AGAINST ILLUSIONS. To continue with the theme of the day, I�ll point out that the absolute most dangerous thing that can happen to a country is for it to fall prey to pleasing delusions. It would be nice if Lebanese people regarded Israel's military action as a nice way to help them build democracy, but it simply isn't the case. Meanwhile, to make things worse, here comes The New York Sun with a Youssef Ibrahim op-ed arguing that Arabs everywhere are supporting Israeli action:
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: NO CHARGE, NO EXIT. Adressing an important gap in the public discussion following the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision, Jonathan Hafetzreminds us that Hamdan's guarantee of a full trial isn't of much use to the hundreds of Guantanamo prisoners currently being held indefinitely without charge.
IF JOHN BOLTON ISN'T CONFIRMED, THE TERRORISTS WILL WIN. And Senator George Voinovichmeans that literally:
Ambassador Bolton's appointment expires this fall when the Senate officially recesses. Should the president choose to renominate him, I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the terrorists -- and to other nations deciding whether to engage in this effort -- than to drag out a possible renomination process or even replace the person our president has entrusted to lead our nation at the United Nations at a time when we are working on these historic objectives.
A LITTLE BOMBING WILL BE GOOD FOR YOU. Also funny, but more in a sad way, is The Washington Post's stated rationale for opposing the idea of the United States talking to Syria in order to broker an Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire: "The result will be to restore Damascus's influence in Lebanon and destroy the new independent, democratic government in Beirut -- which has far more to fear from such a deal than from Israel's cratering of its airport runways and bridges." Intriguingly, this isn't the view of the actual new independent, democratic government in Beirut -- which wants a cease-fire and doesn't enjoy b
OUTSOURCING HUMOR. I've been trying for days now to write something funny about the right wing's new take on the "Freedom Babes" of yore, but I don't seem to have the requisite skills. Fortunately, Tim Cavanaugh and Dave Weigel have the goods at Hit and Run.
I believe that the Washington Post has a copyright on combining the words "Medicare" and "Social Security" in a single sentence. Anyone who writes on these issues on their editorial pages always seems to do it.
Again folks, the numbers are real clear. Medicare is a big problem because U.S. health care costs are projected to explode, which means that Medicare costs will explode. The moral is fix the health care system. Social Security is not a problem. The story on aging is not very different in the future than in the past. We are living longer, that has always been true.
WHY DOES NELSON GET A FREE PASS? It's been often noted, in the ever-expanding coverage of the liberal bloggers' animosity towards Joe Lieberman (the most recent and best comments come from Hendrick Hertzberg in this week's New Yorker), that many Democratic senators, like Ben Nelson of Nebraska, have equally conservative voting records but don't incur the same wrath because they are from red states or because they are more loyal to the Democratic Party in other ways. Fair enough. But yesterday's Senate stem-cell vote has me wondering: Why, exactly, is Ben Nelson being given a free pass on his morally reprehensible vote against federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research?
IT'S PERSONAL. It just so happens that I have a couple of really ugly-ass dogs in this fight over embryonic stem-cell research. Not many political issues are personal with me, but this one deeply is. I have watched slow death from neurological disease once too often in my life to be anything but furious when Sam Brownback, a United States senator to the everlasting embarrassment of that body, pulls out a child's drawing of an embryo with a smiley-face in order to argue his position. Or when Tony Snow, that towering public fake, starts getting glib about "murder," as though there isn't enough blood lapping at the ankles of everyone in this White House to float a barge.
LOSING JOE-MENTUM.Jon Chait, no Joe Lieberman fan but still a leading proponent of anti-anti-Liebermanism, seems to be edging closer to the Nedhead position since "[t]he view that Lieberman is unique is starting to seem more persuasive to me."