January 07, 2007
I'm a little confused by Rich Lowry's critique of this Time column by my colleague Peter Beinart. Over at the Corner, Lowry writes: I thought a few months ago I read and reviewed a book by Peter Beinart complaining that the Bush administration is too unilateralist and too committed to trying to solve international problems alone. Now, in this Time essay, Beinart complains that the Bush administration is deferring too much to allies! I'm sure Beinart has some way to try to square this circle, but the principle here looks an awful lot like whatever the Bush administration does is wrong.
January 05, 2007
You're Out, Harriet
Anyway, to get back to politics, yesterday Harriet Miers submitted her resignation as White House counsel. The official line is that the president was reluctant to let her go and that she left, as Tony Snow put it, because: "She's been here for six years. It's hard duty." That's probably true.
January 04, 2007
Sorry to bring you this article by Roger Cohen five days after it appeared in The International Herald Tribune, of which he is editor. Before moving to Paris, Cohen was foreign editor of The New York Times. And, although we don't now see his wisdom and skills in the Times regularly, people around the world read it in the Trib. This article is about "A manifesto from the left too sensible to ignore." It is called the Euston Manifesto, written by Brits and put out last March. It has been simmering in Britain ever since.
January 03, 2007
Mitt Romney's Mormonism
Wednesday: Richard Lyman Bushman Thursday: Damon Linker Friday: Richard Lyman Bushman Friday, January 5 Dear Damon, I appreciate your moderate and respectful reply to my objections. It is often hard for non-Mormons to understand how Mormons believe all we do. You at least see how Mormon beliefs and our way of life could be satisfying to educated, reasonable people, among whom you presumably would include Mitt Romney. What troubles you is the implication of belief in prophetic revelation: Would Mormons perform any dire deed for their prophet no matter how contrary to conscience?
President Bush's op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal is filled with unremarkable pabulum. But one passage jumped out at me: "It is a fact that economies do best when you reward hard work by allowing people to keep more of what they have earned. ... It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues." These are not facts, they are opinions.
Utah's Deseret Morning News reports that Mitt Romney is preparing a major speech explaining his Mormonism, as Damon Linker predicted in the latest TNR that he likely would. Linker's cover story on Romney and his religion, meanwhile, has been drawing some fire. Here's a discussion of it by Chris Matthews and David Gergen on last night's "Hardball": MATTHEWS: On another front in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney is about to announce an exploratory committee tomorrow.
January 02, 2007
Lost And Found
Ben Smith is a fine reporter and I heartily congratulate him on his boffo scoop: a "lost" copy of Rudy Giuliani's potential 2008 White House game plan. The particulars are interesting--but given that this black book is a whopping 140 pages, it actually sounds like somewhat of a letdown: Did we really need a secret binder to tell us, for instance, that Rudy's camp is worried about his reputation with social conservatives? And no mention of any new skeletons his operatives might be trying to hide? This reminds me of an episode from when I was a TNR intern in the early Clinton years.
January 01, 2007
"If you want a lower standard of living," conservative policy experts Grace-Marie Turner and Robert Moffit wrote in an op-ed last week, "the Europeans have the right prescription." The topic of discussion was universal health care, but it just as easily might have been government-sponsored child care or generous unemployment benefits.
“Even if you sent a million soldiers to Darfur, that would not solve the problem," a Sudanese minister recently taunted Western governments. The West could probably prove him wrong with a mere 20,000 troops, but, unfortunately, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. It has now been four months since the United Nations authorized the deployment of peacekeepers to Darfur to stop the killing and destruction that has so far claimed 400,000 lives. During that time, the genocide has, by most accounts, accelerated.
December 31, 2006
Saddam And Gerald Have A Talk
by Richard Stern Saddam and Gerry The buzzard never says it is to blame. The panther wouldn't know what scruples mean. When the piranha strikes it feels no shame. If snakes had hands, they'd feel their hands were clean... On this third planet of the sun Among the signs of bestiality A clear conscience is Number One. Wislawa Szymborska, "In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself" In the Anteroom of the Eternal sit two former heads of state.