• In For Out

    This may be a blessing in disguise. The Muslim Scholars Association, a hardline, highly-influential Sunni group, has offered their participation in the government if US troops set a timetable for withdrawal. It's a demand we obviously can't meet as is, but were the Shi'as and Kurds to announce that the path was now for the Iraqis to chart and a united, clearly-autonomous Iraq was necessary for that, it'd leave us with no choice in the matter.

  • Horrible Hugh

    So I thought it was a good idea. You know, a fun one. I'd write a review of Hugh Hewitt's new book, Blog, get a byline and a check, go home happy. I mean, the book isn't really long or anything, is it?

    Well, no, it's not. But it certainly the most distasteful piece of waste I've handled since maturation imbued me with the good sense to stop handling garbage. I think I was three years old, then. Why is Hugh so bad? Well, aside from the towering egotism and the blistering partisanship, the guy is constantly lying. Here are three, just from the introduction:

  • The Flight of the Consultant Class

    Well this is positive:

    Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, plan to shake up the Democratic political consulting community and break the grip that a small number of consultants have had on strategy and contracts, party sources say.

  • Iran and the Bomb

    Justin's thoughts on my post arguing the merits of the EU's lead role in Iran deserve a quick response. The world, he argues, is more complex than I give it credit for, mainly because the EU has no credible military force nor the appetite to introduce sanctions and our threats don't matter because they've been spoken aloud. I'll grant him the EU's military impotence, but nobody's talking about an invasion of Iran. The most violence being considered are surgical air-strikes, and even they're out of favor given the spread and secrecy of Iran's nuclear facilities.

  • Waiting for Wampum

    Hosting the Koufax Awards has obliterated Wampum's server. If they don't get some scratch, a good deed they tried to do for the lefty blogosphere is going to end up backfiring and driving them off the net. That'd really be a shame, we should support our own better than that. So if you can chip in a bit to help them back up, do so.

  • The Indispensable Nation No More

    The Kyoto Pact takes effect today. Without us. In some ways, it's more symbolic than anything. Sans our involvement, it'll barely make a dent in global carbon dioxide emissions. But our opposition neither killed nor derailed it, and that in itself was meant to send a message.

    It's worth noting that, in this too, Bush was for it before he voted against it:

    Bush, who campaigned before his first term on the promise that he would regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, changed his mind after taking office and withdrew from the Kyoto talks in 2001, advocating voluntary steps to reduce greenhouse gases.

  • AIDS 2.0

    This is the worst news we've had on HIV in a long while:

    On Friday, New York City health officials issued this chilling announcement: A man is infected with a form of the AIDS virus that is not only resistant to three of the four classes of anti-HIV drugs, it is apparently so virulent that it causes full-blown AIDS in a matter of weeks rather than the usual decade or more. It will be super-difficult to treat, and it may be a super-fast killer.

    New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden first heard of the case on Jan. 22. Tests showed that the man had been infected for only a short time.

  • Media Imprecision

  • Forging Reality

    I'm always amazed at the twisted logic, or at least outcomes, of Bush administration policies. When pushing policies that have no relation to reality, they change reality so it relates to their policies. They mismanage government finances and blow through a budget surplus creating what they call a "crisis" in Social Security, propose a plan that'll further explode deficits without helping the program, but then make that plan vaguely reasonable by warping the economy so we might have a heretofore unknown future of high stock returns and minimal wage growth.

  • The Hungry Man Theory of International Relations

    Steve Clemons brings up a good point:

    Iran and North Korea know that America's bark is loud but bite is probably pretty soft right now. And the Europeans are doing their best to take on a global strategic dilemma -- their very first -- without the U.S. in the lead.