David A.

Stories by David A. Graham

  • What's the Matter With Ohio?

    Having spent most of my life in northeast Ohio, I can't help but scratch my head at President Obama's speech in Elyria today. Speaking at the Lorain County Community College, Obama struck a populist tone, justifying—or attempting to justify—bank bailouts to an almost certainly skeptical audience, and selling a forthcoming jobs stimulus and beleaguered health reform as policies to help the common man....
  • Hitler Finds Out About Scott Brown's Victory

    If you're still not familiar with the Downfall meme, we're a little surprised you're even on the Internet to read this. In brief: in 2004, there was a German film called Downfall, which featured a gripping and unintentionally hilarious scene in Hitler's bunker as the end of the Third Reich neared (or so we're told; we've never actually seen the original). Since then, jokers on the Web have been writing new subtitles for the scene, making it about sporting events, Sarah Palin, videogames—you name it—in the grand tradition of Mel Brooks's The Producers. Naturally, there's already one for Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts special election and its effects on health reform. For your viewing pleasure:
  • New 'Livability' Guidelines for Transit Projects: What They Do and Don't Change

    Lost in the shuffle of Haiti and the Massachusetts Senate race was an interesting development in federal transport policy. Advocates of public transportation and sustainable transportation development have had a frustrating few months, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood threw them a bone Wednesday with new guidelines for spending. In plain English, the decision-making process for large projects is no longer just about money—the cost-benefit analysis will now include intangibles that improve "livability."...
  • Obama Rolls Out First Concrete Haiti Relief Steps

    Howard Fineman wrote in this space yesterday that President Obama would feel pressured to come out with a strong response to the earthquake in Haiti as a result of both the memory of Hurricane Katrina and the racial makeup of the nation. What form would that take? Howard said we could expect to see a parade of strong statements as well as U.S. military involvement on the ground to assist in rescue efforts....
  • Hawaii School Cuts Symbolize Coming Trouble for State, Municipal Budgets

    CNN had a nice segment yesterday that puts a personal face on the coming crisis facing state and local budgets. NEWSWEEK reported on that issue last week: in a nutshell, state and local budgets get hit later than the rest of the economy, because income and property taxes don't show a dip for a while. Some analysts are worried that just as employment and economic growth begin to recover, cities and states are going to be facing massive shortfalls and very tough decisions. One of the facets of this case─unions and governments at loggerheads over how to deal with a crisis─is likely to be a major one as similar cases develop elsewhere....
  • It's Not About Obama, It's About Maintaining a Viable Opposition

    In a post this morning, Ben did a good job of capturing the gist of the conversation following the attempted Christmas Day attack: does the Obama administration deserve the blame, or did Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab slip through cracks that were beyond administration control? The administration is scrambling to deal with poorly worded responses by its own officials plus attacks from Dick Cheney in Politico to Rep. Pete Hoekstra's Twitter account. And now we've entered the backlash-to-the-backlash phase, as exemplified by an impressively detailed report in Politico that demonstrates a double standard in reaction to Barack Obama and George W. Bush's handling of similar incidents....
  • Rove Divorces, Twitter Delights

    When Karl Rove announced this morning that he and wife Darby had divorced last week after 24 years of marriage, family spokesperson (and former Bush press secretary) Dana Perino asked for the family's privacy to be respected. In a development that surprises no one, Twitter users did not oblige, with an outpouring of scornful tweets raining down on Rove, the adviser George W. Bush once nicknamed "Turd Blossom." ...
  • Obama Warned You--The Senate Can Be A Mess

    The commonly cited reason for the White House's detachment from crafting health legislation has been the 1994 debacle: President Obama and his advisers have seen what happens when the White House overreaches onto senators' turf. But maybe another reason is that the president knows from experience what a messy place the Senate can be....
  • College Students Hit by High-Interest Loans

    College degrees are supposed to last a lifetime, but should tuition loan payments? How some schools got away with charging interest rates of up to 18 percent.
  • John Thune: Probably Not the Next Big Thing

