January 30, 2007

Who Needs Experts?
12:00 AM

The biggest problem in Washington, of course, is that President Bush's crack team of political appointees doesn't have enough power. Luckily, help is on the way: In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries.

Why Not A Giant Disco Ball?
12:00 AM

All those people who are worried about the White House's unwillingness to take global warming seriously clearly haven't heard about the new plan yet: The US government wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming, the Guardian has learned.

Bad Date
12:00 AM

The New York Times's story today on the Libby trial makes the Libby-Fleischer lunch seem a bit like a date where person number one wants to get to know person number two. Unfortunately, person two just wants to "get down to business": Mr. Fleischer's day on the stand provided a riveting moment because of the detailed description of the conversation, which he said occurred in his last week at the White House and was the only time Mr. Libby had ever asked him to lunch.Mr. Fleischer said that after casual talk about his new career and the fact that he and Mr.

January 29, 2007

Mr. Universe
12:00 AM

For years, Republicans have attacked advocates of universal health insurance as "socialists." But what are they going to call Arnold Schwarzenegger? Last Monday, the Republican governor announced that he wants to bring universal coverage to California—just as another Republican governor, Mitt Romney, recently did for Massachusetts.

Have Faith
12:00 AM

From 2007, Richard Bushman denies that Mormons are uniquely predisposed to faith-based governance.

One town, one vote; Little Big Man
12:00 AM

Franklin B. Thacker Jr. lives in a trailer a few miles outside Appalachia, a worn-out mountain town in the southwest corner of Virginia. Thacker, who is 40, isn’t much for going out. He broke his neck ten years ago in a mining accident, and he spends his days living "bed to the couch." But, one day in January 2005, Thacker got himself a bulletproof vest. Not just any bulletproof vest, but a combat-model flak jacket—"eight times thicker" than the standard-issue police vest.

Princeton Diarist: Military Academy

A few weeks ago, Andrew Delbanco wrote eloquently in The New Republic about the strange silence of his university in this time of war ("War College," December 11, 2006). Most people don’t think of Columbia University as an island of stillness and detachment. In Morningside Heights, as in Israel, any four people usually have eight opinions and express them with articulate fury. Yet Columbia holds its peace about Iraq—and, according to Delbanco, shows few traces of its active participation in America’s other wars. Princeton University, where I work, does feel like an island, "rising," as F.

Kristol's Wisdom
12:00 AM

Bill Kristol, who has lately been intent on proving you can make a lucrative career out of being right less often than a broken clock, valiantly defended Lewis Libby on Fox News Sunday yesterday. According to Kristol, Patrick Fitzgerald decided to go after "Scooter" instead of other members of the administration (like Ari Fleischer) because of the former aide's hawkish stance on Iraq. During the discussion Kristol made this remarkably inane point: Ari Fleischer is the president's personal press secretary. He's at the same level in the White House as Scooter Libby.

Kagan/keane Not Pleased With Kagan/keane Plan
12:00 AM

Over at Salon, Mark Benjamin lays out a problem some conservatives have with the surge. Benjamin: The Baghdad surge plan, announced by the president on Jan. 10, calls for the new U.S. soldiers to be embedded with Iraqi forces, who will take the lead. But while the U.S. troops would report to American officers, their Iraqi counterparts, in an apparent sop to national sovereignty, would report to Iraqi officers.

Exes Of Evil
12:00 AM

It hasn't taken long for the old Hillary Clinton dynamic to kick into place: Clinton goes ever so slightly off script, news media misinterprets, conservatives go wild.