June 30, 2009 As U.S. forces pull out of Iraq's urban areas, everyone is waiting with bated breath for the results. Will there be a surge in violence, ending the relative peace that many Iraqis have enjoyed for the past year? Will al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) rear its head once more? Although all these questions are real, the crucial moment is not this Tuesday's withdrawal. The real test for Iraq will come far later.
June 30, 2009 Sunday's coup in Honduras has been portrayed as a throwback to the bad old days when Latin American armies got drafted in as the ultimate umpires of political conflict. But in arresting president Manuel Zelaya in his pajamas and putting him on the first plane out of the country, Honduras's generals were acting out of fear of a genuine and growing threat to Latin Democracy: the looming prospect of unchecked, hyper-empowered executive power held for life by a single, charismatic individual.
June 30, 2009 The Left charged that President Bush was surrounded by wannabe Guardians who played fast and loose with the truth (Saddam's ties with al-Qaeda, WMD in Iraq, etc.). These "noble lies" were deemed necessary, since the authoritarian threats from the Middle East after 9/11 were, in fact, real. The irony is that during the Obama administration's first six months, we have seen ample evidence of noble lies.
June 30, 2009 Strongmen trained at the School of the Americas have overthrown the democratically elected president of Honduras as the White House reacts to yet another international crisis. President Obama branded as "not legal" the the military coup in Honduras, where elected President Manuel (Mel) Zelaya was kidnapped and flown out of the country by soldiers bent on blocking an advisory vote on constitutional reform in the country.
June 29, 2009 Commentator Julie Zickefoose thinks back to the maddest she has ever been. One minute she was an ordinary mom in a Kmart parking lot. Then she turned into a lion.
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June 29, 2009 Retired Lt. Col. John Nagl is credited as the principal contributor to the Army manual on counterinsurgency. He has written a paper on the future of the U.S. relationship with Iraq. As U.S. troops pull out of Iraqi cities, Nagl stresses the need for a longer perspective.
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June 29, 2009 Michael represented the possibility of mass, synchronized dancing in the name of spiritual rehabilitation. Which makes about as much sense as wearing a single glove. It's the same everywhere: simple melodies inspiring people to act a fool. As technology enhances our ability to be both always connected and always atomized, these moments of simultaneous pause or grief will only grow less frequent.
June 29, 2009 About ten days after the start of Iran's insurrection, commentator Eli Lake asked a senior administration official what, if anything, the White House knew about the people behind the demonstrations. His reply: "I think it is fair to say senior administration officials are busily trying to understand how the opposition is generated and where it came from." In other words, there's a lot about the protesters we still don't know.
June 29, 2009 Last Thursday the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Safford United School District v. Redding. Now the National Review Online takes a look at the emptiness of President Obama's "empathy" standard in the Safford case, and the unfairness of the Stevens/Ginsburg position in dissent:
June 29, 2009 In the wake of an uproar from gay activists and progressives, Obama signed a memo extending limited benefits to partners of gay federal employees (but not healthcare or inheritance rights); reiterated his intent to repeal DOMA; and voiced support for legislation that would, in the interim, give healthcare to same-sex partners of federal workers. But words are no longer enough.
June 27, 2009 President Obama hardens his tone towards Iran's government, the governor of South Carolina makes a stunning admission, and two bright lights go out in the entertainment industry. Host Scott Simon reviews the week in the news with NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr.
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June 27, 2009 Scott Simon speaks with NPR News Analyst Juan Williams about the death of Michael Jackson, and what South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's affair means to the reputation of the GOP.
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June 27, 2009 In Chicago, where journalists are proud of being boisterous and pugnacious, longtime WTTW TV news director John Callaway was known for being profoundly kind — and pugnacioius. Callaway died this week at age 72.
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June 26, 2009 Forty years ago, the Stonewall Riots ushered in a new era of gay rights. Victoria Cruz and her partner, Deoine, who are graduating Friday from high school in the South Bronx, show how much has changed since then. They were voted best couple for the class yearbook.
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June 26, 2009 Commentator Alain de Botton goes through his list of bad boss traits: mood swings, excessive suspicion, anger, inability to focus, over-obsession with status, and a diminished capacity for empathy. Sadly, these neuroses don't lead people grow to horns and a tail. Is your boss suffering from any of these traits?
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