Ronald Brownstein writes in the L.A. Times: “Insiders say that despite another online uproar, the Congressional Black Caucus intends next week to announce plans to co-sponsor a Democratic presidential debate with Fox, just as it did in 2004.” Let the CBC hear from you HERE.
When it comes to tackling greenhouse gases, it seems there are the United States and then just the states. Since our national government lacks any substantive policy, let us turn instead to the local efforts.
At the forefront, of course, is California, which is why British Prime Minister Tony Blair went directly to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to discuss climate change solutions. Various other states have begun or completed action plans.
And it’s a good thing, too, because “among the top 75 emitters of global warming pollutants, 34 are US states,” as noted by an Environmental Finance piece, “The good news from the states.” The articles gleefully recognizes the state leadership (and is loaded with links to state-specific information).
A central question is whether tightening emission allowances also tightens the checkbook. So take a look at estimates from Arizona’s plan:
Conclusion? That these small steps–shall we say baby steps?–by states against climate change certainly will not lead to “an undesirable crawl” in the economy.
“People who understand the history and the mission of the United States attorney and Justice Department — they are uniformly appalled, horrified,” said Atlee W. Wampler III, chairman of a national organization of former United States attorneys and a prosecutor who served in the Carter and Reagan administrations. “That the tradition of the Justice Department could have been so warped by that kind of action — any American should be disturbed.”
“No matter how badly Iraq goes it helps the Republicans,” writes Tyler Cowen, “who benefit from an emphasis on foreign policy, an area where Democrats are never trusted.” This is a fairly widespread view. I give it additional credence because in my experience its main locus is among people who, like Cowen, have somewhat ambivalent feelings about the political parties. That said, I don’t see a ton of empirical evidence to back it up.
“The White House, repeatedly asked if President Bush is planning anything to mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on Monday, has suggested that the president is going about business as usual. On Monday, that business includes playing host to the 2006 NCAA football champions, the University of Florida ‘Gators.’“
Ha, ha, ha — Michael Ledeen catches France thinking they should be giving us advice as to what to do in Iraq. Imagine that! You’d think they’d just be hiding their heads in shame after the events of the past four years
proved them right utterly discredited French thinking about this. Mark Steyn has more on French perfidy. If Dominque de Villepin thinks we should withdraw from Iraq, then I say let’s stay forever just to stick it to him!
“Surge” into Baghdad prompts surge of insurgent violence in Diyala, presumably because folks just moved over there. Now there’s going to be a “mini-surge” of additional forces to Diyala to clamp down on the new problems there.
UPDATE: Oh, also, remember when killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi meant we didn’t need to worry about his local jihadist franchise anymore? Oh, well.
On Jan. 18, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee, under oath, that “with respect to every United States attorney position in this country, we will have a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed United States attorney.”
But e-mails reveal that the Justice Department was already planning to install Karl Rove-protege Tim Griffin as U.S. attorney in Arkansas by taking advantage of a Patriot Act provision that allows the President to appoint “interim” U.S. attorneys for indefinite periods of time, bypassing the Senate confirmation process altogether.
The administration understood that its plan to skirt Congress would be met with severe criticism. In a Dec. 19 email, Sampson wrote to a White House aide, explaining the administration’s strategy for countering the criticism:
We should gum this to death. [A]sk the senators to give Tim a chance…then we can tell them we’ll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in “good faith,” of course.
With little attention, this scenario is exactly what is playing out now, as the White House is running out the clock to keep Griffin in office.
On Feb. 15, Griffin — in an effort to stem the growing tide of criticism over his appointment — announced that he had “made the decision not to let my name go forward to the Senate.” Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), a stalwart White House ally, said last week he “is interviewing candidates to recommend as replacements for Griffin.” “It is my goal to produce a list of three strong candidates to forward to the White House for consideration,” he said.
Boozman added it would “take between six and nine months” to identify Griffin’s replacement. Meanwhile, as the White House waits to name a new nominee, Griffin has said that he is ready and willing to serve until the end of Bush’s term.
The conservatives’ efforts to find a replacement for Griffin are presumably in “good faith” of course.
UPDATE: The Arkansas Times blog is suspicious of Boozman’s “good faith” efforts and calls on Griffin to resign. “If Boozman drags his feet long enough on nominations, he could easily extend the appointment of a permanent U.S. attorney into the final months of Bush’s term.”
Megan McArdle wonders why, if liberals like single-payer health care systems, but not UK-style single-provider health care systems, don’t we all support the idea of school vouchers. I think Kevin Drum mostly gets this right, but let me try to approach it from another direction.
Monday marks the four-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. President Bush still believes launching this war was the right decision, and that it has been worth the cost in blood, money, damaged security and lost international reputation. The American public strongly disagrees.
American Progress fellow Ruy Teixeira has tracked polls on public support for the war since March 2003 on two key questions: 1) whether going to war was a mistake, and 2) whether the war has been worth fighting. The results:
Teixeira notes that the 59 percent ‘mistake’ figure is now “just about as high as the peak response Gallup received to an analogous question during the Vietnam war (61 percent).”
The trend is clear: the vast majority of Americans do not approve of the Iraq war, now more than ever.
For a history of the Iraq war, see our timeline HERE.