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  • Palin-Backed Candidate Falls in Idaho Primary

    Last night, almost no one in Idaho was happier than the supporters of a state representative named Raul Labrador. That's because Labrador managed to come from behind to defeat Vaughn Ward 48 percent to 39 percent in the First District's Republican House primary, even though Ward, a former Nevada state director for John McCain '08, had outraised Labrador nine-to-one ($1.5 million to $173,000) as a top-tier member of the GOP's "Young Guns" program—and had received Sarah Palin's coveted endorsement as a result.
  • 'English-Only' Measures More and More Popular

    Immigration reform has receded—at least temporarily—in Washington. But a historically fraught question is primed to return when legislators again pick up the matter: should English be America’s official language? About 30 states already have English-only laws requiring them to conduct official business in the mother tongue, with some exceptions. Most of these laws passed during prior bouts of border anxiety: in the mid-’80s (when 3 million illegal immigrants got amnesty) and the mid-’90s (when the GOP gained control of the House).
  • Obama Picks Kagan, Sets Up for Smooth Confirmation

    As the White House prepares to introduce its Supreme Court nominee tomorrow, NBC News reports that Obama has chosen Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general. Speculation had centered on Kagan since John Paul Stevens announced in April that he’d be leaving the Court next month, primarily because of Kagan’s clean legal record and personal ties to Obama as both a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and as dean of Harvard Law. She was also appointed by Obama last year to be the country’s top advocate in court, suggesting a clear vote of confidence in her experience....
  • Absurdly Premature Watch, Vol. 15: Sarah Palin, Still a Politician

    News flash! Sarah Palin has endorsed Carly Fiorina in Carlyfornia's California's Republican Senate primary race, and her Tea Party supporters, who tend to side with Fiorina's more conservative rival, Chuck DeVore, are not at all pleased with the decision. As Politico's Andy Barr reports: Palin’s Facebook page is littered with comments opposing her endorsement of Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. “The only REAL CONSERVATIVE is Chuck DeVore. Fiorina is a RINO [Republican in name only] and wedon't need any more of those in [California],” one irate commenterwrote. “Why wouldn't you back Chuck DeVore???” “Sorry Sarah but I think Chuck DeVore is the conservative candidate youshould be supporting,” added another, who was followed up by a DeVoresupporter who wrote: “I don't agree with this endorsement AT ALL! Whatare you thinking Sarah?” Hate to say I told you so guys, but, well, I told you so. For anyone who's been paying attention to...
  • New Conservative Groups Focus on Messaging, but What Message?

    Politico has a fascinating, informative piece about "Bush's Brain," Karl Rove, and former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, who are putting together a series of activist organizations to rival the galvanizing effect that they believe the Democracy Alliance has had on Democrats. But although the piece thoroughly describes the groups' fundraising and political strategies, it does not explain—and this is not a criticism of the piece, which simply was not about this—what the actual policy goals are. ...
  • Gulf Oil Spill: Containment Dome Drops; New Orleanians Stock Up on Seafood

    At last, it's here: after more than two weeks of waiting, the eerie pinkish-orange foam mixture of seawater and crude oil that has been creeping ominously closer to has now begun to wash ashore the barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana. It lapped up Thursday onto the Chandeleur Islands and New Harbor Island, both national wildlife refuges, and has now also been spotted at Freemason Island. The gooey substance apparently looks like soggy cornflakes, probably due to the dispersant chemicals intended to break up the oil before it hit land, which is itself highly toxic. Wired says a better product could have been used. Big rusty streaks and hundreds of dead jellyfish are floating west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, where Louisiana officials have now barred shrimping.Further out to sea, a massive dome began its descent into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday night to cap the gushing oil leak. The giant 100-ton concrete and steel box has to be lowered about 5,000 feet below...
  • Thank you, Goldman Sachs

    Call it the Goldman effect. For whatever reason, it looks as if the Senate is holding firm, for the moment, on tough new regulations on Wall Street. The Street's lobbyists are no longer getting the traction they once did in congressional corridors paved with millions of lobbying dollars. While Senate banking committee chairman Chris Dodd had to throw out a provision mandating a $50 billion corporate-funded rainy-day fund that the ranking Republican, Richard Shelby, described as a "honey pot," other new restrictions remain as the overall financial-reform bill heads to a floor vote. Among them: a new rule inspired by the SEC charge that Goldman Sachs created a "synthetic CDO" designed to fail with secret advice from the short-selling maestro, John Paulson. The new rule gives the SEC and Commodity Futures Trade Commission discretion to ban swap transactions that look like mere gaming bets on whether deals—or countries—will fail, preserving the swap function for...
  • Newsverse: Rules to Live By

