Isaac Chotiner

In the new issue of The Weekly Standard, Matt Labash has a very enjoyable follow-up to his 2005 profile of Democratic operative Dave "Mudcat" Saunders. Labash has once again sought out Saunders because the latter is an expert at appealing to 'Reagan Democrats' or 'Bubba Voters' or small town Americans or...you get the idea.

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Bush The Golfer

Peter Boyer has a fairly long Keith Olbermann profile in this week's New Yorker which is not necessary reading, although it does feature a notable anecdote. Olbermann is reading over an interview with President Bush in which the following exchange occurs: Q: Mr. President, you haven’t been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq? A: Yes, it really is. I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as—to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.

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Jason Linkins at The Huffington Post has the goods on Bill O'Reilly's new memoir, which comes out in September. What is it titled? Well, as it turns out, a nun at the school O'Reilly once attended referred to young Bill as "a bold fresh piece of humanity." And now--yes, really--O'Reilly has chosen to title his book, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity." You might say that this hints at O'Reilly's egomania, but I reject such cynicism.  Readers are welcome to compliment this post on the strict condition that I am allowed to use any of the positive comments as the title for my forthcoming memoir.

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More On Russert

Joe Klein and Christopher Hitchens have, respectively, insightful and moving obituaries for their friend Tim Russert. Every conversation I have taken part in or overheard over the past couple of days consists of people in one of two categories: Those who had personal stories of Russert’s kindness or generosity, or those who found themselves to be much more upset by his death than they would have expected.

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In his interview with Deborah Solomon for The New York Times Magazine, Gore Vidal, after being asked whether he likes Normal Mailer's fiction, responds, "Oh, dear, we’re not going to go into pluses and minuses now." Alas, it is hard to read this extraordinarily colorful interview without separating the good from the bad. To start with the latter: And what about Mr. McCain? Disaster. Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp? Everyone knows he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

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Andy McCarthy, on The Corner: I was going out the door this morning when I learned about the Supreme Court ruling — that the American people had lost to radical Islam, 5 to 4. We are leaving open the comments section so readers can tell us where they were when they first heard about radical Islam's victory. --Isaac Chotiner 

Newspaper reports from Zimbabwe generally do not have the power to shock us anymore, but read this from today's New York Times: Zimbabwean authorities confiscated a truck loaded with 20 tons of American food aid for poor schoolchildren and ordered that the wheat and pinto beans aboard be handed out to supporters of President Robert Mugabe at a political rally instead. It's an excellent piece, particularly this surreal back-and-forth, which apears to be almost directly lifted from Evelyn Waugh's Scoop: The food aid that was confiscated was on a truck that began its rounds last Thursday, but th

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Maureen Dowd has a good column today on the Barack-Michelle relationship, and the attacks sure to come Michelle's way. That being said--and I have only anecdotal evidence to support this contention--I think a lot of people on the left are much too concerned by the thought of the GOP going negative on the potential First Lady. As Dick Morris recently pointed out, the infamous 1992 GOP convention was full of attacks on Hillary Clinton that did the Republicans absolutely no good in November.

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Mccain's Faith

The front page New York Times piece on the trouble McCain is having with conservative evangelicals has this interesting tidbit: Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain is decidedly reticent about religion on the stump. Mr. McCain grew up Episcopalian and shifted to a Baptist church after marrying his second wife, Cindy, but has not been baptized into the denomination. When asked about his personal faith at town hall forums, he often relates a familiar story. When Mr.

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The best feud in Hollywood has just gotten uglier. It all started when Spike Lee complained that Clint Eastwood's 2006 World War II dramas--Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima--did not show any black soldiers. Eastwood responded by saying that the people who raised the flag over Iwo Jima (the subject of Flags) were all white, and added that Lee had complained about Eastwood directing the Charlie Parker biopic Bird back in 1988: "He was complaining when I did Bird.  Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it.

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