FUTURE FORCE. Did you like America's Army, the free first-person shooter designed as a recruitment tool by the US Army? Then you'll love Future Force Combat, a free game that simulates the experience of a Future Combat System equipped Mounted Combat Team. Future Force Combat accomplishes the nifty trick of being not only a recruitment tool but also a sales pitch for the most expensive integrated combat systems that the Army has ever requested. The sinkhole that is Iraq has hit the Army the hardest, and the Pentagon budgeting norms have by and large prevented a reshuffling of defense funding, potentially putting FCS in some jeopardy.
THE NEOCON PARTY. It's tempting to make fun of Marshall Wittmann's newest guise, as Lieberman's communications director, as if it were just another twist in one of the oddest careers in Washington. The New York Times has some fun with that theme today.
OVERBLOWN.David A. Bellwishes more people were discussing and debating John Mueller's new book Overblown, which makes the strong case against considering terrorism a genuinely dire, let alone existential, threat to the United States; I share Bell's wish. Mueller's argument is basically off-message for just about everybody, but has always stuck me as a truly useful contribution to debates over terrorism and American policy.
SPEAKER PELOSI. Now that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyerhave gone into overdrive to patch things up and get the caucus unified after last week's fight, we've been reminded that the key challenge of Pelosi's leadership is likely going to be less intra-leadership squabbling with the majority leader than handling the disparate strategic and substantive priorities of the committee chairs.
THE GENIUS. Sometimes, what with General Nuisance back in the saddle again, and Richard Cohen's apparently mistaking the 101st Airborne for a heating pad. (Note: I'm thinking that the word "therapeutic" is just going to lay there like rotting roadkill on the ol' career path for quite some time), I despair of the world. And then something like this happens, and all is right with the world again.
CONCESSIONS. Two Democratic House challengers that had been holding out with razor-thin electoral deficits finally conceded defeat after further ballot counting yesterday. Patricia Madrid lost to incumbent Heather Wilson in New Mexico, Victoria Wulsin to Mean Jean Schmidt in Ohio. The open-seat race in Katherine Harris's district (FL-13), meanwhile, has the Republican up by 369 but is headed to the courts. As subscription-only CQ reports:
Serious newspapers try to separate their editorial pages and their news reporting, but not the Washington Post. As regular Post readers know, the editors desperately want to cut and/or privatize Social Security. The program's overwhleming popularity, coupled with the fact that the Congresssional Budget Office's projections show Social Security to be fully solvent for the next 40 years, with no changes whatsoever, makes the Post's position difficult to sell. So, the Post never misses an opporttunity to try to impugn the financial health of the porgram.
I know that I shouldn't waste time beating up on Thomas Friedman, but hey, it's fun. Today he is back in classic Thomas Friedman form, drafting the memo (Times select) that Nancy Pelosi should send to China's President Hu Jintao.
Speaker Pelosi's memo begins with some incoherent commitments on energy efficiency: "First, China has committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption for every 1 percent of G.D.P. growth by 2010." This one requires a very big "huh?"
NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. You go, Garance. That "maidenly vapors" line surely got my back up. Brother Pierce apparently fails to see a connection between expressions of hatred toward women and violence against women. Perhaps an intervention is in order. I do, however, second the sentiments of Brother Pierce on the Seinfeld phenomenon and the fallout from the Michael Richards racist rant. Call me a delicate flower, but I never got into Seinfeld because it was just too mean.