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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

Unless the Senate reverses Pence's amendment, this ideological attack on a specific health care provider will eliminate the primary and preventive health care on which millions of American women rely.

February 28, 2011

Cables on Saudi Arabia and royal spending, Anonymous takes down Koch Bros website, Kenya cables on mercenaries and politics, and op-eds on WikiLeaks, journalism and upcoming protests in support of Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks.

February 28, 2011

Unions across the country are standing with the workers of Wisconsin against the unprecedented attacks by Gov. Scott Walker. Count the National Basketball Association's Player's Association among their ranks.

February 25, 2011

Media Fix's Greg Mitchell says that though the media may attack WikiLeaks on their editorial pages, many outlets depend on the cables for juicy details about Libya and beyond.

February 25, 2011

When dealing with periods of profound protest, it always makes sense to get the point of view of those who’ve been there before. I spoke to Dr. John Carlos, the 1968 Olympian who along with Tommie Smith, raised a black gloved fist at the Mexico City Olympics. As you’ll read, he thinks that the actions of the resistance fighters of the Midwest are more than appropriate: they're righteous. Here is what Dr. Carlos said to me:

February 25, 2011

Reed takes on the right-wing myths behind the Wisconsin union crackdown and readers react to the NFL labor dispute.

February 25, 2011

The Nation’s Chris Hayes says that taking away Planned Parenthood's funding will only deny millions of women vital reproductive care. The Daily Show’s Kristen Schaal says that may not be enough for right-wingers.

February 24, 2011

GOP extremism could soon force another government shutdown. Here's how Democrats should react.

February 24, 2011

The next leader to be toppled will fall because of the desire of students and youth to win a better future.

February 23, 2011

The US Basketball Writers Association just named men’s player Arsalan Kazemi of Rice and women’s player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir of Memphis as the co-winners of their “most courageous award.” They are being recognized explicitly and specifically for the Islamophobia and bigotry they’ve chosen to challenge and overcome.

February 23, 2011