EDITORIAL

No Sanctuary for Assad

BY LEE SMITH

Damascus: The Syrian dictator is losing his grip on the capital.

As we go to press, Bashar al-Assad seems to be losing Damascus, as he has lost much of the rest of the country. Reports last week suggested the Syrian president might already be in Latakia, the de facto capital of the Alawite heartland on the Mediterranean coast. But even if he has not already decamped, he will likely find his way there before long. The Assad regime is fighting with its back to the wall. It is a critical moment for Syria. And it is a critical moment for the Obama administration. Having watched the bloodshed in Syria from the sidelines for the last 16 months, it can still act to bring down the Assad regime before it kills thousands more.

Secretary of State Clinton and China’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi

Democracy and the Asia Pivot

BY ELLEN BORK

President Obama’s announcement last fall of a

Obama and Romney

Only 108 Days to Go

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Does this year’s presidential campaign strike you as strikingly petty? Boringly conventional? Uncommonly stupid? Yes? Join the ...

ARTICLES

Pandering to His Base

Obama goes left, left, and left again.

BY FRED BARNES

Obama panders to his base

The usual strategy for presidential candidates is to appeal to the political center in hopes of broadening their support. President Obama isn’t doing that. He is tilting sharply to the left on issue after issue: immigration, religious liberty, welfare, gay marriage, the environment, race, the role of government. Why?

The simplest answer is that his bid for reelection is in trouble, and he’s going where he has the best chance of finding friendly faces. In ...

Mitt Romney
Congressman Fred Upton at a Capitol Hill press conference

Meet Kate Upton’s Uncle

How a moderate Republican retooled for the Tea Party era.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

‘All eyes on Upton (Kate, not Fred),” read ...

Senkaku Islands

Japan’s New Islands?

Nationalism makes a comeback.

BY ETHAN EPSTEIN

Earlier this year, Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara took time out from presiding over the world’s largest city to initiate a ...

CalPERS HQ

California Dreaming

One percent a year returns won’t be enough to pay state pensions.

BY MARK HEMINGWAY

Last week, California taxpayers, already accustomed to economic doom and gloom, received an astonishing piece of bad news. The ...

Protests in Spain

Forgive Us Our Debts

Spain looks north for a bailout.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Doctors Price Gouging?

The Great Unmentionable

The role of high salaries and wages in health care inflation.

BY ELI LEHRER

In discussions of America’s high ...

FEATURES

Revenge of the Sociologists

The perils of politically incorrect academic research

BY ANDREW FERGUSON

Mark Regnerus

On the phone, Mark Regnerus sounds a little shellshocked. Professional sociologists hardly ever sound shellshocked.

“I knew it would be controversial,” he says. “But this is worse than I ever could have imagined.”

It refers to a scholarly paper Regnerus published last month. This is the hell that broke loose as a result.

Books & Arts

Interrogating Terror

How tough justice keeps us free.

BY REUEL MARC GERECHT

A prisoner is led away

This volume hints at being a memoir of a young Puerto Rico-born spook rising to the top of Langley’s white-bread operations directorate. But the personal gives way quickly to a professional cri de coeur against those who have aspersed the clandestine service under George W. Bush as torturous and incompetent. 

Jose Rodriguez focuses on the aggressive interrogations used against senior members of al Qaeda. This former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and Directorate of Operations, who received a letter of reprimand from ...

Padgett Powell

Beckett Turns South

An existential dialogue between two ‘ weirdly agreeable dudes.’

BY EDITH ALSTON

Padgett Powell is a writer’s writer, ...

‘Dignity and Impudence’ (1839) by Sir Edwin Landseer

Dignity Defined

What is it, exactly, and do we know it when we see it?

BY EMILY WILKINSON

In the age of Anthony Weiner and Larry Craig, Girls Gone Wild and Jersey Shore, mass obesity and Big ...

Unidentified Woman

Public Faces

Incidental portraits of everyday Americans

BY EVE TUSHNET

The faces we wear in public are ...

Olympians

Vivaldi on the Lawn

The Garsington Opera adds glory to the English garden.

BY PAULA DEITZ

London 

...

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne

Evil Undone

The moral clarity of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

Christopher Nolan’s ...

CASUAL

Summertime

Lee Smith, fair-weather Yankees fan

BY LEE SMITH

Whitey drives

The only real escape from the oppressive heat of a New York summer is a night in the open air under the lights at a big-league ballpark. That’s what my brothers and I thought, anyway, growing up as we did spending a dozen or more evenings every year at Yankee Stadium. We cut coupons from milk cartons that earned us free general admission seats, leaving our mother amazed at how much cereal we managed to eat from April to October. After a brutal day in the sun or cooped up in a Manhattan apartment, the three of us would hop on the 4 Train uptown, and by the time it rose from underground at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx to reveal the big ballpark, we were breathing again.

We’d get there early enough to watch the opposing team take batting practice and, pressed close to their dugout, try to strike up conversations with the visiting ballplayers. The light-hitting Mario Mendoza is still a punch line for baseball writers, but I’ll always think kindly of the ...

SCRAPBOOK

A Letter from the Beach

Feelin' Crabby

Scrapbook correspondent James W. Ceaser, the distinguished University of Virginia professor of politics, emails a charming note from the beach, which we excerpt here:

***

In a mid-June ritual equivalent to a New Year’s resolution, I annually peruse The Weekly Standard’s Summer Reading issue, listing the alluring books I promise to read while tucked away on some remote beach. There is only one rule I impose on this exercise: No book may have anything to do with my own field of politics. In ...

PARODY

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