This issue: April 25 - May 2, 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 31)
It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents, maybe one of yours, who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities . . . so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.
—President Barack Obama, April 13, 2011
Barack Obama’s budget address last week ranks among the most dishonest and dishonorable presidential speeches in generations. It contained ...
In his budget speech last week, Barack Obama mounted his third attack on U.S. defense spending. In 2009 the White House directed Defense Secretary Robert Gates to terminate more than $300 billion in weapons programs, including the F-22 Raptor, the world’s most capable aircraft, and the Army’s ...
The president takes the low road.
Paul Ryan, architect of the Republican budget for 2012, sat in the front row at George Washington University as President Obama delivered his thoughts on the deficit, debt, and Ryan’s spending plan. The White House had seated him there, directly in front of the president.
Obama spoke for 43 minutes. As he turned from side to side, from one teleprompter to the other, he never made eye contact with Ryan. Nor did he speak to Ryan before or after his speech.
Yet the president devoted a significant chunk of his address to denouncing Ryan’s budget as unserious and close to being ...
The Republicans are winning the deficit debate.
There’s a truism of budgeting that goes: The player who makes the first move always loses. That’s because the player with the second move has the ...
Is Assad losing his grip?
With the popular uprising in Syria completing its first month, protests against Bashar al-Assad’s regime have spread to encompass most Syrian ...
The rise and fall of WikiLeaks
During a span of 22 months the website WikiLeaks.org morphed from a digital anarchist demonstration project into a semisuccessful international campaign against the American government. WikiLeaks solicited classified documents and then orchestrated a global media typhoon around them. The site—literally—gave direction to institutions such as the New York Times, London’s Guardian, and Der Spiegel, dictating publication schedules and deciding which outlets would publish what information.
At its high-water mark in the spring and summer of 2010, WikiLeaks appeared to be a new kind of organism: part media company, part NGO, part hacker ...
The children of Egypt’s revolution versus the military establishment in Cairo
Despite having its best friend forever in the White House, the American labor movement is in mortal crisis
One of the most widely circulated photographs during the Wisconsin union battle was of a protester in Madison holding up a sign that read: “Dear Barack, Please put on your comfortable shoes. Love, America.”
While that sign may not have meant anything to the rest of the country, those in ...
McKim, Mead, White and America’s design
McKim, Mead and White: Art, Architecture, Scandal and Class in America’s Gilded Age
by Mosette Broderick
Knopf, 608 pp., $40
The poet-politician of the English Civil War gets his due.
The hidden life, in plain sight, of a Communist spymaster.
Paul Gauguin in search of paradise.
Gauguin: Maker of Myth
Sidney Lumet, 1924-2011
The death of Sidney Lumet April 9 is a striking reminder of how little the American motion-picture industry today has in common with Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s—which were his heyday and, arguably, the heyday ...
As an editor, I pay a certain amount of attention to centennials, bicentennials, sesquicentennials, and the like. This year, for example, is the centennial of the birth of William Golding, Spike Jones, and Hubert Humphrey and the sesquicentennial of the firing on Fort Sumter. But I was momentarily taken aback not long ago when I realized that it is also Ginger Rogers’s centennial.
Of course, Fred Astaire’s dance partner is a generation older than I—for the record, I was born the week before her 39th birthday—and I never had anything remotely resembling a romantic interest in her. But I developed a youthful appreciation for Ginger Rogers, and for ...
The Scrapbook confesses to a certain fascination with presidential siblings. In recent decades, some have been prominent figures in their own right—Dwight Eisenhower’s five brothers, the Bush and Kennedy clans—or solid citizens content to sit quietly backstage (Neil Reagan, Edward Nixon). But more than a few presidential siblings have earned the dreaded “colorful” sobriquet—evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton, rock ’n’ roller Roger Clinton—and there is also what might be called a dishonor roll of siblings who have proved embarrassing to their brothers (Donald Nixon, Billy Carter).
Barack Obama Sr. ...
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