THE CARE CRISIS Over at TPM Cafe, Ruth Rosen has a stirring post on the glaring absence of child care and family issues from the national agenda, and the total inadequacy of the currently family support net. Reminds me of something Jacob Hacker said in his book The Great Risk Shift: "U.S policy treats families almost entirely as a personal responsibility, not a social priority." He's right, and it's weird.
FREEH LOUIE! Well, this certainly seems like a terrible idea on so many levels. Now, there will be no comments from the GOP leadership because of the "ongoing investigation," which likely will be "ongoing" until long after the elections in November, and which will be placed into the hands of an Opus Dei fellow-traveler who's never made a mistake he couldn't blame on someone else. Just the chap you want investigating a sex scandal the most important part of which is the failure of important people not named "Bill Clinton" to take responsibility for their own blunders.
NEW WAR, JUST LIKE THE OLD WAR (BUT WITH LESS TROOPS). This post of David Frum's asking whether Rumsfeld was actually wrong about some of his ideas reminds of a point I've been meaning to make: Rumsfeld's initial attempts to reform the defense procurement process and create a lighter, faster, more adaptable force were right. Many of the ideas, in fact, had been around since Gary Hart's bipartisan Military Reform Caucus, and some were directly adapted from those reports.
WHY YOU DON'T CROSS A KENNEDY. Those of us who despaired of Weepin' Joe Lieberman (I-Green Room) years ago have not been surprised by anything he's done over the past six months. He's always been a puling, mewling opportunist who'd sell his grandmother to the Malay pirates for a pat on the head from a jackleg preacher, or 15 minutes of banter on Don Imus's Wrinkle Farm, where he recently made giddy fun of the demolition of the Geneva Conventions. He's never breathed a political moment in which he was not John Breaux in a hairshirt.
IT AIN'T ABOUT BIGNESS. The quick-movingconversation on whether liberals have anything to say to libertarians who believe corporate power is only dangerous when united with state patronage is an interesting one, and worth thinking seriously about. The libertarians involved argue that liberals -- many of whom want to extend, enlarge, or at least perpetuate state power -- are unwittingly but unerringly strengthening the corporations they seek to constrain. Many of the liberals involved think that's nonsense.
GROGGY. Is the Russian Navy finally beginning to come out of its fifteen year hibernation? Admiral Kuznetsov, the Russian Navy's sole aircraft carrier, will apparently rejoin the fleet by the end of the year. Admiral Nahkimov, a Kirov class nuclear battlecruiser, is scheduled to return to service next year after eight years laid up. By themselves, of course, these moves barely begin to staunch the bleeding that the Russian Navy has experienced since 1991, but they may nonetheless signal that the Kremlin has decided to make naval power a higher priority.
GREAT LEDERS. One of the little biographical secrets that I keep from most of my friends is that I actually went to journalism school. The very first week, they taught us how to write a lead. (This was the first course in the four-year curriculum of How To Write Badly.) Anyway, I can tell you as someone whose family spent several thousands of dollars to teach him that this right here is one of the great leads of all time.
UPDATE: Bert Sugar, wherever you are, please forgive me for failing to see the similarities between this lede, and the famous one written by John Lardner concerning the untimely death by lead poisoning of a prominent fighter:
CHENEY SPEAK, YOU LISTEN.The Washington ExaminersBill Sammon provides some fascinating details from an exclusive interview he conducted on Air Force Two with Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney predicts the Republicans will hold both chambers of Congress, says Dennis Hastert is a great Speaker who should not step down, and claims that Republicans dont fear potential congressional investigations should Democrats taken control of one or both houses of Congress.
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES.The Hill has a slew of story-advancing short pieces on Foleygate today: A report on the truly severe rifts emerging within the House GOP leadership; a story documenting a push by Deborah Pryce, a member of that leadership team who's also facing a serious reelection fight, for a new angle of the scandal to be investigated; an account of everyone's favorite backbe
WON'T LAST THE DAY. That's what Bay Buchanan was saying yesterday afternoon on CNN about the fate of House Speaker Dennis Hastertin response to the latest development in the Mark Foley scandal -- the one in which Kirk Fordham, Foley's former chief of staff, claims he brought, three years ago, Foley's predatory behavior with pages to the attention of staffers in the speaker's office. (Bay's literal prediction has been proven wrong, of course, but it's early yet.) All this comes on the heels of calls by prominent right-wingers, most notably New Right Founding Father Richard Viguerie, for Hastert to step down.