Bending Toward Justice

By: Saturday December 18, 2010 12:25 pm

Sixty-three votes for cloture to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Procedural hurdles cleared, final repeal inevitable. Now for the Pentagon’s “deliberate” certification on implementation, signed by Gates and Mullen in consultation with the service chiefs. This is going to take a while — through 2011, certainly — but repeal is as good as law. That’s [...]

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Muslim In America?

By: Friday December 17, 2010 10:32 am

Rep. Peter King will hold hearings on “the radicalization” of American Muslims when he gets his gavel for the House’s homeland-security committee. Framing the question that way predetermines its outcome: millions of Americans will be presumptively guilty of drifting into fellow-traveling with al-Qaeda. But King is right that even a statistically miniscule rise in homegrown [...]

The Vilest Thing You Will See Today

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 6:28 pm

Via Media Matters, a 3:30 cavalcade of pure homophobia from Rep. Louie Gohmert. Appealing to the need for military strength to justify preventing thousands of troops from serving openly is truly the jingoism of fools. And in the House today, this guy lost. No idea if the Senate will ultimately give him his W, as [...]

Kerry Wrings His Hands

By: Tuesday December 14, 2010 9:00 pm

National Journal‘s Michael Hirsch has an exceptionally insightful piece about John Kerry as a bellwether for Senate Democratic positioning on Afghanistan. It’s a story that lends itself to cynicism — Kerry must be wringing his hands because he wants to be secretary of state — and that cynicism might be appropriate. But it’s also possible [...]

And It’s Not A Conflict Of Interest Because It’s Not A Conflict Of Interest

By: Tuesday December 14, 2010 8:26 pm

I don’t actually know anything about this case, but the State Department’s answer is laughably inadequate: Question: Environmental organization Friends of the Earth has issued a press release regarding Secretary Clinton’s former presidential campaign manager who is now an oil industry lobbyist. Does the Secretary’s past association with lobbyist Paul Elliot present a conflict of [...]

RIP Richard Holbrooke

By: Monday December 13, 2010 10:08 pm

Out for a long-overdue drinks and dinner with foreign-policy-oriented friends tonight, all of a sudden our phones buzz. Richard Holbrooke, the most distinguished diplomat of his generation, has died. None of us know quite what to say. Our respect for Holbrooke has long been tempered with a certain exasperation with how his personality has overshadowed [...]

Sustainability and Afghanistan

By: Sunday December 12, 2010 3:05 pm

Rajiv Chandrasekaran has a tremendous piece of reporting and analysis on Nawa, a district in Helmand that’s an ostensible model for what the U.S. can accomplish in Afghanistan if we’re to factor out a sea change in governance from Karzai and an end to the Pakistani safe havens. At the risk of oversimplification, the answer [...]


By: Saturday December 11, 2010 5:01 pm

Intelligence agency pays Bad Guy for information in confusing environment deemed national priority! That’s not to disrespect Jim Risen’s formidable reporting talents, since I definitely would have reported that Hajji Juma Khan was a CIA asset if I had discovered it, and he did and I didn’t. But let’s not all catch the vapors on [...]

Nobody’s Driving

By: Friday December 10, 2010 8:44 am

An anthem for the Obama administration over the last few weeks. As it turns out, I’m driving to watch a giant electromagnetic gun get fired off, so while I’ve barely posted at all this week, expect radio silence today. And in case you were wondering: no relation.

It Depends What Victory Is

By: Thursday December 9, 2010 3:53 pm

Matthew Yglesias doesn’t think South Korea’s recent statements of deterrence against the North sound credible. Read Robert Farley, but dwell particularly on the fact that not only would a successful ROK/DPRK war be costly for the ROK in terms of losses, but the curious fact that victory itself would be a disaster for South Korean [...]