Monthly Archives: September 2009

much better than a town meeting

If you or a group that you’re part of wants to discuss health care policy without descending into the kind of shouting matches that dominated August, the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums have just the tools you need. … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

against caricaturing your opponents

If you spend a lot of time, as I do, on sites like Steve Benen’s Washington Monthly and The American Prospect, you can get at least a daily dose of outrageous remarks by Republican politicians and conservative celebrities. These comments … Continue reading

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being an informed consumer of polls

Nate Silver is accusing the Strategic Vision polling firm of making up its data (which would be much cheaper than collecting it!). I don’t know the truth about this case, but I’m especially interested because one of the disputed Strategic … Continue reading

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to Birmingham and back

I’m going to speak today in Birmingham, Alabama. Since I live near Boston, Massachusetts and will not be staying overnight, that means a long trip there and back–slightly more than 1,000 miles each way. It still impresses me that this … Continue reading

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memories of Broughton Castle

William Fiennes has published a memoir about growing up in Broughton Castle near Oxford. In today’s Times, he says he that he resisted “writing about growing up in such a big house” in case “people would laugh at me,” but … Continue reading

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Reforming the Humanities (coming soon)

My new book is in production and has a cover and an Amazon page. It’s entitled Reforming the Humanities: Literature and Ethics from Dante through Modern Times. Two blurbs are on the back: “Levine has written an erudite, balanced, insightful … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

how Obama is post-partisan

This is exactly the point I tried to make in a lengthy blog post some time ago: The president brushed off suggestions by some allies that the fight over his centerpiece domestic policy initiative has been tinged by racial attitudes. … Continue reading

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assessing ACORN

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is the epicenter of today’s political struggle. It was already a target of angry criticism during the 2008 election because of its radicalism and its links to Barack Obama–and perhaps because it … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

women’s leadership in the 21st century

Linda Tarr-Whelan has a distinguished background as a nurse, union official, civil servant, and diplomat. Her latest book is Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World. She argues that women are still … Continue reading

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C-SPAN broadcasts our panel on the Obama Civic Agenda

Our Institute of Civic Studies last summer ended with a very spirited public debate about the Obama Administration’s Civic Agenda. Our “text” was candidate Barack Obama’s promise: “I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am … Continue reading

Posted in audio and video, Barack Obama, civic theory | Leave a comment