[Guest post by John Judis] David Broder, reporter and columnist for many years for the Washington Post, died today at age 81. I did not know him. I talked to him three or four times over many years, but I watched him in action as a reporter and always admired him. When I was covering politics for In These Times in the late 1970s, I used to attend every summer something called the Conference on Alternative, State, and Local Politics.
To the frustration of many a cabinet secretary, the Obama administration is a little behind on its appointments. At this point—with only five weeks to go before the Senate breaks for recess—a little over half of the 514 positions that need filling have been filled. Some jobs are really important: The nominee for the Office of Legal Counsel has been held up for months. Obama’s choice for a USAID director came down just today. U.S. attorney nominations have slowed to a crawl. Other jobs?
Alan Wolfe is a TNR contributing editor and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Just before the House of Representatives voted on the Stupak Amendment, designed to stop any public funding of insurance plans that cover abortion, the U. S. Conference on Catholic Bishops (USCCB) weighed in with its endorsement.
It was Halloween 2001, and Kennesaw State freshman Nick Ayers was sitting anxiously in an Atlanta airplane hangar. A friend had recommended him for a campaign position with Republican state senator Sonny Perdue, who was mounting a long-shot gubernatorial run against Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes. The portly, middle-aged politician disembarked his Bellanca Super Viking and, as Ayers recounts the story, walked down the stairs holding a lid-less cup of coffee. Eager to make a good first impression, the nervous blonde teenager extended his hand for a firm shake.
The self-declared mission of J Street, the dovish "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" lobby that just concluded its first national conference this week, includes redefining the meaning of the term "pro-Israel." For too long, the organization's founders and supporters argue, right-wing elements in the Jewish community have abused the term to hijack the debate and tarnish mainstream, sensible advocates of a two-state solution. J Street's "pro-Israel" bona fides were questioned almost immediately after its launch, and with good reason.
Remember the period between the 2008 Republican Convention, but before the Katie Couric interview, when Sarah Palin was widely seen as a new politico dynamo who had breathed life into the McCain campaign? I wrote a column pointing out the the reaction to Palin eerily recalled the early reaction to Dan Quayle in 1988: [S]omewhere in the recesses of my mind, this admiring appraisal of the prospective veep's intellect struck a familiar chord. With a quick search, I discovered that, indeed, the same was said of Dan Quayle in 1988.
Francisco Toro and Juan Nagel write the Venezuelan news blog Caracas Chronicles. A version of this post originally appeared there. The Honduran tragicomedy that has consumed the hemisphere's diplomats for months is at an end (read the details here).
Time has excerpts from David Plouffe's new book. The section about the whirlwind day he and Axelrod spent interviewing the three veep finalists--Biden, Bayh, and Kaine--is the most interesting.
This is another chapter in the Madoff saga. As with most of my information on Wall Street chicanery and respectable thieving, this comes from my old friend Edward Jay Epstein, who knows more about the slippery things around us than anyone in my circle. By far. By Edward Jay Epstein On Sunday, October 25th 2009, Jeffry Picower drowned in the swimming pool of his Palm Beach mansion, the victim of an apparent heart attack.
Politico owner Robert Allbritton is planning to launch a local Washington D.C news website, TNR has learned. In his most direct challenge to The Washington Post since launching Politico, Allbritton is putting former Washingtonpost.com editor Jim Brady in charge of the new Metro site, sources said. Details are still emerging, but this is what I've learned so far: The new site will feature a mix of original reporting, aggregation, and GPS-map features. The site will cover D.C and the suburbs, and echo Politico's aggressive, scoop-oriented focus. Allbritton's spokesperson couldn't be reached.