Archive

  • POLITICIZING TERROR. ...

    POLITICIZING TERROR. I assume nobody will be surprised by this, but the Republican Party has apparently settled on its 2006 message: Vote Democratic, and the terrorists will win. That's always been their implicit appeal, of course, but now they're just saying it. On the other hand, why shouldn't they? Terror should be politicized, and if one party or another believes they can do the better job, they should say so. There�s nothing illegitimate about it. That means, however, that Democrats shouldn't be afraid to mention that the Bush administration is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of American troops, World Trade Center employees, Iraqi civilians, and adorable little puppies. It also wouldn't hurt to wonder if Bush isn't some sort of Manchurian plant, so dedicated has he been to ensuring that America did exactly what its enemies hoped it would. Block the U.N. from stopping Israel's self-destructive demolition of Lebanon? Why not? Who cares if it'll empower a dangerous...
  • DON'T CRY FOR MOM AND POP.

    DON'T CRY FOR MOM AND POP. The other day Jon Chait paid us a backhanded compliment , suggesting we're unduly predictable here at the Prospect . Then I see civil-rights-leader-turned-Wal-Mart-flack Andrew Young getting the sack (with Jason Zengerle 's apparent approval ) for the following off-message take on why black people shouldn't care if big box stores drive out mom and pop businesses: In the [Los Angeles] Sentinel interview, Young was asked about whether he was concerned Wal-Mart causes smaller, mom-and-pop stores to close. "Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying. "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us, selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores." Except for the fact that,...
  • REASONING MATTERS. ...

    REASONING MATTERS. Glenn Greenwald is incensed at the Washington Post 's blithe dismissal of yesterday's ruling that found Bush 's wiretapping unconstitutional, and criticizes it for lacking in scholarly complexity. And he's right, the editorial is unbearably smug and self-satisfied, as if the issue at hand is subordinate to the procedural perfection of those evaluating it. But if the Washington Post 's case is unconvincing, Publius's demolition of the ruling is much more convincing. "[F]rom a legally technical standpoint," writes Publius , "this opinion is premature, unsupported, and in violation of elementary civil procedure...This is pure naked politics dressed up as law. It is an insult to the legal system. And the Sixth Circuit is going to squash it like a bug." And that may be the real program. As Scott Lemieux writes , "[I]f this was the Supreme Court the argument would be merely normative. But since it's a District Court, the quality of the legal reasoning matters in a...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: STORM TROOPER.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: STORM TROOPER. Addie Stan reviews the new book Through the Eye of the Storm , Cholene Espinoza 's account of her time in a small Mississippi town ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. (Our own Tara McKelvey interviewed Espinoza here .) --The Editors
  • NEW DARFUR RESOLUTION.

    NEW DARFUR RESOLUTION. In late July, Kofi Annan came up with a novel, next-best option for addressing the spiraling violence in Darfur. With no member state willing to commit troops to a peacekeeping force in Darfur, Annan proposed that the United Nations appropriate resources, such as communications and logistical assistance, and material items, like APCs and aircraft, to the African Union, which has 7,000 troops stationed in Darfur. In a letter to the Security Council on August 10, he urged that the Council to consider his recommendations. Eight days later, it seems that at least two member states have heeded his call. A couple of hours ago, I obtained a copy of a new U.S.-U.K. draft resolution on Darfur that explicitly endorses Annan's plan for a hybridization of A.U. and available U.N. resources. As envisioned in the draft resolution, this would serve as a stop-gap measure (commencing October 1) and continue until the African Union force has fully transitioned into a 17,300-strong...
  • WHERE ARE THE...

    WHERE ARE THE UNIONS? One more thing on the health care question: Nathan Newman accuses me of thinking that all the unions, "fair-share" advocates, consumer groups, and those fighting for expansion of the employer-based system are "dumb." What I actually said is that some unions have short-term goals which may conflict with longer-term goals, but that�s beside the point. What I would suggest is that Newman checks out whether all the unions really are standing lockstep behind him lately. Here, for instance, is Andy Stern , head of SEIU, the nation's largest union, admitting that it's time to nail up the coffin of the employer-based care system: The truth is, we are way past incremental change. It is not going to work. As the Institute of Medicine says and I think it applies here, your trying harder will not work; it is changing systems of care. Well, I think the same thing is true about our health care system. It is not just trying harder. It is not just making incremental changes. It...
  • I HATE WORKERS....

    I HATE WORKERS. Nathan Newman , with typical subtlety and nuance, accuses me of "attacking the Chicago Retail Workers bill as a danger since it might actually improve the lives of Wal-Mart workers." What can I say? Nathan's got me. I'm a mean-spirited cur implacably opposed to any program that makes a worker's life slightly less miserable and any policy that leaves a cashier less likely to collapse into tears in the morning -- that's what I live to forestall. Also: Vote Bush ! Back in reality, what I actually said was "Chicago's law was basically useless for the unions (and possibly counterproductive)." For those who don't know, the Chicago city council passed legislation forcing big box retailers to pay a living wage. This, of course, will make organizing in Chicago a great deal trickier. The likeliest outcome is that Wal-Mart will either open up into the suburbs or, if that gets closed off by legislation, forsake Chicago entirely in order to warn other city councils not to try the...
  • CHANGING THE SUBJECT.

    CHANGING THE SUBJECT. Mercifully, TNR 's third editorial hinting we should start a war with Iran but not quite saying so spares us the "ruthless" or "ruthlessly serious" talk. Instead: At this moment, therefore, it is important to remember that Iran is not only Israel's problem. It is also America's problem. Indeed, it is the West's problem. There is no figure in the world right now--not Osama bin Laden, not Nasrallah, not Ayman Al Zawahiri, not the Sunni insurgency or the Shia death squads in Iraq, not the cells, Al Qaeda or otherwise, in any European or American city--that represents the Islamist danger more perfectly, with greater ideological and physical force, than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But how so? I think there are a number of serious analytical errors here. But before even getting dragged into the details of this, it's simply worth identifying and noting an alarming trend -- an effort through the use of various rhetorical devices to redefine the main strategic goal of the United...
  • ALWAYS MORE SHOES TO DROP.

    ALWAYS MORE SHOES TO DROP. Most of what's gone wrong in Iraq was fairly widely predicted by invasion-skeptics before the event. Still, the doubters have hardly been clairvoyant. One of the most widespread predictions -- that Kurdish separatists would get embroiled in fighting with Turkey -- has really been the dog that didn't bark for years now. But this sounds like a bark to me: "Turkey and Iran have dispatched tanks, artillery and thousands of troops to their frontiers with Iraq during the past few weeks in what appears to be a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of Kurdish rebel bases." Meanwhile, lurking at the end of this rundown of sectarian and insurgent violence we see that, once again, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to hint that we should leave Iraq, saying his government's forces "would be able to fill the vacuum if multinational forces withdrew." --Matthew Yglesias
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: MY SUMMER READING JOURNAL.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: MY SUMMER READING JOURNAL. The president reads Camus and describes his existential journey to writer Julian Sanchez in a series of fascinating diary entries. This is a side of George W. Bush that few have seen before. --The Editors

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