John Edwards gets dry feet.

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 24 2007 7:21 PM

John Edwards Gets Dry Feet

Note to GQ's editor: It's OK to clash!

(Continued from Page 14)

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Back in April, Eli Lake argued that Gen. Petraeus could be relied on for an honest report on the surge--he's become so prominent, and the war so unpopular, that if he decided the surge had failed a) Bush couldn't fire him and continue the strategy and b) Petraeus would become a hero to the anti-war half of the country with a bright political future. ... I don't think it's quite that simple--Petraeus would have to admit that it was his strategy that was failing. But it's worth keeping in mind. Careerism doesn't necessarily conflict with honesty in this case, because Petraeus doesn't necessarily need to please Bush or his superiors to continue his career.. ... 1:18 P.M.

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The B-List is the A-List: One of Fred Thompson's virtues is that he's not that big a star, argues Bill Bradley--and not a movie star:

He's not really a movie star, more a movie presence, but he is definitely a TV star. Of course a really big movie star in a political campaign can be overwhelming. Fred Thompson is a strong presence in Red October. Sean Connery is a blow-the-doors off presence. I can't imagine someone like Connery running for public office. Even Arnold [Schwarzenegger] with his years of selling restaurants and fitness and all that was still way too hot at times early on, especially when he did his shakedown cruise for a future run in 2002, with his Proposition 49 after-school programs initiative.

Telling a conservative magazine writer that he has "a shitty body," as Schwarzenegger did in that campaign, is generally not a good idea for an aspiring big-time politician. But that was Arnold. Really big movie stars have an air of danger about them, of mystery, be it physical, sexual, psychological. They're compelling up on the big screen. But a regular diet can be too much.

Ronald Reagan was fortunate in that he was not a big movie star. There was nothing scary about his cinematic persona.

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1:11 P.M. link

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Steve Smith persuasively refutes Richard Blair's argument that the 2005 bankruptcy reform sparked the subprime mortgage crunch by denying debtors a chance to avoid foreclosure. (It turns out the new law doesn't offer fewer anti-foreclosure protections than the old law.) But Smith doesn't address Megan McArdle's scenario, in which the 2005 reform fueled the housing bubble by a) shrinking the credit card market by making it more dangerous and less desirable to run up credit card debt, and b) sending more money into the mortgage lending market precisely because mortgage debtors' remedies were unchanged (and therefore they were still willing to borrow against their homes). ... P.S.: I still suspect that the failure of immigration reform had something to do with the credit crunch--not because it was illegal immigrants defaulting on those mortgages, but because with lower prospective immigration the long-term value of all housing fell, making everyone's collateral worth less and lenders more reluctant to provide money secured by that collateral. How's that wrong?... 12:01 A.M.. link

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Some days you feel like Tony Perkins in Winter Kills:  Well-connected, life-sapping state and local news editor Janet Clayton  out at LAT.  ... Post post ergo propter post. ... 7:32 P.M.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

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