Politics

August 22, 2008

More Unearthings: Obama Law Review Edition
12:00 AM

Over at the Politico, Ben Smith and Jeffrey Ressner have done some good work chasing down the case comment Obama wrote in his Harvard Law Review days: The six-page summary, tucked into the third volume of the year's Harvard Law Review, considers the charged, if peripheral, question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers. Obama's answer, like most courts': No.

August 21, 2008

The Best Laid Traps
12:00 AM

As recently as six weeks ago, Barack Obama hoped to use his moderation and facility with religiously informed rhetoric to inspire a portion of the evangelical vote to defect to the Democratic Party in 2008--a move that might usher in a broader electoral realignment. But events during the past week may very well have derailed this plan for good.

Bashir's Willing Accomplices
12:00 AM

There are so many more important issues in the world today than Palestine that I wonder why I am so obsessed with it. Well, of course, what I am obsessed with is Israel, and it's a personal obsession relating to the catastrophe that befell my people in a way that no catastrophe had previously befallen any other people. This fact alone brings the fate of the Jews into the consciousness and conscience of others.

Mccain's Water-grab Gaffe
12:00 AM

"Hello, I'm John McCain. I'm from Arizona and I'm here to take your water." It's a line the Republican presidential candidate has reportedly used as an opening joke at appearances in Colorado, a state that doesn't take too kindly to suspected water thieves.

August 20, 2008

Made Man
12:00 AM

ON SATURDAY, MAY 17, 1980, Cindy Lou Hensley married Navy Captain John McCain at the First United Methodist Church on Central Avenue in Phoenix, not far from the bride’s childhood home. After the ceremony, the wedding entourage headed nearly three miles east to the Arizona Biltmore resort, a sprawling gray oasis designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé in the 1920s. Guests fêted the couple in the resort’s Aztec Room, an elegant, twelve-sided banquet hall with a vaulted, gold-leaf ceiling. The 25-year-old bride seemed impervious to the desert heat.

The Death of 1989
12:00 AM

Seven nail-biting thoughts as the Russian tanks roll by: 1) The damage has already been done. It is vast, and it is irreversible, at least for a long time to come. We have been living in the age of 1989--an age of democratic revolution. The damage is to those revolutions and their legacy. The democratic revolutions came in three waves, each new wave weaker than the last. The earliest of revolutions, the velvet revolutions of 1989 itself, were a mighty tide, but the second wave needed a push. This turned out to be U.S.

God's Country
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--The recent campaign forum at Saddleback Church in which U.S. presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain answered questions from pastor Rick Warren, the new star of the evangelical Christian movement, could only have happened in America. The rest of the world watched in wonder as the two candidates proclaimed their faith before the tribunal of God, trying to persuade the jury that their views on abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, state-sponsored altruism and other "value" issues do not depart (too much) from dogma.

Who Moderates The Moderators?
12:00 AM

The great faith-based debate is over, and the reviews are in: It was a blowout of Bentsen-Quayle proportions. The back-to-back performances of Barack Obama and John McCain may have been judged roughly even, but in the battle of Pastor Rick Warren versus George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Gibson, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Gwen Ifill, Bob Schieffer, Brit Hume, Judy Woodruff, Tim Russert’s Ghost, Jim Lehrer, and just about every other full-time network or cable news employee to ever moderate a presidential forum, there was no contest.

The Kosovo Card
12:00 AM

Last week’s debacle in Georgia has shown the hazards of an American foreign policy on vacation. Faced with the invasion of a democratic ally by Russian tanks and bombers, the Bush Administration left crucial negotiations in the hands of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, serving as the rotating president of the European Union, who chose to swallow the “take-it-or-leave-it” package offered by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, and managed to persuade the Georgians that they had to go along. This was, at best, a short-sighted performance. There is no evidence that the U.S.

Crippling Medical Bills--coming To A Person Near You
12:00 AM

One reason this country has never mustered the will to enact universal health care is that most Americans have felt their own insurance arrangements were adequate. They sympathized with the plight of people who couldn't pay their medical bills, but couldn't imagine themselves in that situation. A new report released Wednesday suggests that may be changing. The report, called "Losing Ground," comes from the Commonwealth Fund (which has underwritten some of my own research) and is based upon survey data the Fund has collected over the last few years.

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