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CNN Grill
flickr/nmfbihop

The End of an Institution

I suppose I should be sad to watch the decline of the once mighty political media, an institution that trained and nurtured me. But that’s not how I feel. For this was the institution that cheered when President Bush took us to war. This is also the institution that is getting this Democratic National Convention wrong, obsessed with a phony feud between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, wasting time interviewing that small but vengeful cult, the die-hard Hillaryites.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Report: Bill Clinton Won’t Hear Obama Speak

According to a one-line report on CNN, a “source close to former President Bill Clinton” has tipped off the news network that, unlike Hillary, Bill Clinton will be conspicuously absent from the crowd watching soon-to-be-official Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / John Raoux

Running for War President at Any Cost

Just great! Nuclear-armed Pakistan is falling apart, Iran’s nuclear program is unchecked and congressional legislation on cooperation with the Russians on controlling nuclear proliferation is now dead in the water. Horrid news except for Sen. John McCain, who thrills to a repeat of the danger lines of the Cold War, and now stands a good chance of being our next president.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


Anti-abortion activists
AP photo / Bill Ross

Faith, Abortion and the Election

Although the Democratic National Convention officially started Monday, a more significant event occurred 24 hours before at a religious service held several blocks away from the main convention hall.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Strikes Key Chords in Keynote Speech

Family values? Check. Revelatory personal stories? Check. Kudos to Hillary Clinton? Check and check. Michelle Obama delivered on all the important subjects she had to hit (but not too hard) in her keynote address Monday night at the Democratic National Convention—and she had a little help on tugging some heartstrings at the end.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Arrests Made in Alleged Obama Assassination Plot

A possible plot to kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech Thursday at the Democratic National Convention was foiled in Denver on Monday night when at least three suspects were arrested, authorities reported.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and doctors
AP photo / Charlie Neibergall

Prescription for a Democratic Win

As Barack Obama moves into the Democratic National Convention, he should speak out more clearly and forcefully on an issue that clearly distinguishes him from his do-nothing opponent—national health insurance.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Madonna
AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Madonna vs. McCain

Madonna is no John McCain fan, and the feeling’s definitely mutual. The newly minted quinquagenarian icon is once again playing the provocateur on her latest tour, taking aim at McCain by making some undesirable comparisons between the GOP’s presumptive nominee and certain nefarious world leaders from past and present.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


mccain

About That Whole ‘Keating Five’ Thing

What was the exact nature of John McCain’s involvement in the notorious Keating Five scandal? CNN revisited this particular chapter from John McCain’s professional past for “McCain Revealed,” the news network’s profile on the senator-turned-presidential-hopeful.

Posted on Aug 23, 2008 READ MORE


Sen. Biden
biden.senate.gov

Team McCain Ready With Anti-Biden Artillery

By the time Barack Obama officially confirmed that Joe Biden was to be his running mate, John McCain’s campaign had prepped its response—as Obama’s own camp has no doubt done for McCain’s pick from the Republican VP pool. Two candidates = double the attack-ad fodder!

Posted on Aug 23, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
Flickr / soggydan

Note to McCain: Ease Off on the POW Talk

Patriotism and sacrifice for one’s country usually make for reliable go-to topics for politicians, but according to Talking Points Memo, John McCain’s detractors and admirers alike are starting to suggest that the Republican presidential hopeful and his campaign honchos dial it down a bit on the subject of McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Posted on Aug 23, 2008 READ MORE


The Conquest by Presidentialism

McCain’s ads are (inadvertently) incisive commentary on the death of Jeffersonian democracy. They aim to mock Obama, but they really lampoon “presidentialism”: our paternalistic view that presidents are godlike saviors—and therefore democracy’s only important figures.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Texas
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Wake-Up Call for Team Obama

If Barack Obama thought he had a battle on his hands when he was vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’s in for an even bigger struggle now, if the latest Zogby poll represents an accurate read on American voters’ inclinations at this stage in the game.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


The Missing Debate

I long for a candidate who would ‘‘focus like a laser beam’’ on the economy. That’s what voters are doing as they see their paychecks shrink from inflation, their jobs threatened and their middle-class dreams diminished.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


McCain's Mansions

McCain’s Mansions

Courtesy of the Brave New Films team, here we have a property-by-property breakdown of John McCain’s many fancy domiciles, which provide ironic contrast to footage of the presumptive Republican nominee holding forth about how Americans with mortgage troubles can just scrimp ‘n’ save their way back to solvency.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

McCain’s Warped Worldview

The world according to John McCain is one in which America is triumphant at home and abroad thanks to the Bush legacy, rolling to victory internationally and mastering its domestic economic problems. If daily news would seem to deny such a rosy scenario, then that only shows skeptics lack the courage that sustained McCain as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE


Warren on CNN

McCain Not in Church’s ‘Cone of Silence’ During Obama Q&A

A mini-kerfuffle has erupted over the fact that John McCain did not wait his turn in the Saddleback Church’s “cone of silence,” the soundproofed space backstage at the California church where he was to have waited while Barack Obama answered the Rev. Rick Warren’s questions during Saturday’s Q&A session. According to Warren, McCain was in a Secret Service motorcade, not at the church, during most of his rival’s turn on the hot seat.

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

McCain Fundraiser Under Scrutiny for Ralph Reed Connection

John McCain managed to pull in over $1.75 million for the GOP during an Atlanta fundraiser on Monday, but the event also attracted attention for its potential ties to erstwhile Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed. Barack Obama’s camp, among others, is raising questions about Reed’s connection to the event.

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Pakistani President Musharraf Resigns

After months of mounting pressure and speculation, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he is stepping down, but not before defending his legacy, challenging his detractors and admitting that he “may have committed follies.”

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE


Saakashvili

Saakashvili Claims Europe Invited Russian Invasion

“Unfortunately, today we are looking evil directly in the eye,” an emotional Mikheil Saakashvili said Friday after he signed a cease-fire agreement to end his country’s eight-day showdown with Russia. The Georgian president declared that other European nations ignored clear signs of impending conflict last spring and he hinted that trouble could also be in store for other countries.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


Gorbachev

Gorbachev: ‘Signs of a Cold War Are Present’

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev appeared on “Larry King Live” Thursday to give his read on the Georgia-Russia conflict, asserting that Georgia was definitively the first to attack, in “a barbaric assault” on Tskhinvali, and that “there was support and protection” for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili from ... elsewhere in the world. Updated

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Georgian President Checks In With Glenn Beck, Katie Couric

First the showdown with Russia, now the U.S. media tour: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili paid a virtual visit to American news shows on Wednesday, telling CBS News anchor Katie Couric that the Russians were violating the newly instated cease-fire agreement with Georgia, then being buttered up by CNN’s Glenn Beck, who reminded his audience that there are streets in Georgia “named after our president.”

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Sounds the Alarm on Georgia

John McCain comes off as the tough-talking hard-liner in this Financial Times story about the Russia-Georgia conflict. Even more of a hard-liner than President Bush, who ever-so-reluctantly came around to agreeing with McCain on Monday after initially taking “a much more diluted stance” (just like Barack Obama), as John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, put it in the FT article’s completely unsurprising conclusion.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


oprah
freshdames.com

Oprah’s Support = 1 Million Votes

The power of Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement is clearly quantifiable when it comes to her “favorite things” (e.g. book sales), but how about her favorite people (e.g. Barack Obama)? Well, a scholarly duo from the University of Maryland came up with 1 million votes as the impressive, if somewhat strangely derived, number that represents the boost Oprah has given Obama since she gave him her official stamp of approval.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Robert Mugabe
USAF / Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Mugabe Meets With Opposition Leader for Crisis Talks

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, pictured, was still ensconced in a Harare hotel with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday in an attempt to work out some kind of power-sharing arrangement with his rival for the presidency in this year’s protracted and controversial election process. But after a weekend of intense talks, nobody had signed on any dotted lines.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


obama ad

Celebrity Ad Wars: Obama Edition

Celebrities have become mere pawns in the tussle between John McCain and Barack Obama, both of whom have now released campaign ads accusing the other of being a celebrity and snuggling up to celebrities. Celebrities = bad!

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Bush

Bush Talks Politics at Olympics

In case you missed it, here’s part of President Bush’s sit-down with NBC’s Olympic host Bob Costas on Sunday, during which a somewhat squirmy Bush talked about what he said to Vladimir Putin during the opening festivities, lamenting how the fighting in Georgia was conflicting with the spirit of the Olympics.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
todbrilliant.com

Edwards Admits Affair, Denies Having Love Child

If John Edwards hoped to keep the lid on his extramarital affair with fledgling filmmaker Rielle Hunter, his alleged recent chase scene at a Beverly Hills hotel, co-starring spies from the National Enquirer, probably didn’t help matters much. The former presidential candidate has finally owned up to the affair, although he still denies that he fathered Hunter’s newborn. Updated

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Mauritana Military and Police
javno.com

Bloodless Coup Leaders Arrest Mauritania’s President

The government of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdellah came to an end Wednesday in the West African state of Mauritania, as military officers arrested both Abdellah and the prime minister in a coup against a government denounced for its “corruption and ineptitude in handling rising food prices and oil revenues.” Sound familiar at all?

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Paltrow

McCain Dogged by Another Member of the Hollywood Blonde Posse

Just as John McCain was catching flak for bolstering Paris Hilton’s bafflingly resilient showbiz career, another danger appeared on the horizon in the form of that purebred Hollywood golden retriever Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s turned up in a Democrat-sponsored PSA with an angular bob that could slice deli meat and a get-out-the-vote message for expat American voters.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


McCain at Red Ribbon
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Camp Gets Big Checks From Big Oil Execs

It’s not particularly surprising that oil executives at the Hess Corp. got a little excited when John McCain changed his position in June and called for offshore drilling, but it is interesting that the Hess brass, according to Talking Points Memo, apparently demonstrated their gratitude (cue cash register sound effect here) by writing some big checks to the McCain campaign.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain 'The One' ad

McCain Campaign Even More Obsessed With Obama

Right, so we’ve just seen the comparisons to Britney and Paris in John McCain’s “Celeb” commercial, one of several ads from Team McCain’s oeuvre that perhaps unwisely focus almost exclusively on the presumptive Democratic nominee instead of on McCain’s own policies and positions. Now, here’s Charlton Heston’s Moses impersonation to ratchet up the Camp-O-Meter in “The One,” a McCain spot that ends by ... saying Obama “might be The One.” Huh?

