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George H.W. Bush Released From Hospital

George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital: Former president George H.W. Bush was released from the hospital Monday, after spending 12 days at Houston Methodist Hospital due to pneumonia. The former president, 92, was in the ICU for five days after suffering a respiratory problem caused by pneumonia. Former first lady Barbara […]

Bush 41, 43 Won’t Be Endorsing Trump

2016 Election Buttons

The only two living Republican former Presidents have no plan to endorse Donald Trump: For the first time since his own presidency, George H.W. Bush is planning to stay silent in the race for the Oval Office — and the younger former president Bush plans to stay silent as well. Bush 41, who enthusiastically endorsed […]

Politinerds: Jon Meacham

Politinerds

Our guest this week on Politinerds was author and Presidential historian Jon Meacham,author of several books on American history including, most recently, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. Jon also writes frequently about contemporary politics and can be seen as a commentator on cable news shows such as Morning Joe […]

Jeb Bush: Reagan And My Father Have No Place In the Modern GOP

Ronald Reagan and George Bush 1984

How would modern Republicans treat Ronald Reagan and his Vice-President?

Ben Nelson Not Too Familar With ATMs

atm

As Congress debates a bill that would regulate the fees banks can charge for using an Automatic Teller Machine, there’s at least one Senator who may not be entirely familiar with what they’re seeking to regulate: WASHINGTON — Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has been fighting unsuccessfully this week for a vote on his proposal to […]

Sex and the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Women

Responding to the fact that, by nominating Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Barack Obama has now gone two-for-two in appointing women to the High Court — and, assuming she’s confirmed, would triple the number of female Justices in a matter of months — NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez tweets, “Just wondering: are men allowed to […]

Presidential Humor

newsman

Saturday night’s annual White House Correspondents’ dinner has provoked the standard commentaries about the insipidness/banality/sinisterness of the event, what with the press sucking up to the president and the highlighting of the thin line between politics and celebrity.   And then there’s the required assessments of the president’s talents as a stand-up comedian. The most common […]

Moonies Selling Washington Times

moon-25th-anniversary

The Washington Times, which emerged during the Reagan administration as a feisty, conservative alternative to the Washington Post, is up for sale after the Unification Church pulled its $35 million annual subsidy.  WaPo, naturally, has the story: Washington Times executives are negotiating to sell the newspaper, after the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s family cut off […]

Atlantic Council Honors Clinton, Bono, Ackerman, Mattis, and Abrial

clinton-awards-dinner

Posting will be exceedingly light this morning, as I’ll be writing lots at New Atlanticist about the Atlantic Council’s annual Awards Dinner, which was held last evening. It together more than 900 leaders from over 50 countries to honor individuals who have made exceptional and distinctive contributions to the strengthening each of the four pillars […]

Hillary Clinton Too Old For Supreme Court

Hillary Clinton UN Photo

Speculating on Supreme Court appointments is a great parlor game and throwing the “pick a politician” wildcard into the game is especially fun. Ezra Klein jumps in with both feet: I’ve always been partial to the idea of seeing Hillary Clinton appointed to the Supreme Court. She’s got a law degree, of course. She’s practiced […]

Alan Simpson: Best Damn Record of No Taxes of any Son-of-a-Bitch

Alan Simpson 2007

Alan Simpson’s wit, candor, and integrity made him one of my favorite senators of all time. And now he’s fighting back against the interest groups that are killing our party. Former Sen. Alan Simpson is none too pleased with conservatives who say he lacks sufficient antitax fervor.  “I got the best damn record on no […]

Bruce Bartlett, the VAT, and the Right

zathras-bartlett

In an interview with Pejman Yousefzadeh on why Supply Side Economics has outlived its usefulness and the United States desperately needs a Value Added Tax, former WSJ columnist Bruce Bartlett remarks, “I have yet to find anyone on the right who takes any of my arguments seriously.” The line happens to be Glenn Reynolds‘ takeaway […]

Obama’s Approval Under 50 Percent

obama-approval-cbs-20100111

Barack Obama’s approval ratings are now firmly below 50 percent, with the CBS poll as the latest data point: President Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to 46 percent, according to a new CBS News poll. That rating is Mr. Obama’s lowest yet in CBS News polling, and the poll marks the first time his […]

Berlin Wall Fall: 20 Years Later

Berlin Wall Freedom

Twenty years ago today, I was leading a rocket artillery platoon in live fire exercises at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Eastern Bavaria.  Some 400 kilometers to the north, the Berlin Wall was coming down.   Back in my teaching days, I jokingly used this coincidence to illustrate the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. I […]

Bush 41: Incivil Politics ‘Just Not Right’

newsman

President George H.W. Bush says presidents are “entitled to civil treatment and intellectual honesty when it comes to critics” and that harsh criticism “should not be par for the course. To the degree it turns off one student or one person from serving that’s bad.” Now, I fully agree that the 24/7/365 political combat that […]

In Which I Disagree with Brent Scowcroft

US Iran

General Brent Scowcroft issued a statement through the Atlantic Council at noon:  “I strongly approve of President Obama’s decision regarding missile defense deployments in Europe. I believe it advances U.S. national security interests, supports our allies, and better meets the threats we face.” Given that I work at the Atlantic Council and have blogged on […]

Sotomayor and Affirmative Action

obama-sotomayor-2

Julian Sanchez argues that, while Sonia Sotomayor was given special consideration because she’s a Latina at various stages in her life, her case is “pretty close to the ideal of how affirmative action is supposed to work.” From a pool of highly qualified candidates, you let ethnicity act as a tiebreaker. It seems self-evident to […]

‘Watching the Fall of Islamic Theocracy’

IRAN-ELECTION/

The protests in Iran have entered a third week and the state media acknowledges that the death toll has reached 19 and that hundreds have been injured. Fareed Zakaria, a man not noted for idle leaps, proclaims, “we are watching the fall of Islamic theocracy.” In an interview with CNN, he explains: No, I don’t […]

Klein on Krauthammer

charles-krauthammer

There’s quite a bit of outrage brewing in the blogosphere over Joe Klein’s alleged insinuation that Charles Krauthammer would be a better columnist if he weren’t a cripple.  The offending passage is in a profile by Politico’s Ben Smith: “He became ground zero among the neo-cons, but he’s vastly smarter than most of them,” said […]

Tom Ridge Maryland Resident, Pennsylvanian?

maryland-and-pennsylvania-railroad-1

Taegan Goddard passes on word that Tom Ridge, once Pennsylvania’s governor and putatively contemplating running for Arlen Specter’s seat representing that state in the Senate, is a resident of Maryland for the purposes of federal tax and lobbying filings. Do these sort of things matter in statewide elections?   Is anyone otherwise disposed to vote for […]

Souter Retiring in June

davidsouter

A couple weeks back, I wrote a post called “Souter Retiring?”  The speculation was apparently well founded, as several outlets are now reporting that Justice David Souter will in fact step down at the end of the current session in June. NPR’s Nina Totenberg makes the interesting observation that, “At 69, Souter is nowhere near […]

Atlantic Council Awards: Bush, Kohl and Petraeus

2009-gala-group-shot

I apologize for the dearth of posting the past couple of days.  Much of yesterday was spent in preparation for the Atlantic Council’s 2009 Leadership Awards, which were held last night, and this is my first break from the day-after followup on the website, which I’ve been working on since 6 this morning. As I […]

Ending the Vice Presidency

bucket

Sunday’s WaPo put together a collection of half-baked ideas by smart folks, designed to generate controversy and discussion more so than shed serious light on policy ideas.  Thomas Ricks’ suggestion to close the service academies and war colleges got the most attention, overshadowing the abject silliness of Jeremy Lott’s column advocating doing away with the […]

Souter Retiring?

souter

Gerard Magliocca points to evidence that Justice David Souter is about to retire from the Supreme Court: Above the Law is reporting that Justice Souter has not hired clerks for the upcoming Term. While he is typically the last Justice to hire clerks, this is late even for him. This fact, combined with what I’m […]

Outraged or Just on the Other Side?

horrified

Jules Crittenden is shocked that lefty firebrands Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald have continued ranting and raving about injustice now that their guy is in charge over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. One possible explanation for this is that, rather than having simply been partisan hacks fomenting faux outrage at the Bush Administration, they’re intellectually honest […]

Jack Kemp Has Cancer

jack-kemp-cancer-photo

UPDATE 2 May 2009: Sad news. Jack Kemp Dead at 73 Jack Kemp has been diagnosed with cancer. The office of Jack Kemp says the former housing secretary, congressman and Buffalo Bills quarterback has been diagnosed with cancer.   A statement issued in Buffalo, N.Y., says Kemp is undergoing tests to assess the origin of the […]

