The news that Rush Limbaugh will be spending the month trying to kick his OxyContin habit provides a tempting opportunity to kick a thug while he's down. Rush, after all, told his audience just eight years ago that "we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."
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.