Environment

Down-ticket
October 30, 2007

One of Kevin Drum's Virginia readers writes in to say that Hillary Clinton is absolutely loathed in the South and could never win down there. Kevin responds that no Democratic presidential candidate—not even John Edwards—has a prayer of winning in the South, and anyway, the Democrats don't need to win any Southern states to capture the White House, so this shouldn't even be a concern. That seems right, but incomplete. If you look at '08 Senate races in, say, Oklahoma and Kentucky, James Inhofe and Mitch McConnell look awfully vulnerable in early polling.

Next Time, Just Pay Armstrong Williams To Ask The Questions
October 30, 2007

 I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the audacity of the fake press briefing FEMA staged last Tuesday, in which agency reps, pretending to be reporters, lobbed softball questions at Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson, allowing him to ramble on and on about the greatness of FEMA's response to the California wildfires.

Carl Levin, Please Don't Scare The Puppies
October 29, 2007

I normally love Michigan's Carl Levin, the simultaneously hard-assed and endearingly grandfatherly Iraq expert in the Senate (here's a link to his coos-of-appreciation-inducing Time award as one of "America's Best Senators"!). The Iraq measures he's introduced this year, often with Rhode Islander Jack Reed, have always been smart -- they keep a strict focus on the desired outcome, withdrawal, while resisting pressure to buck the political and technical realities of how that's going to happen. But he needs a new p.r. guy.

More Advice For Obama
and
October 29, 2007

That L.A. Times piece Mike linked to earlier had a couple more useful nuggets. First, a theory of Hillary's support that sounds both interesting and plausible: "When he talks about representing change, women who are considering Hillary look at him and say, If this is about change, she represents greater change than you do, simply by being a woman," [pollster Dick] Bennett said.

Fruitless Conversations
October 27, 2007

The Annapolis conference is set for November 4-6, and -- sad to say -- no one yet knows who exactly will show up.  Of course, no one knows how the sessions will end up either.  And, if truth be told, no one even knows what will be discussed.Poor Condi Rice has ordered up a multi-hundred page reprise of what happened at previous important junctures in the failed history of the peace process.  This is a silly exercise for some junior foreign service officer to waste the next days reading.  Everybody knows the basic narrative: the Arabs show up and are intransigent; the Israelis are squeezed; the

Comedy Central Taking Colbert Seriously
October 26, 2007

A Costly Stunt [Kenneth P. Vogel,The Politico]: "Joke or not, Comedy Central is taking Stephen Colbert’s presidential candidacy--or, at least the legal implications of it--very seriously. The network has consulted a top Washington election law firm and appears keenly aware of the strict election law provisions that could be triggered by Colbert’s satirical campaign." Obama Fundraiser Defects [Nedra Pickler,AP]: "A longtime Democratic fundraiser has abandoned Barack Obama's campaign to help rival Hillary Rodham Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

A Full-employment Act For The Vrwc
and
October 24, 2007

From yesterday's Publishers Lunch roundup of the latest book deals: Former Democratic fundraiser Kathleen Willey's TARGET: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton, her story of how Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in the White House, along with what's called new evidence that Hillary Clinton orchestrated a campaign of threats and intimidation to cover it up, to Eric Jackson at World Ahead, for publication in November 2007, by Anu Hansen at Atmarr Services. I can't say I was previously familiar with World Ahead Publishing, but, after a quick glance at its catalog, it's not surpr

Fred's First Policy
and
October 24, 2007

No Amnesty: [Brendan Farrington and Libby Quaid, AP]: "In his first major policy proposal, Thompson challenged presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney by criticizing 'sanctuary cities' where city workers are barred from reporting suspected illegal immigrants who enroll their children in school or seek hospital treatment.

Obama Hits Clinton Over Support For Kyl-lieberman
and
October 23, 2007

Obama Takes Aim [Jim Rutenberg, New York Times]: "Senator Obama's campaign shared with reporters this morning this mailing it sent out highlighting his early opposition to the Iraq war 'when others went along' with the Bush war plan. But, in the latest wrinkle in the fight between the two Democratic candidates, the mailing also pointedly notes that, 'while other Democrats voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, Barack Obama opposed another Bush foreign policy fiasco.'" Electable, but Why?

Primary Schedule Battle: States, Gop Go To War
and
October 23, 2007

Party Discipline: [Steven Ohlenmacher, AP]: "Republican Party leaders on Monday recommended punishing five states for shifting their nomination contests earlier, moving to strip New Hampshire, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan and Wyoming of half their delegates."   So What?: [John Distasto, New Hampshire Union Leader]: "[New Hampshire] State Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen yesterday shrugged off a national GOP panel's decision to withhold half the state party's delegates to the Republican national convention next summer."   Not Dead Yet: [Dan Morain and Joe Mathews, Los Angeles Times]: "Vet

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