October 07, 2008

Virtue or Vice
12:00 AM

The luxury of Canadian elections is that they don’t matter too much. We are embroiled in only one unpopular foreign war, our financial institutions are not yet shattering under the weight of mass greed, our health care system isn’t on the brink of collapse, and none of our hockey moms will be given the launch codes for a nuclear armory.

A Pol is Born
12:00 AM

On a recent reporting trip to Alaska, TNR senior editor Noam Scheiber met with Laura Chase, the former Palin city council colleague who managed her 1996 campaign for mayor. Among the campaign paraphernalia Chase gave TNR was this letter, written by Palin, in which she lays out the rationale for her campaign: Dear Friends, I’m running for mayor to bring positive change to Wasilla. I’m tired of “business as usual” in this town, and of the “Good ol’ Boys” network that runs the show here. I know we can make government leaner and more efficient! I have a great love for Wasilla. My roots are here.

No Bailout Shelter From The Storm
12:00 AM

When I last posted at roughly 2 in the afternoon, American stock indices were down roughly 2 1/2.  Two hours later the Dow is down just above 5%.

October 06, 2008

Mccain: I'm Not Raising Taxes. I'm Cutting Medicare!
12:00 AM

Barack Obama says John McCain would raise people's taxes by changing the way the IRS looks at health insurance. McCain says he wouldn't. Who's right? Quite possibly McCain. But only because he's decided to slash Medicare and Medicaid instead. Laura Meckler, who is one of the sharpest and most reliable policy reporters around, has the full story in today's Wall Street Journal. To review: The essence of McCain's health care plan is to change the tax treatment of health benefits they get from employers.

October 04, 2008

Putting On Ayers
12:00 AM

Richard Stern is a novelist and emeritus professor of English at the University of Chicago. The political word today is that the Republicans will return to personal attacks on Obama and Biden to draw attention away from McCain's erratic performance during the days before the passage of the Great Rescue/Bailout/U.S.-as-Sweden bill. We are supposedly to hear again about the Reverend Wright, the unreverend Tony Lezko, and William Ayers, the unrepentent Weatherman. Of these three Chicagoans, I know only the last.

Palinism Of The Day
12:00 AM

I didn't really focus on this answer when I heard it Thursday night, partly because Palin's language was so eye-glazingly incoherent. But it really is a piece of work: IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past.

October 03, 2008

That's Outrageous!
12:00 AM

John McCain recently took a shot at a reliable political target: The Georgetown cocktail party. In an interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board, McCain dismissed the idea that some conservatives might be worried about his running mate’s qualifications. “If there’s a Georgetown cocktail party person who, quote, calls himself a conservative who doesn’t like her, good luck,” he snapped. McCain is surely not the first popular DC social figure to knock the hostesses and party-goers of 30th and N.

The Not-So-Great Debate
12:00 AM

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } WASHINGTON--Early in last night's vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin said that she might not answer the questions as moderator Gwen Ifill posed them. This was the Alaska governor's way of saying she was going to stick to the talking points she had stuffed into her head, no matter what the subject.When Palin described John McCain's health-care plan, she talked about his offer of a $5,000 tax credit so families could buy insurance. She failed to mention that McCain would pay for the credit by taxing existing insurance benefits.

Historical Manglings
12:00 AM

Last night, Gwen Ifill asked Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden what their understanding of the role of the vice presidency was. The answers were not encouraging.Specifically, Ifill asked whether they agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion that the vice presidency is a part of the legislative branch, as well as the executive branch.

Mccain As "the Fonz"
12:00 AM

Does anyone else find Palin's allusions to McCain weirdly totemic? She says "the maverick" the way characters on "Happy Days" refer to "the Fonz." As in: I think that's why we need to send the maverick from the Senate and put him in the White House, and I'm happy to join him there. And: That's what John McCain has been known for in all these years. He has been the maverick. He has ruffled feathers. It's a little bizarre. --Noam Scheiber