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WASHINGTON - Call Joe Lieberman the unlikely evangelist. The Independent senator from Connecticut - and the best-known Orthodox Jew in American politics - is probably more cognizant than most of his Jewish congressional colleagues about rabbinical interdictions against encouraging non-Jews to mimic Jewish ritual.
Last week's column, on the declining popularity of several of talk radio's most prominent conservative hosts, seems to have ruffled more than few feathers. Even some readers who in the past have agreed with the Monitor virtually down the line took issue this time - but, interestingly enough, not on the subject of talk radio hosts.
The high-minded centerpiece of Barack Obama's still-emerging strategic doctrine is "a world free of nuclear weapons." Although plainly misconceived -this presidential policy expectation is both unattainable and undesirable- Israel can hardly ignore it. On the contrary, planners in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv will now have to self-consciously fashion and possibly reconcile Israel's own strategic doctrine with the new American ideas.
Mayor Bloomberg has enjoyed the sort of adulatory media coverage that would make even Barack Obama envious. Well, maybe not Obama, but certainly any merely mortal politician. Which makes Fred Siegel’s stubborn refusal to join Bloomberg’s Hallelujah chorus all the more startling.
For days after the Al Smith Memorial Dinner, held in mid-October at the Waldorf Astoria, the media buzzed with clips of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama delivering hilarious routines that put many professional comedians to shame.
Within hours of the announcement by Republican presidential candidate John McCain that he had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the Internet was ablaze with reports that Palin was a supporter of Patrick Buchanan. The arsonists were a left-wing blogger and an attack-dog Democratic politician.
The political world was abuzz this week with the news that Rep. Eric Cantor, the chief deputy minority whip in the House of Representatives and that body's lone Jewish Republican, was being seriously considered by Sen. John McCain as his vice-presidential running mate.
Rick Perlstein, an unabashed man of the left, first attracted wide notice seven years ago with the release of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, his engagingly written and fair-minded study of the rise of the American conservative movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Tanks keeping illegal immigrants from U.S. borders? Nukes dropped on terrorist sanctuaries? Iraqi insurgent strongholds barb-wired and then decimated?
Funny thing about Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware and newly minted presidential hopeful: The media herd has this habit of portraying him as sharp, cerebral, one of the U.S. Senate’s Deep Thinkers – and yet every time he opens his mouth you hold your breath, wondering whether he’ll say something he’ll instantly regret.
Dan Rather is finally out at CBS News, nearly two years after his shoddy and discredited reporting – in the midst of a very tight presidential campaign – on President Bush’s National Guard service, and more than a decade after his CBS Evening News settled into last place among the network newscasts, where it’s remained ever since.
Every four years, it seems, we Americans must display infinite forbearance in the face of irrepressible foolishness. Transforming all serious meaning into manipulation and marketing, our presidential election process has now been reduced to an endless barrage of numbing cliches and empty witticisms.
Forget Portnoy's Complaint. Never mind American Pastoral (1997) or I Married A Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000).
Ravaged by excess - of consumption and commodities rather than of understanding - America now lives anxiously in crowds. This is naturally pleasing to politicians of all persuasions, for whom herding the people together where they cannot think is always "good."