Politics

April 17, 2008

Defending George Stephanopoulos (seriously!)
12:00 AM

Far be it for me to justify last night's debate performance by ABC hosts Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. (I was an early and loud critic!) But a YouTube that Obama supporters are circulating surely takes reasonable criticism too far. It's a parody of "In Memoriam," a recurring feature on ABC's "This Week" (the show Stephanopoulos hosts). In the segment, ABC acknolwedges recent deaths--of celebrities as well as American soldiers fighting abroad--by showing their names and playing mournful music in the background.

The United States Of Don Young
12:00 AM

You can disregard everything you thought you learned in civics class about how a bill becomes a law. The Washington Post reports today on the latest antics of Don Young, the colorfully corrupt Republican congressman from Alaska: The Senate moved yesterday toward asking the Justice Department for a criminal investigation of a $10 million legislative earmark whose provisions were mysteriously altered after Congress gave final approval to a huge 2005 highway funding bill.

Would A Nuclear Attack Kill You?

(Department of Energy)  According to the Post, Tuesday's Senate hearing on the ever-increasing risk of nuclear terrorist attack was quite the spectacle: At the committee's request, Dallas prepared a report on the effects of a small nuclear device exploding near the White House. ... The 10-kiloton blast would release fatal doses of radiation in the immediate area and destroy almost all buildings within a half-mile radius, he said. The intense heat would burn people for many blocks and spark fires.

April 16, 2008

What's Immature About Supporting Human Rights?
12:00 AM

In this TNR debate, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation and New Republic deputy editor Richard Just discuss the appropriate response to the Beijing Olympics. In light of China's manifold human rights problems, how should fans, Olympic athletes, presidential candidates, and the U.S. government itself respond to the games?

Open To Attack
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--The Olympic torch relay has galvanized international public opinion against the communist regime in Beijing, not a bad thing considering that the world in recent years has spent more time saluting the mesmerizing achievements of China's economy than remembering that the men in charge are responsible for the suppression of the civil and political liberties of one-fifth of the planet's inhabitants. The issue that brought protesters to the streets in cities from Paris to San Francisco was the Chinese suppression of Tibetan demonstrators.

Looking For A Jewish Charlatan? One Clue: He'll Be Quoting Heschel
12:00 AM

If you suspect you see a charlatan in a Jew wait for him to utter the words, "tikun olam."  "Repair of the world."  Big idea, revolutionary, utopian, progressive.

"screw 'em"
12:00 AM

I don't have a copy of Benjamin Barber's book The Truth of Power, and so can't verify the Huffington Post's Sam Stein's characterization, but it's awfully strong stuff: In January 1995, as the Clintons were licking their wounds from the 1994 congressional elections, a debate emerged at a retreat at Camp David. Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach. "Screw 'em," she told her husband. "You don't owe them a thing, Bill.

Winners And Losers
12:00 AM

Dave Roberts swings a lead pipe at Bush's absurd climate speech today. I'll second Dave in that there's no use pretending that Bush is trying to address global warming in any sort of serious way—he's just giving himself political cover should he have to veto a cap-and-trade bill.

So Much For That About-face
12:00 AM

Juding from this New York Times preview, Bush's Rose Garden speech on climate today is going be... yet another farce: He'll announce "specific goals" for limiting greenhouse gases, but he won't lay out "a specific plan for legislation" and will "almost certainly" continue to oppose cap-and-trade. Maybe all that extra CO2 will vanish like magic. More: And here's the Journal: "[Bush] will also argue against legislation that raises taxes or makes demands that are technologically unattainable and could hurt the economy, such as by raising fuel costs.

April 15, 2008

Why Hillary's Olympics Stance Is Immature

In this TNR debate, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation and New Republic deputy editor Richard Just discuss the appropriate response to the Beijing Olympics. In light of China’s manifold human rights problems, how should fans, Olympic athletes, presidential candidates, and the U.S. government itself respond to the games? From: Steven Clemons To: Richard Just Hillary Clinton recently called on George W.

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