Hit & Run

Who Is the New Russian Prime Minister, Anyway?

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I had long since retired to Episode 5 in the original miniseries of Dallas (Bobby and Pam announce they're pregnant, a shattered and sex-starved Sue Ellen gets wasted and rides a horse in circles, teen sexpot Lucy tries to hump everything that moves, Pam miscarries when a hammered J.R. inadvertently pushes her off the hayloft, and yet Bobby and Pam decide to stay on at Southfork after all at the pleading of a contrite and boozed-up up Jock), but apparently in the latter stages of last night's debate national spelling bee judge Tim Russert sprung a foreign policy gotcha on Hillary by asking her to name the soon-to-be new Russian prime minister. The answer, according to L.A. Times blogger Andrew Malcolm: "Meh, uhm, Me-ned-vadah -- whatever."

Ever since candidate George W. Bush flunked his foreign policy pop quiz back in 1999, I've always thought that it's the journalists asking these kinds of questions who should be publicly humiliated with this stuff, but then again maybe not knowing who the president of Pakistan was told us something we shoulda known better, etc.

At any rate, if you want to learn more about Russian political succession from Vladimir Putin to old whatshisslav, I can't think of a  better place to start than Cathy Young's feature in the April issue of reason, available now to subscribers. What, you mean you don't subscribe to the magazine? At less than $20 a year, it's the kind of affordable investment presidential candidates -- not to mention actual humans -- can't afford to pass up.