Via the indispensable Virginia Politics blog Not Larry Sabato, some Terry McAuliffe endorsers from Richmond find a very Terry way to get out bodies for a commercial: From the Henrico Firefighters as they try to get people out for a Terry McAuliffe commercial: "We will find a way to provide some kegs or beer and party favors that will help get members there." Party favors? --Eve Fairbanks
Even Sweden is hurting as it faces an official recession and sharply reduced consumption. The blog A Swedish American in Sweden captures an image (via Planet Money): "Hairy Swede," the blog's author, writes: I was walking along in the middle of Stockholm today near
A Standard & Poor's economist quoted in a Post article on how inventory overload, including at retailers like the Gap, is hobbling the economy: We've tremendously expanded the square feet of stores but not the number of yuppies occupying them. --Eve Fairbanks
Obama is meeting with the Blue Dogs, the growing caucus of conservative-minded House Democrats, tonight. They're restive, and are threatening to throw a procedural wrench into the reconsideration of the stimulus. But some Democrats feel it's craven and wrong to "kneel" to these centrists as "overlords," especially in a moment when fastidious fiscal restraint seems to be the reverse of what's needed.
If you didn't catch TV clips or a write-up of Harry Markopolos, the dorky derivatives whiz who saw through Bernie Madoff's scheme, testifying before Congress yesterday, read Dana Milbank's sketch of the hearing here. Representatives on Paul Kanjorski's capital markets subcommittee had been warned that Markopolos was "frail" and "nervous" and were told to go easy on him, but that couldn't have been more hilariously far from the truth. He was right out of Dragnet.
'I love chicken waste!" Terry McAuliffe shouts to a crowd of several hundred elegant northern Virginians at Alexandria's Torpedo Factory art gallery. McAuliffe--the former Democratic moneyman dubbed by Al Gore "the greatest fund-raiser in the history of the universe"--is running for governor of Virginia, and tonight is the official rollout of his primary campaign. As he rhapsodizes about Virginia's 1,000 poultry farms, his pale eyebrows hop around furiously on his sharp, ostrich-like brow ridge.
Jon, your Tom Daschle defense over on The Treatment ("I think [Daschle] is trustworthy, based on what I know," you concluded) makes perfect sense -- if the Daschle affair were taking place in a vacuum, or a period of prosperity. But it isn't. And the way that his behavior, even if unintentional, feathers in with the year's narrative of a cast of bumbling, gee-I-didn't-know-what-I-was-doing-was-hurtful business execs destroying the economy makes his nomination a huge P.R. disaster. He may be blameless before St.
Many of you are probably regular readers, but to those who aren't, I want to put in a little unprompted plug for The Vine, Brad Plumer et al.'s environmental blog. As someone who doesn't tend to follow environmental news as closely as other kinds, I thought their coverage last week was particularly awesome -- they dissected the future of homebuilding in the U.S., the hidden downside of "natural" beef, and one conservative senator's strange attack of Gore-ism. Hop on over if you've never checked The Vine out. --Eve Fairbanks
Let's take a moment to enjoy the astonishing fact that both of our major political parties are led by African-Americans. Hallelujah. It's also more than a little astonishing to see the party that turns its nose up at identity politics have its RNC chair choice come down to race. The lament of the Katon Dawson supporter I overheard -- the one who complained that candidate Ken Blackwell, an African-American, "made this about race" when he endorsed fellow African-American Michael Steele -- isn't totally unjustified.
The House vote on Obama's stimulus bill -- H.R. 1, the administration's first big test of its capacity for arm-twisting the legislature -- is imminent. Will it pass? Democratic leadership is optimistic -- and politically, it must pass. Nancy Pelosi can't bring it to the floor without knowing it will pass, because a rejection would be such a blow to the new Obama administration. The problem at this juncture isn't the Republicans -- they're entirely lost -- but the Blue Dogs, who are anxious about the price tag and the idea of abandoning fiscal discipline.