The Plank

Bawk! Bawk!
November 28, 2007 The Plank

I remember thinking that Noam was wrong to accuse Rudy Giuliani of "chicken[ing] out" in his aborted 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton. After all, Rudy dropped out of the race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Is that the same thing as chickening out? Well, maybe it is.

From today's NYT article on the Senate race that wasn't:

Well, D'uh
November 28, 2007 The Plank

Today, NBC's "First Read" political-news clip service contains this blurb about public opinion on Iraq:

Who Needs Drudge (cont'd)?
November 28, 2007 The Plank

Is there a Democratic sex "scandal"--no matter how bogus--that Mickey Kaus won't promote? Today he's plugging (albeit in a somewhat passive aggressive fashion) the ridiculous rumor that Hillary Clinton is the lesbian lover of her aide Huma Abedin. Here's my favorite bit of Kausian sophistry:

Spare The Rod...or Go To Jail
November 28, 2007 The Plank

On Wednesday, Massachusetts lawmakers are scheduled to take up a bill barring parents from spanking children. This isn't the first time a state has tried this kind of meddling, though all efforts thus far have failed. I'm rooting for this one to as well.

November 28, 2007 The Plank

I realize The WaPo's "Style" section traffics in soft, squishy profiles, but this Michelle Obama gusher--preciously titled "Her Heart's in the Race"--makes tapioca look tough. The after-the-jump headline on page C10 tells you pretty much all you need to know: "Obama's Her Man, but She's Her Own Woman." 


--Michelle Cottle 

In Defense Of Gerson
November 27, 2007 The Plank

I'm not sure what puts me more at odds with the overwhelming force of bipartisan opinion: the fact that I thought Lions for Lambs had a number of redeeming qualities, or the fact that I tend to enjoy Michael Gerson's Washington Post columns. (For the record, I also usually like air travel and nil-nil draws in soccer.) In the interest of not subjecting Plank readers to my attempts at film criticism, I'll take up Gerson's cause and let someone else defend Robert Redford (if anyone will).


Which Way War?
November 27, 2007 The Plank

Campaigning for his wife this afternoon in Iowa, Bill Clinton threw an asterisk over his position on the Iraq war:

"Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning," said Clinton, "I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."

D.c.'s "modern Epidemic"
November 27, 2007 The Plank

Ben Smith has an interesting item today about Hillary Clinton's newfound support for federal financing for needle exchange programs--a shift from the position of the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

Water Recycling Picks Up Steam
November 27, 2007 The Plank

The New York Times reports today on the growing popularity among drought-plagued cities of recycling wastewater into potable water--a process which, though it still tends to provoke a visceral reaction of "eewwww!", is becoming increasingly recognized as an important component in adapting to drier conditions in the South and Southwest. It's worth emphasizing, though, that this isn't all that different from what happens already.