Religion

According to this poll, 61% of professional historians think George W. Bush is the worst president of all time. Matt Yglesias adds: More interestingly, I also take the view that Bush is probably correct to think that history will remember him kindly. American presidents associated with big dramatic events tend to wind up with good reputations whether they deserve them or not.

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The latest from Ayman al-Zawahiri: A speaker on an audiotape identified as Ayman al-Zawahri, the chief deputy to Osama bin Laden, has rejected criticism of attacks by Al Qaeda’s followers that have killed thousands of people, maintaining that Al Qaeda does not kill innocent people. “We haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria nor anywhere else." Except: “If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity.” Doh!

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When Hillary Clinton supporter (and Pennsylvania Congressman) Joe Sestak was asked whether his candidate's continued challenge to Barack Obama will hurt the Democrats, he had to correct himself mid-sentence: Senator Obama is truly the man he says he is, I believe, and if he is not the presidential candidate at the convention, he will turn to his followers and say, 'Support her.' And I have no question that Senator Clinton will turn to her followers and say, 'Support me'--er, 'him.' " A Kinsley gaffe? You be the judge:   (via TPM) --Christopher Orr

I thought of the Archbishop of Canterbury again two weeks ago when I read in the Boston Globe that the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambrdige was going to divvy up its small tract of Cambridge land and its physical facilities thereon with Lesley University, yet another of those ancillary places that help you in "fulfilling a greater purpose for your life and bringing about great change in the world."  It occurred to me that E.T.S., like (also Episcopal) Andover Theological Seminary that divvied up its land with Hebrew College, would not have come to this turn had it kept to the church of

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Barack Obama's great speeches have generally taken place in the same sorts of settings. His keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, his victory speeches after South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the Potomac primaries--Obama gave all of the addresses before large, boisterous audiences. The speeches had a certain raw power, which Obama drew from the assembled crowds. They were memorable, yes, but as much for how Obama spoke as for what Obama said. Not today. This was a different, more unsettled political moment. And so Obama decided to give a different, more unconventional sort of speech.

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Paulos Faraj Rahho was the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul in Iraq.  He is now dead, having been kidnapped by Muslim fanatics (who knows whether Sunni or Shi'a?) last month as he was driving home from mass.  The kidnappers called the church today to report that the prelate had died and told whomever answered the phone where the body was dumped.  The Times today reports that the archbishop "had died of natural causes"--or, at least, that's what an official at the morgue told its reporter.Faraj Rahho had high blood pressure and a heart ailment.  So he may just have expired when he stopped

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Last week, Barack Obama gave a speech in Cleveland to a group of Jewish community leaders. Though Marty has already declared Obama Kosher, there are still some rumblings amongst Jews about what an Obama presidency would mean for Israel, as evidenced in a Times piece on Friday. Much of the attacks on Obama in the Jewish community have been outright smears, trying to paint him as a secret Muslim (Hillary, shameless and desperate as she is, thinks she can get away with this mischief herself).

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  Today, Russia votes for its next president.

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Kkk For Obama?

Yglesias asks: Will John McCain be asked to specifically denounce each and every white supremacist leader in America who urges his followers to back McCain over Obama? Maybe not--because as I write in our new issue, it's not clear the white supremacists will urge their followers to back McCain over Obama!

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Soon after the United States entered the World War in December 1941, Rosie the Riveter appeared in the culture. Millions of women went to work in crucial industrial positions vacated by men who had gone to fight. Hence the legend based in  fact. There was a popular song about Rosie in 1942 and a Norman Rockwell (no, not Rockwell Kent) painting of her on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in May of 1943.Now, in Ohio, a poster has been produced with Hillary wearing a a red-and-white polka dot kerchief and a blue work shirt out of which her muscles protrude.

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