John Dingell, the 80-year-old Michigan representative, watches me gaily as I gaze at the rows of antlered stags and snarling boar mounted on the walls of his Rayburn office. The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee tells me he shot the decor himself: a disquieting fact, no doubt, to the environmental activists who know that--since he is shepherding a big energy bill through the House this year--the future of the Earth rests in his hands.
I. In late 1988, when I set out to write a life of Whittaker Chambers,the cold war had reached its ceremonial endgame: Mikhail Gorbachevacknowledging the autonomy of peoples long after they had liberatedthemselves, valiant students halting tank columns in TiananmenSquare. It was an impressive, if occasionally hollow, spectacle,and it inspired a chorus of sweeping pronouncements in the UnitedStates.
Michael Kinsley recalls the time Ronald Reagan invited him to lunch (or did he?); Cass R. Sunstein says the Supreme Court's rulings this week belie a fundamental disagreement between the conservative justices; Eve Fairbanks listens to House Energy Committee Chairman John Dingell rant and rave about environmentalists; and James Kirchick braves protestors and a would-be pipe bomber at Jerusalem's gay rights parade. --Alexander M. Belenky
by Cass Sunstein In the midst of all the discussion of race-based pupil assignments and affirmative action, I've now received an Op-Ed from someone at the same institution as the person who sent me an Op-Ed on climate change. (Or was that a parody?) I print this one because it seems to me to capture some widespread views in the popular press and perhaps even to overlap, at least a little bit, with the Court's analysis yesterday. (Or is this a parody? What do you think?) "Reverse Discrimination" "They" call it affirmative action.
In the current TNR, Eve has a fantastic article about how John Dingell, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, became the bête noire of greens everywhere. Unexpectedly, though, Dingell just pledged to craft a bill by the fall that would require an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He's also made vague, very vague, noises about a carbon tax.
Rahm's moving ahead with his amendment to defund the Office of the Vice President (at least so long as Cheney insists that he's above the law): The latter half of the amendment prompted Rep.
As Ezra Klein says, there's not too much that's shocking about the new Labor Department report finding that workers want more sick leave and paid vacation while businesses want, well, less. But this paragraph seemed ominous: Many businesses complained that the Labor Department's definition of a serious health condition enabling workers to take leave was unclear and too generous.
Uh oh. It looks like Republican members of the Washington Establishment--according to the Establishment's spokeswoman, Sally Quinn--want to throw Dick Cheney overboard. From Quinn's piece in today's WaPo: Removing a sitting vice president is not easy, but this may be the moment. I remember Barry Goldwater sitting in my parents' living room in 1973, in the last days of Watergate, debating whether to lead a group of senior Republicans to the White House to tell President Nixon he had to go. His hesitation was that he felt loyalty to the president and the party.
Martin Peretz argues that the disintegration of Gaza marks the end of Palestinian nationalism; Jonathan Chait says that Michael Bloomberg's attempt to transcend ideology is merely a pretense; Jason Zengerle begins a debate with Chait over whether Fred Thompson stands a chance in the presidential race; Benjamin Wittes identifies the Supreme Court's looming legitimacy crisis; and Mark Lilla calls Alexis de Tocqueville a prophet for our times. --Alexander M. Belenky