Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 8:00 AM UTC

Wednesday’s must-reads

First Comes Mars, Then Comes Marriage
The White House floats another trial balloon for the State of the Union address next week — this time, it’s back to that administration pet issue, marriage promotion, according to the New York Times. Bush wants to spend at least $1.5 billion to help couples — especially low-income couples, as if they don’t have enough to deal with — develop better interpersonal skills. Who said the era of Big Government was over?

Dean’s Record
We’ve heard (and heard) that he’s angry and gaffe-prone, but what do we actually need to know about Howard Dean? The Boston Globe takes a much-needed look at how Dean governed Vermont and reports that he was a centrist pragmatist who focused on healthcare and balancing the state’s budget after inheriting a massive deficit — sounds like experience that will serve him well if he inherits Bush’s negative trillion.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Ruy Teixeira takes apart David Brooks’ claims that Republican voters are much more cohesive than Democrats going into the presidential election. Teixeira shows how some polls show the exact opposite of what Brooks sees in the electorate.

A Cliffhanger Scenario
Despite a caveat to end all caveats — “Most knowledgeable observers think I’m inhaling something” — Robert Kuttner lays out a scenario in which the Democratic nominee won’t be anointed until the convention in Boston. So much for Terry McAuliffe’s frontload-and-be-done-with-it strategy for the primary season. Then again, maybe Kuttner is inhaling something.

If You Haven’t Ordered It Yet …
Brad DeLong is running hefty, juicy excerpts of the Suskind/O’Neill book for those who haven’t received their copies from Amazon.

“Imminent” Subpoena for Cheney
There’s trouble brewing for Dick Cheney in Old Europe. This just in from the Center for American Progress: “The London Daily Express reports that French law enforcement officials confirm Vice President Dick Cheney ‘will now face a subpoena’ for his alleged role in a massive international bribery scheme while he was CEO of Halliburton. ‘Cheney is wanted for questioning’ in an investigation into a fund Halliburton and a French company ‘earmarked to bribe government officials in a number of countries.’ The story is the first to reveal that definitive plans to subpoena Cheney are imminent, and is consistent with earlier international reporting on the matter.” The Dallas Morning News has been covering the investigation.