The Week: Most Recent U.S. Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 17 Dec 2014 14:18:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent U.S. Posts from THE WEEKWed, 17 Dec 2014 14:18:00 -0500The liberation of Barack Obama<img src="" /></P><p>With today's historic announcement that the U.S. would move to normalize relations with Cuba, President Obama has confirmed that the last two years of his office may be his most momentous. This will come as a surprise to some.</p><p>"I think we're all agreed the president is fading," Peggy Noonan wrote for <em>The Wall Street Journal</em> &mdash; back in May, long before the Democrats were badly beaten in the midterm elections. "Failing to lead, to break through, to show he's not at the mercy of events, but, to some degree at least, in command of them."</p><p>"The Obama presidency is basically over," our own Michael...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:18:00 -0500How academia's liberal bias is killing social science<img src="" /></P><p>I have had the following experience more than once: I am speaking with a professional academic who is a liberal. The subject of the underrepresentation of conservatives in academia comes up. My interlocutor admits that this is indeed a reality, but says the reason why conservatives are underrepresented in academia is because they don't want to be there, or they're just not smart enough to cut it. I say: "That's interesting. For which other underrepresented groups do you think that's true?" An uncomfortable silence follows.<br /><br />I point this out not to score culture-war points, but because it's actually...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:45:00 -0500President Obama's abysmal, legacy-killing response to the CIA torture report<img src="" /></P><p>In a remarkable coincidence, the government of Brazil released its own official torture report last week, only a few days after the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee published its findings on the CIA's use of torture during the Bush era. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced the results of the National Truth Commission, which produced a 2,000-page report detailing the torture inflicted by the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.</p><p>Rousseff broke down in tears at one point, prompting the audience to offer a standing ovation in solidarity. The presentation made for a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 06:06:00 -0500Why Americans agree with Dick Cheney on torture<img src="" /></P><p>Attention, those who have strong reservations about the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques: We're swimming against the tide.</p><p>Half of the American public believes that the CIA's torture program was justified, even as nearly three quarters believe that water-boarding is torture. (Only 29 percent believe that it is not; the rest do not know.)</p><p>Americans believe the program was justified even though they don't think the CIA was telling the truth. They believe it was justified despite thinking its protocols and procedures crossed the line. They admit they don't know enough about the program to...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderTue, 16 Dec 2014 10:05:00 -0500America isn't special because it apologizes<img src="" /></P><p>America is exceptional in many ways. Apologizing for our sins is not one of them.</p><p>In the past week or so, how many times have you heard someone say that what makes America unique among other nations is that even though we are capable of heinous mistakes, we alone have the moral insight to recognize them, to provide an accounting of them, and to change because of them?</p><p>The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the CIA's torture program is an "act of self-examination" that "keeps us a model that others want to emulate, partner with, and immigrate to," writes Thomas Friedman. If our...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderTue, 16 Dec 2014 07:17:00 -0500Aaron Sorkin's misguided assault on the media<img src="" /></P><p>The hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment&rsquo;s computer network has certainly entertained the national media over the past few days, and it isn&rsquo;t difficult to understand why. Combine the insatiable appetite for celebrity news with the opportunity to look behind the corporate wall to find out how entertainment executives talk among one another, and you have a click-bait powerhouse. Toss in an example of racism toward President Obama by two powerful liberals, and it turns into the event of the season. What&rsquo;s not to love?</p><p>Plenty, according to Aaron Sorkin. The television and film producer...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 06:03:00 -0500The true cost of juvenile incarceration<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>In 2008, five years into a long and expensive conflict, economists Joseph Stiglitz and Laura Bilmes surprised even the Iraq War's critics with their estimation of its true cost. The calculations in their book <em>The Three Trillion Dollar War</em> factored in not only the typical expenditures for manpower and machinery, but more abstract aspects as well, such as the opportunity costs of the war, and the future spending that would be necessary for the care of wounded veterans and bereaved families.</p><p>Sometimes, in the midst of complicated policy discussions about complex problems, it takes a big number...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Lauren KirchnerMon, 15 Dec 2014 16:01:00 -0500Why is closing the comments section<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Here at <em>The Week</em>, we have a deep respect for the intelligence and opinions of our readers, and take very seriously our mission of concisely giving smart, busy people all they need to know about everything that matters, on all topics, from all perspectives. And as our site continues to grow and change &mdash; we're now averaging 10 million unique visitors a month, and have a beautiful new redesign launching in early 2015 &mdash; we want the work we do to drive more and more smart and vibrant conversations among thoughtful people from all ideological backgrounds.</p><p>But as our industry has changed...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ben-frumin" ><span class="byline">Ben Frumin</span></a>Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:45:00 -0500The danger of taking for granted that America is a just society<img src="" /></P><p>From Michael Brown to Eric Garner to the torture report, America has had a rough few weeks. It's become so bad that the fundamental idea of America, the one of pledges and anthems and declarations, is looking more like an insincere aspiration than it has for some time. Ours does not appear to be a particularly just society. And there is a danger in us clinging to the illusion that justice still reigns in America.</p><p>This is easy to write, but it's not nearly as easy to believe or truly accept. National myths persist precisely because they provide a bulwark against a difficult reality. More than that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brandon McGinleyMon, 15 Dec 2014 06:22:00 -0500Fall into a coma, lose your benefits<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">An Ohio woman was denied welfare benefits after she failed to attend mandatory job-training sessions because she was in a coma. Kimberly Thompson spent a month in the medically induced coma while battling a series of infections. When she woke up, officials told her she would no longer receive $700 in monthly benefits. "How are you supposed to go to class when you are in a coma?" Thompson asked.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">(Enjoying these strange revelations about the nation? Try 4 risk-free issues of <em>The Week</em> magazine.)</span></p><p class="p1"> </p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 14 Dec 2014 16:00:00 -0500