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The Democrats' Depressing Debate

Your article, Mr. Moser, is the best thing I've read and heard about the "debacle." All of it was too soft, too nuanced, too prepped, too consultant-motivated. Although Gravel came off unhinged in his manner of delivery, his emotion about the gravity and impatience of what we face is shared by many. Most of the questions were softballs for the candidates which they rarely specifically answered. They weren't there to shed light or lead,but not to lose.

What's needed in my humble opinion are different moderators. Like a Bill Maher or Jon Stewart--loved his interview with McCain.Those questions were real and come from the lips of millions. Plus there wasn't much room for nuance. The questions had to be answered just from their delivery. Maher does the same thing.

Race is HUGE in this country, along with poverty, and the growing disparities between rich and poor. They either totally ignore the question or water it down with stats to show their awareness of it. Knowledge of, is not a solution to.

Are we really allowed to expect more?

G. Goodson

Beloit, WI

Apr 27 2007 - 3:42pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

This is an excellent analysis of the debate. I am so grateful to hear a sound, salient and impassioned description of what happened on that stage last night. The fact that Kucinich had less face time than almost all the other candidates is about what I would expect from the big networks. But I am very impressed by your statement that the students were more impressed with Kucinich and Gravel, about whom they knew little previous to this debate. It is amazing how these candidates continue to be taken seriously, as the polls seem to indicate, when they have contributed so little to the real debate about what is happening in this country.

Stephanie Rivera

richmond, rhode island

Apr 27 2007 - 3:36pm

The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

This article is ridiculous. I am by no means an expert in economics, but I am studying economics in the university and even with my limited knowledge I can see the flaws in this "expert's" arguments. What I find comical is that everyone I talk to about globalization that has a background in the subject point to the trend of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer (which has happened as the borders have opened up more). Now this article in contrast suggests the opposite, that by having a more open economy we will put ourselves on equal playing ground with all the poor countries, which will lead to a lowered US GDP/capita, and a greater GDP/capita for poorer countries! What I find unbelievable is how the author finds this to be a terrible outcome! How selfish can you be!? The US is so stinking rich, our GDP/cap in 1776 was greater than many countries' are today, and you still want to keep them down with your protectionist policies! Protectionism, that's all this article and the book is about, a new twist on protectionism. Here's a question for you: Why do you think that workers in foreign countries will work for a third or a fourth of what US worker work for? Answer: Because it's way more than what they earn now! (US GDP/cap is well over $30,000--we're talking about an income for workers around $8,000-10,000, not bad considering more than a quarter of humanity lives on considerably less than 2 dollars a day!) Be a true humanitarian instead of designing a world in which a quarter of the people are forced into a welfare state.

Dustin Draper

Longmont, CO

Apr 27 2007 - 3:17pm

The Good Victim

At the end of his essay, Gary Younge mentioned Crystal Gail Mangum. Younge is correct when he labels the "Duke Liar" "Neither worthy nor apparently a victim." It is a shame that the Duke Lacrosse Team was subjected to criminal charges based upon a lie and prosecuted by suppressing decisive evidence. One of America's most honorable axioms, "Innocent until proven guilty," was trampled on. But another tragedy occurred because Crystal Gail Mangum fabricated her victimization. The next true victim of rape may not be believed because of this woman who cried "wolf." Only when perpetrators of false allegations are prosecuted can justice be served--justice for the falsely accused and justice for future victims.

Don Mathis

Sherman, Texas

Apr 27 2007 - 12:02pm

Silencing New Voices

I had never heard of New Voices, but after reading Eyal Press's article, I was curious enough to dip into the archives of New Voices, finding an article titled "A Lonely Struggle: Pro-Israel students confront anti-Israel activism on campus, while the Jewish community plays catch-up." The article characterized the campus debate as "pro-Israel" vs. "anti-Israel." The "pro-Israel" activists on campus rely on AIPAC, as well as help from Orly Gil, the Israeli consul for academic affairs in New York. (Did you know that Israel had a consul for academic affairs? I didn't.) There is no mention whatsoever of any American Jews or Israeli Jews who are critical of Israeli policy. The article gave absolutely no hint that being "pro-Israel" might involve defending some awful policies.

"New Voices" sounds a lot like the "Old Voices" at Commentary, Dissent, The New Republic, not to mention Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer etc.

There must have been some reason they didn't receive their promised funding. Perhaps their efforts on behalf of Israel was not ardent enough.

John Farley

Henderson, NV

Apr 27 2007 - 8:21am

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits

So the screwing goes on. My father was an atomic veteran who was sent in 24 hours after the bomb blast in Bikini to assess underwater damage to ships anchored at the site. I had to help him fight to get information on atomic veterans benefits.

I was stationed in Thailand during Vietnam (or the American War, as the Vietnamese call it) in the bomb dump. Picture this area with absolutely no vegetation in the middle of the jungle. When I got out I started hearing about Agent Orange and related herbicides used during the war. I went to the VA to be put on the Agent Orange registry and they wanted to deny me based upon the story they had no records of herbicides used in Thailand. Well I pitched a big fit and finally got on the registry and got the required tests. Just last year Department of Defense came out with information admitting to use of herbicides, not only in Thailand but places in the US also.

So you see, the military just wants your body and they don't care about anything else. The higher ups continue to be bought off with over generous salary and benefits. I am sorry for the Iraq veterans and what they are going through. One more reason to get rid of Bush and his band of thugs.

Dirk Beaulieu

Eugene, Oregon

Apr 27 2007 - 1:25am

This Space for Sale

I have been watching the shrinkage and decline of the Philadelphia Inquirer for decades now, and how so many of its competitors have totally folded. During WWII, there were five viable dailies, which became three from the '50s on. The other survivor shares ownership and plant with the Inky. Their recent economics columnist left a few weeks ago as part of another downsizing. Andrew Cassel was excellent, and I want to see what happens before I make a final judgement. A clearly-labeled corporate column might be preferable to having the newspaper disappear completely. But too much depends on the attitude and balance of the person responsible. This is not a great idea.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Apr 26 2007 - 7:50pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

In essence, Kucinich argues Cheney should be impeached because he knowingly:

- Manipulated intelligence to fabricate the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

- Manipulated intelligence to fabricate a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda

- Openly threatened aggression against Iran without the existence of any real threat to the United States

Without doubt, Cheney is guilty of all counts levied against him, but moving forward with impeachment would be futile. The Vice President does not represent a new or unique doctrine of the American executive branch. All of his predecessors fabricated threats, manipulated intelligence and used jingoistic propaganda to justify war. Impeachment proceedings against Cheney would only reinforce the misconception that the problems we face are the result of poor leadership. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether or not Dick Cheney holds office, the American-capitalist hegemon functions in essentially the same fashion.

Jeff DeFlavio

Washington, DC

Apr 26 2007 - 3:50pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Good afternoon,

Not that many years ago we had the Monica fiasco with President Clinton being attacked by the Right and of course the infamous Impeachment Trial.

Now we have the War in Iraq that should never had happened.

In my opinion this administration has done more to hurt the vast majority of its citizens than any other administration in this countries history.

We has squandered billions of dollars on this War & have gotten thousands of our military men & women killed or wounded for what outcome?

I cannot wait until 2008 & hopefully elect those who will have to clean up the mess created by those who have set back this country at least 150 years of progress.

Right now we are being governed by the Oil Industry & there friends & its is pure greed that is driving the fuel prices up.

Yes this administration should be held responsible for its failed policies both foreign & domestic however, I cannot find anyone who does not want a free & safe United States.

Norman A Solow

Baltimore , MD

Apr 26 2007 - 3:25pm

The Pulitzer Pause

I agree with Les Payne who said--only half kidding--that there ought to be a RICO investigation of the Pulitzer board, and I agree with many of the underlying sentiments in your blog. You fail to acknowledge, however, that the few remaining serious newspapers in this country are suffering a virtual holocaust and the profession is hemorrhaging its most dedicated practitioners. With morale so low and prospects so bleak, with foreign bureaus being shut down and entertainment consuming everything around it, is this really the moment to stop trying to identify and honor those who keep the best traditions of democratic journalism alive? I don't see much difference between a symbolic pause and throwing in the towel once and for all. Perhaps the answer is to reconstitute the board and its criteria not simply abdicate.

Philip Kay

New York City, NY

Apr 26 2007 - 2:51pm