January 25, 2008

Gun Shy
12:00 AM

Shortly after taking office, the Bush administration dropped a love bomb on gun rights enthusiasts nationwide. In May 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft wrote a letter to the National Rifle Association stating "unequivocally my view that the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protect the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms." The letter was part of a long honeymoon between the Bush administration and the Second Amendment crowd that has lasted almost to the end of Bush’s second term.But the party may now be ending.

Butterfly Effect
12:00 AM

On July 18, 1698, 1,200 Scots set sail to colonize a section of Panama known as Darien. Scotland was the first Western European nation to realize Panama's strategic potential as a bottleneck of interoceanic trade, but it was among the last to learn the cruelty of the tropical clime: less than a year after their arrival, the settlers abandoned the colony. The majority perished, their fevered corpses buried alongside failed crops of potatoes and yams.

Putsch in Hillaryland
12:00 AM

The morning after is never pretty. In the wake of defeat in the Iowa caucus, it was a sad and sorry Team Hillary that assembled for a conference call with the candidate. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, in transit back to Washington, was absent. Top strategist Mark Penn was dazed and subdued, waiting for the candidate to come on the line. When she did, Hillary gave a brief greeting making clear that there would be no navel-gazing and that she was ready to look ahead, according to a participant in the call who was already on the ground in New Hampshire (desperately seeking guidance).

Mark Penn Argues For A Third Bill Clinton Term
12:00 AM

I meant to weigh in on that Clinton conference call I mentioned yesterday but, between closing my print piece and the GOP debate, I never got a around to it... Anyway, nothing especially ground-breaking happened--it was mostly an implicit (and, during the Q&A portion, explicit) defense of their somewhat dubious radio ad pivoting off Obama's "party of ideas" comment about the GOP.

Is Hillary Entitled To The White House?
12:00 AM

I know Bill has said that "Hillary doesn't think she's entitled to the presidency," but you have to wonder after stuff like this. From Karen Tumulty's report on Hillary's visit to an HBCU in Columbia this morning: Clinton was also accompanied by former New York Mayor David Dinkins and New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel's is the most powerful chairmanship in Congress, Clinton told the audience of several hundred. "He didn't get there by leapfrogging.

No Job Protection For Medical Marijuana Users
12:00 AM

In a rather unique case, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 1996, only protects users from criminal prosecution--it doesn't prohibit firms from disciplining or firing employees who use marijuana under the law. Needless to say, medical marijuana advocates are none too happy: California is one of 12 states with medical marijuana laws.

January 24, 2008

Echo Chamber
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--It was a remarkable moment: A young, free-thinking presidential hopeful named Bill Clinton sat down with reporters and editors at The Washington Post in October 1991 and started saying things most Democrats wouldn't allow to pass their lips. Ronald Reagan, Clinton said, deserved credit for winning the Cold War.

The Fifth Columnist
12:00 AM

This fall, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. launched a search for a new conservative columnist. It had been nearly three years since William Safire had retired from his weekly column in 2005, and Sulzberger’s initial replacement, libertarian John Tierney, lasted just 20 months before abandoning his column.

Who Will Save The Unborn?
12:00 AM

“I don’t know what I’ve been told, Roe v. Wade is getting old,” chants one group. “Pro. Choice. Is a lie. Babies. Never. Choose to die,” sings another. Others chant “Stop Planned Parenthood!” “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go,” comes from further down the street.

The Gop Debate (i.e., The Bubble Bath In Boca)
12:00 AM

A couple of quick thoughts about tonight's debate: 1.) You'd probably expect it from a notorious Romney symp, but I thought the former Massachusetts governor had a very strong night. He was sharp out of the gate with a fluent answer about the recent stimulus compromise, solid again on Social Security, extremely well-informed in response to a gotcha question from Rudy Giuliani about federal hurricane insurance.