Environment

Trailers For Cheney

Rahm's moving ahead with his amendment to defund the Office of the Vice President (at least so long as Cheney insists that he's above the law): The latter half of the amendment prompted Rep.

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Uh oh. It looks like Republican members of the Washington Establishment--according to the Establishment's spokeswoman, Sally Quinn--want to throw Dick Cheney overboard. From Quinn's piece in today's WaPo: Removing a sitting vice president is not easy, but this may be the moment. I remember Barry Goldwater sitting in my parents' living room in 1973, in the last days of Watergate, debating whether to lead a group of senior Republicans to the White House to tell President Nixon he had to go. His hesitation was that he felt loyalty to the president and the party.

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Politics As Usual

Let's review: In Act One, Barack Obama clasped hands with the coal industry and promised subsidies for liquefied coal fuel. In Act Two, environmentalists growled that Obama was backing one of the worst technologies ever devised from the standpoint of global warming, and, eventually, the senator backed away, which in turn made the coal industry very upset.

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The Supreme Court went on a rampage today: weakening McCain-Feingold, barring ordinary taxpayers from challenging the White House's faith-based initiatives in court, siding with businesses over environmentalists in a dispute about endangered species, and ruling against a student who unfurled a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner in school (no, really). Worth noting: All of those decisions were 5-4, Alito and Roberts wrote two majority opinions apiece, and in all cases, the court liberals--Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter, Breyer--were on the dissenting end of things. --Bradford Plumer

Gonzales Watch

For those who have long thought that the attorney general is not the smartest person on the planet, today's big Washington Post story on Dick Cheney has not one but two fun tidbits. First: Powell asked for a meeting with Bush. The same day, Jan. 25, 2002, Cheney's office struck a preemptive blow. It appeared to come from Gonzales, a longtime Bush confidant whom the president nicknamed "Fredo." And here's John Yoo showing skill in deploying euphemisms (something he is distrubingly good at): Gonzales, a former Texas judge, had the seniority and the relationship with Bush.

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The New Star Wars

Turns out The Onion's absurd top story this week ("Bush Calls for Development of National Air Conditioner") might not be very far from the truth.

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Jonah Goldberg approvingly cites a Jeff Jacoby column that makes the following argument: On one important issue after another, the right churns with serious disputes over policy and principle, while the left marches mostly in lockstep. Liberals sometimes disagree over tactics and details, but anyone taking a heterodox position on a major issue can find himself out in the cold. Just ask Senator Joseph Lieberman .In the liberal imagination, conservatives are blind dogmatists, spouters of a party line fed to them by (take your pick) big business, their church, or President Bush.

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Rudy's Bad Day

Talk about your bad days. Not only did Rudy's South Carolina campaign chairman ride off on the white horse; he lost his Iowa campaign chairman as well: Jim Nussle has been tapped to serve as White House budget director. Which raises an interesting question: what's worse--getting indicted on crack* cocaine charges? or going to work for the Bush administration in a job once held by Mitch Daniels? *Late reports indicate that, contra my Bob Roberts joke yesterday, Ravenel was charged with distributing good old fashioned cocaine, not crack. --Jason Zengerle

I think the Gore-Obama ticket was my idea. Maybe it was the idea of thousands of people. It's so obvious. My ripple was that they should (or should have) run together in the caucuses and the primaries. If anything spooks Hillary, it's Al Gore sprinting for the nomination. Gore-Obama, that would throw her out of the ring. And even her dragged-along supporters would heave a big sigh of relief. Bill Clinton himself thinks that Gore is ready to run. And this spooks Bill, too. His dream of a third term in the White House (and a fourth?) would be shattered.

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So it looks like Ed Gillespie is going to work at the White House. Yeah, I know: big whoop. I'm only mentioning it because I wanted an excuse to refer back to something I heard Don King say during those strange days in the 2004 presidential campaign when he was the Bush campaign's liaison to black America. Speaking of the uber-lobbyist and Republican apparatchick, King declared: "[I]n Ed Gillespie you can hear the word of Jesus cry, 'I've been anointed to deal with the problems of the poor!'" It's a wonder he's not going to work for John Edwards. P.S.

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