Michelle Cottle

Don't Blink!
September 22, 2009

A DSCC fund-raising plea from Bill Clinton just landed in my inbox, with this section of text highlighted: But if we falter - if we hesitate - if we blink - in the face of Republican fear-mongering and misinformation, we'll have not only lost our momentum; we could lose the movement.  Hmmm. Bold-faced and italicized. Could the ex-POTUS be having a little fun with Sarah Palin's no-blinking leadership philosophy?

Palin Heads For Hong Kong
September 22, 2009

Independent investment brokerage CLSA (short for Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) is paying Sarah Palin to deliver the keynote address at its 16th Investors' Forum in Hong Kong tomorrow. CNN notes that she will speak about "governance, economics, and current events in the United States and Asia." This strikes me as riotous on two levels: 1. Someone is actually giving Palin money to talk to 1,000 or so international investors about global economics and what's going on in Asia. 2.

Getting Serious About Sex
September 16, 2009

Check out former Bush speechwriter Mike Gerson's column in today's WaPo. It's all about sex and relationships and the death of the traditional "courtship progression" of "dating, engagement, marriage, children." Noting that the age of sexual maturity is coming earlier and earlier even as the average age for marriage has grown later, Gerson bemoans the lack of cultural guidance for young people navigating the widening gap between childhood and long-term (if not always lifelong) commitment.

Joe the Stand-up Comic?
September 15, 2009

Pinch yourself, Washingtonians. Looks like Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher, in addition to his post-campaign career as a foreign correspondent, pundit, author, motivational speaker, aspiring singer, and all-around philosopher, also harbors dreams of comedic greatness. At the very least, he is the very first name listed in the press release I just received touting this year's "star-studded line-up" for the 16th Annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest. (Sept. 30, 7 p.m. at the DC Improv) I ask you: Is there nothing that this Renaissance Man cannot do?

Congress's Top Knaves
September 15, 2009

What exactly must a lawmaker do to distinguish himself as one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress? The mind reels. Helpfully, the goo-goos over at CREW have read the reports, crunched the numbers, categorized the sleaze, and laid it all out for us in their 5th annual survey of the many and varied ways in which political power is abused in this town. Offenses range from soliciting employees for campaign contributions to abusing earmarks to banging staffers.

Saving Marriage, California Style
September 14, 2009

Some days I really miss the West Coast. State Drive Would Ban Divorce Sincere or mocking, the guy does have an excellent point.

Should Death Automatically Wipe the Legal Slate Clean?
September 11, 2009

How many of you knew that, if a convicted felon dies while his (or her) case is pending appeal, standard operating procedure is for the person's record to be expunged? Somehow I missed this legal practice, known as abatement, until it received fresh attention this month with the death of a 71-year-old Virignia man serving time for incest. The first WaPo piece on the subject was written with the assumption that, following his December death from pancreatic cancer, James Bevel's case would be dismissed in accordance with years of federal precedent.

Harry Reid vs. The Round Mound?
September 10, 2009

The Hill has a piece about the upcoming Senate race in Nevada. It seems Danny Tarkanian, son of coaching legend Jerry, is looking to unseat the Senate majority leader with the help of some of daddy's old players and other NBA notables the family has become chummy with over the years. Among the better-known hoopsters rumored to be considering a Tarkanian assist is the popular, irrepressible, and politically minded Charles Barkley.

Speaker Says: Forget Wilson
September 10, 2009

Kudos to Nancy Pelosi for swatting down the push by some in her caucus to sanction horse's ass Joe Wilson for his huffy little outburst during last night's joint address. I understand the Dems' are peeved. More than that, Congress is an incredibly self-important club that makes much ado about affronts to its traditions and rules of decorum. But any distraction from the health care debate is risky business right now. And that's even before factoring in the real possibility that juiced-up Dems would overplay their hand and wind up turning Wilson into a celebrated martyr.

A Moister, Flakier Leader For Today's Angst-Ridden Conservative
September 08, 2009

There's chatter among the political media today about Fox News commentator Glenn Beck's having successfully nailed green-jobs czar Van Jones' scalp to his wall.