July 21, 2008
AP: Iraq's government spokesman is hopeful that U.S. combat forces could be out of the country by 2010. Ali al-Dabbagh made the comments following a meeting in Baghdad on Monday between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, who arrived in Iraq earlier in the day. The timeframe is similar to Obama's proposal to pull back combat troops within 16 months.
July 20, 2008
Emily Bazelon has a great New York Times Magazine article this week taking stock of what the school district in Louisville has done in response to the Supreme Court's decision last year striking down its previous racial integration plan. The basic outline of the plan has been reported elsewhere, but as Bazelon describes in detail, the district has devised a new integration scheme that takes up Justice Kennedy on his invitation to use class and geography, rather than race explicitly, as a means of integrating schools.
July 19, 2008
Dear Barack Obama
Dear Senator Obama, Welcome to Israel. When you arrive here on July 22, you will encounter a people intrigued by your candidacy and, given the current crisis of Israeli leadership, envious of your capacity to inspire. Issues that have worried some Americans about your background have scarcely been noted here. The whispering campaign labeling you a Muslim wasn't taken seriously by mainstream Israelis. Nor are we fazed by your middle name: Half of Israel's Jewish population has origins in Muslim cultures.
July 18, 2008
Barack Obama has a Catholic problem. While Catholics constitute only 23 percent of the nation’s population, their numbers are higher in such critical states as Nevada, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. And he lost badly among those voters this winter and spring. In New Hampshire, at the beginning of the primary season, Hillary Clinton took 44 percent of the Catholic vote to Obama’s 27 percent. Toward the end of the primary season, in Pennsylvania, Clinton won 70 percent of the Catholic vote to Obama’s 30.
We asked Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and Co-Director of the Princeton Project on National Security, to respond to Eli Lake's cover story on what an Obama Doctrine would look like if he were to become president. Lake suggests that Obama's approach to foreign policy would resemble Ronald Reagan's far more than Jimmy Carter's largely because Obama isn't afraid to reach out to undesirables if they could help produce a good result for the United States.
Jane Mayer's Torture Scoop
I wanted to flag a great interview with Jane Mayer I heard this morning on Democracy Now radio. I know, attention spans are short these days--but for those who want the Cliffs Notes for The Dark Side, Mayer's by all accounts extraordinary new portrait of the United States' torture program, give it a listen. The gist: Mayer reveals a secret report by the International Red Cross warned [sic] the Bush administration last year that the CIA’s treatment of prisoners categorically constituted torture and could make Bush administration officials who approved the torture methods guilty of war crimes.
Very strange testimony yesterday from John Ashcroft before the House Judiciary Committee. According to various reports that have come out since his departure from the Justice Department, Ashcroft was decidedly uncomfortable with--and flat-out opposed to--some of the more dubious aspects of the Bush administration's war on terror. For instance, during a 2002 White House meeting to discuss harsh interrogation practices of terror suspects, ABC News has reported: Then-Attorney General Ashcroft was troubled by the discussions.
July 17, 2008
WASHINGTON--On the issue of gasoline prices, Republicans think they have a winner in their call for new drilling and Democrats are playing defense. Democrats need--this is a technical term--a lot more oomph.
As the 2008 Beijing Olympics draw near, we’re taking the opportunity to compile our coverage of Olympics past.
“I count myself as a conservative Republican, yet I view it to a large degree in the Theodore Roosevelt mold,” John McCain told The New York Times last Friday. The presumptive Republican nominee for president speaks often of Roosevelt, another child of privilege who sought to make himself over into a man's man. He has referred to him as his "ultimate hero," and quoted approvingly Roosevelt's speech calling for a renewed commitment to American rule in the Philippines, in which Roosevelt declared, "Resistance must be stamped out.