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The President's Fantasy Cabinet

Flickr/The White House
Flickr/The White House As the president’s second term gets underway, experts and activists look back and weigh in on who Obama should have chosen to serve, if partisan politics (and reality) were no object. Secretary of State John Kerry would be a safe bet and a solid Secretary of State. But I’m not sure if a safe, solid Secretary of State—or a solid Secretary of Defense—is precisely what America needs now. That Kerry turned against the Iraq war and revised his views on the use of force is a credit to him. President Obama has clearly decided that he wishes to pursue a prudent, status quo-oriented foreign policy. But as the Middle East threatens to implode and with America’s moral leadership increasingly in doubt, a better choice would be someone at least slightly outside the Washington consensus—someone who saw foreign policy as a way to fashion new opportunities rather than manage the same set of threats. Though the Obama administration may not agree , the Arab Spring is on par with...

Our Most-Trafficked Pieces in 2012

My So-Called Ex-Gay Life A deep look at the fringe movement that just lost its only shred of scientific support Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make, and Why They're Wrong A guide to the debate we'll be having, or at least we ought to have The Coming Obama Landslide How Paul Ryan makes a big win much more likely for the current president Romney Wins ... And It Won't Matter The former Massachusetts governor won the first presidential debate. Too bad it won't change the campaign. Pressing on the Upward Way A profile of life in one of the country's poorest counties Game, Set, Obama The president did exactly what he needed to in tonight's debate: He used Romney against Romney. The Emptiest Candidate in Presidential Election History Mitt Romney truly believes in nothing. Say Hello to President Romney The unlikely scenario in which the former Massachusetts governor wins the White House. The Truth about Welfare Mitt Romney's latest ad perpetuates on several myths about cash assistance for the...

A History of Violence

In the wake of Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the latest in a year filled with massacres occuring at distressingly regular intervals, President Barack Obama called for "meaningful action" and said in a vigil in the small, quiet town on Sunday, "Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? ... if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change." We here at the Prospect have thought that things have needed to change with American gun policy for years, and have many suggestions for how Congress and the White House should move forward on this issue. Here's our best coverage on guns and gun policy: A Tragedy Made in the USA , Steve Erickson Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make, and Why They're Wrong , Paul Waldman How Should We Approach Gun Control? , Jamelle Bouie Yes, We Should Keep Talking about Our Gun Laws ,...

Afghanistan Sketches

Victor Juhasz
*/ I n July 2011, equipped with his sketching tools, a camera, borrowed Kevlar, and Dragon Skin body armor, illustrator Victor Juhasz arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to embed for three weeks with Major Shane Mendenhall and his medevac unit, the 1-52nd Arctic Dustoff out of Fairbanks, Alaska, as well as members of Alpha Company 7-101 from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Juhasz had participated in the United States Air Force Art Program for several years, documenting in drawings various Air Force operations on bases around the U.S. and overseas. This independent trip, with extended time in a war zone, would give him a chance to do more. “Rendering planes in the sky or on the ground had not been what drew me to the program,” Juhasz writes. “I was looking to draw real people who happen to be warriors; to witness and create images both on the spot and back in the studio telling their stories.” Presented here is a sampling of his work and observations from his trip. Slideshow Afghanistan Sketches

A Strategic Plan for Liberals

I n August of 1971, corporate attorney Lewis Powell—two months shy of his appointment to the United States Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon—wrote a memo to Eugene Sydnor Jr., who chaired the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In Powell’s and the chamber’s view, the American free-enterprise system, and conservatism more generally, was losing the battle of ideas and policy to an ascendant liberalism. “No thoughtful person,” Powell wrote, “can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.” Forty-one years later, Powell’s memo can seem more than a little paranoid. Such marginal figures as William Kunstler and Herbert Marcuse loomed large on Powell’s list of threats to the American system. But Powell was correct that conservatism had been marginalized for decades by New Deal liberalism. American social scientists, he noted, were largely liberal; environmental regulations were encroaching on corporate behavior (indeed, Nixon had established the...