Top Young Historians: 108 – Bethany Moreton, 39

Top Young Historians

Bethany Moreton, 39

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and the History of Christianity Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, 2010-2011
Area of Research: History of capitalism, the twentieth-century cultural and religious history of the United States, and transnational history
Education: Ph.D. 2006, (M.A., M. Phil.) U.S. History, Yale University
Dissertation: “The Soul of the Service Economy: Wal-Mart and the Making of Christian Free Enterprise, 1929-1994,” under the direction of Glenda E. Gilmore.
Major Publications: Moreton is the author of Book: To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Harvard University Press, May 2009). Winner, Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization of American Historians, April, 2010. Bethany Moreton JPG
Moreton is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including among others:
“Why Is There So Much Sex in Christian Conservatism and Why Do So Few Historians Care Anything about It?” Journal of Southern History 75th anniversary issue, v. 75, no. 3 (August, 2009); “Make Payroll, Not War: Business Culture as Youth Culture,” in Bruce Schulman and Julian Zelizer, eds., Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008); “The Soul of the Service Economy: Wal-Mart and the Making of Christian Free Enterprise, 1929-1994,” Enterprise & Society 8:4 (December, 2007); “The Soul of Neoliberalism,” Social Text v. 25, no. 3 92 (Fall 2007), pp. 103-123; co-authored with Pamela Voekel: “Vaya con Dios: Religion and the Transnational History of the Americas,” History Compass, Summer 2007; “It Came from Bentonville: The Agrarian Origins of Wal-Mart Culture” in Nelson Lichtenstein, ed., Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First Century Capitalism (New Press, 2005).
Moreton is currently working on the tentively titled manuscript “Spiritual Development: Neoliberalism and Transnational Religion”.
Awards: Moreton is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Emerging Scholar’s Prize Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, April, 2009;
Junior Faculty Fellowship Willson Center for the Humanities, University of Georgia, for fall semester 2009;
Visiting Scholar Fellowship American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2006-2007;
Charlotte F. Newcombe Fellowship Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 2005-2006;
Dissertation Fellowship for the Study of American Religion Louisville Institute, 2004-2005;
Program on Philanthropy and the Non-Profit Sector Fellowship Social Science Research Council, 2004;
Program on the Corporation as a Social Institution Fellowship Social Science Research Council, 2003;
Myrna F. Bernath Fellowship Award Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2003;
Dissertation Research Grant Yale Center for International and Area Studies, 2003;
Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Summer Travel Grant Yale Center for International and Area Studies, 2003;
Mellon Research Seminar Fellowship in Women’s and Gender History Schlesinger Library, Harvard University, 2002.

Personal Anecdote

My first act of research for To Serve God and Wal-Mart was shoveling fossilized chicken droppings out of a defunct coop on a goat farm in Northwest Arkansas. The farm’s owners, friends of my favorite agrarian Jim Scott, evidently took my willingness to pick up a shovel as a character reference, and lost no time making me feel at home in Wal-Mart’s backyard. Since we have no Freedom of Information Act for the state-supported institutions we somewhat inaccurately call private corporations, the research could only go so far by relying on formal archives. It was only through the generosity of my hosts in the Ozarks-the original Wal-Mart Country–that I was able to learn to explore how “Wal-Martism” might fill the conceptual hole in the middle of “post-Fordism.” If the Detroit auto industry had set the pattern for the first half of the twentieth century-in spatial organization, labor arrangements, finance, family formation, ideology, immigration, art-then surely its successor was a likely site for understanding major developments of the post-war years.

When Wal-Mart beat out Exxon-Mobil to become the world’s largest company in 2002, what we knew that the first service company to make it to the top of the Fortune 400 was what astute business journalists like Bob Ortega had been telling us since the early 1990s: Wal-Mart had remade retail by achieving such market dominance that it could dictate its terms to the suppliers rather than the other way around. At the fringes of this narrative were the voices of historic preservationists and organized labor, finally roused by the Arkansas company’s disruptive penetration of Vermont, Chicago, and Southern California. The reigning questions about the new top multinational were often variations on “Wow–how did Wal-Mart do it?” or “Is Wal-Mart good for America?”

While my 2002 dissertation prospectus referenced this literature, though, it also included chapter proposals that ultimately allowed me to explore a question I found much more interesting, the one that Thomas Frank revived from the original Populist mobilization: “What’s the matter with Kansas?” -understood now as “Why have Americans on the losing end of the deregulated, off-shored service economy enabled it politically for more than a generation?” To Serve God and Wal-Mart is therefore not so much a book about Wal-Mart as an account of the anointing of free enterprise, the unlikely legitimation of neoliberal economics through evangelical religion. It tells this story through the twinned biographies of the world’s largest company and the ideological apparatus it nurtured. It argues that this specific experience of mass service work transformed economic common sense and infused it with evangelical values at precisely the moment that federal redistribution catapulted the Sun Belt to its position of decisive influence within the nation. That moment of waxing power for the old agricultural periphery coincided with American-led economic integration, so that the ethos of Christian free enterprise-the odd pairing of Jerry Falwell and Milton Friedman, so to speak-gave late twentieth-century globalization some of its most distinctive characteristics. Ultimately I join writers like Janet Jakobsen, Ann Pellegrini, Lisa Duggan, Tanya Erzen, and Linda Kintz in arguing that the Left’s frustration with the “culture wars” misreads the necessary connection between conservative sexual mores and the post-1973 economy that Wal-Mart ultimately dominated.

That I got to learn about this complex relationship while living in the Ozarks, knee-deep in chicken droppings, was my good fortune.

Quotes

By Bethany Moreton

  • “For the emerging Wal-Mart constituency, faith in God and faith in the market grew in tandem, aided by a generous government and an organized, corporate-funded grassroots movement for Christian free enterprise. Ultimately, they  JPG helped shape American-led globalization itself. The postindustrial society grew from a specific regional history an the heritage of Populism. It was built in the aisles and break rooms of Southern discount stores, in small-group Bible study and vast Sunday-morning worship services. It spread through the marketing classes and mission trips of Christian colleges, through student business clubs and service projects. Although free-market economic theories captured the hearts and minds of elite policymakers in the later twentieth century, the animatig spirit of Christian free enterprise shaped the outcome. The Wal-Mart Moms understood better than their critics: Family values are an indispensable element of the global service economy, not a distraction from it.” — Bethany Moreton in “To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise” (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009)
  • About Bethany Moreton

