David Samuels profiles the White House's deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, and finds "an only slightly updated version of what Holden Caulfield might have been like if he grew up to work in the West Wing." Although the comparison, and the rest of the profile, seem intended to frame Rhodes as a serious thinker and decision-maker, Rhodes's derision toward the press corps ("They literally know nothing"), jaundiced candor about the "spin" used in selling the Iran deal, and statements like “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends" have set the media establishment afire with hot takes and critiques.
Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
The show Empire on Al Jazeera collects experts on various subjects and holds a roundtable discussion. This week was Obama 2.0, on the President's first two years, with focus on foreign policy. Guests this week are Ralph Nader, Roger Hodge, Stefan Halper, and As'ad Abu Khalil. Earlier weeks include: [more inside]
The Barack Whisperer. Robert Draper's in-depth look at Robert Gibbs, senior advisor and press secretary to President Obama, and his sometimes controversial relationship to the media.
"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller
As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
Have the wheels come off the straight talk express? At least one sleeping giant woke up today: the NYT finally gives Sarah Palin a thorough vetting and the results aren't pretty. The McCain campaign's aggressive - and many say dishonest - tactics in promoting Palin may have sparked the beginnings of a media backlash. Camp McCain's reaction: We don't care and intend to stay on offense. And about that offense, they will soon have some help: Group With Swift Boat Alumni Readies Ads Attacking Obama. How low will things go? At this week's Values Voters Summit, 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotypes were all the rage.
It's official. Obama has won the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. In response, McCain has launched a "verbal sortie" against him and the media has already begun disecting Hillary's campaign.
"People are talking, but no one is really listening. For all the fun and fantasy that can be had following this election on the internet, the overriding impression it gives after a while is of tuning into thousands of people as they sit in their cars and complain about the traffic." David Runciman on "The Cattle-Prod Election."
John.He.Is turns John McCain quotes into a beautiful song. Two suburban women sit around discussing whether or not America is ready for a smart President. Filmmakers get ready to release Barackula: The Musical. Rap musician BigHitBuda drops Elect Obama. [more inside]
Bill Clinton on Charlie Rose - on display: Thoughtful Visionary as well as Political Animal; cf. Howard Dean and Jimmy Carter.
Let's play 20 questions. 20 candidates for President, 20 personalized questions.
Media outraced by Bloggers, Kerry appeal to netroots galvanizes suprise drive against Alito On Google News, you'll read how US Democratic Senators Obama and Biden are against a filibuster. Old news. They've agreed to support it. Encouraged by direct appeals by Senators. Kerry and Kennedy to internet activists, a blizzard of calls, emails, and faxes, organized via the Daily Kos and other blogs - with tactical direction from Kennedy - have helped flip the positions of several Democratic senators, and as of Saturday some claimed the push was already within 2 votes of forcing continued Senate debate on the Alito nomination. In fact, the pro-filibuster bloc might have started with 37 votes Meanwhile, today, Morning Edition, which declined to run the filibuster push as a top story and failed to mention the internet effort, asked Senator Kennedy on Senator Hillary Clinton's opposition to the filibuster: actually, she joined the effort last Friday [ see main link ] : D'oh !