John B. Judis

Server Problems
April 23, 2007

Over the last few years, I've gotten to be on a first-name basis with Keith Watkins. Keith is an investigator for the Office of Cable and Communications Services of Montgomery County and is in charge of fielding complaints from county residents like me about Comcast. If it weren't for Keith, I might have taken a sledge hammer to one of those little green Comcast boxes that dot my neighborhood. Comcast, of course, is the cable giant which, in quite few areas of the country, enjoys a near-monopoly over residential cable and broadband Internet service.

Fox in Wolf's Clothing
April 09, 2007

Rupert Murdoch's Fox News is now embroiled in a controversy with the Democratic Party over whether it should be allowed to sponsor Democratic presidential debates. Spurred in part by protests from, the Nevada Democratic Party cancelled a debate, scheduled for August, that Fox was planning to sponsor. And the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to sanction another debate for September in Detroit that Fox plans to sponsor with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

Hawk Eyed
March 26, 2007

Michael Crowley has done a superb job explaining why Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war resolution in October 2002, but he didn't dwell at length on her current views about Iraq. These views, recently expressed in a New York Times interview, reveal an approach to Iraq that is entirely consistent with Crowley's analysis of her October 2002 vote. In spite of her support this month for a Senate resolution mandating withdrawal, Clinton is still a hawk on Iraq--and, in my opinion, is still flying blind.

Policy Chops
March 12, 2007

Should Hillary Clinton "apologize" for her vote on the Iraq war? Should Barack Obama tell David Geffen to get lost? Should John McCain be pilloried for saying American lives have been "wasted" in Iraq? Should voters shun Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon or John Edwards because he was a trial lawyer or Rudy Giuliani because he was once married to someone who appeared in The Vagina Monologues? Pardon me if I don't find these to be gripping concerns. What worries me is the foreign policy experience of the six leading candidates.

Another Inconvenient Truth
February 26, 2007

Up until the 1970s, most economists would have accepted Marx's description of capitalism as "the subjection of nature to man," but we have learned over the last three decades that nature is capable of fighting back. Oil, once thought to be limitless in supply, is steadily running out; and the consumption of fossil fuels has led to acid rain and global warming. And then there is water, which, next to the air we breathe, is the most important of all natural resources. Unlike oil, it is not running out, but it is not as plentiful in some places as in others.

Crude Joke
February 12, 2007

IF THERE WAS one thing George W. Bush and his clique were supposed to know, it was oil. That, at least, was the widespread consensus back in 2000, when Bush first sought the White House, and it was easy to understand why. Bush’s grandfather was an oilman. His father was an oilman. He himself had worked in oil. His vice presidential nominee, Dick Cheney, was the former CEO of energy giant Halliburton. His campaign’s chairman, Donald Evans, was CEO of the oil company Tom Brown.

Blue's Clues
November 20, 2006

  It's about time. After a series of frustrating election nights for Democrats, dating back to the Florida boondoggle in 2000, this year's election is a clear triumph. But was it, like the Watergate election of 1974, simply the result of correctible mistakes by the opposition? Or have the Republican scandals and the Bush administration's misadventure in Iraq brought to the surface trends that will lead to a new political majority? It's too early to say for certain, but it seems this election has at least provided Democrats with an opportunity to build a lasting congressional majority. Whether

Steeling Votes
November 01, 2006

In early October, Baltimore residents reported receiving suspicious calls from a polling organization that sounded as if its real purpose was not to survey opinion, but to tar Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley, who is running against incumbent Republican Robert Ehrlich. Ehrlich's campaign, accused of using "push polls," gave what could be construed as a non-denial denial. "We use a variety of strategies to reach Maryland voters to spread the word of Governor Ehrlich's accomplishments but also to show the difference between the two candidates," Ehrlich spokesman Shareese N.

October 16, 2006

I have liked John McCain ever since I met him almost a decade ago. At the time, I was writing a profile of then-Senator Fred Thompson, who was rumored to be considering a run for the presidency. I had been playing phone tag with the press secretaries of senators friendly with Thompson and was getting nowhere. I decided that, instead of calling McCain's office, I would drop by. I spoke to one of his aides, who asked me whether I had time to see the senator then.

Labor Shortage
October 11, 2006

I have read BusinessWeek regularly for 30 years. I began reading it on the advice of the late Michael Harrington, the socialist agitator and author of The Other America.