  • “Moreton’s work is a model of public scholarship in the humanities, rigorous, sympathetic to individual stories, wonderfully written, combining attention to individual story with command of the complex intersection of corporate culture and religious practice. It provides insight into one of the most prevalent, and inscrutable, features of American society today. — Kathy Woodward, Director of the Simpson Humanities Center at the University of Washington, Emerging Scholar’s Prize Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, April, 2009
  • “Moreton charts the fortunes of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest corporation, and analyses its collusion with the evangelical Christian movement. Hers is a thought-provoking general account of the effect “a Christian service ethos” has on American attitudes towards the free market.” — New Statesman
  • “This is a history in equal parts of Wal-Mart and the world that Wal-Mart has made…Moreton reveals Wal-Mart’s extraordinary capacity to develop cultural solutions for the very crises that its business model produced. Her prose is extraordinarily lucid and often provocative, and presents the subject in a manner that will hold interest for both scholars and general readers…To Serve God and Wal-Mart should become a standard text in business history courses, and deserves to be widely assigned–in whole or in part–in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of the twentieth-century United States…In performing a deliberate inversion of more conventional approaches to business history, To Serve God and Wal-Mart greatly enriches our understanding of both Wal-Mart and the Sun Belt service economy.” — “Angus Burgin, Enterprise and Society”
  • “Essential reading for understanding not just Wal-Mart, but also America’s general political and economic trajectory.” — David Moberg, “In These Times”
  • “Full of detailed and important information and gives a very good insight as to how the sunbelt states set about their development after the second World War…For those interested in the Southern Christian psyche it’s a valuable reference.” — Noel Smyth, “Irish Times”
  • “[A] deeply researched account of the ideological underpinnings of the company’s rise…[It] makes for compelling and provocative reading, complicating any simplistic view about why many Americans are enthusiastic about Wal-Mart, even as it seems to grind down wages, stamp out unions, advance a desolate model of exurban life, and eviscerate the small towns in its path.” — Rob Horning, popmatters.com
  • “Much of what we learn from Moreton’s book…raises serious doubts about whether the corporation’s influence has been positive on balance. But in the process of describing the downside of Wal-Mart, [she] offers penetrating insights into why the chain has been so phenomenally successful…Moreton offers a gracefully written and meticulously researched account of why people not only have been willing to work for the company, but often have also developed fierce loyalty to it…Economists have long recognized the attractions of flexible working arrangements to some segments of the labor force. But Moreton also offers more novel observations about the lure of Wal-Mart. She explains, for example, how the company invoked the fundamentalist Christian teachings embraced by many of its employees to fashion a working environment that induced them to work contentedly for low wages and paltry benefits…Moreton argues that Walton and his fellow executives quickly recognized the economic advantage of weaving specific strands of the Ozark region’s fundamentalist belief system into their corporate strategy… Moreton’s book answers important questions about why workers have been willing to accept Wal-Mart’s austere compensation package.” — Robert Frank, “New York Times Book Review”
  • “Walton made the cheerful, down-home, everyone-pulling-together family-farm values of his early frontline retail workers a hallmark of his emerging behemoth while earning their loyalty through policies, like flexible scheduling, that respected their “home duties.”…To understand the lingua franca of today’s workplace–with its talk of networking, entrepreneurialism, leadership, community service, and, above all, PR and communications–this book is indispensable reading. After all, we all live in Wal-Mart World now.” — Catherine Tumber, “Boston Phoenix”
  • “Bethany Moreton’s pathbreaking study, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise is an invaluable asset for apprehending how we got here. Her new book chronicles Wal-Mart’s role in mainstreaming evangelical and free market values even as it became the world’s largest public corporation and the nation’s biggest private employer. A critical appraisal of how religion, politics and economics were interwoven in post- Vietnam American culture and society, To Serve God and Wal-Mart is also a bracing reminder that we, among the most materialistic people in the world, have turned a blind eye to the impact of material conditions on our actions, attitudes and beliefs.” — Diane Winston, Religion Dispatches
  • “[A] probing and nuanced study of the latter-day evangelical romance with free-market capitalism…Wal-Mart’s folksy illusion relied in part on making store workers feel like family; in particular, on making female workers feel valued as wives and mothers. Moreton does an excellent job of digging beneath Wal-Mart’s carefully imagineered vision of the rural good life. She not only recounts labor abuses such as the company’s notorious failure to promote and reward women but also stresses how the company appealed to white Americans’ feelings of entitlement…Its workers and the customers they served–often “friends, neighbors, and loved ones”–were the same: white Ozarkers nostalgic for a wholesome, more homogeneous, and largely imaginary yesteryear, for a past in which the best opportunities were reserved for people like them.” — Maud Newton, “Bookforum”
  • “Like all historians who love their craft, Bethany Moreton is a gifted storyteller, and this book offers readers an engaging account of how a discount five-and-dime store conceived in the rural American Ozarks became the template for service work in the global economy…[An] impeccably documented and eloquently argued narrative, which will interest historians, sociologists and general readers…Her most significant contribution is to offer an explanation of the paradox that political pundits have pondered in recent years: why many middle Americans prioritize conservative social issues ahead of government policies that would presumably be in their economic self-interest. Moreton’s careful, sometimes wry historical analysis demonstrates that when “values voters”–with many Wal-Mart workers surely among them–eschew economic benefits such as unionization, they do so out of allegiance to a radically new set of moral market priorities. The subjugation of the self to the global corporation, ironically, embraces a deeper set of ideals about the supremacy of family, the morality of self-reliance and the evangelical justification of free enterprise. To Serve God and Wal-Mart shows just how deeply entrenched these ideals are in the world’s largest retailer, offering an intimate portrait of both the contradictions and conquests of the new service economy.” — Rebekah Peeples Massengill, Times Higher Education
  • “Moreton unearths the roots of the seeming anomaly of “corporate populism,” in a timely and penetrating analysis that situates the rise of Wal-Mart in a postwar confluence of forces, from federal redistribution of capital favoring the rural South and West to the “family values” symbolized by Sam Walton’s largely white, rural, female workforce (the basis of a new economic and ideological niche), the New Christian Right’s powerful probusiness and countercultural movement of the 1970s and ’80s and its harnessing of electoral power. Giving Max Weber’s “Protestant ethic” something of a late-20th-century update, Moreton shows how this confluence wedded Christianity to the free market. Moreton’s erudition and clear prose elucidate much in the area of recent labor and political history, while capturing the centrality of movement cultures in the evolving face of American populism.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “Fascinating…With verve and clarity, Moreton offers something more distinctive: a compelling explanation of how Wal-Mart captured the hearts and pocketbooks of so many Americans.” — Steven P. Miller, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch”
  • “Dr. Moreton make students see strengths within themselves, she inspires and empowers women through knowledge and action. No one else could ever be a more effective teacher than she. She is truly a gift to students and the academy as a whole.”…
    “Dr. Moreton has the unique ability to present material in a highly intellectual way that everyone can grasp.”…
    “Moreton has the power to comfortably accomodate, yet critically challenge all students. Her lectures are my favorite; they are always well-prepared, brilliantly articulated, intellectually stimulating, and very exciting. She also facilitates powerful discussions among students; she asks the right questions.”…
    “I always leave Dr. Moreton’s classes as a better writer than I was before. Her deep discussions into the core of the subject matter encourage and empower students to argue a thoroughly well-written paper. Dr. Moreton offers extensive (positive) criticism and help to improve any student’s writing. Also, she challenges me on a greater intellectual level than any other professor.”…
    “Dr. Moreton’s material for the class was the most challenging material I have come across in both of my fields of study. Dr. Moreton forced me to think of things that in the past I ran from and for that I am FOREVER grateful to Dr. Moreton. Dr. Moreton’s intelligence, passion, patience, and high standards for student performance EMBOLDENED my ability to take on intellectual challenges that first seem impossible.”…
    “Dr. Moreton is one of the most inspirational instructors that I have had at the University. Her passion for her students and unlimited knowledge provided for an amazing classroom environment.”…
    “This class was one of the few at UGA that gave me not only new information or facts, but new concepts.” – — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 1:34 PM

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    June 28, 2010: Obama at the G20, Passing Financial Reform & Kagan’s Confirmation Hearings Begin

    By Bonnie K. Goodman

    Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

    OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 111TH CONGRESS:

    President Obama Commends Congress for Finalizing Wall Street

    President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press regarding the congressional agreement on Financial Reform from the South Lawn of the White House June 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

    IN FOCUS: STATS

    • President Obama at the G8 in Photos: The President spent today at the G8 Summit in Canada, which focused amongst other things on the Muskoka Initiative on maternal and child health (MCH). See an array of photos from the day below…. – WH, 6-25-10
    • Poll: Obama’s ratings fall amid Gulf oil spill: President Barack Obama’s job performance rating has dropped to the lowest level of his presidency as Americans grow less confident in his leadership, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday. Obama’s rating stood at 45 percent in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, down 5 points from early last month. For the first time in the survey, more people — 48 percent — say they disapprove of Obama’s job performance. A majority of respondents, 62 percent, said the country was on the wrong track. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed rate Obama positively on “strong leadership qualities,” down from 70 percent when he became president and a drop of 8 points since January…. – Reuters, 6-23-10
    • GOP: generic optimism over poll: Republicans must be giddy over the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Thanks to the BP oil spill in the gulf, the administration’s problems getting a public handle on the disaster and the stubborn economy, President Obama’s job approval rating dropped from 50 percent last month to 45 percent now. His disapproval rating is now 48 percent. To make matters worse, 60 percent of those polled say the nation is on the wrong track. Republicans surely are smiling over who poll respondents said they wanted ruling Congress after the November midterms. For the second survey in a row the GOP came out on top. They were favored 45 to 43 over Democrats. WaPo, 6-25-10
    • Confidence Waning in Obama, U.S. Outlook: Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the country and less confident in President Barack Obama’s leadership than at any point since Mr. Obama entered the White House, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The survey also shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil spill, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation of the oil industry and believing that the spill will affect the nation’s economy and environment. Sixty-two percent of adults in the survey feel the country is on the wrong track, the highest level since before the 2008 election. Just one-third think the economy will get better over the next year, a 7-point drop from a month ago and the low point of Mr. Obama’s tenure. WSJ, 6-23-10
    • Cherry-picking polls: Obama’s leadership numbers tumble and would you believe Senator Charlie Crist?: As one result, a new CBS News Poll finds most Americans believe Obama reacted too slowly to the catastrophe (61%) and has no clear plan to deal with it (59% nationwide, 64% in the gulf area). Forty-five percent say Obama has no clear plan for developing new energy sources and 54% still say he has no clear plan for developing new jobs, 16 months after he signed his own massive jobs plan and numerous expensive sales trips to sell its benefits…. – LAT, 6-22-10
    • Rasmussen: McCain 47%, Hayworth 36%: Longtime Senator John McCain continues to lead Arizona’s Republican Primary by double digits but remains in the same narrow range of support he’s drawn since January. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters in the state Voters shows McCain picking up 47% support, while challenger J.D.Hayworth earns the vote from 36%. Navy veteran and Tea Party activist Jim Deakin picks up seven percent (7%) support. One percent (1%) like another candidate in the race, and eight percent (8%) are undecided…. – Tucson Weekly, 6-22-10

    THE HEADLINES….

    President Barack Obama talks with President Dmitry Medvedev of

    President Barack Obama talks with President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada as as they walk with other G8 leaders at the G8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada June 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    • Robert Byrd, Respected Voice of the Senate, Dies at 92: Robert C. Byrd, who used his record tenure as a United States senator to fight for the primacy of the legislative branch of government and to build a modern West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died at about 3 a.m. Monday, his office said. He was 92. He had been in failing health for several years. Mr. Byrd served 51 years in the Senate, longer than anyone in American history, and with his six years in the House, he was the longest-serving member of Congress. He held a number of Senate offices, including majority and minority leader and president pro tem. But the post that gave him the most satisfaction was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, with its power of the purse — a post he gave up only last year as his health declined. A New Deal Democrat, Mr. Byrd used the position in large part to battle persistent poverty in West Virginia, which he called “one of the rock bottomest of states.”… – NYT, 6-28-10
    • M.D. Ginsburg, 78, Dies; Lawyer and Tax Expert: Martin D. Ginsburg, a tax lawyer and professor of tax law and the husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court, died Sunday at his home in Washington. He was 78. The cause was cancer, according to a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, which announced the death…. – NYT, 6-28-10
    • Obama’s G20 Attendance Signifies Debt Reduction Plan: The G20 Summit in Toronto has been taking place, ensuring that world leader’s from 20 of the largest countries have been able to discuss some of the key issues concerning international finance.
      One of the main issues has been the deficits which many countries are having to contend with – the UK included. Britain has recently announced that they are going to be making billions of dollars worth of cuts to their public sector, in order to try and reduce the public sector net borrowing deficit.
      Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to reducing America’s deficit today, agreeing with other nations at the event to reduce oustanding debt by half over a three-year period. However, the President warned about how being too proactive over this matter could result in what is known as a ‘double dip’ recession, meaning that previous economic difficulties could return on a far worse scale. As it is, some European leaders believe that Barack Obama’s plans are ineffective in some ways, particularly because of how levels of unemployment in America have remained fairly constant…. – News Quench, 6-27-10
    • Oops! Joe Biden’s smart mouth gives GOP more ammo with botched Wisconsin trip: Would you call it a disastrous trip? Maybe not disastrous, but memorable. You will hear about Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to the Wisconsin custard shop many times over the course of the next five months. The simple campaign-like stop will give conservatives even more ammunition in an upcoming midterm election season that already looks ominous for President Obama…. – LAT, 6-27-10
    • Obama’s high court pick Kagan faces Senate hearing: Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, faces a potential grilling by Republicans as she begins her Senate confirmation hearing on Monday even as Obama rejected as “pretty thin gruel” arguments advanced by her critics.
      Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee that will hold the hearings, made it clear that Kagan can expect tough questioning on whether she has what it takes to be a Supreme Court justice. “This is a confirmation, not a coronation,” said Sessions, appearing on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “She has the least experience of any nominee at least in the last 50 years,” Sessions said…. – Reuters, 6-28-10
    • White House launches plan to boost broadband: U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to free up airways would nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum currently available for wireless devices, an administration official said on Monday. The plan would make available 500 megahertz of federal and commercial spectrum over the next 10 years, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity…. – Reuters, 6-28-10
    • Palin in Tyler: Says Obama falls short on leadership: Sarah Palin fired up an enthusiastic Texas crowd late Saturday by criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying he’s falling short on leadership. “You asked for the job, Mr. President, so buck up,” Palin said to voracious applause inside the nearly packed Oil Palace. Organizers said the event drew about 5,000 people…. – AP, 6-27-10
    • US legislation could help Obama at G-8 talks: President Obama came to the summit table this weekend with a strong hand to press his case to foreign leaders for tougher financial regulations, after Congress agreed to a far-reaching overhaul of the American regulatory system. The opposite is true for his effort to persuade other governments to keep stimulating their economies rather than attacking deficits. While Congress allowed Obama to pack the big victory on banking regulation as he left for the Group of 20 summit, the Senate separately dealt him a significant setback that no doubt resonated with the foreign leaders here pushing fiscal austerity: Democratic leaders shelved an economic stimulus package of aid for the long-term unemployed and financially squeezed states, along with assorted tax cuts…. – NYT, 6-27-10
    • Senate Democrats poised to start energy bill: Legislation could include a carbon cap on utility companies. Many Democrats hope a summer discussion on energy will establish a strong contrast with Republicans before this fall’s election… – LAT, 6-27-10
    • GOP: Obama’s panel is biased Critics contend spill inquiry panel has no oil experts, only drilling foes: The presidential commission investigating offshore drilling safety and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill came under fresh fire Thursday with Republicans accusing President Barack Obama of stacking it with environmental activists. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., charged the Obama administration with keeping oil and gas drilling experts off its seven-member commission in favor of people who philosophically oppose offshore exploration. And Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, said there was a huge conflict of interest in putting environmental advocates on a panel responsible for investigating the spill and recommending new safety mandates for offshore drilling…. – Houston Chronicle, 6-27-10
    • Specter ready to press Kagan to take a stand: Elena Kagan wrote 15 years ago that Supreme Court confirmation hearings had become a “vapid and hollow charade” filled with blather instead of rigorous thought. For a lifetime appointment, she argued, there should be a substantial exchange of ideas. When her own turn before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins Monday, however, Kagan probably will stick to platitudes…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 6-27-10
    • 3 Democrats urge U.S. to not sue Arizona: A trio of U.S. House Democrats from Arizona is making a last-ditch effort to discourage President Barack Obama’s administration from suing the state over its controversial new illegal-immigration law. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords support a comprehensive approach to border security and immigration reform, something Congress has failed to pass despite years of trying. All three, who could find themselves in difficult re-election battles this year, want the administration to focus on practical steps to repair the broken U.S. immigration system and shore up border security instead of suing Arizona. A federal legal challenge could come from the Justice Department as early as this week…. – The Arizona Republic, 6-27-10
    • ‘McChrystal downbeat on Afghan war before sacking’: US General Stanley McChrystal issued a highly critical assessment of the war in Afghanistan just days before he was sacked by President Barack Obama, a British newspaper reported Sunday. The Independent on Sunday said leaked military documents showed McChrystal had briefed defence ministers from the countries involved in the war earlier this month and warned them to expect no progress in the next six months…. – AFP, 6-27-10
    • Vice President Biden to visit Gulf Coast region to see BP’s oil spill first hand: Vice President Biden will visit the Gulf Coast on Tuesday to check on progress in the ongoing fight against the massive oil spill, officials said Friday. Biden will visit the National Incident Command Center in New Orleans and the Florida Panhandle, where miles of beach are closed as murky plumes of oil loom not far offshore. The trip will be the vice president’s first since the crisis in the Gulf began. President Obama has visited the region four times in recent months…. – NY Daily News, 6-26-10
    • GOP: Schwarzenegger ‘a great disappointment’: Gov. has few friends in Calif. party, massive deficit, low approval ratings… – WaPo, MSNBC, 6-26-10
    • Former VP Cheney hospitalized: Former Vice President Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader who has a long history of heart disease. Cheney was expected to remain at George Washington University Hospital over the weekend, said spokesman Peter Long…. – AP, 6-25-10
    • Democrats Fix Strategy for Undefined Climate and Energy Bill: Emotions surged during a “thrilling” caucus gathering in which Democrats plotted to bring a vote on climate legislation to the floor this summer. They promised to challenge resistant Republicans to oppose a measure focusing on polluters as oil from the site of an exploded rig continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico.
      But the party faces the same thorny questions it did before the rousing “rank and file uprising,” as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) described the meeting. The questions include whether Democrats have enough support among their own members to impose a price on greenhouse gas emissions…. – NYT, 6-25-10
