Let's just agree up front that there's no augury or metaphor in it, but the fact remains that South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle spoke at length for the first time about his new book, which is due out in November, at something called the Deadwood Pavilion. Addressing an audience at his state's first-ever book fair, Daschle said he wrote the tome, titled Like No Other Time, because he had "a compelling story to tell," adding, somewhat cosmically, that "history is not written at a constant pace. It is sometimes accelerated."
It's not every investigation that lays its cards on the table at the outset, but the modus operandi of John Ashcroft, public eye, became apparent at the very moment the Justice Department got on the Joseph Wilson retaliatory leak case. As all signs pointed to a White House leaker, Justice announced that it would widen its net to look for suspects at the Defense and State departments.
Now, in theory, it's conceivable that some neocon at Defense decided to out Wilson's wife. But State? Why stop there? Why not Agriculture? How about the Bureau of Labor Statistics?
Confirmation hearings are pending for Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, the nominee to replace Christie Whitman at the troubled Environmental Protection Agency. Leavitt surprised many in mid-August when he accepted the nomination, as he'd been offered the post just two months earlier and had turned it down because he was still undecided about seeking a fourth gubernatorial term. When the nomination was announced, it was praised, as they say, on both sides of the aisle.
But lately, Leavitt has become a symbol of boiling Democratic discontent in the Senate. His hearings are being held up by a group of lawmakers fed up with the deceit of the Bush administration, and with the morass that is the EPA.
The Enron scandal should ring down the curtain on a whole philosophy of free-market capitalism and a whole style of government-corporate cronyism. It should launch a national movement to leash the corrupt power of money in politics so that legislators and regulators can serve the public interest.