Greg Sargent

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WASHINGTON POST PUBLISHES...

WASHINGTON POST PUBLISHES AN OPINION PIECE BY AN OPERATIVE FOR RIGHT-WING HATE GROUPS. Did anyone else notice this? Over the weekend, Fred Hiatt and other Washington Post editors allowed their paper to be used as a platform for an "opinion" piece written by a GOP operative who gets paid to help right-wing hate groups spread their messages and advance their agendas. On Saturday, it published an Op-ed by Craig Shirley , in which he argued that the GOP's pro-immigration "elites" would do well to listen to "Reagan populists," who were key to the right's ascendance and are now "concerned about lawlessness on our border." At the end of the piece came this rather odd disclaimer about Shirley: "His firm has clients concerned with immigration issues." But that disclaimer is so understated and benign as to be almost misleading. According to the Web site of Shirley's PR firm, Shirley and Banister Public Affairs, the company counts among its clients groups who think the US should be able to kick...

KARL ROVE'S IMMINENT...

KARL ROVE'S IMMINENT FROG-MARCH? Atrios and Think Progress have both noted that the Plame grand jury met this morning, and a frisson of excitement has rippled through the liberal blogosphere at the prospect that Karl Rove might be indicted. In that regard, a few things are worth keeping in mind: 1) Rove had motive to mislead the grand jury. In the summer of 2003, Rove was petrified that the truth about President Bush 's pre-Iraq war deceptions would come to light, and thought that evidence of them could destroy Bush's reelection prospects-- or so Murray Waas has told us. If true, that's a critical piece of this puzzle. As I argued here , it provides a possible motive for misleading the grand jury about Plame . Before, it never quite made sense -- why risk perjury charges to cover up what may not have been a crime to begin with? But now it seems perfectly plausible that Rove worried that if the truth about the administration's role in outing Plame came out, the resulting firestorm...

CLINTON POLLSTER SAYS...

CLINTON POLLSTER SAYS HILLARY HAS MORE THAN A "50-50 CHANCE" OF BECOMING PRESIDENT. In an appearance that's sure to get the wheels of will-she-or-won't-she-in-2008 speculation spinning, Clinton pollster Doug Schoen told a panel discussion last night that Hillary "undeniably" has "a 50-50 chance, at least" of becoming president, according to an account posted at the Daily Politics . At the panel -- sponsored by New York magazine -- Schoen also threw a big chunk of meat to those who want a more confrontational Democratic Party. Schoen, whose firm works for Hillary, said he thinks that the "moderate" wing of the party is losing the struggle -- though that wouldn't stop Hillary from becoming the nominee. Indeed, as the Daily Politics noted, he was surprisingly forthright about her centrist positioning: "She undeniably is a 50-50 chance, at least," to be elected president, [Schoen] said. "Senator Clinton...has the luxury of being able to position erself toward the center as time goes...

First Among Thirds

One morning in 1989, Dan Cantor was honeymooning in Scotland when his new wife, Laura Markham, looked up from a newspaper article about electoral returns in a European Parliament election. The virtues of European political systems isn't typical pillow talk between newlyweds, but Cantor and Markham were political junkies. She'd been struck by the success that minor parties were having. And she had an idea. “Why don't you do something useful and start a third party in America?” she asked him. “You can't do it,” he said. “We don't have proportional representation.” As Cantor recalls it, Markham rejoined: “You're a wimp.” He wasn't, as it turned out. Seventeen years later, Cantor's Working Families Party (WFP), based in New York, has become that rare thing in American politics: a progressive success story. It has built itself into a powerhouse on its home turf, and, though you've probably never heard of it if you live outside the state, you may be hearing more about it soon, because it's...

THE TRUTH ABOUT...

THE TRUTH ABOUT IRAN MIGHT WORK -- BUT WILL DEMS TELL IT? Matt , Ezra , and Garance all give very thoughtful answers to my question below about Iran -- no question, arguments about cost and effectiveness should certainly prove more effective this time around. My concern, however, is that some Dems -- primarily the presidential contenders and their advisers, and we all know who I'm talking about here -- won't see it our way. It's hard to imagine Dems supporting a full-scale military adventure, but if Bush talks up limited strikes, some ambitious Dems might conclude that backing Bush's plan is the safest way to go -- that their presidential hopes will go up in flames if they don't appear prepared to use limited force against a regime with nuclear ambitions. I don't at all agree with that argument, but it isn't hard to imagine certain Dems thinking it. They might calculate that if anything goes wrong with the Iran adventure -- if it proves more costly or less effective than advertised...

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