Debate Questions
November 16, 2007

There has been a lot of press criticism lately (see Paul Waldman's Tim Russert takedown, Noam's thoughts on Russert, and Matt Yglesias' more general criticisms), and while much of it is sensible, I think the media is getting a little too much blame. Here's Matt: Great example. An audience member makes the sensible observation that the candidates haven't talked about the Supreme Court and asks them to say something about their approach to picking nominees. I'd be interested to hear the answers to these questions.

The Connectivity Campaign
November 15, 2007

Yesterday afternoon, Barack Obama made a speech in Silicon Valley on innovation, outlining a plan to create a national technology czar, or "chief technology officer"--likely some 28-year old techie whiz kid, or kids--charged with making president Obama's wildest web fantasies a reality. The venue was no mistake--he spoke at Google headquarters in Mountain View, a petri dish of hyper-wealthy young innovators, who were soon crowing over his plan to make cutting-edge technology the bedrock of his administration.

Aclu Of Southern California: Impeach Bush And Cheney
November 15, 2007

  Do you want to know why it's so tedious sitting next to an ACLU board member at dinner?  Well, now you'll know.    Yes, I know this is only the Sothern California branch.  And National may not follow.  But here is the morally smug and politically idiotic statement issued from the beach. ACLU of Southern California Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney -- Will National Follow? ACLU-SC Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney The ACLU of Southern California has called for the impeachment of President George W.

Vegas Voters And Obama's Tech Support
November 14, 2007

  Nevada's Firing Squad [David McGrath Schwartz,Las Vegas Sun]: "About 100 Nevadans will be sitting in the audience at Cox Pavilion, primed to inject state and Western issues during the second hour of the debate." Silicon Backers [Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo]: "Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig, one of the founders of the Creative Commons movement and a leading intellectual and legal proponent of free information and open government, has endorsed Barack Obama." B-word Blues [Helena Andrews, Politico]: "On Monday, while campaigning in South Carolina, Sen.

So Much For Smoke Breaks
November 13, 2007

There's a piece in today's WaPo's health section about the growing number of employers moving to penalize workers for indulging in unhealthful behaviors--most notably smoking--even outside of the workplace, on the argument that such employees wreak disproportionate havoc on companies' health insurance premiums.

Do Not Try This At Home, Kids
November 09, 2007

USA Today has one of those news-of-the-weird stories about the family of a Kentucky snake-handling victim that's suing a local hospital for failing to provide their loved one with adequate care following a divinely inspired run-in with a rattler. As the paper tells it: About a year ago, Linda Long was attending the East London Holiness Church in London, Ky.

Joe Trippi: Manchurian Operative?
November 09, 2007

There's been some murmuring in the blogosphere about a Joe Trippi conspiracy theory in recent days, which hinges on the friendship between Trippi and chief Obama strategist David Axelrod. So far as I can tell, the first shot at it came from a Kos diarist named Alegre. Alegre wrote the following on Wednesday:  Now I just talked with a friend who worked on Dean’s campaign back [in 2004], and she’s scratching her head over this latest negative push by Edwards. She told me that on several occasions, she’d overheard Trippi say he thought Edwards was a DoubleTalker who couldn’t win.

No Spine, No God Or No Chance: What's A Gop Voter To Do?
November 08, 2007

Poll Dancing [John Harwood, Wall Street Journal]: "Democrats enter the 2008 election campaign with powerful political advantages but face a tough and unpredictable battle because of the vulnerabilities of front-runner Hillary Clinton and the Democratic-controlled Congress." Blue-Collar Barack [Jason Clayworth, Des Moines Register]: "Presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed spending $26 billion a year on middle-class tax cuts and credits, plus help to guarantee sick days for workers and reform of bankruptcy laws." Little Girls, Big Problem [Robert Novak, RealClearPolitics]:  "

If Only Bush Had Been Clearer!
November 05, 2007

Over at Slate, Lee Smith argues in favor of standing by Musharraf despite his imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan. (Next week: Dennis Eckersley defends military aid to Hosni Mubarak.) Smith is right to note that we don't really have any good options in Pakistan (for which Fred Kaplan blames the Bush administration), but he seems far too willing to give Musharraf the benefit of every doubt while exempting him from blame for all of Pakistan's problems.

The Bill Clinton Defense
November 01, 2007

Richard Wolffe has an interesting nugget in Newsweek about Clinton's plan to defuse the attacks headed her way:  But Clinton's campaign is honing its counterattack. Her aides say the opposition isn't just attacking Hillary but also impugning her husband—a tack they're confident will turn off most Democrats. "I don't think there's a very large constituency in the Democratic Party for that," says Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson.