Annals Of Infighting, Gop Edition
December 04, 2008

I got the same mass e-mail Ben Smith did, in which a fellow Michigan Republican colorfully bashes Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis, one of the candidates for the hotly-contested RNC chair post: If you believe the future of the GOP is in building a grassroots organization and utilizing volunteers, then Saul Anuzis will not be your choice for the RNC Chair.  ... At one of the quarterly meetings of the state committee, Saul saw a group of my volunteers having dinner at a local restaurant.

Trading Up
December 03, 2008

The first hundred days of any presidency rarely go off as planned, but, for now, Barack Obama seems to know what's at the top of his to-do list.

Should Republicans Pray For Rain In Va?
November 03, 2008

Tomorrow, the national forecast, particularly in battleground states, looks overall to be pretty nice--sunny in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Florida, and Ohio--which should bode well for Obama and other Democrats. But one forecast should be troubling for the Dems. has predicted that Virginia, where Obama is currently up by 4.3, is going to get a lot of rain all over the state tomorrow.

Ground Wars
October 23, 2008

Mark Feest is doing all he can to get John McCain elected. Unfortunately, the McCain campaign hasn’t always made that easy. Feest is the chairman of the GOP committee in Churchill County, a rural region of some 26,000 people in northwestern Nevada. Feest complains that the campaign doesn’t seem to understand the nature of rural areas. “Early on, his campaign was sending materials to Las Vegas, hoping we would pick it up,” Feest laughs. “That’s an eight hour drive!” Feest isn’t alone.

Listen To Those Who Got It Right
September 26, 2008

Anyone who dug my post from last night should check out the op-ed in this morning's Wall Street Journal from former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt and former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner. They do a much better job than I could of explaining the importance of mark-to-market accounting in reviving investor trust: "It's like your personal balance sheet," they write.

A Matter Of Trust
September 23, 2008

Clay Risen is managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing editor at World Trade. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination will appear in January.   It's tempting to watch today's Senate Banking Committee hearings, with Democrats and Republicans alike tearing into Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and feel pangs of sorrow for the beleaguered duo.

The Rtc: What You Need To Know
September 19, 2008

Clay Risen is managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing editor at World Trade. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination will appear in January. In recent days, policymakers and financial experts have circled around the idea of creating a government entity--in the model of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC)--to buy up failing assets of financial institutions.

Intellectual Diversity At Boulder
May 26, 2008

Over on the NYT's opinion page, Stanley Fish is taking on the newest manifestation of the "intellectual diversity" movement: CU Boulder's plan to endow a Chair in Conservative Thought and Policy. I'm of two minds about this. There's obviously something obnoxious, contradictory, and slightly hypocritical about conservatives--who deride affirmative action and diversity as formless tokenism, or worse--demanding affirmative action for themselves. (Oddly, this goes back to the beginning.

Obama By A Coin Flip
March 07, 2008

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

Russian Roulette
September 17, 2007

"I am driver," explains Viggo Mortensen early in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. "I go left. I go right. I go straight ahead. That's it." In fact, moviegoers should be pleased to know that the moral maneuvers undertaken by Mortensen's character, a low-level hood in London's Russian underworld, are considerably more interesting than advertised: swerves, veers, dips, even a u-turn or two. In structural terms, the protagonist of the film is a midwife played by Naomi Watts.