May 22, 2009
Who Cries For Aig's Ed Liddy?
No one, apparently. Back in March, the outgoing AIG CEO was all over the Internet thanks to the massive bonuses his notorious Financial Products unit was slated to receive. Today, after news of his looming departure broke, The Wall Street Journal buried the story on page C2 and the Times devoted half its Liddy piece to an unrelated lawsuit by AIG policyholders. It's actually a fitting coda to Liddy's tenure at the company.
Tnr's Memorial Weekend Special
2009 has been a good year for TNR.
May 21, 2009
Backward Runs 'Newsweek'
Blah blah newsmag remake blah blah
Winning the Peace
After a quarter century of bloodshed and somewhere over 80,000 deaths, Sri Lanka’s civil war didn’t really settle anything. It began in 1983 in a flawed-but-functioning postcolonial democracy whose leaders never seemed quite up to the task of integrating different ethnicities into one nation. It apparently ended on Sunday, in a still-flawed, newly-swaggering postwar democracy where that basic task of integration remains even more elusive. Fittingly, the last act of the island tragedy took place off-stage, at least as far as the world’s attention was concerned.
Detained by the Past
UPDATED AFTER TODAY'S SPEECHESWASHINGTON -- President Obama's lieutenants would love it if all the networks ran a crawl line at the bottom of the screen during news broadcasts that kept repeating: "The economy, health care, energy, education. The economy, health care..."Then there's reality. Over the past two weeks, the past has ensnared the present, deflecting attention from Obama's domestic priorities and raising issues that divide his coalition.
As Barack Obama ponders who to appoint to the Supreme Court, recent polls from Pew and Gallup are showing that Americans have become less supportive of abortion rights. In the Gallup poll, more Americans chose to call themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice"--by 51 to 42 percent. That's the first time pro-lifers have outpolled pro-choicers since Gallup began asking this in 1995.The political reaction to these results has been predictable.
DISPUTATIONS: Stuck Between Branches
I respect the work Randy Moss did at the Clinton Office of Legal Council and my piece did not compare Moss to John Yoo. Instead, I compared him to Robert Jackson, the revered FDR legal advisor whose opinion justifying the destroyers-for-bases deal stretched the limits of existing law. There is nothing untoward about this comparison.
In arguing that the Bush Administration lawyers who authored the “torture memos” should not be subject to prosecution or disbarment (“Truth or Dare”), Jeffrey Rosen posits that “history is full of examples of White House and Justice Department lawyers offering dubious legal advice for political reasons.” Rosen attempts to buttress this claim by citing two memos--one authored by then-Attorney General Robert Jackson and the other by Randy Moss, who headed the Office of Legal Counsel during the final years of the Clinton Administration.
Obama V. Cheney
In their dueling national security speeches today, Barack Obama was all shades of grey, and Dick Cheney was a familiar black-and-white portrait. In a way reminiscent of his March 2008 speech about race in America, Obama was in fine professorial form, laying out the case for closing Guantanamo, and his recent hard decisions about declassification, in a thoughtful, elegant and nuanced way. He was inspiring about the founding American principles that guided him, but realistic about the maddening realities that may force him to compromise those principles.
According to The Washington Post, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a final vote on the Waxman-Markey climate bill this evening. All signs intimate that Waxman has enough votes to roll the bill out of committee.