I don't have time to write a long post on this, but I wanted to get this out there before someone else beat me to it: Fred Thompson is to the Republicans in '08 as Wes Clark was to the Democrats in '04. In other words, the highpoint of his campaign will be the day he gets in the race, because once he's a serious candidate--and not just the fevered daydream of a dissatisfied base--voters will realize he's not all that. Remember, you heard it here first.
For some time now, people have been saying that, when Gen. David Petraeus testifies about the "surge" in September, Republicans are going to start hopping off the war train if things haven't turned around. (That was supposedly the upshot of the meeting between 11 House Republicans and President Bush earlier this month.) But that left open the possibility that the White House would just send Petraeus to Congress to claim success no matter what was happening. And, according to Julian Barnes of the Los Angeles Times, that's precisely what's going to happen: U.S.
"Comprehensive" immigration fan Fred Barnes (he, um, tends to take the White House's line) has a new piece on conservatives balking at the compromise bill working its way through the senate. Here's his lede: Don't listen to Teddy Kennedy. If you belong to the small band of conservative brothers inclined to support immigration reform, the Massachusetts senator is on your side. But what he says is likely to make you anxious, vexed, or even crazed.
White House political director Sara Taylor--a Karl Rove loyalist who apparently had a fishy role in the US Attorney scandal--is leaving the administration. --Michael Crowley
Remember the Lincoln Bedroom? Sure, it was part of the Republican talking points during the Clinton administration, when the White House was described as being something akin to a Motel 8, mentioned in the same breath as Vince Foster, Whitewater and Arkansas state troopers. But there was always something unseemly about the Clintons using the presidential residence as a barter system for Democratic party (and, more specifically, Friends of Bill) bigwigs.
by Michael Kazin If recent media reports are credible, several of the leading candidates for president are conniving, unpleasant frauds. John Edwards feels uncomfortable around gay people and made millions working for a hedge fund while supposedly dedicating himself to fighting poverty; Hillary Clinton didn't bother reading the intelligence report on Iraq before voting to authorize the war and has stuck to her marriage only because it might help her get elected; and Mitt Romney reverses his positions on key social issues and explains it as a maturing process.
Apologies if someone has beaten me to this, but how long before we're using "Goodling" as a common noun meaning hyper-partisan hack? To wit: The Bush administration cleaned house at FEMA and repopulated it with a bunch of goodlings. Or: The Bush administration canned several U.S. attorneys in order to install a bunch of goodlings. Or: The White House dispatched a bunch of goodlings to run the CPA in Iraq... You get the idea. --Noam Scheiber
It pains to me have to cite Christopher Hitchens to you as it pains me when I cite him to myself. We met maybe 20 years ago, maybe even 25, and did not hit it off. And that's an understatement. He has written so absurdly about so many matters--but Israel especially--that I have to make an extreme effort to actually read him at all. Still, I do read him, and, ever since he deserted the low left and shuttled over to the high right, he has been smarter and also funnier. That is not always the case with these radical conversions.
In response to the charge that Jack Murtha threatened to screw over Michigan Republican Mike Rogers for going after a project in his district, my first inclination is to note that this sort of (alleged) payback politics is practiced in virtually every legislative body anywhere. But the substance of the issue makes this something more than a politicized clash of egos--and at first blush it makes Murtha look pretty bad. The Pennsylvania Democrat is ticked that Rogers was trying to cut off funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), which is located in Murtha's district.
I always wondered why Hillary Rodham Clinton never boasted about her service on the Wal-Mart board. After all, she boasts--even exaggerates--about everything she's done and does. I have had this "story" in my head for maybe fourteen years. I tried to get New Republic staffers to go after it, anyway without the success. Let me be frank. I think that the argument about Wal-Mart does not come out one-sided, either in terms of the economy as a whole (not just in the U.S.) or of local economies.