December 04, 2008
Samantha Power Is A Friend Of Israel
Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jew to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, was also the leading American Zionist and, for some years, the great titanic figure of international Zionism itself, even above Chaim Weizmann, who ended his career as the first president of the State of Israel.
What happens if Congress can't—or won't—pass a climate bill in the next two years? Does that mean Obama will just have to scrap his promise to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions? No, not necessarily. As we've discussed before, and as Marc Ambinder pointed out yesterday, thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, the EPA has the option of using the existing Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 from power plants and large industrial facilities. Here's Ambinder's take: If Obama decides to do this, climate change conservatives will go ape. An end-run around Congress.
A recent review of Tom Sugrue's Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North in the New York Observer makes a startling accusation. Sugrue, argues critic Jonathan Liu, plods through decades of racial conflict and uneven progress without ever considering “the potential and potency of a single transformative racial moment … Sweet Land of Liberty will forever be the last major work on race relations published before the astounding uplift of The Change.” That change, needless to say, is the election of Barack Obama as the nation's first black president.
December 03, 2008
The Final Leap
WASHINGTON--In recent years, the outside world's idea of India has been tied almost exclusively to its glorious economic rise. The tragedy of Mumbai reminds us that severe religious, ethnic and nationalist differences remain. And these differences weigh heavily against India's definitive rise.There is no denying the leap forward (pardon my Maoist slip) made by India since the bold changes unleashed in 1991 by Manmohan Singh, then the finance minister and now the prime minister.
A Few Good Women
In the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama first distinguished himself in the area of foreign policy; criticizing an atrophied approach to international affairs in both parties, he promised a new approach to diplomacy and national security.
Defining Barack Down
The funny thing about elections is that their meaning undergoes a metamorphosis the very instant they occur. A couple weeks before the vote, a Republican member of Congress declared at a McCain rally, "This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing. It's a referendum on socialism." If you said now that the election was a referendum on socialism, or even mere liberalism, you'd be taken for a left-wing maniac. Political scientists will tell you that a presidential "mandate" is just a social construct. But it's an important construct, in two ways.
Is Harry Reid Going Down?
Like the young Julius Caesar--who confidently boasted, while languishing helpless and imprisoned by pirates on an island, that he would soon crucify his own captors--the embattled Senate Republicans, who haven’t won a single seat from Democrats in two election cycles, are already dreaming of taking the biggest prize of all in 2010: Majority Leader Harry Reid. Jon Cornyn, the newly-minted chief of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, reportedly wants to make Reid, who’s up for re-election, one of his prime targets; the RNC is panting after him, too.
Inside The Belly Of Bush's Beast
I'm a day late on this, but don't miss David Sanger's intriguing story on what the transitionistas are uncovering about the inner functionings of the formerly-opaque Bush administration: “For a bunch of small-government Republicans,” one former denizen of the White House who has now stepped back inside for the first time in eight years, “these guys built a hell of an empire.” Eight years ago, there were two deputy national security advisers; today there are a half-dozen, each with staff.
All Hail King David
In case you haven't heard, NBC is in advanced negotiations with David Gregory to take the reins at Meet the Press, apparently beating out folks like Chuck Todd, Gwen Ifill, and Andrea Mitchell. If you want to know more about Gregory, be sure to check out Zachary Roth's excellent 2007 profile of "King David": His breaking point came in the summer of 2005, after it became clear that the White House had deceived the press about Karl Rove's role in the unmasking of Valerie Plame.
December 02, 2008
Better Than a Bailout
On Tuesday, executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will submit reports on how they can restructure their operations. And quite a lot is riding on what those reports say. If Congress isn’t satisfied that the planned changes will make the companies more competitive, it’s unlikely to approve the $25 billion in emergency loans that the automakers may need to survive the current crisis. If just one of the companies should fail, let alone all three, the economic repercussions could be enormous--and not just in Detroit.But exactly what kind of changes should the executives promise?