Political Relationship

In Politico, Joe Scarborough flays President Obama for ignoring entitlement spending and the deficit crisis: For two years now, I have been assured by Obama’s closest aides that their man is going to get serious about the deficit — and soon. But in Obama’s White House, “soon” never comes. Right after he got into office, Obama passed the largest spending bill in U.S.

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Republican candidates have been taking turns kicking around Mitt Romney over health care reform, and the latest up is Haley Barbour: Add Haley Barbour to the list of presidential contenders who have gone after Mitt Romney over RomneyCare. On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Barbour said Massachusetts had a state insurance plan it liked — and that his state, Mississippi, had no interest in it. "We don't want that. That's not good for us," Barbour told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "We don't want community rating.

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Minnesota governor and potential 2012 presidential nominee Tim Pawlenty made headlines yesterday when he criticized fellow Republican Olympia Snowe for her "deviations" from conservative GOP orthodoxy, and refused to say whether or not he was happy that she was a Republican. Snowe shot back at Pawlenty today, telling Politico, “I've been a lifelong Republican -- I haven't changed, I don't know what the problem is -- I really don't. I know Gov.

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Brave Man

An Iranian student criticizes Supreme Leader Khaminei to his face, in public: It was near the end of a meeting Wednesday between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a group of university students when the man who is Iran's highest political and spiritual authority asked if there were any other questions.

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The Fork in J Street

The self-declared mission of J Street, the dovish "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" lobby that just concluded its first national conference this week, includes redefining the meaning of the term "pro-Israel." For too long, the organization's founders and supporters argue, right-wing elements in the Jewish community have abused the term to hijack the debate and tarnish mainstream, sensible advocates of a two-state solution. J Street's "pro-Israel" bona fides were questioned almost immediately after its launch, and with good reason.

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Francisco Toro and Juan Nagel write the Venezuelan news blog Caracas Chronicles. A version of this post originally appeared there. The Honduran tragicomedy that has consumed the hemisphere's diplomats for months is at an end (read the details here).

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The Obama Factor

WASHINGTON--Memo to Democrats: You will be defined by President Obama whether you like it or not, so you might as well embrace him for the benefits he can bring you. Memo to Republicans: Talk a right-wing game in your ideological magazines and at your tea parties if that makes you happy. But to win elections, your candidates had better look like middle-of-the-road problem-solvers. Those are the two outstanding lessons from the campaigns for next Tuesday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. Both parties would be smart to apply them in 2010. In Virginia, Democrat R.

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The Race Man

Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington By Robert J. Norrell (Harvard University Press, 508 pp., $35)   I. Once the most famous and influential African American in the United States (and probably the world), Booker T. Washington has earned at best mixed reviews in the decades since his death in 1915. Black intellectuals and political activists, from W. E. B.

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I'm a bit late in getting to this, but I have to disagree with Suzy Khimm's take on GOP Senator Tom Coburn's co-authoring a piece for The Advocate with Christopher Barron, Chairman of GOProud. That organization was founded earlier this year (I wrote about it here) by a pair of disgruntled former employees of the Log Cabin Republicans, who argued that the flagship gay GOP organization had been hijacked by liberals.

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I’m grateful to Michael Cohen for challenging my views on General McChrystal, because it invites me--indeed, compels me--to say more about how I reached my conclusion. (Click here to find out why Joe Biden flipped on Afghanistan.) Let’s begin with some propositions about which I suspect there’s little disagreement: Entering or expanding a war is the gravest decision a political community can make. Lives, scarce resources, and honor are at stake, and the consequences of mistaken judgments are both large and lasting.

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