Environment

Fascinating
and
September 18, 2007

AP: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former President George H.W. Bush backs John McCain's efforts to increase support for the Iraq war in a new video, a telecast that aides to both men say shouldn't be construed as an endorsement of McCain's White House bid. On Monday night, the former president appeared in the video shown at South Carolina's military college, The Citadel, during the final stop of the Arizona senator's "No Surrender" tour. "The bottom line is we must persevere; we must not surrender; we must not quit and run away.

A Sad Day For Utah. . . .
and
September 18, 2007

. . . and the District of Columbia. The D.C. voting rights bill--which would have added two seats to the U.S. House of Representatives, with one going to D.C. and the other to Utah--has died in the Senate. From the WaPo: The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House have strongly criticized the legislation.

On Clintonism
and
September 14, 2007

Following up on Ryan's New Yorker piece about the Democratic candidates' efforts to deal with Bill Clinton's legacy, Ed Kilgore has an insightful post noting the similarities and differences between the critiques of Clintonism offered by Dick Gephardt and Ted Kennedy in 1997 and those offered by Edwards and Obama today.

Newt's Handicapping
and
September 14, 2007

Granted, Newt has a vested interest in dumping on the current crop of GOP presidential candidates. But I think the critique of the Republican field that he gave to National Journal is pretty smart: Q: Let's talk about the Republicans who are in the race, starting with former Governor Mitt Romney. Is he the kind of visionary you think the country needs? Gingrich: Look, I think there are three or four possible Republican nominees -- [Rudy] Giuliani, Romney, [Fred] Thompson, [Mike] Huckabee, and, based on his recent re-energizing, [John] McCain. All of them are smart people.

Obama's Iraq Week
and
September 14, 2007

Obama's swing through Iowa was all about Iraq. After delivering his initial address in Clinton, he held four town hall-style forums in the eastern part of the state. Before taking questions he opened each event with a 15-minute condensation of his Wednesday Iraq speech. His campaign also distributed Iraq-specific campaign brochures to supporters. One of them is headlined, "BARACK OBAMA: Opposed to the Iraq War from the Very Start." Printed on one side are the particulars of Obama's plans for a US withdrawal from the country.

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse
and
September 12, 2007

From an email I just received promoting Digger Phelps's new book, Undertaker's Son: Life Lessons from a Coach: Head basketball coach of Notre Dame at age 29, a position he held for more than two decades with a 100 percent graduation rate, Richard "Digger" Phelps was an attention-getting figure in The White House's anti-drug program, part-time ambassador, is an adored ESPN commentator, and a possible Presidential candidate. [Emphasis added.] Nooooooo! --Jason Zengerle

Moving On
and
September 10, 2007

Mike's piece on pro-withdrawal efforts in yesterday's Times Magazine had a smart quote about Petraeus's Congressional testimony from MoveOn's Washington director Tom Matzzie: "Most of what we have to do will be done before he lands in Washington," Matzzie told me in late August. "We have to frame his statements before he makes them. He's not Saint Petraeus--he's General Petraeus." Matzzie's right. As a general--much less as the general who came up with the surge strategy--it's virtually inconceivable that Petraeus would go before Congress and say that he can't get the job done.

Bang Galore
September 10, 2007

Be careful what you wish for. That is the lesson of the Bush administration's newly unveiled deal to provide India with nuclear fuel and technology. For years, opponents of the White House's foreign policy have called for more diplomacy--for further inspections in Iraq, for direct talks with North Korea, for any talks whatsoever on Iran's nuclear program. Now it appears that, in eschewing negotiation, the Bush administration was doing the United States a favor. Because, when the Bushies negotiate, they're extremely dangerous. Let's start with the very purpose of the agreement. Although U.S.

Trivial, Gratuitous...
and
September 07, 2007

...but still kinda funny. AP: President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Sydney Opera House. He'd only reached the third sentence of Friday's speech to business leaders, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when he committed his first gaffe. "Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit," Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Oops. That would be APEC, the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Pacific Rim nations, not OPEC, the cartel of 12 major oil producers. Bush quickly corrected himself.

Why The Hate, Fred?
and
September 06, 2007

I realize Fred isn't putting much stock in the early primary contests, but is it really such a good idea to aggressively give the finger to New Hampshire voters by skipping last night's debate in such a high-profile manner? Months ago, New Hampshire GOP chairman Fergus Cullen (great name, eh?) was sharing with me his displeasure at Fred's reported plans to run an above-the-snow campaign.

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