A new book about Nixon and China is out, and sure enough glowing words of praise for the former President and his debonair national security advisor are all over the newspapers. Orville Schell's review in The Washington Post is probably the most annoying of the bunch. This passage in particular caught my eye: So only a realist could go to China. A more sentimental or moralistic diplomat might well have been thrown off course by the thought of dealing with a Leninist dictatorship that had afflicted its people with almost every imaginable indignity in the name of Marxist revolution.
Joe Lieberman has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. I found this passage particularly incredible: Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq--or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? Unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington?
Most policymakers and pundits don't seem to know how to deal with Pakistan. (I certainly don't.) On the one hand, the United States wants Musharraf to be more aggressive about hunting down Al Qaeda operatives in North Waziristan. On the other hand, moving too aggressively against that part of the country might cause Musharraf's government to collapse, in which case radical Islamists could seize power--and with it, control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
I came down with Clinton fatigue somewhere near the end of the first term. I don't mean to one-up my friend David Geffen in this. He is not as temperamentally judgmental as I am, and--after all--he did have a more intimate station from which to view Bill and Hillary. If you're close to the first family when it is in the White House you are bound to a certain discretion. But, as someone once said, intimacy breeds contempt ... so, it follows, that longer-time intimacy breeds greater contempt.
Next week, the House will vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow employees in a workplace to organize as soon as a majority signed cards saying they wanted to do so. (Currently, workers have to go through NLRB-supervised elections that are prone to employer manipulation.) Opponents of card-check argue that labor bosses will just coerce employees into signing the cards, although as Ezra Klein points out, research shows that union intimidation during card-check elections is far, far less common than undue management pressure under the current system.
Requiring people to buy health insurance as if it were a driver's license has become the health care policy initiative du jour. This "individual mandate" model got its first official embrace when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, working with his Democratic state legislature, used such a scheme to cover all state residents. In January, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to implement a similar program.
by Sanford LevinsonGenerally, I am not taken by comparisons of government with business. That most leaders have never met payrolls usually is of no importance to me. That being said, I do find myself increasingly interested in the responses of businesses, in a variety of realms, when confronted with what is perceived (sometimes inaccurately, of course) as the failure of executives to take the company forward.
This is... unexpected: Christopher Ruddy, who once worked full-time for Mr. [Richard Mellon] Scaife investigating the Clintons and now runs a conservative online publication he co-owns with Mr. Scaife, said, "Both of us have had a rethinking.""Clinton wasn't such a bad president," Mr. Ruddy said. "In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick feels that way today." The guy who bankrolled the Arkansas Project and the reporter who peddled claims that the White House killed Vince Foster now think that Bill Clinton was a "pretty good president"? --Bradford Plumer
Yesterday, John McCain told a group of South Carolina voters, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned." I'm curious if anyone out there still believes--as Jon Chait and Jacob Weisberg have argued in the past--that McCain is just mouthing these lines to curry favor with the Republican base, but doesn't really believe any of this and wouldn't act on it if elected to the White House. That seems unlikely.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs want to finance universal health care with vouchers; Jonathan Chait says that foreign policy is truly foreign to Rudy Giuliani; Benjamin Wittes doubts that John Roberts and Samuel Alito will be really be able to transform the Supreme Court; and Steven Hahn looks at the scholarship of Drew Gilpin Faust to see whether she'll be a good president for Harvard. --Adam B. Kushner