Kerry Out

Kerry’s decision not to run in 2008 is a disappointment only to his consultants and to Republicans, and perhaps to people like me, who appreciated his dogged ability to provide ever-replenishing examples of the three or four jokes we liked to tell about him. While he made it hard not to be lazy, he also made, ahem, an enormous …

Re: Best Response Ever

My colleague Jay is easy to mock, it is in fact one of his most endearing characteristics, but I can’t find much to poke fun at in his mash note to Jim Webb. Webb’s message was an articulate, passionate brief against the war — if only the latest — and it’s nice to see the Dems present a rebuttal that’s elegant as well as earnest. To …

Best Response Ever

Jim Webb, whose awkwardness on the stump was well known during his Senate campaign, just delivered the most compelling response and rebuttal to a State of the Union address I’ve seen in the past 15 years. He nailed it — conveyed his personal knowledge about military service, that people serve without regard to political ideology or …

More Entries in the Amazon Primary?

Over at the Racing Form, we’ve been keeping track of how ’08 hopefuls are doing in the bookselling department. Though Barack Obama is in the top ten currently with both a paperback and hardcover, this cycle’s race has an unprecedented number of best-selling authors — and would even if only Hillary were running (she’s written six). But …

In the Arena In the Arena

Bush’s Plan…the rest of the story.

Ezra Klein has mea culpaed his previous posting about the Bush health care proposal. If he’s right, mea too. What Bush seems to be proposing is nothing more than a back door tax cut–surprise–for people who buy inexpensive health insurance and therefore a Health Savings Account empowerment act. (In other words, if you buy a $2000 HSA, …

In the Arena In the Arena

Smart Comment

This, about my earlier Iraq post, from a very well informed reader

The conflict described in the Times is a much more of a civil war and therefore the mission to stop it is much more about peacekeeping (or actually peacemaking) and the Congo Crisis would be a good historic model.

There is of course a Sunni-lead insurgency going on at

Re: The Clinton Playbook

Amazingly, some Swampland readers seem to think my earlier post about President Bush’s State of the Union address was too sympathetic to Bush, which proves nothing but that the left is as full of unthinking Ditto-heads as Limbaugh-land. My point was that Bush is looking to the past, including to Bill Clinton in 95 and 98, for models on …

In the Arena In the Arena

Counterinsurgency 101

Excellent piece in the New York Times today about the perils and potential of counterinsurgency tactics. All hail Corporal Peter Callahan, who isn’t sure he supports the war, but is doing his best to calm things down and save lives.

The Clinton Playbook

When George W. Bush takes the podium in the House tonight, he will peer into an audience of scowling, hostile faces. He will see lawmakers made bitter by the failure of his Iraq gambit, and by his call to risk compounding that failure by adding more U.S. troops to the lethal sectarian stew in Baghdad. He will see members of both the …

What else is on tonight?

If you aren’t in the mood to watch the State of the Union address tonight, here’s what the cable movie channels are offering:

ABC Family: Big Fat Liar
BET: Getting Played
Disney: The Country Bears
Lifetime: Devil’s Pond
AMC: Dances with Wolves
Showtime Too: Scream 2

The Rahm Primary

I a fan of Rahm Emanuel. I don’t care if he’s an “Alpha Democrat” or an asshole (perhaps redundant?), I just love him. Mostly because he curses more than I do, also because he has a worse temper. I love that he has never taken his own best advice: “as influence grows, so should humility.” And I want to cover the campaign of whoever …

In the Arena In the Arena

Hillary Care, Bush Care, Wyden Care

I’m going to have a lot more to say in a few weeks about the importance of proposing a universal health insurance plan if you’re running for President. But if you are going to make a health care proposal, certain minimal parameters seem obvious, especially The Two Mandatorys:
–an individual mandate, which requires everyone to buy into …

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