Politics

December 23, 2008

Big Tent
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left.

Losing Lhasa
12:00 AM

Last month, in a unique display of direct democracy, Tibetans from all over the world gathered in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and many other exiled Tibetans, to debate Tibet's future. For days, monks, businessmen, students, and many other Tibetans discussed how Tibet should respond to Chinese repression--whether it should continue an ongoing dialogue with Beijing about a future that would mean autonomy under Chinese rule, or abandon dialogue and return to a hard-core, separatist push for independence. But the dialogue was somewhat off point.

Blagojevich Pathos In The Obama Report
12:00 AM

The just-released report on the Transition's contacts with Blagojevich includes the following passage:  On November 7, 2008 -- at a time when she was still a potential candidate for the Senate seat -- Ms. Jarrett spoke with Mr. Tom Balanoff, the head of the Illinois chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). ... Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he had spoken to the Governor about the possibility of selecting Valerie Jarrett to replace the President-Elect. He told her that Lisa Madigan’s name also came up. Ms. Jarrett recalls that Mr.

What The Secret Service Could Learn From Brangelina
12:00 AM

Having spent all of its time and energy protecting presidents from would-be assassins, it's understandable the Secret Service wouldn't be so good at protecting them from the papaparazzi. But, with Obama as big a celebrity as Brangelina, the Secret Service might want to take some pointers from Brangelina themselves. A couple years ago I wrote a piece for New York Magazine about the paparazzi's pursuit of what was then called "the Holy Grail of celebrity journalism"--i.e., the first photo of the Brangelina Baby (who now goes by the name Shiloh).

December 22, 2008

Is Biden's Star Fading?
12:00 AM

At the risk of annoying Jay Carney, one of the menschiest guys in Washington, I can't help wondering if Biden is losing influence. That, at least, was my first thought when I heard he'll be heading Obama's middle-class task force. As the Times notes, "The task force is the first discrete assignment for Mr. Biden." That doesn't sound ominous on its face. But you have to consider the conditions under which Biden accepted the veep job.

December 21, 2008

Gop Economics Explained--plus, Bonus Bush Pathos
12:00 AM

Today's installment of the Times "Reckoning" series offers a useful and accurate (if not entirely comprehensive--they would have needed several thousand more words) take on the Bush administration's contribution to the financial crisis. The basic story is that, under Bush, the federal government aggressively pushed subprime borrowers into homes while at the same time hacking away regulations that might have sussed out the shakiest mortgages. As the Times sums it up: From his earliest days in office, Mr.

December 20, 2008

Obama's New Pastor Problem?
12:00 AM

In reacting to Barack Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inaugural, the left has been focusing on Obama’s decision to offer, while the right has been focusing on Warren’s decision to accept. The right has it right. There are two facets of American evangelicalism that ought to be worrisome to conservatives. One is that evangelicals are breaking out of the comfortable counter-culture they have established for themselves over the years.

Obama's New Pastor Problem?
12:00 AM

In reacting to Barack Obama's decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inaugural, the left has been focusing on Obama's decision to offer, while the right has been focusing on Warren's decision to accept. The right has it right. There are two facets of American evangelicalism that ought to be worrisome to conservatives. One is that evangelicals are breaking out of the comfortable counter-culture they have established for themselves over the years.

Obama's New Pastor Problem
12:00 AM

Rick Warren's acceptance of Barack Obama is far more significant than Obama's selection of Warren, Alan Wolfe argues in a piece for TNR. Though much of the reaction to Obama's choice of Warren for the Inaugural prayer has focused on whether Obama made the right pick, Wolfe says that Warren's decision to agree is a much bigger deal. There are two facets of American evangelicalism that ought to be worrisome to conservatives. One is that evangelicals are breaking out of the comfortable counter-culture they have established for themselves over the years.

December 19, 2008

The President's Man
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--A couple of weeks ago, a senior adviser to Barack Obama dismissed the argument raging at the time over the choice the president-elect faced in naming a secretary of education. Obama's options were said to be clear-cut: He could either pick a reformer, or he could select someone acceptable to teachers unions.

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