PROPS, YES, BUT ... I share Paul 's affection for the good old U.S. post office. But as an employee of what is, in part, still a small-circulation dead tree print magazine, I hasten to say that this particular rate hike is a big problem. More here . --Sam Rosenfeld
THE PAKISTAN QUESTION. As things get more and more shaky in Pakistan, Kevin Drum rightly anticipates that the country is going to be rising to the top of our domestic political discussions soon enough. He also expresses the ambivalence about what our policy towards Pervez Musharraf and his government should be that I think most American observers share. Certainly I do. I think Blake Hounshell has put forward the best case yet for more-or-less welcoming Musharraf's fall (or at least refraining from propping him up any longer), but it's a very, very tough issue. UPDATE: Mike Crowley is also in the "not as scared as he used to be" camp regarding a post-Musharraf Pakistan. --Sam Rosenfeld
THE WOLFOWITZ ENDGAME. More indication that Paul Wolfowitz 's goose is cooked at the World Bank; the board will hear Wolfowitz's testimony tomorrow and make a decision on Wednesday. Meanwhile, if you can get past the utterly glaring and completely unspoken flip-floppery it represents on his part, Sebastian Mallaby 's punchy column on Wolfowitz and the bank is definitely worth a look. The former Wolfowitz defender finally calls for him to resign. But more importantly, he makes good points about the one supposed substantive claim advanced in defense of Wolfowitz's tenure: his zealous anti-corruption approach to development. The thing is, Wolfowitz was hardly a pioneer in addressing corruption issues as a major tenet of development; his outlook on it was simplistic, poorly worked out, and unsystematic ; and he implemented anti-corruption policies in a spectacularly ineffective and counterproductive way. Read Mallaby on this -- he's much meaner than I am. --Sam Rosenfeld
HOW FAR. There are various ways one can look at something like this, but I should say that I think Eve Fairbanks is absolutely right in pointing out that, step by step, Democratic congressional action regarding the Iraq war has consistently turned out to be bolder and more successful than most people -- including the Democrats themselves -- had expected beforehand. There's always the argument that more can be done, but it is worth stepping back for a moment just to note how much the debate over tactics and the limits of the strategically feasible has continued to shift this year, and all in the anti-war direction. --Sam Rosenfeld
GUEST POST -- JOSH BIVENS: MORE ON TRADE. Matt sides with James Galbraith in the latter's recent debate at TAP on trade. I will predictably (I work at EPI) take issue. I think JKG is mostly right-on regarding his final recommendations about what is most helpful for protecting the interests of American workers in the era of globalization: full employment and an expansion of the social-democratic state. Galbraith and Matt argue for the futility of including labor standards as a core of lefty trade policy. They're mostly right on this if the question is what will protect the interests of American workers in the short-run . No immediate relief from globalization's pressures would be felt from even an ideal set of trade-enforced labor standards. That said, it's hard to argue that, say, South Korean workers didn't see large wage increases as the result of growing political freedoms in that country, and, that these wage increases didn't close the gap between Korean and American workers over...