Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of 10-foot-tall marijuana plants.
Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana...
In today's column (Times Select) John Tierney asks what organization has lifted more people out of poverty than Wal-Mart. He points to the large number of poor people in the developing world who have seen substantial improvements in their living standards because they were able to work in factories producing goods for export to rich countries.
IN PRAISE OF GOOD ENOUGH. A couple folks, including Jason Zengerle and Ross Douthat, wonder why I thought John Kerry's overdue interview with Bob Woodward put the former nominee in a positive light. As they noted, nothing he said was particularly revolutionary, and most of it just relies on gathering noted experts and listening to them. Which, I'd suggest, would be a genuine improvement.
MEHLMAN SPEAKS.The American Spectator had breakfast with Ken Mehlman today, and got his perspective on the midterms. He said:
1) The election must be framed not as a referendum, but as a choice. When the question isn't "are you happy now?" but "who do you want, going forward, to handle taxes, national security, and judges, the conservatives or the liberals?," then the conservatives (and, by extension in most cases, Republicans) do better.
A PERSONAL NOTE. After over a year of living in Egypt, studying Arabic, and working for an Egyptian NGO, I am finally back in the good old US of A. I had an incredible experience, but I am happy to be back in a country where everything works, where people are accustomed to standing in line, and where you don't have to haggle nearly every time you want to buy something.
MORE ON SUCKERS.David Kuo's recent turn as Disillusioned Bush Follower du jour offers another welcome addition to the burgeoning literature as to why you wouldn't hire anyone still employed by this carnival of charlatans to park your car, let alone govern the country or play with the Army. I have adopted the Karl Rove quote -- "Just get me a f***ing faith-based thing" -- as my personal favorite quote of the Avignon Presidency.
HI, I'M AMERICA, AND I'VE BEEN AN EXPANSIONIST POWER FOR 230 YEARS. In contrast to Matt, this Robert Kaganpiece in The New Republic didn't bug me much at all. The more folks -- particularly on the right -- who dispense with the fiction that the U.S. was ever anything but an expansionist power, the better. America has convinced itself that we've always been a shy, sensitive, introspective nation only occasionally and reluctantly roused to roughhouse play.
DEAF EAR. In an aggressive demonstration of their establishmentarian orientation, The Washington Post's comprehensive coverage of the current controversy at Gallaudet University (the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf), on both the news and opinion pages, has clearly skewed towards the school administration. The issue, for those who haven't been following, is that a clear majority of the Gallaudet student body, and many faculty staff and alumni, oppose the selection of university's new president, Jane K. Fernandes, and the manner in which she was chosen.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS. My dad always said being an adult means admitting your errors and apologizing when those mistakes have harmed others. Well, I�ve been wrong about a couple of things on Tapped, so it�s time to come clean.