Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Finally, An Appropriate Use of Twitter!
August 19, 2009

Tweets from a 28-year-old guy who lives with his 73-year-old dad and "just write[s] down shit that he says." Brilliant! (H/t E.H.)

The Trouble With Bipartisanship (cont'd)
August 18, 2009

This time as defined by Jon Kyl, who told reporters today that the co-op plan (which Kent Conrad came up with as a compromise to the public plan) is also a non-starter for Republicans: "On the co-op... as Democrats have said, it doesn't matter what you call it, they want it to accomplish something that Republicans are opposed to," Kyl told reporters. "That is the step towards government-run health care in the country. The president himself said you can imagine a cooperative meeting that definition of a public option." "It is [a public plan] by another name. It is a Trojan horse.

The Trouble With Bipartisanship
August 18, 2009

At least as Chuck Grassley defines it. From MSNBC's "First Read": Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley admitt[ed] that he probably wouldn’t vote for any type of bill -- even if he got everything he wanted in it. “I am negotiating for Republicans, and if I can’t get something that gets more than four Republicans, I am not a very good representative of my party,” he told one of us on MSNBC yesterday morning.

For Any And All Boston Readers
August 17, 2009

Check out James Parker's ode to the Orange Line which ran in yesterday's Globe. I agree with all of it. My only quibble: Why no mention of Ruggles? Is there any other subway stop in the U.S. with a name that rolls off the tongue with as much zest as Ruggles? --Jason Zengerle

In Defense Of Rfk Stadium
August 17, 2009

Matt Yglesias is right that it would be absurd for the District of Columbia to build a new a stadium for the Redskins on the site where their old stadium, RFK, now sits. Since pro football stadiums go unused for most of the year, owing to the NFL's 16-game schedule, they don't help their surrounding neighborhoods in the same way baseball and basketball/hockey stadiums do. Better to do something else with the RFK site; Yglesias's sensible alternative plan for the site unexpectedly even includes a park! That said, I do think something was lost when the Redskins abandoned D.C.

The General As Rock Star
August 17, 2009

The WaPo's Rajiv Chandrasekaran has a long article on the sacking of David McKiernan, formerly the top U.S. commander in Kabul. The main reason for McKiernan's removal, according to Chandrasekaran: The decision was not discussed at length within the White House but was endorsed by Obama.

A Very Good Question
August 14, 2009

Ten-year-old student reporter Damon Weaver asks it in his interview with Obama: Can you dunk? Obama's answer: Not anymore. I used to when I was young, but I'm almost 50 now, so, your legs are the first thing to go. It definitely beats the question about whether he smokes. P.S. Weaver's follow-up is also good: Would Obama be willing to play Dwyane Wade one-on-one? Obama kind of ducked that one. --Jason Zengerle

Webb To Burma
August 14, 2009

Maybe the most remarkable part of the story about Jim Webb's trip to Burma--the first member of Congress to visit there in over a decade--is that the American Embassy has no idea yet if he's actually met with the Burmese Prime Minister since, as the AP story puts it, "communications between Yangon and Naypyitaw were unreliable." More on the extreme strangeness of Naypitaw--which seems to be a cross between Brasilia and Pyongyang--can be read here. --Jason Zengerle

Cheney Unbound
August 13, 2009

It's not all that surprising that Dick Cheney has bitter feelings about George W. Bush, but the WaPo's Barton Gellman has an article today that fleshes those feelings out a bit: Cheney's disappointment with the former president surfaced recently in one of the informal conversations he is holding to discuss the book with authors, diplomats, policy experts and past colleagues.

You Call That Micromanaging?
August 12, 2009

Today's WSJ article about Obama's micromanaging of economic policy led me to fire up the Google and find Jim Fallows's classic Atlantic piece on Jimmy Carter from 1979. Here's the graf that forever cemented Carter's presidency as a cautionary tale of micromanagement: If there is any constant in the literature of presidential performance, it is that the President must husband his time.