This obviously isn't 100 percent related to Topic A, but the piece in today's Times about John McCain's real estate developer crony is really terrific stuff. Not just because it brings McCain's "honor, duty, country" self-image into relief*, but because the crony, Donald R. Diamond, is such a cartoonishly delicious character. My favorite passage:

Mr. Diamond, for his part, said Mr. McCain had only done his job. “I think that is what Congress people are supposed to do for constituents,” he said. “When you have a big, significant businessman like myself, why wouldn’t you want to help move things along? What else would they do? They waste so much time with legislation.”

The man speaks the truth.

Oh, and speaking of speaking the truth, this passage finished a close second:

Mr. Diamond is close to most of Arizona’s Congressional delegation and is candid about his expectations as a fund-raiser. “I want my money back, for Christ’s sake. Do you know how many cocktail parties I have to go to?”

How refreshing to have a fat-cat contributor actually fess up about the blindingly obvious point of all his contributions.

*For what it's worth, McCain's relationship with Diamond is scandalous in my mind, but no more so than relationships 80-90 percent of senators probably have with their top contributors. What separates McCain, as the piece suggests, is that he's much more sanctimonious than at least 80-90 percent of his colleagues, and probably more.

--Noam Scheiber