This Privacy Panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival Was Underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 1 2013 8:30 AM

Opening Act: Underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton

ASPEN, Colo.—I'm on the hardest of assignments now, bivouacked in a suite hotel in America's occasional capital of Thought Leadership. We barely made it alive out of the panel on America's domestic politics and the Middle East, but lucky for us someone had stored MREs in the David H. Koch Building. Fortified by individual hummus-and-chips packs, we pressed on.

Anyway: I'll have occasional updates from the Aspen Institute campus. Nothing's likely to top the moment I found this:

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The debate was actually quite good. Rosen asked the audience whether they thought commissioning a drone to follow around one person would be unconstitutional; when they all agreed, Wu asked whether they thought the use of surveillance cameras to catch the Boston bombers was unconstitutional. Nobody agreed with that.

This is the sort of place where a crowd will boo Elena Kagan when she reports that she "shot a deer."

Paul Kane and David Fahrenthold explain why John Boehner is losing his grip on the House. He never really closed his hands.

Former congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who served one term, defied Boehner on the most important votes of his time as speaker but still has a soft spot for him. “He’d say, ‘Walsh! Why’d you vote against me?’ And he’d tell you he was [angry],” Walsh said. But “two minutes later, no big deal.” Once, in a “classic Boehner” moment, he got a soft smack on his head from the speaker.

And Fahrenthold, who's really just very good at this stuff, has another must-read about why sequestration didn't cause the sky to fall in.

Bill Ayers, for some reason, is annoyed that the media call Nelson Mandela a "civil rights" leader and not recognize that The Man called him a terrorist. For some reason.

And Tim Callahan's thoughtful re-read of every single Alan Moore story is a delight.

Correction, July 1, 2013: This post originally misspelled David Fahrenthold's last name.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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