Over at Slate, Fred Kaplan makes an excellent case that conservative ire over Barack Obama's visit with Hugo Chavez is misplaced. Here's the core of Kaplan's argument:
The shockwaves over the handshake might best be explained as a hangover
from the long years of George W. Bush's presidency, when dealings with
those who disliked us were expressly forbidden, out of a vague fear
that such contact might debilitate us or legitimize them.
The main point of Michael Kinsley's anti-micropayments Times op-ed--"Two bucks per reader per month is not going to save newspapers"--is well taken, and worth considering if, like me, you've previously been intrigued by the pro-micropayments argument. (Ditto for the anti-micropayments case made by Gabriel Sherman today on Slate.
When Slate chronicled the affinities between Barack Obama and Pepsi last August, those connections may have been (in author James Ledbetter's words) "largely accidental."
Not anymore. In case you missed it, Pepsi's doing its damndest to co-opt Obamania with its "Refresh Everything" campaign, which involves the uploading of video messages for the president (to a dedicated YouTube channel, natch) and participate in additional "fun experiences" still to be announced.
If you've been reading about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's recent arrest, you've probably heard he's been indicted. Slate says so; ditto the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and many, many others. (Note: some of these outlets may have backtracked by the time you read this.)
Not quite. This is a criminal complaint, not an indictment.
Slate's generally excellent Jack Shafer today offers an impassioned defense of Matt Drudge's continued importance. Among his claims:
If you could access only one home page for breaking news and chose
Washingtonpost.com or CNN.com over the Drudge Report, you'd be a
blockhead. His newswire-meets-tabloid sense of story—hysterical and
playful at the same time—links to both what you need to know and what
you want to know, and he updates more frequently than conventional
media sites do.
That's the conclusion of Politico's Roger Simon:
The real problem for McCain is that Palin is running a separate--and
scary--campaign that does not seem to be under anybody’s control.
She storms around the country saying: “Our opponent ... is someone who
sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that
he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.
This Politico piece by Jonathan Martin, who's been covering the Republicans during the presidential campaign, is an absolute must-read. First off, his description of the anger he's been seeing on the trail is chilling:
With McCain passing up the opportunity to level any tough personal
shots in his first two debates and the very real prospect of an Obama
presidency setting in, the sort of hard-core partisan activists who
turn out for campaign events are venting in unusually personal terms.
Maybe you thought Barack Obama's fake presidential seal was just a stupid gaffe, kind of like Mitt Romney's podium screw-up back in 2006. But no! It's much, much more than that. Mickey Kaus, take it away:
[T]he faux seal was a disaster not just for the reason
I gave (that it suggested Obama is "stuck up"). It also carried this
counterproductive connotation: that there is a separate Obama Nation,
grown up in opposition to Bush's nation.