The group blog of The New Republic
September 11, 2007
Perhaps it's just me, but I'm amazed that more is not being made of the news that, back in 1992 when he was a lawyer/lobbyist, Fred Thompson billed a few hours of work on behalf of two Libyan intelligence agents charged with (and one of them later convicted of) the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
A couple of hours at an insidious Washington-insider cocktail party last night confirmed the Beltway CW: that Barack Obama blew a vital opening earlier this year to become the Democratic primary frontrunner, and that his campaign may well have peaked already.
There's good news and bad news in the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2007 survey of employer-provided health benefits. On the plus side, the rate of growth of premiums dropped to 6.1 percent, the fourth straight year it's fallen. On the other hand, that's still well above the 3.7 percent rate at which wages grew during the year. And the report hints that things may get worse, rather than better, in the near future:
In a press conference after a meeting with George W. Bush today, Democratic leaders talked tough about the Iraq war. But one aggressive reporter, who didn't identify himself, asked Nancy Pelosi a quite pointed question: Given that it now appears likely that US troop levels will be roughly unchanged since she took power in January, hasn't the Democratic Congress "been a failure"? Pelosi was understandably taken aback. But she didn't have much to counter with.
Following up on the dispatch I posted on Ambassador Crocker from yesterday's House hearing, I sat in on today's Senate Armed Services hearing and, after endless hours making hopeful pronouncements about a situation he clearly believes is a total disaster, Crocker actually looked like he was going to cry. The doozy came during McCain's questioning:
For whatever it's worth: Senator Gordon Smith, one of the best Republicans on Iraq, said -- according to Reuters -- that "Petraeus' testimony appeared to secure Republican support for Bush. He predicted any legislation that set a withdrawal deadline would not pass."
Former Ravens linebacker Peter Boulware announced this week that he's running for the Florida state legislature as a Republican. No word yet on whether the Democrats have had any success in recruiting Ray Lewis to run on their ticket.