What Washington is talking about this week.

What Washington is talking about.
Oct. 28 2006 7:15 AM

Zeitgeist Checklist, Course-Staying Edition

What Washington is talking about this week.


1. Last week: 1 Weeks on list: 18 [UP ARROW]

A Sorry State of Affairs Iraq. As the deadliest month of the three-year-old conflict nears a close, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells war critics to "back off." Isn't that what they tried to tell him three years ago? Meanwhile, a senior State Department diplomat apologizes for telling Al Jazeera that the United States has displayed "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq. He's sorry that he forgot to mention "hubris" and "astonishing ignorance of Middle East politics."

2. Last week: 2 Weeks on list: 7 [SIDEWAYS ARROW]

The (Too Much) Fun Bunch Republicans. GOP leaders, still hoping to hold Congress despite voter disgust over Iraq and Mark Foley, warn Democrats against "dancing in the end zone." They should know, after a month of doing the Ickey Shuffle. Still, a relatively good week for the Republicans: only one congressman (Rep. Jim Gibbons of Nevada) accused of assaulting a cocktail waitress and only one new one (Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona) under investigation for shady land deals.

3. New This Week [UP ARROW]

Stay the Course Correction
White House. In a rhetorical shift reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt's admission that we had quite a lot more to fear than fear itself, President Bush says he never really wanted to "stay the course" in Iraq. Still, he says, America is winning the war. Great news for the Redskins: By presidential standards, they're winning their division!

4. New This Week [UP ARROW]

Jersey Barriers Fall Same-Sex Marriage. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights and benefits as heterosexuals, while leaving it up to the legislature to decide whether those rights constitute "marriage." Gay-rights activists said they were pleased with the decision, and increasingly ecstatic that they still can't be sent to Iraq.

5. New This Week [UP ARROW]

Bum Rush Campaign Ads. Denying that their newest ad against Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., is racially coded, Republicans vow to keep using the soundtrack from Shaft. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh slams Michael J. Fox for twitching during a commercial filmed for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill. Fox blasts Limbaugh for his insensitivity to Parkinson's disease sufferers, but agrees to apologize for Doc Hollywood.

6. Last week: 9 Weeks on list: 4 [UP ARROW]

A Different Kind of Green Energy
Economy. ExxonMobil posts a $10 billion profit for the third quarter, nearly breaking last year's record set by ... ExxonMobil. In other economic news, house sales slowed down dramatically. But Democrats and Republicans assured investors that, no matter who wins in November, the House of Representatives will still be for sale.

7. Last week: 7 Weeks on list: 5 [SIDEWAYS ARROW]

I Kinda Like Those Old Drapes Democrats. The party's chances of taking the Senate dim, with revelations that Virginia novelist-candidate James Webb has the dirtiest mind this side of Lynne Cheney. Pundits advise Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to start measuring the drapes in the speaker's office; in Washington, even window treatments have partisan implications. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama floats a presidential run, but critics question whether he has the experience to get America out of a quagmire. Sorry, folks, only one American has that kind of experience, and Gerald Ford isn't available.

8. New This Week [UP ARROW]

Hasta Luego Immigration. Bush signs legislation authorizing a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border, but some conservatives doubt that the fence will be built. Maybe Bush will get to it after he finishes overhauling Social Security, sending a mission to Mars, and changing the tone in Washington.

9. New This Week [UP ARROW]

The Vice in Vice President Torture. White House says waterboarding is still unacceptable, even though Vice President Cheney says he has no problem with dunking. White House also reaffirms opposition to the rack, physical assault, and sleep deprivation, though Cheney says detainees might still be subjected to "stretching," "horseplay," and "all-night rave parties."


The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
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.