Playing The Part

Fred, Fred, Fred. If you and your team want to quash the widespread grumbling about your being a spoiled, lazy candidate basing a White House run on little more than your Hollywood celebrity, why do you keep behaving like one? After months of good ol' Fred's jerking voters around with his Hillybilly Hamlet act (should I? could I? dare I not?), now comes word that he has finally finished testing the waters and will take the plunge this week. But instead of making up for lost time by heading to New Hampshire to mix things up with fellow Republicans in Wednesday's debate, what is Fred doing?

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Get Fired Up!

Hillary, is this why you are really fired up? Please cut the crap. Friday's Boston Globe features a story headlined: "Clinton says N.H.

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Over at Andrew Sullivan's place, Jamie Kirchick laments the decline of the "anti-totalitarian left" and claims that the U.S. labor movement has abandoned its counterparts in Iraq: Whereas once the AFL-CIO had a large and effective international office, you'd be hard-pressed to hear, for instance, what they're doing for Iraqi trade-unionists. But hang on, you'd only be "hard-pressed" if you didn't have access to Google. Just this past March, John Sweeney brokered a meeting between "17 top leaders from five Iraqi trade union federations" and the financial institutions working in Iraq.

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John Warner And Iraq

This may be overthinking, but my first-blush reaction is that while Virginia Republican Senator John Warner's retirement may be terrible news for the GOP, which will have trouble holding his seat, it might be good news for George W. Bush and his Iraq war strategy. Why? Because Warner, who has provided Bush with key support on Iraq, had been on the hot seat in a state that just elected the stridently anti-war Jim Webb.

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Sadr Fodder

Sadr declares a six-month militia ceasefire. Sounds like this has to do with complex internecine Shiite politics. But it also happens to come at an extremely convenient moment for the Bush administration--just before the Petraeus-Crocker report and a new round of war funding votes in Congress--and it will be interesting to see whether the White House tries to spin it as a reason to keep up the fight in Iraq. --Michael Crowley

The Post today has the one of the smartest political analyses of the Gonzo departure I've seen, at least this morning. Rather than celebrating the AG's resignation as a sign that he -- or the administration, depending on whether you buy the line that the White House shop was actually bummed he stepped down -- has finally accepted reality, we should be baffled that he decided to resign after he had done almost all the political damage he could possibly do, a phenomenon that was prefigured by the fatally late departures of Rumsfeld and Harriet Miers.

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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.

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Man Of The People

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.

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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?

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

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