April 01, 2008
God Hates Bill Richardson
What if Bill Richardson gave a speech, but instead of coming out in his own voice, it was channeled through the voice of a robot imitating Bela Lugosi? That's pretty much what happened this afternoon at the Organization of American States, where Richardson continued his heated campaign for the vice presidency by addressing the body on what he would do to deepen U.S.-Latin American ties. The text of his speech didn't live up to the clownish image I've had of Richardson since reading Ryan Lizza's sendup -- it was rather conventional, straightforward and charmless.
The Hillary-bosnia Mystery, Cont'd
Hitch does us a service by bringing the slapstick of Hillary's arrival in Tuzla back to something more important, which is the role she played in shaping her husband's Bosnia policy in the first place: In the event, President Bill Clinton had not found it convenient to keep this promise.
The New York Times is reporting that Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean tyrant, may resign at the result of his clear loss in the presidential election over the weekend. Usually, dictators don't hold elections that they can't win, but apparently even this basic element of authoritarian governance was beyond Mugabe's grasp. Needless to say, this is hardly the outcome anyone expected. After all, Mugabe is not one to put up with opposition. While the world hailed him as a liberation hero in the 1970's, he was making clear promises to rule Zimbabwe as a one-party state.
March 31, 2008
Josh Patashnik's recent article, "Reform School" (March 26), is disappointingly inaccurate. He misquotes my interview in the Concord Monitor, in which I distinguished Obama's innovative teacher compensation proposal from the kind of old-style merit-pay plans that have failed in the past. Also, Patashnik worries that Obama is insufficiently bold on education reform without, apparently, having read Obama's education plan.
In my article, I wrote that Professor Darling-Hammond had "emphasized to the Concord Monitor that [Senator Obama's] teacher-compensation plan...wasn't really a performance-pay scheme." The Concord Monitor article shows that she was explicitly contrasting a performance-pay approach with Obama's: "Usually, merit pay meant some kind of bonuses for teachers at the end of the school year," she told the Monitor.
John Patrick Diggins, author of John Adams: The American Presidents Series, Steven Waldman, author of Founding Faith, and Kirk Ellis, writer and co-executive producer of the HBO miniseries "John Adams," are discussing the show on TNR.com. This is the sixth entry in their conversation. (Follow their complete dialogue here: Entries 1,2,3,4,5, 6, 7.) Click here to read the previous entry in the discussion. Dear Jack and Kirk, Thanks for joining us, Kirk.
The Islamic Republic of Harvard?
The symbolism could not be more striking: Harvard College, an institution founded for men by men has, for the first time in its history, banned men. For six hours every week, only women will be allowed in one of the university’s three major gyms--a new policy implemented in response to a request by female Muslim students, who were uncomfortable exercising around men.
John Patrick Diggins, author of John Adams: The American Presidents Series, Steven Waldman, author of Founding Faith, and Kirk Ellis, writer and co-executive producer of the HBO miniseries "John Adams," are discussing the show on TNR.com. This is the seventh entry in their conversation. (Follow their complete dialogue here: Entries 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.) Click here to read the previous entry in this discussion. Dear Steve and Kirk, I much appreciate your response, Kirk, to my response to your splendid series on Adams.
What Does John Edwards Want?
Following up on Noam's and Jon's speculation about what's going on with John Edwards's endorsement, here's one question I have: What does Edwards hope to gain from an endorsement? I remember when he dropped out, there was a lot of talk that he'd try to parlay his endorsement into the Attorney General's job or Labor Secretary or maybe even the number two spot on the ticket (again).
Delaware Über Alles
My esteemed colleague Jon Chait will be saddened to learn that Delaware scored a major victory in the Supreme Court today, prevailing over New Jersey in their border dispute stemming from a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal near the mouth of the Delaware River. Full text of the opinion here (pdf). The voting on the Court followed a pattern refreshingly different from the usual liberal–conservative split.