• Not To Be Stingy With Credit, But...

    Mark Schmitt writes : The president's popularity dipped into the low 40s, and they passed the energy bill anyway -- what more proof do you need that the president's poll numbers hardly matter, if you control the instutions? At least a bit more. The President won reelection but couldn't pass privatization -- what more proof do you need that control of the institutions hardly matter? I've been seeing the occasional emergence of some strange conservative checklist wherein CAFTA, energy bill and highway bill means he's been an effective second term president, poll numbers and ideological failures be damned! Well, maybe. But I think not. When you control the institutions of government, I think it's basically assumed that you'll be able to ram your way to success in the more basic responsibilities of the presidency. The highway and energy bills fit that -- they're basically infrastructure adjustment acts larded with pork to attract legislator support. They're bad, sure, but not bad in the...
  • Roberts

    So far as Bush nominees go, Roberts' answer on Roe was significantly more encouraging than anything I was expecting. Further, his fairly expansive view of privacy rights within the Constitution is quite comforting. We'll see how the hearings evolve, but as of now, I'm fairly impressed.
  • Good News!

    I've been listening to the John Roberts hearings for the past half hour and I think we can safely say that he would vote to uphold Brown v. Board . Well, it's something, right? (By the way, were I John Roberts, I'd really hate Ted Kennedy.)
  • Comment Rules

    By popular request:
  • When Heartless Becomes Hackneyed

    Apparently, NRO's Cliff May thinks LA's blackout is an acceptable analogue for what those left in New Orleans went through: Does [Bush] even care what the people of Los Angeles are going through? Not everyone in Hollywood can just get into a Range Rover and turn on the air conditioning. Some people only have Mercedes and BMWs and red Corvettes. How long is the rescue effort going to take? Surely, Bush is not waiting on the mayor and the governor again. Big-foot them now! I’ll bet Bush is playing his silly banjo. I'll let you insert your own epithet.
  • Lights Out

    Apparently, LA's experiencing a massive power outage. The classroom I'm in is unaffected, but the rest of the city isn't quite so likely. Terrorism isn't currently suspected, but coming on the heels of yesterday's Al-Qaeda tape promising a strike against Angelenos, it's definitely a little creepy.
  • Coming Soon to a Board of Directors Near You

    CNN's saying Mike Brown's resigned and stressing that he wasn't fired . Get that? He experienced a sudden, overwhelming, and totally random desire to spend more time with the horses. Bush is not admitting that his political patronage contributed to a massive disaster. I have to admit, I don't understand the Bush administration's peculiar resistance to firing folks. Wouldn't the axing of Brown make Bush look decisive, in charge, willing to hold underlings accountable, aware of how poor a job FEMA had done? I know the Bushies are severely allergic to the slightest whiff of admitting fault, but you'd think they'd swallow that for short-term political gain. Weird place to pile your principles.
  • The Burning Bush

    I have to say, I'm starting to think Matt is very wrong on this : That dynamic [nobody is loyal to Bush anymore because he's not running for anything] will probably get very bad for Bush sometime after the 2006 elections unless the White House political team manages to settle on a favorite standard-bearer and essentially clear the primary field for him. Matt's been making this argument for awhile now and some weeks find it more convincing than others. This week's not a good one. Bush is currently under 40% in the polls. In Virginia, his existence is proving a negative for Kilgore -- reverse coattails, if you will. So let's say, given all this, and assuming some degree of Democratic pickup in the 2006 elections, Bush and his handlers begin signaling their favored candidate. What happens? Revolt. Once Bush picks a candidate, that's it . Every other candidate knows their hopes of a Bush endorsement are over. So what's their probable move? They're not going to give up their presidential...
  • Privatize FEMA Pointer

    As the day goes on, I don't want to accidentally bury my "Privatize FEMA?" post from last night. If you've not read it yet, do so. It's much more substantial than anything else I'm likely to write today, and I think it an important point in general.
  • Hi, My Name Is Earl

    Not that I have anything against Jason Lee, but I'm going to have to ask all readers of this blog to boycott his new show "My Name Is Earl". Fact of it is, someone's got to take a stand against the unholy marriage of text advertisements and speaker boxes: Personally, I'm a fan of Jason Lee and perhaps his new show will rock enough to get me to tune in and/or Tivo it. But I seriously doubt it. Especially after having my page-flipping Sunday evening solitude so entirely disrupted when I came to this ad and turned past it only to jump at the loud sound of Jason's voice coming from straight outta nowhere and telling me "My name is Earl! Do good things and good things will happen to you! It's called Karma!" I quickly ascertained that the voice was not from inside my head but rather inside the page via a small speaker wired to a small pressure sensitive circuit board embedded in it. Think I'm overreacting? Behold your future: [W]hen I turned the next page Jason piped up again. "My name is...