Today's Silly Republican News
August 07, 2007

There's some terrific news about Republican silliness today. First, regarding the recent radio interview in which Mitt Romney was grilled over his Mormonism and views on abortion, Mark Hemingway in (surprisingly) National Review Online has a piece on the nuttiness of one of the obscure figures Romney and the host bonded over: W.

2008 Surprise Of The Day
August 07, 2007

Of my day, at least, since this came out a little while ago. Who got the most Q2 money from donors who listed their employer as the U.S. military? Ron Paul. --Eve Fairbanks

More On The U.n. And War
August 06, 2007

Just a quick thought about Jon's post below. He writes: The primary debate leading into the Iraq war, remember, centered around legitimacy. War critics argued that it was illegitimate for the United States to undertake a war without the consent of the United Nations Security Council.Daalder and Kagan write that the U.N. Security Council cannot be the final arbiter of American interventions, which is a major concession for Daalder. But they also write that the United States needs some legitimacy for its actions, which is a significant concession for Kagan. The failures of the U.N.

Occupational Hazard
August 06, 2007

'Take off your veil!" the Somali soldier shouted at the woman in the mostly empty street. Steadying his assault rifle with his right hand, he ripped away the woman's black niqab with his left. "Why are you coming so close to us? You have explosives?" He leveled the muzzle of his gun against the bridge of her nose. Her mouth, suddenly embarrassed and exposed, broke into a jester's forced grin. "I just want a juice," she pleaded. Except for a handful of armed soldiers, the only other person on the deserted street was a man selling mango juice from behind a table.

The Ivy Gang
August 03, 2007

At my back-in-the-day former employer, the Boston Phoenix, Steven Stark laments John Edwards's chances at the nomination. Why? Edwards, you see, didn't go to Harvard or Yale. In the Democratic landscape of 2007, that doesn't seem as if it should be a problem. But you'd have to go back to 1984 to find a Democratic nominee (Walter Mondale) who didn't attend one of those elite universities for either college or graduate school. Before that, a number of Democratic also-rans, including Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, and Jerry Brown, were also graduates of either Harvard or Yale.

A Big Mess To Fix
July 30, 2007

The New York Times Magazine had a fascinating piece yesterday written by an Iraqi "fixer." As anyone who has ever worked with a fixer (savvy locals who translate, drive, arrange interviews and generally keep their clients--reporters--from getting killed) can relate, these people are the unsung heroes of international journalism. The former Times fixer who wrote the piece, Ayub Nuri, is now studying at Columbia University. Despite his stellar credentials, it wasn't easy for him to get there.

A Time For Healing
July 27, 2007

Mike Nifong, the former district attorney of Durham County, North Carolina, tried to shove three young Duke men into jail on trumped up charges of rape. The charges, made first by a young bimbo striptease dancer, were taken up by Nifong despite that fact there was absolutely no evidence of their guilt and despite the other fact that the just-barely-past-teenage mother who accused them changed her allegations from day to day. Of course, there was a racial undertone to all of this.

Hillary To Guest Star On "24"?
July 23, 2007

Having never seen "24," I'll defer to Chris's judgment that "the show is beyond politics altogether--or, perhaps more accurately, beneath them." But that hasn't stopped numerous conservative commentators (not to mention the odd Supreme Court Justice) from trying to make political hay out of the show. So, given the current Democratic frontrunner in the '08 presidential race, it's probably worth noting that for the show's seventh and upcoming season, the president on "24" will be a woman.

The Righteous Reggie
July 23, 2007

The top award for the YouTube debate thus far goes to Reverend Reggie, a black pastor from North Carolina. The question, for John Edwards: In the American past, religious justifications -- something prohibited by the Constitution, at least under most interpretations -- were used to prolong injustices like slavery, Jim Crow, not allowing women to vote. How can you use your Southern Baptist faith to explain your opposition to gay marriage? There just wasn't a good way to answer that. P.S.: His video -- featuring a song from "Hair" -- was pretty cheeky, though. --Eve Fairbanks

"here Comes My Wife, The Story Of My Life"
July 23, 2007

Bill Richardson had the only really specific response to the youth-group-icebreaker question to identify something you like or don't like about the candidate to your left: He lauded Biden's service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, civil rights, Supreme Court nominees. Impressive, insofar as any response could be. Joe Biden likes Dennis Kucinich's wife -- yikes. --Eve Fairbanks