Get Fired Up!
September 02, 2007

Hillary, is this why you are really fired up? Please cut the crap. Friday's Boston Globe features a story headlined: "Clinton says N.H.

John Warner And Iraq
August 31, 2007

This may be overthinking, but my first-blush reaction is that while Virginia Republican Senator John Warner's retirement may be terrible news for the GOP, which will have trouble holding his seat, it might be good news for George W. Bush and his Iraq war strategy. Why? Because Warner, who has provided Bush with key support on Iraq, had been on the hot seat in a state that just elected the stridently anti-war Jim Webb.

Sadr Fodder
August 29, 2007

Sadr declares a six-month militia ceasefire. Sounds like this has to do with complex internecine Shiite politics. But it also happens to come at an extremely convenient moment for the Bush administration--just before the Petraeus-Crocker report and a new round of war funding votes in Congress--and it will be interesting to see whether the White House tries to spin it as a reason to keep up the fight in Iraq. --Michael Crowley

The Damage Is Done, So I Guess I'll Be Leavin'
August 28, 2007

The Post today has the one of the smartest political analyses of the Gonzo departure I've seen, at least this morning. Rather than celebrating the AG's resignation as a sign that he -- or the administration, depending on whether you buy the line that the White House shop was actually bummed he stepped down -- has finally accepted reality, we should be baffled that he decided to resign after he had done almost all the political damage he could possibly do, a phenomenon that was prefigured by the fatally late departures of Rumsfeld and Harriet Miers.

After Fredo
August 27, 2007

While those outside the loop are discussing names such as Michael Chertoff to be the new Attorney General, Ross Douthat--who's evidently far better wired into the White House than I realized--has already been auditioning possible replacements and seems to have found the one person on the face of the earth better at not answering a question than Alberto Gonzales: After five minutes of this, even Pat Leahy will throw in the towel. Update: John Cole concurs. --Christopher Orr

Kinsley On Scully On Gerson...
August 24, 2007

Mark me down as agreeing with Michael Kinsley on the Mike Gerson hatchet job the Atlantic ran this month. Like Kinsley, I thought the offenses catalogued by Matt Scully, Gerson's former White House speechwriting colleague, were pretty miniscule. Aside from a certain exhibitionist allure--which is, of course, why it was the first thing I turned to, and why I read straight through in one sitting--the piece had little to offer. As Kinsley points out, it's Scully, rather than Gerson, who comes off looking like the prick here.

Blast Off
August 23, 2007

Apart from razing the Appalachian landscape, polluting thousands of rivers and streams, devastating local communities, and increasing erosion and flooding in the surrounding areas, there's really not a whole lot to love about the mountaintop-removal method of coal mining. Here's the latest in a long, long line of White House moves to bolster the technique: The Bush administration is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal. The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams.

Because Bubbles Don't Build Themselves
August 22, 2007

From today's WaPo: A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around the country. Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by "rally squads" stationed in strategic locations.

Rove In His Perma-bunker
August 20, 2007

Aside from the expression on Chris Wallace's face when he realized he was questioning a lunatic, my two favorite parts of Fox's Karl Rove interview were as follows: WALLACE: Forgive me. I don't want to re-fight the Cleland race in Georgia in 2002. I want to ask a bigger question, though, because this was far from the only time that you called--you--called Democrats soft on terror.

Rich And Rove
August 19, 2007

Frank Rich, mailing it in: It is this condemnation of Rove from his own ideological camp--not the Democrats' familiar litany about his corruption, polarizing partisanship, dirty tricks, etc.--that the White House and Mr. Rove wanted to bury in the August dog days.[Italics Mine] Sunday talk show guest list: Fox News Sunday: Karl RoveMeet The Press: Karl RoveFace The Nation: Karl Rove --Isaac Chotiner