Progressives think they are really good at fighting wars. That is the problem. A core progressive belief is that international structures of management and arbitration would check and eventually end aggression between nations. As James Srodes notes in "On Dupont Circle," a book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their cadre of young reformers, they had unshakable "faith in the powers of experts to solve political issues." And, of course, they saw themselves as the experts. When conflict came, New Deal progressives ran the war effort with authoritarian zeal.
John Humphrys tried to get at Farage´s jugular on the Today Programme this morning, but Farage just laughed off the attacks--and ended up the hands-down winner. Humphrys accused him of being odd--as David Cameron has called some of Farage´s supporters--and Farage dealt with it calmly and jokily. His answer was spot on: no, it isn´t odd to be worried about Europe--and the polls back him up. More and more, Farage is looking the normal one among a sea of politicians who don´t--and can´t--behave like normal people. It isn´t always their fault--they have to toe a party line, which they may
If a president’s key appointments show the direction of his thinking, then Barack Obama’s latest nomination sends an important message. Chuck Hagel, an opponent of going to war with Iran and a critic of Israeli influence in Washington, has emerged as Obama’s choice for defence secretary. First things first: the president decides US policy, not the man who runs the Pentagon, whoever he might be. Moreover, Hagel’s appointment is likely to encounter significant opposition in the Senate; his confirmation is far from certain. But the fact that Obama has made this choice could be an early sign
Key Jewish and gay groups aren´t ecstatic about President Obama´s decision to nominate Chuck Hagel on Monday to lead the Pentagon, but leaders representing both communities are signaling that they won´t wage war against the pick. While there is reluctance from groups and individuals generally supportive of Obama, critics from the Jewish and gay communities aren´t going on the record with outright opposition to the choice of the former Nebraska senator. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said in a Monday statement that Hagel "would not have been my first choice" but that it´s the "president´s prerogative"
In a major boost for Chuck Hagel, the Anti-Defamation League announced Monday that it will not oppose him for the position of defense secretary. “Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the president’s prerogative,” Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the ADL, said. “I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S.[-]Israel strategic cooperation.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- An oil tanker collided with a tower of the Bay Bridge Monday morning but is not leaking oil into the water, authorities said. The tanker swiped the westernmost tower of the bridge´s western span at 11:37 a.m., said Mindy Talmadge, a San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman. A San Francisco fireboat was dispatched to the scene, but crews did immediately not spot any oil in the water, Talmadge said. There was damage reported on the starboard side of the ship as well as the base of the bridge tower, she said.
The Huffington Post reports that Politico has fired several employees: Since its 2007 debut, Politico has expanded its newsroom quickly while some legacy media outlets, like the Washington Post, have scaled back. But Politico isn´t immune from having to restructure in the face of industry demands, and in recent days, it has laid off some staffers. “So, now I´m self-employed,” photographer Jay Westcott tweeted Saturday. “Just got laid off by Politico.” Jess Kamen, a technology reporter for Politico and Politico Pro, was also laid off, according to newsroom sources.
Executive Producer Erik Jendresen of National Geographic Channel´s upcoming television movie “Killing Lincoln,” said John Wilkes Booth “could be the poster child for the Tea Party.” “This is not the act of somebody who can easily be dismissed as a psychopath, so that it’s easy to understand, ‘Oh well, he was crazy,’” Jendresen said of Booth at a Television Critics Association winter press tour event on Friday in Pasadena, Calif., as initially reported by The Wrap. “No. It´s more disturbing to find out who Booth was," said Jendresen.
Fracking gets natural gas out of the ground, but it isn’t bringing people into movie theaters. Big stars and political controversy didn’t translate into a significant box-office haul as “Promised Land,” a new movie exploring environmental concerns about the gas-production method known more formally as "hydraulic fracturing," fared poorly in its nationwide opening. The film, which Matt Damon co-wrote and stars in, took just 10th place at the weekend box office, with $4.3 million in ticket sales, according to The Los Angeles Times. The top weekend spot, with $23 million, went to the slasher flick “Texas Chainsaw 3D.”
In his Wall Street Journal interview with John Boehner, writer Steve Moore didn’t bury the lede: What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’” On the face of it, such a statement is completely ridiculous — and a bit scary. Just have a look at the alternative fiscal scenario from the Congressional Budget Office. In it, the CBO assumes
The joint editor of the Climate News Network is warning that in as little as two centuries global warming will lead to “mass extinction,” which may be good news for residents of “The Shire.” “Hobbit-sized humans, able to exist on less nourishing food, will have the best chance of survival in a warmer world, scientists say,” said Paul Brown, a journalist and author, in an article entitled, “Mass extinction forecast with 6C temperature rise,” published on Jan. 7. Brown bases his claim on findings by the “Bighorn Basin Coring Project,” a group of scientists
That seductive presidential siren is once again singing to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has launched his reelection campaign with a massive war chest and some of the fattest approval ratings of any politician—let alone Republican politician—in America. A recent national poll of registered voters gave him a 55 percent favorable rating, the highest of any of the potential 2016 Republican contenders; in New Jersey, his job approval soared to 72 percent, the most stratospheric score ever recorded by a Garden State governor. This, in a blue state where President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 17 points,
The Democrats are playing a strategic game to recover the House in 2014. They are playing to win, and they are playing well. They are keeping the Republicans constantly on defense, not allowing them to frame the issues in ways which are clearly understandable to the American people and that show that Republicans are acting in the best interest of the American people.
