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One of the admittedly twisted joys of practical reading is happening upon bad behavioral examples.  I need to be careful with this, I know, because I shrink from having my behavior ever being held up as a negative type for others to avoid.  There are many cases where I could just as easily have stumbled […]

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Paul Ryan gave us one of those rare moments in his acceptance speech last night, a moment of clarity that defines a generation.  He spoke of our grown children, in their twenties, stuck in some kind of intergenerational time warp, living with parents, still sleeping in the room they called theirs in grade school.  We’ve […]

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Listening to Peter on NPR discussing Romney and his message on the economy got me thinking again about the vague dialogue about the issue. Maybe I haven’t seen it but it seems like virtually no one is talking about the economy in big picture terms. I hear about healthcare, jobs, housing, debt, the federal budget, […]

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Misery Tourism in the Western Sahara: Kerry Kennedy

 

Kerry Kennedy, of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, recently visited the Western Sahara and refugee camps in Algeria.  She penned a piece about her visit for the Huffington Post, which relays a harrowing tale of secret police possibly harassing and beating a woman, something she observed while travelling with her 17-year-old daughter and RFK Center colleagues in El Aaiún, Western Sahara, a disputed territory in Morocco.

Her companions included Aminatou Haidar, an ally of the Algerian Government masquerading as a human rights activist. Her campaigns to help the indigenous Sahrawi, while well-intentioned, often seem clouded by political motivations rather than driven by facts. In the refugee camps, thousands are held hostage by the Polisario Front (a separatist group) and their Algerian patrons. Their status as hostages is often overlooked by Haidar and the RFK Center. The diplomatic relations between the Polisario and Moroccan government are in a a constant state of tension, as citizens are held in the balance.  Haidar relies on the Kennedy Center for visibility and credibility. With Kennedy’s visit, she received just that.

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I wonder if anyone’s evolved on this like I have. Until a couple years back I considered it good parenting to be an “honest broker” when explaining political divisions with my kids: I’d present both sides as respectfully as I could, say which side I agreed with, and leave it at that. Now I consider it my duty […]

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People have said the Ryan pick shows that Mitt Romney doesn’t just want to be president, doing little to disturb the status quo, that he wants his campaign to be an opportunity for the country to debate the big matters of budgetary restraint and entitlements. H’mm.  If he did want to be a status quo […]

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An uncle and I were discussing how Romney might get under Obama’s skin and force an error during the Presidential debates. He mentioned Reagan’s famous “There you go again” line and said Romney could use a similar rejoinder. His suggestion? “It’s not all about you.” Preview Open

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Most who know I hail from north of Boston would think I would be a Patriots fan and while the wife does make me dress in a Brady jersey every so often they are a distant second.  The Saints are third related to my time in New Orleans and many many friends.  Number one and […]

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A Convention No Longer?

 

As surely as the balloons drop at every convention’s end, questions arise about whether these elaborately scripted four-day political shows will survive for another election cycle. Given that questioning the future of conventions has become, well, conventional, it would be easy to dismiss this year’s talk but for a couple reasons.

On the Republican side, the second hurricane-shortened convention in four years has party leaders at the highest level asking questions about whether conventions in their current form are worth the cost. “These are very expensive propositions to put on. I think that given as much news people get today and the way they get their news, I’m not sure that having a four-day convention for the future makes a lot of sense,” Speaker John Boehner said earlier this week, according to an article in Roll Call.

The Unconventional Convention

 

This morning, a few Ricochet editors — me, Mollie Hemingway, Troy Senik, Diane Ellis, and James Lileks — and special correspondent Mickey Kaus, got on Skype to talk over last night’s speeches, Clint Eastwood’s triumph (Troy dissented), and the weird un-weirdness of Mitt Romney.

It was a very fun conversation.

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So the topic is popping up once again, thanks to Brazil.  Oh you wacky Brazilians, what will you do next?  Since the subject of marriage pops up again and again, I figured I’d start a thread too, just because I find when I state: “Non-traditional marriage is mathematically illogical” I don’t have characters to put […]

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The media is no longer biased; they now hate everyone equally. That is essentially the finding of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s examination of the major campaign narratives as reported by the MSM. The report is chocked full of good data to parse and ponder. It starts with a solid proclamation […]

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I spent a few minutes watching CNN and MSNBC after the convention, and the “narrative” was immediately obvious:  Clint Eastwood just cost Mitt Romney the presidency!  Sad, I know, but it leads to a legitimate question: Did Eastwood’s performance unnecessarily give the media an opportunity to create a story to distract from the meat of […]

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All in all, the Republican convention has presented Obama/Biden with big, big problem.  Ryan was brilliant. Mitt was better than OK, and gave a compelling speech (it’s just that he can’t meet the Ryan standard). So what will we hear next week from Obama/Biden?  My prediction: Preview Open

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Ok, I have to admit, I’m not a Conventional guy. Being a bookish sort, I’d rather sit down and read transcripts and summaries, arguments and counter-arguments, than sit through a politico-musical extravaganza (although I love G. E. Smith — great musician) filled with stem-winders and zingers. But my family did watch this year, something I hadn’t […]

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