Religion

Palin And Pegler

Among the trite bromides delivered by Sarah Palin to the Republican National Convention was this: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honest and sincerity and dignity." Wow, these sure are powerful words, certainly not the verbiage of ordinary people or even ordinary speech writers. Palin certainly didn't write her speech, and even her distinctly dismal assembly of words in her ABC interview with Charles Gibson were probably not hers. Apropos the wisdom about small towns, her staff also did not trust themselves to do a sentence approximating the thought. So they went to...

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Barack Obama is slumping. Poll numbers are down. Enthusiasm is down. Democrats, once again, are freaking. So, we asked a few folks, from different walks of life, to offer their opinion on what Obama should do to improve his standing. Here's what Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote in response: Obama has fallen into the traditional campaign trap of, "Follow me, watch me, listen to me.

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Lipstick Relativism

McCain's lipstick ad was topic A on Fox's "Hannity and Colmes" last night, which is always essential viewing for those wanting to witness the GOP id. The two conservative guests at the top of the show were National Review's Byron York and former Ohio Congressman John Kasich. Despite Hannity's best efforts, neither one would defend the lipstick ad as honest. York argued that Obama had made unfair attacks about McCain's houses, so...  And Kasich argued that we're in the heat of a campaign and Obama should have known how his remarks would be interpreted.

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The first thing you notice out in the early pages of Bob Woodward's The War Within are the showy indictments of President Bush, who leans on poor General George Casey, Jr. like a fraternity pledge-master disappointed with his charge. Casey, who's something of an academic (he studied IR at Georgetown and the University of Denver, and he'd never been in combat) accuses Bush of focusing on body counts, an attitude that Casey identifies with the "Kill the bastards!

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Barr And Paul, Mia

Isn't it a little surprising what non-entities Ron Paul and Bob Barr have been here in Minneapolis? I know the McCain team is on guard for Paul-ites causing trouble on the convention floor, but they've got a whip team monitoring that and there's been no evidence of trouble thus far. Meanwhile other journos are reporting that the Paul events in town have been extremely boring. And Bob Barr almost seems to be going out of his way to avoid making news. I contacted one Barr's campaign hands yesterday asking for information on Barr events this week but he never followed up on my request.

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I just had a conversation with a Republican activist who's well-connected in the Jewish community. As I walked up, he was debating a Democratic counterpart (via Blackberry) about Palin's Jews for Jesus encounter, arguing that it's far, far less damning than Jeremiah Wright is for Obama. That may have been true based on what we knew an hour ago, but I wonder how he'll feel about this new discovery via Andrew. It sounds like Palin's pastor has much closer, much longer-standing Jews for Jesus ties than we'd realized...

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Denver, Colorado*  Not that she was waiting on it, but today was the day Nancy Pelosi officially won my respect. I figured there were worse ways to inaugurate my 2008 convention than watching the woman-with-the-gavel opine on the issues of the day--even if the appearance promised a heaping spoonful of saccharine.

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Mike Tomasky laments the Evan Bayh pick that wasn’t. David Corn is a bit tepid on the pick--and relates interesting reporting on Biden’s performance in the runup to Iraq.

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  So there is historical memory in America! In fact, the American discussion of the Russian war on Georgia seems to consist mainly in remembering, or misremembering. The most pressing question of all is not how to stop Putin's vicious attack on an independent democratic state with a dream of the West, but whether or not we are witnessing a repetition of the Cold War. Who wants a repetition of the Cold War? Welcome back to the analogists' ball. If you are disgusted by Putin's war, then you are a grandchild of rollback and the sort of liberal lemming who would invade Iraq all over again.

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Writing today in Ha'aretz, J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami uses the question posed by my article on his organization -- "Who does the new Israel lobby represent?" -- to answer, "the silent majority of American Jews." Echoing previous allegations, Ben-Ami writes: For a long time, it's been a cardinal rule of U.S. politics that American Jews are represented in Washington by a cadre of large political donors whose positions skew fairly far to the right of the American Jewish community as a whole.  Yet, as per usual, he doesn't even bother to name who compromises this "cadre of large political d

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