Josh Patashnik

Rubin Backs Hillary [Patrick Healy, The New York Times]: "[Former Treasury Secretary Robert] Rubin is now ready to go public: Despite some early misgivings about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy, he is scheduled to headline a major fundraiser for her on Dec. 13 in New York City, according to a memo describing the event.

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I posted a Spine a while ago about the fact that Jerusalem Arabs are not so enthusiastic about turning their neighborhoods over to whatever regime is supposed to inherit the Palestinian state.   First of all, there is the threat that this might be Hamas, whose habits everybody now knows from Gaza: a theocratic dictatorship with its fingers on the trigger and its hands on the dagger.  Secondly, the locals fear that they would loose automatic access to the rest of Jerusalem and, of course, to Israel itself.  Thirdly, the sense of Palestinianism is so brittle that it would not compensate for the

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Vote Tampering?

Rebecca Traister argued in Salon on Monday that Democrats should all just shut up about electability and admit that they're closet Kucinich-lovers. Feeling a bit affectionate about Dennis myself (UFOs and tongue rings and impeachment, oh my!), I accepted her argument at face value and was even more convinced when I took one of the ideological tests she links to, an ABC News quiz that purports to reveal who your true love--uh, I mean favored presidential candidate--really is, and got Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd in that order.

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It's been fairly well documented how bad the $288 billion farm bill--which the Senate began debating today--is for the federal budget, for farmers in the developing world, for the Doha round of trade talks, and for Americans' waistlines. But if you're one of those doubting Thomases unpersuaded by the fiscal, moral, geopolitical, and gastrointestinal cases against it, take a look at this story in The Hill today. In turns out that when the federal government considers bills that envision spending huge sums of money, lobbyists line up to get a piece of the action.

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Impeachment Groundswell [Rachel Dry, Washington Post]: "A scheduled call to discuss the impeachment of Vice President Cheney was put off due to 'technical problems stemming largely from the overwhelming volume of calls from interested citizens,' according to the Kucinich campaign Web site.

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Over at Slate, Lee Smith argues in favor of standing by Musharraf despite his imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan. (Next week: Dennis Eckersley defends military aid to Hosni Mubarak.) Smith is right to note that we don't really have any good options in Pakistan (for which Fred Kaplan blames the Bush administration), but he seems far too willing to give Musharraf the benefit of every doubt while exempting him from blame for all of Pakistan's problems.

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Partisan Pork

The Club for Growth has taken time out from its anti-Huckabee crusade to publish its painfully titled "2007 Senate RePORK Card." It has some interesting findings, but (probably intentionally) the press release neglects to even mention the major 2007 pork-related development on Capitol Hill. In summarizing votes on anti-pork amendments, the report tells us that "the average Republican score was 59%; the average Democratic score was 12%." Wow, Republicans are a lot better at fighting pork than Democrats, right?

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Melting In The Dark

So not only does Dennis Kucinich believe in UFOs, but it turns out he has horrendous taste in music too: Unemployed, Former Mayor Kucinich moved to Los Angeles, where he lived near and frequently wandered MacArthur Park, playing the Richard Harris pop song "MacArthur Park" in his head. "I was thinking of that song and thinking of the lyrics where they talk about 'Someone left the cake out in the rain.

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The newly formed House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (a.k.a. the House Committee Created In Order to Prevent John Dingell from Being in Charge of Democratic Climate-Change Policy) held an interesting hearing yesterday morning on the connection between wildfires and climate change.

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Union Blues [Philip Elliott, AP]: "Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards on Wednesday accepted the endorsement of the New Hampshire Service Employees International Union amid questions about the validity of the vote. According to those involved, the union's board voted Oct. 23 to endorse Sen. Barack Obama." Health Reform in the Works?

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