Nick Baumann

Nick Baumann

Senior Editor

Nick is based in our DC bureau, where he covers national politics and civil liberties issues. Nick has also written for The Economist, The Atlantic, the Washington Monthly, and Commonweal. Email tips and insights to nbaumann [at] motherjones [dot] com. You can also follow him on Facebook.

Get my RSS |

The Three Trillion Dollar War

| Wed Feb. 13, 2008 6:40 PM EST

freedom-isn%27t-free.jpg

The Bush administration has spent a lot of money in Iraq since White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was fired in 2002 for daring to predict the war might cost as much as $200 billion. An estimate issued last August by the Congressional Budget Office suggested the war will have cost at least $1 trillion before it's over. A September report (PDF) by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee pegged the cost at $1.3 trillion. Now a new book by a Harvard professor and a Nobel Prize winner in economics claims the true cost could be more than twice that—as high as $3 trillion dollars. If you wanted to pay that off with a single wad of $1,000 bills, your billfold would have to be almost 240 miles wide.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

The Continued Absurdity of the Missing White House Emails Case

| Mon Feb. 11, 2008 6:23 PM EST

Regular MotherJones.com readers may recall that last spring, the White House reported that it may have lost some 5 million emails. Later last year, two non-profits, the National Security Archive (NSA) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), sued to ensure the preservation of the emails. (That suit is still pending, and you can read about the whole story on our missing White House emails index page).

During the course of the legal proceedings, CREW filed Freedom of Information Act requests for documents prepared by the White House Office of Administration (OA) that analyzed the scale of the missing email problem. But the White House denied the FOIA requests, making the unique and unprecedented legal argument that the OA is not, in fact, a federal agency and therefore not subject to the FOIA. CREW sued, citing OA's previous treatment as an agency and history of responding to FOIA requests as obvious evidence that the White House argument was ridiculous. That brings us to today, when a DC district court ordered (PDF) limited discovery in order to find out whether OA is, in fact, a federal agency.

You read that right: CREW had to get a court order to gather information to prove that a government agency is, in fact, a government agency.

Time for A Superdelegate Pledge

| Fri Feb. 8, 2008 1:46 PM EST

As David notes here, the Washington Post's Paul Kane did the math and figured out that it will be basically impossible for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to win enough pledged delegates to take the nomination outright. This is a big problem for the Democrats. Thankfully for them, I have a solution (after the jump).

Can Hillary Stop Obamamentum?

| Wed Feb. 6, 2008 3:02 AM EST

NEW YORK, NY—It wasn't supposed to happen like this. Not long ago Hillary Clinton seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination. She led in all the early states and dominated the national polls. If you had to bet then, you might have assumed her Super Tuesday speech would have marked her victory over her Democratic rivals.

It didn't turn out that way. When Clinton arrived at the Grand Ballroom in the New Yorker hotel tonight, everyone in the room knew that the Democratic race would go on. Hillary might not have known it before she began her speech shortly before 11 p.m., but minutes later it became clear that another candidate would win the majority of the Super Tuesday nominating contests and take close to half of the delegates at stake.

Romney, Huckabee Stay in Race; Democrats Rejoice

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 11:35 PM EST

NEW YORK, NY — With the Democratic campaign likely to continue after tonight, some left-leaning commentators feared that the Republicans would unify around John McCain far before the Democrats picked their nominee. But in speeches tonight both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney vowed (using very strong language) to fight until the end. Romney actually said, "It's time for the politicians to leave Washington and for we the people to take over." Romney will continue to be that raging populist he has so recently become, apparently.

This is great news for whoever becomes the Democratic nominee for president. It indicates that many in the GOP still have their doubts about their choice. It also means that Romney will continues to air negative ads about McCain, forcing McCain to spend time, money, and energy defending himself. Barring a surprise withdrawal from the race, we'll have both a Democratic and a Republican race that will go on for a few more weeks.

Mon Jul. 21, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
Mon Feb. 4, 2013 11:23 AM EST
Tue Nov. 6, 2012 9:47 PM EST
Fri Sep. 21, 2012 5:40 PM EDT
Sun Aug. 19, 2012 6:21 PM EDT
Mon Jul. 30, 2012 11:16 AM EDT
Mon Jul. 9, 2012 10:04 AM EDT
Thu Jun. 28, 2012 12:40 PM EDT
Wed Jun. 20, 2012 7:30 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 11, 2012 10:32 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 4, 2012 9:43 AM EDT
Wed May. 9, 2012 3:01 AM EDT
Tue Mar. 20, 2012 11:15 AM EDT
Fri Feb. 10, 2012 1:56 PM EST