March 11, 2008

(more On) Race And The Red Phone
12:00 AM

(Update: Shortly after posting this item, I saw that, while I was writing it, Jason had already weighed in on the subject. Apologies for the inevitable overlap.) I'm far from convinced by the case Orlando Patterson makes in today's Times that Hillary Clinton's infamous "It's 3 a.m." ad has a racially coded subtext: The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.

March 10, 2008

My McCain Problem--And Yours
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Liberals who have sung the praises of John McCain in the past confront a fascinating test of consistency, integrity and political commitment now that McCain is the virtually certain Republican nominee. It could be an amusing moment. I should know, since I'm one of them. Over the years, I've said a lot of nice things about McCain. In 1996, I suggested that Bob Dole pick him as his running mate.

The Fiendishly Secretive Clintons
12:00 AM

The Clinton Presidential Library, a tax-exempt institution supposedly devoted to scholarship, has, according to the Associated Press, just released 2,830 pages of documents related to the midnight pardons given by Bill as he and Hillary were exiting the White House.  How good of the principals to have, after almost eight years since their tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue came to a close, allowed scholars to see what they were up with the unruly power of clemency. But scholars are not going to see everything.  Far from it.  The library withheld 1,114 pages of stuff the Clintons want to keep f

Hillaryland's Dubious Power-sharing Arrangement
12:00 AM

The Times behind-the-scenes account of Hillaryland dysfunction had this curious graf:  Mrs. Clinton’s top advisers said that while her management style might be untidy, it showed her to be comfortable with conflicting ideas among her aides. They said she had pronounced herself “ready to learn” from her mistakes and was resistant to placing too much power in the hands of a single political adviser in the mold of Karl Rove in President Bush’s two campaigns for the White House. Hmm... I guess I disagree a bit with Hillary's top advisers on this point.

March 09, 2008

More On Clinton And Elected Delegates
12:00 AM

Isaac, in noting that Hillary Clinton is seemingly once again raising the possibility of pursuing Obama's pledged delegates, says: All this ensures is that the media will run a lot stories about a dirty campaign intent on stealing the election. Given that the Clintonites are going to need some good will in July (if in fact they want to garner a delegate majority through superdelegates), the logic of this ploy eludes me. Sounds like time for some idle speculation!  I was having lunch today with a friend who's convinced Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

Fisa Fisking
12:00 AM

In this week's Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti laid out the usual case for the administration's position in the FISA debate. Julian Sanchez has a thorough, point-by-point rebuttal that's well worth your time. He highlights one new development of which I hadn't been aware: We now have confirmation from the top national security lawyer at Justice that, as experts on FISA have been saying all along, foreign-to-foreign wire and radio conversations have never been and are not now subject to FISA. There is, rather, a limited problem with e-mails sent by a target that end up stored on a U.S.

March 08, 2008

The Second Florida Primary
12:00 AM

Tallahassee--Will there be a do-over Democratic nominating contest in Florida? There are plenty of good reasons why there won’t. Here are the four best: 1) Money. Florida legislators are currently in their annual legislative session, looking under sofa cushions and in car ashtrays for ways to plug a $500 million hole in the current budget, and a $2 billion gap in the budget that starts this summer. They’re at the point where they’re actually discussing line items in the thousands of dollars.

Why Is The 'times' So Naïve?
12:00 AM

There are two kinds of editorials on grim issues.  One type tries to explain to its readers the origins of the conflict, what sustains it and how the predicament might be eased and even solved.  Very few editorials are of this explicatory sort.  The other form is hortatory.  As if governments and terrorists really give a damn what wisdom the editorial board of The New York Times has for them.In Saturday's Times there appeared the paper's millionth editorial on what Israel should have done and what it needs to do to make peace talks viable.  It doesn't even pretend to counsel the Palestinians o

March 07, 2008

Obama By A Coin Flip
12:00 AM

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

What Are Obama's 'Unknown Unknowns'?
12:00 AM

LOS ANGELES--There they go again. Democrats have contrived a nominating contest that even Rube Goldberg would have considered too convoluted, too dysfunctional and too improbable to name as his own. The happiest people in the country right now are Hillary Clinton and Rush Limbaugh--Clinton, because she has survived, and Limbaugh, because he's eager for the contest to go on so Barack Obama can be "bloodied up." Talk about a vast and unexpected conspiracy. Oh, yes, and John McCain is chuckling, too.