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Archive for February, 2007

McCain Limps In

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

OK, so John McCain has made it official, using the David Letterman show to announce his formal run for the presidency. Cute. McCain is clearly trying to recapture some of that free-wheelin’, I’m-a-fun-guy sort of aura that used to surround him before he became the grim grump of the lastyear or so. His announcement comes […]

Back to the Border

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

One issue that has languished so far in the early days of the Democratic Congress is comprehensive immigration reform. And the clock is ticking loudly. Reform advocates agree that if anything is to actually be achieved, it’s going to have to be during this calendar year — before everything grinds to a halt for the […]

Cryin’ Time Again

Monday, February 26th, 2007

This year is shaping up to be a rough  one for the twenty-something generation. First and foremost for those young U.S. soldiers in Iraq who are going to continue to be rotated in and out of country as perpetual moving targets. And also for all those innocent young things who, having been 10 or 12 […]

Obama-Rama

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I haven’t yet formed much of an opinion about Barack Obama though he starts out with me with one point in his favor: at least he’s not Hillary Clinton. It might be a cliche, but nevertheless true — I just don’t know enough about him. Better said, he hasn’t quite revealed who he might be. […]

Table Talk

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

When I’m not out reporting on politics, I’m usally writing about  some of those much more important aspects of life. So here’s my piece in this Sunday’s Los Angeles Times on how you can tell a good Blackjack table from a really bad one. And what to do after you find it. :)

Cuba Boots Reporters

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Hopes that baby brother Raul Castro might open the door to reform while sitting in for Fidel were dampened this week when the Cuban government ousted three foreign correspondents. Like any other dictatorship, the Cuban regime doesn’t well tolerate criticism.  In this case it deemed the reporting of correspondents from a Mexican daily, the BBC […]

Democratic Debate — The Wrap-Up

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Carson City, Nevada The line of the day at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential candidate forum came from former Senator John Edwards. When asked if he was afraid that voters would suffer “election fatigue” given that this first debate was taking place more than 600 days before the actual November 2008 balloting, Edwards responded: “I’ll tell you […]

Democratic Debate — Live Blogging 11:45 a.m.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

With 15 minutes to go before the forum begins, I find out this bit of news. Apparently, not even the event organizers – the AFSCME union– takes the coming speeches by the candidates very seriously. They’ve set up the format in an odd way. After each candidate appears, solo, on stage to be asked a […]

Democratic Debate –Live Blogging 9:45 a.m.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Carson City, Nevada Just two hours short of the first candidates’ forum of the ’08 season, I wouldn’t exactly call the atmosphere here electrifying. Like most aspects of American politics, these sort of things are staged primarily for television and are rather pre-programmed and pre-packaged. Just in case you didn’t know, we media types are […]

Anna Nicole Leads Democratic Pack

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Carson City, Nevada  Judging by Tuesday’s news cycle, Anna Nicole Smith is out in front of the entire Democratic pack. she’s certainly getting more camera time. This first real public debate of Democratic presidential candidates takes place here mid-day on Wednesday but who could guess it. I’ve got a brief curtain-raiser posted over at The […]

Idi And Me

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Saw the The Last King of Scotland last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The flick en toto never quite lives up to the towering performance delivered by Forest Whitaker. He animates an Idi Amin at once a jovial, charismatic, teddy bear and a blood-thirsty and paranoic tyrant. Both Whitaker and director Kevin Macdonald vividly communicate […]

Had Enough?

Friday, February 16th, 2007

I have. I’m pretty much taking today off. So I will be very brief: Sometime Friday the House, after three days of verbal flatulence, will pass the non-binding anti-surge resolution. Now it looks like the Senate might follow suit on Saturday. Monday is a holiday. Tuesday the war will continue unabated. What will Democrats do […]

Slow Bleed

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I couldn’t take any more of the hot air debate in the House and studiously avoided it all day Wednesday. The more it goes on, the less I feel invested in the coming, final vote. The non-binding disagree-with-the-surge resolution seems ever more limp and irrelevant. Once it passes, I suppose the good news will be […]

I’m Not Al Franken

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

So now we know what we’ve known for the last year. Al Franken will be running for the Minnesota senate seat in ’08. The horrible Norm Coleman is his incumbent opponent so, from this safe distance, I’m pretty much for anybody against him. Including Franken. But I’m hardly going to get carried away as much […]

True Lies

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I tuned in and out of the marathon House hooey debate on Iraq Tuesday. The Republicans mightily tried to change the subject away from The Surge. Here are The Three Most Outrageous Arguments deployed by supporters of the war policy. #3 Most Outrageous: “Reinforcements” Don’ t you love this one? By referring to the 21,500 […]

Hell On ICE

Monday, February 12th, 2007

We jail 3-year olds, don’t we? The Houston Chronicle stirred up a dung storm when it revealed last week that  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a policy of jailing children of parents who face deportation hearings. Here’s the lede from the original story that blew the cover off the Taylor, Texas hellhole known […]

Full Circle

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

If nothing else, you have to express a certain grim respect for the unbridled bellicosity of this administration. After every argument put forward for the war in Iraq has collapsed, we’re now back to where we started — but this time regarding Iran. That drumbeat we’re hearing sure sounds familiar. Any moment now Condi will […]

On Thin I.C.E.

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Here is my just published cover story on the recent massive immigration raids on the meatpacking industry:   Greeley, Colorado– On the northern edge of this frozen-over city of 90,000 halfway between Denver and Cheyenne, Swift & Co.’s beef processing plant squats like a windowless concrete bunker alongside the snow-covered railroad tracks. The winter air […]

Brief Pause

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Out on assignment, Back in a day or so.

Senatorial Sinksmanship

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Did you catch of any Monday’s C-SPAN’s coverage of the non-debate over the non-debate over Iraq? I forced myself to watch about a half-hour of it as I was getting ready to teach one of my USC classes. It was everything I could do to keep from gagging. Mitch McConnell has to be one of […]