The Plank

Hillary's $500 Million Conversation

The Times has a sad story today lamenting the likely death of the public financing program for presidential campaigns. Hillary Clinton has already decided to forgo the program, as she knows she will be able to raise a lot more than the $150 million that public financing would provide her if she chose to run in accordance with its restrictions.

Not Very Saintly Francis

In what can only be described as (insufficiently) good news, 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joe Francis has just been sentenced to 200 hours of community service for failing to document the age of the women in his "films".

Bush V. Cheney?

Forget the shoddy memory defense. It looks like Scooter Libby's settled on a new strategy to avoid the slammer: blame the White House and Karl Rove. Byron York reports from the Libby trial:

Liz Cheney Is Making Some Sense

Wow. I'm afraid "Hannity-esque" may seriously understate the vileness of Liz Cheney's op-ed in today's WaPo. Hannity has never looked as subtle and rigorous as he does alongside Cheney.

That said, there is one passage I thought Cheney nailed:

Mccainiac Plays The Mormon Card

Jonathan Martin notes an interesting bit of anti-Romney info a McCain ally is peddling:

Remember Him?

Former almost-candidate Mark Warner says he's not getting back into the '08 race--but a key supporter notes that he didn't exactly rule it out and urges him to reconsider. I suspect Warner, like Al Gore, may watch Hillary and Obama bludgeon each other for a while before making a decision--although Warner probably can't afford to get in as late as Gore can.

--Michael Crowley

More Liz

Not to make too much out of Liz Cheney's disgraceful, laughable op-ed, but her argument is even more ridiculous if you accept her premise that the Democratic Party is nothing but a bunch of wimps urging surrender.

A 'politico' Exclusive!

I can't help but notice that The Politico has, as part of its "exclusive" you-can-only-read-this-hard-hitting-stuff-here roll-out, a piece revealing that Steve Cohen, a white representative from Tennesse, is being barred from joining the Congressional Black Caucus.

Not to burst anyone's balloon, but that was sort of, um, reported two months ago.

--Conor Clarke

You Had Me At "destroy All Thetans"

Being the world's biggest film star is chopped liver compared to this.

--Isaac Chotiner

...and My Media Consultant Is Henry David Thoreau

Over the weekend, NPR's "On the Media" ran a flattering segment on Dennis Kucinich's latest quixotic bid for the presidency. The theme of the show was that the poor guy just can't catch a break from national political reporters, who insist on treating him like an "oddball" when they bother to cover him at all.

In an interview with the unfairly dismissed candidate, host Bob Garfield softballed: "Other candidates-