April 02, 2007

Stage Fright
12:00 AM

These days, as politicians tend to furiously distance themselves from the Iraq war, it's hard to remember back to 2003, when everyone wanted a piece of it. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz weren't the only ones, after all, itching to give Iraq an ideological makeover. Some celebs seemed disappointed they had missed the chance to lead the invasion themselves, and, after Saddam Hussein's statue fell, more than 50 of them poured over the border with the USO. Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped the troops' adrenaline with a screening of Terminator 3.

Freaks and Geeks
12:00 AM

One of the few papers I actually read as a grad student was written by a pair of economists named Josh Angrist and Alan Krueger. In the early '90s, Angrist and Krueger set off to resolve a question that had been gnawing at economists for decades: Does going to school increase your future wages? Intuitively, it seemed obvious that it did. When you compared the salaries of, say, Ph.D.s with those of high-school dropouts, the grad-school set almost always did better. The question was whether education accounted for the difference.

L'etat C'est Moi

by Linda Hirshman Cass Sunstein has done us all his usual good service by bringing some old-fashionedcivic republican analysis to the newer phenomenon of the blogosphere. That similar trends have been observed in satellite TV and radio reflects, I fear, that the blogosphere at most, reinforces the polarization of the society.

Supreme Court And Climate Change

by Cass Sunstein Just out: The Supreme Court has ruled against the Bush administration in the climate change case. It is too soon to know whether this is a major development in terms of climate change, but it is a remarkable outcome in terms of the law. The plaintiffs faced several serious obstacles: It was not clear that they had standing, it was not (entirely) clear that EPA's decision was reviewable under the ordinary standards, and it was not clear that the EPA's decision was inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.

Climate Change After The Supreme Court

by Cass Sunstein One of the most interesting questions raised by today's decision is the likely aftermath. In a nutshell, the EPA said that it lacked the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, and also said that it would decline to regulate greenhouse gases even if it had such authority. The Court ruled (1) that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and (2) that it did not adequately explain why it declined to do so.

Throwing The Party Nobody Wants To Attend

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman started his reign cautiously, probably for fear of going all Dan Burton. But methinks one consequence of the blowing-up of the U.S. attorneys scandal -- a gift that just fell out of the sky into the Democrats' lap -- is that it gives Waxman the opportunity to open the floodgates without seeming unjustly inquisitorial (hey, this administration already demonstrated it's a rats' nest of corruption and hackery, right?). Check out the rapidly accelerating rate of requests and invitations to come before his Waxman's committee.

Spouse In The House

Elizabeth Edwards declares she has no interest in attending her husband's cabinet meetings if John is elected president. This of course is a response to Rudy Giuliani's (now mostly retracted) suggestion that his wife might. Far more interesting to me is how Hillary Clinton will handle this question. Will Bill attend cabinet meetings? Weigh in on foreign policy crises? Will he keep running his foundation--and if so how much time will he spend in the White House? Hillary has said he'll be "ambassador to the world," whatever that means.

It's The Hacks, Stupid

The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last argues that the real attorney scandal isn't a matter of political corruption (I'm not so sure) but rampant hackery (I totally agree). He focuses on the case of Monica "Taking the Fifth" Goodling: Goodling's background is curious. Now 33, she graduated from Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school, in 1995. After a year at the American University Washington College of Law, she enrolled at Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School in 1996 - the year it received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. She graduated from Regent in 1999.

In Today's Web Magazine

Jason Zengerle hangs out with Ned Lamont, who relives his loss to Joe Lieberman every week; Michael E. O'Hanlon judges Robert Gates's first months in office; Michael Currie Schaffer probes the psychology of Matthew Dowd, the Bush turncoat; Rachel Bronson explains why Saudi Arabia is suddenly so chummy with longtime adversary Iran; and, in the wake of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the greenhouse-gas emissions, we offer a package of stories from our archives on the EPA--including articles by Al Gore and Ralph Nader. --Adam B. Kushner

April 01, 2007

The Ridiculing Posture

It is like a tornado itself. Except its attempt is to contain the damage and restrain it in the future. A particularly clear dispatch by Fiona Harvey, "Damage from global warming 'to worsen'," in Saturday's FT reports on the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Change to be made public this week. Now, according to this panel, North America and northern Europe will do not badly, in a comparative sense, and the southern spheres plus East Asia and lower Europe will be a disaster.