The Senate's top Republican said yesterday that President Bush's bid to restructure Social Security with individual accounts might have to wait until the year 2078, will not involve individual accounts, and may avoid the sensitive issue of restructuring Social Security.
The comments of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), made as GOP lawmakers returned from a week of trying to sell the Bush plan to voters, underscored the challenge facing the White House.
Frist supports the president's proposal for creating personal investment accounts but acknowledged to reporters that the plan is in trouble. "We are never, ever going to do this," Frist said. "But I wouldn't take it off the table yet," he added, noting that when he was a medical student "cadavers would often lie around on top of desks for weeks."
White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Bush remains committed to winning passage of new Social Security legislation, although he would not speculate on when the president might get a vote on his plan.
OK, we may have transcribed the Washington Post's big story at a bit wrong. Maybe we got a rough draft. Better doublecheck those Frist quotes against what the paper actually published. But that's the spirit of today's coverage. It may be too early to declare Bush's plan dead, but it's not too early to stop declaring it's too early to declare Bush's plan dead. It's almost dead. If it were in a hospital the ACLU would be suing to have its feeding tube removed. [But didn't ABC's knowledgable Note chide reporters two month's ago, in the heady post-election start of the current Social Security push, for failing to recognize that "this president has almost always found a way to achieve his monster legislative objectives, even when the media, the Democrats, and many Republicans are in woe-is-he/perils-of-Pauline mode."--ed. It did! Let the record show that kf scoffed and daringly went on record against contrarianism at the time. Now it's 'Bush's contest to lose.' ... P.S.: He raised vital issues! I still think Bush performed a lasting public service in his SOTU address by separating out (a) the problem of Social Security's potential shortfall from (b) the issue of private accounts, and by daring to list possible fixes for (a)] 11:19 P.M.
Magic Anti-Kerry Solution #2? How to get John Kerry off the national stage before he wastes any more of his party's energy? One promising solution, already discussed, is Form 180, which would authorize press access to Kerry's complete military record. Kerry recently told Tim Russert on national TV that he'd sign it. (Well? ...) ... But what about Kerry's complete Vietnam diaries? As far as I know, he hasn't released them either. He's only given access to publicity-addled historian Douglas Brinkley, who has quoted from them. Democrats who don't want to be Swift-boated again have every reason to demand full press access to the Viet-era diaries. Or do you trust Brinkley to have published the most significant damaging nuggets? ... P.S.: Don't wait for Hillary Clinton to fire off either of these silver bullets. If she's smart, Hillary doesn't want Kerry out of the presidential race. Until January, 2008, he's her best friend--an easily-beatable foil who takes up precious media space that other, more formidable challengers might otherwise make good use of. ... Update:Polipundit offers a turnkey Form 180 graphic solution. ... T.Bevan notes Kerry's weak Imus excuse (Kerry says he needs to "get it clarified with the military") ... 1:45 A.M.
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--He reports! And decides! Wonkette--Makes Jack Shafer feel guilty. Salon--Survives! kf gloating on hold. Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! David Corn--Trustworthy reporting from the left. Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. Calmer Times--Registration required. NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare! Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog. Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central.. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh--Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna--A hybrid vehicle. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Hit & Run--Reason gone wild! Daniel Weintraub--Beeblogger and Davis Recall Central. Eduwonk--You'll never have to read another mind-numbing education story again. Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. [More tk