July 02, 2008

Mccain's Fuzzy Math Health Care Plan
12:00 AM

If there's one thing we all know about John McCain, it's that he's not the candidate who's going to raise taxes. But is that really so? A new paper out this morning, from the Center for American Progress, suggests otherwise.  I haven't had a lot of time to look at it--or to vet it with other sources or get a response from the McCain campaign. (Hope to do so in the coming hours and days.) So what follows should be taken as a very tentative reading, until I learn more.

July 01, 2008

Nuclear Waste?
12:00 AM

Today marks the fortieth birthday of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, one of the most important pieces of paper the United States has signed in the last half century--and one of the most popular. Even Bush officials, who went on a treaty-killing spree during their first year in office, made an exception for the NPT. Why wouldn’t they? The NPT is one of the best deals the United States has ever made: It allowed five countries (including the United States) to possess nuclear weapons, but banned the rest from ever developing them.

Benign Neglect?
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Barack Obama recently gave a major speech on Latin America in which he sought to contrast his ideas with President Bush's record in the region. Saying that Washington has "stuck to tired blueprints on drugs and trade, on democracy and development," Obama proposed talking to adversaries, increasing foreign aid, being more picky when it comes to trade deals, boosting the Peace Corps and setting up partnerships to reduce oil dependency. Throughout the 20th century, U.S.

Disputations: Obama and the Teamsters

Dear Editor: It is unfortunate to see John Judis recycling discredited allegations by the controversial government "watchdog," the Independent Review Board (IRB). The IRB was installed to root out mob influence in the Teamsters, but with the mobsters now out of the picture, this lavishly paid unit uses its unchecked authority to take sides in internal politics, curtail free speech and ride rough shod over due process against any union official they target.

Comment Of The Day: Romney As V.p.--would He Cost Mccain Evangelicals?
12:00 AM

After Mitt Romney became the frontrunner for McCain's VP, our writers here and at The Stump have been analyzing whether that would be a wise move. On The Plank, Michelle argued that this would be a risky decision by McCain, as Romney's Mormon background could potentially further harm McCain's already weakened position in the evangelical base. Commenter sabatia agrees and offers an explanation for the tension these two sects: As per my comment when Romney was raised again as a potential VP: You are right on, Michelle.

Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen

While doing research for a piece, I came across this 1990 gem in the Washington Post: He's a bookworm who looks like Pat Paulsen. His idea of excitement is a long hike in the woods. He does impressions, for God's sake. He wears extremely bad ties. David Souter is not your standard hunka hunka burning love. News that the 51-year-old judge had never married set off a flurry of speculation that the Supreme Court might be getting its first gay justice.

What Does It Take To Push Algerian Militants Into Al Qaeda's Arms? Not Much!
12:00 AM

The New York Times has a big front page piece today on Algerian terrorists who have joined forces with Al Qaeda. Whereas once the group was viewed as a nationalist insurgency battling the Algerian military, it now goes by the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The article is not intentionally funny, obviously, although there was one amusing strain running through the story.

June 30, 2008

Iron Woman
12:00 AM

In 1828, President John Quincy Adams’s reelection campaign reportedly traded on innuendoes that Rachel Jackson had been imperfectly divorced from her first husband. Since her second husband, Andrew Jackson, once killed a man in a duel for the same insult to his wife's honor, Adams was perhaps lucky to lose no more than the presidency to Old Hickory.So, while there are abundant signs that Republicans this year are itching to take the practice to new lows, let’s not forget that attacks on first ladies, actual or putative, go back a long way.

The Border Fence Folly
12:00 AM

In this political season, immigration is the issue that everyone’s taking pains not to discuss. The presidential candidates are merely paying the same lip service to border security. Congress has all but abandoned comprehensive immigration reform, and the Bush administration continues to pile all their immigration-policy eggs in the border-security basket. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

"I've Totally Been There, Dude"
12:00 AM

During the 1980s, I lived in Venice intermittently for a couple of years. I would spend a month there, then three in Oxford, another two months in Venice, then two in Madrid, and so on. I didn't live like a tourist in Venice; instead, I tried to fit in with the lives of the people who were kind enough to welcome me into their homes, although naturally, I would look in at the odd church or palace if I happened to pass one on my daily walks. I used to go to the Rialto market, to the street market in Campo San Barnaba and to the supermarket in Campo Santa Margherita.