The group blog of The New Republic
September 28, 2007
Barack Obama's speech at Howard University this morning was full of explosive, rhythmic calls to action, striking a fine balance between sober convocation and straight stumping. The campaign touted it as a substantive rollout of Obama's criminal justice platform, while the theater of his presence clearly thrilled the audience of black students and faculty.
September 27, 2007
In the "spin room" after tonight's debate, Elizabeth Edwards suggested her husband offers Democrats a rare opportunity: the chance to nominate someone who is both the most progressive and the most electable candidate running. (At least among the plausible candidates.) It's an intriguing notion, one that would play well among the notoriously liberal and notoriously strategic-minded Democrats of Iowa. The only question is whether it's actually possible.
The electoral system by which we nominate presidents is already deeply flawed. By electing presidential electors by state and granting each state an extra two delegates for its number of senators, the system favors the least populous and rural states. Recently, that has meant extra electoral votes for Republicans in presidential elections. Now a shadowy group of Republicans, funded by a backer of Rudolph Giuliani, want to change the way California, the most populous state, chooses its presidential electors.
From the Times:
The Navy plans to spend $600,000 for "camouflage" landscaping and rooftop adjustments so that 1960s-era barracks at the Naval Base Coronado near San Diego will no longer look like a Nazi swastika from the air.The resemblance went unnoticed by the public for decades until it was spotted in aerial views on Google Earth.
Alrighty, today's missive from the Clinton camp is a note from "Hillary" subject-lined "Carrots." In it, she pleads:
I hear you might be watching a debate with Bill -- can I ask you a favor?
Bill mentioned "a big bowl of chips" in the email he sent you Tuesday. If you are one of the three people who get the chance to join him, can you make sure he eats carrots, not chips?
When New England Cable News's Allison King asked the Democratic candidates in last night's debate whether they would be comfortable having a school use a book about a "prince who marries another prince" to teach second graders about same-sex marriage, I almost wondered whether Mitt Romney put her up to it. That's because the book in question--titled King & King--has been a staple of Romney's stump speeches.
There's a big fight brewing in California over Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to shore up the state's water supply by building three big new dams. Democrats have generally opposed building new dams, pointing to the environmental problems they pose, but Democratic leaders in the state legislature might be more inclined to go along this time in order to preserve the good working relationship they've developed with Schwarzenegger.
The Navy plans to spend $600,000 in taxpayer dollars so that one of its California building complexes doesn't look like a swastika on Google Earth.
I'm as opposed to swastikas as the next guy. But is this not completely absurd? Wouldn't it be far, far more useful to spend the money, say, prosecuting hate crimes? Or giving college scholarships to descendants of Holocaust victims? Endowing an Ahmadinejad-is-an-idiot chair at Columbia University, even?
While, as Chait points out, many social conservatives remain unconvinced of Fred Thompson's commitment to their cause, the Southern Baptist's Richard Land continues his tireless cheerleading for Big Daddy.
Even having talked to Land about Fred at some length a few months ago, I still don't understand this particular attraction. It's not as if Fred is the most conservative or the most religious or has the most irreproachable personal history of the GOP contenders.