As the Bokononists would say, "busy, busy, busy." Before I hit the airwaves for Hugh at 6, look for me on The Big Story with John Gibson on Fox about 5:15. We're talking about the big leaks, and the investigations that may be producing significant developments this week.
The Spectacle Blog
South Dakota's governor said in a statement today:
In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them.
Not much with which to disagree there.
The Opinionator was fascinated enough with my supposedly oddball ideas about what we need by way of education in America to write:
Perhaps the most unusual conservative criticism of Bush comes from James G. Poulos at the American Spectator blog, who faults the president's plan to improve math and science education: "Our culture is not doomed but it is unraveling," he writes. "Building a professional army of scientists and mathematicians is precisely the wrong kind of educational emphasis required" to change that.
Now cometh Camille Paglia, joining Alan Dershowitz in dressing down the ivory tower generally and Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences in particular. She's worth quoting at length. I could not have said it better myself:
Jed -- Since I'm back in DC after a nine year absence, please fill me in: What time is the Hewitt show, and what station number on the radio dial? Thanks!
Hugh is off this week and I'll be filling in starting today. Hope you can catch it. We're going to hit a lot of the breaking news ranging from the Supreme Court's 8-0 decision upholding the Solomon Amendment to the Oscars (yawn) to John Fund's take on God and Taliban at Yale. Maybe today, or later in the week, we'll be talking about what Rob (Meathead) Reiner is doing with the state of California's money? Izzit illegal and why isn't the Governator doing something about it? See ya on the radio.
Prowler: Thomas is an SOB of the first order, but he was more often than not OUR SOB, with the intellect to get things done (and with the repeated reminders from Thomas himself that he does possess said intellect and that therefore you should defer to him). One of the biggest opportunities we had last year for real SS reform was when Thomas said he wanted to EXPAND the proposal so that it covered all sorts of other retirement-related programs as well, so that it would be comprehensive reform that would have other "sweeteners" in it that could make it more politically salable. Frankly, Sununu-Ryan was better both substantively and politically, but Thomas' idea was better than having a brave but poorly planned White House effort that went solo. If Bush had worked WITH Thomas from the start, there might have been a chance to achieve something solid for personal accounts. Now, with Thomas retiring, the odds, quite sadly, look even worse.
Some on the Hill are wondering if Thomas's announcement isn't going to lead to a set of exits by elected officials concerned about a possible two-year moratorium on lobbying their former colleagues.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is the big proponent of this 24-month lock down, and it's not clear how much support it has.
By the way, for those of you looking at the electoral map, Thomas's district is very much solid Republican, and our sources say that Thomas would not resign without a succession plan, of sorts.
Sources on the House Ways and Means Committee are telling us that Rep. Bill Thomas, the committee's chairman, will be announcing his retirement from the House shortly.
Thomas has been a solid chairman, pushing hard for tax cuts, an advocate for spending cuts, and didn't always play ball with the White House the way it would have liked. Those are all good things.
If Thomas does go through with it -- and it's a big if given how he can get emotional about things -- it's a somewhat surprising move. Our sources tell us that he had just completed a reorganization of his senior staff on the committee, and had assured some of them, who had been mulling exits of their own, that he was staying put.