefeller is no enemy of reform.

Freeman Is Toast ... And Deserves To Be Toast
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Now, I may be wrong. In which case, my credibility as an "insider" will be shot. But I am not an "insider" and my conclusion comes only from putting myself in Barack Obama's shoes and realizing that Chas Freeman represents almost nothing--forgive my pretension--that I do. And why "almost"? Freeman actually represents nothing for which the president stands. My first objection is a professional matter. You see, Freeman has absolutely no experience in intelligence. Yes, you read me right.

Today At Tnr (march 6, 2009)
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What Should Obama Do About Darfur? Now That An Arrest Warrant Has Been Issued For President Bashir, Our Expert Panel Debates The Next Step. by Alex de Waal, Richard Just, Eric Reeves, Elizabeth Rubin, and Alan Wolfe TNRtv: Why Rush Limbaugh Is The Karl Marx Of Talk Radio, by Eve Fairbanks The Movie Review: ‘Watchmen.' The Famous Comic Was Long Believed To Be Unfilmable. I Still Agree. by Christopher Orr How The Economic Crisis Could Mean The End Of Recycling, by Jeffrey Yoskowitz Did The Supreme Court Just Put Too Much Faith In Juries? by Peter H.

March 05, 2009

All's Fair
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WASHINGTON--Will ending the culture wars be as difficult as repairing a broken economy?If President Obama's primary task is to restore economic growth, he has also been waging a quiet, long-term campaign to ease the nation's divisions around religious and moral questions.That venture, which has its roots in a 2006 speech that paid tribute to the political role of religious Americans, bore fruit in last year's election.

The Sound of Silence
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This week, Los Angeles reelected a mayor in a race so unheralded that, on voting day, it failed to make the front of The Los Angeles Times. (Turn to page A3, goo-goo geeks.) So somehow the city has wound up again with Antonio Villaraigosa, a handsome fellow who keeps asking city residents to “dream with me,” perhaps out of worry that they might awaken. Well, no danger of that just yet: Turnout barely reached 15 percent.Nevertheless, some Angelenos did notice the occasion, and some were even riled up about it.

The TNR Roundtable: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?

  Part 1: An Arrest Warrant. Now What?  by Richard Just Part 2: Focus on Elections  by Alex de Waal Part 3: Change the Calculations of Sudan's Rulers by Eric Reeves Part 4: The Case for Caution by Alan Wolfe Part 5: Obama Should Back the ICC by Elizabeth Rubin Part 6: No Option But to Negotiate by Alex de Waal Part 7: Diplomacy, Not Regime Change by Andrew Natsios Part 8: The ICC's Botched Decision--And Why Obama Should Support It by Eric Reeves Part 9: Is Darfur Really Genocide?

The TNR Roundtable Part 2: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?

Click here to read Part 1: An arrest warrant. Now what?Click here for links to each part of the conversation.From: Alex de WaalTo: Richard Just, Eric Reeves, Elizabeth Rubin, Alan WolfeIn the last four years, a lot went right in Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was generally respected. Its key provisions have been implemented imperfectly and behind schedule, with numerous relapses, but nonetheless the majority of Sudanese have experienced real peace for the first time in a generation.

The TNR Roundtable Part 1: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?
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Click here for links to each part of the conversation. From: Richard Just To: Alex de Waal, Eric Reeves, Elizabeth Rubin, Alan Wolfe Yesterday brought the news we have all been expecting for weeks: that the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. My own reaction to this development is mixed. On the one hand, the decision was clearly the right one from a legal perspective. Bashir is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his own people, and he obviously deserves to sit in the Hague.

The TNR Roundtable Part 3: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?

Click here to read Part 2: Focus on elections.Click here for links to each part of the conversation.From: Eric ReevesTo: Alex de Waal, Richard Just, Elizabeth Rubin, Alan WolfeAlex de Waal's nuanced account of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement seems an important place to start this discussion, but his characterization of the past four years seems excessively flattering of what has actually been achieved.

The TNR Roundtable Part 4: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?
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Click here to read Part 3: Change the calculations of Sudan's rulers.Click here for links to each part of the conversation.From: Alan WolfeTo: Alex de Waal, Richard Just, Eric Reeves, Elizabeth RubinUnlike the other participants in this exchange, I am no expert on Darfur. Indeed, to the extent that I know anything at all about the tragedy that has been unfolding there, it is due to the people with whom I find myself now interacting.