January 31, 2008
The Love-in In L.a.
Some post-debate thoughts: 1.) Much of tonight's affair was a draw. But, even during the draw portions, Obama sharpened his responses a lot relative to his recent debate performances. On health care, for example, my gut (and head) still say Hillary has the stronger position substantively.
For those missed the first few minutes of the debate, an early question from Jeanne Cummings went to Barack Obama: Why, she wanted to know, was his plan superior to hers if estimates suggest that 15 million people would remain uninsured? Readers of this space have heard about this debate aplenty. Most of those who care to form an opinion on it have; those who don't have moved on. And that's just fine. Personally, I'd be happy to say nothing more about it. But I've just received a press release from the Obama campaign suggesting that 15 million figure isn't reliable. It cites articles notin
David Rogers in the Politico finds at least one good thing Bush did in the State of the Union address: not spend a single word plugging the big bad farm bill still working its way through Congress. The farm lobby is not pleased: “I was appalled,” said Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union, who watched the speech from the House gallery. “The Farm Bill is the single most important piece of legislation for rural communities,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
Fathers And Sons
Commenting on the Times piece about Bill Clinton's unsavory influence-peddling in Kazakhstan, Josh Marshall notes: One point that should not go unmentioned is that what former President Clinton is described as doing in that Times article is little different from what the first President Bush has done in his post-presidency. And his son is the president. So if it would be a problem with Bill, and I think it would be, it unquestionably is already a problem with the current president's dad. And no one has seemed to much bother about it. Well, yes and no.
That New York Times piece which Noam alluded to earlier about Bill Clinton helping broker a shady mining deal in Kazakhstan has this charming anecdote: Indeed, in December 2005, Mr. Nazarbayev won another election, which the security organization itself said was marred by an “atmosphere of intimidation” and “ballot-box stuffing.” After Mr. Nazarbayev won with 91 percent of the vote, Mr. Clinton sent his congratulations. “Recognizing that your work has received an excellent grade is one of the most important rewards in life,” Mr. Clinton wrote in a letter released by the Kazakh embassy.
January 30, 2008
What Barack Obama owes to people-powered Howard.
Jeffrey Rosen’s 2008 debut as a campaign correspondent.
My Little Phony
Jonathan Chait defends Mitt Romney.
Beneath Arkansas’s red surface (it went for Bush in 2000 and 2004) lies a blue underbelly: Five of six congressional seats are held by Democrats, as are many state and local offices. According to Janine Parry, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas, 35 to 39 percent of voters are self-identified Democrats, while only about 25 percent are Republicans. She expects that the Democratic primary turnout will be at least four times the Republican.
What's Your Problem?
Do Conservatives really like Obama? Peter Beinart is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg