Multiculturalism's One-way Street
May 06, 2007

Friday, May 4th was Lincoln Kirstein's birthday, his 100th birthday, to be exact. And the Times celebrated it with Alastair Macaulay's review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein. It was a favorable review but with a slightly niggling tone. The biography is the labors of Martin Duberman who used to write for TNR and whose work I admire greatly. (Why does he not write for us now? Did we have a falling-out? A political row?

Conventional-wisdom Roundup
May 04, 2007

So who won the Republican debate last night? We've scoured the Internet to give you a summary of what bloggers across the political spectrum are saying. --Alexander M. Belenky

Move Un Hq To Harare
May 03, 2007

When will the world realize that the world organization is a fraud? My God, Eleanor Roosevelt is already dead 45 years. There is no longer any reason for sentimentality about the United Nations. I've been writing this long enough. But here, just in case you missed my words, they're here, here, here, here and here. The Financial Times reported this morning that Zimbabwe (yes, Zimbabwe), of all countries, is about to become the chair of the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development.

Crushing On Mitt
May 03, 2007

Ryan, you're not the only one. Politico's Helena Andrews, 8:11 pm: "Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is too dreamy.

Hassan Nasrallah Wants Ariel Sharon Back
May 02, 2007

In a Tuesday speech in southern Beirut, Hassan Nasrallah, the cunning head of Hezbollah, announced that he "respected" Ariel Sharon. He also commanded ... demanded ... that Ehud Olmert resign. Maybe this is good news for Olmert and his chances to stay. As for Amir Peretz, the mishap of a defense minister, Nasrallah made a shrewd joke at the former trade union leader's expense. It is so true and so devastating that the comment might just push Peretz out the window within days, if not within hours. All of this is reported today on the Jerusalem Post web-site.

What's Your Excuse?
May 02, 2007

It's almost possible to forgive Alexander Cockburn's latest column in the Nation, denying the fact that humans are warming the planet. I mean, here's a writer who doesn't know much about science, frolicked around on a cruise ship with some old dude who once worked for the Navy, and was dazzled by his spiel about how "CO2 changes have always lagged behind global temperatures" (misleading) and how climate scientists don't account for water vapor in their models (um, false).

Wolfowitz's Slimy Critics
May 01, 2007

I have my differences with Paul Wolfowitz, serious differences, in fact. But I also know some of his critics, many of whom are really just his tormentors. For the obvious reasons, one of which is not that he tried to give a pay boost to his girlfriend. After all, the lady was at the Bank before him. Was she to be punished because her boyfriend became head of the Bank? The pros at the World Bank measured their success by whether they got the cash out of the building, not whether the money did any good.

The Yoga Pander
April 30, 2007

Yesterday's Times Magazine had a Q&A with hip-hop guru (and now self-help author) Russell Simmons--in which he had the following exchange about the upcoming presidential campaign: Q: What do you make of Barack Obama, who recently said that rap musicians should reform their lyrics? A: What we need to reform is the conditions that create these lyrics. Obama needs to reform the conditions of poverty. I wish he really did raise his money on the Internet, like he said. I wish he really did raise his money independently. Q: What are you saying?

Mezzo "sopranos"
April 30, 2007

I confess I've found the last half-season of "The Sopranos" to be something of a letdown so far, especially after the bravura season opener at the lake house. Taken individually, the episodes have been fine. But that's just the problem: You basically have to take them individually. Apart from the Phil Leotardo storyline, which has been progressing in the (sometimes distant) background, there's been almost nothing in the way of a broader narrative arc.

Ted Kennedy On The Rocks
April 27, 2007

GQ has made available on its website former TNR editor Michael Kelly's classic "Ted Kennedy on the Rocks," one of the best pieces of political reportage I have ever read. As the article clearly demonstrates, Chappaquiddick did not do much to stave Ted Kennedy's recklessness, but, since marrying again in 1992, Kennedy has tempered his behavior. Interestingly, the article also features Kennedy carousing with current long-shot presidential candidate Chris Dodd. According to Roll Call's then-gossip columnist Bill Thomas, "[Kennedy]'s off the reservation ... out of control ...