April 10, 2007
Fiends and Neighbors
On a flight last summer from Johannesburg to Harare, I sat across the aisle from a large man, who, like nearly everyone else on the plane, had hoarded as many luxury items onboard as South African Airways would allow. It is practically impossible to find televisions, stereos, and microwaves--not to mention basic necessities like food--in Zimbabwe anymore, and Zimbabweans with means (which means those loyal to President Robert Mugabe and his party, the Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF) must travel to South Africa to purchase them.
April 09, 2007
Carl Levin, "dupe"?
I see the netroots are now turning their guns on Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In the internal Democratic debate over Iraq, Levin has become an interesting player. Back in the fall of 2002, Levin sponsored the chief alternative to the White House's Iraq resolution (his version sanctioned US force only with UN approval) and he has been a vocal war critic ever since. But on ABC's "This Week" yesterday Levin argued against Harry Reid's support for a bill (sponsored by Russ Feingold) to cut off funding for the war next March.
In Today's Web Magazine
Jonathan Cohn argues the Europeans nationalized health care without rationing treatment; James Kirchick wonders whether South Africa would send troops to help Zimbabwe's dictator; Christine Stansell remembers Belva Lockwood, who ran for president before women could even vote; and Adam Kirsch praises E.A. Robinson, who was part moralist and part modernist. --Adam B. Kushner
April 05, 2007
Duped By A Dictator
In a post on the Guardian's Comment is Free blog, Matthew Yglesias comes to the conclusion that the resolution of the British hostage crisis is somehow a success for "doves." Mocking critics of the Iranian regime's shameful p.r. theatrics as "warmongers" (an epithet he uses with wild abandon) Yglesias writes: Disappointed though the hawks may be, the fact that the crisis arose in the first place illustrates the continuing dangers posed by the Bush administration's policies of confrontation. ...
April 03, 2007
Good Americans And Torture
by Sanford Levinson Many Germans protested that they had "no idea" that untoward things (beyond ordinary and presumably "acceptable" levels of anti-Semitism) were occurring during the years of the Final Solution. These have come down to history as the "good Germans," who preferred not to know what was going on about them (assuming, of course, we credit their sincerity with regard to their claims of ignorance).
Kyle Sampson, Cub Attorney
by Christine Stansell Not enough has been said about the dream of Kyle Sampson, Cub Attorney, to be U.S. attorney for Utah. Sampson graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1996. After a brief stint at a white-shoe law firm, he joined the right-wing stampede to Bush's Washington and landed a White House job via a friendship with Liz Cheney. By my calculations he was a little over 30 when he started axing career attorneys. But that wasn't enough for Sampson. After firing so many grownups, he thought he could be a grownup, too. And why not?
This is interesting. At the very moment the White House is attacking Nancy Pelosi for visiting Syria, it turns out that three Republican Congressmen are there, as well. Funny that you don't hear the White House terming their Damascus sojourns a "really bad idea." --Jason Zengerle
April 02, 2007
These days, as politicians tend to furiously distance themselves from the Iraq war, it's hard to remember back to 2003, when everyone wanted a piece of it. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz weren't the only ones, after all, itching to give Iraq an ideological makeover. Some celebs seemed disappointed they had missed the chance to lead the invasion themselves, and, after Saddam Hussein's statue fell, more than 50 of them poured over the border with the USO. Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped the troops' adrenaline with a screening of Terminator 3.
Freaks and Geeks
One of the few papers I actually read as a grad student was written by a pair of economists named Josh Angrist and Alan Krueger. In the early '90s, Angrist and Krueger set off to resolve a question that had been gnawing at economists for decades: Does going to school increase your future wages? Intuitively, it seemed obvious that it did. When you compared the salaries of, say, Ph.D.s with those of high-school dropouts, the grad-school set almost always did better. The question was whether education accounted for the difference.
L'etat C'est Moi
by Linda Hirshman Cass Sunstein has done us all his usual good service by bringing some old-fashionedcivic republican analysis to the newer phenomenon of the blogosphere. That similar trends have been observed in satellite TV and radio reflects, I fear, that the blogosphere at most, reinforces the polarization of the society.