May 21, 2008
Obama And Those Meetings
Barron flags this ABC piece about the Obama campaign's refinement of its dictator-meeting position: Asked about Obama's original statement Tuesday morning on CNN, former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., a top Obama adviser and supporter, said top-level meetings would not be immediate -- and would not happen without preliminary extensive diplomatic work. "I would not say that we would meet unconditionally," said Daschle. "Of course, there are conditions that we [would] involve in preparation in getting ready for the diplomacy. ...
I didn't watch much of the primary-election coverage last night, opting instead for Celtics–Pistons game one despite an earlier pledge, made in the heat of my anti-Boston fervor, to boycott such a series. (Funny how that works.) But, in the brief interim when I was tuned in to MSNBC, Norah O'Donnell made a useful point in breaking down the exit polls. She noted that the percentage of Kentucky Democrats who tell pollsters they'll support John McCain in an Obama–McCain race (32 percent) is roughly equal to the proportion of Kentucky Democrats who voted for George W.
Nuance On Dictators
As Mike and Noam predicted on Monday, Obama's position on meeting with dictators has evolved. The newer position doesn't jettison Obama's core principles, but it is more practical. --Barron YoungSmith
May 20, 2008
Negotiating Isn't Appeasement
In a speech to the Israeli parliament Thursday, President Bush took a swipe at Barack Obama for his willingness to negotiate with evil regimes. "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said. "We have heard this foolish delusion before.
Why Jimmy Fallon Is Jay Leno 2.0
Many observers have noted (and hated) the way newly announced “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon (he’s replacing Conan O’Brien) used to break character more or less continuously during his time at “Saturday Night Live.” The most prominent example of this is probably the famous Will Ferrell/Christopher Walken “More Cowbell” skit, but it happened most frequently during Horatio Sanz’s guest spots on “Weekend Update,” which Fallon co-hosted.
State Of The Unions
Also on TNR.com today: E.J. Graff suggests that Democrats who fear the political fallout of the gay marriage ruling are wrong-headed--from both an ethical and an electoral standpoint. "Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president," the Obama campaign stated oh-so-carefully in response to this week's California Supreme Court decision striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.
Good News All Around
Also on TNR.com today: Benjamin Wittes argues that the California court made a critical error, and one that goes against democratic principles, by coming down so hard against civil unions. I wish I had clocked the minutes between the time that the California marriage decision was announced, and the time that the liberal punditocracy began whining about it. Yikes, those commitment-crazy gay people are going to lose the election for the Democrats yet again! This knee-jerk complaint is more than a little annoying, for several reasons. First, in its sheer cynicism.
Sometimes We Flip Coins
Policymaking in the Bush administration: I equate this to deciding whether to wear a red tie or a blue tie in the morning. It doesn't make much difference until I put the tie on. That's EPA spokesman Jonathan Schradar explaining why his boss, Stephen Johnson, changed his mind on a California plan for tough emissions standards after talking to the White House (and despite staff recommendations). Read the whole sorry--and at this point completely unsurprising--story here. --Christopher Orr
May 19, 2008
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last summer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama told officials in the Teamsters union that he favored ending the Independent Review Board (IRB) that was created in 1989 by the federal government to rid the union of organized crime.
The Party of Death
The generals are deaf. As everyone now knows, the regime was warned by weather forecasters in India two days before the cyclone arrived--five days before by forecasters in Thailand--and it refused to listen. The generals hate their own people. The regime does not merely disdain them, it hates them, and the hate is cold, total and murderous. How else to explain the unimaginable sight of convoys being held by customs at the Thai border? Of planes filled with provisions and forbidden to land?