As far as titles go, it's hard to beat Pope. It's exclusive--none of that pesky power sharing that goes on amongst dukes and princesses, presidents and prime ministers. It's ancient--an uninterrupted line for nearly 2,000 years. It's expansive--one billion Catholics and counting. It's not hereditary--you really have to earn that papal miter. And, perhaps most importantly, the pontiff never wants for powerful allies--he's always on the side of the Almighty.
The White House has a new favorite Democrat. President Bush and his aides can't stop talking about a guy named Robert Pozen. The investment executive from Boston has been making the rounds at Washington editorial boards and think-tank forums flacking—what else?—a Social Security plan. Bush launched Pozen into the headlines at his March 16 news conference when, apropos of nothing, he noted that "one of the interesting ideas [on Social Security] was by this fellow—by a Democrat economist, name of Pozen.
Much of the press coverage of the Schiavo case focused on a now-familiar split within the Republican Party between social conservatives—who insisted nothing mattered more than prolonging Terri Schiavo's life—and anti-government libertarians, who tut-tutted about the Republican leadership's encroachment on local autonomy.
If Terri Schiavo will have been a martyr for any cause, it will be for the cause of moral reflection in America. This is not obvious, of course. The Schiavo "debate" has constituted one of the great degradations in modern American life. This controversy about virtue in America has been a perfect storm of American vices, as our grand national traditions of sanctimony and publicity combined to make a mockery of reasoned deliberation about difficult problems. And yet, the paradoxical effect of this rank and inescapable spectacle has been to incite an entire population to thought.
If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer, his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold—perhaps even somewhat reckless-—instincts to pursue the task as he did.
Last week, at a conference convened in Washington by the freshly formed Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration (JCCCR), the enemy operated under many different aliases.
Where to begin when recounting all the great moments that have happened in this year's NCAA men's college basketball tournament? There were the huge upsets, such as Vermont topping Syracuse and Bucknell bringing down Kansas. There were the players whose personas and performances turned them into cult figures, like North Carolina State's Julius Hodge and West Virginia's Kevin Pittsnogle. And there were the three overtime games in the quarterfinals, including Illinois's furious comeback from 15 points down with 4 minutes to go in regulation against Arizona.
The best parts of the early rounds of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, which begins today, are the upsets, as a few low-seeded teams inevitably knock off some high-seeded ones. Like most college basketball fans, I usually choose as my favorite underdog a scrappy directional school (like fifteenth seed Eastern Kentucky) or an overachieving Ivy (such as thirteenth seed Penn). But this year the underdog I'm most rooting for is a team that, while carrying a ten seed, is a former national champion and typically a national power.
Christmas came early and often last year for Nancy Grace. In mid-November, a jury in Redwood City, California, found Scott Peterson guilty of the murder of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner; then, on December 13, that same jury recommended that Peterson be sentenced to death. Grace, the feisty blonde Court TV anchor who had been covering the Peterson case from virtually the moment Laci Peterson was reported missing nearly two years earlier, could hardly hide her satisfaction with the decisions.
Major General Elazar Stern paces before several hundred cadets at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat officers' training school and strokes his knitted skullcap. Stern, commander of the IDF's personnel branch, is one of the army's highest-ranking officers. And yet his demeanor and appearance are casual. He avoids the microphone at the podium on stage and instead stands at ground level facing the cadets, whose various colored berets identify them as paratroopers, artillerymen, and combat engineers.