Analysis

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The Rock’s New Boss

Gibraltar’s leader wants to bring the British territory, long claimed by Spain, firmly into the future.
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I Hate Therefore I Am

Umberto Eco’s new book, ‘The Prague Cemetery,’ explores history’s deadliest hoax.
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On Taking Advantage of the Mosque Controversy

While Palin and Co. are using the Ground Zero mosque controversy to burnish their far-right bona fides, Romney is seizing on the kerfuffle as an opportunity to do something else entirely: prove that he’s the only grown-up Republican in the 2012 race.
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Who Can You Trust, Oil Spill Edition: volume 10

An ongoing look at the most reliable – and unreliable – players in the Gulf oil spill. Today: the containment cap gets back to work, Ron Paul stands up for oil companies, and BP tries to get back to deepwater drilling.
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The New Segregation Debate

Single-sex classes have increased by 4,000 percent in less than a decade. Can educating girls and boys separately fix our public schools, or does it reinforce outmoded gender stereotypes?

Absurdly Premature Watch, Vol. 15

News flash! Sarah Palin has endorsed Carly Fiorina in Carlyfornia's California's Republican Senate primary race, and her Tea Party supporters, who tend to side with Fiorina's more conservative rival, Chuck DeVore, are not at all pleased with the decision. As Politico's Andy Barr reports: Palin’s Facebook page is littered with comments opposing her endorsement of Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. “The only REAL CONSERVATIVE is Chuck DeVore. Fiorina is a RINO [Republican in name only] and wedon't need any more of those in [California],” one irate commenterwrote. “Why wouldn't you back Chuck DeVore???” “Sorry Sarah but I think Chuck DeVore is the conservative candidate youshould be supporting,” added another, who was followed up by a DeVoresupporter who wrote: “I don't agree with this endorsement AT ALL! Whatare you thinking Sarah?” Hate to say I told you so guys, but, well, I told you so. For anyone who's been paying attention to Palin's political maneuvering over the...

Financial Reform Cloture Votes

For the third time in as many days, Democratic senators failed to garner enough votes to bring a financial-regulator-reform bill to the floor of the Senate for debate (UPDATE: GOP senators have just decided to allow the bill to move to the floor and will attempt to change it in open debate). Both parties' blustering notwithstanding—GOP senators say they're concerned about preventing further "taxpayer-funded bailouts" of firms deemed too big to fail, while Democrats railed against the opposition for refusing even to allow a bill to come to the floor—the strategy of putting the legislation up for a cloture vote day after day only to see it fail every time seems, at first blush, like mere short-term political theater to force the GOP's hand. Will calling for a daily vote really put enough pressure on Republicans to get them to relent? It's certainly possible that Democrats are bashing their heads against that wall to try to force GOP senators to engage in open debate on the...

How Police Handled the Roethlisberger Rape Allegations

I'm warning you now: do not read this post if you've just eaten or you may lose your meal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveals the truly vile (in my opinion) actions of the police on the evening Ben Roethlisberger allegedly raped a young woman. (No charges have been filed, and Roethlisberger has said he is innocent of any allegations.) Basing its story on the official report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the paper says: After hearing the young woman’s story, Blash quickly notified Roethlisberger and his group of her allegation. The sergeant, who has since resigned amid an internal investigation into his behavior, approached two of the quarterback’s associates ... and told them what had transpired. Barravecchio, a Coraopolis, Pa., officer assigned to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration task force, said Blash told them: "We have a problem, this drunken [expletive], drunk off her ass, is accusing Ben of rape." Now, I never went to any police...

After Banking Reform, Energy Still Sits on Ice

From sound policy to gimmicks. The prospect of an energy bill making its way to the floor of the Senate has gone from almost a sure thing to life support over the past two weeks as Democratic leaders have scrambled to fill in their calendar of legislative priorities. After health care, financial reform was the likely successor with energy presumed to follow, but the wild-card issue of immigration seemingly jumped the queue after party leaders did a calculus of what they needed to accomplish to fortify support before the November elections, and after Arizona's governor signed an immigration law last week that activists as well as some lawmakers think could unfairly lead to racial profiling. As my colleague Howard Fineman reported yesterday, sources say that immigration is now a long shot, and probably not even possible this year. But that raises the question: what about energy? A bipartisan coterie of Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman has been crafting a measure...

