What Washington is talking about this week.

What Washington is talking about.
Sept. 8 2006 6:21 PM

Zeitgeist Checklist, Gitmo Edition

What Washington is talking about this week.

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1. Reappearing UP ARROW

Lights Out for Black Sites
War on terrorism. President Bush regains upper hand with two tactical concessions: moving prisoners from secret CIA lockups to Guantanamo and blocking military from using water-boarding and other questionable questioning techniques. The move disarms Democrats and GOP mavericks; let's see them try to close Gitmo now. State's Philip Zelikow duels with top spook John Negroponte for credit.

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2. Last week: 1 Weeks on List: 11 DOWN ARROW
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No(T Much) Confidence Iraq. Senate Republicans block a no-confidence vote on Rummy, who is put on the 60-day DL after rotator-cuff surgery. But GOP lawmakers, dragged down by Bush, turn an envious eye toward London, where dissident Labor lawmakers force Tony Blair to step down within a year. Baghdad, answering U.S. reports of calm, says it needs more morgues.

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3. Last week: 6 Weeks on List: 5 UP ARROW

ABC Overlooks P's and Q's Homeland Security. Katie Couric is panned in her debut as CBS News anchor, but this is quickly overshadowed by ABC flub. Part of the 9/11-plus-five hubbub, the network's miniseries The Path to 9/11 makes changes after Clinton officials protest fabrications. The biggest howler: Blaming the Washington Post for exposing monitoring of Osama Bin Laden's phone; it was the Washington Times.

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4. Reappearing UP ARROW

Bread and Circuses
Republicans. House GOP shows signs of panic. With little hope for a big immigration bill and most of the year's spending bills languishing, the chamber takes up commemorative coins and horse-meat ban. Democrats' line: "We would win if the election were held today"—which, of course, it isn't.

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5. Reappearing UP ARROW

Dancing With the Hammer Schlock. Tom DeLay, with time on his hands, tells his supporters to back Dancing With the Stars contestant Sarah Evans. DeLay thinks the country singer is the best hope for Republicans to prevent the dance prize from going to another entrant, "ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer." But what about a third contestant, Tucker Carlson?

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6. Last week: 9 Weeks on List: 3 UP ARROW

Feeding the Addiction Economy. All that concern about global warming is so last month. Gas prices fall after Chevron finds huge gusher in the Gulf of Mexico that could boost U.S. reserves up to 50 percent. But it's too late for SUV-heavy Ford, where scion Bill Ford throws in the oily rag.

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7. Last week: 3 Weeks on List: 3 DOWN ARROW

The New World Disorder Iran. Cheeky former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, given a visa to tour the United States, scolds Bush administration for Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo at a Washington news conference. Khatami has reason to be nervy: U.S. diplomats, meeting with European and Chinese counterparts, agree that Tehran openly flouted U.N. nuclear demands—but also seem to agree that they have no hope of agreeing on sanctions.

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8. Last week: -- Weeks on List: 1 TK ARROW

Party Crashers
Intelligence. Senate Democrats muddy Bush's 9/11 anniversary choreography by forcing the release of intelligence committee report finding that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, that Saddam Hussein forbade dealings with al-Qaida and twice rebuffed meetings with the group, and that he tried to capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—all contrary to administration claims.

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9. Reappearing UP ARROW

Boy Mayor? Home News. In Tuesday's primary, D.C. Democrats appear poised to select 35-year-old Adrian Fenty as their nominee, and thus the city's next mayor. The last time Washington opted for a charismatic young man: 1978, when it elected Marion Barry. Fenty would inherit a city deeply shaken by the discovery of androgynous fish in the Potomac and fading prospects for a Metro tunnel beneath Tyson's Corner.

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10. Last week:-- Weeks on List: 1 UP ARROW

Crikey Sudan. Darfur peace deal breaks down as the Sudanese government intensifies the war. But this horrific development gets only a passing glance; Washington is distracted by the untimely demise of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, undone by a stingray.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.