    • Lawmakers Agree on Wall Street’s Biggest Overhaul Since 1930s: Congressional negotiators today approved the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. financial regulation since the Great Depression, reshaping oversight of Wall Street and some of its most opaque concoctions. Lawmakers from the House and Senate worked through the night in a 20-hour session to reach deals on two of their most far-reaching and contentious proposals — a ban on proprietary trading by banks and new oversight of the derivatives market. This month, they’ve also agreed on measures to wind down big firms whose collapse might shake markets, to keep tabs on hedge funds and to make it easier for investors to sue credit raters.
      “This is going to be a very strong bill, and stronger than almost everybody predicted that it could be and that I, frankly, thought it would be,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told reporters June 23 as lawmakers prepared for the final round of talks…. – Bloomberg, 6-25-10
    • House, Senate lawmakers reach a deal on financial reform: The sweeping legislation, an attempt to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis, would create a consumer protection bureau, impose tough regulations on derivatives and grant the government power to seize and dismantle teetering firms… – LAT, 6-25-10
    • Congress Fails to Pass an Extension of Jobless Aid: Legislation to extend unemployment subsidies for hundreds of thousands of Americans who have exhausted their jobless benefits teetered on the edge of collapse on Thursday, as Senate Democrats and Republicans traded bitter accusations about who was to blame for an eight-week impasse. Senate Republicans and a lone Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, joined forces to filibuster the bill in a procedural vote on Thursday. Visibly frustrated, the majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said he would move on to other business next week because he saw little chance of winning over any Republican votes. The vote was 57 to 41, with the Democrats falling three short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. “You’ll hear a lot of excuses,” Mr. Reid said at a news conference. “The bottom line is the minority just said no.”… – NYT, 6-25-10
    • House OKs campaign-spending disclosure bill: Democrats in Congress, scrambling to rein in special-interest spending before November’s midterm elections, pushed through a bill Thursday that would require CEOs to appear in campaign ads they fund and impose broad new disclosure rules on political spending. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives by a 219-206 vote, was opposed by most Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, who cast it as violating free-speech protections and riddled with loopholes for powerful groups, such as the National Rifle Association and labor unions. The measure’s prospects are uncertain in the Senate, where Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to pass a bill over Republican objections. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the chamber’s top Republican, Thursday assailed the proposal as “protecting incumbent Democratic politicians.”… – USA Today, 6-25-10
    • Obama, new Australian prime minister speak about war: Australia’s new prime minister pledged her commitment to the war in Afghanistan during a phone call with President Obama, the two leaders said. “I assured President Obama that my approach to Afghanistan will continue the approach taken to date by the Australian government,” said Julia Gillard, Australia’s new prime minister, on Friday. “I fully support the current deployment and I indicated to President Obama that he should expect to see the Australian effort in Afghanistan continuing.”
      During the talk, Obama and Gillard “underscored their shared commitment to closely work together on the broad range of global challenges confronting both countries, including in Afghanistan,” the White House statement said… – CNN, 6-25-10
    • CNN, 6-24-10
    • Short, Tense Deliberation, Then a General Is Gone: By the time he woke up Wednesday morning, President Obama had made up his mind. During the 36 frenetic hours since he had been handed an article from the coming issue of Rolling Stone ominously headlined “The Runaway General,” the president weighed the consequences of cashiering Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, whose contemptuous comments about senior officials had ignited a firestorm. Mr. Obama, aides say, consulted with advisers — some, like Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who warned of the dangers of replacing General McChrystal, others, like his political advisers, who thought he had to go. He reached out for advice to a soldier-statesman, Colin L. Powell. He identified a possible successor to lead the war in Afghanistan. And then, finally, the president ended General McChrystal’s command in a meeting that lasted only 20 minutes. According to one aide, the general apologized, offered his resignation and did not lobby for his job. After a seesaw debate among White House officials, “there was a basic meeting of the minds,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and a major player in the deliberations. “This was not good for the mission, the military and morale,” Mr. Emanuel said…. – NYT, 6-24-10
    • Oregon woman accused Gore of sexual misconduct in 2006: Law officials say former Vice President Al Gore was accused of “unwanted sexual contact” during a visit to Portland in October 2006. Authorities in Portland investigated in late 2006 and early 2007 whether former Vice President Al Gore sexually assaulted a masseuse while visiting that city, but the matter was dropped for lack of evidence, officials said Wednesday…. – Seattle Times, 6-23-10
    • Dems exploit Barton apology to BP in election push: In need of political momentum, Democrats are exploiting Republican Rep. Joe Barton’s startling apology to Gulf oil spiller BP for its treatment by the Obama administration, launching a steady, low-budget campaign of fundraising appeals, a pair of television commercials and Web ads. Little more than four months before midterm elections, party officials appear to be testing ways to maximize the gain from an episode that ricocheted across the Capitol at a furious pace last week, and that Republicans deemed significant enough to force Barton to recant his remarks…. – AP, 6-23-10
    • Obama seeks new drill ban as oil still spews: The White House was set on Wednesday to step up its legal battle to keep deepwater drilling on hold in the Gulf of Mexico following the worst oil spill in U.S. history. A U.S. judge on Tuesday overturned a six-month ban on drilling in water deeper than 500 feet (152 metres) after an appeal by drillers who stand to lose business… – Reuters, 6-23-10
    • SPIN METER: Defining ‘border security’: You wouldn’t know it from the public debate, but the U.S.-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago. Far more agents patrol it, more fences, barriers and technology protect it and taxpayers are spending billions more to reinforce it. Despite those efforts, calls for increased border security are elbowing out cries for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws and inducing Congress and the administration to spend even more money on border enforcement…. – AP, 6-23-10
    • Obama requests $600 million for border security: The president’s emergency funding request would pay for more Border Patrol agents, drones, National Guard troops and more…. – LAT, 6-22-10
    • Obama Says Health Law Shouldn’t Be Excuse to Raise Rates: President Obama, whose vilification of insurers helped push a landmark health care overhaul through Congress, warned industry executives at the White House on Tuesday not to use the bill “as an opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases that don’t boost care and inflate their bottom line.” Mr. Obama made his remarks in the East Room of the White House after a private meeting with executives of leading health insurance companies and with state insurance commissioners who regulate them. As the new law is being implemented, the White House wanted to issue a pointed reminder to insurers — and the public — that the president intends to monitor the industry’s behavior.
      “There are genuine cost drivers that are not caused by insurance companies,” Mr. Obama said. “But what is also true is that we’ve got to make sure that this new law is not being used as an excuse to simply drive up costs.”… – NYT, 6-22-10
    • Hoyer: Permanent middle class tax cuts too costly: A top House Democrat said Tuesday that tax increases will eventually be necessary to address the nation’s mounting debt, raising a difficult election-year issue as Democrats fight retain control of Congress. In the near term, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer raised the possibility that Congress will only temporarily extend middle-class tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. He pointedly suggested that making them permanent would be too costly…. – AP, 6-20-10
    • AP source: White House budget chief stepping down: White House Budget Director Peter Orszag’s expected resignation would make him the first high-profile member of President Barack Obama’s team to depart the administration. A Democratic official said Monday that Orszag is expected to leave in the coming months, although the exact timing is not known. The official confirmed the news to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced…. – AP, 6-22-10
    • A White House “shakedown?” A lot of House Republicans agree: Republican Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP last week for what he called a “shakedown” by President Obama to pay for the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico barely caused a ripple among local Republican House members. Is it because they agree with him? The White House had worked out a deal with BP that the oil giant would create a $20 billion compensation fund. But Barton, a senior Texas Republican and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, apologized to BP. “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” he told BP executives at a hearing. “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20 billion shakedown…I apologize.” Kansas City Star, 6-22-10
    • High court upholds anti-terror law prized by Obama: The Supreme Court upheld the government’s authority Monday to ban aid to designated terrorist groups, even when that support is intended to steer the groups toward peaceful and legal activities….
      The justices voted 6-3 to reject a free-speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups to the law that bars “material support” — everything from money to technical know-how to legal advice — to foreign terrorist organizations…. – AP, 6-21-10

