Environment

A Bright Spot In The State Of The Union
January 31, 2008

David Rogers in the Politico finds at least one good thing Bush did in the State of the Union address: not spend a single word plugging the big bad farm bill still working its way through Congress. The farm lobby is not pleased: “I was appalled,” said Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union, who watched the speech from the House gallery. “The Farm Bill is the single most important piece of legislation for rural communities,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Fathers And Sons
January 31, 2008

Commenting on the Times piece about Bill Clinton's unsavory influence-peddling in Kazakhstan, Josh Marshall notes:  One point that should not go unmentioned is that what former President Clinton is described as doing in that Times article is little different from what the first President Bush has done in his post-presidency. And his son is the president. So if it would be a problem with Bill, and I think it would be, it unquestionably is already a problem with the current president's dad. And no one has seemed to much bother about it. Well, yes and no.

When Hillary Snubbed Me
January 30, 2008

Poor Hillary was snubbed by Barack Obama.  I suppose she thinks he should have snubbed Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri instead.  He was closer to McCaskill then he was to Hillary who was, in any case, already engaged in false pleasantries with Senator Kennedy.  What's more, Hillary is known to snub people all the time.

The Tnr Primary: Erica Jong
January 30, 2008

In the newest issue of the magazine, fourteen eggheads and eminences wrote short essays announcing whom they'd be voting for and why. We'll be unveiling these responses on The Plank throughout the next two weeks. This is what Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying, had to say: Women are always in the wrong--particularly in politics. Our culture is sexist, and we don't even see it. Gloria Steinem said, "We'll do anything not to elect a woman." Women are attacked whenever we go public. Think of Eleanor Roosevelt, Bella Abzug--and Hillary Clinton. So Clinton has run a gauntlet.

Corruption On The 9/11 Commission?
January 30, 2008

Looks like NYT writer Philip Shenon has some pretty shocking revelations about the 9/11 Commission in his new book (which is embargoed until its February release, but was leaked today on Max Holland's Washington Decoded). Most of the criticism is pointed at Philip Zelikow, the panel's executive director, for being engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush officials during the commission's proceedings.

The Mccain Miracle
January 30, 2008

A couple of days ago, a few of us here were trying to figure out just how McCain came back from the dead, and we settled on the conclusion that he did it by being unbelievably lucky. Ross Douthat spells out that point with a bit more rigor: [M]uch of what's happened to make McCain the presumptive nominee has been luck, pure and simple. He was lucky, to begin with, that George W. Bush lacked an heir apparent – no Jeb, no Condi, no Dick Cheney – who could unite the movement establishment against him. He was lucky that Mitt Romney was a Mormon.

Vaudeville
January 29, 2008

NEW YORK--All the talk here is about the presidential election, along with the recession. And within that election, clearly the only duel that matters, for the moment, is the one between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I observe Clinton in her television appearances. I see how hard she works at trying to prove that she is more experienced, more prepared than her opponent. I can see where the spin doctors have been fine-tuning her speeches on Iraq and on domestic policy. But the truth of the matter is that the voters are only interested in one thing: still, 10 years later, the famous Monica L

Giuliani Death Watch
January 29, 2008

The great tragedy of Rudy Giuliani's precipitous decline is that The New York Times will at some point be forced to stop writing the exact same story about his campaign. In the last 5 days alone, we have read, courtesy of the Times: --Giuliani Finds Snowbird Friends in Florida, But Is He Winning Over Voters? --Hopes Pinned on Florida, Giuliani Sees Tough Week  --Less of a Draw, A Subdued Giuliani Stays Upbeat  None of these pieces, though admittedly fun, were as amusing as Dana Milbank's pre-mortem in The Washington Post today.

Establishment V. Clintons
January 29, 2008

In my piece this week, I tried to get at establishment Washington's frustrations with the Clintons, which have boiled over in recent weeks but have been simmering for years. Last night Politico editor John Harris, one of the most astute Clinton observers around, weighed in with his own take on this phenomenon, and it's well worth your time.

He Doesn't Want Her To Win
January 29, 2008

I always thought that Bill Clinton really had mixed feelings about whether he wanted Hillary to be president.  In fact, I wrote that I didn't think he did.  I am now more convinced than ever that he doesn't want her in the White House, and he is doing his darndest to keep her out.  He just might succeed.

Pages