Gitmo Fail

I believed Barack Obama when he promised to close Guantánamo. It sounds so naïve. But in the days after his first inauguration, I didn’t think twice about betting Ann Althouse that our new president would keep his promise to close the offshore military prison within a year.


// Continue Reading…


New Study Exposes Sex-Selective Abortion Bans for What They Are: Just Another Way to Restrict Abortion

One of the arguments abortion opponents make, in favor of restricting the procedure, is that parents use it to select the sex of their babies. Here’s Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona at a 2011 Congressional hearing, talking about more boy babies being born than girl babies: “What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl.” (Franks also has argued against rape and incest exceptions to abortion bans based on the false claim that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”) Accusations about sex selection particularly target Asians. “You cannot explain the male to female demographics that are occurring in birth ratios in some ethnic groups here in the United States, and this is widespread, unless you account for sex-selective abortion,” said Spencer Cody of South Dakota Right to Life.


// Continue Reading…


Will Eric Holder Back Off? 

The Supreme Court turned down the appeal of James Risen today, setting up a showdown over press freedom between the government and a respected New York Times reporter and author. It’s a showdown that the Obama administration previously charged toward—but may no longer want. Will Attorney General Eric Holder figure out a way to head it off? Risen could go to prison, but it’s Holder who’s really in the hot seat.


// Continue Reading…


The College, Why Bother? Gabfest

Become a fan of the Political Gabfest on Facebook. We post to the Facebook page throughout the week, so keep the conversation going by joining us there. Or follow us @SlateGabfest!…
// Continue Reading…


German Court Says Man Must Delete Nude Photos of His Ex. America Could Learn Something.

Wow, Europe just doesn’t buy the American idea that free speech online is sacrosanct. Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of a “right to be forgotten,” requiring Google to remove links to old and embarrassing articles about debts a Spanish lawyer had long since paid. And now a German court has come down on the side of a woman who wants her ex-boyfriend to delete nude pictures and erotic videos of her from his computer. This kind of claim would never fly in the United States—the First Amendment would trample it. That’s exactly why I’m glad Europe is building a different sort of online universe. Will it prove better or worse to strike a different balance between the competing values of preventing reputational harm and protecting free speech? I look forward to finding out. 


// Continue Reading…