July 12, 2008
Will Obama Have Cash Flow Issues?
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
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
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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.
July 09, 2008
In 2006, at the end of his first term on the Supreme Court, John Roberts told me and other journalists that his goal as chief justice would be to promote unanimity and collegiality by encouraging his fellow justices to converge around narrow decisions with few dissents. During his first term, Roberts succeeded impressively: More than half of the Court's opinions were unanimous, and only 13 percent were decided by a 5-4 vote. The polarized Supreme Court term that ended last June, however, looked very different.
John McCain’s fantastical pledge on Monday to balance the budget by 2013 through massive tax cuts and unidentified budget reductions deserved the bad reviews it received. But the most unfortunate element of his incoherent promise is that it’s representative of his policy agenda these days. While the McCain campaign is trying to paint Barack Obama as a flip-flopper, the Arizona Republican is making diametrically opposed policy promises to different audiences at the same time.