Hawaii

Sam Tanenhaus' New Yorker review of Sarah Palin's book, as well as another book about the former governor, contains this nugget: Palin, though notoriously ill-travelled outside the United States, did journey far to the first of the four colleges she attended, in Hawaii. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. “Hawaii was a little too perfect,” Palin writes. “Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls.” Perhaps not.

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Les Gelb thinks Obama's trip to Asia was a flop, and that the time would have been better spent on a Hawaii vacation. He also wonders whether, after a couple of foreign trips with little to show for them, Obama's foreign policy team is serving him well: First, the trip’s limited value per day of presidential effort suggests a disturbing amateurishness in managing America’s power. On top of the inexcusably clumsy review of Afghan policy and the fumbling of Mideast negotiations, the message for Mr.

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The 'Going Rogue' Index

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.

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The Race Man

Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington By Robert J. Norrell (Harvard University Press, 508 pp., $35)   I. Once the most famous and influential African American in the United States (and probably the world), Booker T. Washington has earned at best mixed reviews in the decades since his death in 1915. Black intellectuals and political activists, from W. E. B.

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Our Dumb Country

Via Ben Smith, Public Policy Polling has a new poll out about Americans' opinions about whether or not Obama was born in the U.S. and discovers that it's actually a very difficult to get an accurate measure, since, as the pollsters write, there are at least some people who correctly believe that Obama was born in Hawaii, but who don't consider Hawaii to be part of the United States. You read that right- 6% of poll respondents think that Hawaii is not part of the country and 4% are unsure. --Jason Zengerle

A couple of timely reports from the New York and San Francisco Fed banks out in recent days. First, with news that Wal-Mart has thrown its support behind an employer mandate, the SF Fed takes a look at how such a system has fared in Hawaii, which passed legislation in 1974 requiring companies to provide coverage for most employees working 20 or more hours per week. Their findings provide a mixed bag for thinking about the cost, benefits, and reasons for considering a federal-level employer mandate.

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Invisible Man

On my way to Denver for what is being billed as the political speech of my lifetime, I am doing my best to open up a lotus-like space inside my head in which I can enjoy the pleasurable sensation that comes to lucky Ivy League meritocrats of a certain age, when friends from college and graduate school are on the verge of really running things in America. On any given Sunday, you stand a better-than-even chance of knowing Barack Obama's speechwriters, his economic advisers, the New York Times correspondent covering his campaign, or someone who played basketball last Tuesday with the candidate.

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Cokie Roberts, during the panel discussion on ABC's This Week: [G]oing off this week to a vacation in Hawaii ... does not make any sense whatsoever. I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time. Aside from the blatant East Coast bias here, isn't this rather condescending to Roberts's viewers?

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We asked David Kusnet, Bill Clinton's former chief speechwriter and author of Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier than Ever, to give his impression of Barack Obama's declaration of victory speech. Last night, Barack Obama's opponent was John McCain, not Hillary Clinton.

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As previously noted, Hawaii caucus turnout has never been above 5,000. The Obama camp's pie-in-the-sky prediction was 18,000. Final tally? 37,247. --Barron YoungSmith

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