David A. Graham

The Conservative Backlash Against Rand Paul

On a rough night for conservatives, Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Senate primary was a rare bright spot. The opthalmologist and son of Rep. Ron Paul is one of the highest profile wins yet for the Tea Party, a constituency he trumpeted last night: "I have a message from the Tea Party.

Mark Souder's Loss Is Richard Blumenthal's Gain

With two big scandals battling it out today, who's the biggest loser in today's news cycle? In one corner, there's Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut attorney general and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, who was revealed to have been exaggerating (at best) his military service record.

Indiana Rep. Souder to Resign Due to Affair

Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, will resign this morning in Ft. Wayne, effective Friday, because of an affair with a female staffer. According to Politico, Souder told House Minority Leader John Boehner of the affair on Sunday.

Specter Switches Stories on Why He Switched Parties

"My change in party will enable me to be re-elected." —Arlen Specter, April 2009 "Look here, I had a clear shot at re-election. If I had stayed with the obstructionist Republican caucus, I would have been re-elected easily, especially in an out year when the party out of power is favored." —Arlen Specter, May 16, 2009 As fellow Gaggler Howard Fineman has pointed out, Sen.

Wave of Violence Sweeps Bangkok: Dissident General Is Shot

It was another bloody day in violence-stricken Thailand Thursday night, as a dissident general was shot in the head. Clashes between antigovernment protesters, who have taken red shirts as their symbol, and pro-government forces, clad in yellow, have been ongoing for months.

How to Make an Obama Bush Scandal

Everything that happens during Obama's presidency seems to get termed his 'Katrina' or some other, usually inapt analogy. We explain the different approaches to naming an Obama Bush scandal, and how they might be applied in the future.

Surprise! 2009 Tax Bill Lowest in Nearly 60 Years

Democratic leaders will no doubt be glad to see this report in this morning's USA Today. The paper ran the numbers, and by their calculations, Americans haven't seen such a low bill from the tax man since 1950.

Orrin Hatch's VAT Straw Man

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) takes on the tax system in a Politico op-ed published Friday. A lot of what Hatch says is likely to resonate on both sides of the aisle: he's concerned that large tax increases could trip up the fragile but improving economy, and he argues that federal tax code is simply far too complicated.

As Oil Hits Gulf Shore, White House Moves to Dampen Political Danger

  Oil from the sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico hit the Louisiana shore last night, earlier than had been expected. Emergency workers are working at fever pitch to mitigate the dangers from the spill. Fishermen are also trying to harvest as many shrimp and other seafood as they can before the oil reaches them, the Associated Press reports.

Unions, Activists Convene March on Wall Street

One day after Republicans agreed to allow debate on financial regulatory reform—and two days after Goldman Sachs executives were pilloried on the Hill—protesters will try to bring their fight to New York this afternoon.

New Attention Being Paid to Bank of North Dakota

As Washington tries to regulate Wall Street's newfangled derivatives, government officials in at least a dozen states are mulling a more old-school response to the financial crisis: 100 percent state-run banks.

What Obama's Cooper Union Audience Says About Financial Regulation

There's a sense that political momentum has shifted in favor of financial reform. For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed off earlier statements he made about starting over from scratch, and a derivatives-regulation measure even won the vote of one Republican, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, in committee yesterday.

Flights Resume From European Airports

After days of paralysis, European airlines are back up and flying today. But although that news will hearten travelers who have spent days sleeping in concourses, experts warn that it will take weeks for the situation to get back to normal and all flights to be running on time.

Kal Penn, Actor and Obama Administration Official, Mugged in D.C.

He escaped angry New Jersey cops and Guantánamo Bay, but Kal Penn was no match for the nation's capital. Gossip site TMZ reports that the actor-turned-political operative was mugged last night walking home in Washington, D.C. A robber apparently took Penn's "wallet and other personal property" at gunpoint around 1:20 a.m.

Gates Memo: Reaction Roundup

A hot New York Times scoop on U.S. policy has dispelled much of the warm, fuzzy feeling brought on by last week's nuclear summit in Washington. The paper reported Sunday on the existence of a memo that Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote in January, stating that government simply doesn't have a viable long-term plan for dealing with Iran's nuclear program.

Arizona's Aggressive Stand on Immigration

With immigration reform stalled in Washington, states have taken to passing their own border-related laws. But few have been as strict as the one OK'd last week by Arizona's state Senate.

Icelandic Volcano Creates Headaches for British Travelers

If London's foggy weather or striking pilots don't delay your flight in Britain, there's always a chance that volcanic explosions will. The big news in British media today is that airports across the U.K.—as well as several Scandinavian countries and Ireland—have been shut down until at least Friday morning due to an eruption in Iceland.

John Paul Stevens's Legacy in Five Cases

It's a funny thing about Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced today he's stepping down. Despite serving on the court for 35 years—that's 12 years longer than this Gaggler's even been alive—many observers agree that he came into his jurisprudential own in the last 10 to 15 years. A few key decisions are likely to be remembered as his most important ones.

Obama Sasses Palin on Nuclear Policy

The best place for red meat this week is New Orleans, where leading conservatives are meeting at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and taking their best shots at President Obama.