The group blog of The New Republic

August 9, 2007

Did Hillary flip-flop on a topic she recently bashed Obama over--ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in a given scenario? It turns out Hillary did just that last year. But she did so in response to a question about reports that the Bush administration was considering the possible use of tactical nukes against Iranian nuclear sites. To me that's a little different than Obama ruling out a nuke against the tribal wildlands of Pakistan.

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From the Times. Ouch:

"It was relatively easy for me to read the sitting president's body language after he had talked to his mother or father," Mr. Card said. "Sometimes he'd ask me a probing question. And I'd think, Hmm, I don't think that question came from him."

--Isaac Chotiner

Wayne Barrett has a fantastic article in the Village Voice that absolutely devastates Rudy Giuliani's claims about fighting terrorism. It's long and meaty, obviously rooted in his research for his new book, with Dan Collins, called "Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11."

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Political Wire is touting the National Journal's latest "Political Insiders" poll, which asked said insiders to name their party's "most overrated presidential candidate." One result:

42% of Democratic insiders named John Edwards, while Barack Obama came in a close second with 40%. The verbatim comments from some respondents were particularly critical of Edwards.

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I haven't seen the exchange, described in this item from the New York Times campaign blog, between Hillary Clinton and a critic of universal health care. But if the description is accurate, I wish I had. And, for the record, Hillary was absolutely correct.

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If you are a little puzzled by Fred Kaplan's Slate piece on the similarities between 1947 India and 2007 Iraq, you're not alone. Kaplan doesn't really manage to draw any parallels other than the fact that both situations were/are bad. At least he is not shy about pointing out numerous differences, even though they undermine his thesis.

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August 8, 2007

From the NYT's impressionistic account of the one-year commemoration of an American military contractor's death in Iraq:

As of June 30, government figures show, 1,001 contractors had died in Iraq since the start of the war.

That, of course, is on top of the 3,668 American service members who have died since the start of the war.

--Jason Zengerle

Newt continues to toy with our emotions. From The Hill (via PoliticalWire):

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Do you? Because clearly the man is starved for attention. According to the New York Times' Caucus Blog, Reich--co-founder of a magazine called The American Prospect--was, according to a recently released batch of personal letters, the "boy from Dartmouth" with whom Hillary Clinton spent a Saturday night while a student at Wellesley.

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In an earlier post, Jason Zengerle suggested that we remember the deaths of 1,001 private contractors in the War on Terror in addition to the deaths of American servicemen and women. I agree, and would just like to add that the 1,001 figure he cites may in fact be an underestimation.

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