If you reside in the reality-based portions of the United States, you've probably looked on with amazement at the latest iteration of the regular battles over Texas textbooks. Briefly: because Texas is a huge market for textbooks, the standards the state's education board sets influence what books are sold across the country. And the current board is dominated not just by conservatives but by people who are, well, nuts.
NPR's Terry Grossinterviewed Karl Rove yesterday about his new book (spoiler alert: George W. Bush was strong and resolute!) and showed why he may be the most difficult person in politics to interview effectively.
So TheNew York Times' Media Decoder blog is reporting that "ABC News is close to concluding a deal to install the longtime CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour as the new host of its Sunday political discussion show "This Week.'" This is extremely good news, for a couple of reasons. First, it's nice to see that a woman can get in this chair (Amanpour would follow CNN's Candy Crowley, who recently took over their Sunday program "State of the Union"). Second, Amanpour has always been known as an excellent reporter and a tough interviewer.
Remember how Republicans used to gaze in worship at Gen. David Petraeus' stony visage, dreaming of the day he would run for the GOP nomination for president? When an insult directed the Great Man's way was enough to generate a congressional resolution of condemnation? Well, I think we can start packing up the boxes at the "Draft Petraeus Committee." First, the general informed his superiors that the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and particularly Israeli intransigence -- is harming U.S. military interests in the Middle East.
In case you haven't been paying attention to the moment-by-moment maneuvering over health care, the latest twist is a suggestion that the House might pass the bill using a parliamentary device known as a "self-executing rule," which works like this: Instead of having a vote on the Senate bill and then a vote on the package of fixes to the Senate bill (the latter of which would then be passed by the Senate), the House will have one combined vote, in which they will "deem" the Senate bill passed and pass the package of fixes.