Environment

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

Get Carter

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.

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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.

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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.

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Newt continues to hint, as only he can, that he's going to bless the presidential campaign with his presence.

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Breakin' The Law

The tale of how James Comey raced to the hospital to stop Andy Card and Alberto Gonzales from taking advantage of an ailing John Ashcroft back in 2004 is pretty wild. And Ashcroft comes out looking good.

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Michelle Cottle examines how the 2008 presidential candidates have learned to run against a woman; Damon Linker speaks ill of Jerry Falwell for injecting religiously based illiberalism into American politics; Kenneth M.

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Tucked away on the westernmost edge of the Florida panhandle, Escambia County is a Republican stronghold whose beaches attract droves of tourists each year, earning it the cheery tagline: "The western gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live like millions wish they could." But no paradise would be complete without a dirty little secret, and Escambia has that, too: For more than a decade, toxins from two of the county's now-defunct wood-preserving plants have gone largely untreated.

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I received this second-hand or maybe even third. It originally came from a political newsletter. But I don't know which one. On the other hand, it is surely a Democratic one or maybe just a liberal one or even a leftist one. Is this a shaggy-dog story? I hope not. "May 11, 2007 -- Vice President Dick Cheney, under mounting political pressure for the declining fortunes of the Bush administration, has, according to our Washington sources, been claiming that Iraq was all "Bush's idea," a reference to President George W. Bush.

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Meet The Czar

Meet your new White House Iraq war czar. Interestingly, he had this to say in August 2005: The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country. Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.... He said: "We believe at some point, in order to break this dependenc

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