Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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The squabble over Bibi's speech

March 1, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

CHARLIE ROSE wasn't sure he'd heard right. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, his guest on PBS, was lamenting that the controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's forthcoming speech to Congress had "injected a degree of partisanship" into the traditionally bipartisan US-Israel relationship. That's not only "unfortunate," said Rice. "It's destructive of the fabric of the relationship."

Rose seemed nonplussed. "It's destructive of the fabric of the relationship?"

The national security advisor dug in. "It's always been bipartisan. We need to keep it that way.… And when it becomes injected or infused with politics, that's a problem."

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Look who's making an issue of Obama's religion

February 25, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR Scott Walker, attending a meeting of the National Governors Association, was asked by two Washington Post reporters whether President Obama is a Christian. "I don't know," Walker candidly replied.

He has plenty of company.

During the president's reelection campaign in the summer of 2012, the Pew Research Center polled a national sample of registered voters: "Do you happen to know what Barack Obama's religion is?" More than one-third of the respondents — 36 percent — said they didn't know. Only 45 percent identified the president as a Christian; 16 percent said he's a Muslim.

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Could 'Grover the Good' win the White House today?

February 15, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN GROVER CLEVELAND ran for president in 1884, he was endorsed by Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, which listed four reasons for encouraging its readers to send Cleveland to the White House:

"1. He is an honest man. 2. He is an honest man. 3. He is an honest man. 4. He is an honest man."

As a prominent Democratic newspaper, the World's support for Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, was to be expected. But such insistent praise for a candidate's truthfulness and honor was as remarkable then as it would be now — voters in the Gilded Age, like voters in the Digital Age, had ample grounds to regard "honest politician" as a contradiction in terms.

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A valentine for fossil fuels

February 12, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

ROMANTICS MAY look forward to sharing their love this weekend, but as far as the organizers of Global Divestment Day are concerned, Valentine's Day is for breaking up.

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'I see parchment burning, but the letters are soaring free'

February 8, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

BOOK BURNING is as old as books, and as current as this week's news.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Islamic State fanatics have ravaged the Central Library of Mosul, the largest repository of learning in that ancient city. Militants smashed the library's locks and overran its collections, removing thousands of volumes on philosophy, science, and law, along with books of poetry and children's stories. Only Islamic texts were left behind.

"These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah," one of the ISIS jihadists announced as the library's holdings were emptied into sacks and loaded onto pickup trucks. "So they will be burned."

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