    ELECTIONS 2010, 2012….

    • Despite opposition, Texas two-step primary process prevails: The unique Texas two-step primary process scooted forward, despite a move Saturday to scrap the system that was overwhelmed by overflow crowds in 2008. Boyd Richie, accompanied by wife Betty, was reinstated as state chairman Saturday during the Texas Democratic Party’s convention in Corpus Christi. Texas Democrats meeting at their state convention upheld the dual primary vote and caucus system called the two- step. Delegates also reinstated Boyd Richie as state chairman and adopted a policy statement that endorses the new federal health care law…. – Dallas News, 6-27-10
    • McCain will join 2 GOP debates: Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign on Friday announced that he has accepted two invitations to debate Republican primary opponents J.D. Hayworth and Jim Deakin next month. McCain has agreed to 7 p.m. televised debates on July 16 on Phoenix’s Channel 3 (KTVK) and on July 17 on the “Arizona Illustrated” program on Tucson PBS affiliate Channel 6 (KUAT). Early voting for the Aug. 24 GOP primary starts July 29. The Arizona Republic, 6-26-10
    • Texas Democrats to rally at convention: After traveling for months courting all types of Texas voters, Democrat Bill White will try to ignite excitement among party loyalists with his starring role at the Democratic Party’s state convention.
      “The face of the party looks much like the face of the state. So this is an opportunity for people in different parts of the state to get to know each other and to resolve we want an election that will put Texas first,” White said this week. He’s urging delegates to recruit friends and neighbors, even those who don’t always vote for Democrats.
      That kind of support from independent voters is what White will need in November in conservative Texas, where Republicans have dominated state politics since sweeping all statewide elections in 1998 and where incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry is the fall favorite… – AP, 6-25-10
    • Navy exaggerations damage Ill. Senate candidate: Republican Mark Kirk has stepped on a political landmine of his own creation, leaving him as damaged as his Democratic opponent in the race for an Illinois Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama. Kirk, a 21-year veteran in the Navy Reserve, was caught exaggerating his military record. He claimed an award he didn’t win. He mentioned serving in overseas conflicts while he was safely in the United States. He stretched the facts when talking about combat and coming under fire. And his troubles don’t end there: Even his references to being a teacher are being questioned. Two months ago, it was Kirk’s Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, who was on the ropes. Federal regulators had taken over his family’s Chicago bank, Broadway Bank, which had grown insolvent because of bad loans and a bad economy. Stories about the bank lending money to criminals were resurrected, leading Republicans to start calling Giannoulias a “mob banker.”…. – AP, 6-24-10
    • South Carolina Republicans buck biases in runoff election: The conservative state’s GOP nominates Nikki Haley for governor and Tim Scott for Congress in a runoff vote. Mississippi, North Carolina and Utah also hold nomination contests for November’s midterms…. – LAT, 6-23-10
    • Inglis becomes fifth congressional casualty of anti-incumbent year: South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis became the latest victim of the anti-incumbent wave Tuesday, losing his bid for a seventh term to GOP rival Trey Gowdy. Prosecutor Trey Gowdy has just made six-term incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis the fifth congressional incumbent to fall prey to this year’s anti-incumbent tide. Gowdy has defeated the veteran South Carolina lawmaker in a runoff for the GOP nomination, the Associated Press reports…. – USA Today, 6-22-10
    • Matheson cruises to victory: Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, easily held off his first-ever primary challenge Tuesday and will get a shot at a sixth term. With 98 percent of precincts counted by press time, Matheson led 2nd Congressional District Democratic challenger Claudia Wright 68 percent to 32 percent. Republican Morgan Philpot awaits in the Nov. 2 general election…. – The Salt Lake Tribune, 6-23-10
    • Lee wins Utah GOP Senate nomination: Utah Republicans chose their nominee for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, selecting a legal scholar who grew up in a family of lawyers and fondly recalls discussing the Constitution over childhood dinners. Mike Lee is the overwhelming favorite to win in November and replace Sen. Bob Bennett, who was ousted at the Republican convention in May amid a wave of anti-incumbent rage around the country. Lee and businessman Tim Bridgewater beat out Bennett at the convention to advance to Tuesday’s primary. Lee won on Tuesday, earning a nearly a 5,000 vote lead with 84 percent of precincts reporting for about 51 percent of the vote…. – AP, 6-23-1-
    • Gowdy knocks Inglis out of office: Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg has knocked U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis out of the 4th Congressional seat. Several hundred Gowdy supporters are celebrating at the Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg. The solicitor was the leader in the Republican Primary two weeks ago, and once again bested Inglis tonight, scoring well with voters in the congressman’s home county of Greenville. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Gowdy had 51,541 votes (70 percent). Inglis garnered 21,898 votes (30 percent)…. – Go Up State, 6-22-10
    • Harold Johnson wins 8th District GOP race Newcomer rides recognition, party endorsements to primary victory: Former sportscaster Harold Johnson defeated businessman Tim D’Annunzio Tuesday after an expensive and combative 8th District congressional primary that saw party leaders go to extraordinary lengths in supporting him. Johnson, who turns 69 next week, was winning about 61 percent of the vote in unofficial returns. He piled up big margins in the district’s western portion, including Cabarrus County, which offset D’Annunzio’s support in the east. Johnson now faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell and Libertarian Thomas Hill in the 10-county district that stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville…. – Charlotte Observer, 6-23-10
    • Elaine Marshall, William Randall score runoff election wins in Person County: Despite a low voter turnout, two candidates emerged victorious in a pair of runoff elections in Person County Tuesday and the two also appeared headed to wins statewide as of press time for today’s edition. The runoff contests were between two Democrats vying to challenge Richard Burr this fall for his seat in the U.S. Senate and two Republicans battling for the U.S. House of Representatives District 13 seat, now occupied by Democrat Brad Miller. The Democratic runoff featured Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham. Marshall was North Carolina’s secretary of state for over 10 years and Cunningham is a former state senator from Lexington. In the Republican runoff, William (Bill) Randall and Bernie Reeves faced off to determine who would move on to face Burr, who easily defeated his three Republican challengers in May…. – Roxboro Courier, 6-23-10
    • Primary/Runoff Day in Utah, South and North Carolina: What to Watch ForWaPo, 6-22-10
    • Utah Republican Senate primary could be a test for tea party: As a test of the “tea party” movement’s ability to galvanize voters for a single chosen candidate, Utah’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday is likely to deliver a mixed message. Republicans Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee survived a bruising convention in May that knocked out incumbent Sen. Robert F. Bennett and gave the tea party and other conservative groups bragging rights as a dragon-slayer. Now, most of those groups — but not all of them — have rallied around Lee, a 38-year-old lawyer. But Bridgewater, 49, is even or ahead in several polls…. – WaPo, 6-22-10
    • Cuomo, Lazio toked pot in youth: New York governor candidates Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio say they have both smoked marijuana in their youth. The question is, does anyone care? Maurice Carroll of the Quinnipiac University poll answers with a loud “no.” AP, 6-22-10
    • McCain Is Now Running Just to Stay in Place: But less than two years after he was defeated by Barack Obama, nothing seems quite the same for Senator John McCain, who has gone from being his party’s candidate for president rallying 1,000 supporters at a Florida football stadium to furiously defending his Senate seat before 60 recession-weary residents in a Hampton Inn in Lake Havasu, Ariz…. – NYT, 6-22-10

    POLITICAL QUOTES

    The President Records the Weekly Address
    • Elena Kagan’s Opening Statement: Excerpts: “Mr. Chairman, the law school I had the good fortune to lead has a kind of motto, spoken each year at graduation. We tell the new graduates that they are ready to enter a profession devoted to “those wise restraints that make us free.” That phrase has always captured for me the way law, and the rule of law, matters. What the rule of law does is nothing less than to secure for each of us what our Constitution calls “the blessings of liberty” – those rights and freedoms, that promise of equality, that have defined this nation since its founding. And what the Supreme Court does is to safeguard the rule of law, through a commitment to even-handedness, principle, and restraint.
      “The idea is engraved on the very face of the Supreme Court building: Equal Justice Under Law. It means that everyone who comes before the Court – regardless of wealth or power or station – receives the same process and the same protections. What this commands of judges is even-handedness and impartiality. What it promises is nothing less than a fair shake for every American.
      “[T]he Supreme Court is a wondrous institution. But the time I spent in the other branches of government remind me that it must also be a modest one – properly deferential to the decisions of the American people and their elected representatives. What I most took away from those experiences was simple admiration for the democratic process. That process is often messy and frustrating, but the people of this country have great wisdom, and their representatives work hard to protect their interests. The Supreme Court, of course, has the responsibility of ensuring that our government never oversteps its proper bounds or violates the rights of individuals. But the Court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people.”
      “I’ve led a school whose faculty and students examine and discuss and debate every aspect of our law and legal system. And what I’ve learned most is that no one has a monopoly on truth or wisdom. I’ve learned that we make progress by listening to each other, across every apparent political or ideological divide. I’ve learned that we come closest to getting things right when we approach every person and every issue with an open mind. And I’ve learned the value of a habit that Justice Stevens wrote about more than fifty years ago – of ‘understanding before disagreeing.’
      I will make no pledges this week other than this one – that if confirmed, I will remember and abide by all these lessons. I will listen hard, to every party before the Court and to each of my colleagues. I will work hard. And I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law.” – CBS News, 6-28-10
    • Vice President Joe Biden caught on video calling custard shop manager a ‘smarta–‘ after taxes quip: Biden was in Milwaukee to talk about jobs on Saturday, and made a stop at a Kopp’s Frozen Custard outside the city.
      “What do we owe ya?” the vice president asked after enjoying some of the cold treats.
      “Don’t worry, it’s on us,” the unnamed store manager replied, but then added: “Lower our taxes and we’ll call it even.”
      A few minutes later, Biden indicated he didn’t exactly appreciate the remark. “Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smarta– all the time?” he said to the manager, in an exchange captured on video by local station WISN. “Say something nice.”… – NY Daily News, 6-27-10
    • Palin: Obama administration selling out allies: Sarah Palin on Sunday painted President Barack Obama’s administration as a cowering giant intent on surrendering the nation’s mantle as a superpower and willing to sell out its allies…. “Do they think, really, that we’re getting anything in return for all this bowing and kowtowing and apologizing? No, we don’t get anything positive in return for this,” Palin said at the event spearheaded by a Norfolk talk radio station. “So while President Obama is getting pushed around by the likes of Russia and China, our allies are left to wonder about the value of an alliance with our country any more. They’re asking what is it worth,” she said…. – AP, 6-28-10
    • Weekly Address: President Obama Urges Congress to Complete Work on Wall Street Reform Bill Remarks of President Barack Obama Saturday, June 26, 2010 Weekly Address Washington, DC: This weekend, I’m traveling to Toronto to meet with members of the G20. There, I hope we can build on the progress we made at last year’s G20 summits by coordinating our global financial reform efforts to make sure a crisis like the one from which we are still recovering never happens again. We’ve made great progress toward passing such reform here at home. As I speak, we are on the cusp of enacting the toughest financial reforms since the Great Depression.
      I don’t have to tell you why these reforms are so important. We’re still digging ourselves out of an economic crisis that happened largely because there wasn’t strong enough oversight on Wall Street. We can’t build a strong economy in America over the long-run without ending this status quo, and laying a new foundation for growth and prosperity.
      That’s what the Wall Street reforms currently making their way through Congress will help us do – reforms that represent 90% of what I proposed when I took up this fight. We’ll put in place the strongest consumer financial protections in American history, and create an independent agency with an independent director and an independent budget to enforce them….
      Beyond these reforms, we also need to address another piece of unfinished business. We need to impose a fee on the banks that were the biggest beneficiaries of taxpayer assistance at the height of our financial crisis – so we can recover every dime of taxpayer money.
      Getting this far on Wall Street reform hasn’t been easy. There are those who’ve fought tooth and nail to preserve the status quo. In recent months, they’ve spent millions of dollars and hired an army of lobbyists to stop reform dead in its tracks.
      But because we refused to back down, and kept fighting, we now stand on the verge of victory. And I urge Congress to take us over the finish line, and send me a reform bill I can sign into law, so we can empower our people with consumer protections, and help prevent a financial crisis like this from ever happening again. – WH, 6-26-10
    • Remarks by the President on Wall Street Reform: Now, let me be clear. Our economic growth and prosperity depend on a strong, robust financial sector, and I will continue to do what I can to foster and support a dynamic private sector. But we’ve all seen what happens when there’s inadequate oversight and insufficient transparency on Wall Street.
      The reforms making their way through Congress will hold Wall Street accountable so we can help prevent another financial crisis like the one that we’re still recovering from.
      We’ll put in place the toughest consumer financial protections in our history, while creating an independent agency to enforce them. Through this agency, we’ll combine under one roof the consumer protection functions that currently are divided among half a dozen different agencies. Now there will be one agency whose sole job will be to look out for you.
      Credit card companies will no longer be able to mislead you with pages and pages of fine print. You will no longer be subject to all kinds of hidden fees and penalties, or the predatory practices of unscrupulous lenders.
      Instead, we’ll make sure that credit card companies and mortgage companies play by the rules. You’ll be empowered with easy-to-understand forms so you know what you’re agreeing to. And you’ll have the clear and concise information you need to make financial decisions that are best for you and your family.
      Wall Street reform will also strengthen our economy in a number of other ways. We’ll make our financial system more transparent by bringing the kinds of complex deals that help trigger this crisis, like trades in a $600 trillion derivatives market, into the light of day. We’ll enact the Volcker Rule to make sure that banks protected by the safety net of the FDIC can’t engage in risky trades for their own profit. And we’ll create what’s called a resolution authority to help wind down firms whose collapse would threaten our entire financial system. No longer will be have companies that are “too big to fail”.
      Over the last 17 months, we passed an economic Recovery Act, health insurance reform, education reform, and we are now on the brink of passing Wall Street reform. And at the G20 summit this weekend, I’ll work with other nations not only to coordinate our financial reform efforts, but to promote global economic growth while ensuring that each nation can pursue a path that is sustainable for its own public finances. – WH, 6-25-10

    HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

    President Barack Obama talks with British Prime Minister David

    President Barack Obama talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the G8 summit in Muskoka, Canada June 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    • Julian E. Zelizer: How Afghanistan became the ignored war: If the Korean War, which began 60 years ago this past weekend, was America’s forgotten war, Afghanistan has been America’s ignored war.
      Since President Obama authorized a surge of troops in Afghanistan in December 2009, there has been a notable absence of public debate or interest about this conflict.
      Although the media has tracked conditions on the ground and more recently has examined the rapid deterioration of U.S. military strategy, Afghanistan has not elicited the same kind of civic dialogue that surrounded President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq and certainly nothing like President Johnson’s war in Vietnam.
      Indeed, when the controversy over Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s comments in Rolling Stone magazine erupted in the past week, one of the most surprising aspects of the story was that, for a brief moment, Americans were actually talking about Afghanistan once again. Our nation is in the middle of a war that has gone on for over nine years, but many people have not been paying attention.
      As a result of these factors, Afghanistan has remained off the radar. Perhaps with the McChrystal controversy, the nation will start asking tougher questions about what is going on in this war, what our objectives are and how the strategy is working.
      Unfortunately, we will most likely turn our attention back to other issues, such as the feature story in Rolling Stone called “Lady Gaga Tells All.” In doing so, we will continue an unhealthy pattern of fighting wars outside of the public mind. – CNN, 6-28-10
    • Gil Troy: Primary job for wives of G20 leaders: Do no harm: Though prominent wives have advocated for political initiatives at home, they’ve stayed away from the microphones at international summits…
      “Their basic job is not to do damage,” Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University, says. Mr. Troy cites a memo written by U.S. president Richard Nixon in 1972, where he considered bringing his wife on a state visit. “If Pat comes to China, she’s coming as a prop,” Mr. Nixon wrote. Not a lot has changed since then, Prof. Troy says…
      Summits can be a haven for the lonely other halves of presidents and prime ministers, Prof. Troy says. “If you’re feeling frustrated or if you’re feeling bored, this is an opportunity to share concerns, to find people who are like minded in the zone of confidence and comfort. If you do have a cause, this is an opportunity to find people who have shared interest and the same power,” he says…
      Prof. Troy says Ms. Obama may not get to speak up about her position on the McChrystal affair, but she can recruit support among other spouses for her less-controversial childhood obesity initiative. The stipulation, though, is “it has to be done within all the protocols and pageantry of the summit.”… – The Globe & Mail, 6-25-10

    History Buzz: June 21, 28, 2010: Remebering the Korean War 60 Years Later

    HISTORY BUZZ:

    By Bonnie K. Goodman

    Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

    POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

    IN FOCUS:

    • Nurse being kissed in iconic wartime picture dies, aged 91: Edith Shain was photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square in 1945 being kissed by a sailor – Guardian UK, 6-23-10

    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

    HISTORY NEWS:

    • AHA, OAH, and NCPH endorse new guidelines for tenure: Three national groups of historians — the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History and the Organization of American Historians — have now all endorsed guidelines that suggest a new, broader approach to tenure when considering public historians. The joint guidelines are part of a growing movement in disciplines that have tended to base tenure decisions on traditional forms of scholarship (in this case the monograph) to broaden the way they judge contributions to a field…. – Inside Higher Ed (6-22-10)
    • Historical Associations Issue Recommendations about Rewarding Public History Work for Promotion and Tenure AHA Blog (6-21-10)
    • Robert B. Townsend: Recession Takes Toll on AHA Membership: The economic hard times rocking the discipline took their toll on the AHA this past year, as membership in the Association fell 7.4 percent from the year before. This erased gains made over the previous five years and dropped membership down to 13,946 active members…. – Robert B. Townsend at the AHA Blog (6-21-10)
    • Robert B. Townsend: Is There an E-book in Your Future? A Report from the University PressesRobert Townsend at the AHA Blog (6-21-10)

    OP-EDs:

    REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

    • Book review: H.W. Brands reviews “Tocqueville’s Discovery of America,” by Leo Damrosch: Rather, the appeal of “Democracy in America” is that of any good coming-of-age story: We see the possibilities of youth struggling against the realities of adulthood, and even as we slide toward old age, we reimagine all that we might have been. Leo Damrosch, in the best book on this subject in 70 years, deftly depicts the fateful encounter between the young Tocqueville and adolescent America. WaPo, 6-25-10
    • Book review of Hugh Trevor-Roper’s “History and the Enlightenment”: In the half-century following World War II, there was no more admired British historian than Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003)…. “History and the Enlightenment” is a posthumous collection. Editor John Robertson has gathered together Trevor-Roper’s reflections on historiography and the achievements of the 18th- and early 19th-century historians, starting with Pietro Giannone — whose “Civil History of Naples” inspired both Hume and Edward Gibbon — and ending with Jacob Burckhardt (“The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy”)…. – WaPo, 6-23-10
    • Dominic Lieven: ‘War and Peace’: The Fact-Check: RUSSIA AGAINST NAPOLEON The True Story of the Campaigns of “War and Peace” Lieven’s account in “Russia Against Napoleon” could not be more different. He concentrates on the men who led the Russian Army to victory — the young Czar Alexander and his close advisers — and shows that they won because they got more things right than Napoleon did. They understood him better than he did them, and while Napoleon may have been a battle­field genius, Alexander showed greater diplomatic skill in bringing together the coalition that eventually defeated him. That was no easy matter, given the fear of the French that prevailed in the German lands, and the fear of Russian predominance as well…. – NYT, 6-20-10
    • Rabbi’s Biography Disturbs Followers: Mr. Heilman, a sociologist at Queens College, and Menachem Friedman, a professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, offer a view into his world in their new biography, “The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson” (Princeton University Press). But they have provoked a growing chorus of complaints from people inside and outside Chabad with their characterization of the rebbe…. – NYT, 6-20-10

    FEATURES:

    • Doris Kearns Goodwin: New Kennedy Docs Show Perseverance, FBI Relationship, Says GoodwinWPUR (Boston) (6-15-10)
    • Douglas Brinkley, Robert Dallek: Historians weigh in on released Kennedy FBI files: The late Senator Edward M. Kennedy lived under the constant threat of violent death, a burden he inherited from his slain brothers, according to FBI records released yesterday detailing hundreds of threats issued by hate groups or relayed by agency tipsters and police across the country…. – Boston Globe (6-15-10)
    • Joseph Persico, Lara Brown: Presidential historians (pre)assess Obama speech: …Before Obama’s first Oval Office address, historians were taking the measure of what might be possible for the president…. – NPR,org (6-15-10)

    QUOTES:

