2008 | Harper's Magazine - Part 15

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Archive: 2008

The “Crescendo” Recedes: Public indifferent to Biden’s selection

During the past few weeks, thousands of reporters and commentators have produced countless stories feverishly speculating about who Barack Obama would pick to be his vice presidential nominee. “Obama Veep…

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Bayle on the Chronicler’s Duty

Tous ceux qui savent les lois de l’histoire tomberent d’accord qu’un historien qui veut remplir fidèlement ses fonctions doit se déponiller de l’espirit de flatterie et de l’espirit de médisance,…

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Weekend Read: “Not a bad way of making a living”

This week on Sentences I’ve shared my enthusiasm for the essay generally and for those by Arthur Krystal specifically. Reading Krystal on on beauty, sin, typewriters, laziness, death, duelling or…

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A Cartoon

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Penetrating Campaign Insights from the Washington Post and CNN

“Market share dictates the witless coverage, which is largely for the media’s own amusement,” Chris Lehmann said in an interview posted here yesterday. “You see that all the time on…

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Olympics Chief OK on China jailing grannies, but really annoyed by Jamaican sprinter’s celebration

During the run-up to the Olympics and beyond, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, uttered barely a word of criticism about the Chinese government. China breaks its…

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Six Questions for Chris Lehmann on “Moronic” Campaign Coverage and the “Press Bubble”

Chris Lehmann is a senior editor at CQ and a co-editor at Bookforum. He was formerly a columnist of the New York Observer and deputy editor of Washington Post Book…

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Congressman Murtha’s Racket: Pork and influence peddling or jobs and growth?

Several Pennsylvania residents wrote in about yesterday’s post on how lobbyists and defense contractors with ties to Congressman John Murtha have such extraordinary success winning earmarks out of his House…

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More Prosecutorial Mischief in Mississippi

Washington pundits anticipate significant Democratic pick-ups in the upcoming senate races in which a largely Republican class faces a hostile electorate. One of the surprising vulnerabilities for the Republicans is…

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China Nabs Another Gold Medal: Government sets new record for jailing Olympics protesters

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Chinese government had refused to allow a single demonstration in any of the official “protest zones” it had created for the Olympic…

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The Books Remain Closed: A discussion with Arthur Krystal

In my previous post, I talked about the essay as a form, as a showcase both of thinking and for thinking, for exploring a subject in all of its contradictory…

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Convicted Felon: Congressional ethics bill filled with loopholes

From The Hill: Former Representative Bob Ney (R., Ohio) said Wednesday that the lobbying bill passed in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal that sent him to prison probably…

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The Murtha Rules: A simple system to win federal money

Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania has long been one of the biggest porkbarrelers in Congress, and as the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee he is also one of…

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Congressman Vern Buchanan: Would you buy a used car from this man?

From a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, against Congressman Vern Buchanan (R., Fl.): Rep. Buchanan owns several car dealerships in Florida. In September 2005,…

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In Pursuit of Kafka’s Porn Cache: Six questions for James Hawes

James Hawes had a brilliant start to his career as a novelist with A White Merc with Fins, and he’s gone on to have one of his works filmed and…

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Weekly Review

After more than a week of fighting and one failed cease-fire, Russia and Georgia signed a revised cease-fire agreement, but Russian troops remained within 25 miles of the Georgian capital,…

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Olympic Protests: Another Triumph for Jacques Rogge’s “Silent Diplomacy”

Ever since Beijing was awarded the right to host the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has been talking about the beneficial impact this would have on human rights in…

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The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Two Party System

Is there a more boring organization in America than the corporate-sponsored Bipartisan Policy Center, which is hosting big ticket events to both the Democratic and Republican conventions? The Center was…

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I’ll Have My Tie, With a Side Order of Fries

As the crisis in the Caucasus grows, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili enjoys a snack. This does not inspire a great deal of confidence in the Georgian leader’s ability to hold…

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More’s Immortality

Behold a light far brighter than the Sun! The Sun’s a shadow if you them compare, Or grosse Cimmerian mist; the fairest Noon Exceeds not the meridian night so far…

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Military Judge Finds Political Manipulation in Gitmo, Again

The proceedings in the Guantánamo military commissions continue, and the professional participants continue to grapple with the poorly disguised efforts of the Bush Administration to fix the outcome. JAG attorneys…

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Solzhenitsyn – The Challenge of the Modern Age

Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of…

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Weekend Read: “May Christ send you sorrow and a serious illness”

In these pages, in 1947, Jacques Barzun reviewed Malcolm Lowry’s novel, Under the Volcano. Barzun’s review, a terse paragraph in a long essay that bundled many books together with the…

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A Cartoon

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Alan Greenspan: The maestro has no wand

From today’s Washington Post: It’s been nearly a decade since Greenspan’s stock hit its all-time high with the now-famous Time magazine cover during the Asian financial crisis — the one…

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The Zero-Calorie Debates

In 1988, the decisive moment in the presidential campaign may have come when CNN’s Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis this question, opening one of the Bush-Dukakis debates: “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis…

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Change We Can Believe In? Democratic keynoter biggest recipient of lobbying money

From the Sunlight Foundation: Mark Warner, who’s running for Virginia’s open seat to the U.S. Senate and will serve as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Denver,…

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Travel Advisory for Pakistan: Don’t carry your satellite phone

From Doug Frantz at the Washington Independent: Al Qaeda and the Taliban are executing suspected U.S. informants in Pakistan in a campaign to terrorize potential spies and reinforce the authority…

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