Parent Trap

Jon Cohn on how Mitt Romney un-became his father.


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

What 'they' Call It

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.


Climate Sausage

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.


Trailers For Cheney

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

The Supreme Court went on a rampage today: weakening McCain-Feingold, barring ordinary taxpayers from challenging the White House's faith-based initiatives in court, siding with businesses over environmentalists in a dispute about endangered species, and ruling against a student who unfurled a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner in school (no, really). Worth noting: All of those decisions were 5-4, Alito and Roberts wrote two majority opinions apiece, and in all cases, the court liberals--Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter, Breyer--were on the dissenting end of things. --Bradford Plumer

Gonzales Watch

For those who have long thought that the attorney general is not the smartest person on the planet, today's big Washington Post story on Dick Cheney has not one but two fun tidbits. First: Powell asked for a meeting with Bush. The same day, Jan. 25, 2002, Cheney's office struck a preemptive blow. It appeared to come from Gonzales, a longtime Bush confidant whom the president nicknamed "Fredo." And here's John Yoo showing skill in deploying euphemisms (something he is distrubingly good at): Gonzales, a former Texas judge, had the seniority and the relationship with Bush.