    Perhaps as an antidote to Sarah Palin's media domination over the last two weeks, frequent Palin critic David Brooks offered on Thursday a different presidential contender for 2012: South Dakota Sen. John Thune. And Tuesday, Washington Post political guru Chris Cillizza picked up the tune. "For months—if not years—the Republican/conservative smart set has been looking for a fresh face on which to hang their hopes and dreams," Cillizza wrote. South Dakota Sen. John Thune may be that person."...
  • Conservative Media on Fort Hood Shooting

    A look at the conservative media this morning shows a variety of approaches to the Fort Hood shooting. While most commentators are interested in addressing the question of Islamic terror, and particularly homegrown Islamism, there's clearly a concern in many quarters to avoid generalizations or overstatements--although others, like Michelle Malkin, have decided to go full-speed ahead. But that caution has not prevented sharp criticism of mainstream media reporting or of President Barack Obama's response to the incident....
  • More RNC Internet Follies: Racist Images on Fan Photo Page

    With that sideshow going on, perhaps the RNC has forgotten to keep an eye on their Facebook page, where "fans"─members of the Facebook group─can upload their own images. It's hard to put words to just how appalling the above picture, which appears to have been removed in the last hour or so, is: the idea that miscegenation is an anti-American crime, combined with the racist meme of President Barack Obama eating fried chicken and reference to Loving v. Virginia─the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down laws banning interracial marriage─is pretty stunning. The image was posted Tuesday, coinciding with news out of Louisiana that a justice of the peace was refusing to wed a white woman and a black man; Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu were quick to condemn the judge, while critics have pilloried Republican Sen. David Vitter for his tardy and tepid criticism. This isn't, of course, an isolated incident. E-mail has been a recurrin...
  • Why NY-23 Is More Important Than N.J. and Va. Governor Races

    Republicans are rubbing their hands in glee—and Democrats wringing theirs—at the struggles of Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia. Both of these governor's seats carry great power and would be impressive coups for the GOP, but from a national level, they're really most important for citizens of New Jersey and Virginia. The race the nation should be watching is a special election in upstate New York. ...
  • Oslo Declares Preemptive Peace: Five Presidents Who Flamed Out After Strong Starts

    Regardless of whether you support the Nobel committee's award to President Barack Obama, his selection represents a huge gamble. All they can do in Oslo is hope that the rest of Obama's term—and career after leaving office—rises to the standard they believe merited the prize. Obama's track record is only 263 days long! Besides, there are plenty of presidents in American history who looked golden in their first year only to flame out. Obama could wind up looking like any of these men:...
  • Are There John McCain Birthers, Too?

    Yesterday, Public Policy Polling released results of a poll showing that 42 percent of Republicans nationwide do not believe Barack Obama was born in the United States. This sort of statistic has become old news by now. Despite overwhelming evidence that the president was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen, a core of Americans remain convinced he was born overseas....
  • Gay-Porn Mogul Hopes to Arouse Interest in Israel

    Barack Obama's administration has introduced a harsher line toward Israel than those of his recent predecessors, more Americans favor a two-state solution, and a U.N. panel has found evidence of war crimes in Israel's Gaza offensive last winter. The country could really use some positive attention, says filmmaker Michael Lucas....
  • Another Blockbuster Bush Tell-All

    In an article in this month’s issue of GQ, ex-presidential speechwriter Matt Latimer becomes the latest former George W. Bush aide to publish embarrassing revelations about life in the Bush White House. Some of those who have kissed and told ranked higher than Latimer, but he is the first to illuminate what was going on in the Oval Office during the financial crisis. The juiciest material comes when he dishes on what Bush thought of John McCain’s presidential run (“a five-spiral crash”), Barack Obama ("This is a dangerous world and this cat isn’t remotely qualified to handle it"), and Sarah Palin (“What is she, the governor of Guam?”)....
  • Gaffe by Tweet: Top 10 Social-Media Slip-Ups

    Sooner or later, anything trendy makes its way to the world of politics. This year, it's been the advent of the microblog. Hundreds of politicians have flocked to the microblogging services like Facebook and Twitter over the past few months, heralding it's ability to help them keep in touch with folks back home. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger even dropped by Twitter's headquarters last month to praise it for the services the site offers politicians to communicate with constituents. But for every pol that's mastered the art of the status update, others (including Schwarzenegger) have watched it backfire, earning them far more unflattering press than they bargained for. We bring you the 10 biggest social-media gaffes we’ve seen from politicos this year—at least so far....