professor

Arguing (cheekily, one hopes) that "Palin had a point," Mickey links to this guy, a Cornell Law Professor named William Jacobson, who offers an embarassingly lame defense of Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "death panel," in quotation marks, in her Facebook attack on Obama's health care plan. Quoth the legal scholar: Palin put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a "death panel." Oh! Not literally a death panel!

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Arguing (cheekily, one hopes) that "Palin had a point," Mickey links to this guy, a Cornell Law Professor named William Jacobson, who offers an embarassingly lame defense of Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "death panel," in quotation marks, in her Facebook attack on Obama's health care plan. Quoth the legal scholar: Palin put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a "death panel." Oh! Not literally a death panel!

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Simon Johnson, professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of BaselineScenario.com, offers support for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's expletive-laden outburst against financial regulators, arguing that their selfish opposition to Obama's plan is putting us all at risk. --Ben Eisler Check out the latest on TNRtv: Sherman: Is China Finally Sticking It To North Korea? Johnson: How To Deal With Thieving Mortgage Lenders Eisler: When Lawmaking Gets Bloody

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment.     Greg Mankiw writes that the gas tax is not an issue that divides liberals and conservatives, but rather one that divides political consultants and policy wonks.

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Click here to read responses by Michael Kazin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Fred Kaplan. Click here to read Sean Wilentz's response to his critics. In "Who Lincoln Was" (July 15, 2009), Sean Wilentz accuses me and other scholars of ignorance about Civil War era politics, bemoans the “literary turn” in Lincoln scholarship, and worries that historians now give undue attention to Frederick Douglass and other outsiders rather than the politicians who actually changed society.

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Good Knight

Over the past few days, there’s been much speculation over whether Attorney General Eric Holder will launch an investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11. One of the top contenders in leading an investigation seems to be John Durham, a name you probably don’t recognize--or may have forgotten. So who is this low-key prosecutor that may take on the most high-profile national case since Watergate?   Durham began his career at the Connecticut state attorney’s office shortly after graduating from University of Connecticut Law School in 1975.

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It's common knowledge that most farmers oppose a cap-and-trade bill—or at least it was common knowledge until last month. That's when the National Farmers Union (NFU) issued a press release that urged House members to approve Rep. Collin Peterson's controversial and farm-friendly additions to the House climate bill.

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The New Democrats

What we are witnessing right now in the streets of Tehran is, first and foremost, a political battle for the future of the Iranian state. But closely linked to this political fight is also an old theological dispute about the nature of Shiism--a dispute that has been roiling Iran for more than a century. Shiism, like most religions, is no stranger to heated schisms. Shia and Sunnis split over the question of whether Muhammad had designated his son-in-law, Ali, as his successor (Shia believed he had).

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Prophet Motive

This year, Nouriel Roubini, the economist known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse, spent the early hours of Mardi Gras on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was only 11 a.m., but the party was rollicking. Traders careened around the floor, hooting and honking, dressed as dragons and devils and convicts. Rock music roared overhead, and no one seemed to care that, by the bye, the market had tanked.

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Former Vice President Cheney says that President Obama's reversal of Bush-era terrorism policies endangers American security. The Obama administration, he charges, has "moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a follow-on terrorist attack like 9/11." Many people think Cheney is scare-mongering and owes President Obama his support or at least his silence. But there is a different problem with Cheney's criticisms: his premise that the Obama administration has reversed Bush-era policies is largely wrong.

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