June 25, 2008

In Case Of Emergency: Break Mugabe
12:00 AM

Pace Jamie’s Zimbabwe blogging: I am worried.

June 24, 2008

Feeding the Beast
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--We tend to judge this year's food crisis, marked by seemingly indomitable prices, from the point of view of those who are suffering. It might be useful to judge the crisis also from the point of view of those who are causing it. That's where the real lessons will be learned. Let's take Argentina, one of the world's top producers of grains and soybeans. Agriculture, both traditional and industrial, employs a third of the country's work force and accounts for half of its exports.

June 23, 2008

Exchange: 'Nixonland' or 'The Age of Reagan'? (Part Two)

In this TNR debate, two powerhouse political historians--<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Sean Wilentz, the author of The Age Of Reagan and contributing editor for The New Republic, and Rick Perlstein, the author of Nixonland--try to figure out which president continues to have the stronger hold over our political culture. You can read Wilentz's first dispatch here.

The Money Pit
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Barack Obama's decision to forgo public funds will bring joy to opponents of campaign finance reform. But to say that Obama has killed public financing is to miss the point. The current system began to unravel eight years ago. George W.

McCain's Low Road To Victory
12:00 AM

Seldom has a presidential candidate faced such long odds. John McCain has repeatedly allied himself with the most unpopular president since the history of modern polling. He has embraced the most unpopular war since <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Vietnam. The U.S. economy continues its downward slide. Polls show generic Democratic candidates leading by double digits at all levels of government. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />And those are just the beginning of McCain’s problems. He is caught between a rock and a hard place in the core narrative about what he stands for.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Straussian
12:00 AM

The sanguinity of some people on the Left -- and the paleo, non-interventionist Right -- towards dictators and religious extremists continually astounds me. Last week, I wrote about one, minor instance of the credulity with which Matthew Yglesias continually evinces whenever he writes about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements regarding Israel.

Mccain And Grover Now Officially Simpatico
12:00 AM

Jonathan Martin flags an interesting tidbit from the new Fortune article on McCain: Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), who has sharply criticized McCain in the past, says now, "I'm happy." Norquist still can't get McCain to sign ATR's no-new-taxes pledge, but he has the next best thing: video of the candidate promising as much on national television, three times.

June 22, 2008

Keeping Fisa In Perspective
12:00 AM

There's been a wealth of FISA-related commentary in the blogosphere this weekend. For a valuable introduction, check David Kris's two-part primer on the subject at Balkinization (here and here). Elsewhere, Michael Cohen over at Democracy Arsenal injects some much-needed sanity into the debate, responding to Glenn Greenwald's enraged call-to-arms against Democrats who supported the compromise.

Exhuming Warren Christopher
12:00 AM

When Al Gore announced in November 2000 that he had designated Warren Christopher to lead his legal effort in Florida I was--how do I say this?--flabbergasted. You see, I thought that Christopher was actually dead.

June 21, 2008

The Obama Campaign's Massive Micro-targeting Effort
12:00 AM

Described in this useful Times piece: But Mr. Plouffe said the volunteer program was modeled after the one Mr. Bush’s aides devised in 2004, which sent supporters door to door to spread the word about Mr. Bush in their own neighborhoods — a personal touch informed by detailed lists of neighbors’ occupations, voting histories, pet causes and hobbies. Four years ago, Democrats and their liberal allies scrambled to match the vast lists of personal voter information gathered by the Republicans through public records and consumer data banks.