May 19, 2008
The Party of Death
The generals are deaf. As everyone now knows, the regime was warned by weather forecasters in India two days before the cyclone arrived--five days before by forecasters in Thailand--and it refused to listen. The generals hate their own people. The regime does not merely disdain them, it hates them, and the hate is cold, total and murderous. How else to explain the unimaginable sight of convoys being held by customs at the Thai border? Of planes filled with provisions and forbidden to land?
As the Iraq war grinds into its sixth year, policy-makers in the U.S. would do well to remember the story of Phineas Gage. For those in need of a refresher, the 25-year-old construction foreman lost a hunk of his frontal lobe back in 1848 when a three-foot iron rod shot through his left cheekbone and out the top of his head. Miraculously, Gage could walk and talk again just minutes after the accident, staying conscious on the three-quarter-mile oxcart trek into town, where doctors patched his wounds and sent him on his merry way. But the tale didn’t end there.
Wrong, Not Heartless
David Savage has a piece in today's Los Angeles Times taking a look at the difference between the McCain and Obama approaches to the federal judiciary. Savage writes: The McCain-Obama comments reflect a long-standing divide between conservatives and liberals on the role of the courts. Reduced to the simplest terms, conservatives say judges should follow the law, and liberals say they should ensure that justice is done. My first instinct when I read this was to get annoyed with Savage--surely liberals, no less than conservatives, believe judges should follow the law.
Mike actually raised this point (the final one, that is) at our editorial meeting last week. From First Read: By the way, if the Democratic Party is going to start uniting around Obama as it began to do late last week during the spat with McCain and Bush, the Obama camp might want to make sure that everyone’s working off the same talking points.
Many are celebrating last week's decision by the California Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage in the state; others are bracing for a referendum battle; and some, cooped up in campaign offices, are trying to figure out how best to play it. So, in an effort to see the ruling from as many perspectives as possible, we've enlisted a few friends of the magazine to offer their thoughts.
May 18, 2008
Kevin Boyle has high praise in this week's New York Times Book Review for former TNR editor Charles Lane's new book, The Day Freedom Died. I'm currently working my way through the book and can also attest to its merit--it's a gripping account of the Colfax massacre, a seminal event in American history with which most people (including myself, before reading the book) are unfamiliar.
May 17, 2008
DOD Document Dump
Remember that Pentagon program, revealed last month, that fed talking points to supposedly objective military analysts to push the Bush administration's line on Iraq? The Department of Defense just released thousands of documents from the program, so we asked Government Executive correspondent and TNR contributor Alyssa Rosenberg to sift through the documents and see what she can find:The Joke's On UsReading through the 8,000 pages of documents released last week by the Defense Department is like paging through a flip book from hell.
May 16, 2008
What Went Wrong?
Endings are rarely as joyous as beginnings--and in the case of a long, wearing, and ultimately disappointing campaign, they can be downright brutal. But they also have the potential to be educational, for participants and gawkers alike. So it is that we asked (begged, really) a range of Hillarylanders for their up-close and personal lists of “What Went Wrong?” Not everyone wanted to play. Many stubbornly pointed out that their candidate is not yet dead.