May 28, 2009
Until Logic Did Them Apart
Beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean, asked about gay marriage a few weeks ago, summed up her view this way: "In my country and in my family, I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman." It's a pretty simple answer--what you'd expect, intellectually, from someone who had just successfully completed a bikini walk rather than a dissertation on the topic at hand. Around the same time, Rudy Giuliani framed his own thinking in similar terms: "Marriage, I believe, both traditionally and legally, has always been between a man and a woman and should remain between a m
Daily Affirmations 5/28
1. Gail Collins has a fun, readable take on student loan reform, an issue near and dear to my heart: The White House estimates that it could save about $94 billion over 10 years if it cut out all the middlemen. And it has the basis of a system in place, since the Department of Education already makes a lot of direct loans to students. How many people out there think that there’s going to be some reason that this turns out to be extremely controversial? Can I see a show of hands? “Senator Nelson is for the system as it is now,” said a spokesman for Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska.
Obama’s Challenge In Cairo
As President Obama prepares for his historic speech in Cairo next week, he faces a dual challenge--not only to redefine the troubled relations between the United States and the Muslim world, but also to clarify the place of democracy and human rights in his administration's foreign policy. The former would have been the centerpiece of his first speech in an Islamic nation no matter where he had chosen to deliver it.
Obama V. Netanyahu
Days after a fairly frictionless meeting between the two heards of state in Washington, the Israeli government isn't exactly playing along with the firm Obama-Clinton call for a total settlement freeze: Israel contests that new construction must take place to accommodate for expanding families inside the existing settlements, which the U.S.
A new briefing from the Congressional Budget Office is full of serious political implications for health care reform. But you may need a Talmudic scholar to figure out what those implications are. The briefing isn't about how much health reform will cost. Rather, it's about how the CBO will describe those costs. In the reform schemes under consideration, most people will be getting health insurance from private sources.
Great Comparison, Rove
The great strategist takes to the Wall Street Journal op-ed page again today: The media has also quickly adopted the story line that Republicans will damage themselves with Hispanics if they oppose Ms. Sotomayor. But what damage did Democrats suffer when they viciously attacked Miguel Estrada's nomination by President George W. Bush to the D.C.
May 27, 2009
A Boring Bench?
When Sonia Sotomayor’s name surfaced on almost every short-list for Souter’s potential replacement, a very strange thing happened: Some on the left were being just as hard on her as movement conservatives, questioning the judicial prowess of a woman who was at the top of her class at Princeton, an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and then a federal judge for 17 years. It’s easy to understand why conservatives might try to advance this line--but what explains similar grumbling that could be heard in some leading liberal legal circles?
The Pronunciation Wars
Those of us who enjoy National Review's group blog, The Corner, were certain that the moment President Obama nominated a Hispanic justice for the Supreme Court, Cornerite Mark Krikorian would have something interesting to say. Yesterday, Krikorian wrote: So, are we supposed to use the Spanish pronunciation, so-toe-my-OR, or the natural English pronunciation, SO-tuh-my-er, like Niedermeyer? The president pronounced it both ways, first in Spanish, then after several uses, lapsing into English. Though in the best "Pockiston" tradition, he also rolled his r's in Puerto Rico.
Ramesh Ponnuru unpacks his controversial description of Sotomayor as "Obama's Harriet Miers," explaining: What I'm suggesting is that both nominees were picked because they were women, because they were members of politically valued groups (evangelicals in Miers's case, Hispanics in Sotomayor's), and because they were considered politically reliable by the people who picked them. Neither was picked based on her impressive legal mind, although the pickers in each case doubtless believed that the nominee exceeded some threshold level of competence.
Today At Tnr (may 27, 2009)
The Right Pick? TNR Debates Obama's First Supreme Court Appointment, by Erwin Chemerinsky, Alan Dershowitz, Randall Kennedy, Tom Goldstein, and Jeffrey Rosen The Real Reason Why Chris Dodd's Senate Seat Is In Such Danger, by Suzy Khimm Did The Government Just Miss An Opportunity To Wake The Banks From Their Deep Denial? by Noam Scheiber TNRtv: Why I Worry About The Fed's Ability To Keep Inflation Under Control, by Simon Johnson Obama Is Trying To Turn The U.S. Into Canada!!! Debunking The Latest Conservative Smear About Health Care Reform.