9:09 PM, Feb 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
During a celebration of African-American History Month, Vice President Joe Biden said, "I may be a white boy, but I can jump." The comments were made at Biden's home, the Naval Observatory.
Via the pool report:
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, hosted a reception Tuesday night at the Naval Observatory in honor of African-American History Month. The vice president's office was expecting about 150 people, and spotted in the crowd were: Michigan Rep. John Conyers, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson ("I told the president, next game, I've got him," Biden said of the former NBA star, "I may be a white boy, but I can jump"), senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, AFSCME president Lee Saunders, Columbia SC Mayor Steve Benjamin and National Black Caucus of State Legislators president Joe Armstrong.
The Vice President was introduced by his wife, who said "February is a time for all of us to pause to remember the sacrifices and to recognize the contributions of African-Americans who have helped make our country the beacon of freedom, equality and opportunity that it is today."
Biden spoke about watching the civil rights movement unfold from a distance as he was growing up, but how it nonetheless shaped his thinking in a searing way.
Biden centered most of his remarks on voting rights, tying the March on Selma -- which he called a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement because he said it prompted Lyndon Johnson to support the Voting Rights Act -- to recent events.
"Without the right to vote, nothing else much mattered," he said, reflecting on why Selma stood out for him.
Biden described his votes to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act as some of his proudest as a senator. And he reflected on the 1982 reauthorization, which had Ronald Reagan's support and Strom Thurmond's vote--which he said seemed at the time like a turning point.
"I thought it was done--finally, finally done," he said, pounding the podium with his fist.
He expressed his anger and disappointment with last year's Supreme Court decision overturning parts of the VRA, then quoted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent comparing the ruling to throwing out an umbrella. "There's a rainstorm," Biden said.
He specifically pointed to voting legislation in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas as examples of what's going wrong on the state level.
"These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away," Biden said. "The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason."
Biden cited the commitment of both the president and attorney general to voting rights, and expressed optimism that Congress would pass legislation to address the overturned parts of the VRA to stop "this kind of malarkey."
"This fight has been too long, this fight has been too hard, to do anything other than win--not on the margins, but flat out win."
2:30 PM, Feb 8, 2014 • By ALGIS VALIUNAS
Mr. Vladimir Putin intends that the current Olympic games be forever stamped with his glory. Sochi is being protected by a “Ring of Steel.” Thus has spoken Russia’s current Man of Steel, who sees himself as the rightful descendant of the original, although Mr.
The president takes an unwarranted shot at art history.
12:22 PM, Jan 31, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
President Obama traveled to Wisconsin yesterday and engaged in a tasteless bit of anti-intellectualism.
3:21 PM, Jan 11, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Ariel Sharon—a man whose deeds as soldier, general, cabinet minister, and prime minister were decisive in the history of modern Israel, a soldier-statesman of true historical significance, a larger-than-life figure whose like we're unlikely to see again—dies, and Barack Obama issues a statement that would be appropriate if one were recognizing the death of a pedestrian functionary who had routinely served as the insignificant leader of a random country.
Remember, remember the sixteenth of December.Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By RICHARD SAMUELSON
Two hundred and forty years ago this month, a gang of Bostonians dressed as Indians boarded the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver and dumped 90,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor. That fateful action on December 16, 1773, and Parliament’s inflammatory response—closing the Port of Boston, altering the colony’s charter, radically limiting popular government in Massachusetts, allowing the quartering of troops in private houses, among other arbitrary measures—precipitated the American Revolution.
Bring the ‘clerkship’ back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nov 11, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 09 • By JAY COST
At the start of last month’s government shutdown, a mostly overlooked message emanated from the Twitter account of Michelle Obama, informing her followers: “Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited.” The conventions of American governance typically exclude the first lady from the rough-and-tumble of politics, yet it does raise an important question: Why is America paying a staffer good money to publish Tweets under Michelle Obama’s name?
The left-wing contribution to the shouting match.May 13, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 33 • By JOSEPH KNIPPENBERG
There is a genre of books about politics written by ideologues on both sides of the divide. Their aim is to inform their fellow partisans about the misinformation, misdeeds, and malign intentions of the people on the other side, offering talking points to rally the troops for the next confrontation. The authors are often prominent media figures—Glenn Beck, for example.
The Democratic ascendancy and why it happened Feb 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 21 • By JEFFREY BELL
In the six presidential elections between 1992 and 2012, the Democratic party has regained the solid popular vote majority it enjoyed during the New Deal/Great Society era (1932-64) but relinquished in the six elections between 1968 and 1988.
The elder brother of Charles I, in pictures and memory.Feb 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 20 • By SARA LODGE
Henry IX is one of the most interesting monarchs Britain never had.
The Lost Cause is among the casualties in this definitive history. Dec 31, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 16 • By MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS
As we mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the publication of Allen Guelzo’s magisterial new account of that conflict is most timely.
Where did they come from, where are they going?Dec 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 15 • By THOMAS A. KOHUT
The Third Reich hovers over German history.
Despite the careful, intelligent research conducted by countless scholars in numerous disciplines, those 12 years remain in some essential way incomprehensible. How, we ask—without ever being able to provide a truly satisfying answer—could more or less ordinary human beings have done what they did to other human beings in an attempt to create a racial utopia?
Fire some generals, for starters. Dec 17, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 14 • By TIM KANE
What is strategy, after all? The public talks about war as if it were a game of chess or Risk or Sid Meier’s Civilization. But the real meaning of strategy, as opposed to tactics, is the capacity to determine what to do in a world without guidelines, not how to optimize resources toward well-defined objectives. Thus, the problem with armchair strategy, even when those armchairs are in the Oval Office, is the assumption that satellite imagery and GPS tracking have eliminated fog and friction.