April 24, 2009
Torture Memos And The Iraq Syndrome
I think President Obama did the right thing in releasing the torture memos and also in rejecting the call for further investigations and for prosecutions. It's not a question of whether I think John Yoo and Jay Bybee and the CIA officials who even exceeded the bounds of these memos deserve some kind of punishment. They do, but not at the hands of the federal government. And not now.
April 23, 2009
Disputations: Big Bad Berlusconi?
I love The New Republic, even when I disagree with its gifted writers. This is not the case of Alexander Stille's "The Prime Minister of WTF" about Silvio Berlusconi's performance at the last G20 meeting in Europe. I loved the funny TNR headline, but the article is ridiculous, something good for The National Enquirer, not for a serious publication.
Normal Is As Normal Does
WASHINGTON--Over time, certain ideas become irresistible. They start out as problematic. Later, no one can remember why. Consider Tuesday's bipartisan ceremony in which President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Thirteen years ago, Republicans in Congress tried to kill Bill Clinton's AmeriCorps program. This year, Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the largest expansion of service opportunities in decades.
It is certainly instructive to receive lessons in journalism and intellectual honesty from Christian Rocca. Rocca makes much of his supposed impartiality in matters regarding Berlusconi, but fails to disclose that he writes for the newspaper Il Foglio, a paper owned by Veronica Lario, otherwise known as the wife of Silvio Berlusconi.
My colleagues Frank Foer and Noam Scheiber have written a compelling account of the Obama administration’s approach to economic policy. And although I don’t pretend to know the president’s mind, I might agree with their summary statement that “Obama has no intention of changing the nature of capitalism.” Still, I want to make what may seem to be a paradoxical argument: that regardless of the president’s intentions, he will change American capitalism in fundamental ways--in particular, he will alter the relationship between the government and the economy.
The First 100 Days
The audacity continues: THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press Secretary__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 23, 2009 STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY On Thursday, April 23, 2009, the President signed into law: S. 520, which designates the United States Courthouse located in Rockford, Illinois, as the “Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Courthouse”. ## --Michael Crowley
In the second part of a two part discussion, Representative George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, shares his thoughts on whether congress will allow the government to make loans directly to students. --Ben Eisler If you missed part one, catch up here. Also check out the latest on TNRtv: Hoyer: Democrats Will Unite On Health Care Reform Johnson: Obama's Futile New Bank Plan Chait/Foer: Chait's Favorite Bushies
Kerry On Pakistan . . . And Obama
USA Today has an interesting interview with John Kerry, who's just back from Pakistan and is pretty critical of Obama's policy toward the country: "Pakistan is in a moment of peril," Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said during a session with USA TODAY reporters and editors.
April 22, 2009
Moving Beyond Bias
If black firefighters in New Haven can’t make a decent showing on for a test that’s required for promotion, then the question is how we can help them do better, right? It should be. But in the case the Supreme Court is deciding today, Ricci v. DeStefano, the idea is that the test is inherently “biased” against black people because black people haven’t been doing well on it. In 2003, the highest a black candidate scored for a captaincy was 16th place, behind twelve whites and three Latinos.
WASHINGTON--Hugo Chavez's gift to President Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas--a copy of Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America"--has many people wondering what the fuss is about. A decade ago, I and the other two co-authors of the "Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot" devoted a chapter to refuting the historical and ideological fallacies contained in Galeano's tract, which we called the "idiot's bible." Everything that has happened in the Western Hemisphere since the book appeared in 1971 has belied Galeano's arguments and predictions.