December 18, 2006

Internal Affairs
12:00 AM

President Bush and his advisers were not the only ones who were anxious about what the Iraq Study Group would recommend. So were the Saudis, which explains why they sought an urgent meeting between King Abdullah and Vice President Cheney in late November. The source of Saudi anxiety was almost certainly the widely held assumption that, to help fix Iraq, the Baker-Hamilton Commission would counsel reaching out to Iran and Syria, both of which Riyadh regards as regional rivals.

Half Nelson
12:00 AM

After Edward Zwick returned from Mozambique and Sierra Leone this June, he received a letter from Nelson Mandela. Zwick, the director of Glory, had traveled to Africa to film Blood Diamond, the story of the civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

Active Debate?
12:00 AM

Over at Newsweek, Michael Gerson has an end-of-the-year piece laying out what ails the Republican Party. Gerson's argument is that there is a split between big government Republicans and more libertarian minded antigovernment activists. He writes:   The response of many Republicans was to use [Hurricane Katrina] as an excuse for cutting government spending, particularly the Medicare prescription-drug benefit for seniors. At a post-Katrina meeting with White House officials, one conservative think-tank sage urged: "The president needs to give up something he wants.

Strange Bedfellows

Here's a picture of Bush signing the Indian nuclear deal at the White House today. Wait a minute: Who's that, just between Frist and Condi. Could it be? Oh my God ... . The macacas have the bomb! --Michael Currie Schaffer

December 15, 2006

The Rush To Syria

Do you recall when, as children, we played "doctor and patient?" It was quite titillating really. Now, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat from Florida has already been to Damascus to consult with Bashar Assad. And following on Nelson's footsteps will be John Kerry (who's always playing president), Arlen Spector, Republican from Pennsylvania, and Chris Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut.

No Sense In Trying

From the looks of things, printouts of the Baker Commission are being used as toilet paper in the White House, and the Bush administration plans more-or-less to stay the current, too-marvelous-for-words course in Iraq: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday rejected a bipartisan panel's recommendation that the United States seek the help of Syria and Iran in Iraq, saying the "compensation" required by any deal might be too high. She argued that neither country should need incentives to foster stability in Iraq. Well, who knows?

December 14, 2006

The Politics Of Johnson
12:00 AM

On her blog yesterday, compassionate conservative Michelle Malkin posted about Tim Johnson's health. She told her readers to keep the Senator and his family in their thoughts and prayers, and then expressed her displeasure with the "rush to calculate the political consequences" on liberal blogs. Can we get serious? No one would give two cents about Tim Johnson's health were it not for the political consequences. And of course the politics (i.e. control of the Senate) is what we should be thinking about.

December 13, 2006

Dictatorships And Double Standards?

by David A. BellTuesday's Wall Street Journal, in an editorial that could have been titled "Two Cheers for Pinochet," cites the late Chilean dictator as proof of "the truth of Jeane Kirkpatrick's Cold War distinction between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, with the former far more likely to evolve into freer places." That "far more likely" is an interesting sleight of hand.

Obama And The Right, Cont'd

Following up on (the dashing and debonair) Isaac's post, there's another tactic conservatives will likely use to combat Obamamania. They'll launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign against the guy (Barack Hussein Obama, etc.) and then blame it all on Hillary.

December 12, 2006

Reyes Errs
12:00 AM

This is really, really disturbing: Silvestre Reyes, soon to be the next House Intelligence Committee chair, flubbed a foreign policy quiz from Congressional Quarterly ... and flubbed it badly:   Is al Qaeda a Sunni organization, or Shi'ite? The question proved nettlesome for Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, incoming Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. "Predominantly -- probably Shi'ite," he said.