Person Relation

Ed Koch Surprises Again
September 09, 2008

I suppose that some of you had long ago concluded that Ed Koch has crossed the river to the other side. One of the founders of the anti-Tammany Hall New York reform Democrats, he had moved to the center (where he was when he fought for Al Gore in the 1988 New York primary against dull dull dull Mike Dukakis and huckster Jesse Jackson). And the he endorsed George W. Bush in 2004. Oh my!So what is he doing in this year's contest? The one thing he is not doing is endorsing his friend John McCain and McCain's altogether new friend Sarah Palin.

A Tick-tock Of The Big Palin Scandal
August 29, 2008

In Alaska, it's known as Troopergate and, sometimes, Wootengate. Newly selected GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Alaska's first female governor, has been dogged by controversy since July 11, when she fired Public Safety Commissoner Walter Monegan. At the time, a spokesperson for Palin said the 44-year-old governor wanted to take the public safety department in a new direction. Monegan said any complaints from the governor about his job performance had "never been communicated" to him. Then things started to get messy.

Today On (august 28, 2008)
August 28, 2008

Avoiding A Long, Disappointing Fall by John B. Judis Why Political Speechmaking Sounds So Weird by John McWhorter The Democratic Convention Has Found Its Voice by Michael Crowley Obama's Views Aren't Easy To Characterize--So Stop Trying Already!

Choice Cuts: Richard Ben Cramer On Biden
August 23, 2008

From What It Takes, of course: The first thing you've got to know about Joe is the house. Probably the first thing he'd show you, anyway. You talk with Biden about anything. ... somehow it gets back to home. And the house is gorgeous, an old du Pont mansion, in the du Pont neighborhood called Greenville, outside Wilmington.  It's the kind of place a thousand Italian guys died building--hand-carved doorways, a curving hand-carved grand staircase that Clark Gable could have carried a girl down, a library fit for a Carnegie, or Bernard Baruch, someone like that.

Samantha Power's Special Pleading
August 20, 2008

Some 38, maybe 39 years ago, I received a phone call from someone I had vaguely known.  She was frantic. "Biafra," she cried, with reason enough, I agreed, to be frantic.  "Poets, poets, we must save the poets of Biafra," she went on. Which is where she lost me.   After the birth of our son in 1968 I had become involved in what was loosely called the Biafra movement. The provoking moment for me was very simple: we were on our bed with three-day old Jesse and there on the tube were three, four, five year olds, gaunt in face, bloated in belly, starving.

Edwards Shrapnel Hits Texas Senate Race
August 20, 2008

From the fundraising email from Texas Senator John Cornyn that arrived in my inbox last night: Recently, Dallas trial lawyer and Democratic sugar daddy Fred Baron revealed that he was the financier of John Edwards’ illicit affair. In the last week there have been literally thousands of articles written about Fred Baron, but [Cornyn's Democratic challenger] Rick Noriega has been noticeably silent. Why? Because Baron, a Dallas based asbestos trial lawyer, and his wife Lisa Blue have given thousands to Noriega.

Witness To Musharraf's End
August 18, 2008

This afternoon, not long after Pervez Musharraf announced that he'd had his fill after almost nine years of ruling Pakistan, I wandered across Islamabad, to the headquarters of the Pakistan People's Party. The headquarters, which include a residence and a secretariat, are referred to collectively as the Zardari House, named after Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widow. The Zardari House has been the nerve center for the push to oust Musharraf over the past year.

Biden? Yeah, That Works.
August 18, 2008

Well-connected Washington insider Steve Clemons has already reported that signs point to Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate. Now comes this tidbit, coutesy of the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray: Tony Blinken, the Biden foreign policy adviser who accompanied Obama on his overseas trip, left Washington to go on vacation late last week. Destination? Hawaii.  The timing of Blinken's trip isn't clear. Maybe he got there after Obama left. Or maybe he really was on vacation.

Today In Love Child News
August 18, 2008

A reminder not to get too carried away with praising the National Enqurier's credibility--especially when it comes to "love child" stories: The tabloid, which is being celebrated for scooping the mainstream media on the John Edwards mistress story, has quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a Cape Cod woman who claimed the Enquirer published false and defamatory stories about her supposed "love child" with Senator Ted Kennedy. Lawyers for Caroline Bilodeau-Allen provided DNA test results from 1985 that show Kennedy is not the father of Christopher Bilodeau, who was born in 1984.... The stories

Chinese Dissident Of The Day, Pt. 3
August 12, 2008

  Name: Wang Xiaoning Age: 58 Duration of Incarceration: 10 years Crime: Wang was arrested in September 2002 for publishing a pro-democracy and anti-corruption online journal, and for writing and distributing essays and electronic journals on democracy and other political topics. Fact: Wang and his wife Yu Ling have filed a suit against Yahoo! in a U.S. federal court, claiming that the company gave information to the Chinese government about his online political activities that led to his arrest. Yahoo!