Quantcast

Articles | The Nation

News and Features

On the day the Bush Administration renewed its commitment to preemptive war--and conveniently launched the largest air strikes in Iraq since March 2003--a conference of security experts assembled at the Center for America Progress to examine just how that preemptive test case is going.

The verdict?

Not so hot. And conditions on the ground threaten to move from bad to worse.

When Delphi declared bankruptcy, cutting workers' wages, pensions and
healthcare, auto unions in Indiana drew the line. Now they are prepared to
strike or take work-to-rule actions.

Montana is setting the stage for other states in its push to improve
legal representation for the poor and to address the lack of competent
public attorneys.

After twenty years of inaction, the US Senate is considering sweeping
immigration reform. But a push for quick action and the November
elections may thwart the current bipartisan consensus.

Alan Lightman makes scientists into artists in his new book The
Discoveries
, promoting original journal articles as "the great
novels and symphonies of science."

In Death in the Haymarket James Green uses the story of the
Haymarket riot to expose the hopes and fears of nineteenth-century America,
a
nation living on the knife-edge of social catastrophe.

Rachel Carson, Betty Friedan and Jane Jacobs opened vast new
possibilities for social transformation by writing about widespread
attacks on nature, women and the poor.

The editors at the New York Times belatedly decided that SenatorRuss Feingold's censure resolution is front-page news after all. Onlytheir storytoday has a cute twist: Censure is actually good news for the Republicans. The very notion that Bush should be called to account inflames the right-wingers and this will get the "conservative base" tovote in the Fall.

That is the logic being peddled by the White House, Republican NationalCommittee, right-wing frothers and other authoritative sources.

The Times swallowed whole, without chewing. Play it out. IfBush got impeached, bingo for the GOP. If indicted by a renegadeprosecutor, even better. If he is subpoened by a Spanish magistrateinvestigating "crimes against humanity," well, you couldn't top that.Meanwhile, the Warrior President is sinking of his own soggy substance.

With Bush's popularity dropping and Iraq in chaos, Democrats must provide clear leadership without making themselves targets of political assassination by the right. How can they do that when the master story in the media depicts a party in disarray?

OK, kids: With conservatives on the hunt for dangerous left-wing academics, take this SAT (Save America from Treachery) test. See if you can tell the difference between a terrorist and a truth-teller. First prize: A three-day getaway in Baghdad. Fail and go to jail.

In a 1990 cover story for The Nation, Contributing Editor Kai Bird called Jimmy Carter "the very model of an ex-president." He described his work on human rights, education, preventive health care, and conflict resolution as a "return to the populist warpath, telling people what he perceives to be the hard truths on the larger issues."

Bird noted that his take on Carter wasn't altogether too common: "…he was never a liberal as defined by the party's traditional liberal constituency groups."

Yet more than 25 years later, Carter has become the moral standard-bearer for the progressive Democratic flank. As Patrick Doherty's recent Tompaine.com blog "

The failure of a complaisant, Republican-controlled Congress to enact
meaningful changes to the Patriot Act means that midterm elections are
the only true path to reform.

The case of an architect who lost lucrative contracts because of his
interest in the Palestinian cause underscores how Americans are
becoming inured to enforced patriotism and ideological litmus tests.

My Name Is Rachel Corrie was a big hit in London, but the New
York Theatre Workshop backed off from producing the play. Why is it so
hard for Americans to have a healthy debate about Palestinian human
rights?

The Republican National Committee has made a remarkable discovery. U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long been thought to be an outsider in the Senate Democratic Caucus, is not a maverick at all.

It turns out that Feingold is a "Democratic leader" who, according to RNC researchers, is pretty much setting the party's agenda.

In one of a series of talking-points memos distributed from the Republican headquarters in Washington since Feingold proposed on Monday that the president should be censured, the senator's photo appears next to a bold headline that declares: "THE DEBATE IS OVER: DEMS FIND THEIR AGENDA." A subhead reads: "Dem Leaders 'Ecstatically' Embrace Sen. Feingold's Plan To Weaken The Tools To Fight The War On Terror."

Want another way, other than Bush's rock-bottom poll numbers, to measure the depth of the Republican crisis?

Take a look at what happened late Wednesday night out here in California. Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's centerpiece proposal for re-election went down in smoking flames -- mostly because of Republican opposition.

During his January State of the State address, Arnold had proposed an FDR-scale $222 billion plan for the rebuilding of California's infrastructure. The ambitious and popular plan, the most massive in state history, which would have built new roads, levees, schools, bike and foot paths, parks and rail lines was a shrewd political move to the center by a governor whose previous set of conservative "reform" proposals were shredded last fall in a special election.

John Bolton's grandstanding vote today opposing the establishment of a UN Human Rights Council might please hard-core isolationists. But no one else.

Major League Baseball owners may gripe, but the World Baseball Classic
provides a glimpse of an alternative future for our national pastime.

The patient reader can find much to entertain and enlighten in theNew York Times, if one searches diligently. I came acrossthis pearl today, entitled "Editors' Note."

"The cover photograph in The Times Magazine on Sunday renderedcolors incorrectly for the jacket, shirt and tie worn by Mark Warner,the former Virginia governor who is a possible candidate for thepresidency. The jacket was charcoal, not maroon; the shirt was lightblue, not pink; the tie was dark blue with stripes, not maroon."

The editors blamed this on the film. "The change escaped noticebecause of a misunderstanding by the editors." I wanted to read more.Did editors disagree on whether pink is blue? Or did Governor Warnerlook more presidential in a maroon jacket? The Times did notelaborate.

As the House considers two bills to regulate political speech on the Internet, the liberal Daily Kos and conservative Red State blogs are bedfellows, supporting a flawed GOP-sponsored bill that opens the door for soft money to buy political ads online.

As Bush continues to insist the US is bringing peace and freedom to
Iraq, his latest plan to quell the insurgency spends billions more to
stem the use of improvised explosive devices.