Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

The Sun Sets On Labor
September 30, 2009

Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid has officially abandoned Gordon Brown. Alastair Campbell, who as Tony Blair's media guru was instrumental in winning The Sun over to Labor's side in 1997, doesn't think the switch is that big a deal: The media marketplace has changed enormously since 1997. Papers have had to become very different animals to compete with 24 hour news and cope with the advent of the web and, more recently, social networking.   As channels of communication have become more diverse and diffuse, it has been harder for the papers to make impact.

Is Obama Setting Himself Up for the Agony of Defeat?
September 29, 2009

Okay, I'll admit that I have some issues with the Olympics, but I think that even Mary Lou Retton should be outraged over Barack Obama's decision to fly to Copenhagen later this week to lobby for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer games. First of all, consider the optics: the fate of comprehensive health care reform is hanging by a thread up on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon is awaiting the commander-in-chief's word on the way forward in Afghanistan, and Obama's going to take time out of his busy schedule to schmooze with the Princess of Liechtinstein and the 105 other worthies on the I.O.C

Making the Right Enemies
September 29, 2009

From a Richmond Times-Dispatch article on the controversy over a local strip club owner's decision to hang one of those Obama-as-the-joker banners on the side of his building: Moore's club is awaiting a Nov. 9-10 state Alcoholic Beverage Control hearing on alleged violations.

The Romney-McCain Rapprochement
September 25, 2009

Via Ben Smith, I see that John McCain is hosting a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Phoenix next week. Back in January of 2008, this would have seemed more unlikely than Obama picking Hillary as his Secretary of State. But as Sasha Issenberg reported out a few weeks ago for this Boston Globe Magazine article on Romney, Mitt did a pretty masterful job of getting on McCain's good side once McCain secured the nomination: Romney returned to his office the following week [after dropping out of the race] in a T-shirt and jeans, ready to travel to his California home.

The Ticking Zazi Bomb (cont'd)?
September 25, 2009

I think Mike's right that it's weird people don't seem that alarmed about Najibullah Zazi, but I also think it's pretty understandable. Part of it is the crying wolf phenomenon: After so many supposedly big-deal domestic terrorism arrests turned out to be what NYU law school's Karen J. Greenberg calls "fantasy terrorism cases" (Padilla, the Liberty City Six, the Lackawanna Six, etc.), I think a lot of people have just become inured to this sort of thing, not to mention skeptical.

Wilder Card
September 24, 2009

Politico has the not terribly surprising news that Doug Wilder has decided to stay out of Virginia's governors race--which is an implicit rebuke of the Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds. I say this isn't terribly surprising because Wilder has a history of doing this sort of thing to his fellow Virginia Democrats. In 1994 he made things uncomfortable for Virginia Senator Chuck Robb by running against him as an independent (before ultimately dropping out shortly before the election).

Kirk or Dukakis?
September 23, 2009

The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi frames the choice of Ted Kennedy's interim replacement as "a test of Camelot's clout and Governor Deval Patrick's loyalties." The Kennedys, as has now been widely reported, want Patrick to pick Paul Kirk; Patrick reportedly favors Mike Dukakis.

Latimer Opens a New Front in Bush-Cheney War
September 23, 2009

One of the more interesting aspects of the fallout over Matt Latimer's Speechless, his memoir about his days as a Bush speechwriter is the split between staffers loyal to Bush and those loyal to Cheney.

What Will People Smoke While Reading Camus?
September 23, 2009

Now that the FDA has banned clove cigarettes, teenage alienation will never be the same.

Boston's Mayor for Life
September 23, 2009

It's hard to see how Tom Menino won't secure a history-making fifth term as Boston's mayor after yesterday's preliminary election--held to narrow the four candidate field down to two--in which he won a resounding 50.5 percent of the vote.