The U.S. military says it's conducting a thorough investigation of the alleged November 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha. Skepticism may be in order. It's not that such investigators don't expend effort trying to get to the bottom of things. But one pattern of military and Pentagon self-examinations is worth noting. The most carefully examined incidents of abuse at Abu Ghraib were those that appeared in the notorious photographs.
National health care? Demolition and reconstruction of the tax code? A comprehensive war on poverty? Well, maybe not -- yet. But if the pollsters are right and Election 2006 proves to be a dark day for the right and a bright dawn for the left, there's plenty that a renewed progressive majority could enact immediately. Herewith are a dozen doable ideas, most of them languishing in Congress right now, many of them poised to tip onto the floor and into the lawbooks if a more liberal leadership began scheduling votes.
In May, the New York Times reported the semi-surreal news that George W. Bush, mulling his legacy, is hatching plans to “create a public policy center with his presidential library after he leaves office in 2009.” No other presidential library has such a policy center, and the notion that Bush would be the first President to become a think tank maven struck many as a bit odd. Even leaving aside Bush's own personal intellectual curiosity (or lack thereof), his administration has something of a well-earned reputation for aggressive skepticism regarding the analyses of policy experts.
It's a season of “staff shake-ups” and “new directions” at the beleaguered Bush White House. In late March, Bush announced the replacement of Andy Card with Office of Management and Budget Director Josh Bolten as White House chief of staff. This has prompted speculation of further retirements to come, centered particularly on Treasury Secretary John Snow and the White House's hapless press secretary, Scott McClellan.