- Roger Cohen
on Obsession with the Past Recalling his time spent in the Balkans and
Germany, the columnist writes "I learned a few things over the corpses
and plum brandy. The first was how blinding victimhood can be: the
historical victim ... cannot see when he becomes the chief perpetrator
of violence. The second was that nothing forges national identity ...
faster than persecution." His twin points: the dead should not be able
to outvote the living, and neither Jews nor Palestinians have a real
"right of return." He praises Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's work in the
West Bank: "A non-violent Palestinian approach is an eloquent way of
saying today's children matter more than olive groves three generations
- Paul Krugman Takes on Sen. McConnell's Opposition to Financial Reform Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell recently began attacking
Democratic efforts at financial reform, saying they moved towards
"institutionaliz[ing]" bank bailouts. McConnell's dead wrong, says
Krugman in The New York Times, but more than that, he's insincere:
Obama administration wants tighter regulation of derivatives, while
Republicans are opposed. And that tells you everything you need to know
... When Mitch McConnell denounces big bank bailouts, what he’s really
trying to do is give the bankers everything they want.
- Rich Lowry
on the American Tradition of Paranoia Are Tea Partiers nuts? Maybe,
but so is Naomi Wolf, argues conservative Lowry, quoting the liberal
author on how America is turning from "an open society into a
dictatorship." He argues that "paranoia about government is woven into
the American fabric, on both the left and the right." Why? "It is
written in our political DNA, inherited from the most glorious
paranoiacs the world has ever known--our Founding Fathers." When
"properly directed and honed, it's a healthy reflex."
- The Boston Globe
Cheers: Quality Writing Still Sells Pulitzer-prize winning novel
Tinkers, written by Paul Harding, almost didn't get published. The
author had no "in" to the industry. Now, though, Tinkers is "the first
book from a small publisher to win the Pulitzer in almost 30 years."
The Globe editors step back and say this, actually, is a big victory
for art in a world of advertising:
Harding's rich prose
drove some people to weep and many others to proselytize. And while the
publishing industry remains glutted with celebrity authors, movie
tie-ins, niche marketing schemes and Twittery sales gimmicks, it’s
worth remembering that some novels are still good enough to sell
- Peter Manseau
on the Catholic Abuse Scandal and Forgiveness In The Washington Post,
Manseau tells a highly personal tale of his mother's abuse at the hands
of a priest, and how she came to find closure. He's not asking for heads to roll. But, he says, "if the Vatican truly wants to do penance, absolution should not be
sought in the secrecy of the confessional but in the open air of the
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