JO-ANN MORT: DISPATCH FROM TEL AVIV The weekend begins on Friday in Israel -- and this weekend, the war is settling in. The initial shock and feeling of righteous justification have begun to yield to wonderment about where all this is going. The change in mood is slight so far, but questions are beginning to be asked, concerns beginning to be raised -- particularly as Israeli soldiers start taking casualties. (Unlike in the United States, every soldier who dies in a war or attack is written up in the media. Often, his family is interviewed on television). People in the North -- those still there -- are growing weary of life in bomb shelters. According to Israeli press reports, 30 to 50 percent of the residents in the North have left for the short term.
MARMOSETS FOR LIEBERMAN. Now that angry liberal blogging crazypeople have achieved their ultimate goal of destroying civility in American politics, as demonstrated by the fact that Aunt Pittypat Kondracke has keeled over on her fainting couch, here's something that's rather gotten lost in the whole Connecticut senatorial business. Joe Lieberman, an Establishment darling and former vice-presidential candidate, is getting his withered hindquarters handed to him daily to a guy who is not exactly the second coming of Huey Long. As much as I admire the fervor of his supporters, Ned Lamont seems to me to be a perfectly amiable plutocrat, smart enough and capable, but neither overly charismatic nor particularly inspirational.
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER. Complain all you want about liberal bloggers going after Joe Lieberman -- when it comes to taking out one of your own, nobody does it better than the GOP. This week the gang at National Review goes after Rudy Giuliani with the sharpest of knives. Click through to see what I mean. "The kiss" has nothing on this.
WHO KILLED COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM? Over at the Drum Major Institute, Elana Levin flags down a great Washington Poststory chronicling the Bush administration's vow of silence and oath of inaction on poverty in America. At least they're getting zen about it. As the article explains, that glorious post-Katrina speech when Bush mounted the podium to have his Lyndon Johnson moment was just that -- a moment, never to be repeated, remembered, or referenced by the administration again.
NEGROPONTE BLOCKS IRAQ EVALUATION. Considering that the United States is fighting a major war in Iraq, it's a bit curious that it hasn't been the subject of a National Intelligence Estimate since 2004. Ken Silversteinreports "that some senior figures at the CIA, along with a number of Iraq analysts, have been pushing to produce a new NIE." What's the problem? "They've been stonewalled, however, by John Negroponte, the administration's Director of National Intelligence, who knows that any honest take on the situation would produce an NIE even more pessimistic than the 2004 version."
SHOW ME THE MONEY. Although there are many ways to compare �Hill committee� fundraising (year against, two-years-ago against, and, in the DNC/RNC case, four-years-ago against), and despite my advocacy for Howard Dean�s long-term investing in a 50-state strategy, you have to hand it to DSCC chair Chuck Schumer and DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel: These boys can ring the register.
YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER. My colleague Harold Meyerson has analogized the current Mideast crisis to the crisis set off by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914: "Nobody wanted global conflagration, yet nobody knew how to stop it, and the American president (Woodrow Wilson, who was not yet a Wilsonian) did nothing to help avert the coming war." Rich Lowryretorts "that this significantly underestimates Germany's drive to war." He quotes from Michael Lind's
COUNTDOWN TO CONSTITUTIONAL MELTDOWN. It's hard to avoid the temptation to begin counting the days in which H. Marshall Jarrett, director of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), manages to remain in that post, especially since his objections to administration intervention in an inquiry he was conducting were made public earlier this week. OPR is the internal affairs office of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: I LOVE THE '90s.Greg Anrig liked Robert Wright's concept of "progressive realism" as a foreign policy doctrine, and thinks it would be a useful rubric to apply to domestic policy as well. He makes the case for reviving a Clintonian appeal based on effective government after six years of conservative failure.