TAPPED

READER BLOGS. One...

READER BLOGS. One cool thing about all the comments in recent days is that a lot of readers have been linking to their own blogs, which has introduced me to a whole array of new residents of the long tail. So if you're a reader who's got a blog, this thread is for you. I'm curious to know who you are and what kind of things you write on your home turf. Put up your url and show us where you live. --Garance Franke-Ruta

PARTY OF HUH?...

PARTY OF HUH? This is a small thing, but a week ago, National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuru criticized me on The Corner for trusting Amazon.com 's description that his forthcoming book, The Party of Death , was about the Democratic Party. According to Amazon, " The Party of Death is the first book to expose the real agenda of the liberal Democrats, and to ask what life might be like in a post-Roe v. Wade America. National Review editor Ponnuru links the Democratic party to radical positions on such issues as abortion and euthanasia." Ponnuru denied that that was his main focus, writing : Franke-Ruta mentions my forthcoming book The Party of Death , which she describes as a "book on Democrats." The book does have quite a bit to say about the Democrats, and it's tough on them. But the book is about more than that, and the title isn't meant as a pejorative term for the Democrats. I explain, mostly in the introduction, what I mean and don't mean by the phrase. I'm not saying this to...

BUSH READS...

BUSH READS TAPPED? Earlier today I modestly proposed that President Bush cancel his Wednesday meeting with Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo. It seems the White House is considering doing just that. -- Mark Leon Goldberg

JUST POSTED ON...

JUST POSTED ON TAP: THE ANTI-JOE. No wonder Joe Lieberman seems testy these days -- the three-term senator faces his most serious primary challenge since taking office. Marie Cocco , in the latest issue of the Prospect , looks at the man who would be senator, Ned Lamont , and his potential path to victory. For more on this and other races, visit Midterm Madness . --The Editors

HYPING THE THREAT....

HYPING THE THREAT. Yesterday, David Albright and Corey Hinderstein of the Institute for Science and International Security reported (PDF) that US officials sought to hype the Iranian nuclear threat following a closed International Atomic Energy Agency briefing to Security Council members. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) privately briefed permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in mid-March that Iran was almost ready to start putting uranium gas into a group of 164 centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment site. Iran is now on the verge of mastering a critical step in building and operating a gas centrifuge plant that would be able to produce significant quantities of enriched uranium for either peaceful or military purposes. However, Iran can be expected to face serious technical hurdles before it can produce significant quantities of enriched uranium. Following the briefing, anonymous US officials quickly started to distort what the IAEA had said...

TIMES AND POST...

TIMES AND POST PART WAYS ON BUSH'S PRIVATE SESSIONS. Did anyone else notice something intriguing about The Washington Post 's article today -- flagged below by Garance -- about President Bush 's private off-the-record sessions with reporters? The Post obviously viewed the president's campaign as newsworthy -- after all, they wrote a story about it. At the same time, though, The Post reporters who first knew about the sessions -- the ones that were invited -- were constrained from talking about them. So Post reporter Charles Babington went to outside sources to get a story that his newsroom colleagues already knew about. From The Post : White House officials said they also hoped the meetings' mere existence would remain under wraps. That proved impossible when journalists from The Post who were not participants in the session, as well as those at other publications, learned of the meetings from sources outside the paper and began to report on them. Does that strike others as a bit...

MCCAIN DRAIN. E.J....

MCCAIN DRAIN. E.J. Dionne hits the nail on the head today when he says that the positions that John McCain will need to take in order to win the Republican primary may very well lose him the support of the more moderate voters who've hailed him as a maverick, to his perhaps permanent electoral or reputational detriment: it's a more dangerous strategy than it seems. McCain's central appeal, even to people who disagree with him, has always been his willingness to do the nonpolitical thing -- for example, to defend Kerry that day in 2004 simply because he thought the attacks on Kerry were wrong. If McCain spends the next two years obviously positioning himself to win Republican primary votes, he will start to look like just another politician. Once lost, a maverick's image is hard to earn back. Add to that one thing I haven't read a lot about, but which Democratic aides who work for likely '08 contenders increasingly bring up: McCain's age. He will turn 72 in '08, making him three years...

STEPHEN SPRUIELL LAPS...

STEPHEN SPRUIELL LAPS UP DEBORAH HOWELL'S LATEST SELF-CONTRADICTION. Incredibly, Stephen Spruiell is still trying -- and still failing -- to discredit the notion that Washingtonpost.com's hiring of Ben Domenech was a sop to the right. Now he says he emailed Deborah Howell and asked her to explain the discrepancy between two statements. First, her column of Dec. 11, in which she wrote that Jim Brady was considering "supplementing" Dan Froomkin 's column with a "conservative blogger." And second, Brady's own statement two days later that "the desire to bring on a conservative blogger has never been related to Dan." According to Spruiell, Howell has now contradicted her earlier version, emailing him the following: Jim Brady said today that he will look for someone who has more journalistic qualifications next time. Froomkin and Morley are both liberals and he is looking for a conservative voice as well. I don't think it has anything to do with Froomkin, but more wanting a lot of voices...

AS THE IMMIGRATION...

AS THE IMMIGRATION BILL TURNS. First, the good news. Arlen Specter 's Judiciary Committee came through with a bill closely approximating the McCain-Kennedy proposal: With Republicans deeply divided, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to legalize the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants and ultimately to grant them citizenship, provided that they hold jobs, pass criminal background checks, learn English and pay fines and back taxes. The panel also voted to create a vast temporary worker program that would allow roughly 400,000 foreigners to come to the United States to work each year and would put them on a path to citizenship as well. The legislation, which the committee sent to the full Senate on a 12-to-6 vote, represents the most sweeping effort by Congress in decades to grant legal status to illegal immigrants. And now, the bad news: Any legislation that passes the Senate will have to be reconciled with the tough border security bill passed in December by the...

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