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In the end, after months of waffling, I violated my principles and went to the Million Mom March for gun control--make that "common-sense gun control." I've never liked maternalist politics: It r

"There are more than a million writers in the United States and they write more than 500,000 books each year, 90% of which never see publication.

In a presidential election year, few issues inspire more citizen anguish and less political substance than public education. This year is no exception.

When, in 1980, George Will was discovered to be coaching Ronald Reagan on debating tactics one minute and pronouncing him a "thoroughbred performer" the next, journalists professed to be shocked

How can we respond most effectively to right-wing assaults on the premises of public education?

Amy Wilkins: The way that you deal with th

Ask a supporter of charter schools whether that vogue new concept holds promise for inner-city children.

Cammillia Mays is an African-American single parent who, like millions of parents across the country, faced a difficult decision when her daughter turned 4 years old.

With education among the electorate's top priorities, the phrase "higher standards" has become ubiquitous in political campaigns across the country.

Remember when Hillary Clinton dared suggest that a vast right-wing
conspiracy was behind the campaign to destroy her husband's presidency?
Well, the troubles besetting the nomination of Theodore B. Olson as US
solicitor general provide stunning evidence of what she had in mind.

Olson's confirmation hearing was abruptly suspended last week by
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) after a report
in the Washington Post raised questions about Olson's truthfulness under
oath about his relationship to right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon
Scaife and the $2.3-million, anti-Clinton Arkansas Project of Scaife's
American Spectator magazine. Olson served as the magazine's lawyer and on
its board of directors, but when questioned by Democratic members of the
committee as to his connection with the infamous Arkansas Project, Olson
stated: "It has been alleged that I was somehow involved in that
so-called project. I was not involved in the project in its origin or its
management."

That statement was subsequently contradicted in testimony before the
Judiciary Committee by David Brock, the writer responsible for the key
American Spectator articles attacking the Clintons. Brock stated that he
was present at "brainstorming" sessions on the Arkansas Project with
Olson at the home of American Spectator Chairman R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
Brock connected Olson with the Spectator's strangest article linking
Clinton to the suicide of his close friend and aide, Vincent Foster.
According to the Post, Brock said Olson told him that "while he didn't
place any stock in the piece, it was worth publishing because the role of
the Spectator was to write Clinton scandal stories in hopes of 'shaking
scandals loose."'

That is not the sort of judicious, nonpartisan stance that one would
hope for from a nominee to the position of solicitor general, often
called the "tenth member of the Supreme Court," who represents the US
government before the Court.

Since judicial objectivity is key to the performance of this
all-important job, it was irresponsible of President Bush to nominate
Olson, a key leader of the right wing's nonstop attacks on Clinton. Olson
not only was deeply connected with Scaife and the American Spectator but
he also represented David Hale, the key witness against Clinton in the
Whitewater case, and advised Paula Jones. His partisanship was amply
manifested when he represented Bush before the US Supreme Court to halt
the recount of Florida ballots.

But the issues now being raised against Olson's nomination go beyond
partisanship and deal with the honesty of his testimony under oath before
the Judiciary Committee. In addition to the testimony of ex-Spectator
writer Brock, the Washington Post reported that Olson and a fellow law
partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher prepared some of the anonymous
anti-Clinton material that was published in the Spectator.

The Post reported last Friday that American Spectator documents show
that Olson's law firm was paid more than $14,000 for work on the Arkansas
Project. Part of this money was to pay for a hit piece on the Clintons
that Olson purportedly wrote under a pseudonym, cataloging all the
possible laws that the Clintons might have violated if the
unsubstantiated charges hurled at them by their right-wing critics proved
true.

After the Post ran its story last week, Hatch conceded "there are
legitimate issues" justifying his decision to defer action on Olson's
nomination pending further investigation. One issue concerns Olson's
testimony at an April 5 hearing of the Judiciary Committee as to how he
came to represent Hale, a key source for the Spectator. Olson said he
couldn't remember how the contact was made and never mentioned David W.
Henderson, the Arkansas Project director. But Henderson last week told
the Post he was the person who introduced Hale to Olson.

Even if one assumes that Olson has a conveniently poor memory on key
matters relating to his involvement with the American Spectator and its
Arkansas Project, his behavior hardly suggests the stellar qualities
required of the chief representative of the US people before the
highest judicial body. Nor is this the first time Olson's credibility in
testimony before Congress was questioned. The Post article noted that, in
1986, Independent Counsel Alexia Morrison was appointed to investigate
whether Olson had provided misleading testimony to a congressional
committee when he worked at the Justice Department in 1983. Morrison
concluded that Olson's testimony was "disingenuous and misleading," but
that his statements were "literally true" and therefore he could not be
criminally prosecuted.

Pretty slippery for the "tenth member of the Supreme Court," but,
sadly, given the recent shenanigans of the Court's right-wing majority,
Olson should fit right in if he is ultimately confirmed.

Blogs

And we wonder why there’s an education gap.

March 28, 2014

De Blasio distinguished himself from his electoral opponents by advocating an independent overseer of the NYPD—now he’s fulfilled that promise.

March 28, 2014

Transparency and civil rights advocates win two victories in a growing battle over anonymous suppliers.

March 27, 2014

The other investigations proceed, but Randy Mastro releases a 300-page report saying Christie is not guilty.

March 27, 2014

Can The Intercept make a dent in the overwhelming white maleness of policy reporting?

March 27, 2014

“What President Obama said is false,” said Ross Caputi of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “The U.S. did not attempt to work within the international system.”

March 27, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board ruling that the Northwestern football team can unionize signals a massive sea-change in so-called amateur athletics.

March 26, 2014

UPDATE: Michelle Byrom was not executed on March 27. The Mississippi Supreme Court is reviewing a post-conviction motion to review evidence in her case.

March 26, 2014

“New players are boosting reporting power, technological talent and financial resources going into news, creating a level of energy not felt for a long time,” said Amy Mitchell, Pew's director of journalism research.

March 26, 2014

Dan Snyder’s latest open letter about why he is not changing the name of his football team and his new foundation for Native Americans beggars belief.

March 25, 2014