Clinton

The Turnaround Men

Just after dawn on a cool morning in September 2008, two FBI agents and a police officer walked into the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and took the security elevator up to the twenty-third floor, where they knocked on the door of a high-roller haven known as the Grand Lakeview Suite. A Minnesota businessman named Tom Petters answered wrapped in a bathrobe. After a moment’s hesitation, he invited them in.

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video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player   [with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir] News from H Street: The Center for American Progress, which happens to be next door to the New Republic, has a new president. It’s Neera Tanden, whom readers will recognize from her contributions at TNR.COM.

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A very clever blogger, short and pithy, comments on the world virtually daily. His name is Errol Phillips, and I have not the slightest idea of who he is. But this ironic observation seems perfectly apt. So I share it with you: Let’s see if I got this right. Water-boarding is torture and unacceptable. But assassination is murder and is acceptable. At least we know now that progressives have finally come around to accepting the death penalty. We shall see which countries will complain to the United Nations about Friday's killing(s).

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Since the Syrian people began their uprising against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Americans have been told repeatedly that there is little they can do about the situation. Experts in think tanks, universities, and the halls of U.S. government have been eager to remind us that the conditions in Syria—with its fractured opposition, brutal and loyal military forces, and fragile regional neighborhood—simply didn’t leave much room for Americans to make a difference. But Robert Ford, our ambassador in Damascus, never seemed to accept this simplistic line of thinking.

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The Palestinians are in the process of seeking sovereignty from the United Nations, but in doing so, they are asking for more than what was offered them in any prior negotiation with Israel—including during the talks involving President Clinton and Ehud Barak in 2000 and 2001. Rather than more, it is imperative that the Palestinians get less. It is imperative to world peace that the Palestinians pay a price—even if it’s only a symbolic price—for rejecting the generous Clinton/Barak offer and responding to it with a second intifada in which 4,000 people were killed.

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Ignorance Is Strength

"It’s not who is the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater that we need to elect,” Rick Perry said today at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. “We need to elect the candidate with the best record, and the best vision for this country. The current occupant of the White House can sure talk a good game, but he doesn't deliver. Matter of fact, remember President Clinton? Man, he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos. And the next day be against ice cubes! The alternative is candidates who stick to principle, stand their ground, because they believe in something." So ...

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Earlier today I wondered what Ron Suskind's forthcoming book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, would have to say about White House chief of staff (and scapegoat du jour) Bill Daley. One thing it says, I have since learned, is that in September 2008, as polls were starting to show that Obama was the likely winner, a meeting was called with three former Clinton chiefs of staff: John Podesta (who would later be Obama's transition chief), Leon Panetta (now defense secretary) and Erskine Bowles (later co-chairman, with former Sen.

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Two new public polls out this morning, from NBC/WSJ and the Washington Post, illustrate the curious nature of President Obama's electoral standing. The top-line number is completely abysmal.

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The 1997 Balanced Budget Act is one of the great propaganda coups in the history of American governance. It is remembered today fondly by right and left as the hallmark of a bygone era of bipartisan cooperation, when the two parties came together in the spirit of shared sacrifice in order to secure a balanced budget. Here's Matthew Yglesias noting how the law "managed to raise revenue." Here are conservatives like Keith Hennessey and Paul Ryan holding it up as a case of the government cutting taxes and balancing the budget. What really happened in 1997?

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With David Frum moving in on my dissecting Wall Street Journal editorial territory, and now Zack Beuachamp cutting in on my patented role of pointing out Pete Wehner's hackery, it becomes all the more vital that I cling to my role of ridiculing Stephen Moore, the Journal's lead economics editorial writer and my most cherished foil. Moore's latest column argues that President Obama's economic program has failed and that President Reagan's succeeded, ergo Keynesian economics is wrong and supply-side economics is correct.

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