HOW TO GET REAL.Mike Crowleynotes some irony in Arianna Huffington lecturing Joe Lieberman on what "real Democrats" do seeing as Huffington was a Republican through the bulk of the nineties and a "pox on both houses" radical circa the turn of the millennium. I think there's maybe a broader point in this vicinity.
DEMS: WE LOVE ISRAEL MORE THAN THE GOP DOES. I've been mulling over Matt's post from yesterday, and find myself in agitated agreement, especially after yesterday's media blitz of Democratic opposition to today's scheduled address by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki before a joint session of Congress.
As Matt noted, the Dems appear to be seeking short-term political advantage by using condemnation of Maliki to posture as more pro-Israel and more patriotic than their Republican counterparts.
THE SWEET SMELL OF FEDERALISM.It seems that the "Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would make it a federal crime to help an under-age girl escape parental notification laws by crossing state lines to obtain an abortion."
MORE SHOES. The dog that hasn't really barked yet in Iraq is the Turkey-Kurdistan conflict. One of the most-warned-against "things go bad" scenarios before the war was that Iraqi Kurdistan might become a base for anti-Turkish operation in Turkish Kurdistan, prompting Turkey to intervene militarily in Iraq. So far, lots and lots of things have gone bad in Iraq, but this particular scenario has been pretty quiet.
STEELE EXPOSED. My immediate thought upon reading Dana Milbank�s column in the Post yesterday about the mystery Republican senate candidate was that it smelled like Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. Turns out, it was.
THE SECOND, AS FARCE. Israel announced plans to re-occupy a strip of southern Lebanon. This is ill-advised. Israel ceased occupying a strip of southern Lebanon just a few years ago and with good reason. What's more, re-occupation will alter the whole political context in adverse ways. Syria now has its rationale for involvement in Lebanon back, and the level of pressure that previously existed on Hezbollah to disarm will melt away now that Israeli occupation has returned.
The latest numbers certainly show a slowing. Existing home sales are down by 10 percent from their peaks last year. Prices have stabilized on a year over year basis (down slightly after adjusting for inflation), and inventories are building. It is worth noting in the latest report that the inventory of unsold condos stood at 8 months of sales in the June report.
Also, it is important remember that the existing homes data refers to sales closed in June. Since it typically takes 6-8 weeks to close a contract, the June sales are most showing information about contracts signed in April and May.
It would be nice if reporters were forced to read what they write before it appears in the paper. What do they mean when they say "free trade?"
What makes increasing patent and copyright protection (an essential part of recent U.S. trade agreements) free trade? These are government granted monopolies. Isn't that obvious? Yes, they serve a purpose in providing incentives for innovation and creative work, but ALL forms of protection serve a purpose, that doesn't mean that they are not protectionism.