June 25, 2008
Among the four teams that advanced to this week's semifinal round of the Euro 2008 soccer tournament, three aren't particularly portentous. No one is surprised to see pre-tournament favorite Germany still alive. Nor is it particularly shocking that talent-rich Spain has survived, although most expected the team to uphold the time-honored Spanish tradition of flaming out in the quarterfinals.
There are certain streaks that have become etched in American lore: Joe DiMaggio's 56 straight games with a hit, UCLA's 88-game unbeaten run in men's basketball. Slightly less famous, but still impressive, is this feat: Between April 12 and May 24 of last year, John McCain missed 46 consecutive votes in the U.S. Senate. In fact, McCain missed more than half of all Senate votes last year, enough to disqualify him from the infamous National Journal rankings that purported to find Barack Obama the most liberal senator. Now, we understand that McCain had elsewhere to be.
Show Bush Some Birthday Lovin'
RNC Chairman Mike Duncan has just drawn to my attention to the fact that our fearless president has a birthday coming up. (Bush turns 62 on July 6, for those keeping track.) Unsurprisingly, the good chariman feels that the most appropriate way for all of us to celebrate this joyous event is to donate $62 (or however much we can spare--$100? $1,000? $2,000?) to the great GOP electoral cause and then add our names to the "virtual birthday eCard" that the RNC has so thoughtfully put together for the POTUS: Thank you for your service and dedication to our country.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with Bush at the White House yesterday--the third major Vietnamese leader to be received by the U.S. since diplomatic relations were normalized between the two countries in 1995. Though the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam called for the White House to address Vietnam's poor human rights record, economic cooperation came first on the administration’s agenda. Why? Because while bilateral trade is booming between the two countries, the U.S. remains far behind China in terms of its economic and diplomatic leverage in the region.
While I was hunting down video links for my item about vice presidential candidates and their great moments in campaign debates, I stumbled across the clip below, which is from the 1992 campaign. It doesn't feature the veep candidates, though. It showcases Bill Clinton going up against George H.W. Bush in what would become an iconic moment of that campaign. For those who don't remember, this was second of the three presidential debates that year. It was a town hall-style event, with audience members asking questions.
Climb Aboard The Bush Bus!
Walking past the AFL-CIO building on the way to work yesterday, I couldn't help but notice a gaggle of union-supporters and other passers-by crowded around a massive tour bus plastered with pictures of President Bush. Organized by Americans United for Change (AUC), the "Bush Legacy Bus" turned out to be an enormous bio-fuel-powered mobile museum set to tour the country for the next several months and showcase an exhibit on the missteps and abuses of the Bush administration.
Never underestimate the Bush administration's ability to stick its fingers in its ears and sing "Doop dee doop de doop": The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. The EPA was responding to last year's ruling in Massachusetts vs.
In Case Of Emergency: Break Mugabe
Pace Jamie’s Zimbabwe blogging: I am worried.
June 24, 2008
Feeding the Beast
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
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.