MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD IS MAKING SENSE. It's probably contrary to interest to point this out, but I think Iran's president is making a lot of sense in at least this portion of his letter:
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on issues including health and aid to the poor, he wrote, "would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?"
TAP IN THE TIMES. Be sure to check out this charming front page profile today in The New York Times of Supreme Leader Mike Tomasky and the accompanying article about the debate heralded by his May cover story.
JON CHAIT'S GENERALIZATIONS ARE BENEATH HIM. I have a good deal of respect for Jon Chait, and I hope this time he'll show me -- not to mention his readers -- some in return by actually engaging my argument, instead of deliberately oversimplifying it to make it easier to knock down. In response to my contention that by describing Joe Lieberman foes as "fanatics" he was throwing down the gauntlet and being uncivil, Chait wrote:
THE NEW NEW LEFT? After reading two rather similar complaints from Richard Cohen and Jon Chait about, in essence, people on the internet being mean to them, it occurs to me that it might be worth pointing out that blogosphere luminaries like Duncan Black and Markos Moulitsas don't actually resemble their online personae Atrios and Kos all that greatly. For Duncan you'll sort of just have to take my word (or that of others who've met him, I doubt you'll see much disagreement on this).
Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan called for defaulting on the U.S. national debt, or at least a portion of it, in his weekly column today. Mr. Sloan pointed out that the Social Security trustees project that the program will begin drawing on the government bonds in its trust fund in just over a decade. He said that repaying the bonds in the trust fund will be a burden to the government, and that his children, as future taxpayers, shouldn't have to bear this burden.
A New York Timesarticle this morning, reporting that up to 4 million infants die every year for the lack of very simple medical care items, provides a classic example of reporting numbers out of context. The article informs readers that the Bush administration proposes to spend $323 million in 2007 on aid for maternal and child health care in developing countries, down from $356 million in 2006.
WORLD CUP MORAL CLARITY.Zach Roth, echoing several commenters, defends the President's weak statement on the American World Cup squad by arguing that Bush's assessment is essentially accurate. That's besides the point. He's the President of the United States and he's supposed to support the team. Before any big sporting event, the relevant local politicians always pick their team to win. They don't play the odds. They don't offer neutral assessments of the situation. They support the team.
THE REAL LIBERAL LITMUS TEST.Kevin Drumargues that the left blogosphere isn't actually all that liberal, but rather is politically pragmatic except when it comes to the questions of "the war in Iraq and the almost criminal negligence and incompetence of the Bush administration." Today's USA Today/Gallup poll results add some interesting numerical evidence to that assertion.
HEH. I'm not much in the habit of regurgitating DCCC press releases, but this quote from Rahm Emanuel is too funny not to pass on:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Congressman Rahm Emanuel, today released the following statement on President Bush�s �best moment in office�:
�Five years after President Bush said he would find Osama bin Laden, we�re all glad to hear that all he�s caught is an apparently harmless fish,� said Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
An apt point of comparison, considering that bin Laden is still at large.
GOSS LINKS.Spencer Ackerman offers some useful thoughts on Porter Goss' resignation, drawing parallels between his experience and that of his predecessor, George Tenet, in attempting simultaneously to lead a fiercely turf-conscious bureaucracy while also carrying out Bush administration prerogatives inimical to that bureaucracy. Meanwhile, viaMatt, National Review helpfully articulates the maximally pro-politicization line on the subject here.