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• Time has a nice look at the final days of the Bush administration, when Dick Cheney was begging Bush to pardon Scooter Libby.

Jeffrey Goldberg hearts J Street.

Steve Pearlstein takes on the Blue Dogs.

David Brooks compares health-care costs to rhinos.

How Goldman Sachs can prove that it's neither "swine" nor a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Kevin Drum thinks the August recess could be good for health-care reform.

Rick Astley gets Kurt Cobain-rolled.

And you know what? This is pretty awesome:

Happy Friday.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 24, 2009; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  Tab Dump  
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Next: The Congressional Budget Office vs. The White House


Time: "Bush had long approached pardons with suspicion. As Texas governor, he granted them sparingly. His reluctance stemmed not from a lack of mercy but from his sense that pardons were a rigged game, tilted in favor of offenders with political connections. "He thought the whole pardon system was completely corrupt," says a top Bush adviser. . . . — exactly the kind of inside favoritism Bush despised."

Who knew? Bush the Merciful despised corruption and cronyism. That's some insightful reporting!

Posted by: brucew07 | July 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jkaren | July 24, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Happy Friday."

and to you, also.

"the meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world."

~~~~~~abraham joshua heschel

Posted by: jkaren | July 24, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I actually saw that Rick Astley/Nirvana mash-up a few days ago. Pardon me if I sound a little self-satisfied, but I'm so lame that I usually find out about these types of things weeks after they've ceased to be cool.

Posted by: MosBen | July 24, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

speaking of Jeff Beck, here's a possible climate change theme song (stolen from 1968, when it was about nuclear carelessness) -- excuse the hypercheesy video, since the audio is from pre-history, and note the Rod Stewart vocals -- his first big label appearance, I believe.

Posted by: gagkk | July 25, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

interesting Time article, but what's with the weird Time approach to web content and links? My favorite: "On the Sunday before he left office, Bush invited Sharp to the executive mansion for a farewell cigar. (See Bush's economic mistakes.) "

positively reeks of AOL and the late 90s, when I had my little dial up deal.

Posted by: gagkk | July 25, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The woman has a nice voice, but, uh, why is that man making those awful sounds on that guitar? With so much variety and beauty in the world, why would anyone choose to listen to such perverted self-indulgence? I mean, really?

Posted by: acorvid | July 25, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jeff Beck answers acorvid pretty directly: "I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible. That's the point now isn't it?"

He's been doing that for a while (though he also does "pretty stuff") -- you can see him acting up (with a grinning Jimmy Page) in Antonioni's Blow Up (1966)

It's Jeff Beck fever at Ezra's!

Posted by: gagkk | July 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Two reasons to think Kevin Drum is engaging in wishful thinking: (1) it assumes that congressmen actually do listen to constituents when they go home -- highly unlikely, in my view, since they already have a clear view of their incentives and are locked into a 'frame' and (2) that activists will be able to actually affect congressmen through constituents. More likely is that congressmen are able to tell the difference between what their real constituents are saying and big-city-liberal activists who parachute in to tell them what they *should* be thinking.

Posted by: jpdcomment | July 25, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Jeff Beck track is from his album You Had It Coming and it's available on iTunes. I know 'cause I just brought it. One listen to this song and I had to have it!

Posted by: DeepKarma | July 25, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

brucew: 'Who knew? Bush the Merciful despised corruption and cronyism. That's some insightful reporting!'

Exactly, I love the narrative the Time Magazine article is trying to develop of George Bush the wise and good.

Since we know that's nothing but rubbish, how should we take the rest of the piece?

I love how the author plays footsie with his sources. He calls this "an account pieced together from dozens of interviews with former officials who agreed to speak only without attribution".

In reality, it sounds like Fred Fielding wrote it himself.

This is pretty much an inside-the-beltway account for DC insiders intent on rewriting, or at least not looking too carefully, at an otherwise 'irksome' period in our history.

Posted by: leoklein | July 26, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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