(updated below - Update II) Prior to President Obama´s first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush´s programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters
Dear CRM 495 Students: Welcome back! It´s hard to believe that Christmas break is over and that it´s time to start a new semester. (Snip) After I got tenure, I left the political Left and became a conservative Republican. I know you´ve never had a conservative professor before and you are probably wondering what to expect. In a nutshell, you can expect to hear the truth about a number of things for the very first time in your college career. And that means you can probably expect to be offended from time to time.
The National Jewish Democratic Council said it was confident Chuck Hagel would follow what it called President Obama’s “unprecedented” pro-Israel record. The statement Monday morning came before Obama’s formal announcement expected later Monday nominating Hagel, a former Republican senator, for defense secretary. “President Barack Obama’s unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the president,” said the statement, which was not attached to the name of an NJDC official. “While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support
It would seem, at this point, that former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson probably has a vacation home in Pyongyang. He’s visited Stalinist North Korea more than a half a dozen times, and has often boasted of his close relationship with “the North Koreans.” (Presumably, he means “the North Korean regime,” as it’s highly doubtful that the portly former New Mexico governor has had many dealings with the starving, oppressed North Korean people.) So it’s not altogether surprising that Richardson arrived, once again, in Pyongyang last night, openly defying the wishes of the State Department, who declared
Bank of America agreed on Monday to pay more than $10 billion to Fannie Mae to settle claims over troubled mortgages that soured during the housing crash, mostly loans issued by the bank’s Countrywide Financial subsidiary. Separately, federal regulators reached an $8.5 billion settlement on Monday to resolve claims of foreclosure abuses that included flawed paperwork used in foreclosures and bungled loan modifications by 10 major lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citibank. About $3.3 billion of that settlement amount will go toward Americans who went through foreclosure in 2009 and 2010, while $5.2 billion will
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) was elected by Republicans on the Senate Committee on Armed Services to serve as the new ranking member. The seat became open following Sen. John McCain’s (R., Ariz.) term limit. Inhofe accepted the role offering his top five priorities: 1. Missile Defense and Nuclear Modernization: Ensure our nuclear programs are on track for modernization and that our missile defenses are adequate to secure the nation and our allies. 2. Acquisition Reform: Define program risks upfront and balance R&D and procurement funding; ensure accountability for programs; pursue contracting reforms,
I’m not anti-Hagel, I’m anti-anti-anti-Hagel!Slate‘s Fred Kaplan, defending Chuck Hagel, writes: More disturbing to some conservatives, he opposed President Bush’s 2007 troop surge in Iraq. The surge and its accompanying shift in strategy did help significantly tamp down the violence in Iraq and allowed, five years later, for a dignified U.S. exit. In that sense, it “worked.” But it only bought time for the Iraqi political factions to settle their differences.
Good Morning America´s Martha Raddatz on Monday seemed perplexed as to why conservatives would oppose Chuck Hagel´s nomination for Secretary of Defense. According to the journalist, one might think the former Republican senator is the "perfect choice," a man who "dared [to] speak out" against George W. Bush´s troop surge in Iraq. Raddatz mentioned concern about Hagel´s stance toward Israel, but didn´t explain what his "controversial" votes were. Instead, she blurbed, "You might think that a Republican Vietnam veteran, former senator with all kinds of foreign policy experience would be the perfect choice to ease the
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough is unhappy with the “mainstream” media for giving Senate Democrats a “free ride” on never proposing their own budget. After declaring for the rest of his show’s hosts that what Washington has is a “spending problem,” Scarborough took exception to Mika Brzezinski saying “we’ve got to get the two parties to seriously talk about spending,” saying: You say to get the two parties to talk about it, let’s look at what’s happened. Paul Ryan put a budget out. What did we hear about Paul Ryan’s budget after he put it out
Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending. . . . The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes. This sets up tax reform as one of the biggest fights of the 113th Congress, which began on Thursday. Headline repaired and split by staff
If media reports are true, Barack Obama will soon nominate Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. If so, it may prove the most consequential foreign-policy appointment of his presidency. Because the struggle over Hagel is a struggle over whether Obama can change the terms of foreign-policy debate. Understanding what that means requires understanding the state of foreign-policy discourse in the two parties today.(Snip) At the heart of the opposition to Hagel is the fear that he will do what Republicans have thus far largely prevented: bring America’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan into the Iran debate.
Buried at the bottom of a New York Times piece might be the real reason to explain why New York´s Journal News did something as sensationally stupid as publishing the names and addresses of over 30,000 legal gun owners living in two New York counties. In just five years, the Journal News´ Monday through Friday circulation rate has plummeted almost 40%, "from 111,536 in September 2007 to 68,850 in September 2012." What the paper did with respect to law-abiding gun owners might have been morally wrong, and it most certainly created a ripple of