Obama TIME Person of the Year 2008

Obama Person of the Year

In its quadrennial no-brainer, TIME has named Barack Obama its Person of the Year. Oddly, it takes several paragraphs of throat clearing to get to anything like making a case for the choice: As Obama has moved with unprecedented speed to build an Administration that would bolster the confidence of a shaken world, his flash […]

Obama Gets High Marks

gallup-obama-security-team-20081202

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that Americans think Barack Obama is handling the transition well and picking an outstanding team.  Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones: Americans widely approve of Barack Obama’s decisions, announced on Monday, to name Hillary Clinton secretary of state and to ask Robert Gates to stay on as secretary of defense. […] During […]

Obama’s Landslide in Perspective

us-politics

In the discussion on Obama’s apparent 365-173 Electoral College victory, Rodney Dill asks, “How close is this, historically? The popular vote difference seems like it was pretty big by modern standards, but usually that would result in an even more lopsided electoral vote.” It’s an interesting question. Dave Leip’s Atlas has the results for every […]

Palin Most Qualified Recent VP Nominee

us-politics

John McCain is getting some guff for his assertion on the Don Imus show that Sarah Palin is “the most qualified of anyone recently who has run for vice president to tell you the truth.”  And, no, not for the syntax but the point itself. Steve Benen is incredulous: Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman, Al Gore, […]

Obama Losing Whites, Winning the Election?

us-politics

Matt Yglesias points to a new ABC/WaPo survey showing the racial breakdown in the presidential race: Among all white voters, McCain leads Obama by 7 points, 52-45 percent; that, however, is a bit less than the average Republican advantage among whites in presidential elections. Obama makes it back with 95 percent of blacks, as well […]

Obama Lead Solidifies Going into 2nd Debate

us-politics

Barack Obama and Joe Biden continue to pull away from John McCain and Sarah Palin in the national polls, bolstered by the economic crisis and superior performances in the first two debates.  The new WSJ/NBC poll parallels recent findings: Voters were much more likely to say they felt good about Sen. Obama’s handling of the […]

Obama a Terrorist! McCain a Crook!

us-politics

We’ve reached the seemingly inevitable part of the campaign where the trailing candidates start hurling charges out of desperation and the leader responds in kind. In the closing days of 1992, President George H.W. Bush, ordinarily among the most decent, genteel fellows you’d ever meet, was running around calling Bill Clinton and Al Gore “bozos.” […]

Abolish the Vice Presidency?

us-politics

Bruce Ackerman thinks the vice presidency is an anachronism from the political era of the Framers and ought be abolished. For two centuries, presidential nominees have used the office to balance the ticket by naming a running mate from a different region, or one who speaks with a different ideological accent to a specific constituency. […]

Has Palin Out-Qualyed Quayle?

us-politics

Dan Qualye was, rather unfairly in my view, a national joke.  From very shortly after George H.W. Bush picked a rising star senator from Indiana that few outside his home state had ever heard of to be his vice presidential running mate in 1988, Quayle became the butt of late night comics, “Saturday Night Live,” […]

Experience: Obama v. Palin

Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?

Josh Marshall headlines as “Sadly Nuts” a post responding to John McCain’s retort, to questions of Sarah Palin’s qualifications to serve as president, “If they want to go down that route, in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does.” Says Josh, Set aside the bravado. Can McCain possibly believe that? […]

Obama as Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Adam Serwer laments the fact that Barack and, particularly, Michelle Obama have to humanize themselves to the electorate and fight back against an elitist caricature. [T]he Obamas are still fighting Jackie Robinson Syndrome, the reflexive double standards and often small, sometimes large, but always public humiliations that come from being the first black person to […]

McCain ‘Biden’ Ad

us-politics

Well, that didn’t take long.  The McCain campaign already has a spot out called “Biden,” highlighting newly anointed Barack Obama running mate Joe Biden quotes saying Obama lacks the experience to be president and that he’d be honored to serve with McCain. VIDEO SCRIPT ANNCR: What does Barack Obama’s running mate say about Barack Obama? […]

McCain’s POW Get Out of Jail Free Card

Get Out Of Jail Free Card

Boyd Garrett, a retired sailor and SERE school graduate has all the respect in the world for what John McCain went through at the Hanoi Hilton.  But enough is enough.  Noting Team McCain’s comical comeback to attacks on how many houses the candidate owns –“This is a guy who lived in one house for five […]