Welcome to the 21st Century, Sue Lowden

After the yearlong debate about how to solve America’s health-care problems, it seems we have an answer. Sue Lowden, Republican hopeful for the Nevada Senate seat of Majority Leader Harry Reid, gave the media, the blogosphere, and late-night comedians something to chatter about this week when she said Americans should barter for health care. She harked back to those old days when our grandparents took chickens to the doctor. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house," she said. "I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system." Talking heads, TV personalities, bloggers, and protesters—even the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee—jumped aboard the you-just-can’t-make-this-stuff-up train and called out Lowden for her silly plan. The DSCC...

Secret Teenage Sex Codes Revealed!

At least, that was the promise of a press release that landed in the NEWSWEEK inboxes this morning. "Secret texting codes: Are kids having sex and getting high under your nose?" asked the release. It's true: Under Your Nose has become a popular make out spot for today's youth. The solution, says this e-mail, is an interview with two authors willing to discuss both the perils of sexting and the value of good manners. The authors can also help parents decode the secret texting codes teens use to talk about sex, drugs, and, presumably, bad manners. To wit: LH6 . P911 . 8 . Al Capone . if your kids use secret texting codes like these, they just said "let's have sex (LH6)", "alert—parents coming into the room (P911)", "oral sex (8)" and "heroin (Al Capone)" Make no mistake: that would have been one hell of a text. But what's more shocking is the continued attempts to rend garments over sexting, or the assumption that teenagers don't know how stupid sexting is.  Last year, we...

Replacing Stevens in Supreme Court: Where Does It Stand

1. No decision has been made by the president.2. The top four candidates are Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, Merrick Garland, and Janet Napolitano.3. Dark horses are still possible, especially if one could be found who is an economic progressive who could help redress what the president considers to be the tilt toward the powerful on the court. That's why I'm told that Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, whose expertise in bankruptcy law is a match for many of the business cases before the court and who comes from modest origins (her father was a janitor), is in the running. Kagan has never been a judge, but she waived tuition when she was dean of Harvard Law School for anyone entering public service, a policy recently abandoned for financial reasons but sure to be viewed favorably by Obama.4. In the short and medium term it's all about "getting to five"—bringing Justice Anthony Kennedy along to build new majorities. Garland has been very successful at...

Bill Clinton's Supreme Court Advice: Pick a Wild Card

If you ask Bill Clinton what he thinks, President Obama should throw a curveball with his next nominee to the Supreme Court. The qualities he’d like? Someone young, energetic, and someone who’s not a jurist. That rules out virtually all of the names on the White House’s reported shortlist—led, at the moment, by Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Two other top contenders, Merrick Garland and Diane Wood, have two of Clinton’s strikes against them; both are appellate justices and are pushing 60. Speaking over the weekend with ABC’s Jake Tapper and MSNBC’s Luke Russert, Clinton quoted the late high-court justice Hugo Black, who said that people from small towns—sheriffs and county judges—would be better equipped to know “how the lofty decisions of the Supreme Court affect the ordinary lives of Americans."So who would he appoint? Clinton wouldn’t talk names. But he did firmly remove two from the list: his and his wife’s. "[Hillary] would be good at it, and at one point in her life, she...

Expect Supreme Court Nominee to Be Announced

By Daniel KlaidmanHere's something people keep asking about the Supreme Court vacancy: since the Obama White House knew for many months that there was a very good chance Justice John Paul Stevens would retire this term, why wasn't it ready to go with a nominee right away? Fair question: President Obama runs an efficient, disciplined shop and, since his team has already gone through one nomination and confirmation, one might reasonably assume they'd be able to roll out No. 2 lickety-split. We know that when Sonia Sotomayor was picked, Obama interviewed at least three other candidates, all of whom (Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, and Janet Napolitano) are on the current shortlist. Merrick Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, wasn't interviewed but is well known to a number of the president's closest advisers. The answer, based on conversations with administration officials familiar with the selection process, comes down to tactics and prophylactics. First,...

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