October 29, 2007

The Mukasey Ultimatum
12:00 AM

At his recent Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, would-be attorney general Michael Mukasey sounded at times positively Alberto Gonzales-like. Pressed on whether waterboarding, an interrogation technique in which interrogators strap the subject to a plank and pour water over his face to create the sensation of drowning, counts as torture, he hemmed and hawed: "I don’t know what’s involved in the technique.

More Advice For Obama

That L.A. Times piece Mike linked to earlier had a couple more useful nuggets. First, a theory of Hillary's support that sounds both interesting and plausible: "When he talks about representing change, women who are considering Hillary look at him and say, If this is about change, she represents greater change than you do, simply by being a woman," [pollster Dick] Bennett said.

A War Of Ideas
12:00 AM

I didn't know much about the Internet in Russia, and whatever I knew I learned from an intoxicatingly brilliant Harvard student named Anton Troianovski who spent part of this past summer interning at The New Republic.  For the rest of the summer, he was in Moscow as an intern for the Washington Post, pursuing what is also his senior thesis subject: how the regime controls the web and conspires to control it more.

Rove, Still Spinning
12:00 AM

  Last Friday, Karl Rove appeared at Regent University to defend the Bush administration's record in fighting terrorism. The Washington Post reports:  An interesting moment came when Cleland accused President Bush of not capturing Osama bin Laden because he was distracted by Iraq. "We let him go up in the Tora Bora mountains. We blew it," Cleland said, directing his remark to Rove. "The U.S. military and U.S. intelligence agencies made every effort possible to get Osama bin Laden," an irked Rove responded.

October 27, 2007

Fruitless Conversations
12:00 AM

The Annapolis conference is set for November 4-6, and -- sad to say -- no one yet knows who exactly will show up.  Of course, no one knows how the sessions will end up either.  And, if truth be told, no one even knows what will be discussed.Poor Condi Rice has ordered up a multi-hundred page reprise of what happened at previous important junctures in the failed history of the peace process.  This is a silly exercise for some junior foreign service officer to waste the next days reading.  Everybody knows the basic narrative: the Arabs show up and are intransigent; the Israelis are squeezed; the

October 26, 2007

Death At What Price?
12:00 AM

The Georgia criminal-justice system is getting its fifteen minutes of fame today, mostly thanks to the news that the state Supreme Court mercifully decided to overturn the absurd ten-year prison sentence given to Genarlow Wilson for receiving oral sex from a girl two years his junior. But the Los Angeles Times has a more interesting story from the Peach State: Republicans in the state legislature are up in arms that Brian Nichols, who is accused of rape and four murders, is racking up more than $1.2 million in legal fees in his capital-murder case.

Comedy Central Taking Colbert Seriously
12:00 AM

A Costly Stunt [Kenneth P. Vogel,The Politico]: "Joke or not, Comedy Central is taking Stephen Colbert’s presidential candidacy--or, at least the legal implications of it--very seriously. The network has consulted a top Washington election law firm and appears keenly aware of the strict election law provisions that could be triggered by Colbert’s satirical campaign." Obama Fundraiser Defects [Nedra Pickler,AP]: "A longtime Democratic fundraiser has abandoned Barack Obama's campaign to help rival Hillary Rodham Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

Dangerous Games
12:00 AM

Tomorrow, I will be undergoing some exploratory surgery for cancer. I am grateful for the support of friends and family members, but mostly to my physician who has been honest enough to level with me about what, precisely, we are looking for.  When it comes to matters of life and death, one does not want to play games.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />It was with this backdrop in mind that I read the news about the November Israeli-Palestinian conference that the Bush administration plans to hold in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Annapolis, Maryland.

The New Comeback Kid
12:00 AM

Quietly but systematically, Hillary Clinton is building a firewall in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />New Hampshire. She can afford to lose the Iowa caucuses as long as she can win here. She can't afford to lose both states.As a result, say Democrats with long experience in state politics, Clinton has been doing everything "the New Hampshire way." She has carefully cultivated strong personal ties that go back to her husband's 1992 campaign and has built an organization with deep local roots.

What's Your Problem?
12:00 AM

Was the U.S. wrong to enter World War I? (A note about the video players: We understand that the video players are not working in Mozilla Firefox web browsers right now. It's a bug in our new system that we're working to correct. In the meantime, please click over to Internet Explorer to watch the video. Thanks for your patience!