The Plank

Mukasey And Material Witnesses

Amidst the kind words for the selection of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General, Josh Gerstein points out the Federal District Judge's controversial role in using the material-witness statute to hold terrorism suspects without charges and to conduct their trials in secret. He wrote about it for TNR in 2002:

"the Cynics In Washington"

Speaking of Obama themes, here's his new Iowa ad if you haven't seen it. (I'll embed if I can figure out how to do it.)

--Michael Crowley

Is Edwards A "phony"?

AP's Ron Fournier tackles the question. I think the critiques of what Fournier calls the "three Hs" ("haircut, house and hedge fund") are pretty bogus. It's the cautious-moderate-to-lefty-crusader evolution that I wonder about.

P.S. Ben Smith on a big letdown for Edwards--no SEIU endorsement (for now).

More On D.c. Voting Rights

Ross Douthat takes a swipe at TNR's editorial stance on the constitutionality of the D.C. voting-rights bill. He quotes our position on the issue:

Who's The Rat?

The Edwards campaign wants a criminal investigation into who leaked some nasty internal emails to the AP.

--Michael Crowley

The Calculus

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder has a delightfully Machiavellian explication of current Democratic donor behavior. He (very tentatively) predicts that Hillary might outraise Obama in this quarter by as much as $5 million:

Et Tu, Brute?

Apropos of Mike's post on John Warner earlier today, Warner did break away from the Webb amendment this morning -- with a particularly dramatic flourish. He informed Webb he would not only rescind his support but offer his own competing resolution moments before Webb was to introduce his legislation on the floor, leaving Webb to straggle to his podium in the Senate chamber with a look of shock still plastered on his face.

Celebrendorsements, Cont'd

This just in from the Hillary campaign:

Sunday, September 23 Clinton Attends "A Conversation with John Grisham and Hillary Clinton" Paramount Theater 215 E. Main StCharlottesville, VA

Grisham explains the relationship here. Gotta think Edwards isn't loving that this southern trial lawyer is going with HRC.

--Michael Crowley

"real Americans"

Andrew awards Michael Ledeen a "Poseur Alert" for the following bit self-involved flim-flam:

Over Before It Began?

The WaPo's Chris Cilizza, breaking the news that the McCain campaign has lost a key Michigan supporter in state AG Mike Cox, seeks to bring a screeching halt to the McCain comeback meme: