In 1985, William F. Buckley, founder and editor of National Review, wrote a column defending — or, to put it more accurately, expressing — his sympathy for the Apartheid government of South Africa. Buckley wandered through a series of points that would embarrass his successors today, most notably his opinion that Nelson Mandela belongs in jail. Most interesting, Buckley argued not only that the South African government served the strategic interests of American foreign policy, and that Mandela was a dangerous radical, but that South Africa should not dismantle Apartheid:
Rand Paul is considered one of the front-runners for the GOP presidential nomination, but asked today at a speech in Detroit — Detroit is located in a relatively early presidential primary state and occasional swing state — whether he'll actually run, Paul claimed that, as of now, he will not.
"There's two votes in my family," he said. "My wife has both of them. Both of them are 'no' votes right now."
Unless there's a nuance to the Paul Family voting system that we're not grasping, it seems like giving Kelley Paul two votes is unnecessary when everyone else has zero. With such a shaky grasp on the basic tenets of democracy, and math, perhaps Rand Paul is not ready for the White House just yet anyway.
In an interview with Chris Matthews on Thursday, his first since 2008, President Obama discussed a wide range of topics, from Edward Snowden to healthcare.gov. However, when asked to "compare and contrast" Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden's presidential qualities, the president quipped "Not a chance am I going there." (5:20 below.) Obama said they'd both make "outstanding" presidents, and avoided giving any sign of which one he loves best (though we're pretty sure it's Biden). "I think Joe Biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents — ever," Obama said. "And he has been with me, at my side, in every tough decision that I've made, from going after Bin Laden to dealing with the health care issues to — you name it, he's been there."
John Boehner is teaching Republicans how to talk to women, Politico reports. “When you look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democrat caucus than there are in the Republican caucus,” the Speaker of the House observed. His solution? Sensitivity training. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.” Boehner’s top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female voters, especially the ten male Republican Representative incumbents who will face female Democratic challengers in 2014. (Quickly: Compliment her shoes, ask whether she's Team Peeta or Team Gale, promise not to legislate her ovaries.) “Let me put it this way,” a staffer who attended the session told Politico, “some of these guys have a lot to learn.”
President Obama’s second term has been under way for nearly a year now, so the time has come for a full-blown Struggle for the Soul of the Democratic Party, pitting unruly McGovernite hippies against smarmy Corporate Shill-o-crats. The conflict could be dated as far back as William Jennings Bryan, but the current outbreak seems to have begun with an op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal by Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler of Third Way, a think tank of sorts dedicated to warning Democrats away from economic populism. The op-ed, with the unsurprising headline “Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats,” argues … well, you know.
Among the various Bill Clinton doodles hacked and released to the world by the infamous Guccifer last night, the one that has somehow flown under the radar so far is the smiling man standing next to a piece of chicken and sporting an enormous boner. Who is this man, and why is he aroused by the chicken? Daily Intelligencer spent a good chunk of the past couple of hours investigating these questions.
Paul Ryan and Patty Murray, the head of the Senate Budget Committee, appear to be near a deal on the budget. It’s a very tiny deal, but still possibly too large and controversial to pass through Congress. The plan would replace a small chunk of the automatic budget cuts, or sequestration, set to take place in the next two years with a mix of more spread-out cuts and user fees, asset sales, and other sundry forms of revenue. The idea here is to replace cuts that were designed to be stupid and harmful with cuts that aren’t.
The leaders of the Republican Party were sleeping soundly in their bunker this morning when the sirens began.
"No," Speaker of the House John Boehner muttered to himself, jolting up in bed. "No, it can't be."
Boehner threw on his bathrobe and ran out into the hallway, where a murmuring crowd had already formed around today's copy of the New York Times.
"It's a quote about Obamacare from Scott Rigell, one of our congressmen in Virginia," Fox News chairman Roger Ailes announced. "Quiet down and let me read it!" The group fell silent.
She didn't win the race for mayor, but Christine Quinn did win the race for mayor among people who did not even make the ballot, so, she has that meaningless thing going for her.
Quinn topped her frenemy, Mayor Bloomberg, for first place on the Board of Election's official tally of the mayoral election's write-in votes released yesterday. As you can see above, the list of the top ten write-in vote-getters is a weird hodgepodge of failed mayoral candidates (Quinn, Anthony Weiner, George McDonald, Bill Thompson, John Liu, John Catsimatidis), Bloomberg, a retired Staten Island cop (Michael Reilly), an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist (Assata Shakur), and a guy we honestly can't even figure out (John Test). Seriously, who the hell is John Test?
This last weekend, I finally saw 12 Years a Slave. It was the most powerful movie I’ve ever seen in my life, an event so gripping and terrifying that, when I went to bed ten hours later — it was a morning matinee — I lay awake for five hours turning it over in my mind before I could fall asleep. I understand it not merely as the greatest film about slavery ever made, as it has been widely hailed, but a film more broadly about race. Its sublimated themes, as I understand them, identify the core social and political fissures that define the American racial divide to this day. To identify 12 Years a Slave as merely a story about slavery is to miss what makes race the furious and often pathological subtext of American politics in the Obama era.
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon