March 08, 2008

Why Is The 'times' So Naïve?
12:00 AM

There are two kinds of editorials on grim issues.  One type tries to explain to its readers the origins of the conflict, what sustains it and how the predicament might be eased and even solved.  Very few editorials are of this explicatory sort.  The other form is hortatory.  As if governments and terrorists really give a damn what wisdom the editorial board of The New York Times has for them.In Saturday's Times there appeared the paper's millionth editorial on what Israel should have done and what it needs to do to make peace talks viable.  It doesn't even pretend to counsel the Palestinians o

March 07, 2008

Obama By A Coin Flip
12:00 AM

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

What Are Obama's 'Unknown Unknowns'?
12:00 AM

LOS ANGELES--There they go again. Democrats have contrived a nominating contest that even Rube Goldberg would have considered too convoluted, too dysfunctional and too improbable to name as his own. The happiest people in the country right now are Hillary Clinton and Rush Limbaugh--Clinton, because she has survived, and Limbaugh, because he's eager for the contest to go on so Barack Obama can be "bloodied up." Talk about a vast and unexpected conspiracy. Oh, yes, and John McCain is chuckling, too.

A Sacred Aura

There is one book that says it all.   An old book, nearly a classic. Oddly, it is rarely mentioned in France.   This book, published in 1957, is titled The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology.   Its author is Ernst H.

Climate Tweaking Made Easy
12:00 AM

The rough consensus among climatologists these days is that, if we want to stave off the worst effects of global warming, we're going to have to stabilize carbon concentrations in the atmosphere at about 450 parts per million by mid-century (we're at about 383 ppm now). That means whopping emissions cuts, especially in the United States and Europe—but also in China, India, and elsewhere. It all sounds so drastic, no?

March 06, 2008

Canadian Bacon
12:00 AM

An unassuming foreign country has injected itself into the U.S. presidential race: Canada. And though the United States’ neighbor to the north used to pine for the day when someone in Washington would actually acknowledge its existence, with the controversy swirling over the contentious NAFTA discussion between Barack Obama’s economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, and a Canadian diplomat in Chicago, the government of Canada isn't enjoying its central star role in the U.S.

Howard Dean: This Isn't My Problem
12:00 AM

While Michigan's sending out signals, Florida's melting down further:  Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) warned the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Thursday that it is facing the "biggest train wreck you've ever seen" if a standoff is not resolved over his state's pledged delegates to the party's presidential nominating convention. Nelson sent a letter to DNC Chairman Howard Dean Thursday asking the committee to either accept the Jan. 29 results of the primary election or pay for a redo of the elections, which could cost in the range of $20 million.

Most Absurd Clinton Argument Yet?
12:00 AM

It seems pretty apparent that the Hillary Clinton campaign's "kitchen sink" strategy -- that is, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Barack Obama -- is working.  It's not the only reason Clinton stopped Obama's political momentum and won the critical Ohio and Texas primaries on Tuesday.  But surely it's one of them. So it's hardly surprising that Obama and his advisers have decided to hit back.  On Wednesday, Obama made clear that he would be responding to Clinton attacks more forcefully in the future -- and asking her to answer the same sorts of quesitons that she has been putting to

March 05, 2008

Eternal Putin
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--How ironic that the only way for Dmitry Medvedev, the new president of the Russian Federation, to liberate himself from the grip of Vladimir Putin, would be to do the same thing that Putin did when he was chosen as Boris Yeltsin's heir--stage a political coup against his former master. Of course, Putin's and Medvedev's backgrounds and personalities are very different.

Why Hillary Drops Her Final "g"s
12:00 AM

Why isn’t it noticed, or, if noticed, not commented upon? At least in her Ohio and Texas talks, Hillary Clinton drops the final "G" from the "ing" words (participles, gerunds)--an annoyance, especially to those who’ve heard her talking to other people and groups where not one "G" is dropped and she sounds like the young woman who gave a famous Wellesley College commencement address, was one of America’s 100 most successful lawyers, was first lady of Arkansas and the United States, and has been a successful U.S.