REBOUND. In a last minute turnaround, House GOP leaders struck a deal with rebelling appropriators late yesterday and narrowly revived their lobbying reform package. A vote is set for next week. Leaders won over the Appropriations Committee members by assuring them that an extension of earmark reforms to the authorizing and tax committees would be added in conference negotiations with the Senate.
THE FULL TANK. Err . . . I've been having some trouble dreaming up things to write about lately, but does my morning Washington Post really need not one, not two, but three columns on gas prices? Turns out there's a lot of political posturing going on. Who knew? But in case you missed the message, there's also an unsigned editorial making the point.
To those following the issue, the Washington Post still has not corrected the error in its reporting on Mexico's post NAFTA growth rate ("Mexican Deportee's U.S. Sojourn Illuminates Roots of Current Crisis," 4-17-06:A1). My April 18th post noted that the growth data reported in this article implied that Mexico had enjoyed an average GDP growth rate of 17.5 percent a year in the post-NAFTA era, which would be a world record. The IMF data show Mexico's growth rate at a weak 2.9 percent.
STILL DOING NOTHIN'.Faux lobbying reform bogs down in the House. The total collapse of the Republicans' legislative capacity is quite remarkable. John Boehner really needs to trot out some of those awesome Famous People quotes he included in his goofball "For a Majority that Matters" manifesto and get his caucus in line. Perhaps Walt Disney's would work: "Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal."
NOW THERE'S A BOLD PLAN. It seems almost too obvious to point out, but if the White House press secretary's job is to build favorable coverage for an administration too often seen as opaque and insular, it's probably a bad idea to ban all television cameras from the press room, thereby infuriating reporters and further closing off the administration's public accessibility. Now, to be fair, doing so would certainly fit in with Fred Barnes' second piece of advice to Tony Snow, "be willing to be disliked," but I had no idea Barnes was searching for such self-fulfilling pieces of advice.
THE DEATH OF MULTICULTURALISM. Ensconced in TimesSelect's fortress, David Brooksweighs in today on Mike's essay. Brooks sees Tomasky's call for supplanting rights-based liberalism with a new(-old) common good liberalism as reflective of a sea change among Democrats and activists -- "over the past few years," he writes, "multiculturalism has faded away" as a pillar of the Democratic Party and American liberalism.
WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND RACIST, I WAS YOUNG AND RACIST.Ryan Lizza's new profile of George Allen is the sort of article that can sink a candidacy. Lizza reaches deep into Allen's past and, like a magician pulling endless amount of ropes from a tiny hat, emerges with decorative nooses, a string of confederate flags (one from Allen's car, another from his living room, another from the pin on his lapel in his high school yearbook photo), and a long pattern of racist votes and dog whistle appeals.
A QUESTION ABOUT KARL ROVE'S SELF-DEFENSE. Can anyone explain this? Here's how today's Washington Post described part of the testimony that Karl Rove offered yesterday:
Rove's testimony focused almost exclusively on his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 and whether the top aide later tried to conceal it, the source said. Rove testified, in essence, that "it would have been a suicide mission" to "deliberately lie" about his conversation with Cooper because he knew beforehand that it eventually would be revealed, the source said. (Emphasis added.)
WHO YOU CALLIN' STUPID? Methinks a lot of folks out there are too quick to underestimate the intelligence of highly trained professional politicians. The basic dilemma facing Democrats at the moment regarding gasoline goes as follows:
TELEPHONE AND SADDAM'S TERRORISM. Based on a whole bunch of captured Iraqi documents, the Pentagon has assembled an Iraq Perspective Project report (PDF) on Saddam Hussein's regime which serves as the basis for this long article in Foreign Affairs on which Andrew Sullivan based this blog post concluding that "Those who sincerely marched against war in London in 2002 and 2003 were unwittingly marching to keep in power a regime planning to bomb and terrorize