Brad DeLong raises a good question — what the heck is wrong with The Economist‘s “Lexington” columnist? It’s a very strange magazine. Much of it is an excellent center-right publication that blends reporting and advocacy in an unusually up-front manner. Reading it, you get information that it’s hard to find in many other publications combined with a fairly rigorous presentation of soft libertarian arguments that are sometimes instructive and, at a minimum, interesting to read. Their coverage of US politics, however, with the Lexington figure at the heart of it, is terrible and often seems to be written by people who aren’t especially familiar with the subject.
the external kind; and, internally, the IGs have terrorized the Regional Administrators,” said Lurita Alexis Doan, head of the General Services Administration, who is trying to “limit the ability of the agency’s inspector general to audit contracts for fraud or waste.”
NYT: “Representative Nancy Pelosi, the incoming House speaker, sent a strong new signal on Friday that Democrats intend to confront the White House by naming a Texas congressman who opposed the war in Iraq as the next chairman of the House intelligence committee.”
And good for her. The highest profile national security jobs need to go to people who’ll put their positions to good use. That doesn’t necessarily mean people who voted against the war resolution back four years ago — plenty of members have shifted their views — but it does need to be done. As the centrists say, Democrats need to take national security seriously. That means putting actually serious people in place rather than mindless slaves to the conventional wisdom du jour.
“State Department and National Security Council officials said they do not expect any major policy shifts to emerge from either a White House review or the bipartisan panel” and the White House “has notified allies that it will not budge on certain aspects of Iraq policy.”
Stephen Cambone, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official, will resign at the end of the year. Cambone was part of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s original team, with few qualifications other than a “fierce loyalty to Donald Rumsfeld and an unshakeable right wing ideology.”
In an attempt to “get a few things done on the way out the door and show people that…we really can govern,” the lame-duck House next week will vote on a bill to open up the Gulf Coast to offshore drilling.