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PostPartisan: May 16, 2010 - May 22, 2010

The job failed more than DNI Blair did

There will be many postmortems as to why Dennis Blair had to resign as director of national intelligence. Many will point to this or that failure on Blair’s part. But the truth is: The job he held turns out...

By E.J. Dionne  | May 21, 2010; 6:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Lead in D.C.'s tap water -- another Bush-era legacy?

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), apparently, has spent a good portion of the 2000s pumping its customers full of lead -- and others, it seems, spent an equally good portion of the decade trying to cover that...

By vanden Heuvel  | May 21, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
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Rand Paul bites Meet the Press

Would-be Senator Rand Paul (R-Deep Hole) just bailed on this Sunday's Meet the Press. We should have seen it coming after that disaster of an interview with George Stephanopolous this morning. But the Republican nominee for Senate from Kentucky...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 21, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
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The Democrats killed the bipartisan Wyden-Bennett bill

In today’s Post, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) cites the defeat of his partner in the Wyden-Bennett health-care bill, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), in an appeal for greater bipartisanship in Washington. Wyden notes that their bill “had some pretty good...

By Marc Thiessen  | May 21, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Rand Paul's bout with reality

Even though he's dead wrong, I've got to admire Rand Paul for standing by his strongly held convictions. The Republican candidate for Senate from Kentucky really believes in limited government. So much so that he willingly dug a hole...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 21, 2010; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
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Palin, Dobson must repudiate Rand Paul or accept his extremism

In three days, Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has held at least three positions on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. First, when asked if private businesses should have the right to deny service to African Americans, Paul responded...

By Michael Gerson  | May 21, 2010; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
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Obama's endorsement: worthless or radioactive?

Over at TNR, Jonathan Chait tries to rationalize Obama's defeat in Pennsylvania -- and he calls me "dimwitted" for saying Arlen Specter's loss was a defeat for Obama by pointing out that the president has an 80 percent job...

By Marc Thiessen  | May 21, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Kagan the calculating?

Another point I’ve been meaning to make about Elena Kagan and the notion that she has carefully plotted her course to the Supreme Court, taking extreme care to shield her true beliefs from public view: How, exactly, can one...

By Ruth Marcus  | May 21, 2010; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Dems need to go on offense against GOP and its ideas

Howard Fineman writes in Newsweek that the White House strategy for the November elections is to "blame the GOP" for the mess the nation has been struggling with for the last two years. Doug Schoen says today in a...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 21, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Rand Paul and Robert Bork are soul mates

I’m having a flashback to the 1987 confirmation battle over Robert Bork. Not surprising, with a pending Supreme Court nomination, except my flashback has nothing to do with Elena Kagan. It’s about Rand Paul, the Republican Senate nominee from...

By Ruth Marcus  | May 21, 2010; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
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Dennis Blair erred -- but he had an impossible job

Adm. Dennis Blair was accident-prone, from his first days as director of national intelligence. But his real problem was that he occupied a job with a fuzzy mandate and powers that existed more on paper than in fact. Blair...

By David Ignatius  | May 20, 2010; 7:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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Eric Cantor dodges Civil Rights Act query. Really?

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was asked his thoughts about Rand Paul's problems with the Civil Rights Act and its application to private businesses. According to Paul on Rachel Maddow last night, he'd have a problem with the...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 20, 2010; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
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On Civil Rights Act, no cheers for Rand Paul

My sympathy for Rand Paul's straight talk on farm subsidies and Social Security has just been nullified by his musings about the Civil Rights Act. It's simply astonishing in this day and age that a major-party nominee for the...

By Charles Lane  | May 20, 2010; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
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Told ya: Meg Whitman can't buy support

In February,I got a little cranky when Democrats and others accused billionaire Meg Whitman, the Republican former CEO of eBay, of trying to buy the GOP nomination for California governor. Money only allows a candidate to get her message...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 20, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Rand Paul, pure Tea Partyer. Mitch McConnell, not so much

Rand Paul is an unapologetic Tea Party conservative. Not from the "birther" or the 10th Amendment extreme wing -- although the winner of the Kentucky Republican primary for Senate has more than a few extreme views, particularly on the...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 20, 2010; 7:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
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Legalizing drugs -- what Obama and Calderon won't discuss

By Edward Schumacher-Matos The best thing that can be said about the 23,000 people who have been killed during Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s campaign against drug cartels in the last three years is that it proves that the war on...

By Schumacher-Matos  | May 19, 2010; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
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Elena Kagan and 'Stupid Liberals'

Elena Kagan’s 1983 master’s thesis at Oxford carries an obligatory yawn-inducing title: “The Development and Erosion of the American Exclusionary Rule: A Study in Judicial Method.” She should have called it, “Stupid Liberals.” Over the course of 130-plus pages,...

