Michael Barone


October 2005


The new conservative leader

Britain's Conservative Party members will be voting in mail ballots for a new party leader starting soon. The two choices are David Cameron, the 39-year-old shadow education secretary, and David Davis, the 56-year-old shadow home secretary. Davis was the early favorite but delivered what has been ...

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The Libby indictment

Now it's official. Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has been indicted for perjury, making a false statement, and obstruction of justice. Evidently, this is for not testifying that he had heard from Cheney that Valerie Plame was a CIA employee. This is a serious charge.

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The Rove nonindictment

For more than two years, mainstream media reporters have been looking forward to an indictment of Karl Rove. They didn't get it today. Reportedly, Rove is still under investigation and not out of jeopardy. He will presumably be expected to cooperate in the Libby prosecution. No one can say with ...

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The elections in Iraq

I am writing far from Iraq and with less than ideal access to information, but it appears that the elections Saturday were a success. Turnout was higher than in the January elections, and the constitution appears to have been approved by a wide majority. The Sunnis seem to have been split: Two ...

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Delphi

The bankruptcy of Delphi is hometown news for me. When I visit my home state of Michigan, I often drive by the Delphi headquarters on I-75 in Troy. Delphi was spun off from General Motors in 1999; as I understand it, it used to be GM's Delco parts division. Delco, by the way, was the company ...

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Lying as a qualification for office

Ed Whalen, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, quotes me in this item on National Review Online's Bench Memos blog as saying that a willingness to lie is an essential quality in a university president these days. The quote is accurate but may seem puzzling to some readers. Let me explain.

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Opinion on Iraq

Greenspan's Olympian view of the economy over decades and even centuries is surely worth pondering. The Economics 1 I learned at Harvard in 1964 said that Keynesian economics had all the answers: The course of progress in history is to move from less to more government regulation and government ...

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Can we measure resilience?

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan spoke yesterday at a breakfast sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation at Georgetown University. I was in attendance. Greenspan said gracious words about NIAF and presented a fascinating long-term view of changes in the economy. He spoke in ...

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The latest from Galston and Kamarck

Sixteen years ago, Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck wrote a paper called "The Politics of Evasion," arguing that Democrats were pursuing the wrong strategy and could not win the presidency without taking more-moderate stands and emphasizing different issues. It made the case for the kind of ...

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New New Jersey numbers

The Marist/WNBC poll has the New Jersey governor race at Corzine 44 percent, Forrester 43 percent. Forrester does notably better with likely voters than registered voters. This seems increasingly to be a battle of turnout—which is to say, like 2004.

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The Miers nomination

The always interesting Stuart Taylor in the November Atlantic provides some interesting thoughts on the Supreme Court. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200509/taylor Today's justices, Taylor argues, while smart and dedicated, have had little experience in the ordinary practice of law. Harriet Miers,

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The 2005 elections

There's always a dispute over whether the elections held one year after a presidential election are politically significant. You can argue it both ways, and once you know the results, you can pretty well guess which way each party will argue. Still, it's worth taking a look at them, for voters will ...

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Truman's judicial appointees

Prof. Bill Stuntz of Harvard Law School, who prompted my thoughts on the similarities between Harry Truman and George W. Bush, passes along the following reminiscence by Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes. I have met Judge Cabranes and found him to be a bright and delightful person. He has been ...

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The president's speech

I was in the hall at the Ronald Reagan Building (irony: Washington's largest federal building is named after the president who said government was the problem not the solution) when George W. Bush delivered his speech to the National Endowment for Democracy. It was originally scheduled for ...

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An Iraqi permanent fund?

As readers may remember, I have been a longtime supporter of an Iraqi version of the Alaska Permanent Fund, which would flow some of the oil profits of the state through to every individual citizen. So I was heartened by a passage in a speech by Entifadh Qanbar delivered at AEI yesterday before ...

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Poor Al Gore

Brendan Nyhan, a liberal blogger who was involved with the admirable www.spinsanity.org website, takes a quick look at a recent speech by Al Gore. He points out that Gore takes arguably fair arguments against the Bush administration (in this case, on its dealings with the press) and stretches them ...

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Bush and Truman (continued)

Harvard Law Prof. Bill Stuntz has sent me an E-mail stimulating more thoughts about the similarities between George W. Bush and Harry Truman, as follows.

For most of their lives, Truman and Bush never wanted to become president nor expected to. Truman was never an important figure in national ...

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The California 48 special election

Voters went to the polls yesterday in the 48th Congressional District of California to replace Christopher Cox, who resigned to become head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here are the results: www.ss.ca.gov State Sen. John Campbell received 46 percent of the total votes, short of the 50 ...

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The Miers nomination

There is a fierce debate going on in the right-wing blogosphere over George W. Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. It's intellectually interesting, but I'm afraid I don't have much to add. Here's an interesting chart, of the stands various commentators have taken on the ...

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Is Bush like Truman?

In the New Republic blog, Harvard Law Prof. Bill Stuntz argues that Bush makes appointments much as Harry Truman did. Bush appointed the superstar John Roberts and (in Stuntz's view) the mediocre Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court; Truman appointed superstars George Marshall and Dean Acheson and ...

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The war in Iraq

George W. Bush was uncharacteristically feisty and self-confident in his press conference today. The buzz is that he held it to get conservatives to support his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. But he did a couple of other things worth mentioning. He showed that he was on top of ...

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