Josh Patashnik

David Frum, a conservative journalist and public intellectual, often has revealing insights into matters that are bogged down in cliches.  Here he goes back to a book by Gerald Posner dealing with some of the secrets of 9/11.  It is nothing if not fascinating.  But it also sounds true to me. A Question About Those Destroyed CIA Tapes   The prevailing assumption is that the tapes were destroyed to conceal harsh CIA interrogation methods.

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Still the One [James Joyner, Outside the Beltway]: "The path by which someone other than Hillary Clinton gets the nomination is easier to see than it was a month ago. But it's still hers to lose."   Rudy's In Trouble… [Stephen, Cogitamus]: "Giuliani might be the Hero of 9/11--at least in his own mind--but no one is still walking around Kansas City with Rudy Giuliani hats and T-shirts."   …Or Is He?

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is usually considered (with good reason) to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. But today the Los Angeles Times reports that his solution to the city's chronic water shortages isn't working too well. Villaraigosa's clever scheme was to ask people really nicely to use less water. This doesn't seem to have worked--water use in the city hasn't budged since Villaraigosa issued his plea in June.

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It's difficult to know exactly what to make of the story by Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen in today's Washington Post detailing the briefings received by leading members of Congress--both Republican and Democratic--in which the CIA laid out its interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. It seems fairly damning: In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody.

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The Los Angeles Times reports today that the much-discussed ballot initiative to split California's electoral votes is officially dead, at least for this election cycle. It had been declared dead once before, when it was abandoned by its original supporters, but it was then picked up by other California Republicans, who, it turns out, weren't able to raise any money either--probably because it's obvious to anyone with familiar with California politics that it stood no chance of passing in the first place.

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Beyond Chuck Norris [Sarah Wheaton, The New York Times]: "In advance of a Spanish-language debate on Sunday, Mike Huckabee has released a plan for immigration enforcement and border security today."   Robocalls Run Amok [Alan Fram, Associated Press]: "Next time you phone Aunt Betty in Des Moines and she answers with a bark, don't take it personally.

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It wasn't a proud day for Senate Democrats yesterday, who finally broke down and abandoned their commitment to pay-go budgeting rules by passing a one-year freeze on the Alternative Minimum Tax without any accompanying tax increase or spending cut to make up the lost revenue.

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One Problem at a Time [Ron Fournier, Associated Press]: "Mitt Romney's religion is only part of his problem. A bigger threat to his Republican presidential candidacy, advisers say, is a record of policy flip-flops and nagging doubts about his credibility."   Dems Against Foreclosure [Peter G.

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At least there the negotiating parties could agree on what to call each other. Today's New York Times provides an update on the long-running naming dispute between Greece and (allegedly) Macedonia: Most countries recognize Macedonia, Greece’s northern neighbor, as the Republic of Macedonia. But Greece has taken the position that using the name implies claims to the Greek province of the same name.

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Evolution as Indoctrination [Liz Sidoti and Libby Quaid, Associated Press]: "Huckabee, at a dinner in Des Moines, told reporters that the theory of intelligent design, whose proponents believe an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe, should be taught in schools as one of many viewpoints.

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