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Obama playing basketball
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

WSJ: Is Obama Too Fit for the White House?

Following on the heels of last week’s probing editorial about whether the creators of “The Dark Knight” are closeted Bush fans hankering to spread their (W-shaped) bat wings in full daylight comes this latest round of barrel-scraping for political analysis by The Wall Street Journal—this time daring to wonder whether Barack Obama shouldn’t hit the McDonald’s drive-through a bit harder if he really wants to win this thing.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Panel Cites Rove for Contempt

The House Judiciary Committee cited former presidential adviser Karl Rove for contempt of Congress because of his refusal to testify on the politicization of the Justice Department. There’s still plenty of red tape keeping Bush’s Brain from a day of reckoning. A full vote on the citation won’t happen—if it happens at all—until September, and by the time the lawyers get involved, George W. Bush will be back in Crawford whacking brush.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE


McCain ad

Obama, McCain Camps Clash Over Attack Ad

Barack Obama’s decision to forgo a visit with wounded U.S. troops in Germany during the European leg of his recent international sojourn gave John McCain’s camp the idea for a new advertisement criticizing the Illinois senator, although Obama’s team and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel beg to differ with its premise.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Sarkozy
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Addresses Tehran From Paris

During his quick jaunt to Paris on Friday, Barack Obama sent a direct message to Iran, cautioning it to stop enriching uranium or “the pressure ... is only going to build.” Obama had the chance to chat briefly with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told him that the French would be “delighted” if he won in November’s election.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Obama on the Brink

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack. Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Afghanistan
AP photo

Obama Begins World Tour

Barack Obama embarked on his international diplomacy tour—a key step in raising his profile on the world stage and demonstrating his readiness to take over the American presidency—with an important first major stop. The Illinois senator landed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday as part of congressional delegation surveying the current situation in that troubled nation.

Posted on Jul 19, 2008 READ MORE


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

Gramm Quits McCain Campaign

The backlash following Phil Gramm’s comments about the “mental recession” he believed Americans were bringing upon themselves through negative thinking has evidently caused the former Texas senator to leave his position as a top adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
video.aol.com

America’s War on Sex: The Contraception Battle

Dr. Marty Klein, author of “America’s War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty,” has some additional questions for John McCain—who flailed in the face of a perfectly reasonable query about Viagra versus birth control last week—as well as his rivals for the presidency.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Sergei Chuzavkov

Obama Humor 101

We all know about this week’s Controversial Satire Attempt by that wicked, bad New Yorker magazine, which critics can now bash for being wicked instead of just elitist. (Boring!) That particular faux pas rocked the ever-intertwined worlds of politics and publishing and seemed to prove that poking fun at a certain presumptive presidential nominee can be a precarious enterprise, if not an absolute no-no.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Joe Crimmings

A $52-Million Month

As Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, said in an e-mail to Obama supporters, the campaign has developed a “very aggressive strategy” that requires aggressive fundraising efforts as well. Judging by Team Obama’s tally for the month of June, those efforts are quite literally paying off.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Obama

Obama on Foreign Policy and the ‘Tyranny of Oil’

Sen. Barack Obama was careful to praise U.S. troops in Iraq during Tuesday’s speech outlining his foreign policy strategies, while declaring that Iraq has been a costly distraction for America. “This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize,” he said, before laying out his five goals “essential to making America safer.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Al Behrman

Obama: ‘The Central Front in the War on Terror Is Not Iraq’

Sen. Barack Obama made a key speech on Tuesday in Washington, in which he asserted his position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a 16-month troop withdrawal timetable and outlined his plans for combating terrorism if he is elected president in November.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


War Is Over-ish

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Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE    


McCain
youtube.com

McCain Grilled on Immigration

Following an appearance by Barack Obama the day before, Sen. John McCain faced some tough questions about his stance on immigration Monday at a meeting with members of the National Council of La Raza in San Diego, where he denied Obama’s claim that he had changed his tune on the immigration issue to please his Republican base.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Denver Group ad
huffingtonpost.com

Mutiny at the Democratic National Convention?

A defiant new group of Democrats calling itself the Denver Group has started a campaign to make sure the Democratic presidential nomination remains open until August’s convention in Denver, leaving the game open to certain contenders (read: HRC) instead of following the “presumptive nominee Barack Obama” plan.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

McCain’s Past Catches Up in the Press

Along with maintaining the hypervigilance necessary to avoid having one’s gaffes caught on camera and replayed endlessly on YouTube, politicians face a vast array of image-maintenance challenges these days. John McCain encountered a PR problem of the lower-tech variety on Friday, in the form of two newspaper articles focusing on details from his private life that could be gleaned from plain ol’ public records.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


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