What Washington is talking about this week.

What Washington is talking about.
Dec. 16 2006 7:59 AM

Zeitgeist Checklist, Earmark-Free Edition

What Washington is talking about this week.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule

1. Last week: 1 Weeks on list: 25 [FLAT]

Sadr Every Week
Iraq. With violence escalating, and his approval ratings dwindling to the low 30s, President Bush finally agrees to seek a diversity of opinions about Iraq, as long as they all coincide with his. Bush apparently plans to send even more troops to Iraq, and if that doesn't get him down to single digits, he plans to ask Mark Foley to send more text messages to congressional pages.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
2. New This Week [UP ARROW]

We Also Care About Justice Stevens
Illness. Republicans and Democrats send their best wishes to Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., whose condition after brain surgery may determine control of the Senate. They all insist that they're not even thinking about politics, that they only care about Sen. Jackson, or Johnston, or whatever his name is. After watching a videotape of the patient, physician and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., issues his diagnosis: The GOP lives!

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
3. Last week: - Weeks on list: 1 [UP ARROW]

Who's Disappeared Now?
Death. Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the corrupt dictator renowned for making dissidents disappear, dies before he can face trial. The Zeitgeist has a feeling Pinochet is going somewhere that won't be so Chile.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
4. Last week: - Weeks on list: 1 [UP ARROW]

Sign of the Apocalypto
Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosts a conference for people who think the Holocaust never happened—not that there would have been anything wrong with that! Afterward, he insists he never said that Israel should be destroyed, never served as a consultant to James Baker on the Iraq Study Group, and never warned Mel Gibson to watch out for Jews on the California Highway Patrol.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
5. Last week: 3 Weeks on list: 12 [DOWN ARROW]

Failure of Intelligence
Democrats. Incoming Senate appropriations chairman Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., stuns his colleagues by accepting a one-year moratorium on earmarks. It will be known as the Robert C. Byrd Earmark Moratorium, and scholars will study it for decades at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Earmark Analysis. Meanwhile, incoming House intelligence chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, flubs a quiz on Iraqi sects. Here's a quick primer, congressman: The Sunnis hate the Shiites. The Shiites hate the Sunnis. And they all hate us.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
6. Last week: 6 Weeks on list: 6 [FLAT]

Political Football
2008. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., appeals to male voters with a guest spot on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Expect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to appear soon on Oxygen or Lifetime, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to show up on the SciFi Channel. Kucinich proclaims himself a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination, but refuses to explain why his campaign slogan remains "Just Here for the Bud Light."

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
7. New This Week [UP ARROW]

"I loved it!" – Mel Gibson
Middle East. Former President Jimmy Carter defends his best-selling new book, which blames most of the problems in the Middle East on Israel. He's now planning a sequel, which blames most of the problems in Ishtar on some assistant producer named Mordecai Rabinowitz. In other news, Ahmadinejad insists he's never worked as a presidential ghostwriter.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
8. Last week: 8 Weeks on list: 2 [FLAT]

The Unkindest Cut
Health. A new study suggests that circumcision may reduce HIV transmission rates by as much as 50 percent, the first evidence that removing the foreskin can prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation immediately funds the fledgling relief group Mohels Without Borders.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
9. Last week: - Weeks on list: 1 [UP ARROW]

Did Hillary Want Fashion Advice?
Royalty. Revelations in British tabloids about the Clinton administration wiretapping Princess Diana turn out to be false. Right-wingers who seized on the breathless reports to attack the Clinton family swiftly and profusely apologize for fanning the flames of a bogus scandal. After which the Redskins win nine straight, Baghdad becomes a popular tourist destination, and Mel Gibson founds a Malibu chapter of B'nai B'rith.

1_123125_2144105_zeitgeist_horiz_rule
10. Last week: - Weeks on list: 1 [UP ARROW]

Backdoor Cut and Run
Sports. NBA Commissioner David Stern ends his league's disastrous experiment with a lousy new synthetic ball, admitting his mistake and bringing back the old leather ball. His PR strategy is dismissed by Bush, who thinks Stern should stay the course with the lousy ball and force his successor to make the choice to ditch it, and by Ahmadinejad, who thinks Stern should insist that the new ball never happened.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Mad About Modi


Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.


Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.