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

Their Vote Counts

We all know of circumstances in life when apologies don't really count for much. A shattering lie, a gross infidelity, an act of obvious immorality -- these things, among friends and lovers, are at best partially salved by an "I'm sorry," even a heartfelt one. The real healing requires time, usually lots of it, a capacious empathy on the part of the aggrieved party, and maybe roses or poetry. Yet in politics, an apology is somehow supposed to be worth more. I suppose this is chiefly because our expectations of politicians are far lower than our expectations of our dear ones. It also has to do with the way the media need to fit things into clean categories -- he did it; now he's sorry he did it; okay then, next issue. But whatever the reason, when a politician utters the magic words, it usually carries more weight than, in my estimation, it deserves. And so here we have two of the three leading Democratic contenders providing stark contrasts in the art. Hillary Clinton will not...

This Dog Won't Wag

Put aside completely the merits of starting a war with Iran, which is easy to do since there are none. Does the White House really believe that it can help itself politically by doing this? Do the people who have alienated this country and decimated another actually think that they can get away with this -- that the natural order would assert itself, and that the people would respond in the usual rallying way if the president went on prime-time television to announce the commencement of air strikes? The two most recent polls I found on the question suggest a resounding no. There's a CNN poll from nearly a month ago that asks people about "military action" against Iran; 26 percent said they would favor it, and 68 percent said they'd oppose. There's also a more recent CBS survey that asked people to choose among "military action now," "diplomacy now," and "not a threat." Just 21 percent supported military action, while 57 percent backed diplomacy and 14 percent said Iran was not a...


HELP! Maybe somebody has a suggestion here for a technodoofus such as myself. I can�t watch videos on my home computer. They start to download, but the typical experience is that if a YouTube clip is, say, 4:16 seconds, the little bar that tells you how much of the clip has downloaded gets about one-third of the way across the screen and stops, and so with very rare exceptions I can�t ever see more than about 1:30 of any video clip. A call to my ISP was other-than-fruitful; the person told me I already had their fastest broadband stuff. Has anyone out there successfully stared down this problem? Many thanks. --Michael Tomasky...


MANNING -- IT FIGURES. I knew I wasn�t crazy about Peyton Manning . To me, he�s a great 1980s quarterback -- a classic pocket passer with zero mobility who, if he has to run, looks like he�s carrying a beach chair on his back. He�s been very lucky to have a great offensive line that minimizes the number of hurries and sacks, because if he were playing behind five second-raters, he�d be only above average, or perhaps lost to injury every year by Week 9. To me, that�s always been reason enough to cheer against him in the big games. Now, another reason. According to Kos diarist teenvote , we see that Manning gave $2,000 to Bush last cycle and maxed out ($4,000) to Bob Corker in Tennessee. The only political-checkbook-opening Bear that teenvote could find happened to be their biggest star, linebacker Brian Urlacher . He gave $1,000 to Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez . On top of that, who would you rather see happy: Barack Obama and Jan...


GREAT PIECE ALERT. Check out this terrific Guardian scoop on AEI offering scientists $10,000 to produce studies refuting the UN global warming report. AEI has received, the article also notes (while not specifying a time period), $1.6 million from Exxon-Mobil. This, on the same day the Times reports that Exxon reported record profits again -- $39.5 billion-with-a-b in 2006. --Michael Tomasky