Archive

  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: WAITING FOR BARACK.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: WAITING FOR BARACK. Draft Obama for '08? Ezra says wait for the guy to actually step up and lead first. --The Editors
  • OUTRAGE ON THE DEFAMATION FRONT.

    OUTRAGE ON THE DEFAMATION FRONT. Just to elaborate on the story Ezra mentioned : The NYU historian Tony Judt was invited to speak October 3 on the subject of �The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy� to a discussion group entitled Network 20/20, which always holds its meetings at Manhattan�s Polish Consulate. But Judt received a call from Patricia Harrington , the president of the group, canceling his talk. She told Judt (as he recounted in a widely distributed e-mail) that the Consulate had been threatened by the Anti-Defamation League, who �warned them off hosting anything involving Tony Judt.� Judt said that ADL�s Abraham Foxman warned the Poles that unless they cancelled, to quote Judt�s e-mail, �he would smear the charge of Polish collaboration with anti-Israeli antisemites (= me) all over the front page of every daily paper in the city (an indirect quote).� Poland is particularly sensitive about the charge these days, what with the recent publication of Jan Gross �s book, Fear...
  • HE WANNA GET AWAY.

    HE WANNA GET AWAY. Ah, pity poor Chris Hitchens . As one shall-remain-nameless friend chuckled to me recently, Hitch must have needed a good, long week with his face in a large bowl of vodka to recover from the revelation in Bob Woodward�s State of Denial that none other than his bete noir , Henry Kissinger , is a key Iraq adviser to President Bush , SecDef Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the war architects for whom Hitchens has been fashioning increasingly creative apologies. Hitch has finally mustered the strength to comment about Kissinger�s participation in the Bush war machine at Slate . What�s next? Newly-discovered documents revealing that Mother Teresa briefly served as Hitch hero Winston Churchill �s concubine in the 1940s? From this point forward, every time one of those � wanna get away? � ads by Southwest Airlines comes on TV, I�ll think of poor old Chris. --Tom Schaller
  • TRENDS. Without...

    TRENDS. Without sucking up to the new boss too much, let me highly recommend this Harold Meyerson piece responding to Kos 's Libertarian Democrats manifesto. I recommend it despite finding it an enormously frustrating piece of work -- I have, after all, spent the last few months of blogging and my September feature story trying to say what Harold does in these three paragraphs: there are some basic Democratic principles that are not libertarian, and that even Markos� Mountain State mavericks still affirm. None of them have called for privatizing Social Security. None of them have called for abolishing Medicare. They may be civil libertarians and to some degree social libertarians, but they�re not economic libertarians. And for good reason: Economic libertarianism has never been more preposterous. For the dominant social fact in America today is this: The corporate safety net is fast disappearing. Risk has been transferred to the individual -- a decision in which individuals, as such,...
  • IF WE'VE LOST FAREED ZAKARIA ...

    IF WE'VE LOST FAREED ZAKARIA ... Some slightly belated weekend thoughts on Iraq: As Kevin Drum noted on Sunday, Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek (not to mention PostGlobal and his own TV show ) has become a bellwether for establishment views on foreign policy. And now, he no longer thinks the U.S. can do enough good to merit our commitment to Iraq. This is a big deal, because Zakaria is influential and tends to have a nose for which way the wind is blowing -- though perhaps he's a little late on this one. In other Iraq developments, speculation that the Baker - Hamilton commission (a.k.a. the Iraq Study Group) will recommend some sort of "soft partition" of Iraq along ethno-confessional lines has been front-page news here in Egypt . Since people here have a hard time imagining that America could screw up so badly, this news will be seen by many as confirmation that there was an American plot all along to divide Iraq. Baker is now saying , however, that it will be impossible to draw lines...
  • SYMPATHY FOR THE...

    SYMPATHY FOR THE SCALIA . The New York Times is running a superb multi-part series about the increasing number of legal privileges and breaks being given to religious institutions, which has generated some attention and commentary . Today's article about the tax breaks given to religious institutions -- even when they involve clearly secular functions like retirement communities -- is also a must-read. What's striking in reading the series so far is the extent to which these special privileges have nothing to do with anything that could be plausibly called "religious freedom"--it's not clear how providing basic legal protections to administrators at religious colleges, for example, threatens the core expression of religious belief. (And the story about the aspiring nun who was fired because she contracted a serious illness, in addition to illustrating the abuses of religious freedom exemptions, should also remind us that the American system of tying healthcare to employment is awful...
  • TIME FOR ANOTHER LEFT-RIGHT ALLIANCE!

    TIME FOR ANOTHER LEFT-RIGHT ALLIANCE! Following up on the questions as to whether speech suppressed through perceived intimidation truly threatens free expression everywhere, I await the uproar over revelations that Abe Foxman and other prominent Jewish leaders "convinced" the Polish Embassy to cancel Tony Judt 's talk on the Israel lobby for being "too controversial." The Embassy killed the event not on theoretical grounds, but in response to actual calls by prominent Jews, and it happened in New York, not Germany. Somehow, though, I don't foresee it generating much alarm. Thanks to reader J.A. for the tip. -- Ezra Klein
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: TACTICAL RETREAT.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: TACTICAL RETREAT. Matt 's happy to hear the news that the U.S. military may finally be getting serious about counterinsurgency doctrine. But he hopes this newfound commitment won't be taken by anybody -- not the military, not policymakers, not the public -- as the end-all and be-all of lessons learned from the Iraq debacle. --The Editors
  • XYBERNAUT.

    XYBERNAUT. To get the full scoop on the awesome tech company on whose board George Allen sat in the late nineties and whose stock options Allen repeatedly failed to disclose to Congress (according to a new AP investigation), definitely read Garance 's piece from the September print issue of the Prospect . --Sam Rosenfeld
  • GO WEST.

    GO WEST. On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran a piece by Mark Sundeen on the Democrats and their rising fortunes out West, with a focus on Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer . Good reading and, obviously, a trend which I agree is crucial to, and an indicator of, the Democrats� revival nationally. And it�s not just Schweitzer and Montana, folks: If Bill Ritter , who in recent polls has a comfortable lead in Colorado�s governor race, wins next month, the Democrats will have five governors (at least: Democrat Dina Titus has an outside shot in Nevada of making it six) in the eight Interior West states by January 2007. Six years ago, they had none. --Tom Schaller

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