Content Section
  1. Endorsement Iowa Paper: Mitt Romney for President! Brian Snyder / Landov

    1. Iowa Paper: Mitt Romney for President!

    The buzz is on Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in Iowa's Republican caucuses, but this might shake things up a little. The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest newspaper, has announced its support for Mitt Romney. "Sobriety, wisdom and judgment. ... Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses." But singing Romney's praises isn't all: the Register explains why it rejected the current frontrunners, calling Gingrich "an undisciplined partisan" and saying Paul's ideology "would lead to economic chaos and isolationism."

    December 18, 2011 9:38 AM

  2. Takedown WSJ: Gingrich Loves Big Government Chris Carlson / AP Photo

    2. WSJ: Gingrich Loves Big Government

    If you're watching the Wall Street Journal editorial page for which way the wind is blowing in the Republican primary, take note of this: they're amplifying Michele Bachmann's attacks in Saturday's debate on Newt Gingrich's lobbying for Freddie Mac. "The real history lesson here may be what the Freddie episode reveals about Mr. Gingrich's political philosophy. To wit, he has a soft spot for big government when he can use it for his own political ends." He's still defending himself, but he's calling big-government profiteering a conservative value. "Mr. Gingrich would help his candidacy if he stopped defending his Freddie payday, admitted his mistake, and promised to atone as President by shrinking Fannie and Freddie and ultimately putting them out of business."

    December 18, 2011 9:08 AM

  3. Justice Let Bradley Manning Defend Himself! Cliff Owen / AP Photo

    3. Let Bradley Manning Defend Himself!

    The young private charged with leaking thousands of army documents to Wikileaks won't be able to properly defend himself in court thanks to the military's refusal to allow him to call appropriate witnesses. Denver Nicks at The Daily Beast says that's unconscionable, since studies suggest state secrecy is raging out of control and leaks are the only way we're likely to learn the truth about what government does. "It may be that Bradley Manning put lives in danger and did 'serious injury to the national interest.' But if he did, the state should prove it in open court amid a candid discussion about what is secret and why."

    December 18, 2011 7:59 AM

  4. Hindsight Bacevich: Out of Iraq, Out of the Lead Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images

    4. Bacevich: Out of Iraq, Out of the Lead

    As pundits reach for meaning of the end of the Iraq war, foreign affairs scholar Andrew J. Bachevich writes in the Washington Post that it should be seen as the official end of U.S. global dominance. Overly hubristic about its way of live and intent on exporting it, America marched on a fool's errand that left it forever discredited in front of the world it once led. "The beliefs to which the end of the Cold War gave rise—liberal democracy triumphant, globalization as the next big thing and American dominion affirmed by a new way of war—have all come to rest in that unmarked grave reserved for failed ideas."

    December 18, 2011 8:57 AM

  5. Obit Douthat: Hitchens, The Believer's Atheist Stephen Voss / Redux

    5. Douthat: Hitchens, The Believer's Atheist

    As the English-speaking world mourns Christopher Hitchens, the New York Times' resident Catholic Ross Douthat speaks for a surpsing niche of Hitchens fandom: Christians, who couldn't get enough of him despite his best efforts at blasphemy. "Some of this reflected his immense personal charm, his willingness to debate with Baptists and drink with Catholics and be comradely to anyone who took ideas seriously," Douthat writes. But it went deeper. "American Christian intellectual life is sustained today, to a large extent, by the work of writers very much like Hitchens — by essayists and journalists and novelists and poets, from G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis to W. H. Auden and Evelyn Waugh, who shared his English roots, his gift for argument and his abiding humanism."

    December 18, 2011 7:34 AM

  6. Anti-Centrist How Americans Elect Kills Democracy Ramin Talaie, Bloomberg / Getty Images

    6. How 'Americans Elect' Kills Democracy

    High-profile bipartisans are in love with Americans Elect, a centrist third-party group getting on the ballot next November, but Democrats are fretting. They should stop worrying, writes New York's Jonathan Chait, because Americans Elect probably won't hurt Obama. But it will hurt democrac. "The main impact of a third party candidacy is to harm the larger of the two parties that most closely agrees with you. The result is to increase the chances of a candidate who represents a minority faction winning." Americans who hate the hegemony of the two-party system "should be working to change it rather than make it work even worse than it already does."

    December 18, 2011 8:17 AM

  7. BS Detector Skip the January Detox This Year Courtsy of Gaiam

    7. Skip the January Detox This Year

    If you're gearing up for an enema after this year's holiday feasts, you might want to think twice, says columnist Virginia Coren in the Observer. A new study says they don't do much good and may do a lot of harm. But why on earth did we every think they did? "Facials don't give you better skin. Seaweed wraps don't make you thinner. Electric shocks don't melt your cellulite." So why do we follow the back-and-forth articles, promising and then debunking? "What we seem reluctant to accept is that nobody can make you beautiful. Except perhaps a surgeon, and that's debatable."

    December 18, 2011 8:29 AM