October 14, 2008

Jesse Jackson Is Doing His Darndest To Defeat Barack Obama
12:00 AM

Yes, I understand that Barack Obama has eviscerated Jesse Jackson's racket. Whether he becomes president or not, and he will become president. Obama has also eviscerated Al Sharpton's racket. And that of the other African American parasites who know how to make a speech. This is now serious time for blacks in the United States because there will sit in the White House and increasingly in Congress people who, however cosmopolitan, are also from and of their world, people who are not cynical about it but will bring the best will and the best attention to its problems.

How Close Are We To Becoming The Uk? Or … Sweden?!?
12:00 AM

Is the United States finally going the way of Sweden's 1992 bank nationalization plan, as some have been urging? And how does it compare with the UK's own recent plan to inject capital into its financial sector? The broad sweeps of the three plans are similar: The government pours money into a bank in exchange for shares, which it can hopefully sell off at a profit in a few years' time. But the differences are in the details, and they are significant. The first is relative size.

The New Treasury Plan: Good News For Progressives
12:00 AM

Expect a lot of today's chatter about the new Treasury plan to buy direct stakes in nine banks to revolve around one question: What took so long? A lot of the pain over the last two weeks could have been avoided had the White House announced this plan on September 22. Coming out of a meeting with top Hill Democrats yesterday, EPI economist Jared Bernstein told reporters, "The consensus was so strong towards direct equity injections that there was literally no dissension on the point. ...

October 13, 2008

Next Stop, Ukraine?
12:00 AM

With Senator John McCain’s increasing propensity to drop new policy proposals into debates with little explanation, it is worth asking what he meant when he urged viewers to “watch Ukraine.” As it turns out, Ukraine is once again in the middle of a nasty domestic political crisis, this time pitting two former allies from the Orange Revolution--Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko--against one another, with the most likely outcome being yet another early parliamentary election.

Time Warp
12:00 AM

Time was when Scranton was known for anthracite coal, America’s first electric streetcar system, and what is said to be the nation’s most heavily Irish population. The last decade, though, has done strange things to the popular image of this old northeastern Pennsylvania city.

Marriage Actually
12:00 AM

Over the weekend, I read the Connecticut Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision. It’s actually a rather moving document: a cogent defense of gay rights that efficiently demolishes the chief arguments against marriage equality, while offering what struck me as a reasonable defense of judicial intervention in the matter. If you have a free hour, I highly recommend reading it. A few things popped out at me as I read the ruling: First, the decision lays bare the absurd illogic at the heart of civil unions.

A Problem of Persuasion
12:00 AM

Like the recent series of bestselling books by authors such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher’s documentary Religulous takes ferocious aim at religion in all of its forms.

Playing Balz
12:00 AM

Washington Post news analyst Dan Balz has written a missive to the campaign press corps urging them to, well, there's no other way to put it: start holding Barack Obama to a higher standard than his opponent. Balz is one of the most prestigious members of the Washington press corps, and his commentary has already been fronted by conventional wisdom-arbiter The Page, so it's likely to be influential. Why should the press train its sights on Obama? Balz says because the election is all but over: He leads nationally in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll by 53 percent to 43 percent.

Bill Warms Up To Barack
12:00 AM

Since I noted earlier that Bill Clinton didn't have a ton of nice things to say about Barack Obama in Scranton, I've been alerted that Clinton was more full-throated at a subsequent event in Richmond. See Jonathan Martin for details. Also see, unrelatedly,  Clinton's somewhat curious machine-gun metaphor at an event in Roanoke: The administration keeps plowing an Uzi's worth of bullets into the McCain-Palin ticket every time they have something else go wrong." --Michael Crowley

October 12, 2008

Another Way To Look At Mccain's Odds
12:00 AM

Presently, we show John McCain with a 5.9 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, a figure that will seem implausibly low to many of you. But here's a bit of context from John Harwood at the New York Times: In the latest Gallup tracking poll, Mr. Obama leads Mr. McCain 50 percent to 43 percent among registered voters. Mr.