Alan Brinkley--who is the provost and a professor of history at Columbia University, as well as a National Book Award-winning author--will be writing for us throughout the Republican convention. 

One more thought from yesterday's convention in St. Paul: The most powerful speech came from Fred Thompson--an energy-less candidate in the primaries who finally seemed to summon some passion last night. He delivered a strong and moving (if slightly mawkish) description of the ordeal John McCain endured as a prisoner in Vietnam, and it was clear that many people in the hall were shaken by his account.

I wonder whether anyone in the hall listening to that speech drew any connection between the terrible and illegal treatment McCain received as a prisoner-of-war and the at least equally terrible and equally illegal treatment our own government now inflicts on hundreds, perhaps thousands of detainees in Guantanamo and the "black sites" around the world.