By Eva Rodriguez  | May 19, 2010; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
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A pro-incumbent year in Oregon

This is supposedly an anti-incumbent year. But not in Oregon. Yesterday nine incumbents in the state legislature won primaries, and in perhaps the most high-profile race of the election -- the Democratic gubernatorial primary -- voters took opting for...

By vanden Heuvel  | May 19, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
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Arizona's immigration law -- and China's human rights abuses

Did the State Department get caught apologizing to China for Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, as various Republican congressman and right-wing bloggers have been proclaiming? The short answer is: no. But it’s safe to say the Obama administration has...

By Jackson Diehl  | May 19, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
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Ron Brownstein on Obama and blue-collar voters

Highlighting the problem with drive-by conversations, Ron Brownstein has alerted me to a key fact in my last post about the importance of the blue-collar vote for President Obama: I misheard him. So that nothing gets lost in translation,...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 19, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Good news, bad news for Democrats, Obama in Murtha district

The special election in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district was supposed to be the harbinger of things to come in Nov. It didn't turn out the way Republicans had hoped. But it didn't exactly turn out the way the Democrats...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 19, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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The Democratic purge and the Obama conundrum

Last night two centrist Democratic incumbents failed to stave off challenges from the left in Democratic Senate primaries. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter was defeated by left-wing challenger Rep. Joe Sestak. And Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln was forced into a...

By Marc Thiessen  | May 19, 2010; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
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Sestak sweeps, Critz wins, but what do we really know?

PITTSBURGH – Joe Sestak won the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania by putting together Barack Obama’s 2008 primary vote with Hillary Clinton’s. Incumbent Arlen Specter was confined to his base in Philadelphia, and Philly couldn’t give him nearly the margin...

By E.J. Dionne  | May 18, 2010; 11:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
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Richard Blumenthal stanches the bleeding

My colleague Greg Sargent is right: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) will survive today's brush with political death. Barring anything else coming out, of course Repeatedly saying or implying that you were in Vietnam when the record shows...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 18, 2010; 5:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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One cheer for Rand Paul

Which candidate for federal office made this forthright and progressive declaration of policy in a recent debate? "I do not think federal subsidies of agriculture are a good idea. These go to things that are not economic, such as...

By Charles Lane  | May 18, 2010; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
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Richard Blumenthal can't have it both ways on Vietnam

Back when I was a Green Beret commando in the final days of the Vietnam War, moving unseen and unheard along the Ho Chi Minh Trail like a ninja, wreaking havoc in the enemy's lines and then disappearing like...

By Eugene Robinson  | May 18, 2010; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
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Trouble with white, blue-collar vote for Dems, Obama?

In all the musings about what to watch for in today's primary and special elections around the country, there was a paragraph in a story in today's Wall Street Journal ("Democrats Face Threat From Their Own Base") that caught...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 18, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Smart Jews, stupid Israeli officials

“Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.” So began...

By Richard Cohen  | May 18, 2010; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
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On reading today's primaries

Ah, we political junkies love days on which many primaries are held – so many races to analyze, and overanalyze. Here’s rule one on tonight: Way too much will be made of the significance of the results for November’s...

By E.J. Dionne  | May 18, 2010; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
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Richard Blumenthal's crack-up in Connecticut

Today's a big day. There are special elections and primaries in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas. And you can get the low down on what to focus on and what certain results might mean in The Post, the New York...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 18, 2010; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
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Yes, Halter and Sestak are challengers from the left

Cross-posted from The Plum Line. Let's be clear about this: Bill Halter and Joe Sestak, in broad terms, represent challenges from the left, and their success is fueled by the energy and intensity of liberal activists. There's a meme...

By Greg Sargent  | May 17, 2010; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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Palin's support of legal lunacy in Arizona

Showing her trademark reflexive know-nothingness, Sarah Palin declared yesterday, "It's time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say, 'We're all Arizonans now!'" That would be true if "we" favored a law so flawed that not...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 17, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (155)
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Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle should sign civil unions bill

I praised Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) last week for not pandering to "birthers" and signing a law that squashed their numerous requests for President Obama's birth certificate. But now it looks like I found an issue that the...

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 17, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Sarah Palin wants to deny choice

My colleague Jonathan Capehart forgets one thing in his effort to find common ground with Sarah Palin: She doesn’t want to give women a choice. In the argument that Capehart finds so intriguing, Palin presents pro-choice feminists as insidious...

By Ruth Marcus  | May 16, 2010; 7:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (301)
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Elena Kagan's unhelpful supporters

Elena Kagan's supporters don't do her or gay Americans any favors by publicly expressing their views on her sexual orientation. Whether or not a future justice is a heterosexual or homosexual is irrelevant to questions about fitness to serve...

By Colbert King  | May 16, 2010; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
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