If there is one thing that Iraq does not need, it is additional sources of conflict and instability. Right now, the only part of Iraq that is stable and shows prospects of developing economically and politically is the Kurdish areas of the north. Though not without challenges, especially given the uncertainty over the future of Kirkuk, the Kurdish government there is working, and constitutes at least one model of success in Iraq. But Turkish military posturing along the northern Iraqi border may soon not be limited only to a war of words or military maneuvers.
Over at Slate, Lee Smith argues in favor of standing by Musharraf despite his imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan. (Next week: Dennis Eckersley defends military aid to Hosni Mubarak.) Smith is right to note that we don't really have any good options in Pakistan (for which Fred Kaplan blames the Bush administration), but he seems far too willing to give Musharraf the benefit of every doubt while exempting him from blame for all of Pakistan's problems.
The Club for Growth has taken time out from its anti-Huckabee crusade to publish its painfully titled "2007 Senate RePORK Card." It has some interesting findings, but (probably intentionally) the press release neglects to even mention the major 2007 pork-related development on Capitol Hill. In summarizing votes on anti-pork amendments, the report tells us that "the average Republican score was 59%; the average Democratic score was 12%." Wow, Republicans are a lot better at fighting pork than Democrats, right?
Saturday Night Obama [Jim Rutenberg, New York Times]: "Coup of the Weekend: Barack Obama showed up on 'Saturday Night Live,' unannounced, to deliver the famous opening line, 'Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!' ” No GOP Strongman in 2008 [Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, Washington Post]: "For the first time in nearly 30 years, there is no breakaway front-runner for the Republican nomination as the first votes of Campaign 2008 loom, and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll underscores how open the GOP race remains." Iowans on the Clinton Vault [John McCormick, Chicago Tribune]: "With Sen.
Philip Stephens writes for the FT, and on Friday he published a rather sage little essay in it: "America is still indispensable but it must work with others." OK, the last thought is both obvious and more than a bit hoary. Still, it's true. And everyone knows it. The surprising argument that Stephens makes you did not get from the Democratic debate, at which the underlying theme was the decline and fall of the United States. Instead, his major point is the indispensability of the U.S.
The last month or so has been, if not great, then at least encouraging for Joe Biden. He's seen real (if modest) upward movement in various Iowa polls, picked up a few endorsements from local newspapers and politicians there, even started to win some attention from national pundits (see, for example, here). While breaking into the top tier is still a long shot (perhaps more so after this gaffe during a recent conversation with The Washington Post), it's not crazy to think Biden could win a ticket out of Iowa if one of the Big Three falters.
This is from the front page of Friday's Financial Times: "New fears over subprime fallout." Well, that was in the morning; and by the 4 o'clock close the three FT exemplars of very troubled financial institutions had gone down some more. Citigroup by 7% on Thursday and another 2% on Friday to $37, down from a year high of $57. But the real damage was in the two main insurers of municipal bonds, Ambac, which was down 20% for the day, has virtually collapsed over the year from $96 to $23, with the prospects of death coming closer; and MBI (about which I have written before),
Can conservatism be heroic? PETER BEINART is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). JONAH GOLDBERG is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg
WASHINGTON -- More significant than Hillary Clinton's supposed gaffe at the end of this week's Democratic presidential debate is the subject around which she tiptoed so delicately: Immigration is the issue Democrats fear because it could leave them with a set of no-win political choices.Examined on its face, Clinton's statement on New York Gov.
Robert Rubin is a very accomplished person. He is smart, he is honorable and he thinks for the long haul. That's certainly how he behaved as Secretary of the Treasury (and how he also behaved during the ugly fracas over Larry Summers at the Harvard Corporation). Certainly people have been wondering what he thinks about the disaster that is now unfolding in the credit crisis and about how dishonestly the rating business has been pursued. It's not an abstract curiosity. Citigroup has been dragged down by these events, and Robert Rubin is a big player in Citigroup, which the Wall Street Jour