May 03, 2008
Nostalgia For Paris
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Paris, France<?xml:namespace prefix = o /> A city like Paris never stands still. The dollar may be down, but America is up. France prides itself on its exquisite culture--especially in comparison with ours--but American technology and American ways are spreading throughout the world, even here. People in Paris see an easier lifestyle, and the young in particular are ready for a change. Despite their severe criticism of the United States, that’s where many want to go. McDonald’s and Starbucks are thriving and multiplying all over Paris.
May 02, 2008
NEW YORK--Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers? Is there a double standard? The political explosion around the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was inevitable, given Wright's personal closeness to Barack Obama and the outrageous rubbish the pastor has offered about AIDS, 9/11 and Louis Farrakhan. After Wright's bizarre and narcissistic performance at the National Press Club on Monday, Obama would have looked weak and irresolute had he not denounced him.
Meet John 'Dubya' McCain
John McCain knows a lot less about foreign policy than he'd have us believe. This, anyway, is the impression that's been growing in recent weeks, not least because of a much-discussed New York Times story published recently that painted a growing divide in his campaign between "pragmatists" and "neoconservatives." The candidate reportedly lacks firm ideological convictions, so a battle for "McCain's soul" may be in the offing.And it's true: Despite his decades of supposed national security experience, it's difficult to stick an "-ism" on the tail of McCain's approach to world affairs.
The (Nano)Silver Bullet
Your toothpaste may be a pesticide. So might your electric razor, your computer keyboard, and your child’s teddy bear. These products, and scores of others, combine one of the world’s oldest disinfectants--silver--with one of its hottest new industries: nanotechnology. The manufacturers of these products boast that they fight bacteria, molds, and fungus. Therefore, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these products may be pesticides.
Reasonable people are making reasonable arguments for and against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.
May 01, 2008
Here's another in the long line of super-delegates who were cozy with Hillary and Bill but really can't stand the prospect of them playing dominoes in the White House with the country again. Joe Andrew was the Democratic National Chairman in 1999 and 2000, a Clinton designee. Not only in effect, but in fact. Actually, Andrew had initially come out for Hillary. But the fact is that today he announced that he was crossing the line. He was endorsing Barack Obama and would vote for him in Denver. This has not been a particularly good period for Obama.
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters believes that Hillary Clinton "does have a chance to win." That's his right, though I think any close analysis that goes beyond magical thinking or mere assertion shows that this remains near-impossible. Rather than actually try to make the case for why Clinton has a good chance to win, though, Boehlert instead argues that opinion columnists like me have no right to argue otherwise: Indeed, a very strange leap has been made this year by lots of media commentators who argue against Clinton's candidacy.
Tim Lee over at Ars Technica has an update on the latest developments in the ongoing White House lost-email saga. A federal magistrate judge last week criticized the administration for its foot-dragging and ordered it to provide detailed information about how it plans to salvage the millions of emails that may have been lost, in violation of federal law.
Today is the anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" fete aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, an occasion for many to lament the fact that the mission still isn't accomplished. But May 1 always reminds me of a more specific failing of the Bush administration: its belief that laughter is the best medicine. That relentless optimism is not only what the public always wants, but even may have the power to tangibly improve events.
April 30, 2008
The Change Agent
WASHINGTON--The victory of Fernando Lugo, a left-wing former Catholic bishop, in Paraguay's presidential election is being interpreted as confirmation of the continent-wide trend against "neoliberalism"--that is, privatization, globalization and good relations with the United States.