IRANIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS, D.C.-STYLE. When did "Do you speak Farsi?" become the new pick-up line in D.C.? First, I read this report on Michelle Persaud, dubbed the number one looker in The Hill's annual 50 Most Beautiful People issue:
Seeing her dark eyes and mocha skin, her flowing black tresses and expansive lashes, [men] sidle over, take in a breath and start speaking � Farsi!
�I just look at them and smile,� the Maryland native, who has no Persian ancestry, says with a chuckle. �I get that all the time.�...
THE OTHER BOSSMAN.This from the occasionally sensible Jonathan Chait is crazy-making enough on its merits. Why shouldn't there be an emboldened left-wing of the Democratic Party, particularly if it results in a demand to change course in the middle of the greatest foreign-policy cock-up of the age, a change that today seems to have the support of 60 percent of the American people? Chait will have to forgive some of us if we don't feel like waiting any longer for the principal architects of this idiocy -- including those who work down the hall from him -- to shut up and slink off to the babbling obscurity they so richly deserve.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: IT'S MEDICAL FRIDAY! Three pieces relating to health care/medical issues are up today. Maggie Maharraises doubts about Merck's much-hyped new cervical cancer vaccine, and argues that the drug's ascendancy illustrates a good deal about American health care inefficiencies and inequities.
THE CASE FOR REDEPLOYMENT. "Retreating from Iraq and 'redeploying' to Okinawa is not a sufficient response" to the threat of terrorism, wrote White House hack Peter Wehner yesterday. Okinawa, of course, is a straw man. But there's ample reason to believe that redeploying resources out of Iraq and to other locations would be very helpful in fighting terrorism:
A CHALLENGE. I didn't know that acknowledging that the Israeli government has pursued some policy shifts in recent years -- shifts that those of us who oppose Israeli expansionism should cheer -- makes you a "Likudnik," but allow me to defend my honor. A cursory glance at the website I edit, CampusProgress.org, will revealthreearticles on the current conflict between Israel and Lebanon.
I am reminded that in February Jim Woolsey told a Senate committee that Islamo-fascist is too understated. He prefers Islamo-Nazi. So if CAIR is so unhappy with Bush and Santorum's terms, maybe they should go ahead and be clearer...
THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT: LIBERAL, ANTI-WAR, AND ELITE. Over at Slate, Bossman Tomasky has a riposte to Jacob Weissberg's "Lamont as McGovern" piece. As Mike stresses, the evidence beyond Connecticut of a destructive intra-party revolt against hawkish and/or "moderate" Democrats is basically non-existent.
TERRORISM PLOT: PAKISTAN'S PR OFFENSIVE. In the 24 hours that have passed since the world learned of the alleged plot to blow a number of airliners bound from London to the United States, I have been taken with the pains to which officials have gone to highlight the reported role of Pakistani intelligence operatives in cracking the plot. What raised my antennae when the praise of Pakistan commenced is the well-known role of the official Pakistani intelligence operation in the care and feeding of both al Qaeda and Afghanistan's Taliban, with which coalition forces are now engaged in a fierce guerrilla conflict.
HE FORGOT ABOUT SYRIA. The worst reaction to the GOP�s politicization of terrorist attacks is to whine about them politicizing it. Second worst is to merely suggest that the opposition needs to attack, rather than whine. Best of all is to actually attack, like Fred Kaplan, who notes that Bush has spent years pissing away opportunities for the sort of international intelligence-gathering operations that foiled the recent British airplane plots.