CONTINUITY. I tend to disagree with Jason Zengerle about various things (today, he finds this John Kerry quote funny and pathetic, but it seems kinda sorta correct to me), but I think his new and fairly positive profile of John Edwards is a good piece, and worth a look. One gets the impression from Zengerle's account that Edwards's latter-day labor-populist outlook has been honestly come by and reflects sincere conviction and interest.
WHINING BECOMES THEM. I didn't have the presence of mind to take any notes, but was just watching some C-SPAN and was struck by how much the Republicans sounded like, well, Democrats. They complained about procedure ("Democrats didn't even have a committee mark-up! And not one public hearing!" The scoundrels!) and offered long, emotional sermons on the horrors of outsourcing, the decline in manufacturing jobs, and the struggles of ordinary Americans. It's remarkable: In the minority, they sounded exactly like Democrats. At least until it came clear that they were arguing to retain tax breaks for the oil industry.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: LIKE A ROCK. New Hampshire is holding firm in defying the DNC's new 2008 presidential primary calendar. Could we be seeing a renegade Granite State primary in ... December 2007? Jon Margolisreports.
THE RUGGED RAGGED INDIVIDUAL Tapped's newest contributor to my obsolescence, Janna Goodrich, makes a terrific point in her post on college affordability:
The "rugged individual" would naturally just saddle the horse, ride off to college, and work full-time through his or her college (most likely a very long and often interrupted) career but such rugged individuals are few, jobs paying enough for this are even fewer, and the whole setup would cause a lot of these individuals to become rather ragged. Not exactly the best case to guarantee upward mobility.
Yes, an AP story tells us that President Bush wants to address the "looming insolvency of Social Security." Since the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security can pay all future benefits for the next 39 years, with no changes whatsoever, this definitely gives new meaning to the word "looming" or perhaps "insolvency."
COLLAPSE OF THE FRONTRUNNERS. Bad news for the 800 pound gorillas of 2008 this week. Hillary Clinton, who was still attracting 34 percent of the Democratic electorate as late as last month, has fallen to 22 percent -- only one percent above Obama. That's ominous news for someone of her name recognition and reputation. And perceptions of her weakness may cement if she doesn't improve her current standing in Iowa, where she's tied with Vilsack for 3rd/4th place.
With fanfare and substantial bipartisan support, the House delivered Wednesday on the fifth of six bills Democrats had vowed to quickly pass, voting overwhelmingly to cut the interest rate on some college student loans.
The bill, however, was much scaled back from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's campaign promise to cut all student loans in half.