Politics

July 23, 2008

Claiming the Last Frontier
12:00 AM

Vic Fischer’s history as a Democrat in Alaska reaches back to before Alaskans could vote for president, when he was a delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention in 1955 and 1956. It’s been a hard slog since then. In 1964, Alaska went for Lyndon Johnson, who won all but six states. That’s it in 49 years of statehood. But on July 8th, Fischer attended the opening of Barack Obama’s office in Anchorage, the first such Democratic presidential campaign office anyone can remember, where he found himself surrounded by some 400 people, more than could fit in the building.

July 22, 2008

TNR Looks Back
12:00 AM

An archival timeline of conflict in Bosnia:   *Jan Breslauer (August 12, 1996): “L.A.

The Tipping-Point States
12:00 AM

The FiveThirtyEight.com election simulator identifies "Tipping-Point States": states that would be most likely to alter the outcome of a close election. More specifically, they are the closest states--alone or in combination--that would give the losing candidate at least 270 electoral votes if transferred from the winner's column. Consider: John McCain won't win Minnesota without having won Wisconsin, and he won't win Wisconsin without having won Michigan--and if he's won Michigan and Wisconsin, he's the next president. So Minnesota isn't as important as it might appear.

Tipping Point States
12:00 AM

The FiveThirtyEight.com election simulator identifies "Tipping-Point States": states that would be most likely to alter the outcome of a close election. More specifically, they are the closest states--alone or in combination--that would give the losing candidate at least 270 electoral votes if transferred from the winner's column. Consider: John McCain won't win Minnesota without having won Wisconsin, and he won't win Wisconsin without having won Michigan--and if he's won Michigan and Wisconsin, he's the next president. So Minnesota isn't as important as it might appear.

Mobilization Nation
12:00 AM

By turning down nearly $85 million in public financing for the 2008 general election, Barack Obama’s campaign has put itself in a position to spend at least $200 million between the Democratic convention and Election Day.

More On The Epa's Blocked Endangerment Finding
12:00 AM

During a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing today, Jason Burnett, a former EPA official turned whistleblower testified on some of the White House's recent attempts to suppress various climate reports drawn up by the agency's staff—including a "public endangerment finding" that would have compelled the EPA to start regulating CO2 immediately. As was reported recently, after Burnett had e-mailed the endangerment finding to the Office of Management and Budget, officials at the OMB were told not to open it.

How It's Playing At Home
12:00 AM

Mike questioned below whether Maliki's support for an Iraq exit plan nearer to Obama's ideas than McCain's could ultimately benefit McCain. Maybe by some kind of Rube-Goldberg-esque chain of political events (the man who uttered the comments was actually just wearing a Maliki mask! And he turns out to have been paid off by Atrios! And ...), but at least in the short term it hardly could have gone better for Obama.

July 21, 2008

Cool, Calm, Collected
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that's how he's playing things. More and more, 2008 is taking on the contours of 1980.

The Amazingly Superficial Race
12:00 AM

For a slideshow of images of Barack Obama abroad, please click here. So is Barack Obama's foreign trip this week a critical addition to his presidential résumé? Or is it a farce? You'd never know from listening to the GOP. Late this spring, Republicans delighted in bashing Obama for his two-plus year absence from Iraq--the implication being that Obama wouldn't merit a Situation Room seat until he'd boarded a trans-Atlantic flight. But, as Obama's itinerary has taken shape in recent weeks, suddenly the McCain campaign has soured on the idea.

More "clarification"
12:00 AM

AP: Iraq's government spokesman is hopeful that U.S. combat forces could be out of the country by 2010. Ali al-Dabbagh made the comments following a meeting in Baghdad on Monday between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, who arrived in Iraq earlier in the day. The timeframe is similar to Obama's proposal to pull back combat troops within 16 months.

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