Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Say It Ain't Zo
December 20, 2007

And now turning to the world of basketball. . . . I see that Alonzo Mourning's career is over. I guess I find this poignant because Alonzo was really the first sports star I ever idolized, beginning when he was a junior in high school and I was in seventh grade. And now he's done. Man I feel old.

Who's Sean Wilentz Calling Delusional?
December 20, 2007

If you haven't yet read Sean Wilentz's anti-Obama brief on our site, you should. I take Wilentz's point that the political press (myself included) is probably too enamored of Obama's biography--and the insight and instincts that we presume he's acquired from his life experiences. But, that said, I'm not really clear how Wilentz himself doesn't fall into that trap when assessing his own preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Who's Behind The Push-polling In New Hampshire?
December 20, 2007

My piece on McCain and New Hampshire will be in next week's print issue. But one thing I wasn't able to get into in it that bears watching is the New Hampshire attorney general's investigations into some possibly illegal push-poll calls that voters up there have been receiving. This AP article has a good rundown of the issue. Here's one bit: The 60-second calls, which started Friday in New Hampshire, say they are a "public opinion survey," according to recipients. If voters say they plan to vote for McCain, the tone turns nasty.

David Lee Roth, America's Secret Weapon
December 19, 2007

Matt Yglesias notes the role the Red Hot Chili Peppers played in the torture of Abu Zubaydah. Which sent me on a search for the specific music U.S. troops played when they were trying to flush Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy in Panama back in 1989. According to Wikipedia, the number one song in the Noriega psyops rotation was Van Halen's "Panama." Kind of an obvious choice in hindsight. --Jason Zengerle 

Does Bill Really Help Hillary?
December 19, 2007

“It’s like my mom saying how great I am."--28-year-old Iowan Matt Johnson explaining to the NYT why he doesn't put much stock in Bill Clinton's stumping for Hillary. --Jason Zengerle  

Defining Defining Moments Down
December 19, 2007

I thought Fred Thompson had a decent line when he refused to raise his hand at last week's DMR debate, but his campaign evidently thinks it was something much more. From today's NYT: After Mr. Thompson, the former Tennessee senator, told Carolyn Washburn, the moderator, that he was “not doing hand shows today,” in reply to a question about global warming, his campaign renamed the tour “The Clear Conservative Choice: Hands Down!

Why Rasheed Wallace Could Win Iowa
December 18, 2007

Forget Mike Huckabee. Rasheed Wallace gets my vote for the best Merry Christmas video: (H/t P.W.) --Jason Zengerle

December 18, 2007

Jonah Goldberg's set the blog world abuzz with this bit of jacket-copy text from his eagerly awaited Liberal Fascism: The quintessential liberal fascist isn’t an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore. Kieran Healy rightly notes that you can't actually get an education degree from Swarthmore.

Al Sharpton On Line One
December 18, 2007

Say what you will about Al Sharpton--and this magazine certainly has over the years--but the man possesses a keen understanding of what makes him relevant. To wit, see his response to a fairly damning secret FBI tape in which he appears to pledge to help a Philadelphia man with a multi-million dollar business in exchange for a $50,000 campaign contribution: Sharpton doesn't so much proclaim his innocence as his influence. From today's NYT: Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, had planned to meet with Mr. Sharpton in South Carolina, where Mr.

More Thoughts On The Rollins-huckabee Marriage
December 14, 2007

Time's Jay Carney, who's much more plugged-in on this stuff than I, offers his thoughts on Huckabee's hiring of Ed Rollins: There are two things to note about this development. First, in Rollins Huckabee gets a heavyweight political operative who knows how to run and win a national political campaign. Rollins was political director to Ronald Reagan in Reagan's first term and ran Reagan's landslide, 49-state re-election victory in 1984. Huckabee is sending the message that he does not intend to win Iowa and then fade away. He is in it to win it.