It’s kind of odd of John McCain to deny ever having said that he’s not that well informed about economics when he quite clearly has said that several times. What’s more, while the admission is damning, it at least qualified as some of the straight talk for which McCain is legendary (“I may not make a very good president, but at least I’m willing to admit that electing me would be a huge mistake”) now he’s just a guy who doesn’t know much about economics and also likes to lie about his own past confessions of ignorance.
I didn’t catch the GOP debate, but I like what NRO‘s Michael Graham is selling:
Did this debate accomplish anything, other than to remind us that Tim Russert is the most overrated journalist in television?
With Bush’s final State of the Union Address just a few days from now [pause for applause], I’m happy to share a great presentation on W’s sorry legacy. Lots of great factoids for debates with conservatives, letters to the editor, and, of course, blog posts!
With a flailing U.S. economy and skyrocketing oil prices, Exxon Mobil is “within striking distance of setting an all-time profit record – again.” The company is expected to earn $39.2 billion for 2007, “which breaks down to the company earning about $75,000 a minute.”
On his Fox News show today, John Gibson apologized for his recent comments mocking the death of actor Heath Ledger. “I’m sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive,” said Gibson. “Once again, to anyone offended by my comments, I’m sorry.” Watch it:
We appreciate Gibson’s apology and kindly suggest that he refrain from making disparaging, “anti-gay” comments in the future.
UPDATE: Gibson said the same apology on his radio show this evening, though before mentioning that his comments were “anti-gay and insensitive,” he added the words “some gay groups.”
A number of people have written to me in a very excited tone about Robert Reich’s blast in the direction of Bill and Hillary Clinton. It’s worth noting in this regard that even though Reich served in the Clinton cabinet and is an old friend of Bill’s from Oxford, it’s not really all that surprising. His memoir of his years in government is quite critical of the Clinton administration, so it’s not shocking to see that he’s not eager for a Clinton Restoration.
The main thing I would take away from the fracas is that Reich has been a from the left critic of Clintonism on economics, precisely the set of issues on which Obama’s been criticized as insufficiently right-wing. As a bonus, Reich and Paul Krugman seem to have some kind of longstanding feud, so this can serve as more grist for the mill.
It has been 2,326 days since 9/11, and the chief mastermind behind those attacks, Osama bin Laden, has not yet been captured. “If we could find the cave he is in, I promise you — he would be brought to justice or wherever he’s hiding,” President Bush tells Fox News in “George W. Bush: Fighting to the Finish,” a documentary scheduled to air Sunday night. Fox reports:
Bush says in the interview he’s confident bin Laden ultimately will be found.
“He’ll be gotten by a president,” Bush says.
And to critics who say he hasn’t done enough to find bin Laden, Bush is blunt:
“They don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says.
If bin Laden is indeed “gotten,” it looks increasingly like it will happen on another President’s watch. Bush himself has said openly that bin Laden is not a major priority for him.
In a March 2002 press conference, President Bush said, “I am deeply concerned about Iraq.” But when asked in the same press conference about bin Laden, he said, “I truly am not that concerned about him.”
In Sept. 2006, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes met with Bush in the Oval Office and came away convinced that “bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism.” Barnes said that Bush told him capturing bin Laden is “not a top priority use of American resources.”
Bush’s lack of concern appears to be infecting our allies. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said recently, “The 100,000 troops that we are using … are not going around trying to locate Osama bin Laden and Zawahri, frankly.”
A useful rundown of how Democratic delegates are allocated, superdelegates, etc., etc. from Sam Boyd. Plus bonus brokered convention speculation:
Brokered conventions (where no candidate arrives with a majority of the delegates) are predicted every four years, and every four years they don’t actually happen. However, it does seem likely this year that we’ll, at the very least, see a closer result than any since 1980 or even 1968. We might not even know who will win until the convention gets underway. Edwards could act as a kingmaker by throwing his delegates to Clinton or Obama and putting him or her over the top (his delegates would not be required to follow his instructions, but they will likely be personally loyal to him). Or, unelected superdelegates could throw the nomination to a candidate who comes in second in pledged delegates. Even if the result is known at the start of the convention, it might not be determined until June or July.
In a 60-34 vote, the Senate today defeated an initial attempt “to strip immunity for telecommunications companies” out of FISA. Democratic senators “are planning at least two more amendments seeking to remove the immunity clause. If they both fail, then Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has repeated his pledge to attempt to block a vote on the bill.” (Firedoglake and Glenn Greenwald have been following today’s debate and have more.)
UPDATE: Watch Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) remarks on the floor today here.
We’re back, looking at the state of the primaries and talking about whether the press is trying to cut the race short: