April 16, 2007
by Christine Stansell How bad can it get? Really bad. Ever since the U.S. attorney scandal started to heat up, it's been a pleasure to read the morning news. Last year this time, the initial suspicions and revelations would have flared up and died down in a couple of news cycles, one more blip on the outrage radar. It's not that the press is so much brighter--although they do seem to be waking up and shaking off the torpor (remember back when the White House press corps got a kick out of Bush's good-old-boy nicknames?). It's that the Democrats have the power to hold committee hearings.
More French News
by David A. Bell With less than a week to go before the first round of balloting, Nicolas Sarkozy is still the odds-on favorite to become France's next president. And one big reason is that, despite the gaffe I reported on last week, he is a remarkably impressive campaigner. In his speeches he is clear, persuasive, at ease, inspiring, and quite funny, often in a self-deprecating vein. In one of his recent appearances, he told his listeners that a few years ago he met a lady who told him, "I like you very much." Flattered, he asked her why.
The Deflating Showdown
There's a lot of hullabaloo over a forthcoming nasty constitutional showdown between Bush and congressional Democrats over the war supplemental, but it still may never get to that, with key anti-war Democrats acknowledging that they're likely to back down on the withdrawal deadline and Bush recognizing their constitutional right not to budge. Here's Armed Services chair Carl Levin (as reported in the Post): Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl M.
In Today's Web Magazine
Jonathan Chait laments that Alberto Gonzales has not lived up to legacy of the administration's previous flack superstars; Jonathan Cohn parries David Gratzer's complaints about other countries' universal health plans; Andrew Roberts, Bush's imperial historian, and Johann Hari scuffle over Hari's profile of Roberts; Michael Currie Schaffer explains why Paul Wolfowitz should step down from the World Bank; and Joshua Kurlantzick says we haven't gotten anything by being nice to China. --Adam B. Kushner
April 15, 2007
Bill Clinton's Love For Israel
Is he out of his mind? Or just reckless? Well, reckless he certainly is. That we've known for years. But now he seems to truly have gone off his rocker. The latest evidence for the unreliability of Bill Clinton's judgement is his statement to Beirut-based Asharq Al-Awsat that, as cited by Ze'ev Schiff in today's Ha'aretz, "A peace agreement between Israel and Syria could be reached within 35 minutes." The Syrian government has been fighting Zionism for nearly three quarters of a century. It is ruthless domestically, imprudent diplomatically and impetuous militarily.
The First Televised Genocide
Today was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, and various eminences but mostly a crowd of survivors gathered at Yad Vashem, Moshe Safdie's great architectural statement against genocide, in Jerusalem. Tommy Lapid, a former Knesset member, cabinet member and now chair of the Yad Vashem council, reminded the assembled that there had been other genocides since the Jewish catastrophe: in Rwanda, Biafra, Cambodia.
Brother, Can You Spare A Dollar?
First McCain's fundraising disappointed, and now this: Sen. John McCain has spent nearly two-thirds of the money he raised for his presidential campaign this year, leaving him with less than half the cash his major opponents have in the bank. McCain, an Arizona Republican who raised less money than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also spent a bigger percentage of his campaign treasury than his rivals, according to federal reports filed electronically over the weekend. From January through March, McCain raised about $13 million.
In Today's Web Magazine
The Editors shouldn't have to explain that a congressional hearing is not a "show trial"; the novelist Gish Jen bickers with her family about her grandmother's remains; Benjamin Wittes points out that the Supreme Court's EPA ruling actually leaves all of the most important questions on climate change unanswered; David Gratzer, responding to Jonathan Cohn's piece last week, argues that nationalizing a health plan means limiting access to care; and Richard Jenyns wonders why the poet John Betjeman never caught on in the United States. --Adam B. Kushner
April 13, 2007
Anyone who's worked in journalism for any period of time has faced situations where an article he's working on is superseded by events prior to publication (say, Mark Warner announces he's not running for president just as a writer is putting the finishing touches on a big piece about his candidacy). So, I'm willing to give Charles Krauthammer the benefit of the doubt and assume that today's op-ed, "The Surge: First Fruits," was largely written before yesterday's bomb attacks on the parliament building and Sarafiya bridge.
Apropos of this "missing emails" business, Dan Froomkin went ahead and asked a White House spokesperson what the actual rules on sending email were for staffers.