P.S.: Come to think of it, why is everyone (including me) so sure the Congressional Black Caucus really cares about Hastings' promotion? They must care, the argument goes, because if they didn't Pelosi would never have taken the risk of letting it be known that she favored appointing an impeached former judge to head the Intelligence committee. But that's putting what now seems like a lot of faith in Pelosi's good judgment! The CBC is already getting three chairmanships (Rangel, Conyers, Thompson) after all. Could they be simply going through the mandatory motions of advancing Hastings' cause? ... The proposed Bishop gambit (see below) only makes sense if the Black Caucus really will be furious if fallback candidate and Hispanic Caucus ex-chair Silvestre Reyes gets the job. ...
**--PR coup for Malkin! 12:18 P.M.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Finagling the fence: Are the House Democrats and Homeland Security secretary Chertoff planning to wriggle out of the 700 mile border fence--replacing it with "virtual" fencing--without actually amending the Secure Fence Act? It looks like it from this story. Don't tell White House spokesman Tony "'The Fence Is Going to Be Built'" Snow! ... P.S.: It's also possible the House Dems** don't want to take the heat for "revisiting" the Secure Fence Act at the moment--and the suggestion that the fence could be "virtualized" without a new law is a convenient way for incoming committee chair Bennie Thompson to avoid voting on the issue, in the secure knowledge that the Bush administration won't actually get around to building much fencing before the next Congress is elected in 2008. ... P.P.S.: Either way, it smacks of an anti-fence deal. ...
**--The Bush administration presumably doesn't want an actual vote gutting the Secure Fence Act either, since it's counting on the prospect of a fence to placate border-control conservatives while it passes a "comprehensive" semi-amnesty plan. ... 2:50 P.M.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Today's Jared Paul Stern Special: Highly informative, largely non-scandalous Forbes piece on Ron Burkle's business history. I did notice this paragraph about Burkle's investment-business partner, Bill Clinton:
Burkle and Clinton spend hours flying together onboard Burkle's
Boeing 757. ... [snip] ... Burkle figures he accompanies Clinton at least half the time Clinton travels abroad.
"He's invaluable," Burkle says of his idol. President Clinton "is unique, he brands us to people who matter. He got us in with the Teamsters, and that's important for deal flow going forward."
Yucaipa arranged for Clinton to make a speech at a Teamsters conference in 2003, and later Clinton urged Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. to trust Burkle and present him with possible deals. Result: This spring Yucaipa paid $100 million to buy a controlling stake in Allied Holdings, a trucking outfit in bankruptcy proceedings. "Clinton got it to the point where Hoffa actually helped us with that deal, something I couldn't have gotten on my own," Burkle says. [E.A.]
So Hoffa helps Clinton with a deal that makes Clinton and Burkle money. And if Hoffa needs something in a few years from President Hillary Clinton's White House ... 12:04 P.M.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Help Nancy! David Corn outlines Speaker-elect Pelosi's self-made dilemma when it comes to choosing the chairman of the House Intelligence committee. She doesn't want to pick the ranking Democrat, Jane Harman, for reasons the LAT attempts to divine here. Instead, she's led the Congressional Black Caucus to believe she'll instead choose Alcee Hastings, the next-ranking member. But Hastings was impeached and removed from the federal bench for corruption in the 1980s. The Democrats' more conservative "blue dog" faction has written a letter in support of Harman. The CBC has reaffirmed its support for Hastings. What to do?
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.