The Limits of Presidential Power

12 February 2009 20:34

Writing in the FT yesterday Martin Wolf observed: It is extraordinary that a popular new president, confronting a once-in-80-years’ economic crisis, has let Congress shape the outcome. Commenter IanC agrees… Continue reading


Turning Mexico into a narco-state proves we’re winning!

12 February 2009 20:09

An update on this morning’s post on the Drug War. From the Wall Street Journal’s story on the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy’s report calling for a fresh… Continue reading

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Do the Downing St denials mean that Brown won’t apologise?

12 February 2009 17:37

I am finding the Downing St reaction to the story about officials asking for copies of Obama’s TV apologies rather mystifying. From their perspective, what’s so wrong with asking for… Continue reading


Notes from a Parallel Universe

12 February 2009 16:59

Courtesy of Joe Klein: Karl Rove: House Republicans had the wisdom to continue to talk to the Obama White House. This made them look gracious, even as the president edged… Continue reading


Solving the Ian Bell Question

12 February 2009 16:45

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who ever defends Ian Bell. Not that this will do him much good since it seems probable that he’ll be dropped for… Continue reading


Downing Street denial

12 February 2009 15:28

Downing Street is categorically denying the Obama DVD story. Hmmm! I’ll check with my sources and get back to you.


Nicolas and Carla

12 February 2009 14:45

This account of how Nicolas Sarkozy wooed Carla Bruni is both amusing and gruesome. For instance: “My reputation is no worse than yours,” he told her. “I know you well… Continue reading


Drug War: Epic Fail

12 February 2009 14:28

Lots happening on the Drug War front. First, the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, headed by former Presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, issues a report confirming that… Continue reading


Ask the artists

12 February 2009 12:33

Sadly I had to miss the Channel 4 political awards last night. But it was worth it to be at a reception at No 11 to celebrate young British artists… Continue reading


Government by the Phone Book

12 February 2009 1:09

I confess I find this entertaining and reassuring in equal measure. A new Rasmussen Report in the United States finds that: Forty-four percent (44%) [of] voters also think a group… Continue reading


McNulty survives the Newsnight ambush

11 February 2009 23:57

A great edition of Newsnight tonight, featuring an ambush of employment minister Tony McNulty in an empty, echoing Birmingham factory. McNulty had been characteristically honest by saying that things are… Continue reading


GOP Deathwish

11 February 2009 19:22

Arlen Specter, the senior Senator from Pennsylvania, is no-one’s idea of a rock-ribbed Republican. But even though he voted for the recent stimulus package, he is a Republican. It’s a… Continue reading


The PR Problem

11 February 2009 16:16

Reacting to the Israeli election result, Patrick Hennessy plays out a scenario in which Britain adopted the Israeli electoral system. He suggests it would all end badly and that the… Continue reading


Why select committees matter

11 February 2009 15:49

I take my hat off to the Treasury select committee for the spectacle of the hearings on the banking crisis. This is more theatre than genuine scrutiny - but without real powers… Continue reading


The crisis of investigative reporting

11 February 2009 13:32

I caught Walter Isaacson on the Daily Show last night (video here) talking about the future of newspapers and it was pretty scary. Isaacson has written a long piece for Time… Continue reading


Yay Canada!

11 February 2009 13:24

Poor Canada; forever ignored and when it’s not ignored forever patronised. Except when the Quebeckers become fractious, Canadian politics and life barely merits a mention in either the British or… Continue reading


Gordon’s Apology?

11 February 2009 1:58

Photo: Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images This item from Martin Bright (Welcome, Comrade!) risks leaving one speechless: Now word reaches The Bright Stuff that the man who has never knowingly apologised… Continue reading


Hope We Better Believe In?

10 February 2009 23:33

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading February 10, 2009 in New York City. MarkMarkets were down nearly 400 points after Treasury Secretary… Continue reading


Who’s sorry now?

10 February 2009 22:13

President Obama showed that it was possible to apologise with good grace over his appointment of Tom Daschle and now the masters of the financial universe are falling over themselves… Continue reading


Escape from the Village

10 February 2009 20:17

Patrick McGoohan’s character never made it out of "the village". But I’m back in London after a six hour journey from Portmeirion, where the series was filmed and don’t seem to… Continue reading

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The Libertarian Tail

10 February 2009 19:14

This is the funniest line I’ve read today: Fifty per cent of the libertarians would agree to surgery giving them a prosthetic tail if they were paid enough to do… Continue reading


The Taking of Pelham One Two Three: Take Two

10 February 2009 15:27

Did you know that Tony Scott is filming a remake of Pelham One Two Three? If you think that sounds as though it must be a bad idea wait until… Continue reading


The Evening Standard on Israel

10 February 2009 12:30

A somewhat surprising headline in today’s Evening Standard: UPDATE: The headline has been changed to read "Israelis go to the polls in tight election race".


Iraqi Reality Check

10 February 2009 12:15

Right now, Afghanistan has become, if you will, the trendy war again. So much so, in fact, that it’s now Iraq that threatens to be the "forgotten war". Some of… Continue reading


The Perils of Weighing In

10 February 2009 11:49

Newsweek, facing declining sales and losing money and advertisers, has decided to move away from it’s wrestling match with TIME and try and be a gutsier, more opinionated, less-soporific enterprise.… Continue reading