The Nation

June 7, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

It is suggested by some of her more ardent advocates that Hillary Clinton should merely suspend, rather than formally finish, her presidential campaign. Then she could retain the option of having her name put in nomination at this summer's Democratic National Convention, seek a roll call of the states and record a historic number of votes for a woman.

If that happens, Obama will still be nominated for president. Indeed, after the recording of show of support for Clinton, the Obama selection would likely be approved by acclamation.

The point of counting the Clinton votes at the convention would not be to stop, or even embarrass, Obama. It would be to note the political progress made by women competing in the presidential arena.

John Nichols
June 6, 2008
Christopher Hayes


Addressing AIPAC the other day, Barack Obama began with a joke about the emails have circulated, particularly in Jewish social circles that claim Obama is some kind of secret Muslim.

Before I begin, I want to say that I know some provocative emails have been circulating throughout Jewish communities across the country. A few of you may have gotten them. They're filled with tall tales and dire warnings about a certain candidate for President. And all I want to say is - let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama, because he sounds pretty frightening.

June 6, 2008
Christopher Hayes

J Street reader PS emails a link to the RNC's new oppo site on Obama called "Meet Barack Obama." (You can Google it. I'm not gonna dignify it with a link.) He notes their description of Obama's job on the south side of Chicago as a young man is not "community organizer" as the job is commonly known, but rather "street organizer."

Nice. Frankly, in order to elicit the maximum degree of racial stereotyping I would have gone with "ghetto operative" or "slum captain" but I suppose that would have been too obvious.

UPDATE: Instaputz among others points to this Times article as reason not to get too worked up over "street organizer":

June 6, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel

In December, I wroteabout Robert Greenwald's attempt to mobilize outrage against GildedAge-like inequality and the hedge-funders with his War on Greedseries of short films. Now, another creative effort is being led by theService Employees International Union, with July 17 protests scheduled in 100 cities in twenty-five countries.

Stephen Lerner, the director of the SEIU's private equity project, toldthe New York Times, "We think the buyout industry and the way it operates are systematicof what's wrong in this economy. We want to make them responsiblecorporate citizens."

The SEIU is focused on the Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts,and how they game the systemto take over companies with little of their own money, lay off workers,reap the profits when they resell, and pay a lower tax rate than theirown secretaries do.

June 6, 2008

Be depressed. Be very depressed. You thought that cyberspace -- a term conjured up long ago by that neuromancer, sci-fi author William Gibson--was the last frontier of freedom. Well, think again. If the U.S. Air Force has anything to say about it, cyber-freedom will, in the not so distant future, be just another word for domination.

Air Force officials, despite a year-long air surge in Iraq, undoubtedly worry that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's "next wars"--two, three, many Afghanistans--won't have much room for air glory. (And headlines like yesterday's "Pentagon cans Air Force leadership" can't be doing much for service morale.) Recently, looking for new realms to bomb, the Air Force launched itself into cyberspace. It has now set up its own Cyber Command, redefined the Internet as just more "air space" fit for "cyber-craft," and launched its own Bush-style preemptive strike on the other military services for budgetary control of the same.

If that's not enough for you, it's also proposing a massive $30 billion cyberspace boondoggle--as retired Air Force Lt. Col. William Astore writes in "Attention Geeks and Hackers, Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You!"--that will, theoretically, provide the Air Force with the ability to fry any computer on Earth. And don't think the other services are likely to take this lying down. Expect cyberwar in the Pentagon before this is all over. In the meantime, think of cyberspace, in military terms, as a new realm for nuclear-style strategy, with its own developing version of "first-strike capability," its own future versions of "mutually assured destruction," its own "windows of vulnerability" to be closed (while exploiting those of the enemy), and undoubtedly its own "cyber-gaps."

The Notion
June 6, 2008
Christopher Hayes

Ready for some Straight Talk TM ?

Asked whether the views Mr. Holtz-Eakin imputed to Mr. McCain were inaccurate, Mr. Bounds did not repudiate the statement. But late Thursday Mr. Bounds called and said, "to the extent that the comments of members of our staff are misinterpreted, they shouldn't be read into as anything otherwise."


June 5, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met in private Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, made the symbolically significant move of going to Clinton -- who had requested the meeting. In so doing, he displaying levels of respect and graciousness that are likely to serve his November candidacy well.

The meeting, which came after an Obama rally in Virginia, signals more formally than anything Clinton or her backers will declare in days to come that her run for the Democratic nomination is done. It followed a day in which the senator from New York warmed up to her new role as an Obama supporter – backing off some of the more challenging stances she had taken since a Tuesday night "concession" speech that included no concession.

John Nichols
June 5, 2008
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

Ever since President Bush announced last fall that the United States would seek to negotiate a lasting security agreement with Iraq, the Democrats in Washington have insisted that any such accord would be a treaty and, therefore, ought to be submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

But it's starting look more and more like the proposed treaty won't ever see the light of day. Why? Because the Iraqis themselves don't want it.

At an extraordinary hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, members of the Iraqi parliament hand-delivered a letter to members of Congress that rejected the idea of a US-Iraq agreement unless the United States agrees to a specific timetable to get out of Iraq. The letter was signed by a majority of the 270-member parliament, reflecting a broad consensus among Iraqi factions. Said the letter:

Bob Dreyfuss
June 5, 2008
Christopher Hayes

This is the most thorough run-down I've seen of how Obama won the race. The turning point was the week after Super Tuesday:

On Wednesday, February 6, the race for the Democratic nomination was virtually tied. With more than half the pledged delegates spoken for, Barack Obama led Hillary Clinton by about thirty. In the next seven days, Obama would turn his slight lead into an insurmountable one.

On the weekend after Super Tuesday, Maine, Nebraska, Washington State, and the Virgin Islands held caucuses to award a combined 129 delegates. (Louisiana, in which Obama was heavily favored, allocated its fifty-six delegates in a primary that Saturday .)