November 10, 2007
Pak It In
Last Monday, two days after Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, I drove around Islamabad in search of Musharraf supporters. As police beat and arrested the president's political opponents, the country's elite was becoming increasingly restive, and even people on the street sounded annoyed. Shopkeepers complained about slow business,the government had shut down more than ten private TV channels, and cell service was spotty. Then I arrived at the Christian slum near my house, where I met a 28-year-old man named Javed.
November 09, 2007
The Mark of Kaine
WASHINGTON -- The Democratic surge that began in 2006 continued in elections around the country on Tuesday. But how the Democrats won provides a cautionary tale for the national party. What you might call solutionism, not ideology, explained the Democratic victories. And an electorate in a decidedly bad temper did not always exempt Democrats from its ire.Republicans are still reeling from their party's ideological obsessions and the unpopularity of President Bush. That was most obvious in Virginia, a state once considered a GOP fortress.
Joltin' Joe [Kate Phillips, The New York Times]: "In remarks yesterday, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman criticized the Democratic presidential candidates for their adherence to the views of the 'politically paranoid, hyper-partisan' liberal base of the Democratic party, saying that allegiance could harm the eventual nominee’s chances of gaining entry to the White House." They Like Mike [Stephanie Simon, Los Angeles Times]: "After months of dismissing Huckabee as a nice guy with no chance to win, Iowa's influential social conservatives are giving him a second look.
The New York Observer's Steve Kornacki has a fairly devastating piece today about the ongoing crash-and-burn of Fred Thompson's presidential candidacy: Consider the latest national poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, which has Mr. Giuliani safely ahead of the pack at 33 percent, followed distantly by Mr. McCain at 16 percent. Mr. Thompson runs behind him, at 15 percent—which is not good sign considering that he was at 23 percent last month and 26 percent two months ago. Individual state polls indicate that Mr. Thompson is essentially in a free-fall.
So Long, Renewables?
According to Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher, White House officials are now signaling that the president might be willing to sign a climate change bill that put limits on U.S. greenhouse gases—as long as it's weak and ineffective. Ordinarily, scuttlebutt like that wouldn't deserve more than a shrug.
The State Department And Iran
You can count on the State Department for nothing. Inside the Bush administration it argues for "soft power" directed at Iran. Actually, it's just fine in Foggy Bottom to have foggy policies which, in the struggle with the Tehran of the mullahs, means no policy at all. Experts argue that there is an ongoing conflict between enlightened and liberal Iranians who are imperiled by the regime of the ayatollahs and their thugs. After all, one has to admit that the Shah left a more tolerant and educated population than it seemed at the time. Their children are trying to find their place in the
Mate and Switch? [Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register]: "Former President Bill Clinton said Thursday that the blame for Democrat Hillary Clinton's failed health care plan in 1993 should rest on his shoulders." Two-Trick Pony [David Shribman, RealClearPolitics]: "(1) The entire 2008 election is about leadership qualities; and (2) the entire 2008 election is a referendum on Hillary Clinton, who isn't even president." Off With Her Head!
November 08, 2007
What's Your Problem?
What should we do about Pakistan? By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg
Pervez W. Busharraf
When Pervez Musharraf took to Pakistan’s freshly unclogged airwaves Saturday night to announce his self-coup, he switched from Urdu to English mid-speech in order to address foreign skeptics. “To the critics and idealists against this action, I would like to say, Please do not expect or demand your level of democracy, which you learned over a number of centuries,” he said. “We are also trying to learn, and we are doing well.” He's learning something, that's for sure.
ANENECUILCO, Mexico--I wish my American friends who fret about Mexican immigrants could be here with me. Listening to Emiliano Zapata, a laborer who happens to be the grandson and namesake of the legendary Mexican revolutionary, they perhaps would get a clearer sense of how the migration of Mexicans originated a few decades ago and why it continues today.The state of Morelos is where Zapata's revolution--one of the various armed struggles that made up the multifaceted Mexican Revolution--started almost a century ago, before it spread all across the south of Mexico.