March 18, 2008

John Mcwhorter Reviews Obama's Speech
12:00 AM

We reached out to several friends of the magazine to respond to Obama's big speech in Philadelphia today. Here's what John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had to say. In his speech in Philadelphia this morning, Barack Obama revealed that he is most definitely his own man. Those who have found Obama's statements of dissociation from his pastor Jeremiah Wright's statements a tad studious must now be satisfied. This time, Obama did not rest with incendiary and divisive--words which harbor potential toleration (i.e.

Watch The Republican Grassroots
12:00 AM

Throughout the week, Clay Risen, the managing editor of Democracy, will be covering economic developments for us on The Plank. It's tempting for liberals, myself included, to look at the bad-news business-page headlines as good news for the Democrats' White House chances. McCain has already admitted that he doesn't know much about the economy, and his approach so far seems to be to take an even more hands-off approach to the market than Bush.

March 17, 2008

Exchange: HBO's 'John Adams' (Parts 1 and 2)

John Patrick Diggins, author of John Adams: The American Presidents Series, Steven Waldman, author of Founding Faith, and Kirk Ellis, writer and co-executive producer of the HBO miniseries John Adams, are discussing the show on TNR.com. This is the first entry in their conversation. (Follow their complete dialogue here: Entries 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)     Professor Diggins, First, a general caveat: I know a lot about one facet of Adams’s life (religion and religious freedom) and not much about, well, everything else.

Today's Dispatch From An Alternative Universe
12:00 AM

It's by Stephen Hayes, who's traveling with Dick Cheney in Iraq: Cheney: Iraq Supported Terror, al QaedaBaghdad, Iraq Sitting in the U.S. Embassy just blocks from the bombed out headquarters of the former Iraqi Intelligence Service, Vice President Dick Cheney said today that a new Pentagon study issued last week confirms Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein's Iraq supported a broad range of terrorists groups, including al Qaeda.

March 16, 2008

"i Don't Recall Mrs. Clinton's Engagement."
12:00 AM

I knew that Hillary's spiel about her experience in this and her experience in that was fake. Take, for example, her evidence for being an old foreign policy hand: she had been to 80 different foreign countries while her poor hubby was (alone) in the White House.

March 15, 2008

Ballad of a Dead Man

In February 2001, while I was doing research for my book on the forgotten wars, I met Iván Ríos, the FARC commander who was recently executed by his own security chief and bodyguard somewhere on the border between the Columbian provinces of Caldia and Antioquia. This morning's newspapers say he was 40 years old at that time.

March 14, 2008

Meet The New Boss
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Eliot Spitzer vowed to shake up government and politics in New York.

McCain's Free Ride
12:00 AM

Right now, with Democrats transfixed by the increasingly self-destructive battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, John McCain is getting a free ride politically (at the moment, a ride abroad, to provide the backdrop for the story he'd like to tell about being the one ready to take the helm of U.S. foreign policy and national security). That ride looks likely to last until June or beyond.

Spitzer: The Next Lawrence?
12:00 AM

Over at Balkinization, Michael Stokes Paulsen imagines what a five-justice majority of the Supreme Court (Kennedy, Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Clinton) might say in striking down anti-prostitution laws in the 2010 case of Spitzer v. United States: There is no persuasive basis for distinguishing the Lawrence Liberty here.

March 13, 2008

Disputations: The '3 A.M.' Fight Continues
12:00 AM

Orlando Patterson's reply is as unpersuasive as his original op-ed essay. His op-ed--a fanciful interpretation of Hillary Clinton's 3 A.M. campaign ad as racist--provides no facts to back up its assertions, thereby making refutation literally impossible. Now, in his reply, Patterson offers more groundless speculation. He also fails to concede that his original essay contained a gross falsehood that is now a matter of record--a falsehood that, once revealed, demolishes his basic argument.