Alan Mascarenhas

Candidates and Their Guns

This year, with a reawakened conservative movement bent on returning to constitutional first principles, the campaign trail has featured more weapons than ever before.

Great Political Ad Watch: Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Murkowski sleepwalked to defeat in the Alaska Senate primary in part because she took her Tea Party–backed opponent, Joe Miller, too lightly. But the challenge of trying to win as a write-in candidate is clearly causing her to dig deep and discover her own Mama Grizzly.

Exit Rahm Emanuel, Enter Pete Rouse

It's the worst kept secret in Washington. But White House sources are now confirming that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will indeed take off to run for mayor of Chicago. He will be replaced by Pete Rouse, currently serving as a senior adviser to President Obama.

Does a Mike Castle Write-In Candidacy in Delaware Make Sense?

Earlier this week we examined Lisa Murkowski's chances as a write-in candidate for the Alaska Senate race (conclusion: it's a long shot). Now comes word that Mike Castle is toying with a similar tactic in Delaware. And it's not hard to see why: his chances look somewhat better.

Palin's Deft Touch on Race Relations

On Wednesday, Sarah Palin leaped to defend radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who used the N word 11 times when a black woman called her advice hotline last week. Shouldn't the GOP heavyweight know better?

Blago Found Guilty on One Count Only

After 14 days of deliberations, a jury in Chicago has found former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich guilty of one count of lying to federal agents. However, the six-man, six-woman jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on a whopping 23 other counts.

Straight Talk? McCain's Major Flip-Flops

In his current reelection bid, John McCain has been forced to swing sharply to keep up with his party's rightward-lunging base. Yet the Arizona senator is insisting he has not changed his positions. The Gaggle takes a closer look.

Alvin Greene's Howls of Desperation

When it comes to Alvin Greene, the Gaggle isn't sure whether to laugh, cry, or look away. The hapless Democratic candidate for South Carolina's Senate seat, who emerged from anonymity to victory in the June primary, is facing a felony charge for showing computer pornography to a college student. Now he has been filmed deflecting a foot-in-the-door interview attempt on his property.

What Took Gates So Long?

Robert Gates has long looked forward to the day when he would be relieved of his duties as secretary of defense. Gates's family has been thought to eagerly await the time that the veteran of six presidential administrations could step down. He has decided to retire finally in 2011.

The Trouble for Harry? Sharron's Up Off the Mat.

According to a poll today in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada Senate race is a mud-wrestle, with Democrat Harry Reid leading the GOP's Sharron Angle 46 percent to 44. Neither candidate is exactly endearing himself or herself to anyone.

Jury Deadlocked Over Ex-Governor Blagojevich

The Blago saga rolls on. Today, a U.S. district judge has ordered jurors in the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to resume deliberations after they reached agreement on just two of 24 counts against him, Associated Press reports.

First Lady Flies Into Firestorm After Lavish Spain Trip

Is the Obama administration tone deaf? With Gulf Coast residents reeling from the oil spill and the economy still in the doldrums (another 131,000 jobs lost in July), the visuals of Michelle Obama's summer holiday in Spain are undeniably unhelpful for Democrats.

Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Thrown Out in California

Advocates of same-sex marriage celebrated a California judge's decision to strike down the state's Proposition 8 measure, which bans such unions. But the judge stayed his decision until Friday.

Mosque Near Ground Zero Gets Green Light

New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission today voted 9–0 to green-light the construction of a multipurpose Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

China's Neighbors Move to Hedge Its Power

Brinkmanship is making for a testy summer in East Asia. In recent years, China has been building up its naval fleet, enabling it to maintain control over trade routes. Now, its activities are provoking pushback from neighbors, and attempts to contain the rising superpower appear to be entering a new phase.

The Oil Spill's Biggest Losers

The gusher is capped. The oil is dispersing. Even cable-show talking heads have moved on. So, three months since the Deep Water Horizon oil rig exploded, what's the fallout from one of the most monumental environmental disasters in history?

Australia's Elections Should Matter to Obama

Australia has long been a leading indicator for what is to come in U.S. politics. Its former prime minister John Howard, a staunch conservative who would later enthusiastically back the Iraq War, was elected five years before George W. Bush entered the White House. Then their electorates soured on them and veered left.

Elena Kagan Easily Clears Judiciary Committee

The ball is now firmly back with Senate Republicans. Having failed to demagogue Kagan to the country at large, will they attempt a filibuster, as Jeff Sessions, their ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, has threatened? Such a course appears doomed, given that Kagan has the support of Lindsey Graham, as well as all 59 Senate Democrats.

The Genocide Behind Your Smart Phone

Our biggest gadget makers—including HP and Apple—may get their raw ingredients from genocidal militias in Congo. A new movement has begun to trace rare metals to the "conflict mines" they come from, and it won its first major victory this week.

Nevada Senate Race Heats Up

In the lead-up to the Nevada Senate race, Harry Reid is making sure voters don't forget his opponent's more eccentric views.

Local Obamas Face Problems With Voters

When Barack Obama swept into office on a platform of hope and change, foreign politicians rushed to christen themselves successors to his "Yes We Can!" mantra. Now, many "local Obamas" are suffering spectacular falls.

GOP Skirmishes Over Future Direction

When your party no longer occupies the White House and represents the minority in Congress, it's probably a good thing to embrace new voices and ideas. Let a thousand flowers bloom and all that. But with most of the Capitol focused on Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, it's been a scrappy few days for Republicans nonetheless.

Can a Fetus Feel Pain? U.K. Report Says No.

Fetuses at 24 weeks or less do not feel pain and exist in a state of "sedation" even afterward, according to a new British report. The finding contradicts the case for Nebraska's first-in-the-nation law, introduced in April, which bans abortion after 20 weeks—and is likely to come as a blow to America's anti-abortion lobby.

Elena Kagan's White House Inbox

Maybe e-mails are the window into a Supreme Court nominee's soul. As U.S. solicitor general from 1995 to 1999, the Kagan's email persona was humorous, opinionated, astute, and often prescient.