Visual source: Newseum
Ben Adler wants liberals not too get to cocky about Mitt Romney's curtsies to the right:
Many liberals, and increasingly even mainstream journalists, are becoming convinced that Republican candidates—including likely nominee Mitt Romney—are doing irreparable damage to their general election prospects. [...]
“Although running to the right is part of Republican primary politics, some are starting to worry,” writes ABC’s Alicia Tejada. “With Santorum’s surge, Romney has been forced to move to the right, too, taking positions his supporters admit may make it harder to win the votes independents in the fall if he is the nominee.”
But is it true? [...] eight months is a very long time in politics. No one should think that a minor kerfuffle such as Limbaughgate would determine the 2012 election.
decries the lies about health coverage reform:
Each new report from the Congressional Budget Office is touted as proof that the true cost of Obamacare is exploding, even when — as was the case with the latest report — the document says on its very first page that projected costs have actually fallen slightly. Nor are we talking about random pundits making these false claims. We are, instead, talking about people like the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, who issued a completely fraudulent press release after the latest budget office report.
Because the truth does not, sad to say, always prevail, there is a real chance that these lies will succeed in killing health reform before it really gets started. And that would be an immense tragedy for America, because this health reform is coming just in time.
says the teleprompter that Rick Santorum hates isn't the problem he thinks it is:
On this issue, Santorum cannot be accused of hypocrisy. His Super Tuesday victory speech, delivered in Steubenville, Ohio, did not make use of a teleprompter -- or any other form of rhetorical discipline. It was a 20-minute ramble of lame jokes, patriotic platitudes and half-developed campaign themes. On the evidence of these remarks, Santorum's guiding philosophy is "free enterprise" and "free people" held together by free association. He vaguely honored Ronald Reagan for saying inspiring words, without bothering to contribute any of his own. He praised the "greatest generation" without crafting a single phrase that captured their accomplishments.
describes what he has seen in a sample of the thousands of documents taken from Osama bin Laden's compound after the raid that killed him:
But the al-Qaeda leader turns immediately to a bitter reflection on mistakes made by his followers — especially their killing of Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere. The result, he said, “would lead us to winning several battles while losing the war at the end.” Bin Laden ruminated on the “extremely great damage” caused by these overzealous jihadists. [...]
The brooding bin Laden advised his followers to back off on these self-defeating attacks in Muslim nations and instead begin “targeting American interests in non-Islamic countries first, such as South Korea.” At another point, he stressed: “The focus must be on actions that contribute to the intent of bleeding the American enemy.”
A burst of bipartisanship, a behavior too rarely seen these days in Congress, led the Senate last week to pass an eminently sensible transportation bill. That was in sharp contrast to the House of Representatives, which had proposed, but failed to pass, an ugly, anti-mass transit bill. The House must now put aside ideology and pass the Senate version. The current stopgap legislation expires soon, which will further endanger our already-crumbling national infrastructure.
decries the idiocy of cutting the nation's lead poisoning prevention program by 90 percent as an "empty gesture toward 'fiscal responsibility' to please a decadent elite." Pity the kids whose lives are messed up as a result.
The New York Times:
On Feb. 29, a Philadelphia jury sentenced Derrick White to death for murder — in part because his lawyers provided the kind of ineffective counsel that has drawn harsh criticism for decades in the city.
Barely 20 when arrested in 2010, Mr. White received a death sentence after his lawyers failed to take the most rudimentary steps for capital cases. They did not enter as evidence records about his background or hire a death penalty expert to help prepare the case. The closing argument about whether he deserved death or life without parole was rambling and all but pointless, lasting 15 minutes.
Although Pennsylvania has carried out only three executions since 1976, its system is no less barbaric for that fact. Two hundred and five inmates are on death row. The White case underscores the state’s continuing failure to meet constitutional standards in capital cases. It is well past time for the state to stop its machinery of death.
writes that in the case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
the Supreme Court is likely to rule in June that, under international law, corporations are not
people and cannot be held liable for complicity human rights abuse:
So, as with Citizens United, the lines are drawn. On one side, a pack of lawyered-up marauders claim their rights as persons one day and deny their culpability the next. On the other side, living beings seek relief from the jackals that gorge upon the fruits of human labor and gobble up the riches of the earth.
doesn't buy the widespread media explanation for Sgt. Robert Bales's massacre:
"Apparently deranged", "probably deranged", journalists announced, a soldier who "might have suffered some kind of breakdown" (The Guardian), a "rogue US soldier" (Financial Times) whose "rampage" (The New York Times) was "doubtless [sic] perpetrated in an act of madness" (Le Figaro). Really? Are we supposed to believe this stuff? Surely, if he was entirely deranged, our staff sergeant would have killed 16 of his fellow Americans. He would have slaughtered his mates and then set fire to their bodies. But, no, he didn't kill Americans. He chose to kill Afghans. There was a choice involved. So why did he kill Afghans? We learned yesterday that the soldier had recently seen one of his mates with his legs blown off. But so what?
says she's mellowed on some feminist issues and become more hardline on others:
There is no way we will ever reach an agenda on which all of us agree, in equal measure, with everything. I have seen larger, more vivid, more optimistic feminist gatherings in the past six months than in the rest of my life put together, but not one of them has reached its end without a load of time being wasted on one of these classic faultlines: someone frozen out for admitting she likes Debbie Does Dallas; someone else saying: "What do I care about some middle-income woman's childcare arrangements when rape is being used as an act of war in the Congo?"
The women's movement has a problem with ideological purism: in its discourse, it demands not only that we all adhere to a central set of truths, but also that we agree on their priority. This is impossible.