The Editors

Recent Articles

Book 'Em

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." "Accelerate," meanwhile, is undoubtedly what many Democratic senators -- perhaps Daschle included -- wish they could do with the number of days remaining in the term of their colleague from Georgia, Zell Miller. That's because Miller, too, has turned authorial; but where advance word on Daschle's book suggests that it will be a polite paean to his colleagues and their will to soldier on after 9-11, Miller's product (published in October) is of a different character. A...

FOXic Waste

Say what you will about its bias and inaccuracies, FOX News is succeeding at its mission. Of course, that mission is to spread bias and inaccuracies that bolster the position of the Bush White House. A new survey from the Program on International Policy Attitudes (a joint project of the Center on Policy Attitudes and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland) asked more than 3,000 Americans a range of questions on foreign-policy matters. Conclusion? If you're a viewer of FOX News, the odds are high that everything you know is wrong. In particular, respondents were asked if it was true that clear links had been found between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq and that world public opinion was favorable to Bush policy in Iraq. Fully 45 percent of the FOX News audience believes at least one of these three whoppers is true -- compared with 36 percent of CBS viewers, 31 percent of CNN's, 30 percent of...

Ashcroft on the Case

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? Not that Ashcroft's approach to the case is without precedent. We think, particularly, of the climactic moment in Casablanca, when Humphrey Bogart's Rick, the smoking weapon still in his hand, stands over the fresh corpse of Conrad Veidt's Maj. Strasser, while Claude Rains' Louis, the prefect of police, utters the immortal words, "Round up the usual suspects." A few moments later, in the film's final shot, Bogart and Rains walk...

Indoor Pollution

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. Leading the charge are Hillary Rodham Clinton and three other Senate Democrats and presidential candidates: John Edwards, Joe Lieberman and John Kerry. Clinton's concern has nothing to do with Leavitt himself but with the question of whether the White House and the EPA covered up the extent of the air...

The Great Recusal

T he Enron scandal should ring down the curtain on a whole philosophy of free-market capitalism and a whole style of government-corporate cronyism. It should launch a national movement to leash the corrupt power of money in politics so that legislators and regulators can serve the public interest. We have been here before, most recently when the Great Depression discredited the speculative excess invited by laissez-faire. One generation earlier, in the Progressive Era, financial panics and robber baron abuses led to demands for reform (which resulted in a 1907 law prohibiting corporate campaign contributions). In both these periods, a politically aroused citizenry elected progressives who in turn enacted profound changes in the ground rules of capitalism. But these changes remained politically secure only as long as the power of voters offset the power of money. A new reform era in this first decade of the new century will be tougher to achieve. Enron may display all the elements of...

Pages