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

American Collapse

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.

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Straw Man

Noam Scheiber on Mitt Romney’s flimsy 2008 campaign.

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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.

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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.

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