What Washington is talking about this week.

What Washington is talking about.
Sept. 22 2006 6:36 PM

Zeitgeist Checklist, Aspersions Edition

What Washington is talking about this week.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule

1. Last week: 3 Weeks on list: 13 UP ARROW

What, Us Hurry? Iraq. American and Iraqi officials figure the country has about 90 days to prevent an utter collapse. But James Baker and Lee Hamilton's Iraq Study Group declares that it won't release its recommendations until after the midterm elections to avoid political impact at home. This is little comfort in Baghdad, where violence climbs yet again and generals shelve plans for U.S. troop reductions.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
2. New This Week UP ARROW

Torturous Compromise Torture. White House deal on torture ends impasse with McCainiac GOP rebels and gives Bush cudgel to use on Democrats. Deal doesn't sanction abuse but doesn't forbid it, and it grants amnesty—not to immigrants but to past violators of Geneva Conventions.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
3. Last week: 6 Weeks on list: 3 UP ARROW

Good for the Jews? Republicans. Who knew? Sen. George Allen, R-Va., qualifies as a Jew under Rabbinic law. The football and cowboy-boot-loving senator bristles at a question about his Jewish heritage at a campaign debate, but his mother, just in time for Rosh Hashana, confirms that she was raised Jewish. This should play well for Allen in Alexandria, but it could be considered an "aspersion," as the senator puts it, in the southern part of the state.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
4. Reappearing UP ARROW

Crazy Foreigner, Part 1
Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in New York for the U.N. meeting, gives his version of a charm offensive, granting interviews to CNN, Time, the Washington Post, and, over the objections of the Bush administration, the Council on Foreign Relations. He again questions the Holocaust and proposes that the United States stop making nuclear fuel and buy Iran's at a 50 percent discount.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
5. New This Week UP ARROW

Crazy Foreigner, Part 2 Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, which is in a tight race with Cuba and Syria for the final wild-card slot in the axis of evil, repeatedly calls Bush the "devil" in his U.N. speech. Chávez waves a Noam Chomsky book and says Bush had left behind the diabolic scent of sulfur. Chávez sends Chomsky book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, into the top 10 on Amazon from 20,664 the day before.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
6. Reappearing UP ARROW

Not in a Million Years Science. Discovery of a well-preserved 3.3 million-year-old fossil of a girl raises hopes that John McCain, 70, will not be considered too old to be president. The ape-girl is believed to have died after eating a bag of prewashed organic spinach.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
7. Last week: 4 Weeks on list: 2 DOWN ARROW

Bottom Dwellers Scandal. Scientists discover a species of shark off Indonesia that uses its fins as legs to walk on the seafloor. It is the second discovery of a walking shark this month; the first was former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn of Hewlett-Packard, which spied on journalists and board members.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
8. New This Week FLAT ARROW

Doctrine of Papal Fallibility Religion. The pope tries twice more to walk away from his remarks on Islam but stops short of a retraction. He says he was merely reading a medieval emperor's view that Islam is violent. But Muslims continue to react with anger and, well, violence.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
9. Reappearing FLAT ARROW

Captain Freedom White House. Bush extols his "freedom agenda" in his U.N. speech. But White House fails to get advance text of his remarks to Bangkok, Thailand, where a military coup ousts elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he is at the United Nations learning about the freedom agenda.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
10. Last week: 2 Weeks on list: 2 DOWN ARROW

Su Voto Es Su ID Midterms. House Republicans, their immigration crackdown causing ire among Latinos, come up with a clever plan to limit the electoral damage: The House votes on party lines to require voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast ballots—which Democrats say would keep millions of minorities from the polls.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 8:15 AM Ted Cruz Will Not Join a Protest of "The Death of Klinghoffer" After All
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.