Is Herman Cain No Longer the Right's New Black Friend?

One of the points I made repeatedly during the 2008 campaign was that Barack Obama had thought long and hard, over a period of many years, about how his race would factor into his political career. You may remember that when he was catching fire, conservatives gushed over him -- my favorite quote was from culture warrior William Bennett, who said that Obama "never brings race into it. He never plays the race card. Talk about the black community—he has taught the black community you don't have to act like Jesse Jackson; you don't have to act like Al Sharpton.

The al-Awlaki Assassination

Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer are both highly critical of the Obama administration's extrajudicial killing of alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, while Ben Wittes rises to its defense. I think the former two have the more persuasive case. I do have one caveat, which is that I don't think the fact that al-Awlaki is an American citizen is the key problem.

Stupid Answers to Stupid Questions

Appearing on Fox News Sunday yesterday, Herman Cain had this exchange with host Chris Wallace about Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan, which involves a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent sales tax, and a 9 percent corporate tax:

WALLACE: How do you guarantee -- I asked you this in the debate and I'm not sure I got a full answer, how do you guarantee that 9-9-9 down the line doesn't become 12-12-12?

Do Presidential Fundraising Numbers Matter Anymore?

Federal candidates are scrambling to rake in a few extra dollars because today is the last day to include the amounts in third-quarter fundraising numbers. Official tallies don't have to be reported until the middle of next month, but a handful of the campaigns have already leaked their numbers.

Encouraging Health Doings in Montana

Well lookey here (via Think Progress):

HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Wednesday he will ask the U.S. government to let Montana set up its own universal health care program, taking his rhetorical fight over health care to another level.

When Chris Christie Sits Around the Oval Office, He Sits Around the Oval Office

For some reason, until Jon Stewart said it the other night, nobody had mentioned that current GOP savior and soon to be ex-GOP savior Chris Christie is a dead ringer for another colorful New Jersey character, Sopranos capo Bobby Bacala. Bobby was, as you'll recall, big-boned. Michael Kinsley thinks Christie's girth will make it impossible for him to be elected president:

Look, I'm sorry, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cannot be president: He is just too fat...

Chump Change We Can't Believe In

Tomorrow night is the third-quarter fundraising deadline and the speculation games have already begun. The New York Times looked at 2008 Obama supporters who are now fed up with Obama and unwilling to sacrifice even $3 because Obama didn’t deliver the change they believed in. This line of thinking will likely frame how the new data is perceived. But comparing Obama’s current fundraising capacity among small donors to his impressive haul in 2008 is the wrong way to analyze the data; in this fundraising cycle the most important numbers to predict Obama’s future success among small donors are those of his rivals, not his own.

Beyond Astroturf

There's a well-traveled saying, generally attributed to social theorist Eric Hoffer, that goes like this: Every great movement starts out as a cause, turns into a business, and eventually devolves into a racket. Well it looks like some folks are finding new and innovative ways to make the Tea Party a part of their business. Consider the story of Gibson Guitars, which was recently raided by the feds as part of an investigation into the illegal importation of endangered woods, and then made itself into a Tea Party hero.

Rick Perry Might Have Dropped, But Romney Didn't Gain

After a meandering debate performance in which Rick Perry dared to show an ounce of humanity, media outlets have been quick to proclaim that he's lost his chances of gaining the GOP nomination. That narrative was backed up by the polls released over the past week, which have shown Perry dropping from his front-runner status.

Democrats Still Wondering Which GOP Candidate Will Destroy Civilization

The latest sign of trouble for the White House comes from a Gallup poll out today, showing that Democrats are not particularly psyched up about 2012. Cue gnashing of teeth:

Gallup 9-29.jpg

Conservative Journalism, Raising the Bar

I'm a longtime critic of the idea that "objectivity" is the true and only path to journalistic truth, and I believe that here at the Prospect, we prove it every day. It's perfectly possible to have a point of view and still produce journalism that is accurate and fair. The temptation to seize on the things that will make your opponents look bad is always there, but if you're mindful of it, you can retain your integrity.

Not everybody is so capable, however. Check out what happened when a reporter at the conservative website The Daily Caller got a hold of what he thought was gold, from a court filing by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mitt Romney's Health Care Non-Problem

Jonathan Bernstein explains why dealing with "Obamneycare" or whatever you might want to call it isn't such a big deal for Mitt Romney after all: