The group blog of The New Republic

September 30, 2007

The Jerusalem Post reports on the accusations and counter-accusations of homosexuality that are currently flying between Hamas and Fatah officials in the Palestinian territories. Following its takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, Hamas claimed to have seized videos and documents implicating senior Fatah officials in homosexual activity.

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Two things are true of almost everyone reading this post: first, you aren't quite sure who Lois Maxwell was, and second, you have seen her on film. From 1962 until 1985, over the course of fourteen movies, Maxwell costarred opposite Sean Connery (six times), George Lazenby (once), and Roger Moore (seven times) as the first and most only memorable Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond series.

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September 29, 2007

Who contributed the $175,000 that a shadowy Missouri group gave to California Republicans to launch a ballot initiative that would replace California's winner-take-all presidential system with a system that would apportion electoral votes by congressional district? The mysterious backer has now revealed himself: Paul Singer, a New York hedge-fund billionaire, who is a member of Rudy Giuliani's National Finance Committee and has already raised $500,000 for Giuliani.

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That lasted all of two days. Newt decides he's not going to raise $30 million in a single month after all:

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The debate over private military contractors has heated up, for obvious reasons, in recent days. John Robb weighs in here with the now obvious point that PMC's constitute an essential part of our Iraq operations.

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Lyle Denniston over at SCOTUSblog reports on a little-noticed development this week: the D.C.

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The Newsweek poll: Clinton leads Obama by six points in Iowa among registered voters, but trails the Illinois senator by four points among "likely caucus-goers." Edwards trails among both populations.

--Isaac Chotiner

September 28, 2007

My fondness for Hitch notwithstanding, I'm with Peter Suderman in marveling that there are evidently a substantial number of people who will spend $125/hour for phone conversations with "dating coaches," and as much as $5,000 or $10,000 for a weekend strategy session.

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According to the L.A. Times, the proposed California initiative to split the state's electoral votes (and, let's face it, give the GOP a leg up in '08) is basically dead. Republican donors, who seem to be a thoroughly depressed lot these days, just didn't have the heart to support it.

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A rival campaign operative notes something about how the Edwards camp is spinning its decision to accept public campaign funds. In today's New York Times Edwards declares that he's decided to "step up" on the issue because "Washington is awash with money, and the system is corrupt." Yet just a few paragraphs earlier the same story says that

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