As far as I can tell, L'Affaire Petraeus involves a woman named Jill Kelley who was allegedly cyber-harassed by Paula Broadwell, alleged mistress of CIA Director David Petraeus. The love pentagon — represented above as an homage to every terrible PowerPoint slide ever created by a Department of Defense public affairs team — also involved Kelley's alleged relationship with an FBI agent (who allegedly sent Kelley shirtless photos of himself, for some reason) and a series of "compromising" communications (which may be a few hundred innocuous emails, not the 20,000 communications initially reported) between Kelley and Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The fact that he commands U.S. forces in Afghanistan is, indeed, the only non-alleged piece of information here.
We don't quite know the whole story yet, but after several days of revelations (alleged revelations?) a few things are clear:
* The media is really, really bored post-election.
* The FBI reads people's emails on quite small pretenses and this is worrying! Your love letter to Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf is not secure.
* We should quarantine Tampa, Florida, home of CENTCOM and all things tawdry.
* Anthony Weiner and John Edwards are probably linked to this, somehow.
Tags: Afghanistan, David Petraeus, Media, Sex
A CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate found 48% judging Obama to be the winner to 40% who said Romney won. Likewise, undecided voters in a CBS poll found 53% saying Obama won the debate, while 23% said Romney won and 24% called it a tie. Meanwhile, the Bears beat the Lions, and the Cardinals fell to the Giants.
What do these events have in common? The fact that with just the right amount of bullshitting, partisans — of either the political or sports variety — can avoid feeling dejected by their teams' performance. Just follow this guide and learn how to never feel bad about your side again…
Tags: Barack Obama, Debates, Media, Mitt Romney, Sports
According to the breathless press releases I've been receiving from candidates of both major parties, if there's one thing Americans love more than politics, it's reading about politics in the newspaper. This must be why the print journalism industry is enjoying such unprecedented success. This is also why the second question swing state residents ask when deciding who to vote for — after "What's a newspaper?" — is "Who did my newspaper editorial board endorse?"
As far as the presidential race goes, the answer is probably Barack Obama. According to the Fix, if you add up the Sunday circulation of all swing state papers that have endorsed a candidate, those supporting Obama reach 3 million people, while those backing Romney reach 2.1 million.
Critics caution that newspaper endorsements may not "matter" much in themselves, but they're reflective of local opinion. Which is why I was startled to read this in the Salt Lake City Tribune…
"Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."
Utah going blue is going to mess with my electoral college predictions.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Media, Utah
From last week's positive jobs report to today's Labor Department release announcing that initial claims for unemployment benefits decline to 339,000 — the lowest level since early 2008 — the economy has shown steady signs of improvement. This week's op-ed pages provide an explanation. Our consumer spending is now driven entirely by conservatives buying 1) conspiracy theories, 2) glamour shots of Paul Ryan.
For proof, consider the three best opinion pieces published this week…
Tags: Dick Morris, Jack Welch, Media, Wall Street Journal, WorldNetDaily
Reading campaign coverage last week and today offers a very confusing lesson: 1) presidential debates don't matter, and 2) Mitt Romney's stellar debate performance is the greatest electoral coup since Dwight Eisenhower stuffed Adlai Stevenson into a gym locker.
You can see the media organizations straining so hard to let political scientists offer their conclusions about the relative importance of debates before bowing down before their one true God: the horse-race…
Tags: Andrew Sullivan, CNN, Debates, Fox News, Media, Mitt Romney, MSNBC, The Atlantic