The Plank

Conflicts Revealed!

Niall Ferguson finally admits he is advising John McCain on foreign a column written with the sole purpose of praising McCain!

--Isaac Chotiner

Harmonic Convergence Of Nuttery

So Mike Gravel supports replacing the income tax with a national sales tax. In 1992, Jerry Brown ran as an advocate of a flat tax. What is it with kooky left-wing Democratic candidates supporting kooky right-wing tax plans?

--Jonathan Chait

Johnson's Recovery

Democratic Senator Tim Johnson is back in DC, but no word on when he'll actually be voting in the Senate again.

--Michael Crowley

Tenet Explains

According to Jonathan Schwarz, George Tenet's book has something to say about the Downing Street Memos on Iraq, which quoted a British spy chief as saying that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It turns out the official was misquoted.

Beyond Hypocrisy

Timothy Noah points out that former USAID director Randall Tobias is a hypocrite for cavorting with call girls, seeing as how he oversaw USAID's policy of refusing AIDS funding to any group that didn't sign an anti-prostitution loyalty oath. That's an amusing bit of irony, but now seems like a good time to note that the policy really isn't very funny at all.

In Today's Web Magazine

Jonathan Chait chronicles the rise of the netroots, the most important movement since the Christian right; he also chats with Franklin Foer about the liberal blogosphere; Lawrence F.

The Kindness Of Princes

Sunday's Times reported that Saudi Prince Bandar, then the country's notorious ambassador to the US, simply gave a Jaguar to Colin Powell days after his 2005 resignation as Secretary of State. A incredulous Josh Marshall asks how often this sort of thing happens. From Bob Woodward's State of Denial, here's another instance of Bandar's generosity:

"i'm Sorry It's Come To This"

Bush, on the Democrats' supplemental war bill he plans to veto tomorrow: "I'm sorry it's come to this. Nevertheless, it is what it is."

--Eve Fairbanks

In Today's Web Magazine

Eve Fairbanks explains how Harry Reid (an Iraq war moderate) became a dove while Carl Levin (a fierce war opponent) discovered caution; we also post a guide to the candidates' Iraq speeches; Gregg Easterbrook wonders why the press called Cho Seung-Hui a "shooter" ra

Randall Tobias's Anti-prostitution Pledge

Randall Tobias, the Bush administration's foreign aid chief, has resigned because of his apparent patronage of an upscale escort service. But, wait, this isn't just a personal scandal; there's a public policy angle, too!