Posted August 25, 2010
Politics & Government: Presidency | Federal Government/U.S. Politics | Judicial System | State & Local Government
Government Initiatives: Crime & Law Enforcement | Education | Homeland Security | Social Security & Welfare
Politics & Government:
Obama On and Off Base
Summer 2010, online edition
"My object is to defend Barack Obama against attacks on him by what has been his liberal constituency. Again and again he is accused of timidity and excessive caution for not fighting for their agenda. The assumption is that his agenda and theirs coincide, and that he lacks the courage and force to fight for its enactment. Could it be that he simply differs from his critics about policy and strategy and that it may even take a kind of courage to resist the pressure of his liberal base?"
Eugene Goodheart is Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities, Emeritus at Brandeis University. Fulltext C1/03-10
"Why Has He Fallen Short?"
New York Review of Books, July 22, 2010, online edition
Frank Rich reviews The Promise: President Obama, Year One by Jonathan Alter. "Of course Barack Obama was too hot not to cool down. He was the one so many were
waiting for—not only the first African-American president but also the nation’s
long-awaited liberator after eight years of Bush-Cheney, the golden-tongued
evangelist who could at long last revive and sell the old liberal faith, the
first American president in memory to speak to voters as if they might be
thinking adults, the first national politician in years to electrify the young.
He was even, of all implausible oddities, a contemporary politician- author who
actually wrote his own books."
Frank Rich is a columnist for The New York Times. Fulltext C2/03-10
Beyond the Water's Edge: The Role of Ex-Presidents in U.S. Foreign Policy
Douville, Alex J.
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 2010, v10, #1, pp55-63
"Ex-presidents are increasingly asserting a more active role in foreign policy
due to the relatively young age at which they retired, longer life expectancies,
and the reach of the Internet and 24-hour communications networks. The author,
focusing on the post-Cold War era, examines the role of ex-presidents in foreign
policy and their public policy activities after retirement. The future role and
implications of ex-presidents in foreign policy in the 21st century are also
Alex J. Douville is director of Policy Studies at the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C. Order article C3/03-10
How to Succeed in Politics
The National Interest, July/August 2010, #103, pp36-46
The Tea Party movement is blazing its anti-tax and anti-government agenda across America. But this is a movement without a cause. If the Whigs, Populists and Feminists can be co-opted by the Democrats and the Republicans, it is clear this newest third party will suffer the same fate.
Patrick Allitt is the Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University. Fulltext C4/03-10
Right is Wrong
Reason, August/September 2010, v42, #4, pp24-28
"By the waning years of the Bush administration, the old "fusionist" alliance between libertarians and social conservatives seemed to be on its last legs. After the inglorious collapse of Social Security reform, the political agenda of the right was more or less free of any contamination by libertarian ideas. The GOP sank into ruling-party decadence marked by borrow-and-spend fiscal incontinence and K Street Project cronyism. The broader conservative movement, meanwhile, expended its energy on gay-bashing, anti-immigrant hysteria, fantasies of World War IV, meddling in the Schiavo family tragedy, and redefining patriotism as enthusiasm for mass surveillance and torture."
Contributing Editor Brink Lindsey is vice president for research at the Cato Institute. Fulltext C5/03-10
This Year's Maverick
New York Times Magazine, July 4, 2010, pp22-28
"Robert Draper talks about Lindsey Graham, a senator disliked by fellow South Carolina conservatives such as Tea Partiers, Constitutionalists and immigration hardliner. Graham was impressed with Barack Obama's performance in 2008 and he is hopeful that the new president would depart from the intransigence of the previous president. He comments that the nature of immigration politics combined with the BP oil spill fouled the debate on a comprehensive energy bill."
Robert Draper is a freelance writer, and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. Fulltext C6/03-10
What Conservatism Retains: A Commitment to Liberty
June 2010, #161, online edition
"After conservatives lost the 2008 elections, they began to fear that their ideas no longer had political appeal. Events soon showed their worries to be excessive. Their concern, nonetheless, offers an occasion to reflect on what American conservatism should defend. The ebb and flow of politics may, soon enough, lead again to undue apprehension or imprudent action. Self-proclaimed conservative — and liberal — pundits will, in any event, continue to tell conservatives, often foolishly, what their principles should compel them to believe and do. Above all, the long-term prognosis may not be good unless conservatism is correctly understood. Political health is not automatic; it requires judgment and choice."
Mark Blitz is the Fletcher Jones professor of Political Philosophy at Claremont
McKenna College. Fulltext C7/03-10
End of Establishment: Where Have all the Serious Republicans Gone?
Foreign Policy, July/August 2110, online edition
"Of all the potential contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney, who was a moderate governor of the state that once was the bastion of what the legendary Washington journalist and snob Joseph Alsop referred to as the "WASP ascendancy," might seem like the most logical candidate to restore the traditions of pragmatic Republican internationalism after the neoconservative domination of the past decade."
Jacob Heilbrunn is the senior editor at the National Interest. Fulltext C8/03-10
The Tea Party vs. the Intellectuals: A Movement of Attitude, not Ideas
Policy Review, June 2010, #161, online edition
"Intellectual critics of the Tea Party movement most often attack it for its lack of ideas, especially new ideas — and these critics have a point. But the point they are making reveals as much about them as it does about the Tea Party. Behind the criticism lies the implicit assumption that comes quite naturally to American intellectuals: Namely, that a political movement ought be motivated by ideas and that a new political movement should provide new ideas. But the Tea Party movement is not about ideas. It is all about attitude, like the attitude expressed by the popular poster seen at all Tea Party rallies. Over the head of a hissing rattlesnake threatening to strike is inscribed the defiant slogan so popular among our revolutionary ancestors: “Don’t tread on me!” The old defiant motto is certainly not a new idea. In fact, it is not an idea at all. It is a warning."
Lee Harris is the author of The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite. Fulltext C9/03-10
Federalism in the Age of Obama
State Legislatures, July/August 2010, v36, #7, pp26-29
"During the presidency of George W. Bush, the federal government concentrated primarily on war and terrorism, with relatively little attention paid to domestic matters. That left plenty of running room for states to address a wide range of issues such as stem-cell research, securities regulation and minimumwage increases. Under Obama, that balance is starting to shift. He has clearly harbored ambitions of addressing nearly every major domestic issue. In many cases, that has meant calling on the states to implement policies he has pushed, in areas such as education and health care."
Alan Greenblatt is a news writer for npr.org and a former staff writer for
Governing magazine. Fulltext C10/03-10
Immigration: DREAM vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries
Batalova, Jeanne; McHugh, Margie
Migration Policy Institute,
July 2010, online edition, 24p (PDF)
"Slightly more than 2.1 million unauthorized immigrant youth and young adults
could be eligible to apply for legal status under the DREAM Act legislation
pending in Congress, though perhaps fewer than 40 percent would obtain legal
status because of barriers limiting their ability to take advantage of the
legislation's educational and military service routes to legalization. This MPI
analysis offers the most recent and detailed estimates of potential DREAM Act
beneficiaries by age, education levels, gender, state of residence and
likelihood of gaining legalization."
Jeanne Batalova is a Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. Margie McHugh is the Co-Director of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy at the Migration Policy Institute. Fulltext C11/03-10
Immigration: The Rude Birth of Immigration Reform
The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2010, v34, #3, pp16-23
"In the heated debates during the early 20th century, few people gave much thought to the longer-term consequences of restricting immigration, but these were many and profound. [...] Today as America debates immigration reform, it is in danger of repeating the mistakes made a century ago when the flawed foundations of today’s policies were established."
Katherine Benton-Cohen is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown
University. As a 2009-10 fellow at the Woodrow Wilson
Center, she worked on a book about the Dillingham Commission. Fulltext C12/03-10
Diplomacy: Digital Diplomacy
New York Times Magazine, July 18, 2010, pp24-30
"The youngest member of the State Department's policy planning staff Jared Cohen
and the first senior adviser for innovation to the secretary of state Alec Ross
were taking their tweeting very seriously. Here, Lichtenstein discusses Ross and
Cohen's style in bringing diplomacy in State Department into the digital age, by
using widely available technologies to reach out to citizens, companies and
other nonstate actors. Their way of engaging into this kind of innovation
perhaps best described as a cross between social-networking culture and foreign
policy aracana. At Google and YouTube, they stressed the political power of
viral videos and the potential for mobile phones to become widespread public
tools for education, banking and election monitoring. Among other things,
Lichtenstein details the advantages of utilizing the innovative way of keeping
the foreign policy."
Jesse Lichtenstein is a journalist, poet, screenwriter, and teacher. Fulltext C13/03-10
Elections: Gov Races: This Time, they Really Matters
Duffy, Jennifer E.
National Journal, July 31, 2010, v42, #31, pp18-25
"The 37 governors elected in November will not only grapple with the economic downturn, they'll also influence the once-every-10-years redistricting process. Nineteen seats held by Democrats and 18 by Republicans are up the grabs. Some Republican gains are likely."
The author is senior editor of The Cook Political Report. Fulltext C14/03-10
Elections: Six Myths about Campaign Money
Newlin Carney, Eliza
National Journal, August 8, 2010, v42, #32, pp28-32
"When the Supreme Court decided in January to toss out the decades-old ban on direct corporate and union campaign spending, U.S. politics changed overnight. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the high court ruled 5-4 that unions and corporations could spend money from their vast treasuries on campaigns. The decision applies to for-profit and nonprofit corporations alike, scrambling the deck for political players of all stripes. [...] It's a critical turning point in the world of election law, but advocates fighting over free speech versus corruption remain as polarized as ever. Both sides trot out arguments that oversimplify money's real role in politics and make it harder to identify solutions and common ground. Each of the following six myths contains a grain of truth but papers over important nuances."
Eliza Newlin Carney is a Contributing Editor for National Journal. Fulltext C15/03-10
The Rise of Juristocracy
The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2010, v34, #2, pp16-23
"When rights are at issue, Americans instinctively turn to the courts. It is an undemocratic habit that they have exported, along with the underlying institutions, with dismaying success."
James Grant is the Wright Rogers Law Scholar at the University of Cambridge. Fulltext C16/03-10
Public Opinion on the Supreme Court 2010
Bowman, Karlyn; Rugg, Andrew
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Public Policy Research, June 28, 2010, online edition, 54p (PDF)
"This Public Opinion Study tries to look broadly at confidence in the Court, views of the Court today, knowledge of current Justices, and at the kind of nominee people say they would like to see. It also reviews areas where public opinion is not well formed. Questions about original intent, for example, seem to pull people in one direction or another depending on how they are worded. New and updated sections look at attitudes toward recent nominees, including Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor."
Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI. Andrew Rugg is a research assistant at AEI. Fulltext C17/03-10
State & local Government
Tea Party in Sonora
Harper's Magazine, July 2010, v321, #1922, pp35-42
"Ken Silverstein talks about the horrific budget deficit in Arizona. He asserts that
the general unsightliness of the capitol makes it a fitting home for today's
Arizona legislature, which is composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists, and
cranks. Collectively they have bankrupted the state through a combination of
ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on
the part of G.O.P moderates and Democrats. Although dozens of states are facing
budget crises, the situation in Arizona is arguably the nation's worst, graver
even than in California."
Ken Silverstein is the Washington Editor for Harper's Magazine. Order article C18/03-10
Crime & Law Enforcement
Happiness is a Worn Gun
Harper's Magazine, August 2010, v321, #1923, pp29-38
"Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, even if one is not a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it's safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes. In this article Dan Baum comments about gun-permits and people who are carrying guns."
Dan Baum is a journalist and writer. Order article C19/03-10
Conservatives v. Libertarians
Root, Damon W.
Reason, July 2010, v42, #3, pp25-33
"The conservative legal movement occupies one of the biggest tents in American
politics, with a membership ranging from religious traditionalists to
gay-friendly libertarians who shouldn't really be called conservatives at all.
The movement's origins lie in the political backlash against the Supreme Court's
perceived liberal activism during the 1960s and '70s, when it issued landmark
decisions legalizing abortion, giving defendants procedural safeguards against
self-mcrimination, endorsing school busing, applying "heightened" judicial scrutiny to alleged sex discrimination by the government, limiting the scope of executive power, and loosening the eligibility requirements for federal welfare programs. In the eyes of many conservatives, the Court wasn't just fulfilling the liberal wish list; it was inventing new rights previously unrecognized in constitutional law."
Damon W. Root is an associate editor of Reason. Fulltext C20/03-10
Public Education as Welfare
Katz, Michael B.
Dissent, Summer 2010, v57, #3,
"Welfare is the most despised public institution in America. Public education is the most iconic. To associate them with each other will strike most Americans as bizarre, even offensive. The link would be less surprising to nineteenthcentury reformers for whom crime, poverty, and ignorance formed an unholy trinity against which they struggled. Nor would it raise British eyebrows. Ignorance was one of the "five giants" to be slain by the new welfare state proposed in the famous Beveridge Report. National health insurance, the cornerstone of the British welfare state, and the 1944 Education Act, which introduced the first national system of secondary education to Britain, were passed by Parliament only two years apart. Yet, in the United States, only a few students of welfare and education have even suggested that the two might stand together. Why this mutual neglect? And how does public education fit into the architecture of the U.S. welfare state?"
Michael B. Katz is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of
Pennsylvania. Fulltext C21/03-10
Is Desegregation Dead? Parsing the Relationship between Achievement and Demographics
Eaton, Susan; Steven, Rivkin
Education Next, Fall 2010, v10, #4, online edition
In this forum, Susan Eaton, research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, makes the case for refocusing school reform on creating integrated schools. Steven Rivkin, professor of economics at Amherst College, questions whether desegregation efforts fulfilled their promise and points out complexities to the issue that researchers have barely begun to examine. Fulltext C22/03-10
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Military
Mason, Chuck R.
Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRS Report for Congress, June 16, 2010, online edition, 10p (PDF)
"Although the military does not have primary responsibility to secure the
borders, the Armed Forces generally provide support to law enforcement and
immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in
criminal activity and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers
to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border
Chuck R. Mason is a legal attorney at CRS. Fulltext C23/03-10
Classrooms for Security: Harnessing Academia to Keep America Safe
Carafano, James Jay; Baker McNeill, Jena; Weitz, Richard
Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder #2434, July 7, 2010, online edition, 11p (PDF)
"A homeland security enterprise that can meet the threats and challenges of the 21st century requires the assistance and commitment of America’s educational system. Schools, colleges, and universities must focus on educating students and training professionals, while fostering innovation and planning for the future. More and more academic institutions are offering classes and degrees in issues related to homeland security. Partnerships between institutions of higher learning and the Department of Homeland Security are a crucial part of developing future homeland security leaders. Three homeland security experts explain how academic institutions have become core members of the national homeland security enterprise—and why this relationship must be deepened and enhanced."
James Carafano directs Heritage's Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. Jena Baker McNeill is a homeland security policy analyst at The Heritage
Foundation. Richard Weitz is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Center for a New American
Security and Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military
Analysis at the Hudson Institute. Fulltext C24/03-10
Social Security & Welfare
Achieving a More Integrated America
Summer 2010, v57, #3, pp57-61
"Despite the black family in the White House, this seems an odd moment to think about the possibilities for minority mobility and ethno-racial integration. [...] The situation of minority children is especially dire. About one in three black and Hispanic children live below the poverty line. This is probably an underestimate, because the official poverty line is not a realistic threshold. The statistics are dismal: the heaviest burdens of our staggering income inequalities continue to be borne by minorities."
Richard Alba is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate
Center. Fulltext C25/03-10
Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences
Ratcliffe, Caroline; McKernan, Signe-Mary
Urban Institute, June 14, 2010, online edition, 12p (PDF)
"Child poverty rates have ranged between 15 percent and 23 percent over the past four decades. These rates, however, do not reveal how long children live in poverty. Many families cycle into and out of poverty over time, while others remain poor many years. Persistent poverty among children is of particular concern, as the cumulative effect of being poor may lead to especially negative outcomes and limited opportunities." Fulltext C26/03-10
The State of Society: Measuring Economic Success and Human Well-Being
de Leon, Erwin; Boris, Elizabeth T.
Urban Institute, June 2010, online edition, 94p (PDF)
"This report was commissioned by the Center for Partnership Studies (CPS) to explore progress toward national indicators that measure both human well-being and economic success. These two measurements are interconnected, particularly as society moves further into the postindustrial knowledge and information age where economic success heavily depends on investment in human capacity development."
Erwin de Leon is a policy researcher at the Urban Institute.
Elizabeth T. Boris is founding director at the Center
on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute. Fulltext C27/03-10