Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the American editor-at-large of the Guardian (UK). He was executive editor of the Prospect from 2003 to 2006.

Recent Articles

Not So Fast

The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again by Peter Beinart ( HarperCollins, 304 pages, $25.95 ) Has the time come for liberals to put Iraq behind us? The answer depends to some extent on which Iraq we're talking about. Iraq the Reality still rages, and we can be certain that we will be enmeshed in the region in one way or another for a long time. Iraq the Debate, however, is already in some sense a relic of the past. Three years ago, liberals for and against the war tore into one another, the arguments in some cases rupturing friendships between people who took opposing sides (and in one case I know, between two who were both hawks!). But isn't it time now to look to the future, fashioning a set of principles about foreign policy, national security, and the fight against terrorism on which all liberals can more or less agree? There is something to be said for this view. It's one I advance in an essay I wrote for a...

TOTALLY OFF-MESSAGE FRIDAY...

TOTALLY OFF-MESSAGE FRIDAY AFTERNOON POST. Some of my old New York friends and I have gotten into a discussion about the most popular television shows of all time. I made the case for The Flintstones . Hear me out. Fred & Crew debuted in 1960 as a prime-time sitcom -- the first prime-time cartoon in TV history. It ran for six seasons on ABC, with 166 episodes produced. Since then, it has never been off the air. Ever. In fact, Rick discovered with some quick Googling that the Bedrock gang is on television in 80 different countries in 22 languages. Every single second of every single day, somewhere in the world, The Flintstones is airing. Rick countered with I Love Lucy , and I confess that he may well have a point. Lucy debuted in October 1951 and, according to Rick�s research on the TV Land Web site, it has never been off the air since then. But I wonder: Is Lucy on every second of every day? I kinda doubt it. So I think I�m on reasonably solid ground, although the nine years�...

WHAT THE MARXISTS...

WHAT THE MARXISTS USED TO CALL �CONTRADICTIONS.� Over at the Corner, JPod is excited about this CNN poll showing that 79 percent of people who watched last night approved of the President�s speech. Actually, that number doesn�t shock me. It tracks with lots of recent polling showing that Americans very broadly support a) tougher border enforcement and b) some kind of realistic amnesty deal for illegals already here, which is exactly what Bush called for. Heck, if they�d called me last night, and I wasn�t in a fighting mood, even I might have said I approved of the speech. The media chatter tends to be dominated by the poles -- reporters seek out the guy from the Minutemen, the woman from La Raza, etc. What�s interesting here is that Bush, generally speaking, came out in favor of the Kennedy-McCain bill and against the tougher House version. The magazine that has been most critical of Kennedy-McCain? By an Arizona-Mexico border mile, it�s been National Review . The mag did a huge cover...

JUST TUCK IT...

JUST TUCK IT AWAY. Have others pointed this out? My eagle-eyed and long-memoried pal Bill in Albany sends along this piece from the San Francisco Chronicle , February 9, 2005. Headline: �Bush Scraps 9,790 Border Patrol Agents.� It seems that one act passed by Congress in late 2004 and agreed to by the administration called for 10,000 more agents. But Bush �s budget in early 2005 funded only 210 additional agents. Just a fact worth knowing these days. --Michael Tomasky

DO THEY HAVE...

DO THEY HAVE FAX MACHINES? So, according to the speech last night, we�re just now installing motion sensors and infrared cameras on the Mexican border? Can this be true? Watching Goldfinger a little while ago, I actually wondered about this. You�ll recall the early scene in which Bond , joined by a revenge-seeking Tilly Masterson , whose sister Jill was killed by Goldfinger in Miami (she�s the one who was covered in gold paint), tries to infiltrate Mr. G�s compound in the Alps. It�s nighttime, and Bond, on a hill at the edge of the compound�s property line, dons some night-vision goggles and sees a complex web of thin red lines -- motion sensors, designed to prevent intruders from attaining ingress. I forget how he finally does get in; I think he kills someone and drives the Aston Martin in (after Tilly gets the Oddjob treatment). Anyway, that movie was made forty-two years ago. And while the Bond films were sometimes ahead of reality, they weren�t ahead by much, and certain...

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