"liberaltarianism" And Reality
December 21, 2006

I've so far resisted weighing in on the Chait-Lindsey "liberaltarian" smack-down, mostly because Jon has done such a nice job rebutting the case for a liberal-libertarian alliance. But there's one claim that might be worth examining more rigorously given that Brink (whom I think is an exceptionally smart and thoughtful guy) keeps invoking it.

Frank Keating, "mangy Dog"--or Future President?
December 19, 2006

There's a new Republican name circulating in the White House 2008 conversation: former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. I see National Review's hotwired Jonathan Martin is taking it seriously. And Keating, a devout anti-abortion Catholic, does offer some attractive post-9/11 credentials: He's a former F.B.I. agent, for instance, and, in a sort of mini-Giuliani fashion, presided during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Keating is so impressive to fellow Republicans, in fact, that he was almost George W. Bush's running mate and, later, Bush's first attorney general. Almost. --Michael Crowley

Active Debate?
December 18, 2006

Over at Newsweek, Michael Gerson has an end-of-the-year piece laying out what ails the Republican Party. Gerson's argument is that there is a split between big government Republicans and more libertarian minded antigovernment activists. He writes:   The response of many Republicans was to use [Hurricane Katrina] as an excuse for cutting government spending, particularly the Medicare prescription-drug benefit for seniors. At a post-Katrina meeting with White House officials, one conservative think-tank sage urged: "The president needs to give up something he wants.

Strange Bedfellows
December 18, 2006

Here's a picture of Bush signing the Indian nuclear deal at the White House today. Wait a minute: Who's that, just between Frist and Condi. Could it be? Oh my God ... . The macacas have the bomb! --Michael Currie Schaffer

The Rush To Syria
December 15, 2006

Do you recall when, as children, we played "doctor and patient?" It was quite titillating really. Now, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat from Florida has already been to Damascus to consult with Bashar Assad. And following on Nelson's footsteps will be John Kerry (who's always playing president), Arlen Spector, Republican from Pennsylvania, and Chris Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut.

No Sense In Trying
December 15, 2006

From the looks of things, printouts of the Baker Commission are being used as toilet paper in the White House, and the Bush administration plans more-or-less to stay the current, too-marvelous-for-words course in Iraq: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday rejected a bipartisan panel's recommendation that the United States seek the help of Syria and Iran in Iraq, saying the "compensation" required by any deal might be too high. She argued that neither country should need incentives to foster stability in Iraq. Well, who knows?

In Today's Web Magazine
December 14, 2006

Ryan Lizza has the skinny on Mitt Romney's links to porn; Eve Fairbanks watches the congressional class of 1994 waddle tearfully into unemployment; Jonathan Cohn shows how the Democrats' push for universal health care is already underway; Oriana Skylar Mastro says that Washington is deluding itself to believe Beijing will pressure Kim Jong Il; and TNR Online republishes a 1996 holiday diarist by Martin Peretz about Christmastime commercialism. --Adam B. Kushner

Obama And The Right, Cont'd
December 13, 2006

Following up on (the dashing and debonair) Isaac's post, there's another tactic conservatives will likely use to combat Obamamania. They'll launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign against the guy (Barack Hussein Obama, etc.) and then blame it all on Hillary.

Bad Analogies
December 05, 2006

It's fun, if predictable, when pundits make bad analogies between current political trends and historical circumstances. But White House stenographer Fred Barnes's book review in the new Weekly Standard sets a high (low?) water mark. The book under discussion is Jennifer Weber's history of slavery-friendly Northern Democrats who opposed Lincoln's war policy, known as Copperheads. Here's Barnes:   They undermined the war wherever they could. ... More broadly, the antiwar faction's vituperative opposition hurt the ability of the Union army to carry out the war effectively. ...

"santa Isn't Fat By Accident"
December 04, 2006

It's so hard to escape the PC Police these days! As the venerable Dylan might put it, they'll stone you when you call a bad thing "gay," they'll stone you when you fete Columbus Day, they'll stone you if you love foie gras and veal, and now they'll even stone you if you want to skip a meal! This from this week's National Review (sus req): Get ready for Fat Studies. ... The University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee is offering a course titled "The Social Construction of Obesity." There is no such thing as being fat, you see; "fatness" is just a figment.