December 05, 2007

A Non-Military Response
12:00 AM

TINGO MARIA, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Peru--I recently witnessed the beginning of a police operation that led to the death of a top member of Shining Path, the terrorist organization that has been active in this country since 1980, and the capture of another.

Schilling Pitches For Mccain
12:00 AM

Manchester, New Hampshire -- I know that over on his fancypants blog Mike already promised you details of the John McCain-Curt Schilling confab. But since we both wound up at the same event, Mike's graciously decided to throw the Plank a bone and has allowed me to do the honors. If McCain wants to go from second to first in the New Hampshire polls, he might want to consider bringing Schilling along with him to every campaign stop.

The Second Amendment Revolution
12:00 AM

Here is a remarkable development. Just twenty-five years ago, there was a strong consensus, among judges and academics, that the Second Amendment did not create an individual right. No federal court had invalidated a restriction on guns on Second Amendment grounds (ever). As recently as 1992, Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative Republican appointee, rejected the individual rights view in public. (For some details, see my TNR piece, "The Most Mysterious Right.") In a short period, the consensus has shattered.

December 04, 2007

The 49er
12:00 AM

By the thinnest of margins--51 to 49--this Sunday, Venezuelan voters defeated a referendum that would have drastically increased President Hugo Chávez’s already tremendous powers. The 69 proposed amendments would have further consolidated Chavez’s gradual but unyielding effort to seize control of just about every level of political and economic life in Venezuela. Among other things, the amendments would have granted Chávez control over the central bank, allowed the government to detain citizens without charges during states of emergency, and opened the way for Chávez’s unlimited reelection.

Where Are the Anti-Fascists?
12:00 AM

The memory of the crimes of the Nazi era and the determination to oppose anti-Semitism in all its forms have been constitutive and distinctive features of German democracy since 1949, when it was articulated by the founding generation of political leaders of West Germany's Federal Republic. Judging by the memorials, commemorative days, books, and films about Nazism and the Holocaust, this tradition of remembering the murdered Jews of Europe remains firmly embedded in the political culture of contemporary German public life.

From Nixon To Hillary
12:00 AM

A reminder that this isn't the first campaign debate over how much "experience" a secondary player acquired in the White House. And needless to say, it was the "inexperienced" upstart who won this battle.   --Michael Crowley 

December 03, 2007

Sleeping Giant
12:00 AM

We're living in a slow-motion constitutional crisis. The key questions of whether the president can torture people, declare a U.S. citizen an enemy combatant and remove him from the ordinary court system, or reinterpret law at the time of signing legislation (to name just three) were barely on the radar before six years ago. Voters fond of the Constitution’s limits on executive power and guarantees of civil liberties, then, need to take care in choosing the next president.

Spoiler Warning
12:00 AM

NASHUA, N.H. -- In the back of a crowded room at Daniel Webster College here, Joe Trippi, John Edwards' campaign manager, watches closely as his candidate delivers a series of passionately populist orations, summed up by his declaration that "the few are controlling this democracy for the many." Next to Trippi, his colleague Glen Pearcy tends a camera recording every word that the tie-less, bluejeans-clad Edwards speaks for possible use in future television commercials.

December 01, 2007

The Health Care Crisis: A Special Issue
12:00 AM

Our November 19 issue took a comprehensive look at the devastating health care crisis in this country. If we were a local-news show, we’d advertise it like this: THE FIVE ARTICLES YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOUR NEXT TRIP TO THE DOCTOR! But we’re a magazine, dammit, and not a local news show. We’re not doctors either, but we still prescribe reading the stories below, and calling us in the morning.

Has Fred Thompson Been Reading Tnr?
12:00 AM

In defending Fred Thompson against the charge of laziness recently, I suggested that there's something absurd about relentlessly high-energy workaholics like Mitt Romney. And I recommended that Thompson note how people also called Ronald Reagan lazy--something that obviously didn't bother Republicans in the end.  And lo, we get this from today's NYT story on Thompson's low-energy campaign: “Republican voters are going to decide if they want the Energizer Bunny or Richard Simmons, or a consistent conservative,” Mr. Lacy [Thompson's campaign manager] said....