February 14, 2008
Trial by Fire
At long last, one way or another we’re about to learn a great deal about military commissions. The charges prosecutors filed Monday against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other alleged September 11 conspirators cannot proceed credibly to trial in anything less than a viable court system. The evidentiary questions they pose are too tricky, the charges are too severe, the interrogation tactics are too ugly, and with 3,000 people dead and the government seeking death, the stakes are too high.
House Democrats Are On A Roll
Not only are Pelosi and company holding firm on FISA, they also voted this afternoon to find Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers in contempt for refusing to testify before Congress in conjunction with the U.S. attorney firing scandal (boy, does that seem like ages ago). House Republicans are predictably opposed, but their stated rationale is, in a word, pathetic: Republicans argued that Congress should not seek a showdown with the White House on the issue, claiming that losing the case would hurt the legislative branch in the long run. Rep.
As you probably heard, the Senate voted 51-45 yesterday to ban any government agency from any using interrogation tactic not authorized by the Army Field Manual (including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme cold, etc.).
February 13, 2008
Race Against History
“Sloppy drunk” is not a term that warms the hearts of advance men, the people responsible for making politicians' events run smoothly. It is, however, a fairly apt description of at least a quarter of the audience at the Will/Grundy County Annual AFL-CIO Dinner on this Friday night in late April, just before State Senator Barack Obama arrives to make a pitch for his U.S. Senate campaign.
Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos, who died on Monday, has been mourned by politicians on both sides of the aisle. With almost 27 years to the day of service behind him, Lantos was a <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Washington, D.C. veteran of rare standing--one of the only members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to have a friendly relationship with many conservative Republicans. The stately Holocaust survivor was a glad-hander with a bold tongue.
WASHINGTON--The 2008 American presidential campaign has brought into the open a dramatic soul-searching among conservatives desperate to find a leader and, more importantly, an ideological identity. A movement that pins its hopes on three different leaders successively in the course of one primary election season is clearly in despair. First, it was the actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson. His candidacy was virtually ordained by conservatives who felt alienated from the Republican field.
A follow-up to Chris's post below about David Wilhelm's endorsement of Obama. Some people might think this is a big surprise, but I'm not so sure. After all, Wilhelm has probably been been nursing a grudge against the Clintons for a while now. The reason? In 1994 he was unceremoniously pushed out of the DNC chair job the Clintons had given him as a reward for his good work in the '92 campaign.
Everyone Hates Hillary
Well, not everyone. But Ron Fournier (via TPM) provides a thorough accounting of all the super-delegates who have various bones to pick with the Clintons: Some are labor leaders still angry that Bill Clinton championed the North American Free Trade Agreement as part of his centrist agenda. Some are social activists who lobbied unsuccessfully to get him to veto welfare reform legislation, a talking point for his 1996 re-election campaign. Some served in Congress when the Clintons dismissed their advice on health care reform in 1993.
February 12, 2008
The Expat Factor
Everything you need to know about this year’s Global Primary.
What you think of a presidential candidate is in large measure determined by what you think of the world. Different circumstances call for different talents, different sensibilities, different approaches to power. “Leadership” comes in many forms. A sterling individual may be historically inappropriate; and a person whom it is impossible to admire may accomplish significant things. The question of whether Barack Obama will make a fine commander-in chief finally depends on your view of the direction of history in the coming years.