Best Blast from the Future Past: Alt Hippo finds Jake Tapper doing his best to take us back to August 2004 to give us a preview of what we're going to be hearing ad nauseum in the months ahead. He's letting us know that Barack Obama is the most liberal senator in the history of history. Eugene Debbs has nothing on Obama. (If only that were true. via) Jon Stewart knew how to handle this particular brand of nonsense four years ago:
Best Fundraising Angle: Thomas says that when you donate to David Neiwart, you make Michelle Malkin cry.
Best Warning for the Democrats Hoping to be President: Rox says that whoever the Democratic nominee is, s/he'd better figure out how to "share real power" with working class and service class people or it's game over. She's right and I don't see any inclination in the party to heed her warning. In 2004, Dean was working that angle and the Democratic party crushed him. The very idea that Kerry could do it was laughable, of course the corporate media made sure he never had a chance to escape the patrician label just to be safe. Edwards' entire message this year was about sharing power with the working and service class and he got shut out mercilessly. Now it's up to Clinton or Obama, neither the most folksy or genuine people on the planet, to do the job and I don't think either one even wants to take on the task.
Best Explanation of Republican Tax Policy: Brad DeLong writing at Salon about Mike Huckabee's fair tax ramblings, which are batshit insane and are still better and more honest than anything the other Republans are trying to sell America.
Best Look at Why Our Foreign Policy in the Middle East is a Unmitigated, Irredeemable Failure: Gary Kamiya, writing about recent events in Gaza:
The Gaza jailbreak represents the end of Bush's delusional attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Annapolis is now dead, killed before it even started. The fatal flaw of Bush's approach was that it assumed that dividing the Palestinians would lead to peace, when just the opposite is true. Bush and Olmert planned to squeeze Gaza until Hamas collapsed, while simultaneously pumping up Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority. They reasoned that by getting rid of the extremists in Hamas, they would smooth the way to make a deal with the moderates in Fatah.
But this approach was doomed for two reasons. First, Olmert is unwilling or incapable of taking the steps required to strengthen Abbas -- certainly not fast enough to make his Fatah party a viable alternative to Hamas in Palestinian eyes. (The announcement on Jan. 24 that Israel is freezing all settlement growth was a positive development, but too little, too late.) And Bush, "the greatest friend Israel has ever had," is not about to put the pressure on Olmert that alone could force his hand. Second, Hamas is not going away. Collectively punishing the people of Gaza, far from causing them to rise up and throw out Hamas, as Bush and Olmert fantasized, only further radicalized them. American and Israeli intransigence and ineptitude have only succeeded in strengthening the hard-liners and weakening the moderates.