July 29, 2007

The Swedish Solution
12:00 AM

You hear it over and over again, in casual conversation and in serious debates among experts: If we create universal health insurance here in the U.S., then we'll end up with less responsive, less advanced medical care. Few arguments have done as much political damage to the cause of universal health care.

July 27, 2007

Fred Thompson's Launch Date
12:00 AM

Via this morning's Hotline, I see that Fred Thompson told Hannity & Colmes last night that he'll probably announce his candidacy in September. His reasoning: "August is kind of a down month, not much going on, so it wouldn't make sense to do it in August." Sound familiar? It should. Here's Andy Card, explaining back in 2002 why the White House waited until September to start aggressively making the case for war with Iraq: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." And the Thompson analogies just keep on coming. --Jason Zengerle

Rawls Continued
12:00 AM

By Jacob T. Levy A few days ago, Linda Hirshman (I apologize for having misspelled her name a few times below) wrote: Perversely, Rawlsian liberalism also produced a slippery slope into its opposite, complete selfishness. After all, unless you could achieve the degree of selflessness he required, there was no other place to stop.

July 26, 2007

Fearless Flyer
12:00 AM

Earlier today Arlen Specter gave the AP some harsh--but hardly surprising--quotes about Alberto Gonzales and the Bush administration in general. A quick sampling: The senator Thursday that Bush was sticking by Gonzales out of personal loyalty, despite the attorney general's deteriorating support on Capitol Hill. "The hearing two days ago was devastating (for Gonzales). But so was the hearing before that and so was the hearing before that," Specter said. [snip] Specter said he was incredulous that the administration would not allow the U.S.

The Loneliness Of Alberto Gonzales
12:00 AM

Not even his FBI Director will back him up. From the AP: FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said Thursday the government's terrorist surveillance program was the topic of a 2004 hospital room dispute between top Bush administration officials, contradicting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn Senate testimony. Mueller was not in the hospital room at the time of the dramatic March 10, 2004, confrontation between then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and presidential advisers Andy Card and Gonzales, who was then serving as White House counsel.

Mark Malloch Brown
12:00 AM

I read this article in the Telegraph two weeks ago this coming Sunday. By Matthew d'Ancona, editor of a truly literate conservative publication , The Spectator, it was about the Rt. Hon. the Lord Malloch Brown who, just the other day, was merely Sir Mark Malloch Brown. Malloch Brown is a known British social type, a suck-up to the aristocracy. Except that fromerly the aristocracy believed in white man's burden, and now the aristicracy believes in no man's burden, And, of course, you should never get into a fight ...

Administration Critics
12:00 AM

Here are the major critics of the administration's Israel-Palestinian policy: Madeleine Albright, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Brent Scowcroft. This is everybody's list, politically wall-to-wall critics. It is also Victor David Hanson's list. But with what authority do they condemn, which is closer to what they do than criticize? If anyone of these haughty individuals had had even a glimmer of success on the Palestine problem that maybe we should look up and listen. As it happens, they all thought they were on their way to Palestinian nirvana.

July 25, 2007

The Mystery Of Bush's Unpopularity
12:00 AM

The Washington Post's Peter Baker has an article today on President Bush's massive unpopularity. Oddly, Baker treats the phenomenon as both hard to explain and largely unrelated to anything Bush has done: Yet Bush's political troubles seem to go beyond particular policies.

Nashville, We Have A Problem
12:00 AM

It's undoubtedly a mistake to make too big a deal out of campaign staff shake-ups, but it's pretty damn funny that Fred Thompson's campaign has been plunged into turmoil before he's even entered the race. I've long favored the Thompson as Wes Clark analogy, but I also like this bit of wisdom from a Republican Texas State Senator named Dan Patrick who, according to the Houston Chronicle likens Thompson to a quarterback who is on the bench when the team isn't winning. The crowd chants to put him in the game while anticipation mounts. Fred Thompson, the Gus Frerotte of presidential candidates!

July 24, 2007

Richardson's Rhetoric
12:00 AM

Like Eve, I thought Bill Richardson had some impressive moments last night (he had some bumbling ones too, recalling Ryan Lizza's profile of the candidate). I particularly liked his honest answer on gay marriage: "Well, I would say to the two young women, I would level with you--I would do what is achievable." In my mind, he scored the best line of the night during the touchy-feely "what do you like about each other" moment (besides Hillary's smart quip about disliking Bush's 2000 election too).