Is Michelle Rhee Breaking the Law?
October 30, 2009
DC Public Schools Commissioner Michelle Rhee is the closest thing the education world has to a celebrity. (Education Next recently photoshoped an image of Rhee in medieval armor, under the heading "DC's Braveheart") Her take-no-prisoners approach to education reform, sometimes at the expense of tenured teachers, has won her much attention nationally--and many enemies here in the District.
TNR on Bernard Kerik
October 21, 2009
Bernard Kerik, former New York City Policy Commissioner, Interim Interior Minister of Iraq, and nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, will now be serving time in a Westchester County prison. Already facing charges of conspiracy and tax fraud, Kerik was sent upstate after the judge reviewing his case revoked his bail for leaking private information about the upcoming case to the public.
Is Corzine a Bigot (cont'd)?
October 08, 2009
Jeffrey Goldberg gets former FDA commissioner David Kessler's take on Corzine's fattist campaign strategy: "This ad reflects a total lack of understanding, empathy and tolerance. No one should be criticized for being overweight. We're all wired to respond to different stimuli -- sex, gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs -- and for many people it's food. I would rather have this problem than some of these other problems. Some of the world's greatest leaders, from Winston Churchill to Ted Kennedy, struggled with their weight. This struggle has nothing to do with leadership abilities.
UPDATED: The Final Five
October 05, 2009
Sometime soon, maybe this week,* the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on the health care reform bill it spent the last two weeks debating. Inside and outside the committee, people following this process more closely than I am say the bill is likely to pass. But it's not yet a sure thing. The committee roster is thirteen Democrats, ten Republicans. Majority vote rules. Chairman Max Baucus can afford to lose one Democrat, even if all of the committee Republicans vote against it.
Failure of Leadership
August 10, 2009
Last week, the White House released a list of recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that the United States government can afford a civilian. Among the 16 awardees are truly great figures: breast cancer philanthropist Nancy Goodman Brinker, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, and Sidney Poitier, the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Time For Another Beer Summit?
August 05, 2009
Remember the Boston cop who wrote the racist email about Gates-gate? He's suing: He's demanding unspecified damages for his pain and suffering - and an end to efforts by Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Mayor Tom Menino to bounce him from the force, at least without a hearing. I guess there was no way this whole thing wouldn't produce at least one lawsuit. --Jason Zengerle
Let Vick Play
July 25, 2009
I’m fed up with the anguished deliberations about whether former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who served 21 months in jail for promoting dog-fighting and killing, should be allowed to play pro football again. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has spent his adulthood as a pro football front office guy, is going to judge whether Vick is morally fit to put on a helmet and pads and risk life and limb before thousands of screaming fans. I don’t condone breeding dogs to kill each other.
The U.n.'s Useful Idiots
July 07, 2008
"Some supporters of Israel," wrote Marlise Simons in yesterday's Times, "have called her an idiot." The "her" is Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human right, who is leaving her post after four years. But, as far as I recall, I have never called Arbour an idiot -- though I've been tempted.
May 07, 2007
Of all the low points during the Bush administration, perhaps the most surreal was the week in December 2004 when Bernie Kerik was poised to become secretary of Homeland Security. By the traditional measures used to judge qualifications for this sort of job, Kerik was not an ideal candidate. The main points in Kerik's favor were his loyal service to Rudy Giuliani, first as driver for his mayoral campaign, then corrections commissioner, then police commissioner--the last of which was commemorated by the casting of30 Kerik busts.
New York Postcard
October 23, 2006
The DiTomasso brothers may not have much in common with George W. Bush, but there's one thing the president and the mob-linked contractors share: Both have reason to rue the day they met Bernard B. Kerik. In 2004, Bush nominated Mayor Rudy Giuliani's former police commissioner to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Within days, allegations surfaced that Kerik had faced arrest for unpaid bills, had close ties to some federal contractors, and had failed to pay taxes on his nanny. The nomination collapsed, calling the White House's judgment into question.