August 28, 2007

Giveaways Galore

Josh touched on this last week, but today Michael O'Hare has much, much more on the fact that the Interior Department is preparing to offer a handful of agribusinesses long-term rights to 15 percent of the federally owned water in California--more water than all the households in Los Angeles and San Diego use in a year--at a time when droughts are increasingly forcing residents to conserve.

Man Of The People
12:00 AM

For those of us whose vision of Moses begins and ends at the movies, or more to the point, perhaps, with Charlton Heston, it may come as a great surprise to learn that Moses was just about everywhere in mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century America. You might even say he gave Jesus a run for his money. True, Cecil B. DeMille, who hired the then young and relatively unknown Heston because of his alleged resemblance to Michelangelo's fabled sculpture, had a great deal to do with firmly affixing Moses and his Ten Commandments to the modern imagination. After all, "Mr.

The President And Gonzales

Deep in his sorrow, George Bush has called Alberto Gonzales "a talented and honest man." Now, how would the president actually recognize those threats? Am I not mistaken, on the other hand, that when--given other alternatives (perhaps Harriet Miers)--many Democrats yearned for Gonzales as a moderate Hispanic who'd be quite good for the Supreme Court?

August 27, 2007

After Fredo

While those outside the loop are discussing names such as Michael Chertoff to be the new Attorney General, Ross Douthat--who's evidently far better wired into the White House than I realized--has already been auditioning possible replacements and seems to have found the one person on the face of the earth better at not answering a question than Alberto Gonzales: After five minutes of this, even Pat Leahy will throw in the towel. Update: John Cole concurs. --Christopher Orr

American Collapse
12:00 AM

UPDATE 12/25/08: A number of tragic events in the past several years have exposed the multiple costs of continuing to neglect our deteriorating infrastructure: to human lives, to quality of life, to the economy, to the future health and competitive prospects of our country. President-elect Barack Obama is working with Congress to put together a New-Dealish economic stimulus package that could total $850 billion, with a big chunk of those funds dedicated to projects that will repair, rebuild, and upgrade the nation's infrastructure.

Straw Man
12:00 AM

Noam Scheiber on Mitt Romney’s flimsy 2008 campaign.

August 24, 2007

Bloody Spectacle Of The Day

The steps outside the U.S. Supreme Court can be a pretty strange place--especially when the Court is hearing an abortion case. But it looks like we've got nothing on Pakistan. From today's NYT story about the Pakistani Supreme Court's decision to allow former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to return from exile and run for office: Mr. Sharif's supporters hugged each other and poured out of the white marble building onto the main avenue, where they slaughtered four goats in celebration. As blood spilled on the asphalt, Mr.

National Review Vs. National Review

The National Review has a new editorial online today reading in part: Now the surge has helped turn Sunni tribes against al Qaeda, advancing the goal that nearly everyone in the U.S. notionally shares of routing the terror group from Iraq. Democrats try to chalk up this progress generically to the courage and the adeptness of our troops.

Kinsley On Scully On Gerson...

Mark me down as agreeing with Michael Kinsley on the Mike Gerson hatchet job the Atlantic ran this month. Like Kinsley, I thought the offenses catalogued by Matt Scully, Gerson's former White House speechwriting colleague, were pretty miniscule. Aside from a certain exhibitionist allure--which is, of course, why it was the first thing I turned to, and why I read straight through in one sitting--the piece had little to offer. As Kinsley points out, it's Scully, rather than Gerson, who comes off looking like the prick here.

August 23, 2007

Blast Off

Apart from razing the Appalachian landscape, polluting thousands of rivers and streams, devastating local communities, and increasing erosion and flooding in the surrounding areas, there's really not a whole lot to love about the mountaintop-removal method of coal mining. Here's the latest in a long, long line of White House moves to bolster the technique: The Bush administration is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal. The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams.