While honing my MSM conventional-wisdom talking points at the unholy White House correspondentss dinner last night, I spotted the head of the six-foot-four would-be GOP candidate looming over the crowd and just for kicks I accosted him: "Senator, I have three words for you," I said. "Tallest man wins."* "I hope so!" he replied. I declare it a confirmation. [* OK not always--but usually!] --Michael Crowley
It's been a good week for Larry, so we should just let him bask in all of his glory: There was another [after the Supreme Court decision], less visible piece of good news out of Washington this week. Namely, Democrats don't have the votes to affect government-sponsored price controls for drugs. Score it capitalism 10--socialism zero. Ten to nothing, wow! It's a blowout. Stopping socialist price controls and promoting the sanctity of life for the unborn are economic and cultural victories. Make no mistake about that. Are those in ascending or descending levels of importance?
by Alan Wolfe For those--I include myself--who continue to blame Ralph Nader for the disaster known as George W. Bush, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gonzales v. Cahart caps the story. It is not merely that this decision is one more example of the way in which the American right has become more statist than the left. It is that the paternalism of the decision flows directly from Nader's particular version of statism. Nader believes that consumers make irresponsible purchases and it is the job of the government to prevent them from decisions they will later regret.
Harry Reid doesn't seem overly thrilled with the Supreme Court's abortion decision yesterday: "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there." That's nice, and I agree, but then why did Reid vote for the D&X ban in the first place?
Everyone knows that John Ashcroft was fully committed to fighting the all-crucial War on Porn. But what about Alberto Gonzales? He wasn't one of those porno-king sympathizers found so frequently on the Western left, was he? Hardly, Salon's Mark Follman reports today. Not only did Gonzales make adult obscenity a "top priority" for the Justice Department during his tenure, but two of those fired U.S. attorneys may have actually been sacked for being soft on internet nudity: Two of the fired U.S.
There's been some grumbling lately that Rich Little, scheduled to headline the White House Correspondent's Association dinner on Saturday night, is too boring and tame. In that spirit, check this out, from today's Times: His promotional biography says, "He's particularly fond of [imitating] Alan Ladd and other stars no longer typically remembered." Gotta love that "typically". --Isaac Chotiner
The Supreme Court upholds the ban on so-called "partial-birth abortions." Here's the decision. Anthony Kennedy turns out not to be the closet liberal many conservatives feared. Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets at the import of this: "For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman's health." For more context, read this earlier piece by Scott Lemieux.
Rudy seems to get it, too. Here, in full, are his detailed ruminations on the Supreme Court's ruling today to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban: The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion. I agree with it. --Adam B. Kushner
Today's New York Times carries a front-page story about Andrew Young, the former United Nations ambassador who is now a government lobbyist. Young's consulting firm, GoodWorks International, lobbies on behalf of both Nigeria and major industries that do business (or hope to do business) there. A Nigerian human rights lawyer and president of the West African Bar Association puts it best: "He is just here making money." Young is not new to controversy.
Let's see what happens next but it is striking that George W. Bush chose to speak about Darfur today at the Holocaust Museum. And if the symbolism wasn't clear enough, the White House even issued a fact sheet entitled "Stop the Genocide in Darfur." At least the rhetoric is there. On the other hand, today's Times reports that a new U.N. report highly critical of the government also "says that rebel groups were also guilty of violating Council resolutions, peace treaty agreements and humanitarian standards," which presumably doesn't make solving the problem any easier. --Michael Crowley