Marc Ambinder

I try to avoid simply repeating things that other people blog, but this excerpt of President Obama's news conference from December, via Mike Konczal, is pretty incredible: THE PRESIDENT: …Marc Ambinder. Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in.

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Bin Laden

Monday morning update: Elsewhere at TNR Paul Berman, Jonathan Chait, and David Greenberg have more to say. Also well worth reading are the National Journal's Marc Ambinder and the New Yorker's Lawrence Wright. By now, you have heard the news: Osama bin Laden is dead, President Obama announced in a nationally televised speech on Sunday night.  According to the president and senior administration officials, bin Laden was killed in a "targeted raid" that U.S.

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Obama's Cold Cut

It's cold outside and millions of Americans are struggling to pay their heating bills. The good news is that there's a federal program, called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, that helps these people. And the bad news? President Obama wants to cut its funding roughly in half. OK, wants is probably the wrong word here. President Obama knows how important this program is to the individuals who depend upon it.

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A Blogger's Farewell

One of Washington's most indispensable bloggers is returning (mostly) to the world of print. As of today, Marc Ambinder is giving up his regular blog at the Atlantic in order to join the staff of National Journal.

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Best exit poll finding of the night, per Marc Ambinder: Who's to blame for the economy? Bankers (34%), Bush (29%), Obama (24%).  Of those who blame bankers, Republicans hold an 11 point advantage. Hilarious. And more evidence that the biggest political paradox of the election is that Republicans have seized the mantle of economic populism.

[C]hallenges to one authority in the party are coming from another power center in the party. Parties are not strongly hierarchical organizations to begin with, so the way in is just to start playing. Whatever else she is, Sarah Palin is the party’s most recent nominee for vice president. That’s not an outsider position. And so neither are the candidates she backs. And these candidates are contesting party primaries. But “outsiders” like outsider rhetoric, but they are in the tent.

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&c

-- Anthony Julius reviews Niall Ferguson's new book. -- Alex Wagner asks, "Has the White House gone tone deaf?" -- Marc Ambinder looks at the political and economic possibilities for a payroll tax holiday. -- David Weigel warns Democrats not to be overconfident about defeating the craziest Republican nominees.

&c

--New York Magazine profiles John McCain --Ezra Klein on how the Democrats could improve the economy quickly --Marc Ambinder tries to figure out what exactly Sarah Palin is up to

Marc Ambinder says the news media should be ashamed for chasing the Sestak pseudo-scandal: I will grant that the statutes themselves can be interpreted in such a way as to prohibit virtually all political activity by anyone remotely connected with the executive branch. But practice -- and not simply underhanded practice, but open, above-board practice, since the time those laws were written suggests that the law's authors intended them as a bulwark against official corruption, not against the mixing of politics and policy.

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So says Marc Ambinder: For 17 years, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has grabbed thousands of gay soldiers by their collars and thrown them out of the military. By this time next year, that policy will be gone. Gay people will be openly serving in the United States Armed Forces. You might be forgiven for disbelieving that prediction, especially given the angry broadsides that gay rights activists are directing at the White House.

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