Obama’s Other Front: The Hill
December 02, 2009

No matter what you think of it, the kind of troop increase that President Obama announced tonight is going to be expensive. With an estimated $1 billion dollar price tag for each additional thousand troops deployed, the new strategy will drive costs well above the $130 billion originally budgeted by the administration for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal year 2010, likely requiring a supplemental spending bill to pass sometime early next year.

Why Does Obama Keep His Golf Game Hush-Hush?
November 24, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has an entertaining piece today about the president's increasing love of golf, apparently at the expense of his hoops-playing: But as president, Mr. Obama has neglected the court. He has played only seven known games of basketball since taking office, compared with 25 rounds of golf, a sport he picked up about a decade ago when he was an Illinois state senator. That's more golf than former President George W.

Who You Calling Illegitimate?
November 20, 2009

I was pretty shocked by this new poll that found that 52 percent of Republican voters think ACORN stole the 2008 presidential election for Obama. I wanted to get some perspective, though, so I looked for polls that assessed voters' feelings about the 2000 elections. I figured that, even with hanging chads and all, fewer Democratic voters would have considered Bush illegitimate back then than those Republicans who now feel that way about Obama.

Oprah Packs Up Her Toys
November 20, 2009

It's all over the news today that Oprah Winfrey will end her syndicated talk show in 2011, after 25 seasons. No need for women--or the book publishing industry--to panic.

The 'Going Rogue' Index
November 17, 2009

Sarah Palin’s autobiography Going Rogue doesn’t have an index. Why? Well, I’m not exactly sure. But it sure makes finding gems in the text--such as the defense of that $150,000 clothing bill, the petty attacks on Katie Couric, and Palin-isms like “maverick” and “dang!”—a pretty tough slog. So, here’s an index. A really, really long and thorough one. Want to know where Palin celebrated one of her baby showers with her gal pals? It’s in here. Want to know how she feels about the ACLU, or Ashley Judd, or Steve Schmidt? In here, too.

From the Archives: The Strange Genius of Oprah
November 06, 2009

Earlier this week, the entertainment industry blog Deadline Hollywood reported that Oprah Winfrey will be moving her talk-show to her own cable network when her contract with CBS expires in 2011. Her production company responded that she has not yet made a final decision.

Why Was Letterman Being Blackmailed?
October 03, 2009

In today's front page New York Times story on the Letterman case, the lawyer for the CBS employee charged with larceny had some amusing things to say. [The lawyer] said that the prosecutor’s remarks in court about Mr. Halderman’s debts showed that “they’re obviously searching for a motive.” Right, a motive. Isn't the motivating factor in trying to blackmail someone for $2 million dollars...$2 million dollars???

Party Is Such Sweet Sorrow
September 04, 2009

Even before Ted Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer late last month, Republicans were suggesting that health care reform had suffered in his absence--not because Kennedy was so devoted to the cause, but because he would have cut a deal with the Republicans. “In every case, he fought as hard as he could . . .

Americans Still Don't Trust Government—But They Could Go For A Health Care Plan Modeled Like This...
September 03, 2009

Just days after Barack Obama’s election victory last November, Elaine Kamarck and I published an essay with a somewhat downbeat title--“Change You Can Believe In Needs a Government You Can Trust.” We began this way: “As Barack Obama takes office in 2009, he will confront a paradox. On the one hand, the American people are demanding action in many areas—to improve the economy, to increase access to health care while restraining costs, and to reduce energy costs and our dependence on oil, among others.

August 26, 2009

In today's New York Observer, Felix Gillette has a thorough postmortem on "The Wanted," the short-lived and controversial NBC News show I wrote about earlier this month, in my piece about the case of Leopold Munyakazi, a former Goucher College professor accused of participating in the Rwandan genocide.