Archive: Debate Extras

Andy Card's Resignation (Open-ish Thread)

This morning's announcement that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card has resigned just begs for an open debate. Why did Card resign now, on this particular Tuesday morning? Like Scooter Libby found himself in the middle of the Plame affair, "Andy Card is in the midst of another scandal -- warrantless spying," notes georgia10 at Daily Kos, saying that the resignation is proof of the weakness of the Bush presidency. Card will be replaced by Josh Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and another Bush insider. Thoughts on Bolten? At the Coldheartedtruth blog, the feeling is that Bush should have gone outside his circle to find "some new blood." Is this just the beginning of a major administration reshuffle? Go to it, Debaters. (I'll try to update as I come across interesting opinion on the resignation, and by all means, please provide any good links you...

By Emily Messner | March 28, 2006; 08:26 AM ET | Comments (35)

Surprising Story of the Week: Kosher China

Though just about everything seems to be manufactured in China these days, few people would think they'd see a "Made in China" label on their jars of gefilte fish or their boxes of matzoh. Think again. Marketplace reports: "China is one of the fastest growing producers of certified kosher food. And that's keeping the handful of rabbis there very, very busy." A few thoughts. First, this proves what Harold Meyerson was saying in his most recent op-ed: Almost anything can be outsourced. I also find it a bit quirky that a country that refuses to sanction the practice of religion would nonetheless jump wholeheartedly into the religious dietary industry. And lastly, writing this post has me given me a wicked craving for matzoh and gefilte fish. Mmmm ... gefilte fish .... (What the heck -- how about a quick, light-hearted poll in the middle of all this seriousness? Gefilte fish:...

By Emily Messner | March 24, 2006; 04:13 PM ET | Comments (10)

Censure: Dodging Dems and a Giddy GOP

Dear Debaters, Here's little meat for those of you who find the steroids issue uninteresting: Sen. Russ Feingold's resolution to censure the president for misleading the American people over the domestic surveillance program -- political gimmick or principled stance? From the very little we do know of the program, the "whereas" clauses in Feingold's resolution (describing the relevant laws and Bush's statements) are accurate. Nonetheless, Republicans -- and the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board -- can barely contain their glee at what they see as an overeager Feingold showing the Democrats' hand before the November elections. Dana Milbank describes flustered Democrats "fleeing" their weekly caucus lunch "out a back door as if escaping a fire." So why'd he do it? Why now? Obviously, it's not because his Democratic party colleagues were banging down his door to introduce a censure resolution -- ThinkProgress's running tally of S. Res. 398's supporters...

By Emily Messner | March 16, 2006; 01:54 AM ET | Comments (212)

Two Thumbs Down

Here at the Debate, we try to focus on a single big issue each week. Of course, sometimes things crop up that don't warrant a week all by themselves, but are worthy of mention. Here are a few such items. * * * First, two thumbs down for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who wants to put graffiti artists "on TV and cut off a thumb." The story goes on to explain that "Goodman also suggested that whippings or canings should be brought back for children who get into trouble." But, Goodman added reassuringly, "They would get a trial first." * * * Next, the tidbit that is germane to this week's debate. (Many thanks to Debater carpeicthus for the tip.) What's all this about crucifixion? Caveat: I haven't yet tracked down enough supporting evidence to be able to vouch for the authenticity of that story. If you have solid...

By Emily Messner | November 13, 2005; 11:59 PM ET | Comments (4)

A Brief Interlude: Give the Gift of Spam

This is about as far off our weekly topic of the Iraqi consitution as it's possible to get, but I can't resist pointing out this little gem: SPAM is a luxury item in Korea. Yes, the kitschy canned meat is a high-end gift according to shoppers in Seoul. Go fig. (Not totally off topic, perhaps, since the compound where Saddam Hussein was finally captured apparently had a stash of "some Spam-like meat in a can covered with Arabic characters.")...

By Emily Messner | October 17, 2005; 06:31 PM ET | Comments (2)