    By Jerry AdlerBeware of brokers bearing bonds Who only seek to game us. Don't get caught with sexy blondes If married, rich, and famous.   If you hear ticking, move your a-- Get far away and stay low. Don't hang around if you smell gas On an oil rig or volcano.   If you're a bird, I hope you've heard About your beach vacation. The gulf is like a giant turd Cancel that migration!   Hew the straight and narrow path And you'll stay out of trouble. Except for gum, or in a bath Don't get caught in a bubble.   Build your house up high beyond Where rivers flood when storming. Don't swim naked in a pond In case of global warming.  Don't eat too many sour quinces They're awful for your liver. And don't put all your faith in princes They'll sell you down the river.  
  • Why the Media Ignored the Nashville Flood

    As you may have heard, torrential downpours in the southeast flooded the Tennessee capital of Nashville over the weekend, lifting the Cumberland River 13 feet above flood stage, causing an estimated $1 billion in damage, and killing more than 30 people. It could wind up being one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history....
  • Economic Troubles May Have Driven Shahzad to Terror

    Five days after the attempted car bombing in New York City's Times Square, new details have emerged about the alleged attacker's troubled financial life, as well as the government's slow response in tracking him. According to The New York Times, Faisal Shahzad hit a rough patch during the recession. JPMorgan Chase foreclosed last summer on the Shelton, Conn., house he shared with his Colorado-born wife and their two children, while the Los Angeles Times reports that the couple tried to sell broken furniture and used clothes for extra cash. Several media outlets from ABC News to the Times make the intellectual leap that these economic troubles fueled Shahzad's radicalization and his anger toward the U.S. His financial problems prompted him to spend several months in Pakistan, including Peshawar and Waziristan, two areas known for their strong Taliban presence. ...
  • Letters: May 3, 2010

    ‘Cross Of Gold’ When bankers become bookies, it’s past time to crucify them—whatever the cross may be. Charles R. Smith Ft. Collins, Colorado
  • Why the Phoenix Suns Oppose Arizona's Immigration Law

    The Phoenix Suns announced that they will be wearing jerseys saying "Los Suns" in Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference Semifinals game. (Should it be "Los Soles"? Maybe this is a regional Spanglishism.) Nominally in honor of Cinco de Mayo, it is openly a slap at their home state's draconian new immigration law. The NBA and their opponents (the San Antonio Spurs) are also on board. As Matthew Yglesias notes, Steve Nash, the Suns' best player, and several Spurs stars are immigrants, so that shouldn't be a total surprise. But the pro-immigration stance of otherwise apolitical businesses reflects a key divide in the immigration debate. Among native-born non-Latinos, the divide is not so much Democrat versus Republican as elite versus the masses, much like free trade. Elite, global corporations, such as the NBA, appreciate the importance of open markets and open borders. They see the economic benefits of being able to bring a Steve Nash to the U.S. As...
  • Quote of the Day: John Thune

    "Because he immerses himself in that and understands it so well—the positions he adopts may not always be the ones that everyone else in our conference comes to." —Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who probably didn't intend this comment about Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to come out quite this way. (h/t Ben Smith)
  • Right Wing: NEWSWEEK's Guide to Conservative Talking Points on the Oil Spill

     The headline of a recent National Review Online editorial tells it simply: “Yes, Keep Drilling.” Why? Here is a rundown of some conservative talking points on why Americans might want to drop the "drill, baby, drill" motto—it doesn't sound so good now—but should drill on anyway.Oil remains our most cost-effective source of transportation fuel. "Others already have observed, correctly, that the risks involved in drilling off the coast of the United States are small in proportion to those involved in shipping oil across the ocean or drilling off the coasts of countries that do not treat safety and environmental standards with our own degree of care," write the National Review editors.Alternatives proposed by environmentalists may be just as costly, if not more, than the BP cleanup. "Consider the cost of cap-and-trade legislation, for instance. It's hard to know what the economic damages of this spill will be, but even if they exceed the estimated $7...
  • The Tea Party Is Now Irrelevant in Indiana

     Even though most nonpoliticos probably blinked and missed it—and by "blinked" I mean "watched the American Idol contestants butcher the music of Frank Sinatra"—last night just so happened to be the first Super Tuesday of the 2010 election season. The primary battles in North Carolina and Ohio ended rather predictably, with Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher winning the Democratic Senate nod in the Buckeye State and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall topping rival Cal Cunningham in North Carolina's complimentary contest. But that was OK, because no one was really interested in those races anyway. The marquee show was in Indiana, where a three-way Senate battle between the establishment pick, former GOP senator Dan Coats, and a pair of Tea Party-flavored rivals, former representative John Hoestetler and State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, promised to reveal where the Republican Party was now, and where it was going (or something like that). So what happened?A cursory search of...
  • Dopey Terrorists?

    The coverage of the Times Square terrorist attempt can't state the obvious because the public would misinterpret it—namely that there's good news in this story and it goes beyond the vigilance and competence of the American authorities....