Archive

  • THE PEACE PRESIDENT....

    THE PEACE PRESIDENT. Remember this ? "The enemy declared war on us," Bush told a re-election rally in Cedar Rapids. "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president... The next four years will be peaceful years." Bush used the words "peace" or "peaceful" a total of 20 times. And Condi today : Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ruled out a quick "false promise" cease-fire in the Middle East Friday and defended her decision not to meet with either Syrian or Hezbollah leaders in her upcoming visit to the region. Welcome to Orwellian America: Our "peace president" dispatches his Secretary of State to explain that America won't support a cease-fire until after Israel's invasion. It's one thing to support Israel's actions, another to offer them full protection, giving them a blank check to conduct military operations and tacitly signaling that the second Israel wants out, the United States will release the roadblocks delaying the insertion of an international...
  • JO-ANN MORT: DISPATCH...

    JO-ANN MORT: DISPATCH FROM TEL AVIV The weekend begins on Friday in Israel -- and this weekend, the war is settling in. The initial shock and feeling of righteous justification have begun to yield to wonderment about where all this is going. The change in mood is slight so far, but questions are beginning to be asked, concerns beginning to be raised -- particularly as Israeli soldiers start taking casualties. (Unlike in the United States, every soldier who dies in a war or attack is written up in the media. Often, his family is interviewed on television). People in the North -- those still there -- are growing weary of life in bomb shelters. According to Israeli press reports, 30 to 50 percent of the residents in the North have left for the short term. The Tel Aviv Hotel in which I�m staying is completely filled, largely with residents of Northern Israel. The weekend papers are filled with articles questioning where this is heading for Israel and how success and victory will be...
  • MARMOSETS FOR LIEBERMAN....

    MARMOSETS FOR LIEBERMAN. Now that angry liberal blogging crazypeople have achieved their ultimate goal of destroying civility in American politics, as demonstrated by the fact that Aunt Pittypat Kondracke has keeled over on her fainting couch, here's something that's rather gotten lost in the whole Connecticut senatorial business. Joe Lieberman , an Establishment darling and former vice-presidential candidate, is getting his withered hindquarters handed to him daily to a guy who is not exactly the second coming of Huey Long . As much as I admire the fervor of his supporters, Ned Lamont seems to me to be a perfectly amiable plutocrat, smart enough and capable, but neither overly charismatic nor particularly inspirational. (Disclaimer: I haven't been in the same room with the man yet.) He's run a good campaign that is now a great one at least partly because the opposing campaign seems to be a) on the wrong side of every issue; and b) run by marmosets. That Lieberman is now life-and-...
  • NOBODY DOES IT...

    NOBODY DOES IT BETTER. Complain all you want about liberal bloggers going after Joe Lieberman -- when it comes to taking out one of your own, nobody does it better than the GOP. This week the gang at National Review goes after Rudy Giuliani with the sharpest of knives. Click through to see what I mean. "The kiss" has nothing on this. --Garance Franke-Ruta
  • WHO KILLED COMPASSIONATE...

    WHO KILLED COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM? Over at the Drum Major Institute, Elana Levin flags down a great Washington Post story chronicling the Bush administration's vow of silence and oath of inaction on poverty in America. At least they're getting zen about it. As the article explains, that glorious post-Katrina speech when Bush mounted the podium to have his Lyndon Johnson moment was just that -- a moment, never to be repeated, remembered, or referenced by the administration again. But the roots of the Bush administration's betrayal on poverty reach far beyond Katrina. Compassionate conservatism, after all, was once more than an empty catch phrase; it described a policy philosophy that sought economic uplift through government incentives. Myron Magnet , author of the foundational compassionate conservative work The Dream and the Nightmare , met with Bush repeatedly during the campaign, and visitors to Karl Rove 's office used to leave with a copy of the book in hand -- according to...
  • JUST POSTED ONLINE:...

    JUST POSTED ONLINE: ANATOMY OF A MURDER. TAP talks to director Chris Paine about his new documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? (It was Big Auto and Big Oil in the kitchen with the candlestick.) --The Editors
  • NEGROPONTE BLOCKS IRAQ...

    NEGROPONTE BLOCKS IRAQ EVALUATION. Considering that the United States is fighting a major war in Iraq, it's a bit curious that it hasn't been the subject of a National Intelligence Estimate since 2004. Ken Silverstein reports "that some senior figures at the CIA, along with a number of Iraq analysts, have been pushing to produce a new NIE." What's the problem? "They've been stonewalled, however, by John Negroponte, the administration's Director of National Intelligence, who knows that any honest take on the situation would produce an NIE even more pessimistic than the 2004 version." Of course, the intelligence community's full of al-Qaeda moles , as Rep. Peter Hoekstra 's been telling us without evidence, so there would hardly be any point in doing an NIE anyway. --Matthew Yglesias
  • SHOW ME THE...

    SHOW ME THE MONEY. Although there are many ways to compare �Hill committee� fundraising (year against, two-years-ago against, and, in the DNC/RNC case, four-years-ago against), and despite my advocacy for Howard Dean �s long-term investing in a 50-state strategy, you have to hand it to DSCC chair Chuck Schumer and DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel : These boys can ring the register . Cash-on-hand isn't everything, but it's a big thing at this point in the cycle. And sure, the RNC/DNC operate with a greater (but not exclusive) focus on the four-year cycle. But the latest numbers are what they are. To wit: * The DCCC leads the RNCC by a narrow, but still favorable 1.2 to 1 ratio in cash on hand ($32 million to $26.5 million). * The DSCC leads the RSNC by a mindboggling 1.9 to 1 ratio in CoH ($37.7 million to $19.9 million). * But the RNC leads the DNC by a whopping 4.1 to 1 ratio in CoH ($44.7 million to $10.8 million). Recall that in 1994, when it looked like a GOP wave was coming, interest...
  • YOU COULD HAVE...

    YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER. My colleague Harold Meyerson has analogized the current Mideast crisis to the crisis set off by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914: "Nobody wanted global conflagration, yet nobody knew how to stop it, and the American president (Woodrow Wilson, who was not yet a Wilsonian) did nothing to help avert the coming war." Rich Lowry retorts "that this significantly underestimates Germany's drive to war." He quotes from Michael Lind 's The American Way of Strategy : For half a century after 1914, most historians agreed that the great powers of Europe tragically had stumbled into an avoidable war. However, research in Imperial German archives in the 1960s revealed the truth: the Kaiserreich had deliberately launched a preventative war against Russia and its ally France, out of fear that growing Russian military power would soon make German dreams of European domination impossible to realize. I think that's right. And I also think...
  • COUNTDOWN TO CONSTITUTIONAL...

    COUNTDOWN TO CONSTITUTIONAL MELTDOWN. It's hard to avoid the temptation to begin counting the days in which H. Marshall Jarrett , director of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) , manages to remain in that post, especially since his objections to administration intervention in an inquiry he was conducting were made public earlier this week. OPR is the internal affairs office of the Department of Justice (DoJ). Testifying on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged that President Bush himself, in what the Washington Post 's Dan Eggen called "an unprecedented White House intervention" into an OPR investigation, thwarted an inquiry into the role "Justice Department officials played in authorizing and monitoring the controversial [National Security Agency (NSA)] eavesdropping effort, according to officials and government documents." The White House did so by denying security clearances to the OPR...

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