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October 23, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

October 23, 2006

Cover: Cover art by Robert Grossman, cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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Alexander Cockburn excoriates electorally challenged Democrats, Marc Cooper measures the impact of the Minutemen, Stuart Klawans reviews Scorsese's The Departed.

Letters

Everyone has an opinion about what they eat, and our first Special Food
Issue
[Sept. 11] received much mail.

Editorials

Let us follow the example set by the judges and prosecutors who pursued
justice in the Nuremberg Trials to lead America back to a reverence for
the rule of law and the common good.

Bob Woodward is late to the party: His new book, State of Denial,
catches up to the story of the Iraq debacle that other journalists have
been reporting for years.

Famine is at its worst when people waste away and die. But there is
another kind of famine: the death of the human soul--the emptiness and
senseless cynicism in this country that has taken up residence in our
hearts.

What's more important to Congress: America's standing in the world and
the rule of law, or partisan advantage in the midterm elections?

HAM-HANDED SMITHFIELD

Philip Roth and Joan Didion have each written compellingly about death,
but their insights about dying and mourning signify a retreat from the
world rather than an embrace of the forces by which we all live and die.

America needs a new Congress--the question is, Will Americans hold the
GOP to account for their corruption, ineptitude and irresponsibility?

Columns

TruthDig

Instead of pursuing real diplomacy with North Korea, the Bush Administration chose a my-way-or-the-highway approach. Rather than face up to the mess they made, it's easier to blame Bill Clinton.

Music

It shows how hapless and shallow Democrats are that they show so little electoral joy in a principled challenge to GOP rule. Instead we get tactical theatrics about whatever comes down the pike: gas prices or Foley.

America can't talk about the legalization of torture or about Iraq, where soldiers are raping girls and shooting families at close range. It stands to reason they are now obsessed by a Congressional sex scandal.

Bush and his boys will be singing this little ditty all the way to the
voting booth.

Articles

American Jews are liberals and support Democrats. Why, then, do Jewish
organizations, supported by contributions of liberal Jews, strategize
with Republicans on how to smear these same Democrats?

If President Bush and the Republican Congress would close the loopholes on tax
cheats--especially the superrich--there would be ample money to improve
the nation's public schools.

As the world reacts to news of North Korea's underground nuclear test, a crucial anniversary is observed: Twenty years ago at the Reykjavik Summit, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev outlined a vision for a non-nuclear world. What went wrong? In this Nation forum, four experts from the nonproliferation movement discuss how to put disarmament back on the world's agenda.

As the fight against the Administration's policies on torture and the terror detainees shifts to the Supreme Court, there is reason to be confident that the Justices will again rein in Bush's power grab.

If current trends hold, Democratic governors will soon be popping up all
over the country, and with them comes a greater opportunity to challenge
the Bush Administration.

As Senator George Allen's faux-populist campaign devolves into a series of racial embarrassments, Virginia Democrat Jim Webb's unlikely campaign is surging, thanks in large part to Webb's unblemished record of opposing the Iraq War.

As election day approaches, don't expect a reasoned discussion of
economic policy between the two parties. A barrage of
quips and one-liners have taken the place of detail and fact in
political debate.

At a time when the federal government has failed to do its job, state
attorneys general are asserting their authority to protect the public
interest.

As Democratic Congressional candidates in Arizona embrace comprehensive immigration reform, conservative Republicans are no longer winning on their "militarize the border" message.

Books & the Arts

Film

Martin Scorsese is one of those great artists who not only expresses
emotion through film but also invents it. With The Departed,
he proves why he's one of the best.

Book

An intellectual biography of Richard Hofstadter rides a wave of nostalgia for this artful historian and liberal icon of the 1950s and '60s.

Book

A review of Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold and two
books on I.F. Stone shows how media politics have changed since the cold war. Now it's all about repeating the same few things until they seem inevitable, even if--especially if--they're not true.

3rd Party Article

Protesters gather in DC to promote Iraq withdrawal.

Hundreds protest as Gallaudet's hiring controversy escalates.

Onion

The President urged Congress Tuesday to pass an appropriations bill that would enable expanded drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's animals.

The President narrowly missed his Air Force One flight to Boise after arriving just moments after the plane's doors had closed.