In the Arena In the Arena

Weekend Book Club–Iraq edition

For my fellow Iraq obsessives out there, two new and important books:

Regular Swampland readers know how much I respect the Pentagon analysis filed by Fred Kaplan of Slate. Kaplan’s new book Daydream Believers is excellent and devastating, not just on the Iraq war, but also on the Bush Administration’s fantastic devotion to anti-missile …

“Psyops on Steroids”

The New York Times this morning devotes most of the top half of the front page, plus three full pages inside, to a remarkable story by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Barstow about how the Pentagon co-opts the corps of rent-a-generals who are such familiar presences on cable television and the op-ed pages. Most of …

Obama Goes Negative

I don’t get why he’s doing this:

Obama campaign aides scheduled the call to talk about Hillary Clinton’s fantastical story about her breakneck race to shelter under sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia. You might think this would be the last story the Obama campaign would be pushing, because in Wednesday’s debate the Senator mistakenly

Hillary Clinton vs.

This time, it’s Hillary Clinton who finds herself trying to explain comments that were caught on tape at a fundraiser. Celeste Fremon of the Huffington Post reports:

At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the “activist base” of the Democratic Party — and in

Pin the Problem on ABC?

Day two and the Democratic debate fallout continues. Turns out the lady who asked Obama the question about the Flag Pin, in a prerecorded tape made by ABC, had already told the New York Times that she could not support Barack Obama–because of his sometimes aversion to wearing flag pins. So, it wasn’t really a question from an undecided …

“None of Your %$#@ Business” — in Russian

Sure, Vladimir Putin is an autocrat answering to a compliant press largely controlled by his own government. With this response, he is also the envy of every American politician ever confronted with accusations of sexual impropriety:

“I have always reacted negatively to those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into

McCain’s Tax Returns. . .

Are out, for 2006 and 2007. As expected, his income amounts to his Senate salary, some (relatively) modest book royalties, Social Security and his Navy Pension. He donates his book royalties to charity. His very wealthy wife, however, is another story all together. The new McCain tax info is here.

In the Arena In the Arena

It’s Getting Close to Over

I woke up this morning and the blues were pouring down like rain…Well, not really–although I’ve always loved that lyric. Actually, I woke up this morning with a gut feeling that the Philadelphia debate may have been the last straw for the Democratic Party, that the superdelegates are about to rush to Barack Obama in order to end this …

The White Working Class Vote

In this week’s issue of dead-tree TIME, which hits the newsstands today, I have a story that looks at the political math underlying all the back and forth over Obama’s comments about small-town voters–specifically, the importance of the white working class vote in this fall’s election.:

Working-class whites are a shrinking segment of

Promises, Promises

In this morning’s Clinton conference call, perennial HRC antagonist Andrea Mitchell pressed the campaign’s spokespeople about Hillary’s firm promise to withdraw from Iraq even if, as Gibson put it, “the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the …

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