    • Shen Zhihua, the director of the Shanghai-based Center for Cold War International History Studies and professor of history at East China Normal University: Frank Views from Chinese Historian About Korean War: The Korean War was started by Stalin, who wished to establish pro-Soviet government in the Korean Peninsula, and Kim Il-sung, who wanted unified Korea, a leading Chinese academic told the state-run media Thursday. – Chosun Ilbo (6-18-10)
    • Controversy in France over de Gaulle literature, Robert Paxton weighs in: “He’s a great classical stylist with a vigorous point of view, which is exactly what young people should be reading,” Paxton said in a telephone interview from Cluny, in the Burgundy region of France. “You can use the same critical powers on the writings of a politician as on a literary figure.”… Bloomberg News (6-18-10)
    • J.B. Shank: University of MN historian objects to Pawlenty comments on Daily Show: “Technophilic talk is a pernicious distraction,” he says, “because it allows for a certain kind of justification for not giving the university the money it needs to provide the kind of education it wants to provide.”… – DigitalBurg.com (6-17-10)
    • Jean-Pierre Azema: De Gaulle truth played down?: A LEADING World War II historian has warned against manipulating history as France this week commemorates 70 years since Charles de Gaulle made his stirring appeal to resist Nazism…. – The Straits Times (Singapore) (6-16-10)

    INTERVIEWS:

    • Andrew Bacevich sits down with Salon on Gen. McChrystal’s ouster: Should Gen. McChrystal have been fired?
      I believe this matter has already been settled. My view is that he should not have been fired…. – Salon.com (6-23-10)

    AWARDS &APPOINTMENTS:

    • Rick Atkinson wins prize for military writing: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian Rick Atkinson has received a $100,000 award for military writing. Atkinson has been awarded the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing…. – AP, 6-21-10
    • U. of Tennessee Wins Grant to Digitize Newspapers: In two years, students, historians, and anyone else curious about nearly a century of history should have 100,000 pages of Tennessee newspapers at their fingertips. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize local newspapers from 1836 to 1922…. – CHE (6-18-10)
    • Stimpson Prize for Feminist Scholarship awarded to Ellen Samuels: Professor Samuels’s award-winning essay, “Examining Millie and Christine McKoy: Where Enslavement and Enfreakment Meet,” is impressively interdisciplinary, combining historical analysis, visual culture studies, feminist theory, and critical race theory to explore representations of Millie and Christine McKoy, African American conjoined twins born into slavery in North Carolina in 1851. – Chicago Journals (6-13-10)

    SPOTTED:

    • West Point gathering examines endings of US wars: American wars usually begin with a bang, yet it’s the endings that usually have long-lasting influences, a gathering of prominent military historians told West Point instructors who are training the next generation of Army officers…. – AP (6-21-10)

    ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS CALENDAR:

    • September 17-18, 2010 at Notre Dame University: Conference aims to bring medieval, early modern and Latin American historians together: An interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame this fall is making a final call for papers to explore the issue surrounding similarities between late-medieval Iberia and its colonies in the New World. “From Iberian Kingdoms to Atlantic Empires: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, 1250-1700” is being hosted by the university’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and will take place on September 17-18, 2010. Medieval News, 4-29-10
    • Jeff Shesol to give Jackson Lecture at the Chautauqua Institution: Historian, presidential speechwriter and author Jeff Shesol will deliver Chautauqua Institution’s sixth annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States. Jeff Shesol will give the Jackson Lecture on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy…. – John Q. Barrett at the Jackson List (6-14-10)
    • Thousands of Studs Terkel interviews going online: The Library of Congress will digitize the Studs Terkel Oral History Archive, according to the agreement, while the museum will retain ownership of the roughly 5,500 interviews in the archive and the copyrights to the content. Project officials expect digitizing the collection to take more than two years…. – NYT, 5-13-10
    • Digital Southern Historical Collection: The 41,626 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

    ON TV:

    BEST SELLERS (NYT):

    BOOKS COMING SOON:

    • Ruth Harris: Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century (REV), (Hardcover), June 22, 2010
    • James Mauro: Twilight at the World of Tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World’s Fair on the Brink of War, (Hardcover), June 22, 2010.
    • William Marvel: The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of Lincoln’s War, (Hardcover), June 22, 2010
    • Suzann Ledbetter: Shady Ladies: Nineteen Surprising and Rebellious American Women, (Hardcover), June 28, 2010.
    • Julie Flavell: When London Was Capital of America, (Hardcover), June 29, 2010
    • Donald P. Ryan: Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist, (Hardcover), June 29, 2010
    • Jane Brox: Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, (Hardcover), July 8, 2010.
    • Rudy Tomedi: General Matthew Ridgway, (Hardcover), July 30, 2010.
    • Richard Toye: Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made, (Hardcover), August 3, 2010.
    • Alexander Hamilton: The Federalist Papers, (Hardcover), August 16, 2010
    • Holger Hoock: Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850, (Hardcover), September 1, 2010
    • Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen, (Hardcover), September 7, 2010
    • James L. Swanson: Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse, (Hardcover), September 28, 2010
    • Timothy Snyder: The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (First Trade Paper Edition), (Paperback), September 28, 2010
    • Ron Chernow: Washington: A Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
    • George William Van Cleve: A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, (Hardcover), October 1, 2010.
    • John Keegan: The American Civil War: A Military History, (Paperback), October 5, 2010
    • Bill Bryson: At Home: A Short History of Private Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
    • Robert M. Poole: On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
    • Robert Leckie: Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
    • Manning Marable: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, (Hardcover), November 9, 2010
    • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
    • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
    • G. J. Barker-Benfield: Abigail and John Adams: The Americanization of Sensibility, (Hardcover), November 15, 2010
    • Edmund Morris: Colonel Roosevelt, (Hardcover), November 23, 2010
    • Michael Goldfarb: Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, (Paperback), November 23, 2010

    DEPARTED:

    • Retired Vanderbilt professor, Paul Hardacre, passes away: Paul Hoswell Hardacre, a retired Vanderbilt University professor noted for his expertise on the Stuart period of English history, died on April 10 in Pasadena, Calif., at the age of 94. The professor of history, emeritus, taught at Vanderbilt for 34 years… – InsideVandy.com (6-18-10)
    • Angela Gugliotta, Environmental Historian and Lecturer at the University of Chicago, 1963-2010: Angela Gugliotta, a beloved teacher of environmental history whose research challenged the categorical distinction between natural and social knowledge, died June 1 after a ten-year battle with breast cancer. She was 47… – University of Chicago (6-9-10)
    • Bruce Fraser, historian of Connecticut, dies at 63: Mr. Fraser, 63, executive director of the Connecticut Humanities Council since 1982, died Sunday after battling cancer for nearly a year. A compact, athletic, intense man with a Swiftian wit and Yankee work ethic, Mr. Fraser was a gifted historian as well as a skilled advocate, organizer and fundraiser. He built the humanities council into one of the largest and most effective such agencies in the country, and then used it, in the words of Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation Executive Director Helen Higgins, “to transform Connecticut’s once sleepy heritage community into a vibrant industry.”… – Hartford Courant (6-16-10)

    Obama Fires Afghan General Stanley McChrystal for Controversial Rolling Stone Profile

    By Bonnie K. Goodman

    Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

    OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 111TH CONGRESS:

    Doug Mills/The New York Times

    President Obama, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Gen. David H. Petraeus and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, announced his removal of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as the top commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday and his appointment of General Petraeus to lead the war effort there.

    THE HEADLINES….

