BIRTH PANGS. "Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces." Why's that? Well, because hospitals run by the new Iraqi government's Health Ministry have been infiltrated by Shiite death squads who like to massacre Sunni Arab patients.
YOU'RE SEXY WHEN YOU'RE SCARY. I'd love to know which "major public-relations offensive to strengthen support for the Iraq War" we're at now. Is this the fifth? The seventh? The twelfth? Because while Rummyaccuses Democrats of "campaigning on fear" (see, irony's not dead!) and Bushdenounces all of us who eventually want to stop running Iraq, I'm getting, well, bored. This is the third set of major speeches Bush has given on the issue this year, and the song and dance remains the same.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: MIND THE GAP.Justin Logandiscusses the lingering divide between Democratic voters, who by now have come to unambiguously repudiate the Bush doctrine on security issues, and Democratic foreign policy elites, who haven't quite done so.
Like the exclusive WASP-only country club that opens the door to blacks and Jews after it can no longer raise the money to fix the roof, the I.M.F. is inviting China to play a larger role. The problem is that it is far too late to invite China to be a junior partner in this U.S. dominated institution, a fact that would be more apparent if reporters recognized the true size of China�s economy.
Virtually all economists missed the 2001 recession, in most cases not even predicting it until it was almost over. The main reason was that the recession did not follow the usual pattern. It was the result of the stock market crash decimating tech investment. All prior post-war recessions had been brought on by higher interest rates leading to a falloff in housing construction and new car buying.
LIKE APPLES TO MANATEES. Earlier today, I met Cato's Michael Cannon. We had a perfectly nice chat. Indeed, he was so pleasant that, for a little while, I forgot how crazy I think his ideology is. But I'm helpfully reminded by this post in which he compares the welfare system to health care costs. He argues that Congress stopped "just throwing more money at [the welfare system and] poverty fell and remained lower in 2005 than at any point in the 17 years leading up to welfare reform...Congress kept throwing more money at health care by expanding government programs (e.g., SCHIP). The result?
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: AGAINST DEMOCRACY. Last week, Shadi Hamid argued (here and here) that, to close the "vision gap" on foreign policy, progressives need to resist the realist temptation and reclaim democracy promotion from the neoconservatives.
HE FORGOT ABOUT AZERBAIJAN!Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes a televised debate between himself and George W. Bush only to see the Bush administration spurn the idea in a humorless manner with a statement from spokeswoman Dana Perino:
"I'd refer you back to what the president, Secretary Rice, and others have said about the Iranian regime knowing what it has to do to engage constructively with international community,� Perino said. "We�ve said we are willing to talk to Iran in the context of positive response to the P5+1 package."