Legal Nonsense
January 16, 2007

The Washington Post editorial page, which championed the war in Iraq, gives top billing (upper-right hand of the page) to two former Justice Department officials from the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations who argue that it is unconstitutional for the Democrats to introduce a resolution condemning the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq. David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey don't just oppose the resolution; they oppose introducing it and taking a vote on it. Their argument consists of the kind of legal sleight-of-hand that has led many distrust Washington lawyers.

New Toy For A New Season
January 08, 2007

Check out the Center for Responsive Politics's newly-launched "Revolving Door" feature, which promises to reveal to you in all its details the path between the Capitol dome and K Street. You can type in names or government agencies and see who sent the most people to K Street, who on the Hill took the most K-Streeters back, etc. While not all of these are scandalous -- Cynthia Littlefield, who worked for FEMA, also lobbied for the Jesuits!

Schwarzenegger's Health-care Rhetoric
January 08, 2007

I'll be writing more about California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal for universal health care, which he's unveiling as I type this and which--based on what I've been told by some of his advisors--is quite ambitious. In the meantime, though, I wanted to take note of the savvy rhetorical ploy Schwarzenegger is using. In his opening remarks, as in his publicity material, he's referring to the "hidden tax" all Californians pay. This tax is the money the state spends to take care of the uninsured in emergency rooms and at other safety net institutions.

Nuclear Near-misses
January 05, 2007

I must've missed it when it came out, but this story is more a little unsettling.

Teddy Kollek, R.i.p.
January 02, 2007

Teddy Kollek, who served as the mayor of Jerusalem for nearly three decades, died early this morning in the city that he loved and revived. I had written about him quite often over the years because his life touched mine, and in a significant way: Largely because it meant working with him, I accepted a post as chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation in the United States. My God, I served in that position for perhaps a dozen years, during which time I quarreled with many of his underlings but never with him. If anything gets me passed the gates of judgment it will be my labors in his vineyard.

Mccain Reloaded
December 26, 2006

Earlier this year, John McCain started prepping for his presidential run by hiring Terry Nelson as his national campaign manager. Nelson, recall, was deputy chief of staff for the Republican National Committee back in 2002-03, when the RNC was illegally jamming phone lines in New Hampshire to block Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts.

Is The Chunnel A Target?
December 25, 2006

The last time I was on the Chunnel, the 31-mile tunnel that crosses underwater between the Britain and France, it occurred to me that this is an ideal target for terrorists. No, not IRA terrorists or Basque terrorists. But, sorry, Muslim terrorists. And now, in a dispatch by Jason Burke I've not seen elsewhere, The Observer, a newspaper that is quite calm about Muslim terrorism, thank you, reported that the Chunnel is, in fact a target, maybe during the holidays. The information comes from U.S. intelligence services, via French intelligence agencies.

Romney Calls The Cops
December 22, 2006

Mitt Romney does not make his ends meet. Not at all. For years, he employed illegal immigrant workers as landscapers and gardeners on his private estate. (I pointed this out here and here.) Who doesn't hire illegals? Almost no one. But Romney's presidential campaign is premised, among other intolerances, on a malevolent attitude to outsiders whom all sectors of society have conspired to bring in, to hire, to exploit. Just like Romney did.

In Last Week's Web Magazine
December 22, 2006

Happy New Year from The New Republic Online! Over the holiday week, Jonathan Chait pointed out how Bush fooled neoconservatives into supporting the Iraq war; Catherine O'Neill reminisced about Christmas as a foreign service brat in India; Roger Rosenblatt explained why the ghost of Christmas past was more influential than the ghost of Christmas future; S.Adele Shaw rued the Americanization of Christmas; Emma Chastain revealed the erotic side of The Nutcracker; the Editors bristled at Calvin Coolidge's admonition--delivered via New Year's card--not to disagree publicly with U.S.

That Was Then....
December 21, 2006

Allow me to offer this contribution to the ongoing Mitt Romney ideological nostalgia game. It's from the October 8, 1994 Boston Globe: Pledging to swing a hammer at the "glass ceiling" that impedes women's career advancement, Republican Senate nominee Mitt Romney yesterday proposed that all publicly traded companies be required to disclose data on what their female employees earn.