Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz is a former staff writer for the Prospect. His work has been published by Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He is also a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Recent Articles


Returning to blogs and the news cycle after a brief vacation, I'm glad to see the latest news is ... Rev. Jesse Jackson has said a dirty word! The accidentally recorded threat isn't news or even fair to Jesse (never thought I'd say that, but imagine what it would come out if your behind-closed-doors conversations came to light). It wasn't even a revealing slip; given the opportunity to go guess how the good Reverend feels about Obama 's success on the national stage and his Father's Day Speech, I think most of us would have guessed he harbored the same sentiments, though we may not have expected them to be expressed so graphically. No, the true joy in this campaign moment is reading the newspapers who refuse to say exactly what Jesse said. The New York Times dances primly around the issue, leaving its readers guessing about what the heck all the hubub is about. The Washington Post employs euphemism to poor effect, ledeing with the news that Jackson "us[ed] crude language to suggest...


Steve Schmidt , the new head honcho of the McCain brigades, is doing a good job shifting the media storylines in his boss' favor (check out CW compilation the Note to get an idea of how excited the press is about this story). Various other pundits are checking in to chat about the man -- here's Ambinder -- but I think Jon Chait's take is the best. The problem with the McCain campaign all year has been his wretched flip-floppery. Is he a Bush-style conservative who's going to bash heads and rally the base on the campaign trail? That's what the Schmidt choice suggests. One really has to wonder if a Rove-style base rallying strategy is going to pay off in this political climate. Or, it's possible, though unlikely, that McCain is a moderate maverick. But that's the problem -- if, as Chait predicts, letting McCain be McCain is going to be the strategy, it's a daily crap shoot to see which politician will show up for the stump speech. One more guess to be hazarded: Apparently, Schmidt is...


One on hand, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs sez : "Opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful for us," referring to the prospect of a direct clash with Iran while fighting continues in Iraq and Afghanistan. "This is a very unstable part of the world, and I don't need it to be more unstable." On the other, you've got Liz Cheney : "I think the Iranians have to believe that we will use force if necessary, and I'm concerned because you had statements for a period of time there from people like the commander in Centcom, who has since been relieved, suggesting that force was off the table" ... and she said it is crucial to make Iran realize, "despite what you may be hearing from Congress, despite what you may be hearing from others in the administration who might be saying force isn't on the table, that we're serious." As for an Israeli strike on Iran, she said: "I certainly don't think that we should do anything but support them." I just wonder who Cheney et. al...


Jon Soltz , who served in Iraq and is now the Chairman of VoteVets.org , has been a key voice on military and veterans issues in the Democratic party and a critic of the Iraq war. Lately he's been getting shouted at on TV for his defense of General Wesley Clark , so I called him for a brief interview yesterday afternoon to discuss his views on that issue and conservatives who predict that Barack Obama will change his position on withdrawal. Why does it seem like you are the only one defending Wes Clark on TV? Okay, I think first off there have been a lot of people defending him. [James] Carville did, Donna Brazile , Admiral Joe Sestak , who is a big supporter, so there are people that are supporting him. This is the media bias to John McCain more than anything else. … I think the larger question is, why aren't we getting more of that pick-up? It's media insecurity about doing a real analysis on military issues. The fact of the matter is that we have a right to take on John McCain on...


Yesterday, John McCain was so angry after he was asked by a reporter how his military experience would affect his Presidency that Senator Lindsey Graham had to respond to the question. "Graham expressed admiration for McCain’s stance on the treatment of detainees in US custody. ... 'That to me is a classic example of how his military experience helped him shape public policy in a way no other senator could have done.'" Lindsey is no doubt referencing McCain's time in a Vietnamese POW camp, where he was brutally tortured. Of course, McCain voted against the bill that would ban the CIA from... torturing detainees. Even though he thinks that waterboarding is torture. And he's against torture. But he'd like the CIA to be able to torture. No wonder McCain let Graham field that one. --Tim Fernholz