April 23, 2008
Food For Thought
WASHINGTON--In the 1830s, Richard Cobden and John Bright started a campaign against the protectionist laws that were keeping food prices high in Britain. After sustaining abuse for many years, they persuaded the government in 1846 to repeal the infamous Corn Laws, a move that helped usher in a long period of prosperity. I have been thinking intensely about these 19th-century heroes lately.
The Next McGovern?
Hillary Clinton won a decisive ten-round decision over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, but she didn’t score a knockout. The struggle continues. Clinton still has virtually no chance of overtaking Obama’s delegate lead or his edge in the popular vote. And the superdelegates will be loath to ignore this advantage. Meanwhile, Obama’s weaknesses as a general election candidate grow more apparent with each successive primary.
Republicans Kill Fair Pay Bill
Mitch McConnell and company managed to torpedo a bill that would have undone the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last year in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, which held that workers can't sue for ongoing pay discrimination if the statute of limitations has passed since their first discriminatory paycheck (even if, as in most cases, workers don't know at the time that they're being discriminated against).
A Mccain White House, "tudors" Style
Mike Gerson today revisits the oft-mentioned (but not deeply explored) issue of John McCain's infamous temper.
April 22, 2008
The Poor Little Rich Candidate
If you had to pick someone who might threaten America’s commitment to political equality for all citizens, Jack Davis would be an unlikely culprit. A self-made businessman and recent Democratic congressional candidate, Davis founded a heating-element manufacturing business in his garage in 1964, and gave it a name that would easily be remembered by high-school physics students everywhere: the I Squared R Element Company, after the formula for power.
Change to Lose
When the seven unions that now make up the Change to Win labor federation left the AFL-CIO in 2005, many of them cited frustration with the overemphasis on campaign-related activism that yielded uncertain payoffs. "We don't think throwing more money into the political process and ignoring organizing will get the job done,” United Food and Commercial Workers International President Joseph Hansen said shortly before the split.
The Two Obamas
DOWNINGTOWN, Pa.--The result of the 2008 election may come down to how voters decide to define Barack Obama. Is he Adlai Stevenson or John F. Kennedy? Is he a detached former law review editor or a passionate agent of change? Is he an upscale reformer focused on process or a populist who will turn Washington and the country around? One of the central lessons of the Pennsylvania primary campaign is that Obama's personality is now far more important than either Hillary Clinton's or John McCain's.
The TNR Q&A: Philippe Sands
British writer and international lawyer Philippe Sands is the author of The Torture Team , in stores May 5, which chronicles the role lawyers played in the introduction of the Bush administration’s program of coercive interrogation techniques. Here, Scott Horton talks to Sands about his findings. TNR: In The Torture Team, you focus on a single document, Donald Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 approval of extraordinarily aggressive interrogation techniques. You give us the document’s genesis, and the revolt within the Pentagon that led to its being formally withdrawn.
The Court heard oral argument today in Davis v. FEC, the case that asks whether the so-called Millionaires' Amendment of the McCain–Feingold law unconstitutionally burdens the free-speech rights of self-financing candidates for office.
The Old Ball And Chain
We've known for some time that military recruiters tend to prey upon communities of color, which have overperformed as a proportion of war dead since the Iraq offensive began. The "poverty draft" is likewise well underway. Now we're hearing that convicted felons are slowly but steadily swelling the ranks of our armed forces. I mean, we do lock up pretty much anyone in sight in the US, but this is still bad news: The bulk of the crimes involved were burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions.