Scott Horton explores the covered-up murders of three Guantanamo detainees in Harper’s. Dahlia Lithwick explains why everyone is ignoring it and Conor Friedersdorf calls conservatives to the carpet for worrying about the wrong kind of government wickedness. He writes: “It is penny wise and pound foolish to worry about creeping tyranny via government-run health care or gun control when we’re another terrorist attack away from popular support for an archipelago of secret prisons where anyone can be whisked away and tortured without any evidence against them.” Hear, hear. (Update, 3:53 p.m. Joe Carter thinks its all made up. I don’t think it’s as crazy or implausible as he says, given the unconscionable deeds and cover-ups that have already happened in the age of American torture. Certainly not the “most complex, massive cover-up in the history of our nation.” But a dissenting opinion is always worth a read.)
Richard Hasen has the piece to read on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The Roberts court continued its inclination to overreach and, rather than take one of the six narrower legal paths available, overturned a hundred years of campaign finance law designed to keep corporate money out of politics. Corporate money now equals individual free speech–except that it doesn’t, because you and I don’t have trillions to spend getting our messages out. (Update, 3:14 p.m. Andrew Sullivan considers conservatives’ elation over the constutional principle vindicated in Citizens United, but concludes it’s “wilfully perverse” to think it’s a good result in the real world.)
Should America follow France and ban burqas? I say only if public safety is involved. Schools, driver’s license photos, and public transport? You don’t get to cover your face. But banning religious clothing outright because we don’t want to look at what we consider symbols of oppression on women who have a choice? Because really, what better way to introduce Muslim women to American freedom than by taking it away from them?
In The New Republic, Gabriel Sherman explains the identity crisis going on at the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the New York Times announces it will start charging some users for its Web site next year; both Jack Shafer and Felix Salmon are skeptical.
Atlantic business editor Megan McArdle writes persuasively about seeing these heated debates from the opposition’s side. It’s what most of us who write about such conflicts aspire to do, and what few of us succeed in actually doing.
Karen Tumulty of Time explains why incremental health reform will never work.
Weekly blog roundup: This week, I pirated some thoughts from a great James Fallows piece on America going to hell in arguing that America is prety much ungovernable. I defended the idea that conservatives’ belief in stereotypes contributes to their ostracization from academia.
- grifter1910 on A Response to Stephen Baskerville’s Lecture at Patrick Henry College
- Vernon Rainwater on The Chastened Baritone and the Worth of Labor
- Patricia Jolley on Sufjan Is An Insensitive Name
- Realist on How Women Ruined Men, the World, Everything, Etc
- AC700 on Living the Story of Belief: Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead”
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