January 30, 2008

Corruption On The 9/11 Commission?
12:00 AM

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
12:00 AM

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.

January 29, 2008

The Kenyan Catastrophe
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--The catastrophe that has befallen Kenya since the rigged election of Dec. 27--killings and displacements, curtailed freedoms, a promising economy on the verge of being wrecked--confirms for the umpteenth time that local politicians, not the remnants of imperialism or ancestral customs, are the major culprits of sub-Saharan Africa's misery. In recent years, Kenyans had made an effort to move toward a functioning democracy, a more open economy and a stable institutional environment.


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

The Party of Stinkin'
12:00 AM

If the mixed results in the early Republican primaries--a Huckabee here, a McCain or Romney there--portends a split between the GOP’s religious, fiscally conservative, and security-state wings, it won't be the first time a national American political coalition has failed. But it will be the third time in a hundred years an apparently strong Republican majority cracked up due to the party's inability to govern.

Failed State
12:00 AM

There is very little wrong with the economy, and Congress needs to act immediately to fix it.That was the peculiar logic of President Bush’s perfunctory discussion of the nation’s economic problems in last night’s lackluster State of Union Address. At a time when many Americans fear losing their jobs, their health insurance, and even their homes, Bush devoted only 149 words to a discussion of the downtown and his proposals to pull the country out of it. Remarkably, not one of those words was the “u” word--unemployment--or the “s” word--stimulus--much less the dreaded “r” word--recession.

Saving the World Ain't Cheap

In response to our article, "Where’s The Beef?," which challenged conservatives to embrace big investments in clean energy, Newt Gingrich and Terry L. Maple write, "We have consistently argued that modest incentives will not advance innovation, which is why we outline bold government incentives in our book." <?xml:namespace prefix = o />In recent years, conservatives have talked the talk of technology innovation, but have not, unfortunately, backed it up with strong support for large public investments in clean energy.

Giuliani Death Watch
12:00 AM

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
12:00 AM

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.

Dems Finally Win A Round On Fisa
12:00 AM

As you might have deduced from the State of the Union, Democrats succeeded today in derailing the administration's telecom-friendly version of FISA reform in the Senate, which so far has been the only measure Republicans have been willing to discuss. The Senate will take up the matter again Tuesday afternoon. Michael Cohen makes some good points over at Democracy Arsenal: This may be the cheapest political stunt in seven long years of Republican cheap stunts.