Archive of Articles for July, 2008

Defining "Post-Partisan"

[ Posted Thursday, July 17th, 2008 – 15:09 UTC ]

What exactly does Barack Obama mean when he calls himself a "post-partisan" politician? What, indeed does "post-partisan" mean? The answer to such a basic question seems obvious, but then again maybe not, since people all across the political spectrum seem to be misunderstanding the term itself.

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War Is Over (If Maliki Wants It)

[ Posted Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 – 15:35 UTC ]

You might have missed it, because there has been an astonishing lack of interest in this story in both the mainstream media and (surprisingly) the liberal blogosphere, but America's military involvement in Iraq may soon and irrevocably be drawing to a close. With timetables for withdrawal and everything!

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Excerpts From Barack Obama's Iraq Speech

[ Posted Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 – 16:00 UTC ]

[I'm not normally this lazy, but today I think I will sit back and let the presumptive Democratic nominee for president speak. Barack Obama was roundly castigated by the media last week for a non-story (because he said he might "refine" his Iraq policy). This seemed to fit into the media narrative of "Barack's a flip-flopper," which they had been pushing hard. But anyone who has listened to what Obama actually has said during the campaign about Iraq was surely scratching their head, since his recent remarks were pretty much what he's been saying all along. Since the media went into overdrive on this non-issue, Barack has been fighting back. And, as I discussed yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has given Obama a huge opening by demanding a timetable for American troops to leave Iraq. Obama has been taking advantage of this opportunity, first by penning an op-ed article in yesterday's New York Times, and today by giving a speech on foreign policy. While this was a wide-ranging speech which addressed more than just Iraq, I think it is worth excerpting Obama's strong commitment to ending the Iraq war, in case anyone's been listening to too much mainstream media in the past week or so. Without further ado, here is Barack Obama on Iraq (if you're interested, you should read the full text of his speech).]

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Obama Frames Iraq Right, Bush And McCain Slow To React

[ Posted Monday, July 14th, 2008 – 16:35 UTC ]

There were two news reports over the weekend about Iraq that George Bush wasn't prepared for, and both the White House and John McCain have been slow to address them. This opens up a window of opportunity for Barack Obama, one that he has already begun to take advantage of. But he needs to do so more succinctly and more forcefully in the next few days, before the Republicans regroup and try to frame it in their own terms.

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Friday Talking Points [38] -- Whiners And Cheeseheads

[ Posted Friday, July 11th, 2008 – 16:46 UTC ]

While plenty has happened in the past two weeks which bears close and careful analysis, I'd like to begin by focusing on one event. Barack Obama announced a masterstroke of political tactics last week, and I don't think everyone has appreciated fully what it is going to mean. I say this not as an "Obamamaniac," or as some starry-eyed follower who has been caught up in his "personality cult," but rather as a political observer (with an admitted left-wing bias) applauding a Democratic candidate on a monumentally brilliant decision.

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Predictions For 2008

[ Posted Thursday, July 10th, 2008 – 14:00 UTC ]

So, to be fair, I am running a "halfway mark" check on my 2008 predictions. I wrote this column in mid-December last year. My record is not that good, I have to admit. Although the one about Iraq and the elections has so far turned out uncannily accurate, I have to say. But many of these I just got flat-out wrong. I predicted an extended primary campaign... for the wrong party. I predicted all kinds of wild things which just didn't happen. But, for your amusement, I am running the column in full, complete with my own personal self-grading. (You may want to read the column first, and then come back to this list to see how I marked it.)

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The Day After We Bomb Iran

[ Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 – 14:00 UTC ]

[This column is as appropriate today as when I wrote it. The only thing that needs changing is what is considered "astronomical" for a barrel of oil. Analysts are now predicting $200 or $300 a barrel (or even higher) were America or Israel to attack Iran. But I think that all the other points are still as valid now as when I originally wrote this last fall.]

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My 2008 Election Picks

[ Posted Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 – 14:00 UTC ]

So here is how the 2008 election looked, to me, a year and a half ago. I concentrated mostly on the Senate, and if I were dividing up the races today, obviously I would switch some of these states from one category to another. But I think my final prediction of 57 Democrats (55 Democrats plus two independents who vote with them) to 43 Republicans is still among the most likely outcomes this year. I could be off by one or two, but I bet not much more than that.

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So Is Torturing A Daughter OK?

[ Posted Monday, July 7th, 2008 – 15:06 UTC ]

Think about that for a moment -- a former Justice Department legal counsel couldn't answer whether the President of the United States of America could legally order a prisoner buried alive. These were the people who were responsible for drawing the lines on what was (in their opinion) legally allowable, and what wasn't, and they can't even publicly state whether the president ordering someone buried alive is legal or not.

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Program Note

[ Posted Monday, July 7th, 2008 – 14:38 UTC ]

Program Note:
I will be taking a semi-vacation this week (I've got to get caught up on some behind-the-scenes stuff here at, and will be running older columns until Thursday. I will not be posting them to the Huffington Post, so the only place you'll be able to see them is here.
The good news [...]

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