The President Head Fakes on Lethal Drone Strikes and the War on Terror

Nothing in the President’s speech hasn’t been said before, and with much more force and a greater sense of commitment. His sprawling meditation on the threat of terrorism was less a grand vision for where terrorism fits into the rest of the President’s responsibilities and the nation’s challenges, and more a doubling-down on the global…

Everything Amitai Etzioni Gets Wrong about Liberals, Libertarians, and Drones

There I was, enjoying some left-over pasta and a diet Canadian Dry on my lunch break. “Time to read something,” I thought. So I browsed my favorites tab in search of something meaty to sink my teeth into–maybe a rant from Glenn Greenwald or a cool-headed rebuke from Conor Friedersdorf. That’s when my eyes were greeted by…

Fun Constitutional Facts: Gun Rights Edition

The words “regulate” and “regulated” appear three times in the Constitution’s current text. Here they are: Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes…[and] To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights…

How ACORN Stole the 2012 Election

NYRB‘s Mark Danner has a nice retrospective on the election (remember that?) that takes a view of the country both high and low. There’s a hefty dose of the What It All Means pontifications any election wrap-up inspires, if not needs; and there’s some good stuff from Danner’s experiences milling about the partisan crowds in…

Dick Morris goes after Chris Christie with egg on his face

Here’s conservative commentator Dick Morris saying something ridiculous: I’ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker. The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012…

An Emerging Staten Island Narrative

Staten Island is getting upset. Staten Island is a borough that has an uneasy relationship with the rest of New York City’s boroughs under the best of circumstances. It has felt treated like a literal and figurative dumping ground for the other boroughs’ garbage (at one point, 650 tons of garbage per day were dumped…

Presidential Debates Should be Deemed Cruel and Unusual

In the comments here James Hanley called the debates “pure political theater.” To the degree that last night’s romp was light on substance and heavy on posturing it certainly was politically theatrical. And yet to call it pure political theater would seem a disservice to those who actually do political theater—including satire, parody, and experimental…

Nassau County is Not an Obama Love-fest

I have heard it suggested, in our own backyard and countless times on Twitter, that Obama had a homefield advantage because the debate was in New York. Thus, he got softball questions. Please set conspiracy theories to rest. The debate was not just in New York. It was in Nassau County, New York. The accent so many…

The Real Generation War

…Is the one proposed by Ryan and Romney. Not, as David Brooks’ pop psychology analysis would have us believe, one between folksy emotionalism and new wave wonks. I would normally try not to waste time pointing out how silly a David Brooks column is. His bizarre brand of conservative romanticism goes one farther than even…

Paul Ryan Was Right (I’m Serious)

As much as I’d love to revel in Ryan’s tax-evasion during last night’s Vice Presidential Debate, I have to—oh it hurts!—agree with him. I’ve written in the past about why exactly I loathe Paul Ryan. And whether you think my reasons are fair, or my analysis accurate, there’s certainly no question about whether or not…

Was Jim Lehrer a Replacement Moderator?

As televised Presidential debates go, it’s pretty clear that Romney trounced Obama. If you disagree, listen to Chris Mathews and the rest of the liberal MSNBC fan club. He and the rest of the Obama groupies were fuming after the debate. Choking back tears of frustration, Mathews demolished the President’s performance with a ferocity beyond…

Sit Down and Shut Up! (Because we are many and you are not)

This piece by Rebecca Solnit serves as the best example, but there are countless others as well. In short, many self-proclaimed liberals can’t stand that (1) their guy might be just as morally dubious as the other, or that (2) their deepest partisan urges might conflict with their penchant for moralistic hand-wringing. Liberal pundits and…

A Heretic’s Pilgrimage: My Journey to the 2012 Values Voter Summit

“Who would you rather kiss, Paul Ryan or Justin Bieber?” I turn to see a group of very young women standing directly behind me, each giddy with excitement.  It is 6:30 on a Friday morning in Washington, DC, and we are standing in line inside the Omni Shoreham Hotel, waiting to be admitted to the…

Michael Lewis’ Article on the President Demonstrates by Example the Shallowness of Political Journalism

Recalling the inspiration for his profile on President Obama which appeared this week in the pages of Vanity Fair, superstar writer Michael Lewis said, “On a whim, last November, I thought what would be a fun magazine piece to do? Boy, it would be fun to go hang out with the president. So I got…

Romney the prankster, Obama the politician

You knew it would get ugly, and now it has. Romney’s character is being called into question as his past as a youthful prankster and loud-mouthed homophobe is coming to light. Recalling an incident at prep school, Romney’s old friend Matthew Friedemann describes Romney’s distaste for another student, John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay:…

Very Well, Say ‘Shibboleth’

~by M.A. Fresh off of reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent op-ed concerning the ever-shrinking GOP tent, I had the occasion to sit around for a while listening to one of the local highly-rated talk radio hosts for my area. After about 5 minutes, I decided to grab a notepad, write down the key words and phrases, and start…