Jun 4, 2008

An old fashioned campaign

John McCain is suggesting that he and Barack Obama travel on the same plane to make 10 joint appearances at town hall events.

This proposal is similar to what John Kennedy and Barry Goldwater were considering back in 1963 when it seemed the Arizona Senator would be the GOP nominee.

May 31, 2008

Iran, elections and nuclear fuel

A rival of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected speaker of that country's parliament earlier this week.

The New York Times describes Ali Larijani as someone who is more conservative than Ahmadinejad, yet possibly more pragmatic in dealing with the West.

He is also a proponent of the country's nuclear development program, which would be totally even more unnecessary under Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar's proposal for Russia and the United States to lock down nuclear materials and assure nuclear-fuel services "both providing and removing the fuel needed for civilian nuclear energy."

May 28, 2008

The conservative gripe with Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal received Grover Norquist's endorsement last week, but the Club for Growth finds that Jindal violated the ultimate standard of Norquist's own organization, Americans for Tax Reform, by breaking the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."

May 20, 2008

Ahmadinejad's spats

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is getting in a lot of spats with his clerics. Is he a gaffe-prone loose cannon or trying to paint himself as a self-righteous advocate for women? Will he try to circumvent the mullahs and grab absolute power?

The latter seems unlikely, and that it is mere pompousness leading him to make gaffes in the religious radicals' eyes. Remember, this comes shortly after Ayman Al-Zawahiri's public chiding of him.

May 17, 2008

Sorensen interview

Picked up Sorensen's new memoir last night. Here he is on Leonard Lopate.

The Vietnam caucus

Matt Bai, at the start of his long profile of McCain in the New York Times Magazine, discusses why McCain has found himself in opposition to the military measures undertaken by his fellow Vietnam veterans.
They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCain’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.
For his part, Bai points out that former Sen. Bob Kerrey disagrees with this characterization.

May 15, 2008

California permits marriage equality

The AP reports that the California State Supreme Court has overturned a ban on marriage equality.

The only thing better could be to do it through the legislature.

May 14, 2008


Secretary of Defense Robert Gates thinks technological combat innovations need to be slowed in order to address more pressing needs and excessive spending.


Chuck Todd asks, 'Is the Democratic divide geography?'
Is there an argument that Obama's troubles are basically Appalachia, just like Clinton's troubles can be excused away by Obama's Midwestern roots? It is striking how geographic their strengths are right now. Obama dominates in the South and in the Midwest while Clinton owns the Northeast and, well, Appalachia.