July 13, 2008

The Perfect Metaphor For Obama's Ascent
12:00 AM

Ryan Lizza's phenomenal profile of Obama in the upcoming New Yorker is so full of highly illuminating, previously unreported details that it seems arbitrary to seize on any one or two in particular.

The Democratic Surge In Florida?
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Via commenter AaronBBrown, the Orlando Sentinel has a piece out today saying Democratic registration efforts in Florida have vastly outpaced the GOP's between January and May: TALLAHASSEE - John McCain's Florida problems may be growing: Democratic voters have out-registered Republicans by a nearly 7-to-1 margin since January.State totals show Democrats gained a net of 106,508 voters from January through May, compared with 16,686 for the GOP -- a shift that could muddle any McCain campaign math that banks on a Florida win to gain the White House.New Democratic registration outnumbered Republica

July 12, 2008

Will Obama Have Cash Flow Issues?
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Patrick Ruffini has an interesting post up arguing that Obama may struggle to outraise McCain and the RNC, to say nothing of swamping them financially, calling into question his decision to reject public financing. He says Obama's perceived advantages over McCain, plus the absence of some compelling campaign narrative (like Obama v.

July 11, 2008

Wanted: More Power-hungry Members Of Congress
12:00 AM

  Hillary Clinton's vote against the FISA reform bill this week seems to have taken quite a few people by surprise, and it's engendered a lot of speculation as to why she voted the way she did, even as Barack Obama supported the bill.

July 10, 2008

Why I'm Betting On Barack Obama's Victory

There are unknowns, of course. The persona of John McCain is already in play and it would be wrong to underestimate him. The man is remarkable, surprising in his opposition to torture and Guantanamo, audacious when he challenged the economic policies of the two Bush administrations. And isn't it said that Democrat John Kerry considered for a time asking this unconventional conservative to share the ticket with him? Then there is also the American art of "junk politics," especially as practiced by the Republicans, and its unpredictable, often devastating effects.

Obama, Insha'allah?

There is no question that Barack Obama has stirred the world’s imagination. Polls taken in Europe show that if Obama ran against John McCain there, he would win by anywhere between seven percentage points in Russia and 52 points in Belgium. Andrew Sullivan has printed dozens of anecdotes of foreigners breathlessly proclaiming their enthusiasm for Obama. To say that the world is hoping for an Obama victory is putting it lightly. But it is the Middle East where hopes should be running highest.

Freed Market
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.Since the Reagan years, free market clichés have passed for sophisticated economic analysis. But in the current crisis, these ideas are falling, one by one, as even conservatives recognize that capitalism is ailing.You know the talking points: Regulation is the problem and deregulation is the solution. The distribution of income and wealth doesn't matter.

The Abraham Complex
12:00 AM

"Abrahamic religions" has become a widely used term, particularly among interfaith groups, to designate the three major monotheistic religions. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called for an interfaith meeting to be attended by representatives of the “Abrahamic religions,” beginning with a Saudi-sponsored conference in Madrid next week. This phrase, focusing on the character of Abraham, seeks to emphasize the shared characteristics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Time Magazine Celebrates Mandela, Ignores Mugabe
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Richard Stengel's soggy Time cover story on the wisdom of Nelson Mandela is just about what you would expect. Mandela's eight lessons of leadership are indeed well taken, but Stengel almost completely avoids the issue of Robert Mugabe's dictatorial rule.

Litigating In An Alice-in-wonderland World
12:00 AM

Yesterday, Oakland attorney Jon B. Eisenberg had a remarkable piece over at Salon describing his experience representing the plaintiff in the case of Al Haramain v. Bush, which was also the subject of this article by Patrick Radden Keefe in the New Yorker in April. The gist of the case is this: Courts have held that in order to have legal standing to challenge the Bush administration's illegal wiretapping program, you need proof that you were spied on, which no one has. No one, that is, except for the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, a now-defunct charity based in Oregon.