Reihan Salam, responding to this Bruce Bartlett interview over at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, writes:
Kenneth Feinberg specializes in tragedy.
In the wake of 9/11, the attorney general asked him to manage the Victim Compensation Fund set up by Congress. He chose who would get compensated, and how much money they would get. His firm did all the work pro bono. Feinberg did not bill anyone.
That alone was a remarkable service. He did so well, in fact, that after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, he was called in again. Read More
It should embarrass Republicans to be debating whether to tell voters why they should be elected this fall.
Rep. Pete Sessions, who leads the GOP's House campaign arm, has been running away from questions about the GOP agenda like a man chased by angry bees. Senate campaign boss John Cornyn, who's known for his ability to speak off the cuff, sounds like he's been stunned by a sharp blow to the head. Read More
Marshall McLuhan said something in a seminar during my graduate school days years ago at the University of Dallas that made a lasting impression on me.
"Media is like cancer, which is just a speeding up of cell reproduction," he said to explain why the pace of news must increase as more people have greater access to expanded knowledge and information. Read More
Cognitive dissonance has struck the political classes concerning President Obama, who was hailed 18 months ago as the new President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but now looks like somebody else. To Jonathan Alter, he's still FDR, only better: being two for two (or four for four) on his major initiatives. Read More
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Tuesday on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan. In a panel made up of 12 Democrats and seven Republicans (the most lopsided party ratio of any Senate committee), the outcome is not in doubt. But a serious question remains: How can any senator reconcile an "aye" vote with Kagan's troubling actions in the Clinton White House on partial-birth abortion? Read More
Last week, federal jurors in Brooklyn heard tapes from an undercover informant in what one prosecutor called one of "the most chilling plots imaginable," a 2007 Islamist plan to detonate underground fuel tanks at JFK International Airport.
On the tapes, defendant Russell Defreitas promised "high-tech," "ninja-style" tactics that included releasing rats in the main terminal to distract security. "We got to come up with supernatural things," he told the informant. Read More
What will it take to get Hillary Clinton into a 2012 run?
The answer can be found in the top item on the secretary of state's itinerary this week: Afghanistan.
She is spending a few days in Afghanistan to get a sense of the mounting problems for the U.S. mission there.
And according to some longtime Clinton backers, including one veteran of the Clinton Democratic National Committee, the Afghan war is the catalyst that could start Clinton toward a 2012 run. Read More
Aug. 29, 2005. It was the worst of times.
At 6:10 a.m., Katrina made landfall near Buras-Triumph, La., winds howling at 125 miles an hour. Within hours, it destroyed or degraded most of infrastructure in a 90,000-square-mile area and disrupted the lives of millions. Read More
Over the last eight years, most Democratic politicians have made a distinction between the Good War (Afghanistan) and the Bad War (Iraq).
That very much includes Barack Obama. As an Illinois state senator, he spoke out against military action in Iraq in 2002, and as a U.S. senator at a September 2007 hearing, he offered a blisteringly negative assessment of Iraq so lengthy that it left no time for Gen. David Petraeus to reply. Read More