[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] Earlier this week, Jon wrote an item about this PPP poll of likely Republican primary voters. The survey found that 51% of respondents did not think President Obama was born in the United States, and another 21% were not sure. On his show this evening, Bill O'Reilly expressed his outrage at the pollsters: not only is PPP a Democratic firm, he said, but the survey wasn't large enough to be accurate. His interview guest, who was in full agreement with that analysis, was Karl Rove.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] John Barry has died at age 77. Barry's name is not generally recognized, but he composed the scores for a variety of Hollywood films, including Out of Africa, The Lion in Winter, and, memorably, Dances With Wolves. But he is best known for his work on a number of James Bond movies, from Dr. No to The Living Daylights.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The New York Times' analysis of Joe Lieberman's career includes this comment from John Droney, a Connecticut Democrat described as a "confidante" of the senator: “After [the 2006 primary] happens, Joe’s very upset,” Mr. Droney said.
[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] "Suppose everyone on our side felt [the way you do]," a character says to Yossarian in Joseph Heller's Catch-22. "Then I'd certainly be a damn fool to feel any other way," the latter responds.* Michael Kinsley's column on Tuscon recalls this clever exchange while making an equally valid point. It is, [Obama] said, “a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do.” This sounds like a noble sentiment. But who is to blame for what ails the world if not those who think differently?
In a critically and commercially disappointing year for the film industry, one of the few highlights has been the reception given to The King’s Speech. The movie has been nominated for just about every existing award, and a bevy of Oscar nominations are forthcoming. The period drama is also on its way to financial success. Like Stephen Frears’s film from 2006, The Queen—which won Helen Mirren an Oscar for her eponymous performance—The King’s Speech is a testament to Americans’ continuing fascination with the British Royal Family.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Last week, I wrote an item criticizing Lanny Davis for representing the government of the Ivory Coast. That government has recently been accused of ignoring election results and clinging to power illegitimately. Davis sent TNR the following in response to my post: I am responding to a factually inaccurate assertion in an opinion commentary posted by Isaac Chotiner on this blog last week. Mr.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] In one of the least surprising stories ever reported, it appears that Clinton-era hack Lanny Davis is shilling for a dictator. Anyone who has followed Davis' career with even passing notice will find this to be less noteable than the sun rising every morning. But Davis' rationalizations to the Times are beneath even his standards, and thus deserve some attention. Davis' client here is Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who has clung to power despite losing an election last month.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] RNC chair Michael Steele has decided to run for another term, and on a conference call last night he said the following to RNC members: “I believe the worst thing we can do now is to look backwards. Who you elect as our next chairman will speak volumes about our willingness to truly be the party of Lincoln.” This is not exactly equivalent to saying people who oppose Steele are all racists, but its close.