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News Features
Monday, Sept. 13, 2010

President Obama needs to fight back against Republican policies

Among the very puzzling aspects of the midterm election—and the Democratic debacle that appears to be looming in November—is why voters would return the opposition to power only two years after the multiple disasters of the Bush administration. They know that the years of Republican dominance in Washington led to an extremely expensive war that was launched on false pretenses; enormous deficits...
News Features
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010
Despite the kaleidoscopic proliferation of political media over the past decade, most of what Americans hear and read about the workings of our democracy can be politely termed superficial. Only very rarely does journalism fully penetrate the glittering illusions created by partisans on every side to reveal the...
News Features
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010

The Cordoba House controversy requires moral leadership

Nothing tests a president like standing up against a wave of fear and prejudice, even at potentially great cost to his own party and prospects. That is what Lyndon Baines Johnson did when he signed the civil rights acts he knew would forfeit the South to the Republicans for a generation or more. And that is what Barack Obama...
News Features
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010

Conservatives refuse to denounce their followers’ racism

Among the most revealing aspects of life during the Obama presidency is the panoply of responses to a black family in the White House. What made so many of us proud of our country on Jan. 20, 2009, has increasingly provoked expressions of hatred from the far right. That is troubling, but not nearly as troubling...
News Features
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Republicans want to deny Muslims their right to religious freedom

No recent controversy has so plainly revealed the hollow values of the American right than the effort to prevent the construction of a community center in Lower Manhattan because it will include a mosque. Arguments in opposition range from a professed concern for the sensitivities of the Sept. 11 victims...
News Features
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

WikiLeaks revelations should spur debate and decisions on Afghanistan

The outpouring of tens of thousands of classified military documents by WikiLeaks is not precisely comparable to the publication of the Pentagon Papers—but in at least one crucial respect, it may be more valuable. While the Pentagon Papers revealed the duplicity of American policy-makers in the senseless Vietnam War, their release came too late to save many lives or change the course of that...
News Features
Monday, July 26, 2010

Billions spent on an uncontrollable national security state

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War—when mutual nuclear annihilation was a policy option—a culture of secrecy arose in Washington. What wise observers understood even then was that while governments tried to keep secrets from each other, their chief concern was to keep secrets from their own people. Considering what had been done in the name of the United States, from Mafia assassination...
News Features
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Republicans are disconnected from reality

The headline for the latest poll says that public confidence in President Obama has sunk to a new low, with a majority of Americans saying they don't trust him to make the best policy choices, especially on the ailing economy. These same voters, surveyed by The Washington Post and ABC News, are even more disdainful of Congress, split almost evenly between Democrats and Republicans...
News Features
Monday, July 12, 2010

Cutting spending is bad economics and risks a longer recession

So often are the certitudes and pronouncements of the chattering class simply mistaken that they must always be treated with deep skepticism. That is especially true when anything important is at stake—from the arguments for invading Iraq several years ago to today's economic stagnation...
News Features
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Green New Deal could help economies and the environment

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania—What would the wealthy nations of the West (and their rising rivals in the East) do if they actually wanted to prevent catastrophic warming? Here in Africa, the obvious answer is that they would find the ways and means to discourage deforestation—the ruinous practice of clear-cutting for timber, charcoal and arable land that accounts for...

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