Environment

Today's News Of The Weird
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October 22, 2007

. . . comes via CIA-agent-turned-blogger Larry Johnson, who's flacking Valerie Plame's new book and reveals this tidbit from it: In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were enroute to the United States to kill *** Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame. The FBI informed Valerie of this threat.

Kinsley On The Amt
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October 21, 2007

Michael Kinsley channels Jon Chait in making the case for keeping the Alternative Minimum Tax: The Republicans controlled Congress and the White House for six years; they could have made government as lean as they wished and no one could have stopped them. They didn't. It used to be that when they proposed irresponsible or phantasmagoric tax cuts, Republicans at least went through the motions of coming up with some theory about how they would pay for themselves. Supply-side economics--tax cuts would generate new taxable economic activity--often played this role.

Why Do People Dislike Hillary?
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October 19, 2007

Andrew Sullivan, who really seems to be angry about Hillary Clinton's poll numbers, approvingly quotes from (and links to), this Peggy Noonan column. Here's the bit that Andrew excerpts: "Who, of all the powerful women in American politics right now, has inspired the unease, dismay and frank dislike that she has? Condi Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein? These are serious women who are making crucial decisions about our national life every day. They inspire agreement and disagreement; they fight and are fought with. But they do not inspire repugnance.

The Afternoon News
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October 19, 2007

I'm Your Man: [Liz Sidoti, AP]: "Leading Republican presidential candidates, all flawed in the eyes of influential social conservatives, sought Friday to convince the restive group they will carry the torch for the right flank -- and Rudy Giuliani won't." Youth Group: [Ben Adler, Politico]: "Democrats are heading into the presidential election year with uncommonly high hopes for under-30 voters, whom they expect to emerge as a force that could shape national politics well beyond 2008." Big Spender: [Kevin Bogardus, The Hill]: "Rivals say presidential hopeful Mitt Romney (R) is preparing for

Republicans At The Values Voter Summit, Part I
October 19, 2007

Friday, Republican candidates Fred Thompson, John McCain, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter tried to woo restive evangelicals at the Family Research Council's 2007 Values Voter Summit. Here's a look at how each appealed to the flock. Fred Thompson explained his shifting stance on abortion: "I can only say that after, for the first time in my life, seeing a sonogram of my own child, I will never think the same exactly again. I guess, more appropriately stated, I will never feel exactly the same again, because my heart now is fully engaged with my head.

The Afternoon News
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October 18, 2007

Early Exit: Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin, [Politico]: "Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is bowing to realism and plans to drop out of the presidential race on Friday, Capitol Hill and campaign sources said. ... Brownback, who is expected to run for Kansas governor in 2010, has a following among Christian conservatives that will make his endorsement eagerly sought by the remaining GOP presidential candidates." Tug of War: Alan Fram, [AP]: "Giuliani and Thompson are each backed by about one-fifth of conservatives, with an equal share undecided and the rest spread among other candidates.

The Morning News
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October 17, 2007

Stealing First [Thomas Beaumont, Des Moines Register]: "Iowa Republicans have scheduled the party's presidential caucuses for Jan. 3, arguing the date would preserve the state's coveted leadoff status but avoid starting the nominating process in 2007." Holy Roller [John McCormick, Chicago Tribune]: "In what is perhaps the most obvious effort yet by Sen.

The One Reality In Annapolis
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October 17, 2007

When Mme. Albright became desperate she clutched onto the Israelis and squeezed them to rescue the Clinton administration from its embarrassments. All you have to do is read the 9/11 report to see the extent of despair and the blighted hopes that put Ehud Barak in captivity. Now, the Bushies are looking down the last corridor of their disastrous tenure in the White House. And, instead of Madeleine, Condi Rice is performing the emergency room ablutions, this time also on the peace process that somehow, like in Clinton's time from Oslo to Camp David, seems never to proceed.

More On That Obama Op-ed
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October 15, 2007

A rival campaign points me to a speech Obama made in November 2006, where he used language that's substantively similar to the amendment he criticized in today's op-ed (which I wrote about earlier). Here's the key graf from the Obama speech: In such a scenario, it is conceivable that a significantly reduced U.S. force might remain in Iraq for a more extended period of time. But only if U.S.

Half-baked Gore Speculation
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October 15, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel Prize has us all wondering who he'll endorse, something Marc Ambinder says is likely to happen in December. My two cents: If at that point it looks like Obama has some chance of winning the nomination, it'll be Obama. I say that for the following reasons: 1.) Obama has the most credible claim to being a transformative figure, something Gore (rightly) fancies himself, too. 2.) Obama, like Gore, got the war right from the get-go. 3.) Hillary, in addition to coming up short on points one and two, has long been a rival of Gore's, and vice versa. And 4.) Crass politics.

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