    • Obama Relieves McChrystal of Command: President Obama removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of American forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday, and tapped as his replacement the general’s boss and the architect of the 2007 surge in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus.
      Mr. Obama, standing with General Petraeus and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House Rose Garden to underline the continuity and solidity of his Afghan policy, said that he had accepted General McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.”… – NYT, 6-23-10
    • McChrystal out, Petraeus in: Obama fires the top commander in Afghanistan after McChrystal makes disparaging comments about civilian leaders, published in Rolling Stone. ‘I welcome debate, but I won’t tolerate division,’ the president says…. – LAT, 6-23-10
    • General Sees Obama, Then Leaves Before War Meeting: Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal left the White House after meeting with President Obama for about 20 minutes, departing ahead of a meeting on the war in Afghanistan scheduled for later Wednesday morning, but there was no immediate word on whether he would keep his job as the top American commander there…. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • Stanley McChrystal’s fate unclear after Obama meeting: The top US military commander in Afghanistan has left the White House after meeting President Barack Obama to explain his criticism of leading officials. Gen Stanley McChrystal held a one-on-one meeting with Mr Obama which lasted about 30 minutes. It is unclear whether or not he still retains his position in the military. Gen McChrystal had agreed with Mr Obama that the statements in Rolling Stone magazine showed “poor judgement”. Gen McChrystal was also due to attend the monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan and face some of those he and his aides criticised. It is unclear whether he will return for this 1535 GMT meeting…. – BBC, 6-23-10
    • McChrystal likely to resign over magazine comments, source says: America’s top military commander in Afghanistan is unlikely to survive the fallout from remarks he made about colleagues in a magazine profile to be published Friday, according to a Pentagon source who has ongoing contacts with the general. Gen. Stanley McChrystal will likely resign Wednesday, the source said. McChrystal’s fate is expected to hinge on a meeting scheduled Wednesday with President Obama, who was “angry” after reading the general’s remarks in Rolling Stone.
      The “magnitude and graveness” of McChrystal’s mistake in conducting the interview for the article were “profound,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said McChrystal had “made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment.”
      “I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened,” McChrystal said in a Pentagon statement. “Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.”… – CNN, 6-23-10
    • Obama ‘angry’ after reading McChrystal’s remarksCNN, 6-23-10
    • Afghan leaders voice strong support for McChrystal: Afghan officials said Wednesday that firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal would disrupt progress in the war and could jeopardize a pivotal security operation underway in Taliban strongholds in the south. At the end of a one-hour video conference Tuesday night with President Barack Obama, Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his confidence in the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said…. – USA Today, 6-23-10
    • McChrystal speaks up one too many times: Gen. Stanley McChrystal was put in charge of a drifting war in Afghanistan in part because he wasn’t afraid to speak up. That quality may prove to be his downfall as President Barack Obama decides whether to fire him. Calm and introspective in public, if a bit brusque, the lanky four-star general, 55, has never been one to suffer fools gladly. But challenging the president and his team is another matter, so he was summoned to the Oval Office on Wednesday to explain remarks he made in a magazine interview…. – AP, 6-23-10
    • McChrystal to meet with Obama after deriding top civilian officials: The U.S.’ top leader in Afghanistan apologizes for ridiculing senior Obama administration officials in a Rolling Stone magazine article, calling his comments a ‘mistake reflecting poor judgment.’… – LAT, 6-22-10
    • Top U.S. General in Afghanistan Under Fire for Testy Magazine Profile: The top commander in Afghanistan, and his team, describe their diplomatic and political counterparts in robust terms in a Rolling Stone profile. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has been summoned to the White House to explain comments made in a Rolling Stone magazine profile in whcih he airs insults against Vice President Joe Biden, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and the president himself. National-security adviser James L. Jones is referred to as a “clown.”
      The profile, out this Friday, headlined “The Runaway General,” shows a bravado-filled, towel-flicking culture in the general’s inner circle—an aide describes French ministers as “f—king gay,” and McChrystal, whose favorite movie is Talladega Nights, flips an aide the bird…. – Newsweek, 6-22-10
    • AP source: McChrystal has no sign he’ll be fired: A senior U.S. military official in Afghanistan tells The Associated Press that Gen. Stanley McChrystal doesn’t know whether he’ll keep his job when he appears at the White House on Wednesday. The official says the general has been given no indication that he’ll be fired — but no assurance he won’t be….
      McChrystal has apologized for a Rolling Stone magazine profile this week in which aides mock other administration officials. Obama summoned the general to Washington to explain the remarks…. – AP, 6-22-10

    POLITICAL QUOTES

    • Video and Transcript of President Obama’s Remarks on Gen. McChrystal: Today I accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. I did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country.
      I’m also pleased to nominate Gen. David Petraeus to take command in Afghanistan, which will allow us to maintain the momentum and leadership that we need to succeed.
      I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal, as we are in full agreement on strategy, nor do make this decision out of any sense of personal insult. Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully. I’ve got great admiration for him and for his long record of service in uniform. Over the last nine years, with America fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has earned a reputation as one of our nation’s finest soldiers. That reputation is founded upon his extraordinary dedication, his deep intelligence and his love of country. I relied on his service, particularly in helping to design and lead our new strategy in Afghanistan. So all Americans should be grateful for General McChrystal’s remarkable career in uniform.
      But war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president.
      And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security.
      The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan…. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • Gen. McChrystal issued this short statement soon after the president spoke: This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the President’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.
      It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation’s finest. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • The Runaway General: Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House…. – Rolling Stone, 6-22-10
    • Excerpts from Stanley McChrystal’s Rolling Stone Interview: “McChrystal thought Obama looked ‘uncomfortable and intimidated’ by the roomful of military brass.”
      “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his (expletive) war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”
      “Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal tells an imaginary questioner. “Who’s that?” “Biden?” a top adviser says. “Did you say: Bite Me?”
      “if Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.” USA Today

    HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

    • MAX BOOT, ROBERT DALLEK and DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: General Uproar: Three writers on Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s remarks in a magazine profile that have put him under scrutiny and how it may affect his command in Afghanistan…. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • MAX BOOT: Judging McChrystal’s War: Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s ill-advised remarks shouldn’t overshadow the credit he deserves for putting in place the right strategy to turn around a failing war effort…. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • ROBERT DALLEK: The Other Truman Doctrine: President Obama must replace General McChrystal with a commander who will closely follow his orders…. – NYT, 6-23-10
    • DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: What Would Lincoln Do?: If Abraham Lincoln’s experience is any guide, Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s fate will be determined by how his firing would affect the war in Afghanistan…. – NYT, 6-23-10

    Super Tuesday Primary Run-Off: Anti-Incumbent Votes Continue

    By Bonnie K. Goodman

    Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

    MIDTERM ELECTIONS 2010

    • South Carolina Republicans buck biases in runoff election: The conservative state’s GOP nominates Nikki Haley for governor and Tim Scott for Congress in a runoff vote. Mississippi, North Carolina and Utah also hold nomination contests for November’s midterms…. – LAT, 6-23-10
    • Inglis becomes fifth congressional casualty of anti-incumbent year: South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis became the latest victim of the anti-incumbent wave Tuesday, losing his bid for a seventh term to GOP rival Trey Gowdy. Prosecutor Trey Gowdy has just made six-term incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis the fifth congressional incumbent to fall prey to this year’s anti-incumbent tide. Gowdy has defeated the veteran South Carolina lawmaker in a runoff for the GOP nomination, the Associated Press reports…. – USA Today, 6-22-10
    • Matheson cruises to victory: Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, easily held off his first-ever primary challenge Tuesday and will get a shot at a sixth term. With 98 percent of precincts counted by press time, Matheson led 2nd Congressional District Democratic challenger Claudia Wright 68 percent to 32 percent. Republican Morgan Philpot awaits in the Nov. 2 general election…. – The Salt Lake Tribune, 6-23-10
    • Lee wins Utah GOP Senate nomination: Utah Republicans chose their nominee for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, selecting a legal scholar who grew up in a family of lawyers and fondly recalls discussing the Constitution over childhood dinners. Mike Lee is the overwhelming favorite to win in November and replace Sen. Bob Bennett, who was ousted at the Republican convention in May amid a wave of anti-incumbent rage around the country. Lee and businessman Tim Bridgewater beat out Bennett at the convention to advance to Tuesday’s primary. Lee won on Tuesday, earning a nearly a 5,000 vote lead with 84 percent of precincts reporting for about 51 percent of the vote…. – AP, 6-23-1-
    • Gowdy knocks Inglis out of office: Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg has knocked U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis out of the 4th Congressional seat. Several hundred Gowdy supporters are celebrating at the Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg. The solicitor was the leader in the Republican Primary two weeks ago, and once again bested Inglis tonight, scoring well with voters in the congressman’s home county of Greenville. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Gowdy had 51,541 votes (70 percent). Inglis garnered 21,898 votes (30 percent)…. – Go Up State, 6-22-10
    • Harold Johnson wins 8th District GOP race Newcomer rides recognition, party endorsements to primary victory: Former sportscaster Harold Johnson defeated businessman Tim D’Annunzio Tuesday after an expensive and combative 8th District congressional primary that saw party leaders go to extraordinary lengths in supporting him. Johnson, who turns 69 next week, was winning about 61 percent of the vote in unofficial returns. He piled up big margins in the district’s western portion, including Cabarrus County, which offset D’Annunzio’s support in the east. Johnson now faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell and Libertarian Thomas Hill in the 10-county district that stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville…. – Charlotte Observer, 6-23-10
    • Elaine Marshall, William Randall score runoff election wins in Person County: Despite a low voter turnout, two candidates emerged victorious in a pair of runoff elections in Person County Tuesday and the two also appeared headed to wins statewide as of press time for today’s edition. The runoff contests were between two Democrats vying to challenge Richard Burr this fall for his seat in the U.S. Senate and two Republicans battling for the U.S. House of Representatives District 13 seat, now occupied by Democrat Brad Miller. The Democratic runoff featured Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham. Marshall was North Carolina’s secretary of state for over 10 years and Cunningham is a former state senator from Lexington. In the Republican runoff, William (Bill) Randall and Bernie Reeves faced off to determine who would move on to face Burr, who easily defeated his three Republican challengers in May…. – Roxboro Courier, 6-23-10
    • Primary/Runoff Day in Utah, South and North Carolina: What to Watch ForWaPo, 6-22-10
    • Utah Republican Senate primary could be a test for tea party: As a test of the “tea party” movement’s ability to galvanize voters for a single chosen candidate, Utah’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday is likely to deliver a mixed message. Republicans Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee survived a bruising convention in May that knocked out incumbent Sen. Robert F. Bennett and gave the tea party and other conservative groups bragging rights as a dragon-slayer. Now, most of those groups — but not all of them — have rallied around Lee, a 38-year-old lawyer. But Bridgewater, 49, is even or ahead in several polls…. – WaPo, 6-22-10
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