OBAMA’S TEACHING MOMENT.Alec MacGillis reported Tuesday on the spectacle of Barack Obama's campaign frantically trying to distance the candidate from an ad for Mearsheimer and Walt's new book The Israel Lobby which appeared on the campaign's website.
KING OF IRAQ. The L.A. Timesreports that the U.S. Army is doing business with Muqtada al-Sadr.
"U.S. diplomats and military officers have been in talks with members of the armed movement loyal to Muqtada Sadr, a sharp reversal of policy and a grudging recognition that the radical Shiite cleric holds a dominant position in much of Baghdad and other parts of Iraq.
The secret dialogue has been going on since at least early 2006, but appeared to yield a tangible result only in the last week -- with relative calm in an area of west Baghdad that has been among the capital's most dangerous sections.
BLESS YOU, KEITH.Olbermann nails Brit Hume for Hume's casual, and false, assertion that al-Qaeda was in Iraq "before we got there." Four years on, and Hume still persists in repeating lies that the Bush administration doesn't even bother with any more. It's frustrating watching Juan Williamssimply ignore this and move to another point. I know he's a liberal on Fox News, but is there actually a clause in Williams' contract that prohibits his calling down this sort of junk?
LIVE AND LET DYE. In reference to Osama bin Laden's apparent beard dye-job, Michelle Tsai explores the question: "Are Muslims allowed to dye their facial hair?" My immediate response is that if Osama believes he can reconcile mass murder with Islam, justifying beard-dyeing is probably a small deal.
I enjoyed Andrew Sullivan's take on the metrosexual implications of Osama's hair color, but what really intrigues me is the conversation that took place between Osama and whomever he sent out to get the dye. To deal with my curiosity, I've written a short play: