Giuliani Hedges On Torture
October 25, 2007

Debating Iran: [Dan Balz, The Washington Post]: "Iran is now the front line in a foreign policy debate that has found Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) defending a vote that her rivals said could embolden President Bush to once again launch unilateral military action against a Middle Eastern nation."   Subjective Torture?: [Michael Cooper, The New York Times]: "Asked at a community meeting here whether he considered waterboarding torture, Mr. Giuliani said: 'It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.'"   Levin v.

Meet "mr. ***k"
October 23, 2007

I've gotten around to this a little late, but for those who haven't had the guilty pleasure of reading David Segal's Washington Post exploration of the less-than-amicable divorce proceedings of Clinton-tormenting billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, you can find it here. It is, as advertised, "like a visit to Gettysburg, minus the gravitas." --Christopher Orr  Update:  If you're wondering about the coy title of this post, it's the result of a not-yet-disabled obscenity filter on our new blog software.

The Fox Debate In Florida
October 22, 2007

Pretty much everything you needed to know about tonight's GOP debate--and much of what you need to know about the GOP race--happened in the first 15 or 20 minutes. That's when Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace invited each of the leading candidates to attack their rivals--and the candidates took him up on it. The differences in the way the four front-runners responded highlighted a key divide in their campaign strategies. Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson swept their deviations from party orthodoxy under the rug, as they have for much of the race, and cast themselves as true conservatives.

Get Your Duke Bashing Here!
October 19, 2007

It's mid-October, which means college basketball teams are allowed to practice--and Coach K is allowed to rip off gullible businessmen. From Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn's account of a visit to a recent Duke practice: Video review is a normal part of the Blue Devils' routine, but what is abnormal on this October Tuesday is that Coach K has a wireless mic clipped to his black Duke polo shirt, and his voice is being projected into Cameron's upper level, where approximately 250 businesspeople are sitting in on what would otherwise be a closed practice.

The Morning News
October 17, 2007

Stealing First [Thomas Beaumont, Des Moines Register]: "Iowa Republicans have scheduled the party's presidential caucuses for Jan. 3, arguing the date would preserve the state's coveted leadoff status but avoid starting the nominating process in 2007." Holy Roller [John McCormick, Chicago Tribune]: "In what is perhaps the most obvious effort yet by Sen.

Pay For Performance (cont'd)
October 17, 2007

Down the merit pay wormhole we go! Ezra responds to my post by saying that it "sort of proves the point" he was making: According to the Department of Labor, "Merit pay, also known as pay-for-performance, is defined as a raise in pay based on a set of criteria set by the employer." That fits the definition used in discussions of education, where merit pay is tied to student improvement, test scores, etc. It doesn't fit a situation in which "my editor likes me" results in a fuzzy and undefined increase. What're the criteria? Agreement with said editor? Fun writing? Personal relationships?

The Morning News
October 16, 2007

ALMOST PHOTO FINISH: Jeanne Cummings, The Politico: "When the official reports went public on the Federal Election Commission website, they showed that Clinton raised more money but Obama eked out his own victory by virtually matching the amount of cash she has in the bank to spend on the hard-fought primary race." IOWA GROUND SWELL: Mike Dorning, Chicago Tribune: "[Obama] has opened 31 field offices across the state, more than any other candidate, establishing local headquarters everywhere from Des Moines to tiny Elkader, population 1,374." EDWARDS WALKS: Erin Jordan, Des Moines Register: "Th

Edwards's Seiu Advantage
October 16, 2007

I promise I won't be using this blog primarily for I-told-you-so's (emphasis on "primarily"), but yesterday's announcement that Edwards has won the endorsement of ten state-level SEIUs does look significant--the campaign certainly looks to be in better shape, union endorsement-wise, than many predicted after the national SEIU announced it wasn't endorsing last week.

Rudy Down South
October 15, 2007

Today I saw Rudy Giuliani make a couple of appearances in upstate South Carolina. In the afternoon he dropped in at Spill the Beans, a charming ice cream shop outside of Greenville. (As I parked my car, a radio advertisement was guaranteeing termite-free mulch.) Squeezing into the packed cafe--surrounded by his menacing coterie of private bodyguards (some of whom could pass for Blackwater employees)--Rudy delivered quick remarks notable for their square focus on Hillary Clinton. "I have a list of how much money Hillary is going to cost you!" Rudy said.

News Flash!
October 14, 2007

Washington, D.C., October 14 The United States Supreme Court this evening issued a decision awarding the Nobel Prize to George Bush.